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"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Faith Ringgold Style Story Quilts



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. 


Ta da!



"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.

















5 comments:

Christie - Fine Lines said...

I love the little stitch marks that make these collage drawings look like more authentic quilts. By the way, I also LOVE the bubble prints that you had the kids turn into hydrangeas. I've had my kids do bubble prints before but have thought the presentations to be a bit "ho-hum." But they really do look like hydrangeas -- I will have to remember this for the future. THanks.

Miss said...

Thanks Christie!

ML said...

Hi there,
Thank you so much for sharing this lesson and the incredible examples of your students' work. I hope to use this lesson with my students in a mere month or so. Thanks again. Teacher in CA.

ML said...

Thank you for creating and sharing this lesson. The work done by your students is telling. Thank you again. A teacher in CA.

Miss said...

Thanks so much for your comment, ML. I hope your kids enjoy this project!

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