The Patchwork Quilt

by Valerie Flournoy

Other authorsJerry Pinkney (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 1952


Check shelf

Call number



Dial Books (1985), Edition: 1st, 32 pages


Using scraps cut from the family's old clothing, Tanya helps her grandmother and mother make a beautiful quilt that tells the story of her family's life.

Local notes


User reviews

LibraryThing member avcr
The smallest member of the Family, Tanya, learns from the oldest member, Grandma, that building a life full of precious memories like piecing together a quilt takes time. And learning to appreciate the past is a necessary thread that must run through us all; as a firmament of courage that helps us
Show More
define our future. Gentle, muted, earth tones against a coffee-stained white background infuse warmth and familial inspiration that inspires the reader to savor their surroundings and always help on another. Children will learn about the importance of family members and revel in its joy.
If You Liked This, Try: The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco, The Quilt by Ann Jonas, The Quilt Story by Tony Johnston, Sweet Clara And The Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson, Quilting Now & Then by Karen B. Willing.
Awards: Coretta Scott King, 1985
Show Less
LibraryThing member NicoleHeelan
This is a story about a little girl named Tanya who helps her Grandma sew together a beautiful quilt from scraps from things of all of their family members. The Grandma becomes ill and the little girl learns how to sew it herself.

This story is heartwarming. It really brings together the thought of
Show More
family and family traditions.

In the classroom, we could make our own quilts using construction paper. Also, we could talk about our family traditions.
Show Less
LibraryThing member kyoder06
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Appropriateness: primary, intermediate
Media: pen and ink

This is a great story altogether and example of realistic fiction because there is a fictional family that the story is centered around but they way they interact with one another and the activities they do are all
Show More
realistic. Tanya begins working on a quilt with her grandmother and when she gets sick, Tanya and her mom commit to finishing it. It is a great story about family tradition and coming together.
Show Less
LibraryThing member ChuckJackson
A story of family, friendship and working together. How certain things that holds memories can be brought together for everybody to enjoy, especially one little girl and her grandmother.
LibraryThing member tas026
This picture book is about t Tanya and her grandmother. Tanya's grandmother begins making a special quilt from pieces of worn out clothes that have belonged to various family members. Tanya's mother and grandmother spend many days working on the quilt. Tanya's grandmother becomes ill, too ill for
Show More
even Tanya to see her. Tanya worked on the quilt with her mother while her grandmother lay in bed ill. After a couple of months Tanya's grandmother got better and was able to help complete the quilt and gave it to Tanya as a gift.
Show Less
LibraryThing member sjg005
A girl's grandmother is working on a quilt, sewing pieces of fabric together that relate to their family. The grandmother becomes sick and the girl completes the quilt, adding pieces special to her grandmother.
LibraryThing member jamie_lanell
A girl's grandmother is working on a quilt, sewing pieces of fabric together that relate to their family. The grandmother becomes sick and the girl completes the quilt, adding pieces special to her grandmother.
LibraryThing member ztacass09
The grandma makes a quilt with pieces of each of the family represented on the quilt. She ends up getting sick and cannot finish the quilt so the family joins together and helps finish the quilt and even adds a piece of grandma to the quilt.
LibraryThing member hmz001
this book really shows how important family and culture is. there is no comfort like the one you get from doing projects with your family.
LibraryThing member slw017
The book would be acceptable for intermediate readers, and the story really shows the importance of family. The book is culturally beneficial as well, and shows how important it is to treat your elders with respect.
LibraryThing member Khp24
Great book that teaches good family values. Talks about culture, heritage, family, quilting. The grandmother is making the family quilt until she gets sick. her grandaughter use to watch her put it together and could see how much the quilt meant to the both of them. She wanted to get it finished
Show More
for grandma. The girl, tanya gets her mother to show her how to make the quilt and she finishes it for grandma by adding pieces into the quilt about grandma. It is a great family book
Show Less
LibraryThing member HollyRogers
This book is about a little girl named Tanya, who puts together a quilt with her grandmother that represents their family. When the grandmother gets ill, Tanya finishes the quilt by herself.

I love this book! It not only shows family values but also shows the importance of being close with your
Show More

In my classroom I would use this book in a lesson involving family and I would challenge the children to go home and collect important things that remind them of their family and put it all together to present it to the class.
Show Less
LibraryThing member brayner0309
The story began with a grandma working on a quilt. Her granddaughter becomes interested in helping with the quilt when her grandma explained how it never forgets. The grandma became very sick and her granddaughter decided to work on it and get it done. Each piece of the quilt was representative of
Show More
each member of the family. There were pieces of sports uniforms, old jeans and even a piece from grandma’s favorite old quilt. In the end, grandma got well, and the quilt was finished.

My grandmother sews and this book reminds me of her. This book shows the value of family and the importance of keeping good memories close to you. As a child, I used to like this book a lot and it made me actually more interested in sewing and I have been sewing ever since my Nana taught me.

