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Homefront Diaries: A Work in Progress

In this month’s episode, I’m sharing a work-in-progress with you, From the Homefront Diaries of Lorraine Shatterbuck. I seem to be writing a lot in diary form lately–I’m also writing Diary of a Mad Quilter, a contemporary story about an avid quilter.  Both of these diaries, by the way, are available to read for free on the Quilt Fiction website. You can listen to the audio version of Diary of a Mad Quilter by joining the Quilt Fiction Story Guild for as low as $6 a month.

We’ve got three great sponsors for today’s episode: Suzie Quilts, Fat Quarter Shop and Denyse Schmidt Quilts! Our sponsors have provided some really nice things for this month’s giveaway. We’re doing two giveaway bundles for March–the first one includes three patterns of your choice from the Suzie Quilts pattern shop plus a Hip Hop Hooray  Layer Cake from Fat Quarter Shop. The second giveaway bundle is a year-long membership in Denyse Schmidt’s Patchwork Panel Club, and this one is big–we’re talking a $165 value! Among other things, you’ll get four different fabric panels delivered to you throughout 2024. Each panel features nine mix-and-match fabric designs from the DSQ fabric archives printed on luxuriously soft, high-density quilting cotton and is over two yards of fabric.

March 2024 Block of the Month

The March 2024 Block of the Month is the Stars of Stripes block first published in Aunt Martha’s Work Basket and reprinted in newspapers across the country beginning in 1941.

Stars of Stripes block

March Book of the Month

The Quilt by Gary Paulsen, which is one in a trilogy of books that are based on Paulsen’s grandmother. The main character in The Quilt is an unnamed  six-year-old boy, but this isn’t a sweet and cozy story. Even though the narrator is very young, this is a book for older, more mature readers. I think a thoughtful sixth grader might get a lot from it, and mature 7th and 8th graders even more so. In a way, I think the readers who might get the most from this are adult women.

The Quilt takes place during that time Paulsen lived in Northern Minnesota when he was a young boy. In the story, he travels with his grandmother to a remote farm, where a much older cousin of his is close to giving birth. Her husband is fighting in the war, and she’s tending to the farm by herself. Shortly after the boy and his grandmother arrive, the cousin, Kristina, goes into labor. With that,, the women of the community arrive. The labor is long, and while the women wait, they work on a quilt together. It’s a quilt made up of scraps, each one telling a story about a family member’s life, and the women tell the boy all the stories that the quilt contains.