This is a project based on the art of contemporary American artist Faith Ringgold. I based this project loosely on the lesson plan posted here on the Project ARTiculate website.
My Grade 7 classes first looked at photo examples of Faith's story quilts and then looked at her book "Tar Beach". She creates folk-art style acrylic paintings with a quilted fabric border which illustrate her childhood memories growing up in Harlem.
She also includes words in her artwork by writing on her quilt with black Sharpies.
|Faith Ringgold, "Tar Beach"|
Students were asked to think of a childhood memory- something they would be able to draw- it could be anything- a favourite holiday, vacation, a simple family event or tradition, etc.
They practiced drawing their composition first in their sketchbooks.
I had pre-photocopied large paper (11x17") with a thick border. It just saves time, but you could also have students measure their own border if you want to use thicker paper. The border is for the faux quilt part.
Student first drew their stories inside the border with pencil.
Then coloured then with either markers or pencil crayons (press hard!)
I had pre-cut squares (1 per student) of tagboard to be used as tracers for the patterned border.
To create their quilt-like border, students went through magazines and looked for interesting textures/patterns/ etc and traced around the square template and cut them out. Most students just chose random photos, but you could encourage a colour theme (only warm or cool colours, for example)
I'm wondering if you could do this with actual fabrics, but in my experience you need really sharp scissors to cut fabric, and then it frays, etc, etc. Maybe with colored felt??
Patterned scrapbook paper would look pretty, too.
Glue these onto your border- use white glue with a paintbrush because I found those that used a gluestick (which I originally told them to do), well, those tended to peel off easily.
When the border's all glued down and dried, use a fine point Sharpie and draw on little "stitch" marks to make it all look quilt-y. Students were also asked (some forgot) to write a sentence around the inside border describing what is happening in their story quilt. It adds a lovely, personal touch. Some of the stories are really funny and cute. Finally, students mounted them to larger colored construction paper for a nice border.
|"Me punching a clown when I was 6!" lol|
An encounter with a creepy clown at a carnival. That's always traumatizing.
|A family vacation to Venice and being lost.|
|Driving in his uncle's Lamborghini in Los Angeles.|