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152 books

The Quilter's Apprentice

by

3.91 rating

Comment 1: I had actually started the next in the Historical Romance series, but since this book was destined to go back to the library soon, I thought I should give it a read, and darn it if it didn’t take a day to go through. Yippy for fast good reads. Jennifer Chiaverini wrote The Quilter’s Apprentice as a gift to the quilter’s she has known. The only thing I would ask for is pictures of the patterns she talks about as chapter graphics or something. This book is best for long time quilter’s who can visu Comment 2: I liked this book. It was interesting as there is a story within the story, just as a quilt isn’t just a blanket. Not being a quilter myself, nor having ever seen anyone quilt, it was very interesting when the story went into details about certain aspects of quilting. The main characters are Sarah McClure, Sylvia Compson, Elm Creek Manor and the quilts. Sarah has left her job and hometown to follow her husband, Matt, to his new job in a small college town in eastern Pennsylvania. Sarah was feel Comment 3: The author's first novel which I prefer. This is a feel-good novel about an endearing couple moves to a town in Pennsylvania where they know nobody. Sarah tries to find a job but ends up taking a 'temp' job to help a 75 year old widow. Sarah learns how to quilt, joins the circle of quilter's and befriends the old lady who lives in a family estate manor. The old lady, Mrs. Compson, asks Sarah and her husband to live with her at Elm Creek after Sarah suggests they have an annual Quilter's Conventi

Quilting with the Muppets

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4 rating

Comment 1: I absolutely adore this book. I got it for my sixteenth birthday. While I have still not made a Muppet quilt, the real attraction of the book, to me, is the section in the back where you can see the quilts that workers at the Jim Henson Company made for their coworkers. They are so charming and inspiring, and the blocks go together so well despite the different styles. I just adore it. Comment 2: This is really two books in one. The first half is templates and instructions for making quilt blocks of the characters (like the ones on the cover). They're designed to be made with a lot of fusible backing, not my favorite method but I think they could be modified for more traditional applique (depending on the material you choose). Comment 3: I doubt I will ever use the patterns (applique and I don't mix), but I LOVE the Muppets and the gallery of Muppet quilts made by Jim Henson and Sesame Street staff over the years.

Fool's Puzzle

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3.93 rating

Comment 1: The style is smooth enough, and Benni Harper, our narrator, is sympathetic enough to have kept me reading for about 150 pages, but she acted stupidly one too many times, so that not even the resolution of the mystery or romance or Arts and Craft themes could make me keep going. I hate mysteries where some amateur detective keeps things from the police, or lies to them or hides evidence. Now, there are reasons people act this way I could buy, without marking them in my eyes as Too Stupid to Live. Some people have had bad experiences with the police that makes them wary. It could be a case where there's reason to believe the department of this small California town is corrupt. Or maybe there's reason to believe the police aren't taking the case seriously. I could even understand, even if not condone, wanting to protect someone very close to you--a best friend, child, spouse. None of those things apply here--and Benni does it again and again, in one case over a "fifth cousin" she doesn't care for and another time she doesn't hand over the computer disk belong to a murdered acquaintance because she doesn't want to embarrass him! She even hides evidence after she's been called on her behavior several times by the acting police chief, been threatened by him with jail and after delaying telling them what she found caused the loss of key evidence. Then she does it again. She removes crucial evidence she doesn't entrust to the police in the person of an acting police chief who is conscientious, smart--and with whom she has a mutual attraction. Really, the detective protagonist doesn't have to be as brave as Buffy and brilliant as Miss Marple to win my liking and respect--but I do like at least some common sense.I think we were supposed to feel sympathy for Benni acting that way because the chief was soooooo mean as to be annoyed when she does this again and again. But my sympathies were completely with Chief Gabe Ortiz--too bad Benni is a fool.

The Wedding Quilt

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3.69 rating

Comment 1: Ever since I first read The Quiter’s Apprentice I have been a big fan of the Elm Creek Quilt series. I really enjoyed the characters that Chiaverini had created and looked forward to visiting with them in each new book. Then the author detoured into other time periods and began writing about other quilters, most notably Sylvia’s cousin, Elizabeth, who moved to California during the Prohibition Era and their Civil War era ancestors, Anneka and Gerda. At first, even the books that explored other e Comment 2: I am a big fan of Chiaverini and Elm Creek. I have read all of the books, several of them twice. She has jumped back and forth in time in previous books, but I had a hard time keeping times and characters straight in this one. To her credit, she did not do what some writers do when writing about the future and that is to load it up with technology that is way out there. The advances in technology are believable and not intrusive. The story is still about quilting. It helped a bit that she tagged Comment 3: I like reading Jennifer Chiaverni's books because I like her as an author and I love quilting. As I was reading The Wedding Quilt I did enjoy the flashbacks but I would have liked to have experienced some of them in more detail. I thought that I had missed a book between this one and the previous one because some of the flashbacks she brought in were not previously read--the death of Sylvia and Gretchen for instance. I did enjoy catching up with the quilters and seeing how their lives had change

The Quilter's Legacy

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4.08 rating

Comment 1: Many years ago, I inherited an old quilt. I am not sure who made it, but after reading this book, I would love to learn its history.Sylvia Bergstrom Compson is getting married! She is a world renowned quilter and when a friend asks her which pattern she is going to use for her wedding quilt, she is ashamed to admit that she hasn't even thought about it. Then she has a brilliant idea to use one of her mother's beautiful quilts. To her deep disappointment, she learns that her estranged, deceased sister had sold them all years earlier. Sylvia feels very guilty that she wasn't around to stop this from happening and so she sets out to find the five missing quilts.This book jumps between Sylvia and her search for the quilts to an earlier time when her mother was young and making them. We learn what was going on in the world and in her personal life as she makes them. One of the stories I found most interesting was the influenza epidemic of 1918. Perhaps because we are facing a similar threat with the H1N1 virus, it was interesting to see how they dealt with this health crisis--quarantines, face masks, and feelings of helplessness.This is the fifth book in the Elm Creek Quilts series and it was one of my favorites. I recommend this book to anyone interested in family history, quilting, or a feel good story.

The Sugar Camp Quilt

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4.04 rating

Comment 1: One of the many books in the Elm Creek Quilt series by Jennifer Chiaverini, this book could actually be more of a stand alone than any of the others. The only commonality it has with the other books are that some of the characters were briefly mentioned in a story in one of the other books. Aside from that, this is a book all its own.We are first introduced to Dorothea, a young woman who lives with her Uncle and parents on her Uncle's farm. Her Uncle Jacob is a strict man and the family, while learning a great deal, has a hard time dealing with his strict rules and non-stop work. However, they hope that their son (who is studying in the East) will inherit the farm so they do their best to please the Uncle. Despite his strict rules Dorothea is able to go out once in awhile and is being courted by one man, while another openly disdains everyone in the town but intrigues her just the same.It is during this time they are staying that Uncle Jacob requests Dorothea to make him a quilt exactly to his standards. While it is an odd design and extremely difficult to make, she finishes it exactly how he wants it. It is only later upon his death do they learn the true meaning of the quilt. It is an aide for the Uncle's station on the underground railroad, and Dorothea must be prepared to fill his shoes in helping these people, despite all the danger that it causes.The writing in this is just as easy to read as all of Chiaverini's other work. With each potential book however, it seems to me that she is losing some of the detail that made me fall in love with the series at the first book. The quilts are only standardly described and no special care given to them. The characters are well developed, but after all, with the beautiful "quilted" cover of the book, one would think the insides quilts would be just as beautiful. Chiaverini certainly presents some interesting characters in this novel as well. She has a knack for presenting characters to either end up as good or bad, but leaves the reader not knowing until the end truly which type they are. But aside from this she has the standard characters that are good and you want to cheer for. Its a nice mix.I can't say I didn't like this book though. It certainly was an enjoyable read once I realized the regular characters were not going to be appearing and that the whole storyline would take place in the past. Once I got past that it had quite the adventuresome storyline for a quilting novel. It is quite the idea to speculate that quilts were widely used to help runaway slaves and it make me more appreciative that I have it as a hobby. I do wish it would have fit more nicely in with the rest of the series since it is marketed as a part, but I suppose a take off every once in awhile doesn't hurt.You don't have to read this book as part of the series since it is totally unrelated, but I recommend that you do. It is just as valuable of a work as the rest of them.The Sugar Camp QuiltCopyright 2005306 pages

Prayers for Sale

by

3.82 rating

Comment 1: This book took me a long time to read. It wasn’t a book that you would stay up all night to read to get to the next chapter. I would read a chapter here and there. After reading it I wasn’t inspired by the tragic one after the other stories about her life. I must admit that after reading the first couple chapters, I didn’t think I could finish the book. The author, Sandra Dallas, uses way too much shock value when she writes. I found it hard reading about the loss of Hennie’s family, the death o Comment 2: This is a lovely story of the friendship between an elderly woman who has spent most of her life in a Colorado mining town and a young woman who is a newcomer to the town. Set in 1936, Hennie befriends Nit, who has moved with her husband to find work in the mines. Hennie and Nit form a deep bond: both are from the South and both lost a child – Nit recently, a stillborn, and Hennie 70 years ago when her two-year old daughter was killed during the Civil War as a result of a local band of outlaws. Comment 3: This book is a current best-seller, and it's easy to see why. It is set in the Colorado mountains during the mining boom of the early 20th century (apparently loosely based on the history of Breckenridge). It's a story of friendship between an old woman, long-time resident of the town about to be forced to move out, and a young woman just arriving. The old woman has a lifetime of stories to tell - some tender and loving, some brutal and heart-rending. The young woman has her own secrets. The two

The Persian Pickle Club

by

3.77 rating

Comment 1: Very entertaining and human. The Persian Pickle Club is a quilting/sewing club in Kansas during the great drought. The members are almost all farm wives, struggling through with not very much. There is a party line, but not everyone is on it and just a few have cars. Queenie Bean is one of those fortunate enough to have a car. Her husband Grover, fixes most of the machinery on the farm and she has a pump in her kitchen, so she has water in the house and doesn't have to go to the well to draw it. The "persian pickle" is a material, also called paisley. One of the members asked her husband to get her some once and instead of getting her a length, he bought the whole bolt. All of the members have quilts with a piece of the persian pickle material. Queenie's best friend, Ruby, and her husband have lost their farm and gone to California and Queenie misses her terribly. So, when Mrs. Ritter and Agnes walk in with Mrs Ritter's new daughter-in-law, Queenie has determined they will be best friends. But Rita is very unlike the other women, she's not particularly interested in sewing or quilting and confides in Queenie that she worked in a bar when she met Tom and she wants to be a writer (she was going to school and working at night). When she and Tom married, Rita quit school because they couldn't afford for both of them to go to college. Tom graduated with a degree in engineering, but could not find a job so they came home until he could. The Persian Pickle Club all support each other, help each other out and keep the club's secrets. Then Ella's husband, who had disappeared, is found buried in a far corner of her land. The group rallies around Ella with Mrs. Judd and her husband taking her in. Rita has decided that she will find the killer for the Topeka newspaper and so get a job there. Her determination has them all worried. Ella's husband was so mean and evil nobody minds very much that he is dead, except Rita insists that justice needs to be done. One night, on their way back from helping Nettie out when her husband is ill (the doctor suspects he has polio), Queenie and Rita are waylaid on the road, but are saved when Queenie's 'hired hand' Blue Massie ventures by and flattens the man. Blue starts to leave, but Queenie is shaking so hard she can't drive and asks that he drive them to the Ritter's and she will telephone Grover from there. This makes Queenie exceedingly nervous at being left alone and doubly grateful for the people they invited to stay in their shack and help out Grover. Blue's wife, Zepha, is an interesting character - a believer in signs and omens. It was she who sent Blue out to the road to check on Queenie because she felt something was wrong. Rita is digging deeper and deeper into the business of the murder of Ella's husband and getting perilously close to a completely wrong conclusionI believe I shall have to read some more titles by this author....SPOILERS BELOWWhen she makes an accusation at a club meeting, Queenie breaks down. Rita learns, sort of, what happened and the secret the club members keep.

L'ultima fuggitiva

by

3.77 rating

Comment 1: Tracy Chevalier, best known for The Girl with a Pearl Earring which became an international best-seller and a Hollywood film, sets the seventh of her historical novels in her native America. The Last Runaway, set in the 1850’s, takes a look at the country, pre-Civil War. It deals with the legacy of slavery, and in particular what came to be known as The Underground Railway, an escape route set up to help slaves make their way to Canada. The “railway” comprised of safe houses or “depots” where ru Comment 2: Primo incontro con la Chevalier e ne sono uscita abbastanza soddisfatta. La storia raccontata è quella di una giovane quacchera, Honor, che assieme alla sorella alla fine dell'800 si reca dall'Inghilterra all'America per iniziare una nuova vita. L'ambientazione è molto bella e anche lo stile, quello che non mi ha convinto è il contesto che ho trovato alquanto anacronistico. Honor sembra una ragazza degli anni '90, non una giovane che appartiene a tutt'altra epoca e soprattutto mentalità. Troppe Comment 3: I thoroughly enjoyed this easy historical fiction. English Quaker Honor Bright's world becomes unmoored when her fiancé turns his back on her for another. She decides to accompany her sister, Grace, to America where Grace is to marry. After suffering unrelenting seasickness for the entire month of the voyage, they reach America only to have Grace contract and die from yellow fever. Alone and unsure of anything except that she is certain that she could not face another sea voyage back to England,

An Elm Creek Quilts Sampler

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4.12 rating

Comment 1: This volume contains the first three novels in the series: The Quilter's Apprentice, Round Robin, and The Cross-Country Quilters. For anyone who enjoys quilts, quilting, and cozy fiction this will make for a peaceful afternoon. As someone who has read a lot about quilting, I found Chiaverini's desciptions of the process really well done. The first novel, The Quilter's Apprentice is the set up for everything that follows. It's pretty tame, and the main character's willingness to be trod upon by others and not speak her mind will likely drive you nuts, but if you just want some quiet escapism that revolves around learning to quilt and the healing that can occur when a group of women spend time together working to achieve a common goal, then you'll likely be able to put the frustrations of how civil everyone in the novel tries to be aside.The second novel, Round Robin is a good deal more interesting. It revolves around a round robin quilt, which consists of the assembled parts constructed by different members of a quilting group. There is a very nice juxtaposition here between whatever trials and tribulations one of the characters is facing and the final form that her section assumes. The story also resolves some of the more pragmatic concerns any reader will have about the logistics of operating the business known as Elm Creek Quilters. Likewise, it tackles mother-daughter issues that permeate the series on several levels. It's predictable, but sweet.The third story, The Cross-Country Quilters, is the story of a year in the life of four women who befriend each other at Quilt Camp. Each vows to tackle and conquer some major obstacle with which she is beset. The reward for this is that she may only then complete the block for a quilt that they will assemble at Quilt Camp the following summer. Chiaverini strives for a wide demographic and hopes that her characters stand in for Everywoman and the sorts of challenges faced by 20th- and 21st-century women (e.g., uninvolved divorced spouse, abandoment, abusive fiance of young daughter, trust issues, learning to live with MS, etc.). On the down side, however, the storylines are utterly predictable and as a consequence trite. On the positive, there is a good amount of quilting knowledge being shared--as this is the one thread (sorry, couldn't resist) that connects all the stories in this series.These stories certainly provide a peaceful and uncomplicated respite from a sometimes all-too-bustling world. If, however, you enjoy fiction with a bit more bite/complexity, this may not be the series for you. I found it helpful to take a break between each novel and go read two or three other books. If I'd had to have read all 721 pages straight through I'd have found them simply too saccharine. With breaks and read in intervals, however, one can enjoy the quilting bits.

