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This project was started several years ago by Kay Ellison who is the Library/Media Specialist at the Marshall Elementary School in Vancouver Washington. Over the years, this project has connected many classrooms across the United States via the Internet. Students have been able to communicate with other students through their e-mail communications about their class, school, community and state. Students have also been able to express themselves in art by creating the wonderful quilt squares representing their state. The use of quilt squares has also allowed students to learn about this age-old tradition of quilting.


Here's How the Project Works

Each class will send by E-mail an electronic picture postcard about their state. These postcards may include pictures of the class, your school or some other pictorial of your city or state.  Do the cards first so that everyone can begin getting excited about making new friends from all around the country as well as the project as a whole!

Each class will also make a brochure about their state. Again, these may make use of all types of technology that you may have available to you or they may be handmade. The main idea is to use this as media to tell the other participating class "neat" stuff about your state. These take a little time, so be sure to check the timeline below for the proposed mailing deadline.

Each class will create a quilt square.  Since the United States is hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics, this year’s theme will be the Olympics.  Your quilt square should show your state's Olympic heritage and/or your state symbols. Please reframe from just using your state shape as the only decoration on your square. For details about making the quilt squares, see the MAKING QUILT SQUARES section below.  Be sure to include the state name on your quilt square.

Each class should send e-mail to the other classes discussing the topic of the month. This is an opportunity to have your students do some different types of writing and research. So even if you only have one computer in your classroom or need to send and receive the e-mail at home, this activity will be beneficial in the knowledge that will be gained. See the chart below for specific topics and dates.

Project Time Line




Electronic Postcards

Take pictures with a digital camera or scan images.  Save in gif or jpg format and e-mail to all participants

You may begin at anytime but all postcards should be sent no later than October 1, 2001.


Most are done as three-fold on regular size paper. Again, creation is up to the teacher. Just be sure to share "neat" stuff we might not find in a book about your state.

To save postage, send in the same envelope with the quilt square no later than December 31, 2001.

Quilt Squares

Use while muslin or 100% cotton fabric cut into 8 x 8-inch squares and completely washable when finished. Please measure carefully so that all squares are the same size. Decorate with state Olympic stars and/or symbols. Medium used is up to you. Be sure to have state name on the square too!

Mail along with your brochure no later than December 31, 2001. This deadline should allow for the students to be able to see the quilt together before the end of the school year. Keep in mind that some schools release early in May.

Student Generated E-mail

Send one e-mail to each class for each topic listed. If you are able to do a reply to all from one of the group e-mails, this means that you can send to everyone with just the one typing. Be sure to remember to erase the original message before typing the new topic.

Send e-mails according to the topic chart below.


E-mail Topics and Timeline




Introduction of class, school, city, state


Traditions--tell about a tradition in your town, city or state


Recipe special to your locale or state


If the other classes were to visit your state, tell them about places that they should be sure to visit.


Share information about the Olympians from your state and/or your favorite sports in the Winter Olympics.


Take a class survey to determine the quilt square they like the best and explain why.


The following are some key points from Kay about making your quilt squares.

Here's how to make a quilt block from a person who is really NOT a seamstress!

1. Buy white fabric, possibly muslin. Make it white, not cream. Many people like to use red, white and blue fabric to use in strips between the quilt blocks while making the quilt. Cream blocks just look.....bad.

2. Wash the fabric, and iron. This allows shrinkage of the fabric to occur before it is put into the final product.

3. Cut the fabric into 8 inch squares. The hardest part of this is keeping the squares square. Mine tend to get a bit wobbly! I understand the current fabric cutting wheels can really help with that! Ask someone who really KNOWS sewing! When a seam is sewn, the two pieces of fabric are held together with thread usually about 5/8ths of an inch from the edge of the fabric. Try to make sure the kids keep the name of the state INSIDE the border of the square. Anything that is within 5/8ths of an inch from any edge of the square will be sewn off when the quilt is sewn.


4. Now, you need to get some washable mediums to use on your fabric! Here are some possibilities:


Last Updated August 18, 2001. For additional information or to sign up for this project, send e-mail to Betty Jo English. To see a list of this year's participating schools, Participants