About the time Kansas Troubles was published, fans
have been asking me about writing a quilt book.
I’ve said many times throughout my career, though I’ve made a
few quilts, I do not consider myself a good quilter.
I certainly would never put myself in the same league as my many
talented friends and readers.
But, I understood what people were asking and when
the time was right, I knew an opportunity to be involved with a quilt book
would present itself. I did
always know one thing—if I was going to be involved with a quilt book,
I didn’t want it to just be in name only.
I’d always had the idea that I would like to write short narratives to go along with the quilt designs,
perhaps things about the characters in my Benni Harper books that fans
didn’t know about. Like
most writers, I know a lot more about my characters and their back
stories that what the reader experiences in the books.
I met Margrit Hall, the designer of the quilts in Benni
Harper’s Quilt Album, when we were both signing books at a
“teacher’s day” at The Fabric Patch quilt store in Montclair,
California. When she told me
she grew up in
Wyoming, we instantly connected. I
also fell in love with her wonderful quilt designs, old patterns designed with a new
twist. Long story short, she
and I became friends, talked about doing a book together, lost track of
each other, worked at our craft, met up with each other again and said,
“Hey, it’s now or never.”
couple of weeks after we’d met at a local coffee house to discuss what
I envisioned in a book, what her thoughts were and who’d we propose
the project to, I received an email from C & T Publishing asking me
if I’d ever considered a quilt book!
Well, talk about providence!
Margrit and I truly felt like it was meant to be.
It was hard work with lots of frustrating moments (though never
between Margrit and me—we worked together perfectly), the book became a
reality. For the quilters,
Margrit’s patterns were inspired and gorgeous—mixtures of easy to
complex in order to appeal to many quilt artists.
The stories about Gabe, Benni, Dove, and others in the books were
like mini-short-stories (one thousand words apiece, all I was
given—talk about a challenge to a novelist!)
You’ll experience Gabe and Benni’s
wedding, how Benni met Elvia when they were in second grade, a story
from Gramma Dove’s point-of-view.
It was a wonderful experience co-creating this book with Margrit.
Will there be another?
We’re not sure. She’s
gone on to write her own book, create more quilts, and work with Kaufman
fabrics; and me, well, I’m still writing.
I never say never in this business.
All I know is there is no one I’d rather work with on a book
than Margrit Hall.