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Kansas Women and Their Quilts Traveling Trunk

Quilts are a link to the past. In this curriculum they are used to talk about both Kansas history and family history. A great deal of literature exists on the subject of quilt making. Unfortunately, a great many myths and inaccuracies have made their way into print. One of the goals of this project was to provide an accurate history of quilt making.

The curriculum is divided into fifteen lessons designed for students in grades four through six. It was designed so that you might use all fifteen lessons as a comprehensive unit or pick and choose only those activities that fit into another unit of study. Therefore, each lesson was written to stand by itself. Worksheets, photographs, and other materials needed to teach the lessons are not included in this online version of the manual.


Lesson 1: - What is a Quilt?

Learn what a quilt is and why they were made as you study several quilts.

Lesson 2:  Our Patchwork Past:  A Story of Quilts in Kansas History

Watch a video, learn how pioneers used quilts, and learn why quilts are an important part of Kansas history.

Lesson 3:  Packing the Wagon Train

Explore early settlement in Kansas with historical documents and photographs.

Lesson 4:  Types of Fabric

Explore natural and man-made fibers and how they were used in quilt making.

Lesson 5:  Fabric Sources

The importance of 19th century catalog shopping is explored as students calculate the materials they need to make a quilt and fill out an 1895 order form.

Lesson 6:  The Sewing Box

The tools and equipment of sewing are explored as you examine a reproduction sewing box.

Lesson 7:  The Importance of Learning to Sew

Historic photos and diary excerpts show the importance of sewing in earlier centuries.

Lesson 8:  Quilt Pattern Names

See the connection between quilt patterns and their names as you examine quilts, play a matching game and design a quilt block.

Lesson 9:  Quilts as Recycling

Compare and contrast recycling in the 1930s and 1940s with today. Explore why cloth sacks are a wise packaging alternative.

Lesson 10:  The Emotional Meaning of Quilts

Use a historical photograph and a fictional book to explore the value of quilts.

Lesson 11:  Cooperative Quiltmaking and Aesthetics

  The benefits of cooperative work and the limits imposed through stereotyping work by gender are examined using quilts, historic photographs, and a fictional story.

Lesson 12:  Quilt Math

Study geometric shapes, angles and mathematical calculations as you examine quilts and quilt blocks.

Lesson 13:  Oral History

A video is used to explore the importance of oral history.

Lesson 14:  Fabric Printing

Design your own fabric as you learn how patterns are placed on some fabrics.

Lesson 15:  Sewing a Quilt Block

Sewing skills, aesthetics and math are used as you design and create a quilt block.

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