Victorian Crazy Quilts

Victorian Crazy Quilts lesson plan

Explore Victorian crazy quilting fad of the late 1800’s. This crayon sampler incorporates a variety of crayon techniques into a single project.

  • 1.

    Crazy quilting refers to the fabric art of piecing together many different bits of fabric in a variety of colors, shapes and textures into a patchwork blanket. These quilts used a variety of fabrics, pieces of clothing, leftovers from other projects and fancy embellishments. The crazy quilt fad lasted from the late 1800’s until the early 1920’s.

  • 2.

    Students look at images of crazy quilts created during this era. What fabrics and embellishments were included in these textile arts? What colors were incorporated? Why did women embrace this fad?

  • 3.

    To create a paper crazy quilt, use a dark-colored crayon to make a loose scribble design on a piece of construction paper. This will outline the blocks of your quilt.

  • 4.

    Fill in the block designs using a variety of colors with these crayon techniques. Vary the pressure on a crayon by pressing hard or lightly to create a deeper or lighter color. Mix new colors by gently overlaying light coats of various crayon colors on white paper. Each time you add a new layer, observe how the color appearance changes. Outline some colored areas for more visual interest.

  • 5.

    Add patterns to the blocks with triple or double stripe designs by taping several crayons together to create a multiple-point drawing tool. Use this tool to make stripes or plaids, or multiple lines with an easy stroke. The crayon tips should rest evenly on a flat surface when taping. Create textural patterns by rubbing crayons without labels over flat textural materials.

Standards

  • LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
  • MATH: Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.
  • VA: Select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resources include: Crazy Quilts: History - Techniques - Embroidery Motifs by Cindy Brick; Crazy Quilt Odyssey: Adventures in Victorian Needlework by Judith Montano
  • Invite a community member who is a quilter to visit with the class and share his expertise about this craft. Prior to the meeting, students write questions for the expert. After the visit, students post learning to a class blog.
  • Encourage students to investigate other types of quilting and quilting blocks. Provide samples of several designs and include a written description of each.