As part of Black History Month activities, Mrs. Naveh’s 4-6 Team social studies students are creating a “Collaborative Quilt Poster” showcasing individuals whose talents and achievements have contributed to American culture and history. The concept and basic materials for the project were developed by art educator Jenny K.
Inspiration for the project came from the tradition of quilting in America, particularly in the periods preceding and following the Civil War. Quilts were pieced together by hand using scraps from discarded clothing and other materials. Quilt patterns ranged from simple blocks or strips, to elaborate floral arrangements. There have also been stories that some quilt patterns indicated escape routes along the Underground Railroad. (See, for example, the book Hidden in Plain View.)
For their paper quilt, students will create groupings of three hexagonal pieces. One hexagon includes a portrait of an inspiring African American; another has that person’s name written in “stitch” font in keeping with the quilt theme; and the third includes space for a brief biography of the person. Individuals featured in the quilt range from Harriet Tubman to Jesse Owens, Booker T. Washington to Oprah Winfrey.
Photo: Illustration of collaborative quilt featured on Jenny K’s website