Between Heaven and Texas

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4.16 rating

Comment 1: I am a fan of Marie Bostwick's Cobbled Court Quilts series, so I made it a point to pick up Between Heaven and Texas. This book is called a prequel to the Cobbled Court Quilts books. Mary Dell, who is a colorful character in the Cobbled Court Quilts books, is a main character in this book. We learn all about Mary Dell, her family, her husband, her son and other people who are in in life. It's interesting to note that it's not necessary to read this book before the other books and it would also b Comment 2: This is an okay read if you just want to be entertained. It is a prequel to the five quilting shop books, which I enjoyed a lot more. However, it does give background on the story of Mary Dell and her son, who appear a few times in the stories, so that is interesting to have. I enjoyed it, but as I said, I thought the following stories were tighter, better tied together and deeper, to a point. It could be a stand alone book as it doesn't leave any portion of the story unfinished, unless one is r Comment 3: I almost gave up on this book, after chapter 5. I didn't care for any of the characters up to this point, and I thought the woman's, who were named after fabrics was sort of stupid. Then I decided to listen to the text to speech feature, while I was going to sleep. After that, I found the story more interesting. I had hoped for more telling of quilting in this book, but that didn't come until near the end of the book. I had read another series of books, that I really loved, about quilting, and t

The Last Runaway

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3.76 rating

Comment 1: U samo nešto malo više od 200 stranica Tracy je majstorski uspjela napisati savršen roman, sa izvrsno razrađenom radnjom i likovima. Lik mlade kvekerice Honor Bright je tako simpatičan da je nemoguće ostati ravnodušan na njenu životnu sudbinu i ne suosjećati s njom, ali i ostalim likovima i njihovim potresnim sudbinama. Ispod površine naizgled mirnih stanovnika kvekerske zajednice kriju se jako burne strasti i duboka osjećanja, a ta kombinacija mira i nemira daje poseban šarm romanu. Čitala sam Comment 2: Honor Bright is an English Quaker who has emigrated from England with her sister, Grace, who hopes to marry a former resident of her hometown. Grace, however, dies on the voyage to America and Honor arrives full of grief and confusion. Honor also had a boyfriend in England who dropped her for another young woman, a fact that devastated Honor so much she felt she had to leave the place where she would always be labeled as the gal who was “jilted” by her one and only great love. So the goal is for Comment 3: A Quaker girl from England landed up in Faithwell, Ohio, 1850, right in the middle of the Underground Railroad's path. Heartsick and homesick, Honor Haymaker struggled to wrap her mind around the slavery laws of America and the way it was applied in the northern states. Milking cows, sewing quilts, making hay, bottling the bounty of summer for the harsh uncompromising winters, tapping maple trees for syrup, making cheese, obeying her mother-in-law, and being a good wife, drained her from everyth

A Thread of Truth

by

3.99 rating

Comment 1: There is so much truth in this book that it should almost be called nonfiction. The story of Ivy and the abuse that she experienced at the hands of her vindictive, violent husband, while trying to protect herself and her children, is spot on. It is exactly what happens, and fortunately in this story, Ivy has a group of friends to help her, even though at first she doesn't want their help. It becomes a wonderful story of friendship and the power of women to help each other and make all their live Comment 2: At twenty-seven, having fled an abusive marriage with little more than her kids and the clothes on her back, Ivy Peterman figures she has nowhere to go but up. Quaint, historic New Bern, Connecticut, seems as good a place as any to start fresh. With a part-time job at the Cobbled Court Quilt Shop and budding friendships, Ivy feels hopeful for the first time in ages. But when a popular quilting TV show is taped at the quilt shop, Ivy's unwitting appearance in an on-air promo alerts her ex-husband Comment 3: This author has done it again for me, she has made her characters seem like friends of mine. I enjoy reading this author. Her writing has a warm, cozy feel to it. The stories center around a Quilt Shop in New Bern, Connecticut. The minior theme in this book is domestic violence. It was great how the friends welcomed a new person into their protective circle. I enjoy that this author allows the male characters to be gentlemen. Reading this book was like visiting an old friend. I look forward to r

How to Make an American Quilt

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3.57 rating

Comment 1: Some have compared/may class this with Bridges of Madison County to some degree and while the "mush" factor is present there is SO much more to it -- and I loved the quilt theme -- like life, bits and pieces joined and changed and growing into a unique whole. I also loved the relationships of the women -- sisters, grandparent, parent and child, friends, rivals, the whole gamut. July 2010 - this has not lost it's oomph since I read it last. I think it is a keeper in the sense that it offers new "ah-ha's" on each return visit. I'm adding some rather lengthy quotes here this time through. I MUST also amend the "mush" factor comment earlier as I found it far less obviously present than my original statement might imply. I also discovered a much wider, deeper range of topicality than I recalled form my previous reading of this book. The range of ages of the characters allows for a broad swath of history to figure in the scenarios of their lives as presented in conjunction with the quilting themes. Very well done. This definitely retains its high marks in my opinion.First: pg.5Then Sam asked me to marry him.It seemed to me a good idea.Yet it somehow led me back to my educational concern, which was how to mesh halves into a whole, only in this case it was how to make a successful link of unmarried to married, man to woman, the merging of the roads before us. When Heathcliff ran away from Wuthering Heights, he left Cathy wild and howling on the moors, I am Heathcliff, as if their love were so powerful, their souls so seamlessly mated, that no division existed for them, save the corporeal (though I tend to believe they got "together" at least once), which is of little cocnsequence in the presence of the spirit.All of which leaves me wondering, astonished, and a little put off. How does one accomplish such a fusion of selves? And, if the affection is that strong, how does one avoid it, leaving a little room for the person you once were? the balance of marriage, the delicate, gentle shifting of the polished scales.Let me say that I like Sam tremendously. I love him truly.Second: pg.11 There is the Civil War, which is a conflict of the blood tie. No one fights dirtier or more brutally than blood; only family knows its own weakness, the exact placement of the heart. The tragedy is that one can still love with the force of hatred. Feel infuriated that once you are born to another, that kinship lasts thorugh life and death, immutable, unchanging, no matter how great the misdeed or betrayal. Blood cannot be denied, and perhaps that is why we fight tooth and claw, because we cannot, being only human, put asunder what God has joined together.Third: pg.12You want to keep these things in mind: history and family. How they are often inseparable. In the twentieth century you may feel that all those things that went on before have little to do with you, that you are made immune to the past by the present day: All those dead people and conflicts and ideas - why, they are only stories we tell one another. History and politics and conflict and rebellion and family and betrayal.Think about it.Fourth: pg.13Anna said, "This house is a strange house, haunted, I think it could be said. But it is an odd haunting, not as if something extra were here as much as something missing; not a void, only the powerful absence of a thing lost."Fifth: p.38Contemplate crumpling the paper pattern of the pictorial quilt. A pattern by its very nature, should repeat. It is your nature as well. To do as your mother did. As much as you hate it, as much as it grieves you.Sixth: p.39 Follow your parents' footsteps. This is what quilting is about: something handed down - skill, the work itself. Hold it in your hand. dondle it. Know in your heart that you long to rebel; look for ways in which you are different from your mother; know that you see her in yourself at your worst times. Laugh as you contemplate the concept of free will, individuality.Seventh: p.40 Once you love, you cannot take it back, cannot undo it; what you felet may have changed, shifted sl ightly, yet still remains love. You still feel -- though very small -- the not-altogether unpleasant shock of soul recognition for that person. To your dismay. To your embarrassment. This, you keep to yourself.Eighth: p.50 One more thing about partings; no two are alike.Ninth: p.89...you've reached the point in your life (oh, too long ago to remember) where you are too angry for "polite" conversation; you don't want to nurture or have your hand held in sympathy; why you even surprised yourself with wanting to rip the world from its axis. you want it to stop rotating one more frustrating day. And you suppose all this makes you not quite a woman and certainly not a man, but a complete outsider. And there you are.Tenth: p.107Waiting. The worst dream of the night, when you are parted from someone you love and do not know exactly where he is but you know he is in the presence of danger. you are suspended in a state of ignorance and worry and fear. It can tear you aprt like the razor teeth of a sudden beast. You are tormented by a desire to keep the one you love safe. But he may be in a far-off land, fighting a good war like Wolrd War II or an undeclared war like the Vietnam War. It makes no difference to you; these conflicts call forth men you have given birth to, men you have married, men who have fathered you. The men fight. The women wait. It takes the patience of Job.Eleventh: p.109,110The newest quilt is the Names Quilt, representing those Americans who have died youthful deaths from an incurable disease. This quilt is eclectic in its beauty (consider that America is the great melting pot and no two deceased are alike), staggering in its implication of waste. It covers nine acres and bears nine thousand names. Say it slowly: nin thousand. .... the quilt weighs tons. Cloth, thread, appliques individually weigh next to nothing but combined, bearing nine thousand patches, it is a heavy burden. It has the capacity to crush, It originally began as a 3X6-foot patch. Wonder at and decry its weight gain and growth; insist that it should have been stopped at, say thirty pounds. Express outrage that it ever grew to one hundred pounds. Be grief-stricken that it represents only 20 percent of htose deceased, does not even begin to measure those aflicted. It is a waiting disease. But all this may be too sad to contemplate if you are a beginner.Twelfth: p.127A Guyanese story says of black slaves that the only way they can be delivered from "massa's clutch" is to see the extra brightness of the moon in their lives. The darkness will always be ethere, but they can use the light of the moon as hope. The light of the moon. the dancing buffalo gal with the hole in her stocking.One can survive without liberation but one cannot live without freedom. You know it is essential to find one's freedom.Thirteenth: p.163Fusion, union, grafting, joining, sex, friendship, love; the difficult combination of disparate elements.Fourteenth: p.176 The quilters accepted Anna and Marianna, and no one ever made the mistake of saying, "We don't even notice color; they are just liek us." It was this recognition of thier differences that allowed the group to survive, not pretending to transcend them. The impulse to unify and separate, rend and join, is powerful and constant.Applicable to quilting and life?

Mariner's Compass

by

4.03 rating

Comment 1: Benni hat geerbt - und keine Ahnung, wer dieser mysteriöse Jacob Chandler ist, der ihr einfach so sein Haus und sein ganzes Hab und Gut vermacht hat. Sein Haus in Marino Bay, nur wenige Kilometer von San Celina entfernt, scheint viel wert zu sein, doch die Erbschaft ist mit einer Bedingung verknüpft: Benni erbt nur, wenn sie zwei Wochen in diesem Haus verbringt - allein.Natürlich ist klar, dass Gabe diese Bedingung überhaupt nicht schmeckt und er möchte, dass Benni verzichtet. Sollte sie das aber tun, erbt alles die Regierung, da es außer einer verloren gegangenen Schwester keine Verwandten mehr gibt. Benni lässt sich darauf ein und muss bald feststellen, dass diese Erbschaft sie auf eine Reise in die Vergangenheit ihrer eigenen Familie führt..Währenddessen tobt in San Celina ein kleiner Bürgeraufstand, da der neue Bürgermeister das Heimatmuseum der Senioren schließen lassen will, weil es nicht lukrativ genug ist und es deshalb in ein Hotel umgebaut werden soll. Natürlich gehen die Bürger auf die Barikaden - allen voran Bennis Großmutter Dove, die mit 11 weiteren Senioren das Haus besetzt und in Streik tritt. Das sorgt für viel Wirbel in der Öffentlichkeit - vor allem, da einer der Hausbesetzer die Mutter des Bürgermeisters ist..Dieses Buch ist das bisher persönlichste Abenteuer für Benni, denn natürlich lässt sie die geheimnisvolle Erbschaft nicht einfach so auf sich beruhen. Nein, Benni Harper recherchiert wieder! Wer war dieser mysteriöse Jacob Chandler? Und warum ist sie die Erbin? Warum soll sie 14 Tage allein in seinem Haus verbringen?Benni recherchiert und so beginnt eine Reise in die Vergangenheit ihrer Familie, die nicht nur Benni aufgewühlt hat, sondern auch mich als Leser. Man kann das Buch kaum noch aus der Hand legen, weil man erfahren möchte, was es mit der Erbschaft auf sich hat.Aber auch die Nebenhandlung ist amüsant, denn Dove ist eben Dove und man muss die eigenwillige Großmutter von Benni einfach lieben, wie sie immer wieder das Leben ihrer Lieben auf den Kopf stellt.Für mich ist dieses Buch bisher der beste Band der Reihe gewesen - einfach weil man sehr viel über Bennis Familie erfährt und man sich schon bald fragt: Todesfall oder Mord?Wie immer war der Unterhaltungswert sehr hoch und es hat viel Freude bereitet, wieder bei Benni und ihrem Mann Gabe hereinzuschauen und an deren Leben teilzuhaben. Ich freue mich schon auf Band 7 und kann nur wiederholen, dass diese Reihe einfach großartig ist und auch mit Band 6 seinen Reiz nicht verloren hat. Von mir gibt es die volle Punktzahl!

The Aloha Quilt

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3.83 rating

Comment 1: We follow the Elm Creek Quilter, Bonnie Markham, as she ventures to Maui to help her college roommate, Claire, start The Aloha Quilt Camp in a bed and breakfast she has renovated. Bonnie’s life is in flux. Her children are out of the house, she is going through a bitter divorce, she has sold the condo she lived in with her family and her quilt shop was closed after it was vandalized. She makes new friends and finds new adventures as the months in Hawaii fly by. When she leaves, she does so with Comment 2: I enjoyed this book - set in Hawaii. A little too much talk about Hawaiian quilting for my taste. What I can see is that Chiaverini is trying to expand her base and talk about different characters. She introduced a whole new set of characters in this book while definitely linking to the regulars - and the ending makes likely the possibility that she can go further with the new characters as well. I also see that she has a new series coming out - first book due out in the next month or so. Will b Comment 3: Another season of Elm Creek Quilt Camp has come to a close, and Bonnie Markham faces a bleak and lonely winter ahead, with her quilt shop out of business and her divorce looming. A welcome escape comes when Claire, a beloved college friend, unexpectedly invites her to Maui to help launch an exciting new business: a quilter's retreat set at a bed and breakfast amid the vibrant colours and balmy breezes of the Hawaiian Islands. Soon Bonnie finds herself looking out on sparkling waters and banyan t

A Patchwork of Poison

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3.68 rating

Comment 1: This is a delightful story which includes many of my favourite things - patchwork and quilting, family history, botany and a murder mystery. I've done all of them except murder! Bronwen, a quilt artist, is giving a lecture when a young girl, Cat, brings her a quilt which belonged to her great, great grandma. She wants to sell it and use the proceeds to leave home. Bron and Cat together start to research the family and to remove the hexagonal papers over which the quilt is formed. These are re-us Comment 2: What my friend would call 'an airport read', I nevertheless enjoyed this book. With just over 200 pages and a mystery to keep the pages turning, I read it in almost one sitting. Cat, short for Caitlin, wants to sell a family quilt and we learn of the making of the quilt and the present day detective work.

The Last Runaway

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3.77 rating

Comment 1: Honor Bright, an English Quaker, travels to America with her sister, who is to marry a storekeeper in Ohio. Shortly, after landing in Philadelphia, her sister becomes ill and dies. Although her sister���s fianc�� offers her shelter along with his brother���s widow, she finds the arrangement uncomfortable and marries Jack Haymaker, a neighbor who owns a farm where his mother and sister also live. Soon she finds herself drawn into the clandestine activities of the Underground Railroad, a network h Comment 2: L’argomento sarebbe anche stato interessante, ovvero un pezzo di storia americana, attorno al 1850, narrata da una quacchera, giunta da poco nel nuovo paese dall’Inghilterra, che, come i suoi correligionari in generale, è contraria alla schiavitù e si adopera per favorire la fuga delle persone di colore verso il Canada, scontrandosi per questo motivo sia con la legge, sia con la famiglia del marito. Tuttavia, il tenore della narrazione è piuttosto inconsistente, ripetitivo, monotono, superficial Comment 3: Honor Bright has moved to the US from England with her sister during the 1850's. Her sister was travelling to join her fiancée and persuaded Honor to travel with her. Honor agreed because her own fiancée met another woman in England and left his Quaker religion to be with her. Honors sister dies soon after arriving and Honor is alone in a new country without her sister's support. She stops in a small town in Ohio on her way to join Adam, her sister's fiancée. She spends some time with Belle, a w

The Union Quilters

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3.8 rating

Comment 1: Right away The Union Quilters struck me as more of a stand alone historical fiction novel then an Elm Creek Quilts novel. Since I love historical fiction this is just fine (and lovely, and perfect) by me! If anything I would compare this book to The Sugar Camp Quilt by Chiaverini (hands down my favourite book in the series) as it wasn’t quite as light as the other Elm Creek Quilts books. The actual quilting theme was secondary in this novel and I found that the story really was focused upon the Comment 2: I listened to the talking book from the New Mexico Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. I'm so blessed by this program. I've always enjoyed books by this author and was delighted by this one as well. The characters are rich and aptly depicted. The history lesson was excellent. It is set during the Civil War. As I listened my husband often remarked how realistic this was. The center of the story is the ladies of the sewing circle and their families and friends. As always I look forwa Comment 3: I found this to be Chiaverini's best work yet. The language that she uses takes you right back in time and her description is so exact that you see everything trough the characters' eyes. Completely reminiscent of Gone with the Wind. This book is a part of a long series but I believe that it is the one that is able to stand alone most. I almost wish that this was her first book in the series. If you are reading this as the next book in the series, then this book will fill in all those blanks tha

The Quiltmaker's Gift

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4.47 rating

Comment 1: This is a story of the victory of selflessness over greed and the power of generosity in transforming people’s hearts. The quilt maker is an old woman who lives at the top of the mountain. She makes quilts unlike any the world has seen. At night she goes down to the city and gives away her quilts to poor or homeless people. There is also a powerful and greedy king in the story, who loves getting presents. He owns a lot of things, but he is never happy. He is still looking for that one thing that would make him happy. One day he hears about the quilt maker and wants her to make him a quilt. Her condition is for him to make presents of everything he owns. For each thing he gives away, she will add another piece to the quilt. After a lot of hesitation and angry outbursts, the king finally agrees. He ends up traveling around the world, giving away his possessions and making people happy. Finally, he is in rags himself from all the traveling. The quilt maker finds him already happy and content and gives him his beautiful new quilt. They remain lifelong friends. She continues making quilts, and the king distributes them at night to the poor and downhearted. He has finally discovered the one thing that makes him happy, which is giving something away.This book belongs to traditional literature genre of legends and folktales. It was written in 1999, but it reads like an old folktale. It has a story-telling pattern, rich language and elements of magic and fantasy. Its characters are evocative of old legends. The narrative also has a clear didactic purpose, with the moral of the story being that material things don’t make us happy – people do; also, that it is better to give than to receive.The book is appropriate as an interactive read-aloud for grades K-2. Every page has a visual clue in the form of a quilt square whose symbolism is related to the passage. The names and pictures of all the featured squares are on the inside covers of the book. Children can examine them and explore the connection between the design and meaning of the square and how it fits into the narrative. Educational concepts to teach with this book include retelling (ELA 0.1.7.7), story elements, characters, main events (ELA 1.1.3.3), predicting, summarizing and determining the moral of the story (ELA 2.1.2.2). Students can create charts and graphic organizers to compare and contrast the king’s character at the beginning and the end of the story.Possible topics for discussion (evaluation) include gift giving and receiving (suitable around the time of holidays), charity, generosity vs. greed, and whether material things alone can make us happy.A great way to integrate this book with arts is to make a class quilt. Students can draw their own quilt squares that tell a certain story (about themselves/their family.) Individual quilt squares can be glued to a big poster. This activity is suitable at the beginning of the school year as a way to build community in the classroom.

