Sunday, March 2, 2014

Textile art

I am constantly looking for new ideas for art projects.  We have painted with every single utensil that I can think of, we have made pictures with glue, and sculptures with a vast array of different materials.  So last week I deployed materials from my own creative stash.  I am an avid quilter, though you wouldn't know it because I haven't had much time to devote to this over the last couple of months.  But I figured it was time to attempt a quilting project with my class.  We have sewn before, creating scarves one winter, and sewing paper to create decorations for the classroom, so they have seen me use the sewing machine before, but I wanted to give them a little more opportunity to actually create something from scratch.

This is hardly going to be a traditional quilt.  There will be plenty of unfinished edges, and no straight lines whatsoever, and actually I'm not planning on batting or backing the quilt, so I guess a better name for this particular project is a tapestry, but now we're just getting technical...

Any way, I started with a bag of scrap pieces from a quilt that I'm currently working on. I put them out on the table with paper and glue sticks.  The only instruction that I gave was to make sure the entire paper was covered so that there would be no holes.  This wasn't their first choice for an activity, and after a while I started to wonder if they would do it at all, so I employed a tactic that never fails - I sat down at the table and told them all that I was going to make one myself.  It never fails, I heard a chorus of excited  "Me too's" and I had to give up my seat so that they could all fit around the table.




The kiddos used glue sticks to glue the fabric scraps to their papers. Then I let these dry overnight.  The next day I brought my sewing machine into the classroom and sewed lines up and down each sheet of paper.  Right now my job is to tear the paper backing off of each one, then I'll sew all of the different pieces together to create a larger piece. I can't wait to share the finished product, although there's no telling exactly how long it will take me to get the paper off of each sewn piece - preschoolers tend to use a lot more glue than necessary...

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