Making a Quilt With Help from Children

I've agreed to help make a quilt for our elementary school. What should we use for the kids to make their blocks?

-- Let the children use fabric crayons on regular white paper (pre-cut so that their art will fit the squares!) and then I iron them on. Make sure the children don't write letters (they'd be backwards). Use a border fabric with plenty of color, to coordinate all the crayon. You may want to space the children's blocks with solid brights or simple pieced pinwheels.

-- Have the children draw their pictures with crayons onto fine grained sandpaper, then iron the sandpaper pictures onto fabric. The sandpaper holds more crayon, so you get more color. Also, the fabric crayons are meant to be used on a polyester/cotton blend fabric. If you use them on 100% cotton, they will be duller in color.

-- Let each child use fabric markers to draw a self portrait on muslin. Join the blocks with sashing.

-- Older children with better motor skills might be able to handle making simple four-patch or nine-patch blocks. Space these out with solid colored blocks, or blocks signed by the children.

-- Plan to tie off the quilt instead of quilting it, or do very basic quilting around each block.

-- Let younger children help you make special fabric. Lay some yardage out on the floor, and pour some fabric paint into a shallow tray or pan. Let the kids walk on the fabric with paint-covered feet, or make handprints in different shades. You'll have a unique fabric to treasure, or share with grandparents in your projects.

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This page last updated on: October 15, 1997.