The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda E. Brunstetter is a delightful book about an Amish widow who decides to offer quilting classes in her home to supplement her meager income so that she won’t be a burden to her children. Emma Yoder places ads in the newspaper and around town on bulletin boards advertising her quilting classes to be held on six Saturdays. She finds that her students are a mix of personalities and problems. There is an African American woman who is the wife of a church minister, and a Hispanic man with a baby girl in tow, a mid-thirties couple, a young girl dressed in gothic apparel and a big man with tattoos and a biker’s bandana on his head. These characters each have a story to tell and a problem to solve. Emma’s kind, generous spirit and motherly wisdom, along with a little dose of scripture help each of these strangers to find a sort of peace in their lives. By the end of the teaching sessions they also form a sort of camaraderie. Emma also has a little problem with a certain older gentleman who seems to have a crush on her that is not to her liking. The book was a delight to read. I certainly enjoyed each of the stories within the big story of this group of misfits.
The story takes place in northern Indiana, near Shipshewana, which is an Amish and Mennonite community with home-style restaurants, quilt shops, and other interesting places to visit. Since I’ve actually been there, this story comes alive for me. I can picture all the places in the story and can imagine each of the characters and their interests and problems. If you are fond of lighthearted, inspirational stories, then this is for you. Be prepared to finish this book quickly because you won’t want to put it down.