Some of My Craftings

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Had a Cold.

Yes, I've been away you see because I have had the nasty headcold thing that has been going around. I am starting to feel better and went in to work today for several hours.

Now while I as sniffling away at home I took out a book that will ultimately find its way to my church's library. I've never read anything by this author before, but I was desperate for something to occupy my time because my head was just to fuzzy to let me hand sew. I absolutely loved it! It was by Jennifer Chiaverini and called "An Elm Creek Quilts Sampler."  The book is three novels in one that are about the Elm Creek Quilters of Pennsylvania's idyllic Elm Creek Manor. Book 1 is The Quilter's Apprentice: Master quilter Sylvia Compson shares the secrets of her creative gifts with her young assistant, Sarah McClure. During their lessons, the intricate, varied threads of Sylvia's life begin to emerge. It is the story of a young wife living through the hardships and agonies of the World War II home front; of a family torn apart by jealously and betrayal; of misunderstanding, loss, and a tragedy that can never be undone. As the bond between them deepens, Sarah resolves to help Sylvia free herself from remembered sorrows and restore her life -- and her home, Elm Creek Manor -- to its former glory. In turn, Sylvia helps Sarah confront her own troubled past. Out of their shared triumph is born a lifelong friendship and a fledgling business called Elm Creek Quilts.

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!!


  1. Hello :-) I'm new to your blog and enjoy your projects. I love cats too. You are right. Elm Creek Quilters could use a cat or 6. I enjoyed reading the whole series except, The Lost should come with a warning...very graphic, somewhat horrifying depictions of slave history. Only one that hit me that way. Sugar Camp Quilt is one of my favorites.
    As for your new quilt project...I love Sarah Sporrer and plan on making this same quilt. Her quilts are beautiful and fun to make.

  2. Welcome to by blog! Its great to have you aboard! We must keep in touch regarding our progress with this quilt! Do you plan to machine sew or hand sew it? This will be my first attempt at a quilt ... I hope it will lead to many more! Have a warm cozy cat-kind of day!

  3. Hi ~

    Those books sound very good; and I love the quilt that you are going to start on! Have fun working on it!



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