Our lives are like quilts – bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love.
– author unknown
One of the first things I did after retiring from full-time teaching was to join my church's quilting group. I've always loved to sew and had made quilt tops for the group, but now I was able to attend the "quilting bees" held twice a month. I met many wonderful people there, and became close with some of them. I was so impressed by the wide range of ages and the assortment of life experiences of the ladies who came each time. There were young moms, grandmas and great-grandmas. There were housewives as well as retired teachers and nurses. There were award-winning quilters and some who had never operated a sewing machine but wanted to contribute their time to help others. Each woman has a story behind her, and it's fun to get to know them and learn about what makes them the way they are.
I thought it would be interesting to write a series of books about the women in a similar group, and created the Stitching Post Quilt Club. I shared the idea with my good friend and critique partner, Stephanie Michels, and she agreed to help me bring this group to life. Astraea Press released our first book in the series, The Calico Heart, last week Thursday. Here's what it's about:
On the surface, Sylvia Miller has a perfect life. She's married to her college sweetheart, has three great kids, a rewarding career, and wonderful friends. But beneath the appearances, Sylvia is restless. She loves her husband, but wants to see more of the world than their peaceful Michigan town. For years, she's dreamed of the interesting places she wants to visit. Now, their youngest child is grown, and Sylvia is ready for adventure.
Left a penniless orphan, David Miller promised himself his family would never know the same humiliation. For twenty-six years, he and Sylvia have lived frugally, saving for the future. Now, Dave is on the brink of a promotion that will ensure their financial security, but Sylvia wants him to retire and travel with her.
When Dave refuses, Sylvia decides to go alone. But it's a decision that could cost them more than money.