Season 2 Episode 17

How to Make a Quilt Out of Americans

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Apr 06, 2000 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
310 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A group of three elderly witches, one of them close friends of the Halliwells' grandmother, summon a demon to restore their youth. However, in return, the demon wants the powers of the Charmed Ones.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • How to Make a Quilt Out of Americans

    How to Make a Quilt Out of Americans was a perfect episode of Charmed and I really enjoyed watching because the sisters met their Aunt who took their power behind their backs in exchange for youth. There was a lot of character and plot development as the sisters dealt with this. I liked the drama and intrigue and the confusion which Piper was feeling about being a Witch. There was a lot of family connection and heritage and history in this episode which mad for very entertaining drama and intrigues. In the end the sisters succeed in their mission. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • The tedium of decisions already made...

    With the first viewing, I took this as a real downer after the ending of the Piper/Leo/Dan triangle last episode. Obviously, it is a surprising downer in that Leo isn't even in the episode.

    However, after seeing it a second time, I did find more to appreciate in the episode and rated it an entire point higher.

    Yes, Piper is very irksome here. We know she is the sister who really regrets being a witch, but this attempt to abandon her duties, and her sisters, while a demon is on the loose goes beyond the understandable frustration her character is feeling. It is frankly selfish to the point of being ridiculous. BTW, her situation with Leo and Dan has nothing to do with her being a witch. It is a bed she made without the help of magic. Anyway, if you can get over Piper's behavior this episode, then there are actually some good things to be had here. Crito is a somewhat cool demon who doesn't hesitate to turn the witches who summoned him into piles of ash (who didn't see that one coming?). Typically, it is warlocks who want the sisters' powers, not demons, but we can get over that. The best part of the show is when the sisters twice overcome Crito even though he has their powers. They actually manage to use their powers, and what Crito doesn't know about them, against him. I also love when Phoebe says, "I still have a power he doesn't," and her martial arts ability becomes a big key in vanquishing him.

    I initially was really irritated with the prolonged break up with Dan, but actually, it was a good decision by the writers to give that relationship the time it deserved. The entire break up was realistically handled, and whether I wanted to see it or not, it is a credit to the show that Dan and Piper's relationship wasn't just forgotten about. Now on to better things!moreless
  • A group of elderly women who wish to regain their youth and vitality need the power of The Charmed Ones to make it happen.

    I liked the fact that this episode was something different. There was more focus on the older generation than just on the girls and the evil that constantly surrounds them because it certainly makes it interesting when the evil is an old friend of your grandmother's who is trying to steal The Book Of Shadows!

    Aunt Gayle, and two women want to regain their youth. The would-be witches summon the demon Kryto, who promises them the return of their youth if Gayle will deliver the power of The Charmed Ones. Needless to say, he is lying to them and they start dying rather than getting younger. It's sad, however, when the girls have to face the fact that Gram's friend was using them as they can never forgive her. Not that it matters because she doesn't last long anyway.

    Certainly worth watching.moreless
  • The Charmed Ones vs....The Golden Girls?

    How To Make a Quilt Out of Americans-A group of three elderly witches, one of them close friends of the Halliwells' grandmother, summon a demon to restore their youth. However, in return, the demon wants the powers of the Charmed Ones. Phoebe: "Good witches don't freeze."

    An episode that feels as old as dirt (pun intented!), "How To Make a Ridiculous Long Title" sees the sisters' Grams' friend stop by and using them to get their powers for a demon so she and her friends could become young. While Anne Haney (Aunt Gail) gives a good performance I guess, the storyline just drags for ages and never interests. Aunt Gail outsmarted the sisters way too easy and they should have been more suspecious earlier on. Cameron Bancroft (Cryto) is a lousy villain and even when the sisters lose their powers to him his still boring. I guess it's interesting watching the sisters battling a demon without their powers and using their knowledge of their powers to outsmart him but it just doesn't come off strong on screen.

    Piper's little dilemma is the most interesting plot of the episode. It would make sense that she's had enough with being a witch since she can't even solve her issues with Leo and Dan without their being a demon attack every second. Holly really convinces with Piper's frustration over the situation and it's one she'll continue to deal with throughout the series. The big break-up scene between Piper and Dan was acutally well done and dare I say Greg Vaughan was actually given a chance to act! You kinda feel bad for Dan despite being him being devoid of any personality. So to sum it all up, Aunt Gail and her girls go dead, Cyrto goes proof, and Dan gets dumped, All and All, an episode that dies of old age before it's over!moreless
  • Three grannies use the Charmed Ones to summon a demon that "promise" them eternal youth. In the words of La Prue, don't these innocents EVER LEARN?

    A lot of people don't like this episode for some reason but I enjoyed it very much. It's one of the little enjoyable gems of season 2. The demon is encountered in a different setting and through a better developed plot other than just having the usual demon attacks innocent in alleyway, girls go hunt it down, vanquish it in house and have pizza at P3 or whatever.

