Quilting for Engineers

“In developing the course, I knew I wanted to include the idea of ‘making things.’ I think the importance of making things has been lost in education…I thought, could we use the idea of making things as a vehicle to understand the business? For a quilt project, it was obvious. Let’s see if we can make a quilt. Do we have the skills and the patience to make a quilt? Well, I think the answer is going to be yes…It’s about making things that hold up, that serve their purpose, that have good design and good construction…That’s what engineers want to do. We teach them a lot of theory, but for many of these students it’s the first time they’ve made something.”

Russell D. Jamison

Prof. Jamison is teaching quilting as part of the curriculum in the School of Engineering this semester. I would love to do a full year of FI as a class centered entirely around quilt construction. The curriculum design would be incredibly fun to play with. My students did quilt squares as part of VCU’s observance of emancipation a few semesters ago, but a full quilt as a full year’s study would be an entirely different approach.

You can read about Prof. Jamison’s class at the link below.


McNeill, Brian. “Engineering Students Learn Quilt Making, Innovation.” News.VCU.edu. VCU News. 17 Apr. 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.


Foreclosure Quilts, by Kathryn Clark. She writes: Quilts act…

Foreclosure Quilts, by Kathryn Clark. She writes: 

Quilts act as a functional memory, an historical record of difficult times.  It is during times of hardship that people have traditionally made quilts, often resorting to scraps of cloth when so poor they could not afford to waste a single thread of fabric.

The neighborhoods shown are not an anomaly; they are a recurring pattern seen from coast to coast, urban to suburban neighborhoods across the US. The problem has not been solved, it is still occurring, just changing shape, affecting more of us.

Clark worked as an urban planner before she began to work as an artist. She also has a fantastic textiles project in which she renders idioms in embroidered linen and felted wool.

You can find her online here.

You can read more about her quilt project here.  

VCU and RVA: Things to do tomorrow Night

Contribute a Square to the Year of Freedom Commemorative Quilt

VCU’s Year of Freedom Celebration, marking the 150th anniversary of Emancipation and the Civil War (http://www.yearoffreedom.vcu.edu/), has been sponsoring the creation of a North Star Freedom Quilt.

Students can come make their own quilt squares on Friday April 12 8pm-11:30 pm in the VCU Student Commons, Virginia rooms A-D. 

Supplies will be provided, although students should feel free to bring fabric (old t-shirts, etc) to personalize their squares. No knowledge of sewing or quilting is needed.

Refreshments will be provided. 

co-sponsored by Student Activities and the YoF Committee

Join ROOTS and ASPiRE for a Poetry Reading

Members of ROOTS (Reinventing Ourselves Outside the System), a re-entry program born out of the Richmond City Jail, and a seminar through VCU’s ASPiRE program will be reading poetry written during their shared seminar this year at VCU. Join us:

Friday, April 12th, between 5 and 7pm, in the fireside lounge of the ASPiRE building, 835 W. Grace Street, at the corner of Grace and Laurel.