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, June 30, 2011

American Idol Quilt Creates Community

Check out the HUGE community quilt made by American Idol fans in North Carolina last month, using our “Button Up” Canvas Quilt Squares! I'm sure they helped Scotty win the big competition! Barbara Wolfmueller of DSS donated these no-sew fabric squares to help her local community celebrate local hero, Scotty McCreery who went on to win the celebrated singing competition. As you can see, there's NO END to how many fabric quilt squares you can button together. Families and children came together to support Scotty by creating a colorful “fan club quilt” with Colorations paints and markers.
In this next fabric quilt, art teacher Marianne Richmond had school aged children design a Community Quilt using the same button-up quilt squares. If you look closely, you’ll see this quilt combines plain canvas squares with “Picture Quilt Squares” that have an insert for a 4 x 6” photo or poem. Both these fabric products come in a set of 12 squares and cost less than $1 a square.
Marianne asked children to work in pairs and design one quilt square with their partner, using a combination of fabric paints, acrylic paints and permanent markers. This way they got to share ideas and collaborate in two different ways: first with their buddy, then together with the larger group.
This last quilt example is from a Baby Shower. During the baby shower itself, each participant created a square using fabric paints and collage materials. I painted these “Picture Quilt Squares” ahead of time and inserted poems and quotes about babies to match the party theme. I later buttoned these in with the rest of everyone’s finished artwork. Printing out poems and quotes, or having children write their own poetry on 4 x 6” file cards, is a good way to give your quilt a unified theme. 
Check out this close-up of the same quilt…pretty sweet, don’t you think? Imagine….all these fabric quilts are so diverse, yet they are created on the same set of no-sew quilt squares. Don’t forget, they come in both plain canvas and picture insert versions, which you can easily combine to make a quilt of any size.
Let’s close that thought with one last look at the American Idol quilt, created by Scotty’s loving fans in North Carolina. It’s a pretty great example of how creative collaboration builds community. I hope it inspires you to make an easy, no sew fabric quilt this summer.

Enjoy yourself and keep those creative juices flowing!

Materials you will need:
1) Classroom Canvas Quilt, set of 12 (and/or)
2) Classroom Picture Quilt, set of 12
3) Colorations® Permanent Fabric Markers
4) Colorations® Fabric Paint Set
5) Colorations® Acrylic Paint Set

Optional: Miscellaneous Collage Materials including:
Ribbons, Stampers, Stamp Pads, Tacky Glue

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