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Craft in America
Michael A. Cummings, A Young Obama

PAINTING WITH FABRIC: HOW TWO ARTISTS MAKE QUILTS

In this lesson, students will view two segments from Craft in America’s QUILTS episode and will meet artists Victoria Findlay Wolfe, who creates new designs by altering traditional quilt block patterns, and Michael A. Cummings, who creates quilted portraits of prominent African Americans. Both artists refer to their quilt making as similar to painting, and students hear about the process each uses. After viewing the episode, students will compare and contrast how the artists work, how their quilts are used, and from where the artists get their inspiration. Finally, students will make a paper patchwork design, choosing to alter a traditional patchwork design or create a collaged portrait of a notable subject.

Grade level: 6-8

Episode: QUILTS

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Download the Lesson Guide & Support Materials as PDFs to get started in your classroom.

Painting with Fabric: 
How Two Artists 
Make Quilts
Full Guide & Worksheets

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Background Reading
Lesson Overview

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Teaching Tips
for Teachers

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Further Information
Resources & Materials for Teaching

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Vocabulary
Vocabulary & Key Terms

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Discussion Questions 
for Students

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Worksheet #1
Quilts Video Search

For Students:
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Worksheet #2 
Studying the Art Quilts of 
Victoria Findlay Wolfe

For Students: 
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Worksheet #3 
Studying the Art Quilts of 
Michael A. Cummings

For Students:
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Victoria Findlay Wolfe on her quilts

Victoria Findlay Wolfe on her grandmother quilt