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The Giving Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel…

The Giving Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Jennifer Chiaverini

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Title:The Giving Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel
Authors:Jennifer Chiaverini
Info:Dutton Adult (2012), Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Giving Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel by Jennifer Chiaverini (2012)




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Jennifer did another great job with this book.

Reminding us how much we like the 'family' at Elm Creek Manor but brining in a new group of ladies for us to enjoy.
For the first time, as a non quilter, I was unable to follow the step of the quilt. But as a non quilter I just kind of skimmed over those pages as I was more interested in the friendships, etc. ( )
  jnut1 | Mar 4, 2014 |
Another nice, cozy novel in the Elm Creek Quilts series. For some reason I just really enjoy listening to Christina Moore narrate these. I don't think I enjoyed it as much as The Aloha Quilt, but I felt really invested in all of the characters and their stories. I hope I can find other Elm Creek Quilt novels available on audio through my library. ( )
  Tahleen | Feb 16, 2014 |
For the most part I enjoyed this book as well as any of the Ms. Chiaverini's modern day books, but I think I like the historical novels better. As I don't yet quilt, some of the book seemed a bit technical, but is probably enjoyable for quilters. I enjoyed the individual stories and it seemed like the author wanted to write about things other than quilting. ( )
  eliorajoy | Feb 15, 2014 |
The Giving Quilt by Jennifer Chilvalli
Quiltsgiving get together annually for a winter session of camp to provide quilts to children in need, Project Linus.
Sylvia is the owner of the manor and she has many tasks to complete before the guests arrive for camp.
The twins live there along with their mother who helps run the place.
Love how the membership will be gathering the fabrics to distribute to those who will be sewing. They will camp in rooms at the manor and meet to not only talk but give each other tips and the room comes with home made meals and food is grown on the estate.
Opening day, after a meal, everybody introduces themselves and tells why they are there to quilt and what charity means to them.
Other activities are scheduled: historical quilts from the estate are discussed. There are chapters of those attending and how they interact with the others.
Loved all the stories and especially the quilting instructions.
Hated hearing of the fabric and how it's stolen from a shop that doesn't have a store.

I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device). ( )
  jbarr5 | Oct 4, 2013 |
[A version of this review appears at Bookin' It.]

This is book #20 in the Elm Creek Quilts series. I've read most (and reviewed many) of the others.

Set during the week after Thanksgiving, the Elm Creek Quilt Camp provides a free week at Elm Creek Manor, "Quiltsgiving," if the participants agree to make and donate a quilt for Project Linus, a real organization that provides homemade blankets to children in need.

Some of the old favorites from the contemporary strand of Elm Creek novels are here--Sylvia, Sarah, and Gretchen in particular--but the book is mostly the stories of five of the Quiltsgiving participants. Linnea, a public librarian in California, is having her annual vacation with her sister Mona* at the Manor this year. Michaela is a college student with a broken leg, doing her required community service. Jocelyn is a teacher, a young widow and mother sent to the camp as a reward by the parents of the "Imagination Quest" team she's coached. Pauline is a member of a prestigious quilting group, but here at Quiltsgiving rather than at her own group's retreat. And Karen is a quilt shop clerk who had previously been a finalist for a teaching position at Elm Creek Manor - but had a disastrous interview. Chiaverini uses the events and activities of the week at Quiltsgiving to tie together otherwise unrelated chapters on the backstories of these five women and what brought them to Quiltsgiving.

Being a librarian, I could really relate to Linnea's story of a battle to keep the local public library open, in the face of a budget deficit, book banners, and people who think we don't need libraries any more because "everything we could possibly want to read is online." (page 146)

I also enjoyed the story of teacher Jocelyn, who takes over coaching her husband's and daughters' "Imagination Quest" team after his untimely death in an accident. "Imagination Quest" is very obviously modeled after Destination ImagiNation and/or Odyssey of the Mind, two creative problem-solving team competitions in which I and my offspring were quite involved in school. It reads like Chiaverini has also been involved in the program with her sons, as she nails the descriptions of the programs and of some of their problems with cheating (I was a judge one year at a regional tournament).

Karen's story talks about an interesting problem, that of people who "shop" in brick-and-mortar stores, checking out products, then ordering them cheaper online. It's also interesting to read how Karen deals with her rejection by the Elm Creek Quilters and comes to find her own place in the world.

I was intrigued by Michaela's broken leg from the beginning of the book, not explained until her story is told. Her goal in college was to be a cheerleader - not a particularly worthy goal in my opinion. However, her determination and focus are admirable, as is her acceptance and ability to set a new goal when her attempt to challenge a tradition at her university is thwarted by an "accident" that may have not been an accident.

The only story I didn't particularly care for was the first one told, that of Pauline, the member of the exclusive quilting group with a lot of internal squabbles. It just wasn't especially interesting to me.

The final chapter of the book tells briefly what happened to each of these quilters after Quiltsgiving. *Note: For some reason, there is no story for Mona, who is a state government employee and union official dealing with attempts by the government to abolish collective bargaining rights. Chiaverini lives in Wisconsin, which recently dealt with such issues, and perhaps this hit just a little too close to home.

This was a nice, easy read, perfect for the holidays. I have been surprised to see some online reviews taking Chiaverini to task for (in the reviewers' opinions) expressing her "political" views.

© Amanda Pape - 2012

[This book was borrowed from and returned to my local public library.] ( )
3 vote riofriotex | Dec 13, 2012 |
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To Marty, Nicholas, and Michael,
who give me love, joy, happiness, and hope every day.
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An empty teacup in one hand and a folder of papers tucked under her other arm, Sylvia shut the library doors and strode briskly down the hall to the grand oak staircase of Elm Creek Manor, mulling over the many tasks she had yet to complete in the solitary hour before her guests were due to arrive.
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When the creative residents of Elm Creek gather the week after Thanksgiving to work on quilts for Project Linus, they respond to Sylvia's provocative questions to alleviate respective personal challenges and learn helpful lessons about the strength of human connections.… (more)

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