Paper Quilts – Easy Collaborative Art
Quilts are fun to make and share, and paper quilts are easy to make and piece together. They make a nice experience in collaboration since everyone has their unique artwork represented in a larger group project. Quiltmaking demonstrates to children that they are important as individuals, and also important as members of a group.
Paper quilts are much quicker than fabric quilts and don’t require an experienced seamstress to stitch them together. Of course, they are not as long-lasting as fabric quilts, nor can they be used as a bedcover, but they make beautiful wall hangings and do last many years.
The quilt pictured here was made by one classroom of 3rd graders. It was one of three quilts created for the school’s silent auction, the annual fundraiser that allowed the school to offer a variety of enrichment classes. The quilts were the most popular item at the silent auction and several enthusiastic parents paid over $200 to take one home. Imagine how proud these nine-year-olds were to find their art so highly valued!
If you’d like details on how to make this particular paper quilt, feel free to e-mail me for details, but I’ll give you a little background here. We worked on this project for 3 class sessions and finished with 3 paper quilts. We used simple and inexpensive materials: coffee filters, watercolor, and a large paper dropcloth pre-cut into individual squares. Each child created one square and one circle design and all their artwork were used. After the final session, I took all the dry art home and used a hot glue gun to piece the parts together. This took me a couple of hours for all 3 quilts, which I considered a reasonable investment of time, considering the dozens of hours required to sew a traditional fabric quilt together.
I love knowing that collaborate projects promote both the strength of the individual and the strength of the group. Quilts are a great reminder that our strength as a community lies in our diversity. We are each unique individuals, but when we express ourselves independently, then place those self-expressions into one collaborative piece, a magnificent new whole is created. There is much satisfaction, beauty, and comfort in this process.