Quilting is basically stitching together pieces of cloth or layers of paddings or other materials to create a beautiful spread of cloth or material that can be used as mantel, coverlet, curtain, or even as material for garment and footwear, bags and casings, furnishings and architectural designs. |
There are a various design approaches in quilting, one of this is the use of quilt blocks. A quilt block is traditionally a patterned square of fabric that is repeated or alternately stitched with a plain block of fabric to form the overall quilt design. Complex quilt designs require more complex quilt blocking. Quilt blocks can be either pieced or applique. An appliqued block has the design cut from fabric arranged and sewn on a full square of background fabric. A pieced block is separate shapes sewn together to form a square. There are a lot of quilt designs that have evolved over time. Still, for those who are new at embarking into quilting, some basic designs and blockings can serve as good starters.
One of the most easily recognizable traditional quilt designs is the Nine Patch. It is has many variations but is often comprised of five dark square and four light square pieces of cloth sewn together alternately. The nine sewn squares make one block.
There are many variations of Nine Patch. One is the Shoo Fly design whereby the square pieces are divided into 2 and sewing together alternately dark and light triangular pieces. Another is the Church Dash whereby one square piece is divided into two equal rectangles combines the triangles and rectangle to expand the Nine Patch. In the Pacific Ocean design, blocks do not always use the same scale for each piece or section of the block. The Prairie Queen block combines two large scale triangles in the corner section with the middle section using four squares. The center piece is one full size square. Each of the nine sections does have the same overall measurement and fits together.
The Hourglass and Contrary Wife and Letter X and Variable Star designs involve non- traditional quilting approaches best used in teaching quilting where students learn several different skills in addition to the history and traditional art form of quilting. In this project, fabric and sewing are replaced with construction papers and glue. The project can be expanded into very creative work such as permanently decorating a bulletin board or even the hallway with quilt blocks.
Local quilt guilds or sewing groups can help teach the students proper piecing techniques. Most quilt craft books found at the public library will have some historic background to supplement the project in addition to explaining how to construct a quilt block. Quilting is currently a very popular craft and resource people should be easy to find. It is also possible that parents or grandparents of the students quilt and could be persuaded to offer technical assistance or to share their work. Quilt magazines is also a good project making use of colored pages of magazines. Many quilt blocks change appearance when set next to each other in a full size quilt.
Quilting as a traditional craft has now become an accepted art form. Museums now hold quilt shows. Making quilt blocks should enhance any social studies unit in addition to expanding the students' observation skills, math skills, and introducing them to a familiar but formal art form.
Related Articles -