In early American times, almost every house had a patchwork quilt, sewn together from hundreds of pieces of fabric. Each quilt was unique, with different combinations of fabrics and colors and a distinct pattern. But who developed these patterns? And what did they mean? Ann Whitford Paul's fascinating text describes twenty-six different quilt patters, placing each in its historical context. From the Anvil, used to shape horseshoes and farm tools, to the Zigzag, which symbolized the lightning that streaked across the open sky, this is a creative look at a meaningful folk art tradition. Complemented by Jeanette Winter's bold art, this patchwork alphabet is the perfect way to learn about an important period in American history.