High school students are learning about American women’s history through quilting. In Freeport, Illinois, the women’s history class at Freeport High School learns about a variety of topics, including women’s suffrage. However, the class really enjoys learning about the history of quilting, including the historical significance of quilting and how it is done.
Kelly Everding is the teacher of the unusual history class, in which the students design and assemble their own quilts, to develop an understanding of the art, process and significance of women working in a group on a project.
The current class has 20 students. Most are female, and seniors. The class has one junior and four male students. The class is currently making two quilts, one featuring a jellyfish and the other a whale. The class is layering, tying, and binding the quilts during the first week of January.
“Part of the project is that students must be able to explain the process (of quilting) and why it’s important to someone else,” Everding said. “Working in a group, they also work on communication and cooperation skills, and problem-solving as a group. We can incorporate those things into one project while also looking at the history of why quilts are important.”