The Little Häwelmann by Karin Täuber

The Little Häwelmann

Karin Täuber

Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Artist Statement

The story of a children’s book stayed in my memory since my childhood in Germany and was the inspiration for this quilt.

A small boy called Häwelmann (meaning restless child) is wide awake. His tired mother falls asleep after pushing his bed on wheels forth and back all evening. The little boy’s impatient cries of “More, more” cannot rouse her. Annoyed he uses the light of the moon and his nightgown as a sail to drive his trundle bed out of the house, through the sleeping town, and into the woods. He asks the kitty where the animals are: “Well, they are all sleeping!” she answers loftily. So the little boy drives up in the sky scattering the stars all the while shouting: “Shine old moon, shine!” Being a mischievous child he then drives right over the moon’s nose. Angry the moon turns off his light. The soon appearing sun throws the boy into the sea where he gets rescued to spend another day full of adventure.

Theodor Storm, the celebrated German poet and novelist, wrote this story in 1849 for his son Hans.

Three important sections of the book were combined to create the scene. The depicted children are my own daughters and my nephew at age 3. The wooden crib is based on the bed my father made for my children. The cat is our own. The timber frame houses are based on buildings in Rothenburg, Germany.


Thread sketching, free motion machine applique, free motion machine quilting.


100% cotton and batik fabrics, selection of Superior thread, Mistyfuse, Quilters Dream Angel batting, Sulky Solvy, Pellon Stabilizer #40, glitter paint.

Connect with the artist