Classroom Lesson Series  

The Solidarity Quilt
Art and Craft Activity


Background: In 2004, The World March of Women, an international network of 6,000 grassroots women's organizations, created a global charter calling on men, women and oppressed groups across the planet to live together with "equality, peace, freedom, solidarity and justice." It's a compelling vision of an ideal world. But what do these abstract goals look like for everyday women? The answer was the women's solidarity quilt, a colorful patchwork of women's hopes and promises for a better world.

The quilt passed from country to country around the globe. At each stop, the local women stitched together a quilt patch to represent their country and illustrate the values of the charter.

For more imformation about the quilt, and to view each of the patchworks in it, click here

Designing a Paper Solidarity Quilt

You will need:

 •  large sheet, or sheets, of heavy paper such as tag board paper about 24 x18 inches.

 •  one paper drawing square for each student. (use sturdy paper of any size you want).

 •  art supplies for drawing.

 •  liquid glue or glue stick


Read background information to whole class.

Write the following suggested themes for a possible classroom quilt on the chalk board:

 •  “dreams of the future for humanity”

 •  “women’s dreams for the world”

 •  “a better future for our country”

 •  “living together in peace”

 •  “we are different yet united”

 •  “visions for a new world”

Class selects one theme (or decides on another they like):

Give each student one square to illustrate. The square should reflect the student’s ideas about the selected topic. Student creations can be abstract using symbols, or words (slogans), or colors. In an art class, students might create a quilt that holds together with a unifying design, deciding on color schemes and a border.

Alternative Materials Ideas


 •  different types of paper such as: tissue, sandpaper, glossy paper for students to use in their images.

 •  a long sheet of wax paper and only tissue shapes to make a window quilt for the sun to shine through.

 •  white material squares and fabric crayons, or paper squares.

 •  pastels to create the squares. Hairspray finished product so that the pastels will not smudge.

When finished:

Students describe what their pictures are about.

Class decides how to arrange the squares so that the quilt either makes a good design or tells an interesting story.

Putting it together:

 •  “piece” the quilt by gluing the squares onto a large construction paper backing.
    More than one “quilt” might be needed.

 •  hang for all to see.

Alternative Ideas:

 •  punch two holes on sides of each square and connect them with ribbons.

 •  hang the student artwork edge to edge creating a class size border.

 •  draw simulated stitching on with markers. Or, outline the patchwork squares using black crayon or markers.

Lyn Reese is the author of all the information on this website
Click for Author Information

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Women in World History Curriculum