Welcome my friend, Robyn Echols to my blog as she announces her newest book, The Fourteenth Quilt.
Annie, Celia and Lynn are all that are left of the Relief Society quilting class, but they are still determined to make baby quilts for the new mothers at church. Annie, who is just south of eighty years old, calls the quiltsters (short for quilting sisters) together to ask for more. She wants to make lap quilts to give to some of the “forgotten” oldsters she sings to each week at the nursing home—something to wrap them in love at Christmastime. It’s a good idea, but the trio discovers that life and making quilts don’t always go as planned.
The quiltsters discuss recipes and quilting ideas including a crocheted cat mat to use up their fabric selvage and trim scraps, all of which they share in the book.
Sarah and Brian meet at the university. Their first date is after Sarah’s First Saturday Block of the Month class she attends with her mom at the local quilt shop. Their romance grows, and they plan their future together—a plan that will require them to be separated for six months before their wedding. But, can they bear to be apart that long?
What wraps together this Christmas tale? The Fourteenth Quilt.
Excerpt #3: (Learning Curve)
Lynn had no sooner reached the middle of the next row than she ran out of bobbin thread. With a sigh, she lifted the unquilted fabric and stuck her head underneath as if she were an old-timey photographer focusing her shot. She opened the bobbin compartment and removed the spent bobbin.
This is ridiculous! I can’t see a thing under here.
Lynn unfastened the side tension clips and threw the fabric up over the top of the sewing machine while she exchanged the empty bobbin for a full one. As she refastened the fabric in place, she decided next time she would clip the top thread and slide the machine to the end of the quilt. Surely it would be easier to deal with threading needles and changing bobbins in the full light and without also fighting the fabric.
Once Lynn replaced the bobbin and rotated the needle to catch the bobbin thread, she slid the foot pedal over several inches, grabbed the handles to the sewing machine tray, grit her teeth and started stitching.
“I am going to learn how to do this right,” Lynn said. In an increasingly louder voice, she continued, “because I want my quilts to turn out looking nice and I don’t want to have to quilt on a tabletop where I have to fight pushing the fabric through the machine. And I paid a lot of money for this sewing machine and quilt frame and it is my present for my next birthday, anniversary and Christmas and I AM GOING TO LOVE IT!”
The door swung open and slammed against the doorstop with a thud. Startled, Lynn lifted her foot to stop the machine and stared at her husband.
“Did you need anything?” asked Del. “It sounded like you were arguing with someone.”
“Uh, no. We’re doing just fine in here. But thank you for checking.”
Del shook his head as he pulled the door closed.
Lynn looked down at the frame and froze at the sight of the gold and white long-hair cat stretched out across the section of quilt secured between the two upper poles.
“No you don’t, Archie, this is not your personal kitty hammock,” Lynn scooped up the cat in frustration. She carried Archie to the door and gently tossed him down the hallway as she called out to her husband. “Del, I don’t mind if you come in my sewing room, but please be sure you don’t let Archie in. I don’t want kitty fur all over my projects.”
With a huff, Lynn once again approached the quilt frame.
“I mean it,” Lynn leaned over and whispered with a determined voice to the sewing machine. “Just as soon as I brush some of this cat fur off this quilt, you and I are going to learn to work together. We are going to become real good friends. So you just get that in your motor casing.”
To see more photos that go with the chapter from which this excerpt was taken, please click HERE.
Robyn Echols has been writing since she was in junior high school. By choice, she spent most of her evening hours in her “dungeon”, as her mother called her downstairs bedroom, writing stories, only joining her family in front of the television upstairs when her favorite programs were playing. She has spent hours learning and teaching family history topics, and focuses on history from a genealogist’s perspective of seeking out the details of everyday life in the past.
Now Robyn resides with her husband in California near the “Gateway to Yosemite” and has fun researching and writing the books that she hopes will interest and entertain her readers. She writes Young Adult/New Adult and contemporary fiction under Robyn Echols and adult historical romance under her pen name, Zina Abbott.
The author is a member of Women Writing the West, American Night Writers Association, and Modesto Writers Meet Up. She currently lives with her husband in California near the “Gateway to Yosemite.” She enjoys any kind of history including family history. When she is not piecing together novel plots, she pieces together quilt blocks.
Quilt Gateway blog (See posts for September 2015)