Quilt Project

"These Are Our Hopes"

Notes from John Farrell

The “These Are Our Hopes” Quilt Project was the first creative arts project that we undertook. It has been a remarkable collaboration among students, teachers, artists, parents, and friends. The results to date have been spectacular.
Schools from 10 countries (including students from more than 30 countries) have participated. Three beautiful panels have been created including 27 squares. Additional squares have also been submitted and will be displayed here on the web site. In addition to the art work, hundreds of pieces of writing have been created and submitted as part of this project. These too will be posted on the web site in the art gallery section.
As this project evolves we may be able to create electronic quilts and post them on the web site. We would also like to initiate a new phase of the project which will be “Partner Quilts.” “Partner Quilts,” will involve two or more schools or classes exchanging squares to create two similar but unique quilts using each other’s quilt squares.
Everyone involved in the “These Are Our Hopes” quilt project was shocked and saddened when the center panel of the quilt disappeared in Europe in May 2009 when the bag it was in was stolen. Although it is still missing at this time we remain hopeful that someday it will be returned. If not we hope that someone in need of warmth or hope is putting it to good use. In the meantime we are continuing to create new art, music, and writing that spreads messages of peace and hope.

Goal of the Quilt Project

  • The goal of the project is to enable young people to express themselves and learn about others through sharing their thoughts, writing and art, and by collaborating on a group project. We are collecting creative writing and art that expresses the hopes of young people around the world.
  • All the writing and artwork submitted will be posted here on the Bridges of Peace and Hope web site.

How to Get Started... The Writing Pieces

  • Start by telling students that your class will be participating in the Bridges of Peace and Hope “These Are Our Hopes” QUILT PROJECT.
  • The first step is to have students do a writing piece that expresses their hopes. This can be done individually or as a group. It is suggested that the teacher do a model writing piece expressing her/his hopes for the future.
  • Students (or classes) are asked to write a short piece, a page of prose, a poem or even a well-crafted sentence is acceptable. We are not looking for long selections. We are interested in having students express their hopes for themselves, their families, their communities, their countries and our world.

The following poem was written by Mrs. Kipp’s Second Grade Class at John L. Edwards School in Hudson, N.Y. The class was expressing their hopes for the future. Note the last stanza. It includes the lines:

“We hope you spend more time
just loving us and taking care of us

Each and Every Day!”

Who helps us learn to tie our shoes
Holds our hands when we cross the street
Lifts us up on the monkey bars
We Hope We Can Count On You

Who gives us rides to birthday parties
Cleans behind our ears
Brings us to the doctor's when we're sick
We Hope We Can Count On You

Who cooks our favorite foods
Fixes the chain on our bike
Helps us when we get stuck on a word
We Hope We Can Count On You

Who reaches to the top shelf to get us snacks
Lets us camp inside
Brushes the knots out of our hair
We Hope We Can Count On You

We hope you chase away all that's bad
Kiss all our boo-boo's away
We hope you spend more time
Just loving us and taking care of us
Each and Every Day!

by Mrs. Kipp's Second Grade Class 2007-2008

The photos below show the quilt square created by Mrs. Kipp’s Class to accompany the poem. They chose to use a “shoelace” connecting the figures representing an adult and a child. The two artists who created the square are shown proudly standing beside the center panel.

Quilt square created by Mrs. Kipp’s class.

The center panel includes work from 8 schools.

The artists for the “Shoelace Heart” (center right).

Writing Prompts (If needed) and Sample Writing Selections

Here are some writing prompts you can use to get started:

  • What is hope in your world?
  • What does hope look like in your place in the world?
  • What makes you hopeful?
  • What do you hope for in the world’s future?
  • If you could show and then tell the adults in this world what hope looks like through your eyes, what would that look like?
  • Imagine you are looking through a window out onto a landscape that holds your future and the future of your family. What would you hope to see?

Below are two short poems by Gael Lynch, a poet, author, teacher and founding member of Bridges of Peace and Hope. Depending on the age and interest of your students you may wish to read Gael’s poems. Tell students this is how one writer expressed her feelings about “Hope.” Gael teaches Global Studies and Writing to sixth grade students.


Like a Kite

Like a Kite,
Waving in
The breeze,
Warming in
The sun’s rays,

It hovers
Just above
My reach.

I stand tall,
And extend my
Ready to grab
Onto its
Or to snag
Its string.

grabs on
And sails
With the
Fluttering wind,
to a place
where all
are possible
for me.


Hope is A Window

Hope is
A window
It glistens
And shines.
It shows
What is
Or what
Could look like.

Some way.

I will open
That window
And let
The possible

By Gael Lynch

Learn more about Gael, her novels, poetry, other writing and interests by reading her blog at http://gaellynch.blogspot.com/

Submitting Your Writing

  • Please submit your writing selections so they can be posted here on the web site in the Writing Gallery. For instructions on how to submit writing please send an email to John Farrell at hoperivermusic@yahoo.com

Creating Artwork for the Quilt Project

  • Each class participating in the project is invited to submit artwork which will be posted here on the web site in the “Art Gallery.” The artwork, like the writing pieces, should be an expression of the student’s hopes for the future. The artwork can be done to accompany the writing pieces that were already completed or it can be independent of the writing pieces. We will be able to post ALL artwork from your class so encourage all students to do a drawing or painting.
  • Please make all artwork in a square format so that it can be fit into a quilt pattern.

The squares on the “These Are Our Hopes” quilt panels are each 12 inches by 12 inches. Individual artwork should be smaller. If you will be submitting your art in to be posted on the web site it will work best if the art is no larger than 8.5 inches square. This size will fit on a standard scanner bed.

Submitting Artwork to be Posted on the Web Site

For instructions on how to submit artwork please send an email to John Farrell at hoperivermusic@yahoo.com

Collaborating With Another School to Create a “Partners Quilt”

We Welcome Your Ideas for the Quilt Project and Other Bridges Projects

If you have suggestions to extend or enrich the Quilt Project please contact John Farrell. We welcome all ideas and will share them with our growing list of teachers and schools. Information about other projects you have done in the past is also welcome.

  • If you would like to work with a school in another country to create a “Partners Quilt,” we can help make that connection. We currently have member classes in more than 30 countries and that number is growing.
  • Two (or more) classes or schools can work together to create a “Partners Quilt.” Communicating via email and Skype teleconferencing teachers and classes will agree on a size and format for the squares to be included on the quilt.
  • Each partner school (or class) will create two of how ever many squares will be included.
  • If two schools are partnering and each school agrees to create four individual squares, then each group will make two each of the four squares for a total of eight squares.
  • You will keep four squares and mail the four duplicate squares to your partner. Each partner will end up with the same number of squares and each group will then assemble their version of the “Partners Quilt.”
  • To learn more or request a “Partner Connection,” contact John Farrell via email at hoperivermusic@yahoo.com