The Giving Quilt – Review and Giveaway

The Giving QuiltA few weeks back I was contacted by Mary Pomponio of Plume Books to see if I would be interested in doing a review of Jennifer Chiaverini’s book, The Giving Quilt which is to be released in paperback tomorrow (April 2). Obviously, my answer was YES! and I waited for the book to arrive.

While waiting, I debated on whether or not to read any of the many other books that Mrs. Chiaverini had written and decided against it. With this confession I have no doubt that you can’t believe that I, a quilt shop owner, have never read any of the Elm Creek Quilts books. I have collected several of them, probably at least 10, in hardback version but have never taken the time to read any of them. While I love books that carry on with familiar characters, I tend to prefer to start at the beginning and read the books in order. Since I’ve not had a chance to do this it’s not been done. So, rather than starting at the beginning of this series I decided to assume that I might not be the only quilty person out there who had never read an Elm Creek book and see if the book could stand alone without the benefit of having read any of the background information of the main characters. The book passed on this point with flying colors. If you happen to be one who has never read the Elm Creek series do not hesitate to pick up a copy of this book so that you too can begin your adventure into the lives of the Elm Creek Quilters.

In addition to some of the regular Elm Creek characters, the book focuses on the lives of five ladies who are attending a quilt camp sponsored by the Elm Creek Quilters. You get to learn “the rest of the story” so to speak about each of these ladies through flashbacks of the events in their lives that brought them together at camp. Through their stories, we are reminded that what may appear on one’s surface might be somewhat-to-greatly different than what lies underneath. I must admit that while I could identify with aspects in each of their lives, I don’t think I would be able to handle some of their situations quite as graciously as they do. If it is true that a writer puts much of themselves into their work, than I can only deduce that Mrs. Chiaverini is a very gracious and wise woman.

The timing of the review request was rather interesting. How? First off, the book starts with the Elm Creek ladies getting ready to host a quilt camp. We had just finished our third quilt camp, in as many months, just three days before Ms. Pomponio contacted me. Knowing what goes in to putting together a camp was not lost on me as I began reading the book. It did make me wish that I had a similar facility in which to host such a camp. The focus of the Elm Creek Quilters camp, called Quiltsgiving, was just that…giving. Sylvia asks at the beginning of camp, “Why do you give?” The answers were as varied as the quilters themselves. The quilts to be made that week were to be donated to Project Linus. The quilt design that the ladies learned to make there could then be used in their own community later on.

The second interesting aspect regarding timing was the cover of the book. The quilt shown there uses the same block that is in our first quarter Thimbleberries Club project. I didn’t realize until I read the book that the block is named Resolution Square. You learn something new every day!

While my preferred genre of reading is mysteries-I like the challenge of figuring out “who done it”-I did enjoy reading this book very much and do plan on starting at the beginning and reading those which came before. I know I have the first six books already which should be a good start and will have to see where the others that I have fall in the timeline. I just bought The Union Quilters in hardcover (don’t tell Victoria, she’s Confederate all the way!) while on vacation even though I knew it would be a while before I could get to it. Once a collector, always a collector; if it isn’t fabric it’s books and more…much, much more.

In addition to sending the book for me to read and review, Ms. Pomponio also sent a copy for me to give away on this blog. Plus, she graciously sent some beautiful quilt pins based on the books in the collection as well. I was thrilled to see that these pins were made by the company where we have gotten our charms and quilt pins the past several years, PinPeddlers. They do such wonderful work!

Wouldn’t you like to win? You have six opportunities to do so. Someone will win the book and a matching quilt pin, and five someones will each win a quilt pin. All I ask is that you leave a comment below. If you’d like, you’re welcome to answer a question that I’ve wanted to ask while you’re at it. I would be ever so grateful. The question is which of the pre-cuts, i.e. 2-1/2” strips, 5” squares, 10” squares, etc. do you buy most often? If you never buy pre-cuts please let me know that too. Do you buy them even if there are no supporting fabrics in the shop from which you are buying them? Just curious… You have until the end of our Spring Eggstravaganza to leave a comment. That would be by 5:00 p.m. CST on Saturday, April 6. Yes, we are having our loaded eggs this week so be sure to drop in for that. There’s a surprise in every egg!
Giving Quilt Pin Sonoma Rose PinWedding Quilt Pin


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dana
    Apr 02, 2013 @ 05:27:21

    Yes, I buy pre-cut 2 1/2 inch rolls/strips and 5 inch square blocks. I like them because they are already color coordinated and I really don’t have to think about what is needed (color) if I want to put a quick small quilt together. I’ve made several smaller quilts like lap quilts using the pre-cuts. Often, I just like the colors and want to think about them before I commit to buying a larger amount of the fabric and/or possibly add them to other fabrics for a larger quilt. My preference is the 2 1/2 strips and 5 inch blocks and I don’t buy the larger squares.


