Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Owl Quilt Squares

    4th graders began by learning about fabric and quilting traditions around the world, with an emphasis on the applique art from Benin, Africa.  I'm into birds this year and right now owls are on everything from ads to tote bags.  Choosing a theme kept students on task and I was able to break the project into steps. We discussed owl legends from Greek mythology to the Native Americans. Each student began by making an owl pattern out of old manila folders. We looked at images of real and crafted owls for inspiration.
    While the students drew and cut out patterns I chose fabrics and ironed on “Steam a Seam” to the back. When it was time to cut out fabric I taught the students how to trace their patterns and use the fabric wisely. (Not in the middle!)  By using “Steam a Seam” every scrap of fabric could be used to make small eyes, stars, moons; even hats or bows! The fabric pieces were stored in plastic bags between class periods. When the students were finished cutting out their owls they peeled the backing and ironed it to a piece of fabric. They loved using the iron! Their original paper pattern pieces were glued to cardstock and used to make a series of collagraph prints.

Owl Painting and Patterns

 In Kindergarten and 1st grade we read the book The Little White Owl by Tracy Corduroy.  The story is about a little owl with a big imagination and a lot of confidence.  This story opened up discussion about animal habitats and nocturnal animals.
We began by drawing the owls and painting them in many colors and patterns.  The background was painted separately on black paper.  We discussed that they should only paint part of the tree to have a zoomed in point of view.
Cutting the owls out took a little cutting skill review and the students took on the challenge.  The owls were collaged onto the backgrounds and oil pastels were added. I love the results and the opportunity to cover many visual arts standards in one project.