The Aloha Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts Series #16)

( 79 )

Overview

Another season of Elm Creek Quilt Camp has come to a close, and Bonnie Markham faces a bleak and lonely winter ahead, with her quilt shop out of business and her divorce looming. A welcome escape comes when Claire, a beloved college friend, unexpectedly invites her to Maui to help launch an exciting new business: a quilter’s retreat set at a bed and breakfast amid the vibrant colors and balmy breezes of the Hawaiian Islands. Soon Bonnie finds herself looking out on sparkling waters and banyan trees, planning ...

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The Aloha Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts Series #16)

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Overview

Another season of Elm Creek Quilt Camp has come to a close, and Bonnie Markham faces a bleak and lonely winter ahead, with her quilt shop out of business and her divorce looming. A welcome escape comes when Claire, a beloved college friend, unexpectedly invites her to Maui to help launch an exciting new business: a quilter’s retreat set at a bed and breakfast amid the vibrant colors and balmy breezes of the Hawaiian Islands. Soon Bonnie finds herself looking out on sparkling waters and banyan trees, planning quilting courses, and learning the history and intricacies of Hawaiian quilting, all the while helping Claire run the inn.

As Bonnie’s adventure unfolds, it quickly becomes clear that Claire’s new business isn’t the only excitement in store for her. Her cheating, soon-to-be ex-husband decides he wants her stake in Elm Creek Quilts, which threatens not only her financial well-being but her dearest friendships as well. Luckily she has the artistic challenge of creating her own unique Hawaiian quilt pattern to distract her—and new friends like Hinano Paoa, owner of the Nä Mele Hawai‘i Music Shop, who introduces Bonnie to the fascinating traditions of Hawaiian culture and reminds her that love can be found when and where you least expect it.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“With homey details and a strong sense of the connections that bind women, friends, and families, Chiaverini lovingly crafts her tale about a woman stitching together a new life. . . those new to the quilting bee should have no problem finding their groove.”
Publishers Weekly

“Finely detailed.”
—Amanda Mears, Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)

“This is an outstanding series of novels about a fascinating craft. Quilting, in the hands of Chiaverini, allows us to explore human relationships in all their complexity.”
Booklist

Publishers Weekly
In this latest entry to the bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series, quilting queen Bonnie Markham explores Hawaii and learns about the islands' quilting traditions while setting up a tropical quilt camp. Weary from a difficult divorce battle, Bonnie leaves beloved Elm Creek Manor and takes up her friend's invitation to start the camp; once in Hawaii, she gets to work on hiring staff and making her version of a Hawaiian quilt. When her mean-spirited ex-husband-to-be demands half her share in Elm Creek as part of the settlement, Bonnie takes drastic measures to protect the estate and her friends. Still, the big changes are hard to take, and Bonnie's not sure she can follow through. With homey details and a strong sense of the connections that bind women, friends, and families, Chiaverini (Circle of Quilters) lovingly crafts her tale about a woman stitching together a new life and a new project. Series fans will enjoy this latest entry, and those new to the quilting bee should have no problem finding their groove. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416533191
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 1/4/2011
  • Series: Elm Creek Quilts Series , #16
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 182,862
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Chiaverini

Jennifer Chiaverini is the author of the New York Times bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series, five collections of quilt projects, and Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, her most recent historical novel. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and sons in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Read an Excerpt

The Aloha Quilt

An Elm Creek Quilts Novel
By Jennifer Chiaverini

Simon & Schuster

Copyright © 2011 Jennifer Chiaverini
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781416533191

