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Abbie in Stitches

A Needle Pulling Thread - Sewing in Storybooks

As a children’s librarian with a passionate love of worn quilts, my grandmother’s Bernina, bright craft felt, jars of buttons, stacks of cotton fat quarters, and rows of colored threads, it’s hardly surprising that I took notice of the following books for children released during the past few years. I hope you will take them into your home (and heart) as well!

Abbie in Stitches

written by Cynthia Cotten and illustrated by Beth Peck

New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006

Abbie would much rather read than learn the “womanly” arts appropriate in the nineteenth

century, but finds herself rewarded in unexpected ways when she rebelliously expresses her love of books through her embroidery.

Fanny

by Holly Hobbie

New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2008

When denied a store-bought fashion doll that her mother deems “too much,” Fanny sews her own doll, which receives a lukewarm reception from her friends. Can high fashion and homemade ever really play nicely together?

The Elephant Quilt

written by Susan Lowell and illustrated by Stacey Dressen-McQueen

New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008

Lily Rose and her grandmother record the family’s journey by wagon to California

in their collaborative patchwork quilt.

Stitchin’ and Pullin’

written by Patricia McKissack and illustrated by Cozbi Cabrera

New York: Random House, 2008

This emotional book of poetry celebrates the art quilts created by the women of Gees Bend through the observations of Baby Girl, who remembers important moments in her family’s history as shown in fiber art.


Abbie in Stitches by Cynthia Cotten
Amazon Says: It’s the early 1800s, and Abbie’s sister, Sarah, is a proper young lady who loves needlework. She has already made a sampler displaying her neat and even stitching. But wh more...
Amazon Says: It’s the early 1800s, and Abbie’s sister, Sarah, is a proper young lady who loves needlework. She has already made a sampler displaying her neat and even stitching. But when it becomes time for Abbie to make her sampler, she despairs – she hates needlework and would much rather curl up with one of the books on Papa’s shelf. How will she ever get through the long, tedious hours of needlework? And how can she pick a subject for a picture to sew when she really doesn’t care about the sampler at all? After considering what’s really important to her, Abbie completes the sampler in a way that is all her own.   Lovely pastel illustrations accompany this story about a girl who is not afraid to speak (or sew) what’s really on her mind – that she would rather be reading.  Abbie in Stitches is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year. less...
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Fanny by Holly Hobbie
Amazon Says: All Fanny wants in the world is a Connie doll, but Mom says "NO!" But no one ever said she couldn't make one instead! With some scissors, glue, and her craft box in hand, Fann more...
Amazon Says: All Fanny wants in the world is a Connie doll, but Mom says "NO!" But no one ever said she couldn't make one instead! With some scissors, glue, and her craft box in hand, Fanny sets out to replicate Connie, but it's Annabelle who is the result of her efforts. A little lopsided and a little unkempt, Annabelle turns out to be the companion Fanny has always wanted. Though at first her friends turn up their noses, in the end everyone learns that using your imagination and working with your own two hands can result in the best toy of all! less...
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Amazon Says: “We’re going to see the Elephant!” That’s what people say when they head West on a journey promising to be “something powerful strange. Like a real live elephant, bu more...
Amazon Says: “We’re going to see the Elephant!” That’s what people say when they head West on a journey promising to be “something powerful strange. Like a real live elephant, but even bigger – stranger – wilder – scarier!” Lily Rose is raring to go. Along the way she’ll help stitch her family’s adventures into a grand and glorious quilt.Inspired by a quilt sewn by young Mary Margaret Hezlep in 1859 during her journey West, readers will relish this spirited tale with its lively heroine and bold pictures, cleverly designed to include quilted elements. And they’ll have fun finding the elephant hidden in the final quilt and tracing Lily Rose’s journey from Missouri to California in the quilt border—a reminder of a trip that’s as BO-dacious as Lily Rose herself! The Elephant Quilt is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year. less...
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Amazon Says: MOTHER AND DAUGHTER, grandmother and granddaughter, aunt and niece, friend and friend. For a hundred years, generations of women from Gee’s Bend have quilted together, shari more...
Amazon Says: MOTHER AND DAUGHTER, grandmother and granddaughter, aunt and niece, friend and friend. For a hundred years, generations of women from Gee’s Bend have quilted together, sharing stories, trading recipes, singing hymns—all the while stitchin’ and pullin’ thread through cloth. Every day Baby Girl listens, watches, and waits, until she’s called to sit at the quilting frame. Piece by piece, she puzzles her quilt together—telling not just her story, but the story of her family, the story of Gee’s Bend, and the story of her ancestors’ struggle for freedom. less...
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