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LOG CABIN DESIGNS
Lesson plan by Anne Williams (Kazakhstan)
23/09/07

Grade: 5 - 6 - 7


As part of my lessons on the use of colour, I introduce my students to a traditional quilting pattern known as Log Cabin.

1. Teacher background and preparation:
a. From the net, I find several variations and colour schemes of the log cabin pattern. Among the ones that I use are these variations on the basic
design from the state museum of Illinois at this site:
http://www.museum.state.il.us/muslink/art/htmls/ks_piece_log.html

This site also gives a description of the traditional colouring of the design. There are many other quilting pattern sites that have illustrations of this pattern.

b. I print out the templates for basic log cabin patterns. Here's a site that gives you the log cabin sheets for the students to experiment with:
http://qnm.com/webextras/feature159.pdf

 
2. I begin the lesson by asking students to chose 3 different coloured pencils to work with

3. We discuss the effect of different colours when placed against each other and how shades of a colour can be used in gradients.

4. After experimenting with the colours on scrap paper, I introduce the basic design of a log cabin block. I give the students the template of the square and let them experiment with their own colour schemes.

5. In another class we continue with the colour scheme that they liked the best. The fun begins when they take that colour scheme and look at the effect that is created by joining 4 identical blocks together to create a
secondary design. There are many arrangements possible so students take the four blocks they've coloured and arrange and re-arrange them. [This is a
technique that is common to quilters.] At this point I show them the illustrations from the museum site to show them the effect of the designs in large quilts.

6. The final step is to bring in a couple of actual quilts in the log cabin pattern so that students can see the effect translated from simple blocks of colour into printed fabric variations.