Apart at The Seams

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4.07 rating

Comment 1: This is part of a series about a quilting shop and the friends in a quilting circle. The circle gets a new member and this book details her integration into the group. Gayla just found out her husband wanted a divorce via finding an I sent email by accident. She runs away to their house in Connecticut from NYC. She decides to take a so-called sabbatical to decide what she now wants to do with her life and try all the things she never had time to. When she explains the sabbatical to her new frien Comment 2: This is the second book of Marie's "A Cobbled Court Quilts Novel" series that I have read. I love how these stories revolve around a small New England town and it's quilt shop. The themes for this story included a midlife marriage on course for a divorce, an abusive husband returning, the adventurous celebration of an 85th birthday, and as always in Marie's books, the support and true friendship between women of different ages and backgrounds. The characters easily become your friends as you rea Comment 3: In New Bern, Connecticut there's a shop called the Cobbled Court Quilt Shop. Evelyn Dixon owns it. Ivy Peterman works there. So does Virginia, Evelyn's Mom. On Friday nights Evelyn, Ivy, Virginia and a few other women meet to supposedly sew quilts. Oh, they actually do some quilting but mostly, they help to solve one another's problems and cheer one another on. It is a quilting circle but really, it's more of a friend circle and they are about to make a new friend. Gayla Oliver is a college coun

The Quilt Story

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4.05 rating

Comment 1: I love almost anything illustrated by Tomie dePaola and so was surprised when I opened a box of books I'd tucked away for some years, only to find I owned one I'd never even read before. It was rather like Christmas. After reading this, I'm even more shocked I never did before because this would have been right up my alley as a kid. I loved anything to do with history and a book about a quilt as it moves through its 'life' would have been perfect. This is literally The Quilt Story, the story of the making, using, setting aside, and rediscovery of a family quilt. You watch two girls and a few animals gain much from having this quilt in their lives; it really shows how something made can endure through time and beyond people. My particular favorite parts were the two pictures, one that began the story and the other that ended the story. The first showed a newly made quilt, beautiful in its elegant work and vibrant colors. The second showed the quilt at the book's end. Pieces had been replaced, many of the colors were faded, and there were stains dotting the fabric; it was beautiful, perhaps more beautiful as its being well used and well loved is clearly written upon it. The illustrations were amazing, as they always are with dePaola. They are elegant in their simplicity and work well to tell the story beyond the text. A lovely book for a mother and daughter to share together, this is also a wonderful story about how much a quilt or other item made for a family member can pass down and touch multiple generations.

Wedding Ring

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4.1 rating

Comment 1: After chapter 1 I was not sure I wanted to carry on, as it didn't immediately grip me. However, not being a quitter with books, I decided to press on. By the end of Chapter 2 I had fallen into this book with a resounding thump and had to ask myself why on earth I had thought I would not enjoy it. This is about Helen, Nancy and Tessa. Three generations of women, bound by blood, but with little else in common - or so they thought. Nancy and Tessa, mother and daughter, find themselves thrown together when they spend the summer with Helen, Nancy's mother and Tessa's grandmother, in order to help clean up her old farmhouse home. They start off tentatively - just tolerating each other, but as the story unravels, the relationships between them are explored and they slowly become more accepting of each other and realise that they do actually have a lot in common. The side relationships between Nancy and Billy, and Tessa and Mack, are interesting and thought provoking - particularly Tessa, who lost a child and is trying to come to terms with it. Of course, the 'thread' holding this story together, is the art of quilting. Helen is a master at her craft and reading about American Quilting certainly got my interest, and almost made me want to take up quilting myself! Highly recommended, and if you have not read Emilie Richards before I urge you to start doing so.

Lover's Knot

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4.06 rating

Comment 1: I really enjoyed this book, as much as the previous two in the Shenandoah Album Series, Sister's Choice and Touching Stars. Lover's Knot has some of the previous characters. However Issac and Kendra's story was so interesting that I did not miss former characters that did not make it into this book. Thought the similar lives of Issac and Caleb made for a good healing technique for both of them. Emilie Richards includes flashbacks that help readers who did not read the first two get caught up., If you are an animal lover, the descriptions of the cat Ten and the Dog Dusty Rug will capture your heart. Comment 2: This book is the third book in a series, but it does stand alone. I really liked the story and loved the background story about the Applachians and how they were forced to give up their land in the 1930's for Shenandoah national park. I believe it's the first "eminent domain" case in the U.S. The title is misleading, it's not a romance novel, it's in reference to quilting, in which Kendra, the main character, is trying to find the origin of a quilt that was inherited by her husband's grandmother. That said, I would probably not recommend it for most men, it still is more aimed for women.

Touching Stars

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3.97 rating

Gayle Fortman has built a good life for herself and her three sons as an innkeeper in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. She has even maintained a cordial relationship with her ex, charismatic broadcast journalist Eric Fortman, covering with the boys for his absences and broken promises. Luckily Travis Allen, her closest neighbor, has been a loving surrogate father to the boys and her own best friend. Then, on the eve of oldest son Jared's graduation, Eric returns, having nearly lost his life in Afghanistan. Worse, he has lost his way and his courage, and needs a place to recover. Gayle realizes this might be the last chance for her sons to establish a real bond with their father, and offers him a summer at the inn and a chance to put things right. Gayle and Eric are all too aware that their onetime love and attraction are still there. But can the pieces of their broken lives be mended, or are they better laid to rest?

Kansas Troubles

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3.98 rating

Comment 1: Nach der überraschenden Hochzeit von Benni und Gabe zum Ende des zweiten Teils in Vegas, machen die beiden nun Urlaub in Kansas um die Familie und Freunde von Gabe zu besuchen. Benni ist natürlich entsprechend aufgeregt, da sie weder ihre Schwiegermutter noch ihre beiden Schwägerinnen kennt. Überhaupt weiß sie von ihrem frisch angetrauten Ehemann eigentlich herzlich wenig. Während Benni und Gabe nach Kansas fliegen, machen ihre Großmutter Dove, ihr Vater und ihr Onkel Travis eine Art Roadtrip do Comment 2: Wow! Fowler had become SUCH a better writer by this 3rd book in her Benni Harper mystery series. Characters more solid. Writing much crisper and more descriptive. Exciting plot on both interpersonal and crime levels. Since I have family in Kansas I really enjoyed the setting. The Vietnam War effect on vets is a well done subplot thread. And I've not even mentioned the Amish angle nor her now established theme of quilting and quilt patterns in the stories' structures. Looking forward to reading m Comment 3: This was my first Benni Harper, recommended by the librarian. In retrospect, I would recommend reading them in order. But by the end of the book, I definitely wanted to know more about these characters. I read all fifteen books in the series in two months. This particular book was fun for me because I am from Kansas. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and the story line kept me guessing until the end. Earlene Fowler has rapidly become one of my favorite authors.

Leaving Gee's Bend

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3.98 rating

Comment 1: Great book, but I'm shelving it for now for my 9 year old. She's a pretty sensitive kid and it's pretty graphic in it's descriptions of several events. That said, once she's a little older, there are so many interesting discussions that will spring for this- contrasting the lifestyles of the sharecroppers of Gee's Bend versus the residents of Camden, their belief systems for explaining the things they don't understand, the treatment of the sharecroppers by those that have power over them. I'm lo Comment 2: I read this book because I saw the exhibit of the quilts made by the women of Gee's Bend at the Art Museum in Houston, TX. According to Wikipedia, Gee's Bend is a "poverty-stricken African-American community in a large bend of the Alabama River in Wilcox County, Alabama." The women of the community have been recycling fabric into quilts for generations. When an item of clothing was too worn to wear, it was cut up to be reused. They made those quilts from whatever they had, and they had very litt Comment 3: A young girl learning very adult lessons, you'll fall in love with Ludelphia. As her name suggest, she has very rural beginnings. Living in the small Alabama town that is accessible to the next town only by ferry, Ludelphia armed with materials for a quilt, leaves town for the next one, Camden to get aaid for her dying mother. You'll love her dialect and Pollyannish outlook. This is one young adult novel you can read to your child, with her child, or have your child read to you.If you're like me

The Goodbye Quilt

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3.57 rating

Comment 1: Sweet and a story appropriate to a woman facing an empty nest and what to do with her life after kids leave home. The story is of a road trip the Mom and her daughter make cross country to take the daughter to college. About the mother needing to let go and allow her daughter to make her own decisions, including ones about the boyfriend left behind. Then the mother needs to make decisions about who and what she will be/do once she returns home. She works on a quilt on the long drive and guess wh Comment 2: THis describes what every mother encounters as she is left empty nested as her child leaves for college. In "The Goodbye Quilt" Linda Davis's local fabric shop is a place where women gather to share their quilt creations from wedding quilts, baby quilts, memorial quilts, each bound tight with dreams, hopes and yearnings. As Linda and her daughter Molly drive cross-country to get Molly settled at college, Linda must deal with the trial and tribulations of "empty nesting" as she stitches the memor Comment 3: Not particularly well written...somewhat contrived and anti-climatic...but I really appreciated the story line...what happens to a woman who is no longer a Mom after spending 18 years and doing a good job and the child has successfully left the nest...who is she now..."herself" is not who she was 18 years prior, but who has she become and how does she go on... with what new definition of "herself"...there were no real answers, but it continued a conversation in my mind...with some new insights..

The Lover's Knot

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3.63 rating

Comment 1: In "The Lover’s Knot," Clare O’Donohue takes the reader on a follow-the-clues journey that puts the reader squarely in the thought process of Nell, a career woman with a wavering fiancé. Nell’s stay with her grandmother in a small New York town is interrupted when the town’s bad boy is found stabbed to death with scissors in her grandmother’s quilt shop. Nell discovers parts of herself – cooking skills, quilting, and true feelings for the fiancé – while racing the town police to solve the myster Comment 2: This is a light and easy read about a young woman who must learn to identify when something (or someone) is worth the effort and when it (or he/she) isn’t. What I enjoyed most about this book is that it avoids the cliché characters found in many cozy mystery series. Character development is undoubtedly the author’s strong suit. Even the proverbial bad guy’s personality is fully refined. The cast of characters have very real personalities, which drew me into the story. It’s a story of friendship Comment 3: After Nell gets dumped by her fiancé she heads to her grandmother’s rural home. Nell’s grandmother owns a quilting shop and after a murder occurs there, Nell plays a modern Nancy Drew on the hunt for the killer. This book goes by fast which is good, since I knew the killer from the start (and I am not the brightest). I felt this book was formulaic and that I had read similar books, but without the added quilting twist. I would recommend this for people who are crafty and looking for a quick read

A Drunkard's Path

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3.73 rating

Comment 1: My baseline review for a mystery is 3 stars. I read them in between heavier books to clear my head. I have been hooked on Clare O'Donohue for a little while now. In this Someday Quilts series, the protagonist is Nell Fitzgerald. She lives with her grandmother in Archers Rest, New York as she gets her life back together after being dumped by her fiancé. In this second book in the series, Nell has since befriended her grandmother's quilting circle and both started quilting on her own and taking ar Comment 2: i thought her first mystery was pretty good and i liked the characters, so i gave this one a try. i didn't like it nearly as much. the pulls in two different directions didn't keep me interested, it just made me frustrated and confused to where she was going. the ending ended up being really convenient. and the story is not really believable. i mean, how many murders can one teeny tiny little town see? the first was good, this one was 'meh', and i won't be reading more if she comes out with any. Comment 3: I didn't care for this volume of the series. There was too much discord - Nell was squabbling with her grandmother, with Jesse and in general seemed out of sorts for such a normally likeable character. Nell's grandmother Eleanor is spending a lot of time with famed artist, Oliver White; a strange and mysterious young girl Kennette insinuates herself into their lives and two dead bodies of young women are found near Eleanor's home. Of course all these threads are interconnected and all is resolve

Arkansas Traveler

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3.97 rating

Comment 1: Benni Harper und ihr Mann, der Polizeichef Gabe Ortiz, machen Urlaub in Sugartree, einer Kleinstadt in Arkanas und Heimatstadt ihrer Grandma Dove. Zusammen mit ihrer besten Freundin Elvia Aragon fliegt sie dorthin, während Gabe nachkommt und Grandma Dove mit ihrem Freund Isaac bereits dort ist. Benni verbindet mit Sugartree schöne Kindheitserlebnisse und hat noch viele Freunde dort. Ihr Cousin Emory ist hier aufgewachsen und freut sich schon sehr, seiner Familie seine Freundin Elvia vorzustellen. Benni dagegen freut sich, ihre Jugendfreundin Amen wiederzusehen, die gerade als erste farbige Frau für das Amt des Bürgermeisters kandidiert. Das alleine ist schon Zündstoff. Doch zugleich versuchen die beiden Kirchen von Sugartree zu fusionieren, da keine von beiden alleine finanziell überleben kann. Dass die eine von der farbigen Bevölkerung besucht wird und die andere überwiegend weiße Anhänger hat, macht die Angelenheit brisant.Obwohl oberflächlich alle Bewohner friedlich miteinander umgehen, entdeckt Benni bald Risse in der Fassade. Besonders die rassistischen Attacken des jungen und verwöhnten Toby Hunter schüren den Hass. Sein Vater ist der momentane Bürgermeister und Gegenkandidat von Amen. Er fährt mit Freunden durch die Gegend und bedroht und beschimpft Farbige als "Nigger". Als er öffentlich Amens Großmutter beleidigt und am nächsten Morgen mit eingeschlagenen Schädel auf der Landstraße gefunden wird, schießt sich die Polizeit auf Amens Neffen Quinton als Täter ein. Als Benni, Gabe und Elvia am nächsten Tag öffentlich von Tobys Freunden beleidigt und bedroht werden und die herbeigerufene Polizei nicht die Übeltäter sondern Gabe festnehmen wollen, wird Benni erst bewusst, wie schlimm die Lage in dem kleinen Städtchen wirklich ist. Die Polizei scheint korrupt und damit zufrieden, Quinton als Täter festzunageln. Aber Benni wäre nicht Benni, wenn sie trotz der hochexplosiven Lage nicht selbst recherchieren würde. Bald schon wird ihr klar, dass die Rassentrennung offiziell zwar in den 60er Jahren aufgehoben wurde, doch in den Herzen der Menschen noch immer weiter existiert..Ein sehr emotionaler Benni Roman, der mich nachdenklich gestimmt und traurig gemacht hat. Benni liebte die Zeit, die sie als Kind und Teenager in der Heimatstadt ihrer Großmutter verbracht hat. Sie verbindet sie mit schönen Erlebnissen und hat, so dachte sie, viele Freunde zurückgelassen. Doch oftmals trügt der Schein und nicht jeder ist das, was er zu sein vorgibt. Bei näherem Hinsehen und Hinhören wird Benni klar, dass sie sich in so manchem getäuscht hat. Der Rassenkonflikt ist noch immer allgegenwärtig und damit kann Benni nichts anfangen. Ihr Mann und ihre beste Freundin sind Hispanos und sie kann nicht verstehen, wie Menschen in der heutigen Zeit solche Vorurteile haben können. In Sugartree scheinen die Uhren langsamer zu gehen.Der Mord selbst scheint niemanden so wirklich nahe zu gehen, was nicht verwundert, da man Toby Hunter als wirkliches Scheusal erlebt. Auch seinem Vater scheint die Kandidatur wichtiger zu sein, als der Tod des Sohnes. Es sind die Hintergrundgeschichten, die dieses Buch ausmachen. Da sind die Schwestern Dove und Garnet; Bennis Oma und Großtante, die sich hitzige Wortgefechte und ständige Wettkämpfe liefern. Wer kann besser kochen und backen oder wer die meisten Spenden für den Wahlkampf sammeln. Ich musste manches Mal schmunzeln über die armen Männer. Während Garnets Mann WW die Wettkämpfe gutmütig erträgt und weiß, wie man sich neutral raushält, ist der arme Isaac oftmals in der Schusslinie und gerät zwischen die Fronten.Dann ist da noch die Beziehung zwischen Elvia und Emory, die man schon aus den vorherigen Büchern kennt. Hier hat Emory endlich Elvias Liebe errungen, doch die unterschwelligen rassistischen Beleidigungen von manchen Leuten aus Sugartree gegenüber Elvia sind eine schlimme Belastung für das junge Glück und bald schon ist unklar ob die Beziehung das überlebt.Das Buch ist ein bittersüßes Highlight der Benni Harper Reihe und regt viel zum Nachdenken an. Mir hat er bisher am besten gefallen von allen Büchern und ich bin neugierig, wie es in den nächsten Bänden weitergeht mit Benni, Gabe & Co.

Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad

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3.42 rating

Comment 1: This book is a fascinating look at some of the codes embedded in quilts used by slaves to transmit messages about escaping. At the center of the book is a set of directions for escaping set in code revealed to one of the authors by a black quilter from South Carolina. Conveying the directions included displaying certain quilts as well as the meaning of certain quilt patterns. The authors explore the meanings the quilter revealed to them as well as connections with other known information, examination of quilt designs, and African art. This book was particularly poignant for me as I am from Charleston, SC and have visited many, many times, the downtown market where the author met the quilter. The authors also mention the Ile de Goree in Senegal as one of the most notorious departure places for slaves to the Carolinas. I studied in Senegal in college and visited the island. I will never get out of my head the view at the back of one of the grand houses--a doorway leading straight out on the sea where slaves were loaded onto boats. This book helped me come to terms a little more with the history of the place where I grew up as I learned about the tenacity of blacks and freedom efforts, something I was not taught in schools or historical sites.One of the best ways slaves could communicate was to hide signs and symbols right out in the open. They would put quilts out of their windows to air that were actually messages. When drums were banned, blacksmiths would pound out messages on anvils. Mistresses would pass off slave quilts as sewn messily when they actually contained topographical maps of the plantation. The tied quilt was started by slaves, and the authors think the ties, often in a grid like pattern, actually stood for five to ten mile distances. There is also a long tradition in Africa of memory device sculptures in cultures that depended on oral tradition for their history.The one weakness of the book is that most of it is conjecture. Nearly all of the meanings and codes themselves have been lost because people have kept them so secret. Descendants of slaves often told the authors they remembered their elders telling them secrets and then instilling in them the importance of concealment. Most now are left only with the feeling of secrecy and have forgotten the secrets. Some of the conjectures seemed more believable than others. I also often wanted them to go deeper in connecting the dots between African art and African American quilts. However, I took away a renewed appreciation for the powerful potential of symbols.

Seven Sisters

by

3.97 rating

Comment 1: Benni gets drawn into a mystery against her will when it involves her stepson, Sam, and his newly formed plans to marry into an old and influential family in the county. She is a witness to the murder of a family member at a party and then tries to stay out of it, but a new Sheriff's office detective keeps coercing her into helping. As she is drawn into the family's history at Seven Sisters Ranch, she discovers things she would rather not know, and the final revelation is disturbing. The book al Comment 2: I thought this book was going to involve a lot of quilting get-togethers and have a plot that really revolved around quilting - it was not at all like that. There were a few references to quilting and that's it. I thought the author introduced too many characters at once and it was hard to keep them straight. I couldn't remember who each person was and how they were related but I forced myself to keep reading. I was just about to give up on it and it finally got interesting but it took until abo Comment 3: Benni Harper's stepson has gotten his girlfriend pregnant and the two plan on marrying. But Benni and her San Celina chief of police husband are worried about the rich, prominent family Sam is marrying into. The Brown family has plenty of secrets and when one of the members is murdered Benni is asked by a sheriff's department detective for help. It seems Benni's reputation for solving mysteries precedes her! This was another great book in the Benni Harper cozy mystery symptoms, a great storyline

The Tattered Quilt

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4.14 rating

Comment 1: Emma Yoder, a recently widowed grandmother, is searching for her new, independent place in her family, where she can support herself. She decides on teaching “Englishers” to quilt, bringing six unique people to her first class. They not only learn to sew together a small wall hanging, but to bind together and support each other in their life’s struggles. This is not Brunstetter’s usual Amish tale, but the stories of a young, Hispanic widowed father, a rough biker on probation, a couple strugglin Comment 2: This is the second book to "The Half-Stitched Quilting Club." Newly weds Lamar and Emma Yoder Miller have decided to offer quilting classes again. At first the interest and sign up process is slow and Emma fears she may not have enough students. However, Times progresses and more people express interest: a biker with a smoking habit, a salesman who's grieving the breakup of his last girlfriend, Anna, a young Amish woman who does not want to there because she wonders what it would be like to live Comment 3: I enjoy the characters created by Brunstetter in this particular series. She takes people with varied pasts, and even with varied goals in life, throws them together in a quilting class, then stands back and watches as Emma and Lamar guide them through the crises they face. Unfortunately, in this book more than in others I've read, the dialogue is stilted and does not flow in an authentic way. It was bad enough that the dialogue actually seemed at times to be driven by the author (who should usu

A Quilter's Holiday

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3.91 rating

Comment 1: The day after Thanksgiving, the Elm Creek Quilters gather for a marathon quilting session, and think about their lives up to the current point. Cook Anna is at a crux in her relationship with best friend Jeremy, who has driven off in a storm to see his girlfriend many states away. Gretchen reflects on her useful life of volunteering. Diane thinks how her boys have disappointed her by shedding traditions and religion, and foolishly tries to drive home in a snowstorm. Silvia is in search of any re Comment 2: This novel focuses on the Thanksgiving cornucopia tradition at Elm Creek, and the breakup of Summer and Jeremy--thereby freeing him for his best friend, Anna. Sylvia reunites with her cousin, Elizabeth's, grandson over the phone. They plan to get together the following summer for a reunion. Sylvia will be guest of honor. She will finally hear what happened to her cousin when as a newlywed she moved to the Arboles Valley in California. I enjoyed reading about the connection between Gwen and her f Comment 3: Elm Creek Quilt series. The day after Thanksgiving, the Elm Creek Quilters gather at Elm Creek Manor to spend a day starting their holiday-gift quilting projects. Each chapter focuses on one of the quilters. Sarah is excited about the impending birth of her twins, but anxious that her husband will spend the winter three hours away helping at his injured father's construction firm. Diane is bemoaning the loss of family traditions as her sons are away at college. Grace reflects on the years she sp

The Winding Ways Quilt

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3.93 rating

Comment 1: The crowd is all back at Elm Creek Farm for another summer of quilt camp, but the main story here is of the staff members and their families. Judy and Summer are leaving in the fall, and Sarah is expecting twins later in the year. Bonnie’s husband has left her and she is trying to gather up the pieces of her life for a new start. I read this from one evening to the next – this series is nothing if not light – but I still enjoy them once in awhile, and this was much better than "The New Years Qui Comment 2: Hmm, not as good as some of Chiaverini's other books. Maybe a few too many characters to keep track of with futures still open and too many back-stories to cover quickly to bring us up to speed. We're getting just a tiny slice of each character in midlife, so the stories feel unfinished. Oddly, the previous book in the series developed five characters who were applying to work at the Elm Creek Quilts camp, but it was more enjoyable and felt more finished. However, I do enjoy the quilting setting Comment 3: This is the 12th book in the Elm Creek Quilts series and picks up right after where the Circle of Quilters left off. We see each of the original group of Quilters in transition and just a glimpse of 2 of the new characters, chef Anna, and Gretchen. Time-wise, this book has very little progression but it was interesting to see the individual focus on each of the quilters as they deal with the major changes coming in their lives. We also get a little more history on each and how they came to be in

The Master Quilter

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4.03 rating

Comment 1: Book 6 in the Elm Creek Quilter’s series shows some characters maturity. set about 5 years after Round Robin,The Master Quilter by Jennifer Chiaverini. This is mostly my confusion having read the books out of order. I mismatched my time lines. The stories though flow to each other nicely as both are focused more on the quilters who run the camp as opposed to quilters visiting or Sylvia herself and her past. Perhaps this is what makes this series enjoyable. There are many different types of stories, like any episodic TV show. There are character study books, new character’s interacting within the established setting stories and history based stories. Each allows for new quilts to be discussed, and past characters can be dropped in to keep their story flowing should you ever want to return them to the setting. This book could be referred equally as well as the Secret Quilters book, as each character is keeping secrets from the others. 5-6 Years into the story they are sharing everything with each other, but what they don’t share is what will tear them apart. Judy is ready to explore other teaching jobs when it becomes glaringly apparent how stunted her career has been by staying in Waterford. Gwen’s career is also stunted, but more by her field of specialization and the male hypocrisy regarding appropriate topics of historical research. Her decision is one that doesn’t require a change of address merely a change of priorities. Her daughter Summer has to grow up and realize that she has been holding herself back by holding on to her mom too close. Ironic that her mom wanted to raise an independent woman and did so to an extent, but also raised her to be rather dependent on her. Bonnie is the character who is forced to go through the most change. She looses her shop and her husband at the same time, but it turns out the shop was harder to loose, so perhaps the marriage wasn’t really there anymore anyway. How it occurs though is amazing. First he is missing all hours of the night, barely coming home. Then one day he does come home and starts a fight with her but refuses to leave; she departs for a friends house so that cooler head could prevail in the morning and he locks her out and drains all their joint accounts and cancels the credit cards. WOW! Talk about a kick in the arse. It of course turns out he had hidden all the money somewhere. Her friend finally realizes it was in his office furniture. He had literally spent their savings on antique furniture, and since he was such a cheap skate everyone just assumed it was old yard sale knockoffs. Donna kept up her squabble with her neighbor, and has the last laugh when she not only shows her as a short sighted, rude woman in her quilting club, but then the woman is left utterly shamed when she son burgles Bonnie’s quilting shop to get back at them for his mom and of course is caught in the end. It will be fun to read the next in the series to see how these events affect the long standing separation of the Elm Creek Quilters and the Waterford Quilter’s Guild. This book was rather interesting narrative wise as the first half is told in 6 or so parts repeating the same few months of time line over and over again from the different character’s perspective. Each repeat fills you in on different bits of the story as each of the women is trying to keep their secret only to learn that trusting in each other would make them stronger.

The Runaway Quilt

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4.08 rating

Comment 1: The 4th book in this wonderful series, the Runaway Quilt could be read as a stand-alone or as part of the series. Due to this fact, I am not going to summarize the first three books as I don't think it would help any.Sylvia is the owner of Elm Creek Manor, a large place with grounds that plays host to a Quilter's retreat during the summer. Running the business are her good friends from the Elm Creek Quilter's circle. Since they run the business, she often spends her retirement traveling with her sweetheart Andrew around the country. It is on one of these travels that she is introduced to a quilt that connects to Elm Creek Manor. The only troubling part about this, is the fact that it came from a family who had former slave owners in their past.From her family's stories Sylvia knows that Elm Creek once served as a station on the underground railroad. Because of this, she is alarmed to think that maybe one of her family had branched off and owned slaves of their own, hence the quilt being made. She goes through the attic and finds three antique quilts and a memoir from a sister-in-law of Anneke, the original mistress of Elm Creek Manor.The memoir is told by Gerda and explains the travails and past of Elm Creek Manor. Most specifically it revolves around one escaped slave and the details of her flight. It also shows Anneke's and Gerda's relationship and some of the history of the family. The book takes us part in the memoir and part Sylvia's reaction to it. The more she reads the more she is disappointed in her family and she questions the people she once though they were.Chiaverini has made this novel very engaging. While its not documented history it does offer an explanation on how signals for the underground railroad were used. Like some of her other quilt books, there are no instructions in this one, but if one cared to look they could probably find the patterns mentioned in this book. Instead it tells the stories of a few specific quilts.The language in this particular book can get rough. While the cusswords are not spelled out, it is still easy to infer which word is probably meant. Aside from that, the language in the book is descriptive and as easy to read as ever. Chiaverini has a wonderful way of describing quilts so that you can see them in your mind.A lovely novel. I can't wait to continue on with the series.The Runaway QuiltCopyright 2002329 pages

The Master Quilter

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4.04 rating

In this heartwarming novel about the meaning of friendship, the Elm Creek quilters pay tribute to their beloved matriarch and the bridal quilt that will be stitched in her honor. The Elm Creek Quilters are as surprised as anyone when their beloved matriarch, Sylvia Bergstrom Compson, marries her sweetheart, Andrew, at a festive holiday gathering at her ancestral home on Christmas Eve. Eager to celebrate the union, her friends decide to create a beautiful wedding quilt to warm the newlyweds’ home and hearts. A secret with such good intentions, they reason, couldn’t possibly do anyone harm. But although the quilting retreat established at Elm Creek Manor is a place where quilters share their creativity, their challenges, and their dreams, somehow in their haste to find a way to honor the wisdom, skill, and devotion of their favorite master quilter, they forget that sometimes secrets drive friends apart instead of drawing them closer. As financial troubles, relationship struggles, and unexpected opportunities beyond Elm Creek Quilt Camp test the bonds of friendship, the quilters must find a way to stitch together more than Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler to make a happy ending.

Old Maid's Puzzle

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3.77 rating

Comment 1: I think this books ends nicely, but VERY surprisingly. I was pleased with the ending, which I didn't see coming at all. I am glad that Terri doesn't torment her readers with bad situations and that Dewey was able to learn some lessons in order to move forward. I think that haranguing readers with problems of the characters who can never learn their lessons drives readers away. Terri does some things in this book, like fire Kym, which was totally necessary to move the story along. Getting Dewey a Comment 2: This book like the last was an enjoyable and well-written read. The characters were well-drawn and remain what I love most about the series. The mystery was incredibly solid maybe even a little better than the one presented in the series opener. I have but one complaint, the need to create romantic tension I suppose is a necessity in series fiction but in this instance Dewey's irritation with Buster escaped me, it simply made no sense and truthfully, it made her momentarily unlikeable. Relations Comment 3: This is the second in the Quilting Mystery series featuring Dewey Pellicano. Dewey has recently inherited her mother's quilt shop even though she doesn't know the first thing about quilting. What she does know is how to run a modern business, including online shopping, and finding dead bodies. Solving the mysteries of the dead bodies seems to be easier for Dewey than dealing with her mother's employees who can't face change. Especially her sister-in-law, Kym.

Wild Goose Chase

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3.68 rating

Comment 1: Dewey Pellicano, a computer techie, inherits her mother’s quilting shop, Quilter Paradiso. She “would rather swallow needles than be pinned down to a life of quilting.” Dewey is learning the business, trying to computerize the inventory and setting up and working at a booth at a national quilting show. Her employee who happens to be her sister-in-law is driving her crazy as she does not support anything Dewey is doing and just wants Dewey to back to her computer life and leave her alone to run t Comment 2: First in the "Quilting Mystery" series. I've recently become interested in quilts (not making them), so I could picture some of the things in this book as well as understanding some of the jargon; for example, I wouldn't have known what "fat quarters" are last year. Set in San Jose, the murders take place at a large quilt show, which has to be the Pacific Quilt Show in Oct. in Santa Clara. I got a kick out of one of the characters named Freddy. Could this be Eddy or Eddy's Quilting Bee fame? I t Comment 3: This book has a deeper story that is hidden behind the "fluffy quilt lady" preconceived notion. The main character, Dewey, has a lot going on and a lot to deal with. Not all of the issues are clear or straightforward at the beginning. As the story progresses, it is obvious that she is suffering from a tragic event in her recent past that her family is not discussing as well a her layoff from her high tech Silicon Valley job. I think that the underlying story of Dewey and her life are the real in

Goose in the Pond

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3.97 rating

Comment 1: This was probably the most ho-hum outing of Benni and Gabe. The cast of characters is almost entirely new, including Jillian Sinclair, Benni's boss's niece; Nick, the brother of the murdered Nora (called "Mother Goose" just once, I guess to further drive the title); Evangeline and her father, "D-Daddy" (which I thought when she first said it was the result of a stutter), new to town as of 6 months ago; Dolores Ayala, a storyteller who seems to be cuddling up to newcomer and handsome bachelor Ash Comment 2: This one was a little darker than the others in the series, but by no means sinister...it just seemed to have a heavier plot that the others. However, the side characters (Bennie's relatives) kept it light where it needed to be. The humor was tossed in at the exact right place to keep the book from bogging down, yet didn't gloss over the seriousness of the murder. I love this series.....can't wait for the next one. The author manages to keep the humor at the right level, and use it at the right Comment 3: I like this series for the most part but the main couple can get a little too angsty for my tastes. I know the series has been out for a long time and there are many books in it so I have to hope they both mature and some of that dies down because I like the actual mysteries. I also don't like when the main character goes against their paramours wishes - which she does a lot. Like I said, I like the mysteries and the characters themselves - just hoping some of the interpersonal angst dies down.

The Mountain Artisans Quilting Book

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3.63 rating

Comment 1: In interesting book that contains a little bit of history with a little bit of technique. Love the funky-fresh 1970's projects, fabrics, and styles.

The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club

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3.83 rating

Join the club of unlikely quilters who show up for Amish widow Emma Yoder’s quilting classes. A troubled young woman, a struggling couple, a widower, a rough and tough biker, and a preacher’s wife make up the mismatched lot. But as their problems begin to bind them together like the scraps of fabric stitched together in a quilt, they learn to open up and lend a helping hand. Is this what God had in mind to heal hurting hearts and create beauty from fragments?

