Winter Lights: A Season in Poems & Quilts by Anna Grossnickle Hines.
Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins: NY, 2005.

Winter Lights is a sequel to Pieces: A Year in Poems & Quilts. The quilts are fantastic! I'm amazed by the work with the twisted triangles used for fire and flickering light. Though I know Holiday Magic was much easier, it is displayed beautifully as are several others. You've got to see it to believe it. I did enjoy the poems, too, but the quilts are masterfully presented. To know that each illustration was pieced together is just lovely. For anyone with an appreciation of sewing, you'll not want to miss this. The poems celebrating the season are a bonus.

The back of the book discusses techniques in piecing the quilts. Looking at it, you can tell Star Catcher must have been the hardest to put together. All the tiny triangles, plus the preplanning to achieve such a wondrous effect. Many of the quilts were strip pieced (strips sewn together in long columns or rows) and added together. The candlelit bags in Christmas Path, the Menorah and star in Small Miracles, and the houses in Holiday Magic used this technique but required preplanning to create the objects. Most of the details in Holiday Magic are the fabrics themselves. The placement of the fabrics with a few highlights is what makes it special. It's Time is also strip pieced but with four different sections, and the pieces are manipulated more (sewn opposite directions and sewn at angles which varies the width of the strips). This also has an amazing result. The aurora borealis is created with the basic form of bargello, a type of strip piecing. Long strips of fabric are sewn together diagonally to form a rectangle and cut across, slightly varying the color placement in the strips. In "Morning Light" and "Nian Is Coming" Hines played with the technique a little, creating radiating light in the first and a monster and fireworks in the second.

related-winter celebrations, pieced quilts, children's poetry-American, lights in a dark season
RL=2nd and up, read aloud with toddlers-2nd

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