Monday, March 14, 2016

A Different Sort of Quilting Books

I love to quilt, but my day job is teaching. In my Children's Literature class a couple of weeks ago, my students did booktalks about picture books.

I always enjoy their presentations--it is fun to see the range of books they come up with for their reports. This time, however, one of my students talked about a book I had never seen before--The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau, with illustrations by Gail de Marcken. I immediately decided I needed a copy. When I looked it up, I found that there was a second book, entitled The Quiltmaker's Journey, by the same creative team. I also found a book of quilt patterns by Joanne Larsen Line and Nancy Loving Tubesing (also illustrated by Gail de Marcken) that is a companion to the Quiltmaker's books.

Both the fiction books are lovely--stories about the importance of giving and caring. Both are lavishly illustrated by de Marcken, who is herself a quiltmaker.

The Quiltmaker--note the log cabin and the corresponding Log Cabin quilt block.

The greedy King's possessions--many of these are echoed in the quilt shown in the next image.

The Quiltmaker's gift to the now-generous King--the quilt block shown is Peace and Plenty

The endpapers show the quilt blocks from the stories.

The companion book, Quilts from The Quiltmaker's Gift, has patterns, instructions, and photographs of 20 traditional patterns used in the children's books. It also contains stories and pictures of the quiltmakers who created the samples.

The instructions are clear and concise, and the diagrams are straightforward. Charts include the fabric requirements, quilt information, and cutting instructions. Illustrations from de Marcken decorate the pages strengthening the tie with the fictional story.

These books were published in 2000 and 2004, so they have been around for several years. Many people may already be familiar with them, but if you aren't, they are well worth a look. Enjoy!

Brumbeau, Jeff. Illus. Gail de Marcken. The Quiltmaker's Gift. NY: Scholastic, 2000.

---. The Quiltmaker's Journey.  NY: Scholastic, 2004. 

Line, Joanne Larsen and Nancy Loving Tubesing. Illus. Gail de Marcken. Quilts from The Quiltmaker's Gift. Duluth, MN: Pfeifer-Hamilton, 2000. 

I am linking with Fiber Tuesday 51 at The Quilting Room with Mel. 


  1. How beautiful! Did the student know you were a quilter? If so, that was a smart move!

  2. I, too, love “The Quiltmaker’s Gift.” I taught bilingual kindergarten and read and reread this book to my class. We even had a unit of study about “colchas” and kindness. The class wanted to make a quilt for one of our pre-k teacher’s who was expecting a baby, and we partnered with several fifth grade classes to make some quilts. We made the expectant teacher a baby quilt and several more quilts that were donated to a the Ronald McDonald house in the Houston medical center.
    I’ve been retired for ten years, but I still have my copy of “The Quiltmaker’s Gift” and the book of quilt patterns from the original book.
    It is a beautiful book with many lessons for all of us.

    1. Thank you, Karol--what a wonderful story. I'm sure the children from your classes will always have good memories their own experiences in kindness. One of the big things quilts seem to represent in children's books is loving care for others.

      Thanks, too, for visiting my blog. Stories from readers are something I enjoy--both for myself and for those who visit.

  3. I have loved these books ever since I read them as library books to my children years ago. As soon as I saw that you had a blog series on quilts in children's literature, I wondered if you had discovered these. The illustrations are amazing, and the stories are so sweet. Thank you for sharing these!

    1. They are among my favorites! New babies in my family get a copy of The Quiltmaker's Gift with a baby quilt.
      Thanks for visiting my blog.


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Happy Quilting,
The Eclectic Abuela