Quilts of Love spins stories with quilts

Quilts of Love, Abingdon Press

Quilters yearning for a good story about their craft have a new series to line their bookshelves with. The Quilts of Love series from Abingdon Press features 25 books, each by a different author and written across multiple genres. The two things they have in common are each story has a quilt is woven through each tale, and they are faith-based.

The idea for the series came from Abingdon Press Managing Editor Ramona Richard, who received several family quilts that had been passed down through generations, each with a story to go with it.

“She really came to this idea that there is a story behind every quilt,” said Cat Hoort, marketing and publicity manager or Abingdon. “Some of the stories she was hearing from her mom were about relationships and why the quilt was developed to symbolize unity between a husband and wife, so we thought romance works in as a story. Some of them were Christmas presents, so the holiday theme worked itself in. We really felt like the stories came from so many different areas of life that it couldn’t be just one genre.”

The books don’t need to be read in order and can be enjoyed individually without reading the entire series. The genres include contemporary and historical romances, Amish fiction, mystery, crime and holiday.

“We really tried to create something for everyone,” Hoort said. “We really worked hard at developing a line that has depth as well as appeal to quilters.”

Some of the authors are prolific quilters, some had a rich tradition of quilting in their family heritage and others learned to quilt as part of the research for the books.

Robin Caroll, the author of “Hidden in the Stars” which was released this month, learned to quilt from her mother in their rural Louisiana home.

“We lived in the country and that was one of our winter activities,” said Caroll.

She started out helping her mother sew and eventually made a quilt on her own, a double wedding ring for her first pattern. Caroll still remembers her mother making sure her stitches were even and properly placed.

The quilt in Caroll’s book is a wall hanging made of ballet costumes once worn by a Russian prima ballerina and is the key to solving a brutal murder and catching the killer before he claims the next victim. The book is filled with mystery, suspense and romance.

“The quilt was the part that I envisioned first,” Caroll said. “I wanted it to be the central part of the story.”

A veteran author of 23 mystery and suspense books, Caroll had never incorporated quilting into her writing before.

“This was one o my easiest stories to write,” said Caroll. “It just kind of all fit where I wanted it to be. It just flowed.”

The Quilts of Love series is nearing the end of its run, releasing one book a month through January 2015. But the response from quilters reading the novels has prompted the Abingdon to create quilt patterns to go with each of the novels so readers can make their own versions of the quilts featured in the story line.

“We’re excited about what we’re going to post on the website in terms of the patterns,” said Hoort. “It is another way to implement the story is through the creation of the quilt.”

To learn more about the Quilts of Love series, visit www.quiltsoflovebooks.com.

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