Every year a group of students from the Lower School at Perkins School for the Blind make a quilt in their art class. The students range in age from 7-15 and have a wide variety of visual, cognitive and motor limitations. They are given a set theme to work within. The focus is on increasing their independent skills while also following verbal and tactile cues, as necessary, to complete each square. They decide on an image that represents the theme, choose varied textured fabrics and cut the pieces. Each student then works alongside a staff person to machine appliqué the squares.
Children with multiple disabilities can overcome social, intellectual, and artistic barriers if they are offered the kinds of opportunities that may be taken for granted by others. The learning process involved in creating these quilts attempts to push the limits and stretch the imagination in regards to what may be assumed and expected of those with disabilities. For students who have difficulty writing or with self-expression, creating quilts and the stories that bring their squares to life can be a creative and enriching experience.
The theme of the quilt shown here is "The Perfect Picnic".