I’m excited to tell you about a fun “quilt-fiction” book, Birds in the Air that was recently released by one of my on-line quilt buddies, Frances Dowell. If you don’t know Frances yet, she’s also a prolific children’s book author, and regular podcaster who regularly shares her real-life quilting escapades with a sense of quirky humor at The Off Kilter Quilt.
In her own words, this is how Frances describes her novel:
“When Emma Byrd moves into the house of her dreams in the small mountain community of Sweet Anne’s Gap, she knows that making friends may prove to be her biggest challenge. Her husband loves his new job and her kids are finding their way at school. But Emma — no natural when it comes to talking to strangers — will have to try a little harder, especially after the sweet, white-haired neighbor she first visits slams the door in her face.
Luckily, a few of the quilters of Sweet Anne’s Gap adopt Emma and she soon finds herself organizing the quilt show for the town’s centennial celebration. But not everyone is happy to see the job go to an outsider, especially one who has befriended an outcast pursuing her own last best chance at redemption.
Birds in the Air is a warm, funny novel about fitting in, falling out and mending frayed relationships one stitch at a time.”
The novel is definitely a fun read, but what I love most about the story is that it is built upon the mystery of a quilt that the main character finds when she moves into her new home. Frances took the concept of Birds in the Air, and created a series of quilts around it, inspired by the title of the book. Check out these beauties:
Civil Ward Birds in the Air quilt top – all hand pieced by Frances. She’s now hand quilting, it too. It was inspired by the quilt described in the novel.
Modern Birds in the Air – original design by Frances and made in a series of weeks as she detailed her adventures week by week on her podcast. As a writer, she thinks of her quilts as “drafts” and will “edit” them as needed (un-sewing and re-sewing them until she’s happy with the final outcome.)
Twilter Birds in the Air – a friendship quilt made from a block exchange of Frances’ online friends. It reminds me very much of something the quilting group in the novel might actually do.
Bauhaus Birds in the Air – my personal favorite of the group! Frances had an idea she had to interpret into fabric and enlisted the help of a friend to draft the pattern so that she could execute her vision.
Paper Birds in the Air – I love the literal interpretation of this one! I also love how Frances quilts all her own quilts and takes pride in doing so. 🙂
Meeting of the Geese – pattern design by Silvia Schaefer for the Modern Quilt Guild pattern for the month series, January, 2016.
Aren’t those fabulous? Frances has recently launched a new website, QuiltFiction.com as a gathering place for those who love to quilt, and read (and write) about quilts in fiction!
Frances loves to share her quilts, her writing, and the stories behind them.
Birds in the Air will make the perfect stocking stuffer or holiday gift for the quilter who already has enough fabric and supplies!