Selina is a Mennonite girl living in Pennsylvania in the 1860s. She loves her farm delights in the spring flowers and most of all, takes pleasure in watching her grandmother piece together a quilt. Grandmother is following the Bear Paw pattern using stitches and techniques that were brought to America by the early pioneers. By making the of some once-treasured fabrics - scraps from her own wedding dress and those from Selina'a favourite baby clothes - Grandmother is able to recreate the family history in every square of the quilt.
Sadly, as the Civil War rages closer and closer, Selina's idyllic world is torn apart. Because she and her family are pacifists, they refuse to take up arms and must flee to Canada. When Grandmother decides she is too old to make the long journey, her treasured Bear Paw quilt - which is reproduced on the end pages of this book - becomes a precious link between countries and generations.