Paper Quilt Blocks

Paper Quilt Blocks: 3x3 Grid

Introduction: Show students pictures of traditional quilt blocks based on the 3x3 grid. There are many quilt books available in libraries or use one of the web sites below to explore the myriad possibilities.

Symmetry & Transformations in Quilt Blocks: If possible, use a LCD projector or large monitor to investigate these sites online. They will introduce the geometry of quilts and allow students to see how these concepts are applied to create different quilt blocks.

Virtual Quilt Blocks: Students may enjoy playing around with virtual quilt blocks before constructing their own paper quilt block. These sites enable students to pick colors and use transformations (slides, flips, turns) to create quilt blocks.

Design and Create Paper Quilt Blocks: Students use templates and cut out squares, rectangles and triangles in two different colors. Students then arrange the pieces on the 3x3 quilt square template to create a pattern. The pattern may be a traditional pattern or an original pattern.

Download 3x3 Quilt Patterns that include the quilt square template and templates for squares, rectangles and two different size triangles. Teacher should make copies of the different shape templates in at least two different colors.

Writing to Learn: Each student should examine his/her finished quilt block for examples of line symmetry. He/she should draw a small sample of the quilt block then draw and label any lines of symmetry. Students should also look for examples of transformations: slides, flips, or turns that are evident in their quilt blocks. Download the Quilt Block Writing Task for students to use in reflecting on their quilt block.

Class Quilt: Assemble all student quilt blocks into a large class quilt for a bulletin board display. As in real quilts, color choices will affect the beauty of the finished quilt. Consider limiting color choices to unify student patterns in the class quilt. Traditional quilters spend a lot of time and effort finding just the right fabrics. Color choices should be an important consideration as well. Consider using school colors, patriotic colors, holiday colors, white and primary colors (red, blue, green).