Friday, July 16, 2021

The Name Quilt--Quilting in Children's Literature

"Grandma had a million stories in that quilt." In this book featuring an autograph quilt, Sadie and her Grandma share the stories of their family.

Root, Phyllis. The Name Quilt. Illustrated by Margot Apple. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003. ISBN: 9780374354848

Sadie loves visiting her Grandma for the summer. They go fishing, do chores, and drink lemonade. But one of the best things happens every night. As Grandma tucks Sadie into bed, she tells family stories about the people whose names are embroidered on the name quilt.

The Name Quilt

Sadie hears stories prompted by the names and fabrics. Sadie finds out about her aunt Avonelle whose patch is made from a dress she ripped when she rode the hogs. Sadie learns about her mom from a piece of a skirt that she stained with blackberry juice when she was young. There is a patch of Grandma's plain wedding dress--"'We didn't have money for fancy dresses back then,' Grandma said." Sadie loves all the stories the quilt inspires.

One day, however, a storm blows through when the name quilt is on the clothesline.

Both Grandma and Sadie are fine and the house is intact, but the name quilt is gone. Sadie is sad that the stories are gone, but as Grandma says, "'You think I need a quilt to remember for me? I keep all those names and all of those stories right here inside of me.'"



Sadie and Grandma then recreate the name quilt adding some patches that represent the storm and one in the center that has Sadie's name on it.

Margot Apple's soft and colorful illustrations add to the appeal of this book. They mirror the action and add small touches to the story that enhance the words of the author.

This book highlights the quilt as a symbol of family heritage and the power of story-telling.

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

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Happy Quilting,
The Eclectic Abuela