Do the members of your book club or reading group enjoy reading a series of novellas and spending time with an ensemble cast? If so, Elsa Brantenberg’s Quilting Circle in St. Charles, Missouri, might be a great fit. And I’m happy to say the 1860’s heartland setting lends itself well to having fun with historic Main Street and riverside flair.
For some book club fun, your group may want a themed meeting after each of the novellas, or may choose to save the party for after they have read Ripples Along the Shore, the third and last novella in The Quilted Heart omnibus. Either way, here are some meeting ideas and resources for a Quilted Heart celebration.
Decorate with a quilting theme–quilts, quilted baskets or book bags, quilted hotpads, quilt blogs inspired by those featured in the stories, etc.
Apple themed decorations that celebrate the farm and apple orchard setting in Dandelions on the Wind.
Decorate with items from the 1860’s time period–quilts, hats, redwork, gloves and fashions, dominoes, checker boards, Civil War memorabilia, etc.
Decorate with a sisters’ theme in mind–plaques, gift books, portraits, pictures that celebrate sisters, etc.
Decorate with Elsa Brantenberg’s farm in mind. Perhaps things you might find on a historical farm–candle lanterns, settee, cane rocker, armed chair, quilts, baskets of fruit and vegetables, crocks, metal buckets, etc.
Prepare and serve Elsa Brantenberg’s Skillet Apple Crisp for dessert.
Games and Activities:
A Dominoes Tournament, a common social activity at Heinrich’s Dry Goods & Grocery.
Has the group read any of the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek novels? If so, who are the members’ favorite heroines and heroes? Why? Did they recognize any of the characters from the Sinclair Sisters books in The Quilted Heart novellas? Who?
Have someone share a devotional inspired by the focus verses and themes from one of The Quilted Heart novellas.
Have someone with a laptop, a protector and screen, and Internet access show off The Quilted Heart board on Pinterest.
Have a member who has a quilt bring it for a Quilt Show and Tell.
Encouraging everyone to wear at least one 1800’s clothing item to the meeting could be fun too. For instance: A bonnet, prairie dress, or a “Gone With the Wind” era dress or gown.
If you’re reading The Quilted Heart omnibus, I’d be honored to “attend” your book club meeting. In person, if I live within an hour of the group or if I’m going to be visiting the area. Otherwise, we could arrange a virtual meeting and chat via Skype. If we schedule the virtual event far enough in advance (preferably at least a month or so ahead), I’ll mail you a Book Club Packet that includes bookmarks and/or quilt cards, flyers or brochures, and signed book plates for each member of your group.
Click here to find READING GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (and more) for The Quilted Heart novellas (Dandelions on the Wind, Bending Toward the Sun, and Ripples Along the Shore).
I’d love to hear your ideas.
Does your book club enjoy themed meetings? What kinds of things does your reading group do to celebrate a good read?