STEAM Paper Quilting with Gelli Arts®

STEAM Paper Quilting with Gelli Arts®



·      Students Will Be Able To (SWBAT) create a work of art using the Elements of Art and Principles of Design

·      SWBAT practice creative expression through personal art work guided by imagination and received knowledge.

·      SWBAT enhance critical thinking and problem solving skills.

·      SWBAT advance math knowledge about both geometric and organic shapes.

·      SWBAT advance fine motor skills through stamping and mark making.

·      SWBAT develop speaking and listening skills through critique.

·      SWBAT enhance art vocabulary through practice.


What is a community?

Who is part of our classroom community?

What are feelings or emotions?

How does it make you feel when you are part of something?

What is a quilt?

How can a quilt help to tell a story?

How could a story be apart of your identity and culture?


5×5″ Gelli Arts® Printing Plate, Gelli Arts® Premium Acrylic Paint (3 colors in 1oz bottles), 4″ brayer, 3-sided Gelli Arts® Mini Comb, Bubble Wrap, Yarn, Punchinella, 5×5″ Cardstock, 5×5″ Parchment Paper


·      Unity – The state of being united or joined as a whole.

·      Balance – A condition in which different Elements of Art are equal or in the correct proportions; symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial balance.

·      Community – A feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals

·      Diversity – Variety, a range of different things, assortment, mixture

·      Quilt – A bedcover held in place by ties or a stitched design, typically having a decorative design and made of three layers: a top, batting, and a bottom.


Students will take time alone or in groups to answer the essential questions. The class should discuss these questions and answers. The teacher will have artist examples and previous student/teacher exemplars for the lesson. The teacher should take this opportunity to discuss the difference between a quilt and a collage, and should choose whether or not to create the class project out of fabric or paper. The teacher demonstrates to the class how to use the Gelli Arts® printing plate.



  • Emotion Quilt
    • Students should talk about emotions: how they can be connected to colors and marks. Have them each make a square representing an emotion by using color and mark.
  • Color Quilt
    • As a class talk about the color wheel and mixing colors. Use terms such as primary, secondary, tertiary, neutral, and monochromatic. Each student will create a square show casing one color.
  • Image Interpretation Quilt
    • Give the students one word and ask them to draw their interpretation of that word, such as “fish.” Each student’s fish will be unique and show their individual styles, but will still be assembled into a quilt!
  • Individual Quilts
    • Each student creates a bunch of prints that they can use to make a classic 9-patch block or other typical quilt block pattern. They can select from their prints in the same way a quilter makes fabric decisions, based on color, value, and pattern. There is measuring and cutting involved to create the quilt block from pieces cut from prints to fit the pattern they have chosen.

Language Arts

  • Write the Story of Your Quilt
    • After students have created their individual square, have them write a story about what they have depicted. These could be quite detailed and then complied into a classroom book. When the quilt is displayed, the book can be displayed with along its side so the students are telling their own story.
  • Tolerance Quilt
    • Tell a very important story, a story about all the families that make up the class or school community. Have the students divide their square into four parts where each part is showing something different about a part of their family or community, such as things you do together, places you have visited, unique aspects of your heritage, etc. Just like a quilt, we are all a part of something greater!


  • Math Problem Quilt
    • Depending on the ages of the children, each individual square could contain cut-out objects and a number telling how many objects are depicted. Since these numbers and objects could be relatively small, use few background colors, allowing variety in size and style.
  • Traditional Geometric Blocks Quilt
    • Using the Gelli Arts® mini plates, have students assemble their prints of various sizes to make a square. Patterns everywhere!


  • Creatures and Their Environment Quilt
    • Select an environment and have students research living creatures within that environment. A square could include a creature and its surroundings, perhaps including a predator or prey. Students could work in groups, creating several smaller quilts using environments such as the ocean, forest, or the prairie.
  • Favorite Food Quilt
    • Have students create a square with one item of their favorite food, such as pizza, an ice cream cone, a green pepper, and so on!

Social Studies

  • My State Quilt
    • Each student could select a state symbol from the state you live in and depict it on their square. Each student could select a location in his or her own state or city that people come to visit. They could base their information from the state’s tourism bureau about the park, monument, building, harbor, or historic event.
  • Cultural Quilt
    • An entire class quilt could be made that represents one particular culture using motifs that are unique to that civilization. Each student can make a square representing their own culture.
  • Transportation Quilt
    • Research the evolution of transportation from ancient times. Each square could include something different, such as carts, trains, planes, automobiles, horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, boats, submarines, helicopters, balloons, blimps, in-line skates, etc.





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