Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tea Time for Advent 2017 - Episode 3!

We're getting closer to Gaudete/rose candle Sunday! It's our third installment in our weekly series for Advent:

Today I gab about how our Advent is going, Christmas baking and traditions, and of course lots of book club talk. Join me!

**To subscribe to the audio version of Tea Time with Tiffany, just search for it in iTunes or use this link to subscribe via Feedburner in your podcatcher of choice. Intro music is "Feelin' Good" from

Items mentioned in this episode: 

  • The Christmas Quilt, our Advent choice for book club.
  • The first book in the Elm Creek Quilts series is The Quilter's Apprentice, and here is a search for the series in Amazon so that you can purchase others if you'd like to read more! 
  • From the author's website, here is some fantastic information about the order of books in the series:
    The Elm Creek Quilts novels are a series of books written by Jennifer Chiaverini. The series includes twenty novels, one short story available as a e-book, and a reader's guide:
    • The Quilter's Apprentice (1999)
    • Round Robin (2000)
    • The Cross-Country Quilters (2001)
    • The Runaway Quilt (2002)
    • The Quilter's Legacy (2003)
    • The Master Quilter (2004)
    • The Sugar Camp Quilt (2005)
    • The Christmas Quilt (2005)
    • Circle of Quilters (2006)
    • The Quilter's Homecoming (2007)
    • The New Year's Quilt (2007)
    • The Winding Ways Quilt (2008)
    • The Quilter's Kitchen (2008)
    • The Lost Quilter (2009)
    • A Quilter's Holiday (2009)
    • The Aloha Quilt (2010)
    • The Union Quilters (Feb 2011)
    • The Wedding Quilt (Nov 2011)
    • Sonoma Rose (Feb 2012)
    • The Giving Quilt (Oct 2012)
    • An Elm Creek Quilts Companion (Oct 2013)
    • The Quilter's Ghost: An eShort Story (Oct 2015)
    In most of the books, the main character is a master quilter named Sylvia Bergstrom Compson. She and her young friend Sarah McClure open a quilters' retreat at Sylvia's family estate, Elm Creek Manor. Sarah and Sylvia run the "quilt camp" with the help of their friends, the Elm Creek Quilters. Other books are historical, featuring Sylvia's ancestors and earlier residents of the Elm Creek Valley.

    If you want to read the books in the order I wrote them, read them in the order listed above. However, since I wasn't planning to write a series, I have written each book so that it stands alone. On my book tour, I often hear longtime fans tell new readers that the books should be read in the order I wrote them, but other readers have told me that they have read the books out of order and were able to follow everything just fine. Ultimately it's up to the individual reader. Please note, however, that later books inevitably give away events that occurred in previous books. If you would like to read the books in something approximating chronological order, please note the following:
    • The Christmas Quilt takes place in the interim between The Quilter's Apprentice and Round Robin.
    • The Sugar Camp Quilt is set in 1849-1850, so it takes place before the events chronicled in Gerda's memoir in The Runaway Quilt.
    • The Quilter's Homecoming is set mainly in 1925, but it branches off from a storyline introduced in The Christmas Quilt.
    • The New Year's Quilt immediately follows The Quilter's Legacy.
    • The Lost Quilter begins in 1859 immediately following the events chronicled in Gerda's memoir in The Runaway Quilt.
    • A Quilter's Holiday takes place while Bonnie is in Hawaii in The Aloha Quilt.
    • The Union Quilters begins in 1861 and runs mostly concurrently with The Lost Quilter.
    • The Wedding Quilt takes place after A Quilter's Holiday and The Aloha Quilt, with flash forwards to the year 2028.
    • Sonoma Rose is set in the Prohibition era immediately following the events of The Quilter's Homecoming.
    • The Giving Quilt takes place when Sarah McClure's twins are four and a half years old.

Whoa. Now I *really* want to go back and read the entire series! Next week we finish up and read Chapters 4 and 5! Let me know your thoughts on Chapter 3 below, or over in the thread on our Facebook group!


  1. Really loved your insights on this chapter. It hadn't occurred to me how The Christmas Quilt became a symbol of inadequacy for both Claudia and Sylvia - but, after you mentioned it, that makes a whole lot of sense. To me, this was a really dark chapter. In fact, I think I read it as being quite a bit darker than others, namely that Andrew was being abused at home. At his first appearance, I think Sylvia notes that he had bruises on his arms. Also, when Sylvia's father asks the children if any of them broke the star or took it, it's mentioned that Andrew looked terrified and Sylvia thinks to herself that pranksters would be harshly punished in Andrew's house. I don't know if that's the exact way she put it, but I got the impression that his home problems went beyond just poverty. Hopefully I'm wrong about that.

    On a happier note, I NEED to know what happened to the Christmas Star! I'm really captivated by that little mystery and hope there might be a resolution to it in the coming chapters. When Sylvia realized they should have gotten a gift for Andrew's sister, my immediate reaction was that maybe Andrew took the star to give to his sister as a Christmas gift. Not maliciously or anything, but just as the only way he could get his sister a gift. Obviously I was way off on that guess, but I do hope we find out what happened. Can't wait to finish up the book this week.

    1. Kevin,

      oooooooooo! I hadn't thought about that angle for the Christmas star (Andrew gifting it to sister) but that does seem like an innocent possibility. Hum... I really hope they solve the mystery in the last 2 chapters, because I'm dying to know!

      Definitely a dark chapter. I felt very contemplative throughout. I did wonder about Andrew's home situation as well, especially Sylvia's comment about the fearful look on Andrew's face when he thought he may be accused of taking it or hiding it. :( I have started Chapter 4, and happily, we do hear from Andrew again!

      Are you thinking of reading other books in the series, Kevin? The list above of how all of the different titles fit together really has my mind whirling!

  2. This chapter didn't seem dark as much as the times during the depression. I'm a big Walton's fan and the times seem like the early years, especially in Andrew's family. My thought was Claudia hid the star to be mean. Hope I'm wrong! Reading the books in a certain order seems fun! I love the books set at the quilt camp, but I think I love the historical books best. Good chapter.

    1. That's my thought with the star as well! Having read a lot of this series, I'd say that as long as you don't mind spoilers for different things that come up in the lives of the characters, you can read them stand alone in any order that you like! The historical ones really are awesome.

  3. So this "Christmas Quilt" they are working on is it like a 20+ year old quilt that they would add to each year with patches based on what happened that Christmas? I think that is how quilts work but I don't know that much about them. lol

    I think it's interesting that the Christmas Quilt and the New Years Quilt aren't back to back in the series since they sell those 2 together in one book. I kind of want to go back and read them all as well but this is a HUGE series it would probably take me a year or so. LOL

    I am really liking this book though. I'm reading the audiobook version and the narrator is really good.

    1. I think that they intended to finish it much sooner, but each year Christmas preparation and other life events just got away from them and they simply didn't finish it. That's my impression at least. :)

      I'd like to go back and re-read the entire thing, because I've forgotten so much, it would be like fresh and new again! But yes, that would be a big time investment. :0


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