June 9, 2014

Quilting like a 5th grader

Peru students create quilt blocks for Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration

PERU — Peru fifth-grader Madison Lyon likes to cook.

That in part influenced her to depict a 19th century hearth on a quilt square for a new Living History Program project in Mike Korth and Cathy Cook’s class at Peru Elementary School.

“I made it using buttons and like ribbon,” Lyon said. “I glued them all with superglue. I made like the handles with marker. The outside, the part right here, was supposed to be made with wood. But my mom said it was going to be too heavy, so we just made it with ribbon.”

The alternating red-and-white quilt squares created by her classmates give a glimpse of life during the War of 1812. The students’ “cot-to-coffin quilt” will be exhibited among 200 such quilts in the City Hall Rotunda during the Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration in September.

“The quilt project is something new. Mrs. Cook came up with the idea,” Korth said.

“The Press-Republican ran an ad about building quilts for the 200th year anniversary (Battle of Plattsburgh), and Mrs. Cook decided it would be a good idea to enhance our Living History Program that we’ve been doing for seven years.

“We had the kids each make a square for the quilt. The quilt itself is cloth, and the materials they used to depict a picture of something from that time period of different materials. Mrs. Cook and some volunteers put the quilt together, and we have it hanging in our room.”

The quilt project started a month ago.

“It was a home project,” Korth said. “They brought the squares back, and once we got all the squares Mrs. Cook put it together. We provided the basic square fabric for them, and they had to find the other materials at home. The objectives, a, was to enhance their hands-on activities but to give them more knowledge of certain items of that time period because we have been doing the Living History Program with our students for seven years now.”

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