Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Quilter's Holiday by Jennifer Chiaverini

“A Quilter’s Holiday” is not exactly a “Christmas” book, but being set on the day after Thanksgiving, and embracing the spirit of giving and thankfulness, I thought that it fit perfectly into the Christmas theme I’ve been writing about!

Besides, Jennifer Chiaverini is one of my favorite authors, and I’m always thrilled when she has a new book come out!

“A Quilter’s Holiday” finds the Elm Creek Quilters at their annual gathering on the day after Thanksgiving. It marks the start of the quilting season, a time to gather together and spend the day stitching holiday gifts for loved ones.

This year, in keeping with the season's spirit of gratitude, the matriarch of the group, Sylvia, is eager to revive a cherished family tradition. Sylvia introduces her friends to her family’s heirloom, a straw cornucopia that once served as the centerpiece of the Bergstrom family's holiday table. Into it, each Bergstrom would place an object that symbolized something he or she was especially thankful for that year. On this quilter's holiday, Sylvia has invited her friends to continue the tradition by sewing quilt blocks that represent their thankfulness and gratitude. As each quilter explains the significance of her carefully chosen block, stories of love and longing for family and friends emerge, feelings that are also expressed in the gifts they work on throughout the day.

Diane is thankful for her two sons, who've outgrown their youthful troubles to become fine young men, but she wishes they revered their family's traditions as much as she does. Anna, in her first holiday season as an Elm Creek Quilter, creates a quilt for her best friend even as she begins to question her feelings for him, which may have grown beyond friendship.

Sylvia reflects upon holidays past spent with her beloved, long-lost cousin Elizabeth and wonders whatever became of her. Sarah, pregnant with twins, determinedly sews a Christmas gift for her father-in-law, whose persistent suggestions that her husband, Matt, come back home and take his place in the family company have created tension in their marriage. And as Gretchen pieces a quilt for a charity she has not yet chosen and Gwen completes a project in honor of her graduate school mentor who had recently passed, both women lend their talents to those in need.

As an early winter storm blankets Elm Creek Manor in heavy snow, the quilters find new meanings in their best-loved traditions and new reasons to be thankful. “A Quilter's Holiday” is a beautiful story of holiday spirit, in its truest, most generous sense.

Chiaverini weaves the stories of the women of Elm Creek Manor into a tapestry of friendship, love and warmth that is continued on in each of her books. Reading an “Elm Creek Quilters” book is like catching up with dear old friends, an occasion of pure delight each and every time.


Janel said...

Sounds like a beautiful, heart-warming book. Love and friendship are what this time of year is about.

Barb said...

How awesome this book sounds! A heartfelt book about families, friends and relationships is what the holidays are all about

bstilwell12 at comcast dot net