Book 2 is Round Robin: To celebrate the beginning of Elm Creek Quilts, Sarah, Sylvia, and their circle of friends name themselves the Elm Creek Quilters. As a gift to Sylvia, the others have begun a round robin -- a quilt created by sewing concentric patchwork to a central block as it is passed around a sewing circle. As each woman makes her creative contribution, she adds her story to the history of Elm Creek Manor. Resplendent in green, blue, and gold, the quilt serves as a symbol of the complex, lasting ties that unify mothers and daughters, sisters and friends. As they stitch together the sometimes harmonious -- often discordant -- scraps of their crazy-quilt lives, the Elm Creek Quilters learn that friendship is a most precious gift and that even in the darkest of times, love illuminates the way home.
Book 3 is The Cross-Country Quilters: Five women arrive at Elm Creek Manor, hoping to find in their quilting lessons an escape from the problems they have left at home. This far-flung group becomes fast friends who pledge to complete a "challenge quilt" -- symbolic of each woman's personal goals -- in one year's time. Although the Cross-Country Quilters share a common creative goal, as the year goes by, their bonds are tested by the demands of daily life. But despite differences in age, race, and background, the friends' love for quilting and affection for one another unite them in a patchwork of caring and acceptance. The quilt they make reminds them of an everlasting truth -- friends may be separated by great distance, yet the strength of their bond can transcend any obstacle.
The only thing that could have made these books better if there was a cat or two living at Elm Creek Manor!!!!
I have been so inspired by these books (and learned that you don't need a sewing machine to make a quilt) that I am going to start on a new project - one hand-pieced quilt block at a time and make a quilt. I've picked out the quilt I want to try and here is the first block I've ordered. When it arrives I will take it to the quilt shop I visit here in Williamsburg, Iowa (The Woolen Needle) and have the gals there help me pick out fabric. They will also help me get started too! The entire quilt is called "By Wisdom a House is Built" and available through Indygo Junction on their "folk quilt blocks of the month page! Wish me luck!!