Art and Creativity

Art is important for children especially during their early development. Research shows that art activities develop brain capacity in early childhood; in other words, art is good brain food! Art engages children’s senses in open-ended play and develops cognitive, social-emotional and multi-sensory skills. As children progress into elementary school and beyond, art continues to provide opportunities for brain development, mastery, self esteem and creativity.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Paper Quilts – Easy Collaborative Art

Quilts are fun to make and share, and paper quilts are easy to make and piece together. They make a nice experience in collaboration, since everyone has their unique artwork represented in a larger group project. Quilt making demonstrates to children that they are important as individuals, and also important as members of a group.

Paper quilts are much quicker than fabric quilts and don’t require an experienced seamstress to stitch them together. Of course, they are not as long-lasting as fabric quilts, nor can they be used as a bedcover, but they make beautiful wall hangings and do last many years.

Paper Quilt The quilt pictured here was made by one classroom of 3rd graders. It was one of three quilts created for the school’s silent auction, the annual fundraiser that allowed the school to offer a variety of enrichment classes. The quilts were the most popular item at the silent auction and several enthusiastic parents paid over $200 to take one home. Imagine how proud these nine year olds were to find their art so highly valued!

If you’d like details on now to make this particular paper quilt, feel free to e-mail me for details, but I’ll give you a little background here. We worked on this project for 3 class sessions, and finished with 3 paper quilts. We used simple and inexpensive materials: coffee filters, watercolor, and a large paper dropcloth pre-cut into individual squares. Each child created one square and one circle design and all their artwork was used. After the final session, I took all the dry art home and used a hot glue gun to piece the parts together. This took me a couple of hours for all 3 quilts, which I considered a reasonable investment of time, considering the dozens of hours required to sew a traditional fabric quilt together.

I love knowing that collaborate projects promote both the strength of the individual and the strength of the group. Quilts are a great reminder that our strength as a community lies in our diversity. We are each unique individuals, but when we express ourselves independently, then place those self expressions into one collaborative piece, a magnificent new whole is created. There is much satisfaction, beauty, and comfort in this process.

You can download the instructions to this activity by clicking here.

39 Comments:

At 3:58 PM, Blogger John Funk said...

Good work, Anna. What a great idea to bring cultures together, as well. I did something similar with a group of kindergaten children, so it can apply tomany age groups.

 
At 9:04 AM, Blogger Chris & Kristina said...

Dear Anna,
What a great idea. We would love to get the instructions on how to do this activity. we have a yearly "Art & Family Social" and this would be great for the afterschool program to create for the silent auction. If could e-mail us with instructions that we would really appreciate it!

 
At 11:46 AM, Blogger Brynda Nelson said...

Dear Anna,
I love your Paper Quilt idea. I would love to do this project with my Pre-K class at our preschool. would you please email me the instructions. Thank you so much!

 
At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Enid said...

I love your coffee filter
quilts. I have a class of
17 third graders and we would
like to make a project such as
this one to beautify our school
library. Could you pass the
instructions on to me? It would
be much appreciated.

 
At 8:05 AM, Anonymous Enid said...

I love your coffee filter
quilts. I have a class of
17 third graders and we would
like to make a project such as
this one to beautify our school
library. Could you pass the
instructions on to me? It would
be much appreciated.

 
At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to learn how to do this art project. Could I please get the instructions on how to do it?

 
At 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to learn how to do this art project. Could I please get the instructions on how to do it?

 
At 4:19 PM, Blogger mistyturtle said...

I would like the instructions for this project , it seems so cool. Thank you!

 
At 6:41 PM, Blogger Maite said...

This gave me a great idea for my art class!!!! I will modify it so that I can keep the project for years to come. I will use fabric squares, sharpies, and alcohol to create "tie-die" squares that can be sewn together into a quilt. I can use the quilt as a decoration in my classroom.
Thanks!

 
At 10:33 AM, Blogger Verity said...

Hi Anna,
This is such a great idea. Would love to use it with a group aged from 1-17! Please could you email more details? Thank you.

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger Deb Larson said...

Hello,
I would like to share this project with my group of art friends and it could possible lead to a collaborative art project we can donate to our local hospital. Please email the details on how-to and any helpful hints. Thanks for sharing your awesome idea!!

 
At 1:50 PM, Anonymous Springchic said...

Please send me instructions for your paper quilt. I would love to do this for my preschool class.
Thanks,
Sharon@NoahsPlacePreschool.com

 
At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please send me instructions to the paper quilt. I want to do this with a First Grade class for a silent auction.

Send to bryon66@mchsi.com

 
At 8:51 PM, Blogger peinri said...

