Lesson Plans:
Quilt Dilations

Subject(s)/Grade(s): Mathematics, 6-8
Related Subjects:

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be exposed to a variety of quilt patterns (particularly the 4-patch quilt block)
  2. Students will become familiar with related mathematical terms (“dilations”, “preimage”, and “image”) and participate in creating various dilations on graph paper.
  3. Students will create and color their own 4-block quilt pattern to be displayed as a classroom quilt.
  4. Students will review the formulas for perimeter and area of a rectangle.

Teacher Planning

  • Time to complete: 1-2 class periods and approximately one week out of class to complete final project
  • Concepts: dilations, pre-image, image


  • Book: The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau; illustrated by Gail De Marcken
  • Samples of quilts that contain 4-patch (could use any quilts to discuss patterns, photos or computer images)
  • Graph paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Rulers


  1. Read the picture book: The Quiltmaker’s Gift to the class.
  2. Discuss different types of quilt patterns and introduce the 4-patch by showing the quilt samples.
  3. Introduce the term “dilation” and discuss how it might be used to make quilts.
  4. Practice dilating shapes (could use overhead or graph boards).
  5. Introduce the handout Quilt Block along with graph paper and rulers.
  6. Complete the first two directions together on graph paper.
  7. Students will then complete the rest of the sheet on their own or with partners.
  8. On the second day introduce the assignment of creating their own pattern, go over the rubric, allow time in class to get started.
  9. Upon students completion of assignment mount designs on uniform size black paper to mount on the wall as a quilt.


  1. Students will receive credit based upon completion of the handout.
  2. Student creations will be evaluated as to how accurately they have mastered the 4-block design using mathematical concepts and formulas.

North Carolina Curriculum Alignment

  • Introductory Mathematics, 2.05



  • Brumbeau, Jeff. The Quiltmaker’s Gift. New York: Scholastic Press, 2001.

-Submitted by Kristine Bates, Mathematics Teacher, Waynesville Middle School, Waynesville, North Carolina