Friday, May 7, 2021

Mother Earth and Her Children--Quilting in Children's Literature

 Sometimes a quilt sparks a story, and sometimes a story sparks a quilt. The latter is the case with the book I feature today.

Von Olfers, Sibylle. Mother Earth and Her Children: A Quilted Fairy Tale. Illustrated by Sieglinde  Schoen Smith. Translated from the original German [Etwas von den Wurzelkindern, 1906] by Jack  Zipes. Breckling, 2007.    ISBN: 978-1-933308-18-0

Cover of the German edition

The illustrator of this book was born in Germany during the Second World War. Her older sister owned the book  Etwas von der Wurzelkindern (Something About the Root Children), and Smith loved the story of the children exploring the wonders of nature and the seasons. Later in her life, now an American and a quilter, she rediscovered the book and wondered if its illustrations could be rendered in fabric and thread. Using applique and embroidery, she gave it a try.


Illustration from German edition

Illustration from Smith's edition

As you can see, she succeeded!


The book includes an Author's Note with the complete story behind the quilt. Also included is an essay about the author of the tale, Sibylle von Offers, and her writing by the translator, Jack Zipes. You can find the text and illustrations of the German edition HERE.

Quilt with Best of Show Award

The quilt won Best of Show at the Houston Quilt Festival in 2006. Other books followed: Mother Earth's ABC: A Quilted Alphabet and Story Book and two books of applique inspired by Mother Earth and her Children. I have also seen jigsaw puzzles, posters, and coloring books related to the quilt.


If you would like to see the book and hear it being read aloud, click HERE.

Happy quilting! ­čś║


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


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Happy Quilting,
The Eclectic Abuela