In I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery, author Cynthia Grady and illustrator Michele Wood use traditional quilt patterns as the inspiration for a powerful collection of poems.

This Black History Month, teach your young readers about different historical quilt patterns and how they are made with this fun paper-cutting craft.


  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Quilt block templates (2 copies of each)
  • Construction paper
  • Marker or pen (optional)
  • Poster board or foam board (optional)

Quilt Block Templates

  • Log Cabin
  • Cotton Boll
  • Underground Railroad
  • Broken Dishes
  • North Star
  • Birds in the Air
  • Tree of Life
  • Schoolhouse
  • Anvil
  • Wagon Wheel
  • Rail Fence
  • Kaleidescope
  • Basket
  • Traditional Fish

Step 1: Print two copies of each quilt block template and two extra copies of your favorite, to make a total of fifteen quilt blocks. (You can also design your own quilt block on a 4″ x 4″ sheet of paper.)

Step 2: Set aside one copy of each quilt block for the backing, cutting around the outside of each square but leaving the inside intact.


Step 3: Take the second copy of one template and and cut along the lines (inside and out) to create patterns from which to cut the shapes for each quilt block.


Step 4: Lay each shape on a piece of construction paper, trace around it, and cut it out. You can layer or fold the paper to cut out multiple copies of the same shape once to save time. Make sure to use a variety of colors.

Quilt_03 Quilt_04

Quilt_05 Quilt_06

Step 5: Glue each construction-paper shape into place on the backing template to make a finished quilt blocks.

Quilt_07 Quilt_08 Quilt_09

Step 6: Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all fifteen quilt blocks are decorated.

Quilt_10 Quilt_11 Quilt_12

Quilt_43 Quilt_44 Quilt_47

Quilt_41 Quilt_42 Quilt_46

Quilt_38 Quilt_39 Quilt_45

Quilt_36 Quilt_37 Quilt_40

Quilt_32 Quilt_33 Quilt_34

Quilt_31 Quilt_35

Quilt_28 Quilt_29 Quilt_30

Quilt_24 Quilt_25 Quilt_27

Quilt_22 Quilt_23 Quilt_26

Quilt_18 Quilt_19 Quilt_21

Quilt_13 Quilt_14 Quilt_17

Quilt_20 Quilt_15


Step 7 (optional):  After you have all fifteen quilt blocks completed, assemble the paper quilt by gluing the quilt blocks to a poster board, arranging them in a five across/three down rectangle pattern.


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About Crafting with Jessica:

By day, Jessica VanBuren is a mild-mannered sales rep for Eerdmans.

By night (and sometimes also by day), she’s a crafting maven, who puts her skills to good use thinking up fun crafts that tie into Eerdmans books. 

Look for her regular column here on Eerdlings and discover a new book-related craft every month.