Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Our second grade is studying colonialism and they are making nine patch quilts. The kids do this every year, and it is a wonderful project. Parents come in to help but the kids do most of the cutting and sewing themselves. The quilts are about 2’ square when they are finished and they are beautiful. I am a quilter myself, so I always like to bring in some of my own quilts to show the children. This one in the picture I made for Punkin last fall.

In our library I have built up our quilt book collection for this unit, and we have some lovely new additions this year.

The Quilt-Block History of Pioneer Days by Mary Cobb; Illustrated by Jan Davey Ellis. Gives a nice overview of American pioneer quilts, techniques and popular patterns. Each chapter has projects kids can make, from lap quilts to bookmarks, greeting cards, box and book covers, and a hanging windmill star.

Eight Hands Round; A Patchwork Alphabet by Ann Whitford Paul, illustrated by Jeanette Winter. Nineteenth century patchwork patterns from American history, for every letter of the alphabet. Nice illustrations and a brief explanation of each design and how it fit with everyday life.

The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brunbeau and Gail de Marcken. Beautifully, vibrantly illustrated fable about a talented quiltmaker that rejoices in giving her quilts away and a greedy king that is never happy with what he has. Clues for the story action are given in quilt blocks imbedded in each pages’ illustrations. Lovely!

Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson and James E. Ransome.
This one tells the story of a girl and her family running from slavery, taking the Underground Railroad to freedom. An important part of our history is the way quilts were used to give signals to those escaping and seeking the way to freedom. In this story a quilt hung on a fence tells of safe haven by the color of the center squares on a log cabin pattern. I love how the color of the illustrations moves from dark and frightening to light and joyful as they make progress on their journey.

Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Hudson Talbott. This gorgeous book tells the story, the Show Way, of Woodson’s family history in quilts. Mother tells daughter, mother tells daughter “There’s a road, girl, there’s a road…” And each one finds a way to love their babies up and pass on the knowledge. I love this book. It makes me cry and gasp at the beauty of her quilts, her story, and her poetry. You’ve got to read this book!

Excuse me, is this India? By Anita Leutwiler and Anushka Ravishankar. Another book showing how quilts tell stories and pass on family history. A girl’s aunt comes back from India and makes quilt blocks to tell the story of all she had seen in India. Gives a different perspective on quilting, as these are mainly appliquĂ© and embroidery of scenes from India. Charming and engaging.

Luka’s Quilt by Georgia Guback. This story takes place in Hawaii and shows the traditional Hawaiian style of quilting. Luka and her grandmother learn to work together and find beauty in each other’s point of view, as well as make a quilt together. It’s nice to balance the variety of quilting books, showing that quilts have been used and enjoyed in cultures all over the world in so many different times.


Lady said...

As usual :) your blog ( childrens pictures, quilt display, entries )are very soothing to the soul. Have enjoyed reading through your book lists too.

Mia said...

I live in Amish Country and I am always in awe of the amazing quilts the Amish women produce. I have always thought it would be vastly healing and soothing to sit around a table with a group of women and quilt. I think that's why I loved that movie with Wynona Ryder How To Make An American Quilt. Have you seen it?