Faith Ringgold Paper Quilts

By John Bomhoff
Art Studio Manager, Children’s Museum of Phoenix

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix celebrates Martin Luther King Day with a quilt project inspired by Faith Ringgold, a famous African American artist.

Ages: preschool (with assistance) and above.

Materials: 6” X 9” piece (or larger) of colored construction paper, scrapbook or wrapping paper cut into small shapes (squares, triangles, and rectangles), magazines (to cut words and pictures from), glue sticks and scissors.


Provide the following information on quilts, Faith Ringgold and Martin Luther King.

Choose a sheet of construction paper.

Using glue sticks, glue squares, triangles, and rectangles from the scrapbook or wrapping paper onto the construction paper to form quilt-like patterns.

Incorporate words and pictures from the magazines to give meaning to your paper quilt or to tell a story.

Share your quilted story with others.


This project is an excellent opportunity to teach your children about the rich heritage of quilt-making in the United States. Quilts were bed covers created by early American settlers by stitching together scraps of fabric. However, today they are often created as art pieces. Faith Ringgold, a famous African American artist, is known for her quilts which express her personal history and experiences as an African American woman. Her quilts use fabric, pictures, and words to tell stories. She has written a wonderful children’s book, Tar Beach, which provides an excellent introduction to her and her work.

At the museum we are featuring the works of Faith Ringgold in honor of Martin Luther King Day, January 16th. Martin Luther King is honored for using nonviolent means to promote civil rights in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his work to end racial segregation and discrimination. He continues to be an inspiration to people throughout the world today.


The mission of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 N. 7th St. in downtown Phoenix, at the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Van Buren in the historic Monroe School Building.


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