About 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.
Q &A with Robyn Echols:
Q: What prompted you to write The Fourteenth Quilt?
Robyn: In 2012 I and two of my friends decided to make baby quilts for the new mothers at church and lap quilts for the residents of the nursing homes where one of those friends performs each week. Shortly after we gave away thirteen lap quilts six days before Christmas, we felt prompted to make one more. The fourteenth quilt ended up taking quite a journey in the seven days between the time the decision to make it arose and when it was delivered. After it was all over, I said to myself, “Someone should write a book about this.” So, I did.
Q: Is the book only about this quilt at Christmastime?
Robyn: No. The story actually starts in the spring of the same year the fourteenth quilt was made. It includes some of the quilting adventures, successes and disasters experienced by the three quilters. If you are looking for a novel about highly accomplished quilters whose work turns out museum quality every time, this isn’t it. At times our quilting experiences are best described as a comedy of errors.
Q: What is the “young love” in the sub-title all about?
Robyn: The daughter of one of the quilters fell in love that year. The story of the young couple in the book is almost entirely fictional. Only the scene where they crossed paths with the fourteenth quilt is based on real events.
Q: Speaking of fictional, how much of the book is based on real events and how much is made up?
Robyn: The scenes involving secondary characters and barely mentioned characters are fictionalized. They are there to support the overall plot of the book. All the names except for Archie the cat have been changed to protect the guilty – er, the innocent. Most of the quilting experiences of the three quilters along with the scene at church the Sunday before Christmas are fictionalized versions of real events. In other words, who could make this stuff up?
Q: Explain the references to blog posts at the end of some of the chapters.
Robyn: I did not take a lot of photos to support this book. After all, I had no idea it was a story worth retelling until the end. However, during the time these events took place I took some pictures and wrote up some blog posts on my personal blog. Because of the publication costs, I did not attempt to include these images directly in the book. Instead, I chose to dedicate the month of September 2015 to posting or reposting six articles or photo collections to support the book on my Quilt Gateway blog (I took the name from the Gateway Quilt Guild to which I belong). You can access them by going to http://quiltgateway.blogspot.com and searching through the history for the month of September 2015.
Q: Do you plan to write more books about quilters?
Although I quite often touch on quilting in some of my stories, I have no plans at this time to write a book primarily about quilters. Then again, I had no idea I would write The Fourteenth Quilt until I lived the story.
About Robyn Echols:
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)