By: Judy Elsley
A surprisingly wide range and number of children’s books feature a quilt or quilter, from illustrated pre-reading books with no words to novels written for adolescents. This paper analyzed these books in order to discover the cultural values represented in children’s fiction that features quilts and quilters.
The discussion moves from cultural micro to cultural macro, starting with books that focus on a particular domestic situation in the home, and moving out progressively to books that involve the neighborhood, then national concerns, and finally the global perspective. The cultural values contained in these books, whether for the individual, in the context of family, or in local and global communities, can be summed up in the following way: quilts act as an effective metaphor for teaching respect for individual lives, and instilling the beliefs and traditions of a community.