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The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club by…

The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club

by Wanda E. Brunstetter

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I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

When we think of quilting classes we think of several things. First, we may think of the Amish who are well known for their beautiful hand-stitched quilts. We may also think of a group of ladies, and occasionally a few men taking a class to learn how to make a quilt. Never, until I read this book would I have thought of a group of quilters like Wanda Brunstetter has assembled in this book. This quilting class is a group of the biggest misfits I’d ever seen.

Emma Yoder is a widow and has been receiving financial assistance from her family. She decides to offer a six week quilting class to help pay her own way. What she gets is not necessarily what she was expecting, but what God knew she needed.
Star Stephens hides her true self under her gothic look. Her grandmother knew the true her and signed her up for the quilting class a couple of days before she died. Her grandmother had always been there for her. She was the one person in her life she could count on. She decides to attend the paid for class to honor her grandmother.
Then we have Jan Sweet a tattooed biker who has lost his license for driving under the influence. He has a lot of issues and it is his probation officer who tells him to find an outlet for his anger. He figures this is the creative outlet that will help him.
Next we have Pam and Stuart Johnson. The have signed up for the quilting class as part of their counseling. They’ve been told to find something to do together. Stuart wants to go camping, which Pam hates so she gets him to agree by telling him if he goes to the quilting club with her she will go camping.
Ruby Williams is a preacher’s wife. She is trying to find something that doesn’t involve the church to help her de-stress. Yes, those who work for the church need an outside life as much as those who don’t work for the church.
Finally we have Paul Ramirez. He is a widower left with a very young baby. His wife had started a quilt for their daughter but never got the opportunity to finish it. She was killed in an accident. He thinks he can go to the class and have someone finish the quilt. He decides that this is something he needs to learn how to do.
Emma quickly learns she will have her hands full. But if God wanted them there then she would help them. Through this story we see how God used her to help them stitch the remnants of their own lives back together. Emma also has some issues. She has a pesky neighbor named Lamar who likes her. She does everything she can to discourage him. When she gets sick he takes over her class and she learns that there is more to him than just a pesky neighbor.

This was such a fun book to read. Everyone who reads this book can see themselves or part of themselves in at least one of these characters. Definitely going to recommend this book. ( )
  skstiles612 | Jul 15, 2015 |
It has been a long time since I had read one of Wanda's books and I had forgotten how much I enjoy them. Partly because they are an easy read but mainly because she writes a good story.

This one fell a little short for me. I loved the concept and I thought she pulled together a great group of different people to attend her quilting class.

But there were a lot of little things thrown in that I didn't see the need for or understand. I don't think they brought anything to the story and maybe took something away.

There were a few laugh out loud moments, a few awkward moments but overall a good read.

http://jnut1-ilovebooks.blogspot.com ( )
  jnut1 | Mar 4, 2014 |
The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda E. Brunstetter is a delightful book about an Amish widow who decides to offer quilting classes in her home to supplement her meager income so that she won’t be a burden to her children. Emma Yoder places ads in the newspaper and around town on bulletin boards advertising her quilting classes to be held on six Saturdays. She finds that her students are a mix of personalities and problems. There is an African American woman who is the wife of a church minister, and a Hispanic man with a baby girl in tow, a mid-thirties couple, a young girl dressed in gothic apparel and a big man with tattoos and a biker’s bandana on his head. These characters each have a story to tell and a problem to solve. Emma’s kind, generous spirit and motherly wisdom, along with a little dose of scripture help each of these strangers to find a sort of peace in their lives. By the end of the teaching sessions they also form a sort of camaraderie. Emma also has a little problem with a certain older gentleman who seems to have a crush on her that is not to her liking. The book was a delight to read. I certainly enjoyed each of the stories within the big story of this group of misfits.
The story takes place in northern Indiana, near Shipshewana, which is an Amish and Mennonite community with home-style restaurants, quilt shops, and other interesting places to visit. Since I’ve actually been there, this story comes alive for me. I can picture all the places in the story and can imagine each of the characters and their interests and problems. If you are fond of lighthearted, inspirational stories, then this is for you. Be prepared to finish this book quickly because you won’t want to put it down.
( )
  SilverShrew | Feb 20, 2014 |
Amish fiction is a like a tonic to me and The Half Stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda E. Brunstetter is no different for me. Now I definitely want to read the rest of her books. This book flew, it was easy to read but full of serious situations to deal with.

This book is a little different from most Amish fiction because the majority of the characters are Englishers. We got to see how their lives meshed with the Amish quilt maker and how each grew emotionally, spiritually, and in acceptance.

This is set in Northern Indiana and that made me want to read immediately because I am a Hoosier. Emma Yoder is Amish and a widow who had a very caring husband and is not ready to remarry. She wants to be less dependent on her children, financially and for help so she has the idea of proving quilting classes. A very diverse group of people sign up. She has a biker who is on probation for a DUI, a couple who are having serious problems with their marriage, a minister’s wife who is worried about her husband’s future with his church, a Hispanic who recently lost his wife in a tragic car accident and a young woman who is constantly at odd with her mother and feeling the lack of love. The story alternated between the different characters and flows so good.

You can feel the love and enjoy the message such as “Don’t borrow Trouble”. The quilting meetings started off with a goat chase and a near fight! As the meeting progressed, they were surprisingly like group therapy. There were so many problems that it helped to Emma and the other parts of the group discuss and react to them.

There are no negative things that I can say about this book!

I thought that this book is a joy and strongly recommend it to all fans of Amish Fiction. ( )
  Carolee888 | Jan 31, 2014 |
The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda E. Brunstetter
Emma hopes to share her love of quilting as she teaches strangers how to quilt.
Since her husband had passed away over a year ago, her daughter and all the
children had sent money back home to help with the finances. Emma hoped to supplement
the income by selling her quilting items. She placed an ad around town and got
one that wanted to learn. She outlined what she'd need to teach them.
The way the author introduces the people who will be attending the classes is done makes
it easy to keep them straight, as to who they are and what they do for work.
Paul is the 2nd grade teacher and his wife has passed away and he takes care of the little girl. Thanks to his sister she invites them for dinner often.
Ruby Lee is the pastors wife and she needs something else to do besides choir and things at the church.
Beatrice/Star found a letter from her grandmother and it was for quilting class, already paid for.
Star was writing song lyrics and had piercings and dyed hair.
Pam and Stuarts marriage counselor said they should do something that the other does already. She's been fishing with him 2 times now, so it's now his turn to learn quilting with her.
Jan was a biker who got caught speeding, lost his license and now his PO wanted him to take up something to unleash his creative abilities and maybe help him relax. He is a roofer and notices the ad at the store.
They all see or hear about the ad for quilting lessons and get signed up.
Verses of scripture are throughout the book.
The people in the group start talking about losses of their loved ones and many chimed in with their grief.
Others spoke to console them and to just listen. Other weeks there are different topics and all talk about their problem and/or how to overcome them.
Love the quilting itself, Emma is easy to understand.
Recipe for angel cake is included! ( )
  jbarr5 | Jul 25, 2013 |
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When Amish widow Emma Yoder offers quilting lessons, she acquires a diverse collection of six non-Amish students who form bonds with her and each other as they work through their problems and learn to create beautiful quilts.

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