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Kids Can Quilt
Finished project: 10 ½” x 14 ½”

house1house 2house 3 

This great quilt project incorporates all the steps (with the exception of binding) for designing and creating a wall quilt.  Perfect for Mother’s Day or as a Christmas gift, this project is a favourite art project in my classroom. The quilts pictured above are made by Grade 3 and 4 students.

Pre Teaching: Preparing Students for Quilting
A week before we actually begin to quilt, we bring in quilts that we have made.  If you are not a quilter, invite local quilters to lend you several of their quilts or have them come in and talk about their quilts.  Quilt shops and local guilds are great places to connect with quilters in your area.  If you explain what you are doing with your class, many quilters will be happy to help out.

We also read an assortment of quilt related books to the students.  See a list of recommended books at the end of this document.

We bring in several quilts each day and talk about patterns and color choices.

A large Ziploc bag per student with their name on it in permanent pen
Rulers in inches (most 30 cm rulers have inches along one side)
Sharp scissors that cut fabric (most children’s scissors will)
Plain newsprint for pattern drafting (min size of 11” x 11”
Iron                                 pins
Muslin, white or cream solid fabric cut to 10 ½” x 10 ½” (1 per student)
Heat and Bond – Ultra Hold (Red) We start with a piece approx. 8” x 8” per student
Self threading needles (we like John James the best)
Cream or white thread
Colored fabric scraps for the houses and trees (or whatever your design is)
Assorted colored strips precut to 2 ½” x 10 ½” (2 per student)
Quilt batting (approx. 11” x 15” per student)
Quilt backing – color does not matter (approx. 11” x 15” per student)
Wooden dowels (approx.. ¼” x 6”) We found these at the Dollar Store.

We recommend you make a sample quilt to show your students what they will be making.


Lesson 1           Measuring the Square
Start with explaining that in North America quilters us inches rather than the metric system for quilting.  In Europe quilters use metric but here we do not.  When Canada changed to metric, quilters do not and the US of course does not use metric. For younger students, you may choose to skip this step and precut the paper for them.


1.  Student will draw a 10” square on their paper.  We work step by step, measuring from the left hand side and the bottom left.

Using a pencil, students place several small marks 10” from the left edge of the paper and then draw a line to join the marks.  The same is done 10” from the bottom of the page.

Lesson 2     Designing the Quilt Block
1.  At this point you must decide if you are going to allow students to create whatever they would like or suggest a theme.  We have our students make blocks with a house and one or two trees.

2.  Show students on the board that they must fill the space with their design.  They can work right to the edge of the paper as the fabric is cut 10 ½: x 10 ½” to allow sewing room around the block.

3.  The design must use large shapes so that they are easy to cut out and fuse.  If students draw small windows or narrow tree trunks we send them back to redesign.  This can be frustrating for some students but it is an important part of the process.  Elaborate designs must be scaled back in order to show off the design when adding the fabric.

4.  We add buttons after quilting and for older students we add embroidery.  It can be difficult for students to think in layers and so they will often draw in door knobs or window pane lines.  We have them erase the lines and door knobs and explain that these can be added at the end of the quilting process.

5.  Quilt block designs are to go into their Ziploc bag.

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