In the fall of 2015, the children in my classroom wrote a Peace Book; what they thought peace really was, through their eyes. The book was genuine: my new baby sister, the ocean, reading a book, dinner with my family, and so much more. It is a treasure. I vividly remember Lucca’s entry, his beloved doll that had belonged to his mother. Back in the day, his grandmother frantically tried to find a Cabbage Patch doll for her daughter and finally found one, a black one. Of course Lucca’s mom loved the doll. Better yet, Lucca adored that doll and named her Black Baby. She is peace!
Peace is my new baby sister,
Butterflies and stars,
And playing outside.
Peace looks like a heart,
A gingerbread house,
Peace is Black Baby and cookies,
The ocean and reading.
Peace looks like the beach, my dog,
Dinner with my family,
Playing with a good friend.
Peace is my brother and sister.
Peace is my family.
Peace is peaceful.
Children understand. They know. Peace through their eyes is true.
The Peace Book inspired us to turn the book and all the ideas into a quilt. Milly the master quilter, once again, began working with the children to create this magnificent quilt. Children picked the fabrics and decided where everything should go. They made sure it was ‘just so’.
The quilt is remarkable! Butterflies actually fly their wings. The chains of the swings are real chains. The leaves falling from the tree are puffy hearts. All of the elements are subtle. You have to look twice. The main image is a family looking outside their window at peace, all the parts of the Peace Book.
Milly is a master quilter, yet she is so much more to the Aqua Roomers. Ask a child in my class, “Who is Milly’s best friend?” They know. Gloria. Yes, Gloria. Those two ignite more love and excitement. Children see that, and it makes a big impression. Watching Milly and children interact and play together is a joy, because she has a way. Greeting Milly, or saying goodbye to Milly, is always met with hundreds of hugs, and shouts of “Milly!” and “I love you.” She’s a gem!
I am connecting generations in the classroom, and that is tremendously important for children.
The quilt will hang at the Boston, Massachusetts State House for six months. We will have a presentation at the Grand Staircase in the State House. The Governor will be in attendance.
Milly and my Aqua Room children have made quilts that hang at the National Liberty Museum in historic Philadelphia (across the street from Carpenter’s Hall), and at the Fisher House in Boston. Each quilt has a big story. If you want to know more about Milly and her quilts with my classroom, there is much more on my blog.