State Fair

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3.85 rating

Comment 1: Books by Earlene Fowler never fail to satisfy and "State Fair" is no exception. An interesting story line with a good plot and subplots, multi-dimensional characters, and lots of informative tidbits about a variety of subjects. I really enjoyed this book and felt like I was meeting up with some old friends. I'm looking forward to "Spider Web" next. Earlene has a special style that really isn't reminiscent of anyone else's writing. She's one of my very favorite authors. I highly recommend this bo Comment 2: I've been reading about the Benni Harper's series for years. I'm not into quilts and quilting but it's veryinteresting to read about their history and such. I love books which broadens my horizons anyways. Benni leaves in a small Central California town. She is the town's museum curator which features local quilts and other forms of craft arts. She is married to Chief Ortiz of the local police department. Her extended family is composed of her father, grandmother Dove, cousin Emory and best frie Comment 3: Great read. As usual, Bennie and Gabe and the extended family work together to solve the murder. I have not been disappointed by any of the Bennie Harper series. The author, although writing at a later time, manages to bring the time of the 90's on the Central CA coast to life. Most of the action takes place at the state fair, although ranches and the country side play a role also. Fowler has a sensitive hand when she illustrates the issues between generations, parents and children, and youth an

The Quilt Walk

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3.86 rating

It's 1863 and 10-year-old Emmy Blue Hatchett has been told by her father that soon their family will leave their farm, family, and friends in Illinois, and travel west to a new home in Colorado. It's difficult leaving family and friends behind. They might not see one another ever again. When Emmy's grandmother comes to say goodbye, she gives Emmy a special gift to keep her occupied on the trip. The journey by wagon train is long and full of hardships. But the Hatchetts persevere and reach their destination in Colorado, ready to start their new life.

The Christmas Quilt

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4.36 rating

Comment 1: I could really relate to Leah’s story in “The Christmas Quilt” because she’s due to deliver twins, something I was also about to do ten years ago! Leah is hoping for a home birth, like many Amish women have, but her complicated twin pregnancy (a common occurrence) makes a hospital delivery necessary. Leah’s sister-in-law, Annie, is also expecting a child, and so the two women are both learning to find their way as young married women and expectant mothers. I found Leah and Adam’s fears about bei Comment 2: There’s a nice line in The Christmas Quilt that describes the book perfectly: “[Stories] involve you in another’s life, but our road only intersects theirs for a time.” The story is a sweet peek into the characters’ lives at a slow pace, like taking the panoramic route on a road trip. It makes you stop and think about the details we miss in our daily lives, giving us a lesson in appreciating every small blessing. The author, as always, writes a tender story with a great attention to detail, each Comment 3: The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman is a story that not only touches your heart, but holds it. We are reunited with characters whom we already love, having met them in A Simple Amish Christmas. The quilt becomes so much more than material being stitched together; it is a story in itself that evolves into 9 stories told within the framework of their lives. These two ‘sisters’ who take this journey with the giving and receiving of love and strength are held together by the end as strongly as t

Sonoma Rose

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3.86 rating

Comment 1: Calling this an Elm Creek Quilts novel is a bit of a stretch. The connection to previous Elm Creek Quilt novels is tenuous, at best, and any mention of actual quilting seems thrown in as an afterthought. The storyline is interesting, but I couldn't work up much empathy for the main character. Chiaverini's main characters are usually women, often with flaws, but redeemed by their strengths and resourcefulness. The main character in this book seemed to be shaped by her circumstances more than by t Comment 2: Part of me gets frustrated how each book in this series means a different time period and characters, even though they are all somehow tied to the Elm Creek Quilters. I want them to just go in order so I can keep track of the characters better and I miss the Elm Creek Quilters when they aren't a part of the story. That said, I absolutely loved this book! I really enjoyed Rosa's character and I found reading about Prohibition to be really interesting. I don't think I've read another book set in t Comment 3: I love historical fiction. This is the story set in California during Prohibition in the beautiful wine country of Sonoma County. We see the plight of a young wife who escapes an abusive husband with her small children and the new life that unfolds for her. She seeks the medical care that two of her children need and safety for her whole family. The protector that sweeps her away to save her life and the lives of her children is the same first love that she had left behind because of family dema

The Lost Quilter

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4.15 rating

Comment 1: This is a great addition to the Elm Creek novels, focused on quilters, stitching life together in many places and eras. In this installment, a contemporary discovery at Elm Creek Manor bookends an excellent historical story focused on Joanna, a runaway slave introduced in the earlier novel, "The Runaway Quilt." We learn about Joanna's return to her owners and how she survives while never giving up her dreams of freedom. She's a skilled seamstress and quilter which puts her in the households of 3 Comment 2: It's true, I liked a novel with "quilter" in the title. I officially need to buy a walker and learn to crochet. I was so ready to hate this book. I was actually kind of excited about hating it. But other than the lackluster situation created to get to the good story(Sylvia researching her far more interesting ancestor, Joanna, due to an interesting quilt she left behind), I thought this book had an engaging plot and three dimensional characters I really cared about. Joanna, a slave freed and rec Comment 3: Oh my! I didn't know what I was getting whenever I checked out this book. Part of the Elm Creek Quilt stories, this is a tale of letters found in a locked desk, letters that ask about a runaway slave who was recaptured. And then we follow the story of Joanna, a slave who ran away from her brutal master who was raping her, and how she was sold "further South" upon her recapture. The pathos of her story will remain, and her desire for freeedom---first for her children: the child she left behind wh

The True Love Quilting Club

by

3.97 rating

Comment 1: It was a rather sweet romance. It delt with a 14 year old girl, whose mother had left her to go after stardom, leaving her mother's husband, who was not the girls father. He was not able to give her the love she needed. Trixie Lynn had fallen in love with Sam, when they were both 14 years old. She only lived in Twilight Texas for one year, but it was the only place she ever felt she belonged. The story tells how the two were brought back together, by Sam's match making aunt, and other women of t Comment 2: I loved this second visit to Twilight Texas. Emma lived in Twilight for one year before her stepfather moved them away. She had a terrific friendship and beginnings of a romance with Sam. When she was 18 she moved to New York to become an actress. After 12 years and a major scandal she found herself back in Twilight. There she reconnected with Sam. I loved the characters in this book. Emma was fixated on her career and what she had to do to make it big. She knew she wouldn't be staying in Twilig Comment 3: Trixie Lynn Parks had one good year in High School when she lived in Twilight, Texas, then she and her father moved again and she even found out why he didn't love her. She left home at 18 and went to New York to become an actress following the path of many young women, roles in off-Broadway and with waitress jobs to pay the bills. Then she got a call to return to Twilight to star in the town play and she found her high-school crush and what she was missing. Can she leave it all behind to go on

Scraps of Evidence

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3.9 rating

Comment 1: I love a good mystery and I love a good read so this was the best of both worlds. I also love quilts and quilts with history and love are the best. Though I’m not sure a serial killer and history really go together in my history. Glad it’s not my quilt! Now, I do have to say a lot of the mystery was easy to decipher. I knew from almost the beginning who the killer was, but that’s not always a bad thing. Because I knew who it was it was easier to focus on the why and how part of the mystery! Gre Comment 2: I love Barbara Cameron's Amish stories, so I wasn't surprised that her quality writing carried over to another genre for this suspense novel. The beginning was rather slow as we are introduced to the characters, but quickly picks up the pace as Tess and Logan start investigating their first case together. Much of the conversation between them happens over meals shared- it seems they are always eating! :) I loved the level of anticipation from their relationship progressing as well as the mystery Comment 3: It was okay. I just realized that the synopsis that they give has absolutely nothing to do with what actually happens in the story (there is no Aunt Susan she is Aunt Kathy) and Logan doesn't tease/rib Tess for her quilting hobby. It is a very quick read and easy you see the ending and the bad guy coming within the first few chapters, but it was still enjoyable enough that I will read others by the author. Just don't gauge it by the summary the Goodreads or Amazon posts because it has nothing wh

A Year of Cats...in Hats!: Grafts to Make You Smile

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4 rating

Comment 1: To tell you the truth, I saw this on deep discount at an online craft store, and the pictures DID make me smile as the subtitle suggests, so even though I may never make one of these quilt[let]s, I had to get it! I love how the cats have little ear-hats themed to the month. I mean really. How cute is that? (without being cuteSY!)

Still Stripping After 25 Years

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4.35 rating

Eleanor Burns and Quilt in a Day invite you to celebrate our Silver Anniversary with "Still Stripping - After 25 Years"! Eleanor reminisces as she journeys from 1978, with the publication of her first book, through her 25 years of strip quilting. Stroll down memory lane with photos and stories of good times, good friends, and beautiful quilts. "Still Stripping" is a collection of 12 quilt patterns, some traditional, some contemporary. The patterns are based on 2.5" fabric strips, which have become Eleanor's trademark. As an added feature, most patterns have complete yardage and cutting charts for all five quilt sizes. The book, with over 200 pages in full color, has fully illustrated, step-by-step directions for the patterns and features Eleanor's latest fabric line, "Yours Truly" from Benartex, Inc. Each quilt includes a convenient chart with each fabric color name and number for easy identification."Still Stripping - After 25 Years" is sure to become a collectors item, for the fun, easy quilt patterns, photographs, and stories of Eleanor's first 25 years!

The Quiltmaker's Journey

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4.38 rating

Comment 1: For my reading project, I choose some books by their reviews, and some I pick off the shelf. This has such an inviting cover that I grabbed it enthusiastically. It is such a beautiful book on so many levels. Although a picture book, it is not suitable for the very young. I would say perhaps six or seven years old. It is the story of a young woman who grows up in a walled city of plenty. She is completely unaware of the poverty that exists outside the walls, but her courage leads her on a journey Comment 2: One of the very great pleasures of working in a bookshop is being able to see all these beautiful books. For a long time I haven't gone near bookshops because I haven't had the spare cash to buy from them, and I don't believe in teasing myself, but now I have this little part-time job I get to see for free. I've been noting numerous books to read, and the lovely children's books don't take long to read in my tea break. Heaven! Comment 3: An absolutely gorgeous book about a girl who decides to help those in need by making them quilts. My sister bought this book for me because she noticed that all the quilts I make end up being given to someone as a present, even if I originally intended to make myself one. The illustrations are very pretty, and the story is sweet.

The Christmas Quilt

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3.84 rating

Comment 1: It’s refreshing to read a Christmas novel that is (1) not a romance and (2) about a woman in her late 70s who grows intellectually and emotionally as the story progresses. Sylvia has returned to her childhood home in Sewickley, PA, because she is the only surviving heir to the family’s stately manor. A young couple lives harmoniously with her in the manor, and they have helped Sylvia fashion their home into a quilters’ retreat center. Sylvia left this home 50 years earlier under circumstances th Comment 2: This is a great “read” at Christmastime or anytime of the year. Christmas comes to the present day Elm Creek Quilters as some prefer a quiet, subdued holiday and others want to deck the halls brightly. Elm Creek Manor is full of secrets, from a Christmas tree with unusual properties to the sublime Bergstrom strudel recipe. An unfinished Christmas quilt in seasonal fabrics and patterns is discovered in the attic and Sylvia Bergstrom Compson, master quilter, reveals the handiwork spans several gen Comment 3: Honestly I love this series, but it really needs to get some new material!! This book just felt like a rehash of half a dozen other books retold in a slightly different way. We've already heard about Sarah's relationship with her mother and how she hates Matt, Slyvia's relationship with Elizabeth, Claudia, James, Richard, Andrew when she was a child or young women. There was not a story in this book which I hadn't read already in another, albeit with slightly different detail, but the same concl

Tumbling Blocks

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3.95 rating

Comment 1: I thought this book was kind of a let down after the last one. But I guess it's nice to have a more light hearted book following one so heavy. Anyway, the storyline on this one kind of dragged and I felt they spent way too much time talking about Outsider art which I had no interest in. Also I found Benni to be a little annoying with how she kept pestering Gabe to talk to his mom and insisting it was her business. Not everyone solves their issues the same way. The murder was a little random, but Comment 2: Bennie Harper has no intention of seriously investigating the death Constance Sinclair's best friend. She's too tied up in a new exhibition of 'outsider art,' scheduled to open soon at the folk museum where she is the curator. Unfortunately, her husband, the Police Chief, wants Bennie to keep Constance out of his hair and she shouldn't offend Constance, one of the museum's benefactors. Isn't this a useless waste of time? ... of course it isn't, and fans of this series will enjoy the twists and t Comment 3: In reading this book, I found myself thinking "oh yeah, somebody did get killed, didn't they?"- which is not a really bad thing. Yes, the mystery is there, but on an almost secondary storyline. This story is set at Christmastime, so emotions/stresses are hightened. Fowler shows us the tangled, complex interpersonal family relationships which I found myself more interested in rather than the murder. She's very good at it. In fact, both ended up being satisfying, though as you can probably tell, I

Glorious Patchwork

by

4.3 rating

Comment 1: I'm not a quilter or a sewer (except when I have to sew on a button or something) and I've never made any of these. Some of the designs could be used as inspirations for kitting, which is probably why I bought it. There is no one better than Fassett at seeing images and patterns in the world and translating them into knits, e.g., the nails and screws displayed in small boxes in a Vietnam market on p. 6. The Roman Blocks quilt on p. 36 is incredible and if I saw it in a store I would probably ste Comment 2: Kaffe Fassett is a visionary when it comes to color. He sees things through different eyes. While some of his color combinations and business of the quilt tops could be offensive to some, I think that one has to see the brilliance of his work. I can look at this book over and over and come away with something new each and every time. For that I consider it a treasure. If you sew or love fabric this is one not to miss. Comment 3: I love looking at Kaffe Fassett's quilts but have never tried making one. The colors are often too gaudy for my tastes if I think about having them in my home. I love looking at them though. In this book and in Quilt stores they are beautiful.

Irish Chain

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3.93 rating

Comment 1: Nach dem Unfalltod ihres Mannes muss Benni Harper neu anfangen und verlässt die Ranch der Familie ihres Mannes um als Leiterin eines Heimatkundemuseums in dem Ort San Celina in Kalifornien. Bereits im ersten Band war sie in Morde in ihrem Museum verwickelt und hat dadurch Gabe Ortiz, den attraktiven Polizeichef kennengelernt, der derzeit nur vertretungsweise den Posten übernommen hat. In diesem Folgeband nun kämpft Benni an zwei Fronten: Zum einen ist sie mit einer neuen Ausstellung beschäftigt und zum anderen hat sie sich von ihrer Grandma Dove dazu überreden lassen, an einem Projekt mitzuarbeiten. Es geht um Recherchen über japanische Einwohner von San Celina zur Zeit von Pearl Harbor und deren Erlebnisse. Dies soll teil eines Buches werden, für das Dove Benni eingeteilt hat und wer Dove kennt, der weiß, dass sie Benni so schnell nicht vom Haken lässt. Zusätzlich kümmert sich Benni noch ehrenamtlich um die Ausrichtung eines Art Senioren Abschlussball im örtlichen Seniorenheim. Im Vorfeld wird sie von ihrer ehemaligen Lehrerin Miss Violet und deren Zimmernachbarin Oralee in einen Streit zwischen ihnen und dem alten Brady O'Hara verwickelt, den Benni zu schlichten versucht. Während des Balls steht dann auch noch plötzlich ihre alte High School Liebe Clay O'Hara vor ihr und Benni ist verwirrt von den Gefühlen, denn eigentlich ist sie doch jetzt mit Gabe zusammen. Noch verwirrender wird es, als Benni plötzlich die Leichen von Miss Violet und Brady, dem Onkel von Clay, findet. Natürlich führt das zu ernsten Spannungen zwischen ihr und Gabe, denn während er Benni aus den Ermittlungen raushalten will, will diese ihm natürlich helfen. Während sie einerseits mehr über die Morde herausfinden will, kümmert sie sich andererseits um die Recherche für das Buchprojekt von Dove - und ist verblüfft, als sie dabei immer wieder über den Namen Brady O'Hara stolpert, der damals wohl sowas wie der rettende Engel für die japanischen Einwohner von San Celina war, als diese nach Pearl Harbor in finanzielle Schwierigkeiten gerieten. Das allerdings steht im krassen Gegensatz zu dem, was sie über Brady O'Hara von dessen Umfeld erfährt, denn nachdem sein Bruder bei dem Angriff von Pearl Harbor durch die Japaner ums Leben kam, begann er diese zu hassen. Benni ist verwirrt und ermittelt nach mehreren Streits mit Gabe auf eigene Faust und ist schon bald in Lebensgefahr, denn hier scheint jemand nicht zu wollen, dass die Ereignisse aus den Vierziger Jahren noch einmal aufgerollt werden.Ich fand schon "Der Museumsmörder" sehr erfrischen zu lesen und war neugierig, wie es mit Benni und Gabe weitergeht. Leider wurde in dieser Reihe mal wieder vom Verlag gepfuscht, denn nach Band 1 wurde erst wieder Band 6 übersetzt - was zu einer großen Lücke führt, auch im Privatleben von Benni und Gabe. Schön gewählt finde ich die Titel der Originalausgaben, die jeweils den Namen eines Quiltmusters tragen um die es ja mitunter auch im Buch geht. Benni ist eine sehr sympathische Heldin, die schon einiges erlebt hat im Leben und sich gerade wieder einigermaßen erholt und ins Leben zurückgefunden hat nach dem Tod ihres Mannes Jack. Herzerfrischen auch ihre Großmutter Dove und die verbalen Schlachten, die sie mit ihr schlägt. Ich musste so manches Mal laut lachen. Auch Gabe ist ein sehr interessanter Charakter und die Beziehung der beiden entwickelt sich in diesem Buch weiter. Ich habe bereits Band 3 zuhause liegen und werde sicherlich auch noch weitere Bände lesen, denn diese Geschichten sind sehr schön geschrieben und diese Reihe ist unbedingt empfehlenswert.Für alle nun Interessierten hier die Reihenfolge:1. Fool's Puzzle - Der Museumsmörder2. Irish Chain - (nicht auf Deutsch erhältlich)3. Kansas Trouble (nicht auf Deutsch erhältlich)4. Goose in the Pond (nicht auf Deutsch erhältlich)5. Dove in the Window (nicht auf Deutsch erhältlich)6. Mariner's Compass - Die geheime Botschaft7. Seven Sisters - Sieben Schwestern8. Arkansas Traveler (nicht auf Deutsch erhältlich)9. Steps to the Altar - Die tödliche Braut10. Sunshine and Shadow - Tödliche Schatten11. Broken Dishes - Dunkle Geheimnisse12. Delectable Mountains - Tod am Altar13. Tumbling Blocks (nicht auf Deutsch erhältlich)14. State Fair (nicht auf Deutsch erhältlich)

The Giving Quilt

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3.78 rating

“Why do you give?” asks Master Quilter Sylvia Bergstrom Compson Cooper in The Giving Quilt, the New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini’s artful, inspiring novel that imagines what good would come from practicing the holiday spirit each and every day of the year. At Elm Creek Manor, the week after Thanksgiving is “Quiltsgiving,” a time to commence a season of generosity. From near and far, quilters and aspiring quilters—a librarian, a teacher, a college student, and a quilt-shop clerk among them—gather for a special winter session of quilt camp, to make quilts for Project Linus. (In real life, Chiaverini has long been active in this charitable organization, dedicated to providing handmade quilts and blankets to children in need.) Each quilter, ever mindful that many of her neighbors, friends, and family members are struggling through difficult times, uses her creative gifts to alleviate their collective burden. As the week unfolds, the quilters respond to Sylvia’s provocative question in ways as varied as the life experiences that drew them to Elm Creek Manor. Love and comfort are sewn into the warm, bright, beautiful quilts they stitch, and their stories collectively consider the strength of human connection and its rich rewards. Featuring not only well-loved characters but also intriguing newcomers, The Giving Quilt will remind us all: Giving from the heart blesses the giver as much as the recipient, and while giving may not always be easy, it is always worthwhile.

