Milly and Our Peace Quilt

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,
Falling leaves,
And dancing.

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.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in art, Early Education, Imagination, Peace, quilting, Teaching young children and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Milly and Our Peace Quilt

  1. magarisa says:

    Wonderfully inspiring.

  2. mimionlife says:

    What a special blessing! Thank you for sharing about this.

  3. Dan Antion says:

    Beautiful story 🙂

  4. MC Clark says:

    What a lovely idea!

  5. cheyenne65 says:

    This story is filled with love as are their words. How wonderful and thank you for sharing.

  6. I loved your last post about the quilt. It’s beautiful in every way. ❤

  7. mopana says:

    As always, your writing is amazing, Jennie. I had a very pleasant reading. Have an awesome weekend, my dear friend!
    Mo-hugs and kisses ❤

  8. beetleypete says:

    That sounds like a marvelous quilt, and great to hear that it is going to be displayed so prominently too. I was reminded of the Cabbage Patch Doll ‘wars’ here. Parents almost fighting each other, to get the last ones in the shop!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      Yes, I remember it well. I was one of the crazed parents desperately trying to find a Cabbage Patch doll. Thank you, Pete. Best to you!

  9. GP Cox says:

    “Children understand. They know. Peace through their eyes is true.” Too bad they grow up and become adults!

  10. Darlene says:

    The quilt is such a wonderful idea! Peace through children’s eyes is so refreshing.

  11. L. Marie says:

    This is lovely, Jennie. A great way for them to internalize what peace is all about.

  12. ren says:

    The children of today will lead us to our peaceful tomorrow.
    Wonderful sharing and thank you. ren

  13. Love the poem and the special quilt Milly is making with your students. The additions to the fabric sound wonderful–flying butterflies and real chains, etc. I’m going to keep an eye on this project as I would love to see the quilt in person when it’s hanging at the Boston State House. Congratulations to you and Milly and the children on so many successful quilting projects!

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Marcia. I love the poem, too. Please come to the presentation if you can. Thursday, June 29th at 3:00 PM. If you cannot make it, the quilt will hang for 6 months. I think it will be in The entranceway, but I am not sure.

  14. Jennie this is absolutely amazing. I am so touched, I just read this to my partner. Would you mind keeping me posted about what is going on with the presentation? Whatever you want to share and whenever it calls to you. My email is

    Also if you want to – this could absolutely be a post for #ForgivingFridays! All you need to do is create a pingback to my post from yesterday and include #ForgivingFridays as a tag. Up to you, I see peace is an integral aspect of forgiveness and a direct result of applying it in action!
    Love, Debbie

  15. Di says:

    What a lovely idea to create a Peace book Jennie. I love the children’s thoughts on peace.
    The quilt looks like a very enjoyable time to spend with Milly.
    Another wonderful post 💐

  16. reocochran says:

    This was filled with children’s wonderment, Jennie. If only they could fix things and make the world a

  17. reocochran says:

    . . . Better place ❤

  18. There really needs to be a LOVE button on your blog in addition to the like button. Those kinds of activities with children so young always moves me deeply.

  19. Norah says:

    This is awesome, Jennie. What a wonderful contribution you are making to the lives of these generations of children, and to our world. Thank you.

  20. How wonderful for you and the kids! You must be so excited 😄
    The idea of both the book and quilt are so lovely. We should all try to see the world through children’s eyes more often!

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