Sunday, June 13, 2021

Pioneer History: Quilting in Children's Literature

 This book's title, The Quilt-Block History of Pioneer Days: With Projects Kids Can Make, says it all!

Cobb, Mary. The Quilt-Block History of Pioneer Days: With Projects Kids Can Make. Illustrated by Jan Davey Ellis. Millbrook, 1995. ISBN: 9781562944858

This 64-page chapter book is recommended for Grades 2-4 reading level. It has simple reference aids: Table of Contents, "For Further Reading" list, and an Index.

Each chapter has a focus and a project for kids. For example, Chapter Two is about the pioneers saying goodbye to their friends and family before moving west. The reading and accompanying illustration cover album quilt blocks: autograph blocks signed by those who stayed behind as a remembrance for the relocating family. The chapter project is a signed Quilt Block bookmark for a friend.

All of the projects are papercraft though some of them could be done in fabric as well.

Other chapters include stories of different aspects of pioneer life and the quilt blocks that the lifestyle inspired.

Chapter 4: "Building the Cabin"

Chapter 8: "Special Occasions"

Chapter 9: "Weather"

In the final chapter, the author writes," When I look at a map of our country, I like to think it resembles a gigantic patchwork quilt sewn together by the brave pioneers" (58). The structure of the book reinforces that idea.

The illustrations are fairly simple and bright, and they fit well with the text. The illustrated page of quilt blocks that accompanies each chapter is clear, accurate, and well-labeled, as you can see in the images I have included above.

This book covers the history of the American pioneer, as well as the ideas/stories/events behind common quilt blocks. The projects use common everyday materials, so they are accessible for most readers, and they add fun to the learning experience.

Happy Quilting! 😸


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.


  1. It'll be a few years before my grandkids are old enough for this book, but I did save it.

    1. It is a very informative book, but it is fun, too. Thanks for visiting!


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Happy Quilting,
The Eclectic Abuela