My new novel, MORNINGS ON MAIN, is about a quilt shop in a small town called Laurel Springs, Texas. Since I don’t quilt some people might think the setting strange for me, but they don’t know my family.
My grandmother was born in a covered wagon and I’m sure there were quilts surrounding her. My mother quilted all her life, even after she’d lost the names of her children to Alzheimer’s, she quilted. Both of my sisters quilt. (See picture of mother’s quilt with books on top.)
In a very real way the history of our family is woven into the squares of a hundred years of quilts. So, setting a story in a quilt shop made sense.
I also wanted to weave into this small town story the fact that it’s not so important where you live your life sometimes, but how you live it. I think sometimes people think if they live in some exciting place like Paris that they somehow live a richer, bigger life. Sometimes when I’m traveling people ask me, ‘You live in Amarillo. Why?’
If they only knew…
When I first started writing, my husband knew how much I loved this Lone Star Quilt my mother made. So he went to an artist in town and said simply, “I’ve got two questions for you. One, can you put this quilt and my wife’s books in a painting? And, two, can I afford it?”
Arvis Stewart must have laughed, but he said, “We’ll make it work.”That Christmas when Tom gave me the painting, I cried. (See picture of painting Tom gave me. My student intern Nicole McGee is holding it.)
Early settlers made quilts from scraps and flour sacks so they could keep their family warm. Pictures of early picnics, wagon beds and clotheslines often show quilts, but we can’t see the colors. Yet I know that those quilts must have added a great deal of color to their lives. Now, those quilts, some worn and over a hundred years old still add not only color to my life, but also a source of ideas for books.
Step into MORNINGS ON MAIN and fall in love with the people of Laurel Springs lives and see their beautiful quilts in your mind. When my mother read my first book, she said, “Jodi, you quilt with words.”
I hope you will stop by and visit with me about your quilts, and I would love to see a picture. One lucky winner will be drawn to receive a copy of MORNINGS ON MAIN. (Giveaway guidelines apply).
Here’s where you can purchase Mornings on Main