Create a Story Quilt Activity

3.5 based on 57 ratings
Updated on Sep 7, 2010

Faith Ringgold is an American artist who creates story quilts documenting important events in her life, using colorful paint, vibrant fabrics, and a special story. Teach your child about this unique artist as you help him create his own story quilt. Along the way, he'll practice measurement and design, and he'll end up with a beautiful picture that tells his own special story.

What You Need:

  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Ruler
  • Paper and pencil for sketching
  • 12 by 15 inch paper
  • Scraps of fabric, construction paper, and/or tissue paper
  • Crayons, colored pencils, and/or watercolor paint and paintbrushes
  • Black fine-tipped marker

What You Do:

  1. Read a story with your child by Faith Ringgold, such as Tar Beach, and discuss the story and colorful illustrations that Ringgold used in the book.
  2. Ask your child about a special day or event that he remembers and would like to share in his own story quilt. Maybe his first day of school or a special family trip? Offer him a piece of paper and pencil to write and sketch his ideas.
  3. Next, help him gather bits of fabric from old clothes that don’t fit anymore. These will be used to make a colorful border around his special picture. He can also cut out pieces of construction paper or tissue paper to mix in with the fabric pieces.
  4. Show him how to use a ruler and scissors to cut 3 by 3-inch squares out of the fabric. He'll need 14 squares total.
  5. Help him glue to squares of fabric around the edge of the paper, creating a colorful border. He can make a pattern, or glue them down at random. Let him design his picture however he wants.
  6. After the glue dries, it’s time to do some drawing. Have him sketch out his illustration in the center of the paper, focusing on his special event or day. He can use crayons or colored pencils to draw the picture, and then finish it with watercolor paints, if desired.
  7. Once his picture is finished, have him write a sentence or two with a black marker, describing his special moment or event.

When it's all finished, have him pick a special spot to display his story quilt for everyone to see!

Sarah Lipoff has a K-12 Art Education degree and enjoys working with kids of all ages.

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