The Quilters: Women and Domestic Art, an Oral History

by

4.14 rating

Comment 1: Very inspiring. Reminded me of one of the main reasons women stitch--community with other women. When you were a mother of six on a ranch miles from another family, you showed up for quilting bees when they happened! Women quilted because they needed to, for bedcoverings, but they also often took pride in their work, loved the quilts they made. Realized about a third of the way into it it was one of the sources for the play The Quilters. I really enjoyed the way the authors simply transcribed th Comment 2: Amazing! Ms. Cooper interviewed many women (and some men) whose quilts were bound into the very lives they led. In this modern day it is hard to imagine the rigorous lives of these pioneering spirits who forged a life for themselves and their families through tough times. The stories range from sweet to astounding to sad to funny and each one gives a glimpse into the important events of these people's existence. Comment 3: I loved this book. Hearing the words of long time quilters from many years ago told me not just about their quilting but also about their way of life. The photos of their quilts only added to the story. Quilting was like breathing to them. What a legacy! Comment 4: This is a reference book that I use constantly in teaching about this craft/art. Moving and inspiational. Recommended not only for quilters but for those seeking to learn more about life in the 30s.

Threading the Needle

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4.11 rating

Comment 1: This is the first book I've read by Marie Bostwick, but it certainly won't be the last! She writes about real people facing real-life situations. She is a Christian author, but doesn't get preachy and neither does she create her characters as someone we could never live up to. Of course, writing about quilters and old houses adds immensely to her charm for me! This is the 4th in a series of "A Cobbled Court" books, so I'll be going back and reading the rest. Hope you enjoy her writing as much as Comment 2: Madelyn Beecher has been giving the good life for many years, spending willy-nilly and never wondering where a penny is coming from. Hers is a marriage of convenience, as she is the trophy wife, beautiful and able to make her way through upper society without a blip. She lacked knowledge and so was thought beautiful but dumb at one time but quickly remedied that by slowly reading through the dozen books her husband, Sterling Baron, insisted she read. All in all, Madelyn has overcome the horrible Comment 3: This is the story of two women who had been best friends as children. Tessa has come back to New Bern with her husband to open her herbal apothecary shop where she sells her lotions, soaps and other products that she makes from the herbs she grows on the small farm she and her husband have started. Her estranged friend Madelyn has come back under different circumstances when her husband is convicted of a Ponzi scheme and she is left with little else except the clothes on her back and her grandmo

Dove in the Window

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3.99 rating

Comment 1: In diesem fünften Buch steht das große Heritage Days Fest in San Celina bevor und Benni hat daher viel Arbeit mit ihrem Museum. Außerdem steht auf der Ranch der Ramseys aus diesem Anlass eine große Feier bevor, zu der alle Familienmitglieder, Freunde und Bekannte eingeladen sind. So auch Bennis Ex-Schwager Wade, der Benni grollt, dass sie so schnell nach dem Tod seines Bruders wieder geheiratet hat und daher auch ständig mit Gabe aneckt. Auch eine der Künstlerinnen, die Fotografin Shelby sorgt für Wirbel mit ihrem Liebesleben und so ist die Aufregung groß, als am Morgen nach dem großen Barbecue ihre Leiche gefunden wird und sehr schnell Wade als Hauptverdächtiger gilt.Es ist einfach immer wieder ein wunderschönes und kurzweiliges Vergnügen, diese Ausflüge ins Leben der sympathischen Benni Harper. Auch hier ermittelt sie natürlich wieder auf eigene Faust - Ehrensache, wo doch ihre Grandma die Leiche entdeckt hat, und das auch noch auf dem Boden der Familienranch. Und natürlich ist auch hier wieder viel Ärger vorprogrammiert weil Gabe es hasst, wenn seine Frau sich in seine Ermittlungen einmischt. Außerdem kommen auch noch die Spannungen durch das Auftauchen von Wade dazu, der immer wieder mit bösen Sprüchen Gabe und Benni provoziert und die Lage dadurch nicht besser macht. Sehr schön finde ich, dass man endlich Bennis geliebten Cousin Emory näher kennenlernen darf, der in den Vorgängerbänden per Telefon die ein oder andere Recherche für Benni gemacht hat und der eine Schwäche für ihre beste Freundin Elvia hat. Ich habe mich gut amüsiert über den liebeskranken Emory, dem die schöne Elvia die kalte Schulter zeigt. Außerdem ist da noch der bekannte Fotograf Isaac, der plötzlich auftaucht und Grandma Dove schöne Augen macht - was Benni mehr als argwöhnisch beobachtet und was ihr gar nicht gefällt.Alles in allem wieder ein solider Krimi mit einer schönen Geschichte aus Benni Harpers Leben drumherum gepackt und man muss diese Reihe einfach lieben. Großartige Charaktere und eine solide Handlung - sehr schade, dass diese Reihe nur immer sporadisch und unvollständig übersetzt und veröffentlicht wurde.

Steps to the Altar

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4.04 rating

Comment 1: For most of this book, I was upset. I didn't like the story of Gabe's temptation nor did I like the back story of Maple and Garvey. I was expecting there to be a horrible cliff hanger to make me read the next book. You see- I love these characters and when they are being divided apart, it makes the story unforgivably hard to read. But, if you are reading this review to decide to read this book, or to continue reading it, (which, I confess, I have done by reading others reviews) DO FINISH IT! WHA Comment 2: This Benni Harper installment varied from its usual form of first person Benni by including several short chapters in second person Gabe. It was interesting to see their marital crisis from his point of view although I wondered why we didn't see it first person. It would have been a little less jarring, but still it was nice to get in his head a little and see him up close without always going through the Benni lens. As Benni is preparing for Elvia's and Dove's weddings as the matron of honor fo Comment 3: Benni is helping her best friend and her grandmother plan for their weddings when she is asked to catalog the trunks of the town's notorious murderer. The lady had supposedly killed her husband back in the 40's, then she disappeared with the husband's best friend. Then Benni's husband has an old partner show up. Only the partner is beautiful and single and wants Gabe back. Turns out that Del had been part of the reason that Gabe had gotten a divorce to his first wife. I love reading these myster

Circle of Quilters

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4.04 rating

Comment 1: The Elm Creek quilter's stories I know and love are now back. After being vaguely disappointed in the last two, I was beginning to worry that Chiaverini had lost her touch. Not so! With this novel she more than redeems herself. Since there are so many books before this one that it would take a whole page just to summarize and that fact that all these books can be read as a stand-alone I'm not going to go over the previous books.In Circle of Quilters, Elm Creek Quilters camp, a well renowned quilter's retreat has sent out an ad looking for two new teachers for their camp. This book details the lives and experiences of five of them and just what it would mean to them to become a part of Elm Creek Quilts.Maggie, a worker at a retirement home had never really been greatly enthusiastic about quilting until she found an antique quilt at a garage sale. After the restoration of this beautiful work, she set about remaking another one in case she ever had to give the original up. It turned out so well that she went on to teach classes and even publish a book involving the quilt. She did all this in addition to researching the maker of the quilt and just what had inspired the beautiful piece of work. Her only worry though is that she has been so centered on one quilt, that she might not be a diverse enough applicant for the job.Karen, a stay at home mother to two wily boys thinks she wants more out of life than to just be a mother. She loves her sons but has always loved quilting, so much so that she even takes to hiding her fabric stash from her eco-minded husband. She used to be a teacher but had never taught quilting but that doesn't stop her from applying. However, at a last minute cancellation from her husband her worst fear is realized and she has to take her two young boys with her to the interview.Anna is a chef and loves cooking and anything food. While being troubled with an obnoxious boyfriend (my opinion, not hers) she has to hide her quilting as he thinks it is useless frippery and a waste of time. He also doesn't appreciate her quilting very much even though she has a very unique style. Due to her lack of experience teaching quilting Anna isn't sure how good of a chance she will have getting the job, but she knows she has to try.Russell was probably one of the most touching stories within the book. His late wife was a quilter and after her death, he found an impulse to finish one of her quilts. Though it was trial and frustration at first, when he at last finished it he felt a deep sense of accomplishment and to his surprise, wanted to make more. He ended up being such a distinctive quilter that he was invited to lectures and started teaching classes. Elm Creek Quilts would be a great fit for him but he's not sure how receptive the group will be to a male quilter and his style.Last but not least is Gretchen. Born into a poorer family that had always worked for a family of upper class standing, Gretchen is no different when she works with the daughter of that family in helping run a quilt shop where she is a minor partner. Her partnership is not considered equal however and she finds herself longing for more and also wanting some kind of recognition for her talents. She is perfectly qualified for the job and has vast teaching experience, but will Heidi her partner let her go?Reading the stories of all these characters was very interesting. They all came from very different backgrounds and it showed quite a difference in their talents. All wanted the job so badly and deserved it so much that I had trouble knowing who I was rooting for!Chiaverini's writing is always so pleasant. I don't think she could be offensive if she meant to. I was pleased to find that the description of the different quilts was returned to an outstanding quality. This was something that had lacked in previous books and I had missed it.I have to say this is probably one of my favorite books in the series. So much so that I'm glad that I have the next book on hand and can start reading it right away. I can't wait to find out what happens at Elm Creek Manor now that there are new teachers entering the picture.Circle of QuiltersCopyright 2006309 pages

The New Year's Quilt

by

3.79 rating

Comment 1: Sylvia Compson and her new husband Andrew are on their way to visit his daughter Amy to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Amy has been against their marriage, and in fact, doesn’t yet know that they have married. Sylvia and Andrew are afraid of her reaction. Sylvia is putting the finishing touches on a quilt to give to Amy; the squares in the quilt recall events in Sylvia’s life, which are told in flashbacks. I felt that this book was spliced together in a hurry to be released as a holiday story. I’d gi Comment 2: I gave up. Seems to me that I am doing that a lot lately. But really. It was my first time reading any book in this series, and the main character just seems to look back on her life throughout the whole thing. She reminisces to times past, which probably have some relevance later in the story, but I just got tired of the story line jumping back to 60 years back for a chapter, and finding myself in the present for perhaps a page or a page and a half. I didn't enjoy it, and ended up removing my b Comment 3: I enjoyed Silvia as she prepares a New Year's Quilt for her new daughter-in-law. The stories of her life are a lesson to all of us of the importance of forgiveness and kindness. I enjoyed thinking about New Year's Resolutions as I read, though I don't often keep them, so I don't make them. Silvia points out in the book that she likes resolutions because it means that the person making them still has hope for the future. I liked that perspective and it helped me to reflect on hope. There are some

The Quilter's Homecoming

by

4.01 rating

Comment 1: Yet another book in Chiaverini's extensive quilting series. However, unlike the last book I was gushing over in the series (Circle of Quilters) this one didn't capture me as that one did. Its not that Chiaverini didn't write a good novel, its only that once again, this novel departed from the usual cast of characters and instead told a story from the past. As there are so many books in the series and they mostly can be read as a stand alone, I'm not going to describe them here, but instead just give a review on how this novel reads as a stand alone.The story follows Elizabeth, a young woman who enjoys most her visits to Elm Creek Manor. The Manor is owned by relatives and is a successful horse farm. Here she quilts with them and enjoys the holidays. She also enjoys the company of Henry, the son of a local farmer. When he asks her to marry her and come West to California to start a new life on the farm he's bought, she says yes.When they arrive, nothing is as it seems. The farm they bought was a sham and instead of owning it, they find themselves working for the owners. Also troubled by the farm is Rosa. It had once belonged to her family but they had to sell it many generations back when a terrible drought swept through the land. Now Rosa dwells with her unkind husband, slowly watching he children die from an unknown disease. She and Elizabeth strike up a tentative friendship and Elizabeth becomes determined to help her even though her own situation is not so good. There is much in store in the future for both of them.While this was a quilting novel, the quilting played a very small role. Elizabeth restores a few quilts and makes mention of some wedding quilts, but that is the extent of it. This in itself was a little disappointing as I expect a good quilting story when ready a novel titled "The Quilter's Homecoming".The writing as usual was good. Not as descriptive as it normally is, but still adequate. Her characters were nicely done and it was easy to see them as real people. They had enough flaws to be believable but not too many to make you dislike the character. Despite this, I was not really drawn to any of the characters. It might be selfish of me but I just can't bring myself to care about these characters when I enjoy the other ones so much.I wish there would have been more quilting in this book. Since it already had the lack of my favored characters, it would have made up for my disappointment. I really enjoy the books that are in the present time more than the ones in the past. Its not that they're bad books, its just that I feel they don't fit in with the rest of the Elm Creek series. I'll continue to read the series of course, but secretly hope they get back to my favorite characters and story line.The Quilter's HomecomingCopyright 2007309 pages

The Cross-Country Quilters

by

3.99 rating

Comment 1: The third installment in this series, Cross Country Quilters diverges from telling the tale of the ladies of Elm Creek Quilts, to telling the story of the quilt campers that come to visit. The original characters only make brief appearances but as a recap (and possible spoiler for the first two books) I'll tell a bit about them.In the first book, Sarah, a young woman who moved with her husband is desperately looking for a job. When she meets a client of her husband's, the moody Sylvia, she at first doesn't like her. However, after being offered a job with the condition that learning to quilt will be a part of her paycheck, she grows to love Sylvia and the Elm Creek manor, and together they try to find a way to return it to its old glory.The second book continues on with the business they develop and the troubles in their daily lives. Together, with friendship and a Round Robin quilt they are able to help each other and overcome their obstacles.This book, as stated before, is about their guests. All there for vastly different reasons, a group of women form a unique friendship and promise to work on a Challenge quilt to put together the next year they go to quilter's camp. But part of this challenge is they have to face the challenges in their own life before making their square.Donna, a mother to two young ladies has to deal that her daughter may be in a not healthy relationship. Originally outgoing her daughter seems to be giving everything up for her fiance. When things start to go worse and worse she begins to fear the worst and think her daughter's entered into an abusive relationship she can't handle.Megan, a young single mother, is troubled by the problems her son is having at school and the lack of contact with his father. When she meets charming Adam, the grandson of one of the other cross-country quilter's she's scared to let herself fall for him and be heartbroken again. Not to mention she doesn't want to put her son through that as well to be betrayed a second time.Vinnie, a sprightly grandmother, has the challenge of making her grandson Adam forget his ex-fiance who so carelessly broke his heart and find true love again. Being the matchmaker she has her eye's set on Megan as being a perfect way for that to happen.Julia is an aging actress that is preparing for her next role in a movie that has to do with quilting. Not knowing how to quilt herself she came to the camp to learn. Now she wants to get through this movie without being replaced by younger actresses. She does a lot of growing in this novel and is a good reminder that age does not always equal maturity.Grace, a respected quilter in her own right, is dealing with not having inspiration to quilt anymore and her secret. Her secret actually turned out to be something close to my heart and I was really able to care about her as a character. At the risk of spoiling this for others I do have to share what that secret is. Grace has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. At first she finds it unbearable to live with and doesn't want anyone to know as she doesn't want their pity. She also mourns the loss of her skills as a sewer and quilter and fears that she will never be the same again or even happy. However, she learns to grow and while she may not be able to do what she once did, she can learn other ways to be happy and to enjoy her craft. You see, my father was recently diagnosed with MS and I see him in the early Grace of this book; very downtrodden and heartbroken at what life has handed to him. However, this book has given me hope that he too will work his way through this, and if not be able to do what he used to, at least be happy again. If I thought I could get him to read a book about quilting I would have him read this book in a heartbeat. It made the book very important to me.The language of this book, like most of what I've read of Chiaverini's is in the third person. She writes extremely well and descriptive and you can see the colors of the quilts in her words. She also has an unbelievable knack of making you care for her characters. This isn't the only book of her's that I've teared up a bit at. One important thing to note however is that this book is more story than quilting instruction. Like the 2nd book this one is a novel and not a combination of quilting lore/story.A lovely story with deeply moving moments I will definitely treasure this book. I can't wait to read the next one in this wonderful series!The Cross Country QuiltersCopyright 2001278 pages

