Fabric Art Workshop with the 7th Graders

This week I had the privilege of teaching a fabric art workshop with the 7th grade class at St. Francis school in Petoskey.  I spent three class periods with the group of 20 students.   Each student had a 12 x 12 foamcore design board and a bag to hold scraps and supplies so it was easy for the students to keep their materials  together.  We used fusible fleece for a base and the students had fusible web to attach their design pieces.

Learning to fuse the fabric was easier for some than others.  I had to rescue a gunked-up iron more than once but fortunately no artwork was damaged.

I presented the first exercise from the Art Quilts 101 workshop that I’ve been teaching.  We talked about texture as an element of design–both actual texture and visual texture.  Luckily we  had a wide range of fabrics for the students to choose from including a lot of home dec fabric with good texture and the kids made some great choices.  One young man made particularly good use of the marbled fabric for his fish and chose a whimsical print for the seaweed:

This young man chose a bold background and kept his composition elements very simple:

We had beads, buttons and trims for embellishment on the third day.  Many of the girls got excited about embellishing and did so with some flair. This young lady spent a lot of time selecting her fabrics and her beads; I think her selection of a bold print for her vase shows she’s not at all timid about her art:

These simple flowers standout against the rich, silky background:

Another embellished composition; the artist was just getting into weaving with the fabric strips when we had to finish up. I think she is onto a good thing:

It was a very busy three days, setting up the art classroom for the activity and then putting it all away so it wouldn’t be in the art teacher’s way.  The kids were great about clean-up and got to work each day with impressive diligence.  There was a lot of energy in the room and the boys were just as engaged as the girls.

I brought the finished pieces home, squared them up and zigzagged the edges.  There were a few I would have loved to quilt. I hope they are as pleased with their final compositions as I am when they get them back on Monday.

I am going to show some of these images the next month when I teach Art Quilts to adults.




Filed under Teaching, Uncategorized

7 responses to “Fabric Art Workshop with the 7th Graders

  1. You can tell everyone had fun in this clas — esp the teacher!

  2. Fantastic – isn’t great to see kids enjoy fabric. And how well organised it was too!

  3. Peg M.

    Their work looks great and clearly they enjoyed this. How wonderful for them that they had you to lead this class. Great job to all of you!

  4. deb

    They are so imaginative and creative….the teacher encouraged their potential!

  5. Thank you so much on behalf of St. Francis X. school for a very unique and exciting introduction into the world of fiber arts. The kids loved working with you and with the new media. The results are beautiful. Who knows which child will begin a lifetime of loving to work with fabric because of your dedication and joy in teaching them fiber art!!!
    Ann Carolan on behalf of the PTO at Petoskey St. Francis

  6. jeanette

    Thanks for sharing. I will be teaching my first fiber/art quilt class in a few weeks to 6-8 graders, so this is great and so helpful.

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