book review

The Quilt-Makers Journey

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The Quilt-Makers Journey by Jeff Brumbeau and Illustrated by Gail de Marcken is an exquisite both in the telling and in the illustrations. I greatly admire books which grab one at their heart center and inspire one to give their very best and this book certainly does just that.

The Quilt-maker's Journey by Jeff Brumbeau


If any of you are familiar with their first book, The Quilter’s Gift, The Quilt Maker’s Journey is the prequel. Sharing the tale of the generous quilt maker’s early life, Brumbeau and Marcken take us inside the isolated world of a walled village where all citizens live a life of privilege . No one inside the walls has ever seen poverty.

Though life is plentiful and abundant, the young girl isn’t happy.


One night she sneaks out of the village and finds the world beyond the walls. There she finds life filled with lack, poverty, and great need. She brought very little with her but despite people’s poverty, they are generous and kind. She finally makes her way back to the walled city and approaches the town elders about her discoveries.


Because she wants to give all of her wealth to the poor on the other side of the wall, she is banished by the town’s elders, never to return again.

She spends the rest of her life providing comfort for those who need it by making quilts in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Throughout the story there are stunningly painted illustrations. On each page a beautiful quilt image is portrayed.

Quiltmakers journey

This book completely captivated us and had us asking for more.

Something To Do:

This book just screams “let’s do some quilting!” Of course there is the traditional quilt sewing but before we get to that we thought we’d take a look into the world of quilts and quilting.

Teaching Quilt History to Kids:

I found this wonderful blog post written by Meg of SewMamaSew. Though written a few years back it still is very prevalent today.


Discovering Shapes

Explore the pages of The Quilt-makers Journey and look at the quilts on each page. What patterns do they make ?

Quilting is nothing more than discovering shapes. First off let’s discover squares. In quilting, squares are a major element. When we can see how a square is combined, broken down, and recombined, we can quickly seen how the various patterns and shapes come together to create a pattern.


Coloring Shapes

Take one of the blank square grids and see look at the square patterns below. With one color marker copy, choose one pattern. Copy this pattern onto your square grid.

Simple Patterning

Once children have a strong foundation in shapes, you can explore tiling and patterns using color tiles or pieces of colored paper, show children how to create a simple AB pattern, and invite them to make their own.

Planning a Grid

Give your child a sheet of 1″ grid paper. Ask them to plan out their own AB pattern using colors of their choice, then try patterns of three, four, or five colors.

Shapes to Count On

With a friend or sibling,look at the quilt patterns. Count how many squares are colored and how many squares are left blank.  Does everyone’s tallies add up the same ?

Paper Quilting

It’s time to make a paper quilt. Choose a quilt block pattern. Cut plain colored, and patterned paper ( I like to use scrapbooking paper) into squares, triangles, and rectangles. Arrange the shapes on a white piece of paper into the shape of your chosen quilt block pattern and glue them into place after you’ve arranged all of the pieces.
paper quilting

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