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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

NTT, At-School "Quilting," and Leftovers

Wow!  Needle and Thread Thursday sneaked up on me this week!  There are two weeks each year where baseball starts up, but basketball is still going strong for my wild thing.  Well, we are in the midst of those weeks right now, and things are super hectic around our house, especially when you add in karate, which he does year-round!

At school, I just finished one of my favorite projects with my class, and you won't have any trouble guessing why.  Every February, we study the Underground Railroad, and I have my students write a journal.  The journal is written in first person, pretending they are escaping to the North, traveling on the Underground Railroad.  We study Harriet Tubman, and they include biographical information about her in their journal as well as other historical information.  It is a LOT of fun for them and for me.

Did you know that quilt patterns were a common method of communicating secret messages on the Underground Railroad?  There are several children's books that explain how quilts were an important part of helping people reach freedom.  Some of the patterns that were used have a different name in the books we studied- for instance, what we commonly call a Churn Dash is also called a Monkey Wrench, and an Hourglass was called a Bowtie in my books, but most are the same.  Check out our class quilt (made with paper and markers, of course!)


It's just so fun when I can bring my love of quilting into my classroom to create such a valuable learning experience for my students!  Thanks for humoring me with the quilting "history lesson."

My quilting hasn't just been going on at school though.  My scrap baskets runneth over with blues and greens and I decided to remedy that with a scrappy log cabin.  Please pardon the slightly blurry pic.  It is SUPER windy here today, so just snapping a quick photo with the quilt laying flat was quite a feat! 


Most of these fabrics are left over from just two quilts- Fishing at the Creek and Around the Block.  Despite my love of pieced backings and having used lots of scraps in those two backs, I obviously still had a lot left over (I think I just got lazy when I made those backs, or else I bought WAY too much fabric for those, ha!).  Since blues and greens are some of my favorite colors to use, I really love the way this is turning out, and the no-fuss way of sewing was just what my hectic schedule needed.

Without further ado, I have some unfortunate news regarding NTT, and for that matter, every linky party that uses Linky Tools.   You may have noticed that the thumbnail photos from all of the previous parties are missing, even though the links still work.   This is due to a server glitch on the part of Linky Tools, and whether or not the images will be recovered remains to be seen.  I really hope they can be restored, but the good news is that I have been assured that future parties are safe from this ever happening again.  So, no highlights this week.

Alright, let's get on with the party then!  Link up, y'all!  Just remember the rules-

1.  You can link finished projects or WIP's , but just keep it about quilting and sewing!
2. Link to your specific post (not to your home page!) to make it easier for others.
3. Spread the word and post my button or a text link.  
4. Spread the comment love far and wide!
5. Following me is not a requirement to link, but is so very appreciated!




35 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Love that you can incorporate quilting into your class. I was always fascinated with the underground railroad as a kid but never heard about how quilts came into play. I'd love to know which children's books referenced this!

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  3. That is awesome that you get to incorporate your quilting into the classroom!

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  4. I LOVE your class quilt! How cool is that? I taught third grade for five years, before my twins came, and I must say that I am super impressed with how much quilting you manage to accomplish! I'm pretty sure most of my quilting was done during the summer...

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  5. Great class project Kelly!!! So glad you shared it!! Love your quilt top bunches.

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  6. I love the blue-green log cabins ~ my favorite colors!

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  7. Great classroom project and way to teach the students of the Underground Railroad. Thank you for hosting the linky party.

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  8. Hi Kelly! Wow, your work is Super exciting! I would love to learn more about the Underground Railroad. I read the book 'Lost Quilter' and there the slave used 'flying bird' block on her quilt and marked their way to North on the quilt.
    All those 'traditional' blocks get totally NEW value and meaning when we learn more! This helps to understand also why quilting is so important and famous in US but in some other Countries almost unknown.
    I read that somewhere they had a quilt lesson in the kinder garden! They made blocks with Papers and colours like you did.
    In Finland we have craft lessons at school and now I hope I could be that teacher and show them also quilting. In my time we learnt to sew our cloths, knit, crochet, embroidery etc. but nothing about patchwork.
    Your blue-green quilt is beautiful! Thank you for hosting again! x Teje

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment Teje! I'll definitely be checking out that book. Glad you like the project. We all had lots of fun doing it!

      :) Kelly

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  9. The scrappy log cabin looks pretty, can't wait to see it quilted. I am also looking forward to seeing what you do for the back. I love the paper and marker quilt blocks, those are so beautiful :)

    -Soma

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  10. I've just read a great book by Tracey Chevalier called The Last Runaway and a lot of it is about quilting - not how quilts were used as signals, but about the differences the main character, an English Quaker, finds between the patchwork she was used to in England and the new designs and techniques she discovers in America. It's such a good book, I really recommend it. I also love the Elm Creek Quilts books about the underground railroad. It's so great that you have been able to teach your students about quilting - their blocks look fabulous :o)

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  11. What a cool project! Wish I'd been taught about quilting in school! I also love the quilt, what an ace scrap box!