  2. Cheryl E
    Apr 02, 2013 @ 05:51:47

    I have read most of the Elm Creek Quilt books and feel like I know Sylvia and the others! I would love to win this book and/or a pin. I usually purchase 5″ square precuts even if the accompanying fabrics are not in the store. I like that it gives a good sample of a collection I like.


  3. Janice Harwell
    Apr 02, 2013 @ 05:55:02

    I have purchased & love the Thimbleberry 2 1/2 in. rolls. I like the pre-cut pieces. I also love the Chiaverini series. I have read many of them, but not all. Since I am an avid reader, as well as a quilt lover, I would absolutely love to win her newest book. What a neat contest!


  4. Linda Thompson
    Apr 02, 2013 @ 08:17:28

    I have read ALL the Jennifer Chiaverini series books and have her quilting pattern books too. Such great stories. I buy 5″ charm packs most often, and it doesn’t matter whether the yardage is there for borders.


  5. Denise :)
    Apr 02, 2013 @ 10:19:55

    Haha! Cindy, it totally cracked me up that you had not read any of this series prior to the latest! I love the Elm Creek quilt books, too — they’re such fun. In fact, I read through these before I was serious about quilting. I think they may have been part of the reason I became so intrigued with it! You did a good job on the review — I’m looking forward to reading the book, for sure.

    I’ve purchased all of the different sizes of pre-cuts — but the 5″ charm squares are my favorite and–to me–seem to be the most versatile (and ones I’ll pick up without regard to matching fabric). The 2-1/2″ strips often are wonky and so I stay away from those. And I’ve used the ‘cake’ pieces, but seem to end up with more waste from those.

    Great post, great giveaway … and I won’t tell Victoria about the whole Union thing! 🙂


  6. Rebecca Ann Britton
    Apr 03, 2013 @ 10:09:56

    I too have bought the 2-1/2 strips and the 5″ squares. It doesn’t matter if the matching fabric is available or not to me. Sometimes the fabric just seems to call to me. Who am I kidding, all fabric calls to me. It just yells take me home! If only I were rich. Oh well. Thanks for the book review and a chance to win the book . Now I will have to go check them out.


  7. Betty Domal
    Apr 03, 2013 @ 21:58:28

    I read quite a few of the Elm Creek Quilt books in the order of publication starting with the first one, but haven’t read any in several years. I am going to look for this one that came out in paperback April 2. You really get to feel like you know all these people and they are so interesting. I need to get back from where I left off and catch up with what has happened to all of them.

    I buy more 2 1/2 inch strips than the other choices.

    Thank you, Betty


  8. hueisei
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 06:10:22

    I tends to buy 5″
    I am new to her books and I bought two last weekend. It’s The Aloha Quilt and The Winding way quilt. I am reading The Winding now. I love to win this new book. Thanks for the chance to win.


  9. Teresa
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 14:34:17

    I love all the precuts and tend to buy the matching fabric if available. I have read the Aloha Quilt and enjoyed it.


  10. Tricia Scott
    Apr 05, 2013 @ 20:25:25

    I’ve read a couple of the Jennifer C. books, but I have a block in the first book of quilt patterns she published — one of the log cabin blocks.

    I really prefer the 10″ layer cakes because you can do so much more with them than just a 5″ square. I love the 2 1/2″ strips, but I tend to just collect them rather than sew with them. They look really pretty stacked up on display.


  11. Janet
    Apr 06, 2013 @ 00:51:22

    I have used various pre-cuts (jelly roll, charm packs and layer cakes) and really have no favorites yet. I do like the pre-cuts because you get a selection from the entire line. I talked to one quilter and she only purchases layer cakes as they can be cut down into charm packs if need be.

    Last week I purchases mini-charms to do a lap quilt. It was a lot of fun as I only had to sew. I didn’t have to cut up 250 2 1/2 inch squares. I completed it in a weekend.


  12. Deborah
    Apr 06, 2013 @ 09:36:04

    I like the charm packs and use them often, but now I’m trying the mini-charms and have finished a small quilt in record time. So now they are both my favorites!


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