The Quiltmaker’s Gift

[Writer: Jeff Brumbeau, Ilustrator: Gail de Macken. Published by Ochard Books, New York in 2001]

Once upon a time, there was a Quiltmaker who lived in a small house on top of the blue misty mountain. She quilted the prettiest quilts in the world from all colours of the rainbow with her magical fingers.

Hordes of people from all walks of life would climb up the mountain with hope of buying those gorgeous quilts. Their hopes soon crashed upon finding out that the Quiltmaker would not sell her quilts to them. She only made it for the poor and homeless. At night, the Quiltmaker wandered around the cobblestone streets and wrapped her quilts around the poor and needy when they were deep in sleep.

The reigning King during this time was greedy and silly. He loved nothing else but presents. He passed a law that warrants him to celebrate his birthday twice a year. He received presents from all corners of his kingdom. Still, he was one unhappy king. Something was still amiss in his life. The Quiltmaker told the King in no uncertain terms that she would only make him a quilt if he gives away all of his priced possession. The King raged as his greed stopped him from doing so.

His anger knew no bounds. He first threw the Quiltmaker into the cage with a huge hairy bear. When the King learnt that the bear formed a friendship with the Quiltmaker instead of eating her for breakfast, his anger escalated. He ordered the Quiltmaker to stand on an island big enough only for her two tiny feet, hoping that she will soon drown. Instead, flock of sparrows flew the Quiltmaker safely to the shore.

The King gave up and after a long contemplation he started giving away his possession by letting go the item he least fond of. When a boy smiled hugely after receiving just a small marble from him, he felt a tingle of happiness in his heart. He soon traveled the world to give away all of his priced possessions. 

Meanwhile, the Quiltmaker kept her promise and began a quilt just for the King. Each day a sparrow messenger would drop a word to the Quiltmaker about the King and what did he give away for that day. The quilt for the King grew more beautiful each day. Finally, the King got his quilt from the Quiltmaker and in return, he presented the Quiltmaker a new house. The King ended up being a happy man.

The quilt was wrapped around the King’s shoulders and it was so beautiful, butterflies and hummingbirds flew around it.  

I narrated the above story for children at Borders Bookstore, the Curve on Sunday 8th of July 2007 at 3 p.m.

*The children story time at Borders is free and you are invited to bring your children along. My next reading session will be on Sunday 29th July 2007 at the same time. See ya there!*


13 thoughts on “The Quiltmaker’s Gift

  1. Elv.. next time when I’m home, please alert me OK. I’d love to bring my six-year old boy for the story-telling.

    Especially if the story-telling is done by YOU.

    Good job EM!

    P.S. I’ve been to the sessions before. Upstairs, at the back, childrens’s corner.

    Brother, would love to read to your children! Bring Alesha Michelle along, she can play with Luqman and those who can’t actually fathom a story yet :-). Sure, will tell in advance if you are back in town. Take care now

  2. And you read for children too? My my my…. are you faultless?

    Me? No you don’t know me. I am not significant enough for you to know.

    Please keep up the noble effort, will peep you from far on the 29th July. The Borders ye?

    Fan of yours

    Dear Pengembara/Fan of yours,

    I still suspect that you are one of my friends who’s trying to pull my leg. Never mind, I ll play along. Faultless? My husband laugh his head off reading your comment. He thought I am so faulty he doesn’t even know where to start! Of course I am faultfull (is there such a word, dont think so!) I am trying my best to hide it from you! Hahahahahaha!

  3. Ah, you do story-telling for children? Must be interesting… good thing you’re doing, Elviza. Keep it up!

    Sajer jer, trying to occupy my lonely sundays…. be good for Luqman though don’t you think?

  4. Wow! Mish…bagusnyer you ni… dulu kan I selalu berangan-angan bercerita depan my brothers and sisters…tapi tak pernah jadi kenyataan…nak tengok gak lah you bercerita tu…mesti seronok kan to be the story teller and to have a group of children giving you the full attention…

    way to go sistah!


    Darling dear, mana ada bagus…. I just love books and children, so I thought I’d give it a go when Borders asked me to. I ll see you there sista! Muaaaahhh!

  5. The story is very interesting,what with the King giving away the marble and all.If I were him I cant afford to give away my marble as I would treasure my marbles very much.Not that am not charitable of sort,but imagine a life without marbles….i would give everything I own but certainly not my marbles.

    Of course different people treat their marbles differently, I am one of those who are obessive about the need to have the marbles hold close and within reach at the moment notice.To me marbles can be very comforting,what with the jingling sound it gave while they are in your pockets..its so assuring.

    I certainly would object to the way the King treated his marbles…therefore it best that I was not around during your storytelling session.

    Marbles can be used to save your life esp. in my line of work as….


    Sir, you sick in the head! Has anyone ever told you that? Hah jangan nak merajuk pulak!

  6. what a good job dear friend…very the “you’ve got mail”

    Very the…. if only I can look a bit like Meg Ryan! Would be great isn’t it? Now, where are you today? Bangsar? See ya later?

  7. A lovely story. Simple yet it teaches all who hear it that giving of oneself away to another brings happiness. (our possessions are part of us)

    Interesting thing you are doing – reading to children. It must be fun and fulfilling to see them all engrossed in the story, wide-eyed with wonder and surprise. Those pure innocent faces looking up at you. 🙂 A moment that takes my breath away.

    Jac dear,

    True true true, definitely moment that takes my breath away. This kind of thing can be very addictive you know? Take care sister. Must do the tag thing now. And the story’s fun isn’t it? The book is colourful too. I simply love it

  8. Elviza dear, I could tell from the start that you are ‘special’.
    Do continue doing what you are doing.

    Ah Captain, you said the nicest thing. I am sure Jefree would tease me endlessly about this comment of yours. Do you want to whack him for me Sir?

  9. Hi Elviza, Hop over from j.t’s 🙂 Characters are built from young, am sure Children learn from beautiful stories that are narrated by a beautiful story teller 🙂


    Dear Winniethepooh,

    Thanks for the encouragement. It means a lot to me….

  10. alaaa….the story seems soo short.
    macam x cukup.
    i hope its actually longer.
    sorry emo sikit, im a fairytale freak.


    Ohhhh sorry about that. Yes, yes, the story is of course longer, but I summarised it. So sorry. I know a lot of fairytale freaks!

  11. Dear Chele,

    Wow, I envy you. I wish I had that extra time. Keep up the good work! BTW, I’m starting a small project concerning children and books. Will let you know more later.

    Tell me more, tell me more

  12. Pingback: Geschenke

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