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Laura Ingalls Wilder

A Simple Pioneer Nine-Patch Quilt

A quilt is a warm bed covering made of three layers - a top, padding, and a backing. The top is often made of pieces of cloth left over from making clothing or cut from old, worn-out clothes.

As settlers moved west, they cleared the land, built new homes, and established many small towns. They brought many quilts with them because they knew the winters were often very cold and stormy. Quilts were also used to protect the family's valuables from breaking in the wagons during the bumpy rides west. They also found use as cushions and beds for the tired travelers.

Like Laura and her sisters, as soon as pioneer children could handle a needle, they were taught to make nine-patch quilt blocks from nine squares of fabric. The blocks in early quilts often had wool, old rags, and raw cotton cut from worn and mended clothing. Finished blocks were then sewn together and assembled over a padding and backing.

To make this classroom nine-patch quilt, you will need magazines for the "fabric" squares, scissors, glue, and a copy of the nine-patch quilt block. Use the pattern to cut squares of color from magazine pictures. Glue them over the quilt block. Now you have a quilt block in a nine-patch pattern. Blocks can be displayed together on a bulletin board as your class's own nine-patch quilt.

folderView or download nine patch quilt template .pdf file
The sample pages can be viewed either in your browser with Adobe's Acrobat plug-in, or downloaded and viewed with Adobe's Acrobat Reader. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat, you can get both the plug-in and the viewer by following this link.
"Get Acrobat Reader" button

For further information on the story of quilting read THE QUILT-BLOCK HISTORY OF PIONEER DAYS by Mary Cobb.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum
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