Hi Anna,

Great idea and a wonderful creativity from your third graders. I'm doing my first paper quilt project with my students for Black History Month? Can I get the details in putting it together. Thanks

 
At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the idea of a collaborative quilt that can give back. Could you send me your lesson plans on this, I think it would be a great project for my 3rd grade students that they could donate to the public library. Thanks!
megsaxton@gmail.com

 
At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The quilt is beautiful. Could you please email the instructions to me so I can do it with my students? Thank you.
ebrut@scrtc.com

 
At 5:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is beautiful! I would love the instructions to make one for me class. could you please email the instructions to me at clakdl@swbell.net

 
At 4:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,
Your paper quilt is awesome, please send the instructions to my class, we are in Lower hutt, New Zealand, at mabelt@pomare.school.nz.
Thank you

 
At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,
Your paper quilt is awesome, please send the instructions to my class, we are in Lower hutt, New Zealand, at mabelt@pomare.school.nz.
Thank you

 
At 8:02 AM, Blogger SE Girls said...

Hi Anna,
I love your paper quilt! Could you email me the directions? A birthday gift for the 1st grade teacher...
Thanks!
eaophoff@sbcglobal.net

 
At 3:16 AM, Blogger Stacey said...

Your paper quilt is awesome! I love the rich colors in the quilt. Did you use fabric as the backdrop or did the children paint the paper backdrop. My 5 year old daughter is about to work on a paper quilt for Black History Month, would you please send me the instructions for this project.

Thank you

 
At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this art project!!! I would really appreciate instructions on how to do it correctly (missycharlton@yahoo.ca). I work up on a native reserve in northern Canada and I think this quilt would be a great idea to promote and display the native culture!

 
At 10:36 PM, Blogger Judy said...

Love this, I want to do it this week as we are reading the Keeping Quilt, Judy B at jxb7238@lausd.net Can you e-mail the details , thank you so so much!

 
At 8:06 PM, Blogger Amy said...

This is a great idea! We have an art auction coming up at our school and I would love to do this with my students. Can you send me the instructions? My email address is ahowe@washoe.k12.nv.us. Thanks so much!

 
At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,

You posted about your gorgeous paper quilt ages ago, but I'm hoping you're still getting notices of comments. We've been searching for a wonderful, bright collaborative art project that celebrates diversity and community - this is perfect. Could you please forward me the instructions?

Many thanks,
Alison (alison@bethechange.ca)

 
At 5:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Waht a great idea! Please forward me the directions/specifics. Thanks. Jayne

jdror@aol.com

 
At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Marie said...

Hi Anna,

I have just found your blog while looking for ideas on collaborative art projects for kids. I love the paper quilt idea you wrote about a few years ago and would like to do this project with my daughter's art class at school. Could you please email me the instructions for this project? It's such a fabulous idea! Thanks, Marie. (marie.standish@gmail.com)

 
At 9:30 AM, Blogger Chelsea said...

I would love to do this with my Kindergarten class in Tanzania. Would you please send me the directions Thank you!

 
At 4:07 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Anna,

I absolutely love this idea and the quilt is beautiful. Please send me the instructions for this project. I teach preschool so I am sure I will need to modify it slightly, but it is beautiful.

Thanks!

 
At 3:14 AM, Anonymous Euna said...

Dear Anna,
I googled collaborative art for kids and found your paper quilt. I love the idea... Would you please give me the instructions?? I live in LA, too!! Thanks a lot!!

 
At 4:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a lovely idea for making a group project. We are studying 'Q' this week and would love to do a quilt project. if you still have instructions, i would love if you could send to me as well. wishuponastarr@hotmail.com
thanks so much!

 
At 10:26 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Really nice quilt idea Anna. Can you send the instructions? Thanks, Michael. (m.wilson@uvm.edu)

 
At 6:54 AM, Anonymous Lisa said...

Would you please send me the paper quilt instructions? I am doing a 3rd grade class project for the school auction and that idea is great! Also, if you had any collaborative art suggestions with maps, please let me know. Thank you!

Lisa

 
At 8:49 AM, Blogger JMH said...

I love the idea! Please e-mail me the instructions. Thank you.
Jan

 
At 9:04 PM, Blogger ECP said...

Hey Anna,

This idea is amazing, could you send me the instructions? I just started working with a third grade class that would surely enjoy this directive. My email address is: erika.pappas@gmail.com
Thanks so much!

Erika

 
At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was looking for an idea for my son's class to make for his teacher and teaching assistant for teacher's appreciation day and this sounds perfect. Are the instructions still available?

Thanks!

becanady@pacbell.net

 
At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,
Love your Paper Quilt idea. Would love to do it with my 3rd grade class. Please email me the instructions. Thank you

 
At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love instructions please so we can do something like this for our school auction next year. Please email to me at ekirsch@centurytel.net

 
At 8:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love for you to email me the instructions for the paper quilt...louise@laurensinstitute.org
Thanks

 

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