OUR FEATURED SPEAKER:
THE ELM CREEK QUILT series
Jennifer Chiaverini, bestselling author of the “Elm Creek Quilts” series will be a featured speaker at the Decatur Quilters Guild “Quilt Our Town” Quilt Fest 2023. Jennifer’s presentation, book selling and signing will begin on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 10 a.m. Admission to her presentation is free to all Quilt Fest 2023 ticket holders. The 2023 Quilt Fest is set for Friday April 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, April 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Decatur Civic Center, downtown Decatur. Admission to the show is $8.
Chiaverini is author of The Elm Creek Quilt series and many historical fiction books such as Switchboard Soldiers, The Women’s March and Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker.
Jennifer was a quilter before she became an author as she got into quilting when she was twenty-five. Just after she got married, she wanted to get a wedding quilt as an heirloom for the occasion but nobody in her family quilted. She was also working on becoming an author and teaching part-time and hence she did not have the money for the quilt. The only way to get that quilt was to make one herself and she just had to learn. When Chiaverini wrote her debut novel “The Quilter’s Apprentice” in 1999, she wanted to showcase everything she loved about the folklore, artistry, and tradition of quilting but also capture the quilting community’s camaraderie and spirit. As a beginner quilter, she found that quilters were very welcoming to people interested in the craft. They were always willing to help beginners hone their skills by sharing their knowledge. The fact that it is a very positive, encouraging, and welcoming art form appealed to her and she knew she had to portray it in fiction.
A common thread in Jennifer’s novels whether historical or contemporary is the dynamic of the family. She writes of how the people we love the most can be the source of our deepest regret and insecurity, and also our greatest strength. One of the things she hopes readers get from reading the “Elm Creek Quilts” is a better knowledge of the tradition and history of quilting. They can also understand how it can be a creative outlet that draws one into a community of welcoming and talented quilters that encourage and offer support to each other. Jennifer also believes that through her novels, readers can discover that quilting can bring together people from a variety of religions, nationalities, generations and socioeconomic backgrounds and make them friends.
Jennifer has also published several collections of quilt patterns that were inspired by her novels. Some of Chiaverini’s quilt designs have been featured in “Quilt,” “Country Woman,” “Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volumes 3-5,” while her short fiction has been featured in “Quilters Newsletter” and “Quiltmaker.”
She currently lives with her husband and two children in Madison, Wisconsin.