J recently turned three and for her birthday I wanted to make her a quilt for snuggling up in when reading. About the time I started working on the quilt I was sent Nonie’s Magic Quilt by Anita Vachharajani, illustrated by Anitha Balachandran; a serendipitous coincidence as it’s a lovely book all about the making of a quilt full of stories.
Nonie loves to laugh and play. Not only during the day, but also throughout the night. Her parents become ever more exasperated at Nonie’s non-sleeping. They try everything they can think of but nothing works. Eventually they call on the help of Aunt Munni, a rather magical relation who arrives on a broom. With the help of her measuring snake, Munni works out that what Nonnie needs is her own special sleeping quilt and with a magical spell conjures up a quilt stitched together with rainbow colours, a symphony of sounds and a tousle of textures.
Nonie still doesn’t want to go to sleep but when she settles down at night the quilt lights up and comes alive – the stories, colours and smells from all the fabric squares weave together to tell a tale which gradually lulls Nonie into the land of Nod. And whilst she sleeps she has wonderful story-full dreams – her magic quilt has made it fun to sleep!
The story is lovely – about the magic of stories at bedtime, about the coziness and comfort a quilt can bring. It’s sprinkled with a smattering of Indian flavour (Her dupatta had a silvery sheen, / and on it were little baubles of green), and there’s a helpful glossary at the end so that we could look up the words we didn’t know. The entire story is told in rhyme – definitely something my children enjoyed for it’s rhythm and bounce. Some rhymes didn’t sit so comfortably on my tongue, but perhaps that’s down to differences in British English and Indian English pronunciation – indeed I would love to hear this read as an audiobook. With the addition of some music it could make a great story to listen to.
The illustrations are great fun. Packed with slightly zany characters, they reminded me of Babette Cole both in terms of content and style and definitely appealed to M and J who have asked for this book to be read to them many times since it arrived in our home!
As to the quilt I made…
For the front of the quilt I used 5 different fabrics from Liberty’s spring range of Tara Lawn cotton, all designed by children’s book illustrators. It was hard choosing just a few different fabrics, but the designs I finally settled on were Carolyn Jane, Charlie’s Paisley and Kate Ada by Quentin Blake and Olivia Strange and Reuben Kelly by David McKee, the creator of Elmer, King Rollo and Mr Benn.
I used silk wadding in the middle. It’s very light and warm and feels incredibly luxurious.
For the back of the quilt I used Kaffe Fassett Plink in sand, and for the binding Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in grape.
Whilst quilting I listened to:
If you want to try some quilting with kids here are some ideas to get you going:
Other great sewing and quilting books for kids:
Have you done any sewing with or for your children recently?
Disclosure: I received my copy of Nonie’s Magic Quilt from the author. This post, however, contains my own, honest opinion of this book.