I would have children tell me good memories that they have with their families. I will also have them write out all their favorite memories to remember as they grow up.
Show Less
LibraryThing member kloupe1
This was a very great and touching book about a family and the want of tradition. In this book, Tanya and her grandmother work together to make a quilt. When Tanya's grandmother falls ill, Tanya's mother and brother help her try to complete the quilt that grandmother had started. Grandmother is
Show More
finally better, and she puts her finishing touches on the quilt, and the quilt's story is told and forever there to be read. I would definitely pair this book with Polacco's "The Keeping Quilt." Both of these books are about the power of tradition and story in a quilt. These books can be read together to teach children about quilt making and might be a good intro to start the children on a classroom quilt.
Show Less
LibraryThing member meallen1
The genre of this book is multi-cultural. This book is also fictional. The art in this book is mainly hand drawn illustrations.The content of this book is that a grandmother and her granddaughter share a special bond and will do anything to help one another. The reading level of this book is fourth
Show More
grade. This book does not have any curricular connections but is still a good book for children to read.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Jin528
A loving family story related with a quiilt illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
LibraryThing member claire.cavell
This book shows the close-knit relationship between families, especially Tanya and her grandmothers. All of their memories are sewn into their family quilt.
LibraryThing member angelabotha
This is a story about the loving relationship between a young girl and her grandma. Her grandma introduces her to quilt-making and they embark on making a quilt together. The girl, Tanya, gets her mother to join in on the quilt-making so that it becomes a family affair and a bonding experience.
Show More
Grandma gets sick close to Christmas so Tanya helps her mother complete the quilt and her brother helps as well. Finally grandma is able to work on it again and completes it.
Show Less
LibraryThing member klledet
A young girl, Tanya, listens to her grandmother speak about the importance of creating a quilt instead of purchasing one. Through the grandmother's sickness, the family bonds as they complete their family's patchwork quilt. They learn the importance of remembering family values and full cooperation
Show More
between all members. A quote I loved in the book was, " She and the quilt are telling each other stories." (Winner of the Coretta Scott King Award)
Show Less
LibraryThing member sabrina89
A patchwork quilt is the main image of this book. It reflects the life moments of each family member and brings it together to a big common quilt. Colors play an important role in this story as they reinforce the feeling of belonging together and that each color on his own is bland but putting them
Show More
together makes a colorful, eventful family harmonic life.
Show Less
LibraryThing member bereneezypie
I remember reading this book when I was younger and I really enjoyed it. However, I recently read it to a few 2nd graders and was pretty bored and not because I was an adult reading a children's book. I felt that the book was very long and a few pages could've been omitted. I think it's a great
Show More
book for a grandmother to read, but other than that I found it pretty dull.
Show Less
LibraryThing member ghimbert
This was a book that I used for the African American Read-In and I did not think it would draw as much attention as it did. When I first read it I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but I did not think that children would enjoy it as much as they did when I read it in the classroom. It showed how
Show More
important family history is not only to adults but to children as well. There was a connection between the grandmother and her grand daughter that the students connected well with. I would definitely use this book in a classroom again.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Michaela.Bushey
The Patchwork Quilt tells the story of a girl named Tanya and her special relationship with her grandmother. They begin to make a patchwork quilt together, and the experience bonds the entire family over the course of a year. The gorgeous watercolor illustrations by Pinkney portray scenes from the
Show More
story in a beautiful and heartwarming way.

This book would be a great read-aloud, and it would be a nice starting place for conversations about family relationships. It might also inspire students to want to make a patchwork quilt that represents the classroom community.
Show Less
LibraryThing member weisser4
Grandma is making a patchwork quilt from bits and pieces of fabric snipped from discarded old clothing and leftover material from sewn special occasion items. Tanya is curious as to what Grandma is doing and Mama just sees a mess. When Grandma becomes ill, Tanya takes over. She understands why
Show More
Grandma makes the quilt from bits and pieces of her family's clothing. Mama and Tanya's brothers help out a bit as they see how hard she works to complete the quilt for Grandma. The surprise comes at the end when Tanya realizes something is missing from the patchwork quilt and when the quilt is finally finished.

Lovingly written about the concept of family and how it used to be recorded, "in the olden days" before everyone could read and write. Also about the necessity of creating something from discarded materials, letting nothing go to waste, and reusing items to save money and provide for the family. Memories are made from loving hands.

My students listened to this story and had great questions. I found that they still understand the concept of creating an heirloom and putting pieces of themselves into a family history. I adore books such as these because my students need to understand that just because something CAN be bought doesn't mean it SHOULD be bought.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Cecelia.McKay
The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy is a story about an African-American girl named Tanya and her grandma and a quilt. One day Tanya is sick and cannot go outside to play so she goes to talk to her grandmother and learns about the quilt her grandma is making. Her grandma uses scraps from
Show More
different pieces of fabric that come from her family to make a quilt. Her grandma tells her that it will take a year to make the quilt. During the year Tanya's mom learns about the quilt and begins to help with the sewing. When grandma gets sick, Tanya decides she will finish the quilt until her grandma feels better.

I like this story because it brings back memories about spending time with my grandma and the wisdom she gave to me. The pictures of the quilt were inspiring because it shows what people can do when they work together.

This story could be used to teach about families and traditions. It could also be used to teach that older people have a lot of wisdom they can pass down to the younger generations.
Show Less


Nebraska Golden Sower Award (Nominee — 1987)
Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — Grades K-3 — 1988)
Coretta Scott King Award (Winner — 1986)
Ezra Jack Keats Book Award (Winner — New Writer — 1986)
Reading Rainbow Program Selection (Selection — 22 — 1985)
CCBC Choices (Picture Books — 1985)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

32 p.; 8.75 inches


0803700970 / 9780803700970


Page: 0.7153 seconds