Round Robin

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3.94 rating

Comment 1: The 2nd in the series of the Elm Creek Quilts collection, Round Robin comes after the first book, The Quilter's Apprentice. While this story was just as charming as the first, I was disappointed to find that there wasn't as much quilt lore or instruction in this novel. It was more just a work of fiction than the half fiction/ half quilting fun I had discovered in The Quilter's Apprentice.Instead of focusing mostly on Sylvie and Sarah, this time the novel stretched to cover the trials and tribulations of the whole Elm Creek Quilter's Guild. It takes place two years after the first book and the Elm Creek Quilter's Retreat that is located on Sylvie's historic estate has grown into a big success. So big that they were even featured in a television show on unique backwoods places.However, due to a careless comment she made on the show, Sarah ends up hurting her mother yet again. There's has been a relationship full of trouble and arguments. Seeking to repair that, Sylvie invites Sarah's mother Carol to come and stay at the retreat and learn to quilt, hoping that in the process she and Sarah will learn to respect each other again. This proves tougher than she thinks as the two cannot stop arguing or saying the wrong things to each other. Sarah also finds herself growing further apart from her husband as well. Feeling isolated she has to find a way to deal with her emotions alone.Meanwhile Diane is trying to figure out how to make her son behave. Recently arrested for skateboarding in a no-skateboard area, she realizes that he's not acting out because he wants to, there's literally no legal area to skateboard in town. She and her husband construct a ramp in the backyard, but nosy neighbors report them and the city forces them to take it down. Problems ensue as a result.Judy, who has known all her life that her biological father didn't want contact with her, receives a surprising letter from him. Upon opening it however, she discovers its from her half-sister who is very eager to meet her. She has to decide whether to open old hurts for a chance to meet new family.Gwen and Summer, while they rarely have problems between themselves come to an argument that threatens to break them apart. Gwen has high aspiration for her daughter and wants her to go on to graduate school. Summer on the other hand, has different plans for her life. But she doesn't want to disappoint Gwen.Bonnie, previously thinking her life was happy, finds that her husband has been emotionally cheating on her over the Internet. She also discovers that it could take another step further into a physical relationship. She wants to save her marriage, but isn't sure how to do it.These ladies, with the help of each other, face their problems and try to find the best solution for themselves. Throughout it they have one common goal that ties them together, a round robin quilt that is a surprise for Sylvia. The quilt is really the only bit of quilting information that is done in this novel. It explains how one is made but doesn't really go into detail on the intricacies of it. This was somewhat disappointing to me but not enough for me to not enjoy the story. After all, there are several more books in the series and more quilting lore is probably encased in those stories.The writing in this book is once again done in the third person. Since there wasn't as much quilting information in this book the terminology was definitely much easier to understand. It was easy to connect to the characters and you could care about them. I even felt myself tear up at a few points in the story. Overall I was pleased with the novel.Round RobinCopyright 2000247 pages

Broken Dishes

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3.93 rating

Comment 1: I became interested in this cozy mystery series because the titles are all based on quilt blocks which are featured on the covers and their history is explained in opening comments. But quilting is really incidental in this series, which I've come to appreciate for its emphasis on relationships and faith. Benni is always displaying quilts at the museum or finding quilts which have some connection to the investigation, but other than chatting it up with the quilters in the artists' co-op at her museum, she's rarely involved with quilting herself. This book doesn't have her quilting, but there's more quilt stuff in this installment. She goes out to her friend's ranch for two weeks to help put on a quilting retreat in their effort to turn their ranch into a guest ranch with programs. She brings all her friends and relatives to help so they are there when she discovers some decades-old bones buried on the ranch during a trail ride she is leading for the guests. An investigation ensues into the old murder and there are some complications between her and Detective Hudson that drive her husband, Gabe, crazy. There are also comic moments with her crazy cousin, Rita, who is not a cooperative server at mealtimes, and a group of four rich cousins from Georgia who are guests at the ranch. This is another solid mystery tale with these interesting characters.

The Art of Manipulating Fabric

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4.4 rating

Comment 1: This is a systematic explication of various techniques for manipulating fabric. Straight forward descriptions and excellent diagrams and photographs of the various methods. I highly recommend it both for the home crafter and professional artists who wish to work with fabrics. Ever wonder what the difference between a ruffle and a flounce is? Ever wonder how your grandmother made those pillows that look like they are woven out of strips of fabric but are actually just carefully pleated? Ever want Comment 2: This book was very helpful to me. The instructions are clear and thorough, and the photographs are excellent. There was one explanation of a particular technique that didn't make sense to me; when I tried to follow the instructions they just didn't work; but I have a feeling the fault lies in me; not the author. She put an incredible amount of work into producing this book. I hope she is being well rewarded for her efforts! Comment 3: An amazing book on how to do just about anything with fabric. I recently completed a project on smocking and tucking techniques for school and this book was a gem. The pictures are of her samples are drool inducing and the instructions are clear. Just flipping through the pages is enough to make me run to thread my hand sewing needles.

Sunshine and Shadow

by

4 rating

Comment 1: I really like this installment in the series. I like getting a look into the past and getting to "meet" Benni's first husband Jack. I love the connections you find out about at the end and really that's what I remembered about the plot of this book more than anything else. I don't want to spoil it so I won't say. I don't know if it had anything to do with the plot, but all through this book I was thinking how different their lives would be if they had kids. There's no way Benni would be able to volunteer for so many things if she had kids at home. She probably wouldn't be taking so many stupid risks either if she had a child with her or if she was the sole caretaker for a couple of kids. They don't really go into it much how Benni doesn't seem to be able to have kids. They kind of mentioned it in one but never really touch on the subject again. I think that's interesting. You would think it would come up more with how much they talk about family and the next generation and how Elvia's mom pesters her about it. I would like to see how Gabe acts as the father to an infant or young child. I think it would really loosen him up. But apparently they're not going there. Too bad.

Quilting For Dummies

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3.82 rating

Comment 1: This was very helpful. I could get a feel for a lot of the steps of quilting. I did skip a few chapters that didn't seem relevant to me at this time. I also wish there had been more "pure" quilt projects instead of a lot of mixed projects including applique which I'm not interested in at the moment. Some of the instructions I had to read a few times. The diagrams were often of great help. The author is clearly familiar with her field yet was able to remember the basics that a beginner would be s Comment 2: I got this to take forward a project we started 3 years ago after seeing all these beautiful handmade quilts in USA and Canada. So we bought the materials and basic instructions and the tools. We have even cut out some of the pieces but have hesitated when it comes to sewing up accurately. The Dummies book was to help us over this hurdle. It was readable and clearly set out so one day soon we will get out the sewing machine and complete the job...I hope! Comment 3: This is the ultimate book of quilting for the complete beginner. It tells you everything you need to get started on your new hobby, techniques and tips to make life easier, fabric advice, problem solving and a few easy patterns to try. Everything you need to know in one handy book!

Twelve by Twelve: The International Art Quilt Challenge

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4.71 rating

Comment 1: While I must admit I prefer traditional quilts to art quilts, I found this book fascinating. A group of twelve art quilters, most of whom only knew each other from their on-line blogs, challenge themselves to create 12 12"x12" quilts over the period of two years. Each chapter focuses on one artist and one of her quilts, describing her inspiration and the method she used for creating her quilt. Comment 2: This is another book I received for free, presumably to review since the letter included wasn't very clear, from Lark Books. It is really nice of them to send me books, especially ones that I like.

City Quilts: 12 Dramatic Projects Inspired by Urban Views

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4.08 rating

Comment 1: Pros: House's use of color, particularly in the project quilts, is beautiful. "City Green" and "City Fair," in particular, are what drew me to this book; I was planning to make the former for a wedding in a few months, but there are so many pieces that I need something faster. I think I'm going to go with "City Bank" - easy, but also colorfully stunning. I think it will go quickly, which is most important these days. Also: I really like the concept of this book a lot, what with the geometry of c Comment 2: Cherri gives some good design advice, encouraging quilters to simplify. She makes quilts out of solids to represent the grids of the city, so she uses mostly squares and rectangles, often with sashing. One or two use rounder shapes. The problem is that the quilts are uninteresting. The best thing she does is use color, and she points out how she gets the color effects. I sympathize with her aesthetic, but don't care for her design work or execution. Comment 3: Good collection of modern quilts. The quilts are all city-related themed but would work in any situation. All the quilts use solid colors, no prints. Some beautiful combinations in there. Comment 4: TONS OF PROJECTS for the 20+ kids in my life... I give them a lap quilt for their first home/ apartment. They all love the patterns in this book.

Fabric Dyer's Dictionary: 900+ Colors, Specialty Techiniques, the Only Dyeing Book You'll Ever Need!

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4.39 rating

Here, readers can learn how to make rainbows, subtle gradations, and unique patterns using common brands of dye, and then use their hand-dyed fabric for any project from quiltmaking to wearables to fibre art.

Pretty Little Mini Quilts

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3.38 rating

Pretty Little + Mini Quilts = ONE BIG SUCCESS!   Right from the start, crafters embraced Lark's Pretty Little series—and they’ll love this exciting new entry, too. Acknowledging the widespread popularity of quilting today, Pretty Little Mini Quilts focuses specifically on this hot trend in stitchery. Mini quilts are no larger than three feet in length or height, making them perfect for quilters in the mood for a smaller, quicker project.  These wonderful, modern designs—suitable for beginners and intermediates—are the creations of 25 leading artists, many of whom have a prominent online presence. The featured techniques, all explained in the Basics section, include machine and hand quilting, piecing, embroidery, fusing, embellishing with beads and other materials, and trapunto.

500 Art Quilts: An Inspiring Collection of Contemporary Work

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4.3 rating

Comment 1: Of the three art/history of quilting books I borrowed from the library, this is the one that disappointed me. It seems the selection criteria was "who was willing to send us a picture"". Many of the iconic art quilts/artists are missing. There is no particular organization to the book and there is no information provided about the quilt or the quilter (as I so enjoyed in the other books). And the size of the book means the pictures are small an crowded. Comment 2: 500 Art Quilts is another delicious book published by one of my all time favorite art/craft publishing houses, Lark Books. I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to review this book because I knew that it was going to be a really important library addition. Comment 3: just a slapdash compendium of quilt photos. clearly there was a filter--they didn't publish just anything--but with a goal of 500 quilts in one book...well, you know. Comment 4: Thanks to Lark Books for sending me this book to review. I love getting cool books for free. And this is a really cool book. It is part of Lark Books'

Amish Abstractions: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown

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4.25 rating

Comment 1: I have been enamored with Amish Quilts for more years than I care to admit to! My obsession with them began with an exhibit of Amish Quilts at the Whitney Museum in New York City in the 1970’s. I have always thought that Amish quilts represent the height of quilt artistry and I’ve collected books on Amish quilts for many years. I was, therefore, thoroughly delighted when I was asked to review this new book from Pomegranate Communications!

One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Projects; Look How Much You Can Make with Just One Yard of Fabric!

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3.77 rating

Comment 1: Ah, One Yard Wonders where have you been all my life. I am not the most widely creative person. I need help, inspiration, a burly muse that will nudge me (shove me) in the creative direction. I have a ton of one yard or less pieces of fabric. What seamstress or crafter doesn't? This book has a many ideas for those one yard or less scraps that are taking up precious space. I really enjoyed this book, it offered many ideas for those leftover scraps. The book is sprial bound which I like, lays nice Comment 2: I'm pretty familiar with this series from the massively popular one-skein wonder knitting books. They tend to be more about quantity of patterns rather than quality, and this book is no exception -- there is a fanny pack pattern, I kid you not. But because there are a ton of patterns, there's something for everyone (due to the one-yard limitation, especially if you sew for kids), and I have to give kudos to the spiral-bound format which I will forever blather about LOVING for craft and cookbooks Comment 3: This book has an excellent introduction with a useful list of sewing essentials, fabric information, tips on cutting, fabric preparation, good sewing practices and a bit of terminology to get you started, not to mention the glossary at the back of the book. The instructions themselves are clear and easy to follow with excellent illustrations and diagrams for how to layout the patter for maximum and efficient fabric use and how to bring the pieces together. Each project also has tips on the best

Little Cowgirl Needs a Mom

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3.71 rating

The cowboy's patchwork familyWhen a little girl peers around the door with an unfinished quilt in hand, shop owner Jenny Collins's heart melts. Gracie's desperate to finish the work her mother left undone. Widower Evan Rafferty might be the best-looking cowboy in town, but he's also the grumpiest! He's not impressed when a strange woman demands he take his daughter quilting. But Jenny's warmth and spirit are irresistible, and Evan realizes he must let go of the past to be the father Gracie needs--and the man Jenny wants...

The Quilts of Gee's Bend: Masterpieces from a Lost Place

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4.58 rating

Since the 19th century, the women of Gee’s Bend in southern Alabama have created stunning, vibrant quilts. Beautifully illustrated with 110 color illustrations, The Quilts of Gee’s Bend includes a historical overview of the two hundred years of extraordinary quilt-making in this African-American community, its people, and their art-making tradition. This book is being·released in conjunction with a national exhibition tour including The Museum of Fine Art, Houston, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The Quilt That Walked to Golden: Women and Quilts in the Mountain West - From the Overland Trail to Contemporary Colorado

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3.9 rating

Comment 1: In the first bit of this book, one thing the author says is how little we know about women who walked across the country towards the west. I think that will be rue when historians look back at our time since people no longer keep diaries. Yes, they keep blogs, which will help those historians, but I wonder if it is the same. Comment 2: A walk through pioneer to modern history of women making quilts. SD notes many well-known quilt patterns and gives a historical review of quilting methods, styles and quilters. She explains how quilting moved from utilitarian bedcovers to works of art & history. Comment 3: This book would be a heck of a lot more interesting if I was a quilter. As I am NOT, it was just okay. I thought it was sort of randomly put together - very choppy. An interesting little look at history - I ended up just skimming through much of it. Comment 4: I reall enjoyed this book. For anyone who enjoys quilting and then enjoys history. This tells the history of western women and the quilts that they made, specifically women who settled in Colorado.

Delectable Mountains

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3.92 rating

Comment 1: This series has always had references to Benni's deep faith but this novel delves into that faith more than previous books in the series. Dove is asked to take over directing a children's play of "Pilgrim's Progress" for her church and ropes Benni into helping. During rehearsals she finds the dead body of the church's handyman and discovers that a young immigrant girl is the only witness. She probes into the death and becomes involved in the issue of churches harboring illegal immigrants. She also comes face-to-face with her own mortality in a deeper way than previous books and learns about other's free will to choose and how we may not have forever to show those we love how much they mean to us. One of the fun things of reading a series through is seeing the author develop her writing style and also watching the characters learn and grow. The first couple novels had Benni getting banged up and scared but this one was a much more mature scenario with deeper currents that tested her faith. This was my favorite so far in a series that gets better with each novel. They could be read as stand-alones, but there's so much back-story to the characters and since these books are fundamentally about relationships, they need to be read in order to get all the meanings.

The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker: 12 Quilt Projects

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4.17 rating

Comment 1: If you're looking for a book to teach you quilting and you're not an old blue hair who's interested in making something yet another flying geese/Ohio star/sawtooth quilt, this is a great book. The instructions are clear and the tips are great; things that make quilters argue like the pros and cons of pre-washing fabrics are presented evenly. It's like having a good friend who wants to tell you how to make a quilt. The patterns are varied and interesting, and having someone pay as much attention Comment 2: i LOVED this book! i realized after i bought it that it's the same book i paged through last summer when i was looking for quilt ideas for the baby quilt i was going to make for ramona. elizabeth's "snapshots" quilt inspired me to try fussy-cutting. that quilt is still not finished & i'm not wild about how it turned out, but now that i have more sewing experience (including quiltmaking) under my belt, i realize what i did wrong. i was impatient & i was trying to cut corners & speed u Comment 3: I admit, I was skeptical that I'd learn anything new from this book, especially after I read the introduction and saw she had been quilting for 10 years, while I've racked up more years than that. But I was wrong and I found a few things I hadn't seen before, like great corners to add to small quilts for easy hanging (page 19), some good ideas for fussy-cutting (page 28), and some great stuff on binding that will make my next project much easier (pages 40-44).

15 Minutes of Play -- Improvisational Quilts: Made-Fabric Piecing Traditional Blocks Scrap Challenges

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4.2 rating

This title presents improvisational piecing reinvented: learn how to create your own creatively-collaged swatches of fabric in just 15 minutes a day.

