Monday, April 19, 2021

A Trip to the Islands--Quilting in Children's Literature

The two children's books I'd like to highlight today are both set in the Hawai'ian Islands: Luka's Quilt by Georgia Guback and The Tsunami Quilt: Grandfather's Story by Anthony D. Fredericks

Luka's Quilt is a story about a girl and her grandmother making a flower garden quilt together. Tutu (grandmother) makes a traditional Hawai'ian quilt with only two colors, and Luka is disappointed that the quilt doesn't have the many colors of her own flower garden. In the end, Luka and Tutu find a way to bring together tradition and innovation in a lovely compromise.

This book explores the idea of tradition and its evolution. The lovely illustrations are cut-paper collage with many details to enjoy.

If you would like to hear the book read, there is a YouTube video HERE

Guback, Georgia. Luka's Quilt. Greenwillow, 1994.

ISBN:  978-0688121549




The Tsunami Quilt:Grandfather's Story is also set in Hawai'i. It explores the relationship between a boy and his grandfather while addressing a historical event as well. After his beloved grandfather's death, Young Kimo discovers the reason for his grandfather's yearly pilgrimage to place a lei on a stone monument. 

The quilt in this book is one of remembrance of the 01 April 1946 tsunami at Laupāhoehoe Point. The quilt is housed in the Pacific Tsunami Museum in Hilo, Hawai'i. The squares around the border of the quilt contain the names of 24 students who lost their lives. Kimo finds a deeper understanding of his grandfather through this quilt.

The illustrations, painted in lovely, soft colors by Tammy Yee, are both of the present-day Kimo's story as well as the time of the devastating tsunami.

This book highlights the purpose of a quilt as a lasting memorial. The book also includes an Author's Note with more information about this historical event.

Fredericks, Anthony D. The Tsunami Quilt: Grandfather's Story. Illustrated by Tammy Yee. Thomson,     Gale: 2007.

ISBN: 978-1585363131


These books show two very different uses of a quilt in children's literature. In Luka's Quilt, the quilt is central to the telling of the story. In The Tsunami Quilt, the quilt is used as a vehicle for the author to inform the readers about a historical event, and it shows the quilt as a reminder, a memorial, of people affected by that event.

Thanks for reading! 📕


 A reminder--you can find my posts on Quilts in Children's Literature by clicking "Children's Literature" in the list of labels on the right-hand pane of this blog.

NOTE: I found my books used from I can highly recommend this site. Not only do they always have free shipping, but they also contribute a book to someone in need for every book you buy. I was not compensated for this recommendation--I just love doing business with them!




Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Quilting in Children's Literature

For many years, I studied and taught Children's Literature. The importance of this literature is many times undervalued--"They are just kid's books." The truth is that the stories we tell our children are some of the most important stories in the world. We try to prepare children for what is ahead--both in the world they will inhabit and in themselves. We share the most important life lessons with them as we help them grow and develop.

Children's Literature ranges from picture books for the youngest readers, to chapter books for middle readers, to full-length novels for more advanced readers. Most definitions give a range of birth to adolescence for Children's Literature, with YA (Young Adult) Literature to follow as the readers mature.

I recently have become interested in the depictions of quilts and quiltmakers in Children's Literature. I have amassed a collection of books that I would like to share. I'm planning to feature them one (or two) at a time on my blog. I will tag them with the Children's Literature label, so they will be easy to find. You can find the list of labels on the right-hand pane of the blog. 

The first books I would like to address are from an older post I wrote. I would like to start with them, since they were my impetus to begin this project. They are also two of my very favorites. I often give copies of them as baby shower gifts (usually with a baby quilt I made). 👶

 Here is the link to the post. 


It is never too early to read to children--and it is never too late! 

Happy Quilting.😸

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Grassy Creek [AKA October Picnic] is Complete!

 Every year, I enjoy creating a version of Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt. This year, her quilt was called Grassy Creek.

Grassy Creek [AKA October Picnic]  (98" x 98")

I used Bonnie's colors of red, orange, gold, and grey; however, I substituted blue for her green. I call this October Picnic because this was my color inspiration photo and the palette I created.

The quilt went together well, thanks to Bonnie's excellent writing of instructions. You can see some of the steps I took by clicking on the "Grassy Creek" label on the right pane of this blog.

I added a few bits of color to the grey string border to echo the colors in the quilt.

Grassy Creek [AKA October Picnic] (border detail)

I sent the top and backing to my friend, Leah, who then worked her quilting magic! I am thankful for her fine work.

I tried to capture the quilting, but it is hard to see. I altered the red backing color a bit as I manipulated shadows and highlights of the photo.

I used a grey striped binding to finish the quilt.

Grassy Creek [AKA October Picnic] (backing and binding detail)

And, of course, I had to throw in a Waldo. 😊

Waldo sighting!

I used many fun fabrics in this one--there is a lot to look at.

Some Dalmatians


Frogs and Snowpeople

 This quilt is heavy! A large quilt, small pieces, and string blocks make for a hefty project (another reason I was so happy that Leah quilted this--I dreaded trying to wrestle it through my DSM!). 😉

All in all, I am very happy with the outcome of this mystery quilt. Thanks for the fun, Bonnie, and I look forward to this year's mystery.

Grassy Creek [AKA October Picnic

Happy National Quilting Day! 😸



Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Unity is Finished!

 It has been nearly a year since I started this quilt, but it is done!

Unity 75" x 85"

Unity (backing and binding detail)

I stalled when I got to the last round. The quilt was the size I wanted it, but I debated adding Bonnie's last round or a border of my own design. In the end, I decided not to add more. The quilt felt complete with the design in the final round. This idea is something I stress with my writing students: Make your essay feel finished rather than that your writing just stopped. The quilt felt finished.

Happy Quilting! 😸

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Summer Sunshine--continued

 I'm still working on my Summer Sunshine (AKA Winter Blues, designed by Bonnie Hunter).

Got the 16-patches, the alternate blocks, and the setting blocks (except the 4 corners) done. I have a Swiss dot (white w/yellow dots) on order for the sashing.


Happy Quilting! 😻

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Summer Sunshine

 I'm starting a new project...Bonnie Hunter's Winter Blues.

Don't adjust your screen--it isn't blue!

Conventional wisdom says, "Do not use too much yellow in a quilt."

The Eclectic Abuela says, "Bah Humbug!"

Here is Bonnie's quilt:

Winter Blues designed by Bonnie Hunter

One 16-patch down . . . a gazilion more to go! You may need to wear sunglasses for this one. 😎

Happy Quilting! 😻

Monday, February 22, 2021

A Sneak Peek at Grassy Creek

 I'm still working on the Quiltville mystery, Grassy Creek. A few more days, and I should have the top completed.

Grassy Creek (in progress)

I'm ready to build the borders, so it is nearly finished.

Happy Quilting!  😸