Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club - Wanda E. Brunstetter

From the back cover...

Lives Are Transformed...Once Stitch at a Time

As Amish widow Emma Yoder contemplates the task ahead, her thoughts center on one:  What if she fails?  Longing to remove a burden from her family by becoming self-sufficient, Emma has offered to hold quilting classes in her home.  But when she sees the patchwork of faces assembled for the first lesson, her confidence dwindles as doubt threatens to take hold.

There's Star Stephens, a young woman yearning for stability; Pam and Stuart Johnston, a struggling couple at odds in their marriage; Paul Ramirez, a widowed father hoping to find solace in finishing a quilt; Jan Sweet, a rough and tough biker looking for something creative to do; and Ruby Lee Williams, a preacher's wife seeking relaxation amid mounting parish problems.

While Emma grows to realize her ability to share her passion for quilting and her faith, the beginning quilters learn to transform scraps of fabric into beauty.  And slowly, their fragmented lives begin to take new shape--some in unexpected ways--with the helping hands of each other and the healing hand of God.

My thoughts...

Wanda E Brunstetter, once again, does what she does best--she brings to life a unique story about the Amish, with a touch of the English alongside them!  One of my favorite Amish authors to read, Brunstetter is not one to disappoint her followers!  And what an added bonus, I didn't realize the story was set in the surrounding small town area of where I live.  I loved being able to visualize the places she wrote of...the restaurants, landmarks, roads, etc.

The six people that came to take part in the quilting club are no more different than night and day, to say they come from different walks of life, is putting it mildly.  They are all struggling with their own issues, some privately dealing with their pain, while others are not afraid to air their dirty laundry.  At times I found myself cheering them on, while other times I just simply wanted to sign them up for counseling!

The one thing that ties them all together, the common thread of the bunch, is Emma.  While staying true to her Amish beliefs, quiet and mild-mannered, she is able to gently guide and comfort the hurting bunch during their 6 week class.  Her softly spoken words of wisdom, yummy and well timed baked goods for snacking, and the serene setting of her farm house, are all things that were used in her Ministry.  God definitely knew what He was doing when he brought this group together!

If this novel leaves you longing for more, make sure you visit the Blue Gate Theater in Shipshewana, Indiana where this book will be brought to life, August 24-December 8, in the Half-Stitched Musical!  I love watching performances at this location, and really enjoyed another musical,  The Confession, based on the novel by Beverly Lewis.

If you're looking for a great novel to read, while gleaming insight from a mismatched group of beginning quilters, this may be the book for you!  I enthusiastically, hands down, give this book 5 Stars!  

**I received this complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing for review purposes, all opinions are my own, I was not required to post a positive review.**


  1. Good review Shondra,
    I thought the same about Half Stitched.
    It was a book I couldn't put down.
    so glad for good Christian books we can read.
    Love all of Wanda's books.

  2. Thanks Carolyn! I too am very glad for all the Christian books we have available to us, it makes my reading list a bit long at times, but that's a good problem!