Students display one of the ten baby quilts made
for an orphanage where some Jackson nurses are
doing volunteer work.
When she began Quilting Across the Curriculum, Meggan Stordahl thought she would do
the project once, hang an exhibition of the work, and move on to a new project. However,
the success of the first exhibition was so overwhelming that requests were made to have
it appear at other locations, including the Wyoming State Capitol Building in Cheyenne.
Response to the project was so positive that teachers and students continue to participate
in quilting projects year after year. To keep the ideas for projects fresh and purposeful,
Ms. Stordahl has her Textile Arts students do one community-based quilting project a year.
She capitalizes on unique opportunities whenever possible, such as having her students
make 10 baby quilts for an orphanage where some Jackson nurses were doing volunteer work.
Another project was to learn embroidery from volunteers at a local senior center.
Connecting with the community through new avenues helps students take on more advanced
work and keeps that work relevant to their lives and the lives of others.
When she reflects on lessons learned through the project, Ms. Stordahl says:
"The beauty of this project is that you can do great things very simply. Paper quilts are
easy, low-cost, and effective. There are lots of books available on paper quilts and
quilting in general, so you don't have to bring in an expert to get started. But don't
overlook bringing in someone from your community; there are resources in your own backyard.
Almost every community has a quilting guild. When we worked with our guild we not only got
in touch with volunteers who wanted to come into the school to work with students, but we
also got more donated fabric than we knew what to do with. We don't have a sewing lab at our
school. We only have 7 machines, but we still made it work by being flexible and keeping