Saturday, October 31, 2009

Integrated Arts Project at School

 There is a project going on now at the Franklin Middle School called: "Square Roots & Eight Hands Around" and it is an Integrated Arts Project.  The 6th grade students will be designing and making quilts, learning about square dancing, old time music and quilting bees and the colonial era along with math and other skills.  They will then donate their quilts to a worthy cause of their choice.  The program will culminate with a square dance and quilting bee at the Franklin Opera House in December.

This past Thursday I volunteered at the Franklin Middle School and did a presention on Quilt History to five classes.  Yes, I was tired by the end of the day, but enjoyed it.
The 6th grade children attended five classes during the day where they read the story book  "Eight Hands Around" and learned about quilts, music and math. 

The boys appeared to be as eager to learn about the subject as the girls were.  The children had some wonderful questions and ideas of what some of the quilt blocks I showed them might be called.  I told them people looked around them and named the quilts by the things familiar to them such as Barn Door, Monkey Wrench and Log Cabin.  I asked if a quilt block was designed and named today, what might they name the blocks?  They came up with, Star Wars, IPod, Shooting Star, several said the names of Star Wars characters such as Darth Vadar and R2D2.  I brought along one of my antique quilts (1878) to let them see what a scrap quilt from over 100 years ago looked and felt like up close.  I showed them the stitching and we discussed the shape of the block (Thimble or Tumbler).  They came up with some other names such as Triangle, and one I particularly liked, Cow Bell!  I've included a picture that was taken during my presentation where the teacher is helping me hold up the quilt.  I'm on the left, the teacher is over by the flag on the right.  It was a pleasure being in her class and teaching the children a little bit about quilts and their history.

  This is a Community Building Program brought to you by the Middle New Hampshire Arts & Entertainment Center at the Franklin Opera House. 

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