Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jennifer Chiaverini: The Quilter's Apprentice

Last night, after picking the girls up from daycare, I thought it would be enjoyable to visit the Public Library. I made it a "special" visit for Cassie and allowed her to sign up for her OWN Library Card. She was overjoyed! While Caitlyn and Candace were coloring away in the Children's section, and Cassie was browsing over the Children's DVD selection, I actually meandered over to the Adult Fiction (which I RARELY EVER do because I usually have to keep a keen eye on Candace.)
And now I MUST ask......how many of you have heard of (even read???) any of Jennifer Chiaverini's novels? I have never heard of her or her books, and there were.........a good DOZEN on the shelf. I didn't have a lot of time to look over the selections, but I wanted to believe that I chose a "Book 1" title out of all that were there (I only assumed this because there weren't any other titles listed in the front pages like some of the other books had.)

A few hours soaking in the hot tub last night, and a couple of hours relaxing in the glider tonight, the book has been read cover-to-cover. And, I was THRILLED to find this link listed at the end of the story: Elm Creek Books....
There are so many novels listed! AND....now I find myself wondering if Angela's (SoScrappy) Elm Creek Quilt was inspired by one of the novels???? Angela?

So...who can fill me in? What is the "first" book that I should read and is this a series that needs to be read in order? If so, what is that order?

I will admit that I am a Generation-2000 quilter; machine piecing, machine quilting, and heck, I even have become good at machine sewing the binding on. A few of you have shared comments that you enjoy the "quiet" time of hand-sewing the binding on; a time to reflect before taking on a new project. I wasn't biting though........
However, after finishing this novel tonight, I pulled out some of my Grandmother's Work Basket magazines that have a series of "State Blocks." Some of you may remember the story behind finding these magazines and finding some blocks already created by my Grandmother when we were cleaning out her apartment a couple of summers ago. I can't help but feel inspired to accomplish some more blocks "grandma-fashion"; hand-piecing and the whole nine yards. Who knows...perhaps some day I can happily declare that I have made a "true quilt" completely by hand the way my Grandmother used to.......
someday.....

8 comments:

Helen in the UK said...

I discovered these books about 2 years ago, and I love them!
The first one is "The Quilter's Apprentice", then "Round Robin" and "The Cross-Country Quilters". After that you may want to be more selective as others don't follow the narrative, but divert into Sylvia's relatives and history. Enjoy!!
You've made so much quilty progress recently - congrats :)

Calidore said...

These books are brilliant Amy - you will love them. You can read them in order but honestly it really doesn't matter. They are a complete story in each book and I have found no matter what order I read them in - they still make sense. My favorites to date are "The Run Away Quilt" and "The Sugar Camp Quilt" which are linked with the Underground Railway and the Civil War. Which ever book you read in the series you won't regret it. Enjoy yourself and I can totally agree with you that reading the books makes you want to step back in time and piece a quilt by hand just as it once was.

Chris said...

Hi Amy, I'm surprised you haven't bumped in these books before. Jennifer is a quilter from Madison, WI. She has a few (maybe 3) pattern books to go along with her novels. My girlfriend Patsy got her idea for the Homestead Cabin Quilting Retreat while reading the "Quilter's Apprentice". I have read all the novels and love the historical fiction side of the novels the best. I think you will really enjoy the Sugar Camp Quilt and the Runaway Quilt. When you are done with these novels try Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum Series on tape or CD Rom while you sew. She has a quirky sense of humor that will keep you laughing.

Laurel said...

I'm going to see Jennifer Chiaverini tomorrow evening. She's doing a reading/book signing at an independent book store near me (15 miles away). I've read all the books (I think). Yes, she's from Wisconsin, which surprises me that she sets the story in PA, but perhaps she feels that area is more historical. Go figure. Maybe I'll ask her that question.

Patchwork Penguin said...

Ok, let's try this again (second time's a charm). Yes you got the first one. I have read them all and need to pick up the newest one at the library (thank you for the reminder). There is also a great Quilt Mystery series out by Earlene Fowler. Go to her website and click on the 'books' tab to get the order. It helps to read them in sequence as sometimes a story will refer to a previous book.

Enjoy!

scraphappy said...

Seriously? I don't know how you missed those! I've read them all at least once. Those set in modern times are best read in order, because they follow a set of characters through a series of events. Then there are the historical novels which follow members of Sylvia's family through quilting related events of past eras. Honestly I don't like those as well, although the others seem to have chosen those as thier favorites. The newest one, Lost Quilter, was my spring break book this year and occured during the civil war. Sylvia's bridal quilt springs from one of the books and the patterns came out on the Elm Creek blog about two years ago I think. There is an official book now, but I downloaded the patterns month by month and have them all saved up. My welcome quilt is one of the blocks from the series. Check out the web site, www.elmcreek.net, they always have the first chapter of the new books when they come out. Definitely worth reading.

Terry said...

I'm glad you stumbled across these! I heard about them a couple of years ago and brought eight of them home from the library at once. I'm almost done with the newest one and it's just as good as all the rest. I have one of the quilt pattern books too! :0)

Holee said...

Read them from book one! You will also find in the library her books with patterns in them for all the quilts in the stories. I made several of them. Enjoy