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  12. Love the blue/green scrap log cabin. So fresh and cute,

    Lori at Crystoll@aol.com

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  13. I love history lessons! I will look for the books recommended by nerospost and Locket Pocket. I am from Québec and many of those slaves came to Canada. I have never heard of the role played by quilts. Amazing.
    I have a novel about a quilter that I loved : Alias Grace from Margaret Atwood. It's the story of a domestic woman who is very talented at sewing and quilting.
    Thank you for telling us, Kelly!

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  14. I love that scrappy cabin! I have read a few books about the underground railroad. Interesting story, my state fair will have an exhibit about it every year too, I love that one every time:) Maybe you won over a future quilter!

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  15. Your Underground railroad unit does sound fun and I'm sure the students will remember the experience for some time. Back in '78, my second year of teaching, I taught 7th grade math and Ky history. I decided to do a unit in quilting because we hit the geometry unit about the same time we hit slavery in KY. Would you believe my principal called me in "on the carpet" and wanted to know why I was teaching quilting? He was formerly a coach. Our lesson plans at that time only included our activity and page number of the book. My quick explanation didn't concern him (as I figured he didn't have enough knowledge to pass on to parents) so I had to quickly wrap up the unit. To this day, I still have former students that bring up that particular unit when they see me. In 1990 the legislature passed the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) and guess what they recommended? Combining content through a hands on unit was highly recommended. I wanted to go back to that principal and say, "I told you so." Keep on doing a great job with what you love.... quilting and teaching! You are an inspiration.

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  16. The scrappy log cabin is quite lovely! The colors are just wonderful together! I love the paper and paint Underground Railroad blocks done by your students. A great way to teach about history and quilting. Who knows you may have future quilters in your amidst. I own a copy of Eleanor Burns' Underground Railroad Sampler quilt. I have yet to make the quilt. Ahh maybe someday!! Jennifer Chiaverini, fiction writer, authored The Runaway Quilt that is about the Underground Railroad. It is a good read but so are all her others. Met her in person when she was a guest speaker at the Charlotte Quilters Guild. I own a signed copy of one of her quilting books with some beautiful quilting patterns and instructions. Another day on those too!

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  17. Kelly, seriously I don't know how you do it all. That history lesson was great. I have to laugh a little bit about the quilt names. I grew up around quilts and my mom used to hate when they changed the names to something new. The old names are what she knew and taught to me. The modern quilters have been changing the names and I admit I make up names for ease of remembering. Lots of history in those quilt patterns. Love your scrap quilt too. You must run on longer days than I!!! :)Great job.

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  18. I understand about the stress-free sewing...I do it all the time. It is wonderful therapy. What a delightful project for your students. The blocks are wonderful and imagine how they are exposed to the geometry of quilt blocks. I was never exposed to that in school.

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  19. Such a wonderful class quilt! And yes, stress-free sewing is awesome and needed. Lately I haven't felt very proud of my projects because they're pretty simple. However, I know that right now I need simple projects and those complex ones will be there when I'm ready :) - Kate

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  20. You do have lots of blues! My scraps are mostly reds. I love that you are incorporating quilting into your class lessons. Lots to learn on so many levels. I have a friend who teaches middle school math and had her students design quilt blocks and then actually sew them together. They had to use all the 'math' to make the pieces fit together, and square them up after they were sewn. Guess the kids loved it!

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  21. Can I come sit in your class? That sounds like a great lesson and your kid's quilt blocks are so much fun. I'm glad you're able to pass on a small part of the history of quilting to your students...they will never look at a quilt the same way again. Beautiful scrappy quilt!

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  22. Love your newest quilt! The colors are great and the lines mix so wonderfully together!

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  23. OMG! I love the history quilty lesson! I totally geeked out on that. I had no idea...how fun that you can implement your love of quilting into your class. That's awesome!

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  24. Your last two quilts are at the top of my favorites list-this blue and green one and also the stripes with turquoise and tan fabrics. I love them both. I do mostly strip piecing and log cabins so both of yours are right up my alley for design ideas. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  25. I love the rich history behind quilting! Maybe I could use that as an argument when purchasing fabric with my husband. :)

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  26. aw bummer! It's ok, I love quilt history too. There is a small exhibit near here that includes some slave quilts. They really are humbling and amazing.

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  27. Love your colour palette for this one Kelly! And what a fun class project!

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  28. Oh my gosh I love those log cabin blocks! They are stunning. The colours are so bright and happy.

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  29. If you are on your way North.... You are all welcome at my place! Bring your parka! Blues and greens are my fave. Such cool and calming colours!

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  30. Loving the history lesson! What a fabulous topic wish I was in your class!! I love the log cabin...looks like we are definitely on the same wavelength just finished my log cabin this week. I love those blues and greens. As always, Kelly many thanks for hosting the linky party. Have a great weekend Marie (mlismore@optusnet.com.au)

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  31. I was an art history/history double major undergrad, and it was actually through history that I first got into quilts! I was amazed by the secrets contained in quilts... So cool that your students got to learn about it!

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  32. I love the kids quilts, and I had no idea that quilts were used to communicate secret messages! Thanks for linking up.

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  33. Blue is not my fav color but it looks good together with green :-) also thanks for sharing that history part, interesting!

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  34. What a fun teacher you are! :) I am sure your student's loved learning about it! :) Your quilt is great--love that color combination! :)

    Thank you for linking up to Fabric Frenzy Friday!
    -Lindsey
    Fabric Frenzy Friday

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