Monday, October 29, 2012

The Giving Quilt - Review

Have you ever read a book and thought the author had been peeking into your life?  With Jennifer Chiaverini's newest book, The Giving Quilt, I had several moments like that.  In this book the Elm Creek Manor hosts a QuiltsGiving week just after Thanksgiving.  This is a special winter Quilt Camp to make charity quilts.  In this case they are making them for Project Linus, a great choice!

Early in the story, the participants are asked, "Why do you give?" Those of you who are faithful readers have been asked that on my blog.  Some of you gave wonderful and wonderfully honest answers.  Several said that "It makes me feel good."  I confess that I have that reason too.  The question made me think. It also reminded me that I am truly blessed in many ways and thus I give in gratitude for what I have.  Both last year and this year I have worked on a project that I call "Quilt Angels."  The Quilt Angels is a project to get quilts for a home where teens in need can find safe shelter.  The project was suggested to me by a friend and I initially said "I can't do that, there just isn't enough time."   Then I decided to see if I could find help.  That is when I discovered what a wonderful group of people quilters are.  Quilters are often givers.

In this story there are chapters where you learn why each person is at QuiltsGiving. Some of the stories may bring tears to your eyes or maybe another strong emotion.  It is very likely that you will find a resonance with one or more of the characters.

I had a delightful moment when I was reading along on my lunch break.  One of the ladies in the book works at a quilt store named "String Theory."  I laughed out loud at that point. You see, I made a quilt that I entered into an online quilt show.  The title of the quilt is .....can you guess???  Yes! I called the quilt "String Theory." Originally, the rules were that I couldn't show the quilt until after the judging.  The show was cancelled due to lack of entries. So I showed my quilt as part of Quilty Embellishment day.  I am sure that Ms. Chiaverini didn't see my quilt name and use it. It was simply a delightful coincidence.

The characters in the book are nicely developed and I found that I bonded with each of them. A couple of them reminded me of some of my blogger buddies.  While we each have challenges, how we meet those challenges and rise above them makes up our patchwork life.  One particular thing that I loved in this book is the way a group of strangers took their love of quilting and used it to build friendships.  Is it any wonder that this book resonated with me?

I wholeheartedly recommend that you read this book.  I was given a review copy to read.  However,  if I had not loved the book, I would tell you so.  Ms. Chiaverini writes with excellent insight into the quilters' world. She designs fabric for Red Rooster Fabrics and has published quilt patterns. She was even a guest on the once very popular Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson where she said that she is a self-taught quilter.   If you have read her books before, then you know that she is a great storyteller. I was surprised to find that she once taught writing at Penn State.  I would love to have taken her classes.
The book is available on Amazon (also in Kindle edition), Barnes &Noble (also for Nook), and many other merchandisers.   The release date is set for October 30; so it will be placed on the shelves that day.
Why do you give?


Teresa Quilts said...

I really want to read this book! I hope I can find it in the library, soon. I love your String Theory quilt.

Snoodles said...

I'll be anxiously awaiting this book at my local library! Thanks for a great review!

Barb said...

What a wonderful book review, thanks! I am always looking for wholesome books to read.

Barbara said...

Thanks Gene, so glad you enjoyed it.

Cyn said...

Nice review, Gene. I'll put the book on "my list".
Love your String Theory quilt!

Beth said...

I always enjoy her stories.
Thanks for the review.

BTW when do you want the Angles quilt? I have been a bit loaded with work,but I do not want to be late.

Kate Brown said...

This sounds like a book I would love to read. Going to get it for my Nook :) Great review too. Also, you know why I give, we have talked about it :)