How does a young African American girl piecing together her first quilt relate to the Women Unbound reading challenge? Quilting is almost exclusively something that women do. Baby Girl first remembers sitting in a cozy place below the quilt, listening to the women talk. She learns that making a quilt is like piecing together lots of stories, made up of the material from things worn or used by those who came before her. The day finally comes when she is called to take her place at the quilting frame and has to decide what piece will be the heart of her quilt, and why. The women help her put her quilt together because quilting is all about "an old, old process, / women stitchin' and pullin' / together." Here's my favorite page of this children's picture book:
Beneath the Quilting FrameRated: 7 of 10, a good book.
Baby Girl – that's me – played
beneath the quilting frame
on a "Nine Patch" quilt
and her sisters made
was herself Baby Girl.
the warm brown faces
of my mama, grandma, and great-gran
as they sewed, talked, sang, and laughed
above my tented playground.
All the while, steady fingers
pieced together colorful scraps
of familiar cloth
than anything they had been before.
Oh, how I remember . . .
I remember Mama's gentle voice
lulling her Baby Girl to sleep.