Publisher: Dutton Adult, October 2012
My Rating: B
During the many years I quilted I loved attending quilt shows, conferences and quilt-ins. Novels related to quilting were common in the sales area. Books from the Elm Creek Quilt series were always popular with quilters. That’s because the novels are centered around quilts.
The stories are always heartwarming and encouraging. The characters featured are quilters with a variety of problems that are somehow solved by the end of the book. There is always plenty of talk about quilt blocks and their final quilts.
The Giving Quilt is the story of a special Quilt Camp, called Quiltsgiving Camp, held every year at this time of year. It’s always the full week right after Thanksgiving. The purpose is to gather twenty-plus quilters together to make quilts for charity. The charity is the Linus Project.
The Linus Project is a real-life charity that the author has been active in for a long time. Project Linus (click the title for more information) collects handmade quilts and blankets to help children during times of need. Police and fire fighters carry them in their vehicles.
At Quiltsgiving Camp the quilts are usually ones that are simple to put together. They are ones that beginning quilters and veterans alike can work on. Each year one of the gifted quilt teachers will create a special quilt usually using a block with some special meaning. For example the block, Bright Hope, was the block used at the first Quiltsgiving Camp. It’s the block you see above.
At this year’s Quiltsgiving the quilters will use the block Resolution and make the quilt you see above. The author, Jennifer Chiaverini, offers pattern instructions and books for many of the quilts featured in her books. (Click the author’s name to get to her website.)
The quilters in Quilt Camp do not have to make the featured quilt. Some quilters have come with their own plans and projects. Many also bring quilts and blankets they’ve been working on all year at home.
The Giving Quilt has a lot of focus on giving. At one point one of the Master Quilters, Sylvia, asks the group: “Why do you give?” Her question helps the campers as they work on their projects and also as they work on problems in their lives outside Quiltsgiving Camp.
The question also drew this reader into contemplating my own reasons for giving, but I must say this was a comfortable and inspiring book to read, especially at this time of year. I recommend it to all quilters. I’ll bet you’ll do what I did: as different quilt blocks are mentioned in the story, you’ll find yourself looking through your pattern books as well as google.
Non-quilters will also enjoy this story of female friendship.
A special thank you to the publisher for my review copy of The Giving Quilt.