Friday, September 2, 2016

the superduper zamo quilt mashup of 2016.

Back to business at Zamo! I had a wonderful summer break drawing outside, camping, beaching, doing honeydos, and spending time with the fam. It's hard to believe that my last post was about our end of the year 5th grade legacy mural. But, in a way, it's a perfect segway... from a large scale permanent public art install to a large scale temporary one.

Every year I kick things things off with a week of 30 minute mini-lessons that allow me to review my classroom expectations with students and to create an artwork that celebrates both the unity and diversity present in our school population. 

This year I found inspiration in work by two different quiltmakers. Latifah Saafir is an LA based quiltmaker and Sylvia Sutters is a quiltmaker working in Saint Louis. Last year I used Latifah's work as inspo for a kinder drawing project, but Sylvia is new to me. I found both by going through the Modern Quilt Guild's website, FB, and instagram galleries. There is so much visual goodness at all of those platforms!

I first introduce Latifah's Glam Clam quilt and we look at how she repeats one shape over and over- same size, same direction. This is similar to the unity found at a school site- the kids are all in the same class, same grade, etc. Then I ask them how the shapes are different from each other- patterns and colors and we relate this to the fact that none of the kids are exactly the same, that they all have unique qualities that make them special.

We then look at Sylvia's Current Wave quilt and I ask the kids how is this similar to Latifah's piece and then how it is different. A lot of kids noticed that she used the same shape as Latifah, but rotated that shape freely to create a different composition.


Finally, we looked at one more from Latifah, her hexie glam clam pattern and noticed that she introduced a new shape into the pattern.

At this point, I explain that they will be doing a mashup of the 2 quiltmakers' work. Each student will create a hexie glam clam piece and then we will put them together, rotating them in different directions to create a composition influenced by Sylvia's quilt.

Then it is time to create. It goes by superfast. My review of rules and intro to the quilters work takes 10 minutes, which leaves 20 to trace, cut, glue, draw, and glue again.


This is what my tables look like before the kids come in.  Each student has a 5" clam stencil and a smaller hexie stencil. They have a large piece to trace the clam and a smaller one to trace the hexie. Depending on what colors we are at on the collaborative quilt, the colors on the table change. We started with light yellows and oranges on Tuesday and finished with yellow greens on Friday afternoon. I gradually work in new colors and transition out of old ones to create the spectrum effect in the final install. I transitioned the hexie colors between white, light gray, dark gray, and black a bit quicker than the colors. This gives the final install more of an undulating look.

I prepared about 50 stencils of each shape because, inevitably, some get glued together, crumpled up, or thrown away.

Kids trace both shapes first.

They then cut out both shapes.



After gluing the hexie on, they create a pattern that tells us a little bit about themselves.

They could use lines, shapes, colors, or words to build their personal patterns.





They put glue on the back of their clam when finished with their patterns
and place it on the quilt, responding to the ones previously set in place.









This was our progress after 3 days. 



This is the final install in our auditorium. It will serve as a backdrop for assemblies.
The final size is 21' x 4'. About 600 kids in 3rd-5th grades participated.
The individual pieces are glued onto a series of 24x36" white sheets.

Something like this takes a bit of preplanning (what doesn't;), but it gives you a relatively quick way to get some color and beauty up at your school for the beginning of the year. The hands on portion is pretty low stress for the kids because it is fast and their piece becomes part of a much larger whole, so if they are concerned about making mistakes I encourage them to work through it and with it. When the pieces are installed, nobody will notice errors in cutting or drawing. 

Our Zamo kids did a great job with this! I'm looking forward to a most excellent school year!

13 comments:

  1. This is amazing! I love the personal story detail! Such an altogether great project helping kids develop cutting skills, drawing, pattern design, color theory among other things. Great job everyone! I feel honored that my work was able to touch the lives of others.

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  2. Wow!! This is amazing!! What a great way to combine art, quilting, and explain differences!!

    Found you via IG @astrangerview

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  3. Unity and Variety are my favorite principles, and I've never taught them first - genius move. Great looking results.

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  4. Another great idea. I was so inspired by your last collaborative quilt, I started out this school year with that lesson. You are noted in my posted! Check it out...my blog website is www.ksbe.edu/tarosehi. Aloha from Hilo, Hawaii.

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  5. Replies
    1. Do the artists get their piece back at the end of the year?

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    2. they do not get their pieces back. It's possible, but I explain at the beginning that when we glue them together, it becomes a collective work.

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    3. Thanks! I love checking your blog, so inspiring.

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  6. Wow, I adore this quilt mashup class. The kids did great work. Thanks for the printable dear. We have just finished Telephone activities in our classroom and had blasting time. I got the activity ideas from http://www.kidsfront.com/telephone.html.Now we will definitely do these quilt mashup activities.

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  7. nice this blog.
    You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. I’m looking to reading your next post.

    โกเด้นสล็อต

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