Branksome’s current Grade 9 students will forever remember their Grade 8 Visual Arts class, now that their beautiful quilted creations are permanently adorning a wall in the Middle School. As part of their culminating art project this past June, those students worked in small groups across all four classes to create six unique, baby-sized quilts.
In order to learn about the Principles of Design—concepts that act as building blocks when creating artistic pieces—each student was assigned one of these six concepts on which to base their work. From balance to emphasis to unity and pattern, each principle was explored by a group of students and then applied when creating their unique quilt block.
The sewing machines the students used were acquired last year when the Art Department recognized the need to support the development of the MYP Design curriculum.
“Over the last couple of years, we have seen a growing interest from the girls in the area of fashion design, and we felt that this was an excellent opportunity to link this interest to the curriculum,” said Art teacher Tonya French.
The Grade 8 quilting project also developed out of the importance of building skills early on, in order to support more technical projects in later years. When the students were first introduced to the quilt project and sewing machines, there were varying levels of interest and skill. Soon enough, the girls soon got over their fears and apprehensions when they learned they were responsible for the overall success of the quilt by completing their own section. They then worked collaboratively to piece their blocks together, while being mindful of the overall appearance and their assigned Principle of Design.
“They became so proud of their work and ideas that they would write messages and instructions to their other group members to ensure their vision would progress in the direction they were hoping,” said Ms French.
“In the end, the girls were thrilled with the results and were so proud of their accomplishments. Together they created an artwork that not only benefited their peers, but the Branksome community as well!”
The project was so successful last year that this year’s Grade 8 students will be continuing the tradition by creating their own quilts.