Friday, January 22, 2010

Quilting and the Amish and Mennonite Cultures

In many cultures, quilting is a way of life... the Amish and Mennonite cultures are two of those and, to me, are very interesting, so I just had to focus on quilts in their culture today! Tomorrow, you'll see quilting in more modern, current ways as part of "For Fun Friday."

Good, Merle.
Reuben and the Quilt.
Good Books.
Review copy borrowed from local library.

Reuben, a young Amish boy, joins his older sisters in making a quilt for an elderly gentleman in the community who was injured when his buggy was hit by a car from behind. While he quilts, readers learn how quilting brings together the Amish community to show their support for one another, as the quilt that's being sewn is going to be up for auction - what a show of support! The great thing about this book is that it brings in another very important aspect of the Amish faith - not seeking revenge when someone wrongs you. Once the family has completed sewing the quilt, it gets hung outside to observe as the family completes their "chores." Somehow, the quilt is stolen, but rather than being bitter and seeking revenge, the family takes on an entirely different attitude, believing that the thief is poor and the quilt is badly needed. Luckily, all turns out well...

As you can see, this is definitely a book that places emphasis on quilting in diverse cultures, making it a wonderful addition to the quilting theme!

Learning/Reading Activity:
  • Work together as a family to create a quilt. When you have completed the quilt, determine a family in need in your community. Collaborate with the local library to host an auction, selling the quilt and raising money for the needy family!
Smucker, Barbara.
Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt.
Crown Publishers, Inc.

This is another book focusing on aspects of the Amish and Mennonite cultures, making mention of being "humble and quiet," an important trait in children of the culture, as well as "quilting bees," a frequent event for women in the faith. Taking readers back to the time of the onset of the Civil War, we watch how young Selina deals with her family moving to avoid being caught in the crossfire of the war. As she comes to grips with leaving her dearly loved grandmother behind, she realizes that her grandmother will always be with her, as her relatives in Canada help her to see that the quilt she traveled to Canada with will be finished in time to act as a bed cover at her new house... and that the quilt on her bed right now is made from pieces of old dresses... including her grandmother's wedding dress.

And For the Educators Out There (I desperately wanted to actually feature these with reviews, but the local library doesn't carry many teaching resources, and its out my budget currently).:

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to I am an Amazon Affiliate, so any purchases you make after clicking these images will result in my receiving a small percentage of the sale price!