Activities: Appliqué Bedcover
Grade Levels:
3 - 6
To help the student understand the patriotic American appliqué design form
After viewing the bedcover online and similar ones in quilt books or in person, the
student will show an understanding of the design form by making a paper appliqué
patriotic bedcover or quilt top design using symmetrical composition.
craft paper for backgrounds
construction paper for motifs
sketching paper
Look at examples of American patriotic appliqué quilts. Notice what colors were
popular in certain decades, how the motifs were placed on the quilt top (center
motifs, borders, album style), what patriotic motifs and sayings were included.
Brainstorm a list of American symbols from your experience, knowledge, and
resources and record the list.
Students will
1) choose a limited set of colors to use; historical, patriotic, or personal colors
2) choose a limited set (plus or minus 6) of patriotic motifs
3) decide on the size of a quilt background
(quilts were often almost square) (18 or 24 inches square)
4) sketch motifs in the size to fit the background size (proportion)
5) transfer the best sketches onto colored paper and cut out.
6) arrange the cut-out motifs on the background paper to make a more-or-less
symmetrical composition
7) glue down the motifs when satisfied with the composition
and Closure:
The students will exhibit the paper appliqué designs. Each student will tell the class
about his/her design, explaining color choice, motifs chosen, and how it is symmetri-
The motifs should reflect the country's traditional motifs or well-explained personal
symbols; the arrangement should be approximately symmetrical, with an optional
central motif.