Keeping Us in Stitches Activity: Geometric Shapes Pieced Quilt Top Design
Purpose: to help students understand the design process of pieced quilt blocks and quilt tops and the
knowledge of geometry a quilter needs to design pieces that fit together.
Illinois State museum Web site used:
Objectives: the students will be able to create one or more paper
quilt blocks (and work in a group to create a quilt top) by arrang-
ing geometric shapes of cut fabric pieces so they fit together into
a block of a specified size.
Grade Level: 2-5
Time Required: one 40-50 minute period
scissors, glue stick, poster board
one paper block foundation for each student (printout)
coordinated pre-cut (cotton) fabric pieces (for 25 students
making 1-2 blocks each
100 two-inch squares of fabric A
100 triangle half-squares (2") of fabric B
100 triangle half-squares (2" of fabric C
100 one-inch squares of fabric D
These pieces can be cut rapidly with a rotary cutter and a plastic quilter's rule on a cutting
board. Ask a quilter to help.
Motivation :
Students view the pieced quilts online, in books, in their literature illustrations, and in per-
They discuss how quilters use geometric shapes such as squares and triangles to make blocks
and blocks to make quilts.
Shown the pieces they are going to use, students watch the teacher arrange pieces on a
foundation paper, noticing the variations possible and how the pieces must be inside
the edges of the block.
The teacher demonstrates how to use the glue stick on the paper section, then press down the
fabric piece (putting the glue on the fabric is messy, difficult, and time-consuming).
Procedure :
Pass out paper foundations to students
Have glue and scissors ready on desks/tables
Divide fabric pieces randomly among students or groups who share
Keeping Us in Stitches Activity: Geometric Pieced Quilt Block , page 1 of 3