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Virtual Quilt

This activity is adaptable for beginners to experts. Please note that this project involves using scissors to cut fabric and/or paper. Great for individuals, groups, and families to work on together at home!

Inspired by Merill Comeau and her current Art Lab installation Threads of Connection, we’re excited to continue our community quilt in this digital space. You’re invited to create your own quilt square that represents who you are. What makes you special? What do you love about your community? What are you proud of? What do you believe in? Submit your finished quilt square for the chance to be featured in our virtual quilt and help us build community while we’re all apart!

You will need:

  • Scrap fabric, paper, or recycled materials. See more below about material options.
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape (optional)
  • Camera (optional)

Construction & material options:

  • Fabric: Use scrap fabric for backgrounds and collage details. Look around your house for some scrap fabric or old clothes that you have permission to cut up and use.
  • Paper: Use different kinds of paper for your backgrounds and collage details. Look around your house for scrap or recycled paper, cardboard, cereal boxes, old birthday cards, or newspaper— all of which have different colors and textures and can be great for art-making. If you have a printer, you can download + print our digi-fabric swatch to cut and collage with. Download now
  • Digital: Are you a digital expert? Feel free to submit a quilt square made completely digitally using software or tools of your choice. Get creative!
  • Do you have another idea? Go for it! Be inventive and use what’s around you. Keep in mind if you would like to be featured on the website, you will need to submit a photograph or digital file showing your quilt square from above.


1. Make your background

Create a square background with the materials available to you. The length and width of your background should be equal to make a perfect square. We’ve been working on a 6” x 6” square, but you’re welcome to work larger or smaller.

2. Cut & collage

Collect your collage materials and brainstorm your design. Cutting custom shapes and using different colors and patterns can help visualize your ideas. Layering is encouraged! Will your design be representational or abstract? How will you cut your materials to make details and designs? How will you place cut pieces onto your background to convey your message? Get creative! There’s no wrong way to collage.

3. Finalize

Once you have your design laid out, glue or tape down your collage materials to keep everything in place. If you don’t have glue or tape you can just lay out your design on a flat surface for taking your submission photo.

A piece of orange fabric square next to a pair of scissors on a table.

If you’re inspired to use other materials, or maybe you’re an expert at other skills like sewing or embroidery, try incorporating them here. Try to keep your design within the edges of your square so we can connect your square next to others!

A colorful square contribution posted on Instagram on an iPhone


4. Take your submission photo! Because we’re all practicing social distancing, we’ll be displaying the community quilt digitally for everyone to view from home. Find a sunny spot or brightly lit place in your home or outside. Lay your quilt square on a flat surface that is a solid background and take a photo from above.

Two youths working on their art project at a table while one is cutting a piece of fabric.

A decorated fabric quilt square sitting on a lawn chair outside on a porch.

 5. Submit your photo

Post your finished quilt square on social media with #ICAartlab or email it to for a chance to be featured on our website! 

This activity was created by artist Merill Comeau and Brooke Scibelli, Family and Art Labs Program Coordinator.