Friday, January 13, 2017

Quilting Unit

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I threw together a quilting unit. I have a lot of quilts to work on, (I've finished two since then) and when my sister was out during Halloween, she was helping me with yet another one. So Madeleine had been around and seeing quilts for a while, but I really needed to buckle down and actually make a few. That requires her to be patient and which goes about million times better when she understands why.

So first we talked about patterns. We use a magnetic drawing board and mini m&ms to practice. I put like 8 m&ms down and then she points and says the colors and then has to figure out which one goes at the end.

We also went to the fabric store and talked about colors. Not super exciting but discussing color and good design I think is always important.

When I started cutting the fabric, Madeleine cut paper up at her table.

Then came the laying out the squares for the quilt. She sat next to me (and on the squares) and talked to me about the pattern we were making. It honestly messed up the first quilt because she mixed in some of the reject squares, but it really didn't matter in the end. Just had me scratching my head for a bit about why my quilt was randomly not laying flat. :)

After that I was just sewing, so she didn't help with that. But we got some really awesome books from the library during this time. This was one of the few occasions that I was really blown away by how awesome these books turned out. I originally only grab 3-4 books, but I quickly checked out a few more.

What makes these books so good is they deal with transitions, families, history, death, and many other things, in a very non threatening way. And it wasn't just one culture or anything. There were books about Asian, Black, Native American, and "White" (I guess? I mean there was a Jewish family, French, pioneer, Russian), which showed very diverse illustrations compared to what we are used to.

So here is some of the break down

Shota is about a Native American girl who gets a special sign at her Grandmother's house after her family finds out their apartment complex is going to be torn down by a wealthy sad man. She and her friend help her grandmother make a quilt that saves their community.

The Nesting Quilt and Mooshka both have to do with having a new sibling. I really loved The Nesting Quilt, since it compared making a quilt to birds making a nest. It really made sense to Madeleine.

The Keeping Quilt  was beautiful. It was about a girl who came from somewhere to NYC and missed her home, so her mother made her a quilt. That quilt is then shown to be used by different generations for marriage, new babies, and death. The pictures are mostly black and white so the red quilt really stands out.

The Quilt has a little girl that is given a quilt that her parents out of her old clothes and an adventure she goes on with her dog through the squares. Quilt of Dreams I think was pretty similar? I don't quite remember.

Stitchin' and Pulling was poetry. Madeleine didn't like reading this one. It was here just for the pictures. Cassie's world Quilt was similar. It was a bit too abstract for her to really understand so she didn't like us reading it as much. She really loved the pictures in it.

Oma's Quilt was my favorite. It's about a grandmother who has to go to a nursing home and hates it. The granddaughter and the mother make her a quilt out of all her old things to help the transition and to remember all the amazing things that the grandmother did in her life. The illustrations were beautiful and the story was very sweet.

And the last book is one we own and Madeleine's favorite.

This one is about a little girl who moves and her beloved quilt gets put up in the attic only to be found by a relative who also moves to a new home. Madeleine loves it and has most of it memorized. She loves the actual quilt and I think she finds the moving part relatable since she didn't like the move a year and half ago.

Christmas morning came and the quilt I made for her was unwrapped. She was so excited and even now we talk about how quilts are special and made with love. That's really what this unit taught her. She's excited to help me with the baby's quilt which is what I'm slowly working on now. It will match hers so she keeps talking about it. I like that I can share the history of the quilts in our home with her. She's always asking where the things she has were made, since many of her toys are homemade.  It's fun teaching her about women's history, and I hope when she's a bit older she will want to learn how.