by Melody Carlson
Although I’ve made a few quilts in my day and even took a quilting class once, I would not call myself a “serious” quilter. For one thing, I don’t have the patience to carefully measure, cut and fit all those pieces perfectly together. All those angles and corners get tricky. Not to mention you’re supposed to iron every single tiny seam open and flat—one of the keys to an attractive finished quilt. But all those steps require time and care and perseverance. And in my opinion, all that tedium wiped out the fun creativity that I’d previously enjoyed.
You see, the quilts I’d made (before the quilt class) were mostly for babies and kids, or pillow covers, potholders and picnic blankets. They were more about color and design and fun than precision. And the small quilt I sewed in my quilting class was so disappointing (as in lumpy and bumpy) that I used it to line my dog’s bed. And that’s when I gave up on making quilts altogether. Interestingly, it was about the same time I got serious about writing. But that’s another story.
Anyway, I don’t want you to think I don’t like quilts anymore. I still admire and respect a well-made quilt. In fact, I live in a small town that’s known for hosting the “largest outdoor quilt show in the world.” And I enjoy walking around town on a summer morning, admiring the hundreds of amazingly beautiful handmade quilts. Sometimes I even imagine I might take up the craft again someday. Although I’d probably go back to focusing on the creativity, instead of obsessing over the actual sewing. It was the creative process that I loved.
And perhaps that’s why I love writing. To me, it’s instant creativity and, unlike sewing, it’s easy to go back and fix things by simply hitting the delete button. A mistake in sewing requires a seam ripper to patiently cut the threads, stitch by stitch. But quilt making and writing are similar in some ways. With a quilt, you stitch together various colors and shapes to create a complete picture. With writing, you stitch settings and characters to create a complete story.
While writing A Quilt for Christmas, I was reminded of several quilt metaphors. Especially regarding friendships. Variety and differences in shapes and colors, skillfully stitched together, is what makes a quilt beautiful. And varied, diverse people stitched together in love make life more beautiful. That’s what I tried to accomplish with my Christmas novella. I took four diverse women, who’d never met, and I stitched and fitted them together to create a story about love and grace and new beginnings. A story I hope will encourage readers to embrace friends, family and even strangers as they prepare to embrace Christmas. Like one big, happy Christmas crazy-quilt!
About the Author
With more than 250 books published and sales topping seven million, Melody Carlson is one of the most prolific novelists of our time. She’s won numerous awards and some of her stories are making their way into film.
About the Book
Widowed and recently relocated, Vera Swanson is lonely in her condo-for-one—until little Fiona Albright knocks on her door with a special request: a Christmas quilt for Mama. Vera will have to get a ragtag group of women together in order to fulfill the request—and she may find herself a new family of friends along the way.
Did You Know?
Tajikistan is a small, mountainous country, located north of Afghanistan. In my new futuristic suspense thriller, Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light, weapons of mass destruction are discovered in the small country of Tajikistan. But when I tell people about my book, I often get this question: “Is Tajikistan a real country?” Well, yes, it is.
Some people refer to it as one of the three “stans” countries, including Uzbekistan, which lies to the west and north, and Krygyzstan to the east. China also lies to its east. Until 1991, Tajikistan, along with Uzbekistan and Krygyzstan, were part of the Soviet Union. Consequently, Russia had a significant influence on the country in the past.
Among mountain lovers, Tajikistan is well-known for its two beautiful mountain ranges, Pamir and Fann Mountains. In fact, almost 93% of the country is made up of mountains.
In the early 2000s three terrorists apprehended by the U.S. were from the northern area of Tajikistan and sent to Guantanamo. However, Tajikistan itself cooperates with the U.S. to counter the threat of terrorism and places heavy restrictions on groups it classifies as “extremist.”
For suspense-reading enthusiasts, the last bullet point will launch you into the exciting drama that quickly unfolds in the year 2052 in Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light.
-Linda W. Rooks, Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light
Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore
“I love shopping in bookstores! In fact, it’s one of our favorite date-night activities! We explore the various sections together and pick out one book each. We get to spend time together, and we both get new books! It’s a win-win!”
-Michelle Medlock Adams, Dachshund Through the Snow