Friday, April 23, 2021

Leaders and Enders for Donation Quilts

 I'm chain piecing miles and miles of  Leader and Ender (L & E) blocks for donation quilts.

For the past few years, I've been using 3.5" squares for L & E. Each year, I piece them together to make simple patchwork quilts for donation.

Because these are amenable to straight-line quilting, I am able to use the white-on-white (or natural) fabrics that have the thicker paint on them. These tend to shred my thread with FMQ, but quilting with my walking foot works well. Each year, I gather the blocks and assemble the quilts--it's fun to see the different fabrics that I have worked with during the past year.

I have found that working with consistent squares as L & Es is less confusing for me than trying to use parts for a more complicated quilt. The first couple of years that I did this, I used two-rail fence blocks (even or uneven rails), but the stairstep quilting I usually did with those was quite tedious (stitch, turn 90 degrees, stitch, turn 90 degrees, etc.).

I love using L & E--in fact, I feel guilty now when I use my machine's thread cutter because I feel like I should have another block to go under the needle! I also like the idea that I am creating donations for those in need every time I sit down to sew.

Happy Quilting! 😸

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.😸