    After an old friend of Grams the girls call Aunt Gail comes to the manor requesting help to stop some demon/supernatural activity in her town (apparently someone's been skinning recent graves) the girls decide to go to investigate. It's very cheesy of me, but I think it's very cute to see the Halliwells go on a little road trip and have the sisterly dynamics show through here. There is a useless plot about Phoebe and glasses but no one really cares about it.

    What the girls don't know is that Aunt Gail and her two friends have been the ones skinning the corposes in order to ressurrect the demon Cryto and gain eternal youth. She's not really a magical witch, but still practices the craft and has enough magical resources to summon him and steal the girls' powers for him. Of course it's predictable where this is going and before you know it Cryto toasts the other 2 grannies and threatens a now young Gail to get the Charmed Ones (whose powers had been stripped through some weird iced tea mix). The earlier scene where they're given the power stripping iced tea is kind of humorous since you can see how Prue doesn't buy any of it (and blocks one of the ladies from pouring more) contrasted with Aunt Gail's desperate and greedy lust for their powers and her youth.

    Another good element of this episode is the element of grayness. People often complain this show portrays people as either totally good or totally evil and this is one of those episodes where we have people in the middle. Although Aunt Gail desperately tries to strip the Charmed Ones' powers, she also seems to care about their well-being and doesn't want Cryto to hurt them. We also see her motivation for wanting eternal youth: she's old, lonely, and sick with a lot of medical bills. It didn't excuse what she had done, but by the episode's end she pays with her own life to redeem herself.

    It also shows that the Charmed Ones are more than just their powers, but also their strategic and brave wit. They were able to defeat a demon who stole their four powers (Prue had Astral Projection by this point in the series) despite being powerless. Then again, demons in this series are almost just as dumb as their innocents and for some reason are able to buy a fake freeze.

    Good episode and in my opinion highly underrated.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (20)

    • When the girls run away from Cryto at the gas station they run into an alley with an SWA Properties logo on the billboard. Phoebe worked for SWA Properties in season one "From Fear to Eternity".

    • After the girls drive up to the house after losing their powers, when Piper gets out of the car you can see her smiling even though she is not happy this entire episode.

    • TRIVIA: In the previous episode, Murphy's Luck, while Piper and Leo are flipping through the Book, the one page they pause on is the page that talks about Cryto, the demon from this episode.

    • After the girls pretend to freeze, as Phoebe kicks Cryto she tells him that good witches don't freeze. If they are trying to use what they know about their powers that he wouldn't why would she tell him something that important rather than pretending he hadn't mastered Piper's freezing power?

    • Aunt Gail looks at a photo of herself and Penny from their college days. However, young Penny bears absolutely no resembelance to the Penny shown in the episode Witchstock.

    • TRIVIA: This episode marks the official ending of Piper and Dan's nearly five month relationship.

    • TRIVIA: This episode features The Eurythmics' song 17 Again and Catatonia's song Valerian.

    • TRIVIA: This is the first episode in which Prue doesn't use her telekenesis power.

    • TRIVIA: The shirt that Piper is wearing when she sees Dan at P3 after he returns is the same shirt worn by Hannah Webber, the demon panther, in the season 1 episode The Truth Is Out There And It Hurts.

    • When Cryto kills Helen and Amanda, their shirts are laid out flat, but when Prue, Piper, and Phoebe go downstairs their clothes are in a pile.

    • TRIVIA: This is the third time that the girls lost their powers, but the second time that one of them wanted to quit being a witch.

    • Nobody was supposed to be able to take the Book of Shadows out of the house, except for the Charmed Ones. But Aunt Gail rips out a page and takes it home. Why can she do that?

    • The set used for Aunt Gail's basement is obviously the same one used for Halliwell manor.

    • Since Aunt Gail was a part of Grams' coven, why wasn't she mentioned or appeared in the episode "Witchstock"?

    • At the gas station, when Cryto supposedly freezes time the wind blows through Prue's and Piper's hair & jackets. Cryto should have noticed that they were only pretending to be frozen.

    • TRIVIA: Aunt Gail wasn't their actual aunt. She was just Grams' close friend. Grams had told Aunt Gail that the girls had powers.

    • TRIVIA: Piper breaks up with Dan, to get back together with Leo.

    • When Phoebe is asking for directions at the gas station from the two older men, her case for her glasses falls and one of the older men picks the case up and asks her if those were hers. She says no and gets into Piper's car. Then at the end of the episode, Phoebe is shown wearing the same glasses that she had on in the beginning of the episode. If she never picked the glasses up claiming they were hers, how did she have them at the end of the episode?

    • Considering that the loss of their powers was a very important problem, why didn't they call for Leo (at anytime in the episode) to help them out with his powers or to go and check with the elders?

    • In the scene at the gas station, the wires are clearly visible on the actors.

  • QUOTES (5)

  • NOTES (1)

    • International Episode Titles: Czech Republic: Zrada (Betrayal) France: Trois sorcières sans charme (Three witches without charm) Italy: L'eterna giovinezza (Eternal youth) Germany: Ewige Jugend (Eternal youth)


    • Title: How To Make A Quilt Out Of Americans

      This is a reference to the 1995 "How To Make An American Quilt", starring Winona Ryder.