Sunday Morning Quilts: 16 Modern Scrap Projects Sort, Store, and Use Every Last Bit of Your Treasured Fabrics

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4.17 rating

Comment 1: My new favorite quilting book! I admit to being a bit obsessed with buying quilt books. Usually, there is only one or two projects in the book that I'd want to try and I end up being disappointed. That is not the case with Sunday Morning Quilts! Of the 16 projects in the book, there is only one that I wouldn't want to make; it's gorgeous, but a more tedious process than I am interested in. Comment 2: What a beautiful book! This is a great book for both modern and traditional quilters. The two authors have great suggestions for what to do with your leftover fabrics (both for storage and for use). I love how they explain why the quilt works so well as well as recommend ways to "make it yours." This is another book that I am sad to return to the library. Comment 3: I adore this book, the authors, and their blogs. I'm a long time fan. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, most of the patterns in it, and the scrappy techniques. I really hope to see more of Amanda Jean's scrappy designs in future books. I absolutely love her style! Definitely a book worth collecting on my shelf, and not just borrowing from the library! Comment 4: The premise of this book is making modern quilts using up your scraps. Almost half of the book is dedicated to dealing with scraps... what they are, how to cut them, how to store them, how to piece them, etc. There was some good information about scraps and there are instructions to make a neat little fabric box.

Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts

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4.08 rating

Comment 1: If you love patchwork and cute gifts (or heck, even making things for yourself) you will love this book! Filled with cute things, and the projects are divided into groups by the approximate time they should take to be finished. Need something for tomorrow? There is a section for crafts that can be made within hours. Do you have a few days or a week? There is a section for crafts that take longer...along with everything inbetween. Comment 2: This is an awesome sewing book! I made the elephant, but also plan on making the birds and the pin cushion. This is definitely going on the future wish list (I checked it out from the library). Make sure to read the instructions carefully. Sometimes they are a little unclear, but make sense as you go. Many of these projects are small enough that you could make them over and over. Comment 3: This book has a sweet, simplistic sensibility that I really like. The projects are separated into how long they should take you to complete from 2 hours up to 12+. They range from a pin cushion and needle book to a stuff elephant and table coverings to wall hangings and bed quilts. Many of the latter are very simple and yet have a big impact. Comment 4: This book has scads of lovely ideas for gifts. I'm not much of a quilter, but I did get a lot of joy out of some of the simple quilt ideas. I was especially thrilled that it has a pattern for a Puzzle Ball in it. I had one as a child and have been wanting to re-create it for my son, but had no idea of where to start.

A Thread So Thin

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3.98 rating

Comment 1: In A Thread So Thin, author Marie Bostwick returns her readers to New Bern, Connecticut, where business at Evelyn Dixon’s Cobbled Court Quilt Shop is slowly increasing. Internet sales are on the rise and more and more the shop is growing in popularity with the local community. When Evelyn’s son, Garrett, proposes to his girlfriend, Liza, on New Year’s Eve, will she accept? Due to graduate from art school and a with a job on the horizon, Liza struggles with the advice from the quilters of New Ber Comment 2: The third book in the Cobbled Court series revolves primarily around Lisa. She is shocked when a fancy night out leads to a proposal. While she initially turns down Garrett, she does give in and withdraws into herself. While Evelyn is worried about them being to young, she doesn't say anything about it after Lisa hears her initial dismay. Also out of character is Abigail's way over the top response to create the wedding of the century and her bullying ways.Also worrying Lisa is the opportunity t Comment 3: Sorry to say, I didn't enjoy this book nearly as much as the other two. Lisa, the central character in this book, is now no longer the person she was in the first 2 books. The other people were close to those developed in prior books which I enjoyed very much. So just right in the middle, I gave up and read the book from 'Between Heaven and Texas.' That book was great by the way. I so enjoy much of the quilting as it reminds me of being a kid/pre teen working with others making quilts on Sundays

Ties That Bind

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4.19 rating

Comment 1: Welcome back to New Bern, Connecticut, home of the Cobbled Court Quilt Shop. Margot, a friend and employee of Evelyn, is celebrating her fortieth birthday, and has resigned herself to life as a single woman. She is planning a reunion of her family for Christmas and hopes to mend some wounds between her parents and her sister Mari. She is also looking forward to getting to better know her young niece Olivia. But when tragedy strikes, the anticipated healing becomes that of heartache and sorrow. F Comment 2: I love this series, and this book may be my favorite yet. I love the way her books make me feel I am returning to a familiar and comfortable, full of old friends, and yet each book is new with a different flavor represenative of the characters she is highlighting. One of the reviews stated that they did not like the religious tone of this novel, that they had not noticed that with the previous books, but for me, it accurately represented Margot and Phillippa. I look forward to more Cobblestone Q Comment 3: This author continues the story of a group of women who have become fast friends meeting through a quilt shop owned and run by one of the friends. This story introduces a new friend; someone who has been hired to be an interim pastor of a church the friends attend. First off it's a she not a he that has been hired. Then there's the fact that she is the daughter (adopted) of a well known pastor who is a wonderful preacher. That being said the story is set at Christmas time and the reader is drawn

Endless Chain

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4.05 rating

Comment 1: I have to admit I have had this book in my TBR since it came out,and just never seemed to pull it out until the other day after I read some of Emilie's blogs here. Well,I can happily say I have found a new author I really plan to follow now! I have 9 of her books already and have ordered 4 more,so Emilie you will have an entire bookshelf row devoted just to your books. Elisa Martinez fascinated me from, the start since she was so quiet and secretive,so I was anxious to find out what was in her life she was hiding. Little did I know what would be unveiled as her story went along! She and Sam Kinkade seemed made for each other right from the start but his engagement to another was in the way-I was glad when the realization surfaced how it had grown cold,so it was ended. The giving spirit of most of the people in Toms Brook really is how I was raised and automatically endeared them to me. I am now anxious to read the next in this series and spend more time in this community. Thank you so much,Emilie for introducing me to another segment in my reading and my life. Comment 2: One of the Shenandoah series based in Virginia, this one features a woman, Elisa Martinez who comes to the Community Church in the small town to seek employment as a sexton to the Pastor, Rev. Sam Kincaid. A private, mysterious woman of many talents, Elisa's bi-lingual abilities are a God-send to Rev. Sam in establishing an English Immersion class for the children of farm workers in the area.Ms. Richards writes of life in a small town very much like it usually is. There are several sub-plots, not just Elisa's story going on here - many pieces that come together just like a well-crafted quilt: "Endless Chain" is the perfect title. Again, Ms. Richards does not disappoint with her engaging characters, peeks into the past generations, a lot of history and thought provoking situations. Loved it!

Denyse Schmidt Quilts: 30 Colorful Quilt and Patchwork Projects

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4.09 rating

Comment 1: I thought the best part of the book was the first section where she talks about how she does things - pieces, quilts, etc. Very straight forward and got the point across in a very different way than other quilting books which are so technical as to be confusing. This would be excellent for someone starting out. The book itself was more valuable to me as a 'foster of ideas' than to make her quilts, which are cool, but are very much hers. It's a gorgeous book quality-wise and I'll definitely buy i Comment 2: I'm ready to leave behind my editorial career and librarian aspirations for a career of quilting after reading this book. I enjoyed piecing together patchwork quilts when I was younger, but left the hobby behind as "old-fashioned" as I grew older. This book revived my passion and made me look at quilting in a whole new way. Comment 3: This is a great book for a beginner quilter that wants to learn how to make quilts with a modern twist. It gives in depth information on tools and techniques that will help you get started. I checked it out from the library since there are so many books on quilting, but I will definitely buy this one. Comment 4: I have to admit that I haven't made anything from this book yet since I'm still working on my quilt with Asian fabrics. I however have a collection of Japanese indigos and tea-dyed muslin ready for her string quilt. I honestly want to make everything in the book.

The Modern Quilt Workshop: Patterns, Techniques, and Designs from the FunQuilts Studio

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4.07 rating

Comment 1: just finished a queen-sized plain spoken, and it's beautiful! i love using solids, which i've never thought much about before. the quilting also inspired me to dust off my free-motion foot and learn how to do it, and honestly, it's opened a whole new quilting door for me. i'm not sure whether i'll make another from this book anytime soon, but it's totally worth it just for the inspiration. Comment 2: OK Wow. These quilts are gorgeous. I have wanted to quilt for ages now but shied away mainly because I thought I'd have to start out learning all the classics and traditional blocks, which I was not inspired by. This book has quilts for beginners up to advanced with great instructions. I am hardly able to contain myself till I can start working on several of them. Comment 3: I reluctantly had to take this back to the library, but I read through all of it once and was starting to study the directions more in detail—it's a really great resource for the kind of quilting I hope to do one of these days. The directions are good (or, at least easy to read—I haven't actually tried to Comment 4: Ubber cool designs that aren't your g'mamas wedding ring quilt! Fell in LOVE with the bookshelf quilt, and yes, that will be my first endeavour from this book- already got my fabrics picked out. :)

Modern Patchwork: 12 Quilts to Take You Beyond the Basics

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4.22 rating

Comment 1: Once you have read The Practical Guide to Patchwork: New Basics for the Modern Quiltmaker, 12 Quilt Projects Elizabeth Hartman's first book, you will have all the basics you need to begin quilting and to progress to an intermediate level. Once you feel you are at an intermediate level, than I would strongly encourage you to check out Modern Patchwork: 12 Quilts to Take You Beyond the Basics. The title could not be more accurate for this book, it will take you beyond the basics. Comment 2: I have struggled to understand the excitement about the modern quilt movement. When I opened this book, I begin to see how I could grow to like the patterns and adapt them to the fabrics that appeal to me. Hartman's patterns are striking and a bit challenging and I loved her descriptions of why she chose the fabric she did. Each pattern has directions for a related backing - in many cases I'd be hard pressed to say which I liked more. Comment 3: This is a library book that I will renew as many times as possible because there is at least one pattern, Roller Rink, that I want to make. It's a simple strip piecing pattern with the colors reversed on every other block creating a great sense of movement. Comment 4: Modern Patchwork truly lives up to its title – it’s packed with great projects from one of the modern quilting blogosphere’s superstars. There are a few projects in this book that are right up my alley, and I’ll be sure to be making some of them.

Material Obsession: Modern Quilts with Traditional Roots

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4.04 rating

Comment 1: What I really liked about this book is the authors' approach to quilts, and that there isn't a right or a wrong. They have really great ideas, and my favorite 2 patterns are very, very simple, but I love they way they just let the fabric speak for itself. As someone who has favorites I can't bear to cut up, they seem to get it, and say, well, then, showcase it! Comment 2: I didn't necessarily find a quilt pattern in this book that I loved, and I didn't love all the combinations of quilts, but I love the author's philosophy on fabric-—that you choose something you love and you create a masterpiece that reflects you and your life, not be bound by rules about what types of fabric should be used. Comment 3: I'm a huge fan of the modern quilting movement (Elizabeth Hartman, Alissa Haight Carlton, etc) that's caught on in the past few years. Aesthetically, this book didn't do it for me. If you're torn between traditional and modern quilting, though, this book might be right up your alley. Comment 4: I rarely find quilt books like this that have both the combination of exciting colors/fabrics and contemporary twists to quilt patterns. This one combines traditional ideas with new/fun ideas. I have found several quilts to make here, including the one I never made my daughter.

Quilts from the House of Tula Pink: 20 Fabric Projects to Make, Use and Love

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4.01 rating

Comment 1: I am a huge fan of Tula Pink. I just felt there was a weird disconnect with this book. I loved reading about how she designs her fabrics and she is so helpful when it comes to color theory. I would have loved a book that explored that more in depth. I felt the projects didn't really fit in with the rest of the book and didn't showcase her gorgeous fabrics that well. I would have been fine with no projects and more inspiration quilts. Comment 2: There are some clever pointers in here, for example her instructons on binding are the clearest I've seen, the actual free motion or longarm quilting is magnificent, and the steps in fabric design were interesting. The quilts are semi-abstract and only so-so, though, so I probably won't make any of them. But I do like her fabric regardless and will keep an eye out for new releases. Comment 3: Library Book: Watched Tula Pink on Sewing with Nancy Show and loved her quilts. The book is also fabulous. diffidently would make some of her designs. Very easy, modern style. Love the colors May consider getting the Sewing with Nancy dvd & Tula Pink Book. Comment 4: This book is a fantastic addition to anyone's sewing library. It is full of beautiful photography, insightful tips and tricks for faster/easier sewing, lovely and creative projects, and COLOR!

Liberated Quiltmaking

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4.17 rating

Quilter and lecturer Gwen Marston introduces quilters to distinctive processes for creating original quilts. Without using templates or set patterns, Gwen guides the quiltmaker through each process, showing a way to work rather than actually dictating the destination. Over 100 beautiful and colorful quilts plus 150 illustrations are pictured in the book and the step-by-step instructions will serve as guides to help the quilter realize her own creative abilities. The adventure of Liberated Quiltmaking processes keeps the quilter engaged throughout the entire operation. These processes require using both intuition and emotion as well as technical skill. Discover true freedom to create your own quilt that is beautifully unique. AUTHORBIO: Helping quilters realize their own creative abilities, Gwen Marston teaches quiltmaking in the United States as well as Japan. She has enjoyed more than 26 solo exhibits of her work in both of these countries, including seven museum exhibits of her small quilts. Gwen has been a regular columnist for "Lady's Circle Patchwork Quilts" and has authored 15 books, five for AQS. REVIEW: "Her 'liberated quiltmaking' is the making of utility quilts (quilts meant to be used, not just exhibited) without templates or patterns or even necessarily a preplanned color scheme. When process becomes more important than pattern, the endless possibilities that arise during the combined planning/making process keep the quilter fully engaged. Highly recommended for subject collections."

Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, & Inspiration

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3.87 rating

Comment 1: The ultimate modern quilting book. Truly fresh. I loved the use of color, the textures created in the quilts and the projects. Beautiful photos, stepped out instructions & inspiring ideas. Update: Checked this out almost two years after first reading, it's still fresh. Recommended for sewists looking to bridge into quilting as there are several small projects for those wanting to test the modern quilting waters. Comment 2: What a pretty book this is. I love author Malka Dubrawsky's use of colors in her projects, I was just surprised that she did not talk in detail about color theory or choices. I thought it would have been useful and informative since the subtitle is "fearless color, design and inspiration". Comment 3: This is one of the first quilting books I've read that has smaller projects (potholders, sewing machine cover, coasters) in addition to blanket-sized stuff. I really liked the intro chapter and the use of colors, but I don't think I'm going to make anything from this. Comment 4: I got this book from my local library. I only saw a two patterns I liked in the entire book. But hey, isn't this what these books are used for? Little patterns here and there right? Loved the colors used and this is a good book to get from the local library.

Modern Minimal: 20 Bold & Graphic Quilts

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4.01 rating

Comment 1: It's a bit hard to rate this book because while the quilts are beautiful, they are not at all my style. They are very modern looking. And this is the first time I've heard the phrase "improv piecing" but I'm pretty sure it's not my thing. I am a believer that corners don't have to match exactly and other loose ideas that would have many quilters gasping in horror, but I still like more traditional patchwork. I also like symmetry, and a lot of these patterns are asymmetrical. That being said, the Comment 2: Many of these quilts are a lot of work for something that looks so, well, simple. But I enjoy the bold graphic look--especially the red monochromatic quilt that looks like a Rothko painting. The thing is, one's quilting is incredibly important when the design is so sleek and spare. I'll have to get my machine quilting skills up to par before I attempt one of these beauties. Comment 3: This book had ideas about quilts with big patterns and usually solid colors. It was as if there was only one block on an entire large quilt. Beautiful visual displays. Also beautiful color combinations. Baby quilts were shown with pastels; bright colors would be better for those little humans. Comment 4: I love sewing with solids and quilting and so was excited to see this book. I don't know that I'll actually make any of these quilts but I enjoyed looking at them!

Modern Blocks: 99 Quilt Blocks from Your Favorite Designers

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4.1 rating

Comment 1: Lots of great block ideas here with several being very scrap-friendly. These are just for patchwork ideas, though -- not for quilting (as in stitching patterns). The image of each block - big and beautiful! - do no show any quilting stitches. Still, it is a wealth of inspiration for patchwork. Comment 2: If you've been quilting for years, you'll find most books on block design are fundamentally the same. This book tweaks those designs, presents them in retro fabric or with a splash of novelty fabric that you might normally hesitate to use, and comes up with a whole new look. Comment 3: Have been enjoying looking at quilting books, and though I haven't tried any of them out yet, there were some cool blocks in here. The one thing I wish this book had was visualizations of what it would look like to put them together for a quilt. Comment 4: Great inspiration for modern/geometric quilt block designs. I've had this book for about a month and keep going back for another look. Nice photos of the finished blocks and easy to understand diagrams to follow along.

Simple Contemporary Quilts: Bold New Designs for the First-Time Quilter

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3.64 rating

Comment 1: Twenty spectacular projects—from small wall hangings to large blankets—reveal the amazing versatility of today’s quilting. Easy-to-assemble big blocks and appliqués create a powerful visual impact. Freeform designs require minimal measuring and marking. The materials feature irresistible prints, vintage-style charm, or cool details. Each quilt is fabulous!A Selection of the Crafter's Choice Book Club. Comment 2: Working with new and unexpected materials can be exciting. Sadly I wasn't particularly impressed with the designs (a bit artsy-fartsy ugly for my taste) or materials that require special treatment. Cotton quilts can be cleaned in a domestic washing machine but how do you launder organza or silk quilts with delicate appliques?