Patchwork project crafted to honor Virginia Children’s Book Festival

Published 4:40 pm Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Virginia Children’s Book Festival took place in October and had a special project done to commemorate the event. After months of planning and hard work, the project is finally complete. 

The Virginia Children’s Book Festival focuses on inspiring kids to want to read and ultimately promote literacy as they become lifelong readers. The organization achieves this by giving away books at different events and hosting interactive activities to immerse the children in the stories. One of the activities had the students decorate quilt squares. 

Juanita Giles, director of the Virginia Children’s Book Festival, approached Joy Stump and Joann Goforth to create a quilt to go along with the book “Patchwork” by Matt de la Peña. In attendance for this festival was the illustrator for the book, Corinna Luyken. 

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“Patchwork” is a picture book about emotions. To go with the theme, each child colored a square inspired by something that made them happy. There were a variety of designs that included dogs, horses, sports, people and scenery but there was one theme that outdid the rest. 

“We noticed while looking at all the squares that there is a recurring theme of love and rainbows,” said Stump. “It’s really special to see it all together on the quilt.”

Virginia Children’s Book Festival


Virginia Children’s Book Festival given a gift

When putting together the quilt, Goforth chose to use the same pastel colors that were represented in the book in the order that they are introduced. For the center, she sent off a picture of the cover to be made into a large quilt square. 

There were around 68 squares decorated by the children and there were three leftover squares and the squares have the name and age of the child who decorated it. To fill out the pattern, Goforth used her embroidery skills on three extra squares. One has Virginia Book Festival 2022, another has the date of the festival and acknowledges that the children of Southside Virginia decorated it and the last has Goforth and Stump’s names with the completion date. 

“It was 100% what the kids made and we just put it together,” said Goforth. “Now the quilt will go on for others to enjoy.”

Once the quilt was finished, Goforth and Stumps presented it to the Virginia Children’s Book Festival on Friday, March 3, along with a matching pillowcase to protect it for travel. Now the quilt will be available at the Virginia Children’s Book Festival location to be viewed for years to come.