We’ve been teaching for several years now (and we aren’t even counting when Deb taught adult ed and Kris taught German), but we have never had the chance to teach over a long period of time . . . until now. Starting in June, we had the opportunity to teach an 8-week course at the Crocker Art Museum. We designed “Storytelling through Quilting” to expose the students to different quilting and sewing techniques that would help them tell their own story. It was pure luxury to have the time to listen to each student’s story and help them focus on bringing that story to canvas. Yes, canvas. Since we were teaching at an art museum, we decided that having the students stretch their work over canvas would make the work easier for the museum staff to install.
We spent the first few Sundays working on design elements and principles, design layouts for their artwork, and color theory through scrap quilting. It was an added bonus that we had the museum at our disposal. Our class’s tour of the exhibition, “Workt by Hand”: Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts (through September 1, 2014), was a great foray into hand embroidery and crazy quilting.
The next few lessons were devoted to design issues and construction.
The exhibit, African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond (through September 21, 2014), gave us a great opportunity to discuss composition and color. The students left the exhibit thinking how some of the pieces could have been executed in fabric with equally stunning effect.
In the end, the students created five unique pieces that tell wonderful stories of a magical sojourn to Stonehenge, a mother’s unfinished quilt blocks, a stint as an operating nurse with Doctors without Borders, furry family members, and summers at Dillon Beach. If you’re in Northern California between August 14 – November 2, 2014, we hope you make a trip to the museum to see our students’ work in the student exhibition. Thanks, Deanna, Katherine, Millie, Rachel, and Sandy for an unforgettable experience!