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Patchwork Quilt Kit

Corps of Re-Discovery

5329 N Lakewood Drive
Springfield, MO 65803

This Corps of Re-Discovery kit provides materials and instructions for making an 18" x 27" Pioneer Patchwork Quilt. This truly is pioneer-style quilting, as the instructions are for hand-stitching the quilt. I chose to adapt the instructions by using a machine instead, allowing my 8-year-old daughter to create a nice finished product. Though simple and brief, I appreciated the educational elements in the instructions, which are written directly to the child. The kit comments on the scarcity of material in pioneer days and teaches the name of the blocks used in the pattern and gives the option of making a "crazy quilt."

Everything you need is in the kit, including pre-cut fabric squares, batting, backing, needle, thread, and tie-off cording. You must use your own scissors, tape measure, and iron. Our kit included two dark fabrics and one light. The "dark" fabrics were two reddish brown calicos and the "light" a muslin, identical to the backing. From the sounds of the instructions it appears that some kits may contain only a light and dark fabric. Instructions offer examples for laying out different types of squares, depending on which fabrics you have and the look you desire.

My only suggestion would be to offer the option of machine sewing the quilt, though I realize that would make it less "authentic," and the instructions were easily adapted. For an older child, I think the experience of hand sewing would be a valuable lesson in why clothing and blankets were so valued in earlier times. Younger children will likely not have the necessary patience or skill. This was a great kit and went together easily, making a nice, authentic-feeling finished product. Instructions were clear and easy to understand. For $10, I consider this activity a bargain.

-- Product review by Dena Wood, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, January 2006

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