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Memory Quilt Project

Creator: Colleen Crossley, Adult Academic Program-Robbinsdale

To begin the Quilt project, students first learned about the history of quilts in class. They reflected on their own cultures and how sewing is often a traditional social activity for women, during which both cultural and family stories are shared. Concurrently, students either read or listened to the book The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco. Lower level students also read another book, The Quilt, by Ann Jonas. All students learned about the Jewish traditions depicted in The Keeping Quilt and how a quilt, passed down through the generations, became a means of conveying the traditions to younger generations.

In related assignments, they created their own family trees and discussed how stories and traditions are passed down in their cultures. Students then wrote about a significant person or event they wanted to memorialize. The culminating event of the unit was the creation of related paper memory squares using heavy card stock and an assortment of fabric trims, buttons, photos, and other items provided by teachers. The completed paper squares were later printed onto photo fabric and made into a quilt. Students participated in the quilt design and layout, and the sewing was completed by a student from Peru who was a seamstress. The quilt also included some written memories of seniors from Covenant Village, a nearby senior living facility.