Chapter OneFrom the bedroom doorway, Sylvia Bergstrom Compson Cooper regarded the taped and labeled cartons Bonnie had stacked against the walls, leaving only a narrow aisle between the bed and the bureau. ?It might feel more like home sweet home if you unpacked.??I don?t have time,? said Bonnie, shoving a box of sweaters under the bed for storage. Though it was October, she wouldn?t need them where she was going. ?I have too much to do before my flight.?Sylvia picked her way through the clutter to the center of the room and studied the mess, frowning thoughtfully over the tops of her glasses, which hung from a silver chain around her neck. ?If you like, I can unpack for you while you?re away.??Oh, no, Sylvia. Please don?t go to all that trouble.??It?s no trouble. I?ll enlist a few of the other Elm Creek Quilters to help and we?ll spread the work over a few days.?  Sylvia didn?t need to add that they would have lots of time to finish the job before Bonnie?s return?too much time, thought Bonnie?s friends, who agreed that she needed a getaway but perhaps not one of such long duration.?I?ll take care of it when I get back.? Bonnie smiled to take the sting out of her refusal. ?I?m not moving in permanently, remember???The invitation stands if you change your mind,? Sylvia assured her. ?You?ll always have a home at Elm Creek Manor, even if you only want it long enough to get back on your feet.?Bonnie thanked her, wondering which of her friends would next offer to take her in. The apartment in Grangerville had never been a real home, just a wayside between the condo she had once shared with her now-estranged husband, Craig, and wherever she might settle after her return to Pennsylvania in the spring. Sylvia had convinced her that it made no sense to keep renting an apartment for her belongings when she could store them at Elm Creek Manor for free, so Bonnie had cancelled her month-to-month lease. She had needed no more than a day to pack up the apartment, not only because the Elm Creek Quilters helped her, but also because after moving out of the condo, she had unpacked only the necessities and left everything else in boxes.Somehow she must have known that she was not meant to stay.?I might decide to make the manor my home,? Bonnie said, stacking a laundry basket full of quilt fabric on top of a carton of old photo albums. ?I honestly haven?t thought it through. I?ve had too much on my mind and I can?t plan so many steps ahead.??A change of scenery and new challenges will do you good,? said Sylvia.?I?m counting on that.? Bonnie shoved a box out of the way with her foot and sat down on the bed, absently patting the Windblown Square quilt for comfort. A few years before, she had been blindsided when she caught Craig carrying on a cyber-affair with a younger woman, but after recovering from her shock, she had fought to save her marriage. She had thrown herself into an exercise program, lost twenty pounds, had her dark curls trimmed into a flattering new style, and had endured fellow Elm Creek Quilter Diane?s coaching about the best clothes for her curvy frame and makeup for her ruddy complexion. According to her friends, she looked better than she had in years?younger, fitter, more attractive?but even then she had known that a successful makeover alone wouldn?t be enough to rekindle Craig?s affection.Through marriage counseling and countless date nights, Craig had led her to believe they were reconciling and rebuilding, but all the while he was secretly hiding his assets for the divorce only he had known was inevitable. To make matters worse, he had told their children that she had abandoned him, that the divorce was her idea, that he was as confused and distraught as they were, that he deserved their sympathy and Bonnie their anger. C.J., their eldest son, knew their father too well to believe it, their daughter, Tammy, refused to take sides, and their youngest son, Barry, was far too credulous where his father was concerned. Bonnie didn?t push it. The very thought of engaging in a battle for the hearts and minds of their three grown children exhausted her. She didn?t have the energy to persuade her kids that Craig was wrong and she was right.Now that she had accepted that her marriage was over, all she wanted was to put the whole ugly situation behind her and to move on.To feel good again. To return to the happy, contented woman she had once been and now only vaguely remembered. But how could she heal when even the protective walls of Elm Creek Manor triggered so many painful memories?She had despaired of ever doing so until her old friend Claire phoned with an invitation as wonderful as it was unexpected. Bonnie rarely saw her former college roommate except at college reunions, but Claire kept in touch with chatty letters mailed from military bases in different foreign countries as she followed her officer husband from post to post. When he had retired from the service, they settled in Hawaii, having fallen in love with the island paradise whileEric had been stationed in Oahu earlier in his career. For the past several years, Claire had run a quilt shop on Maui, and when an opportunity came to expand the business, Claire contacted the long-time friend who had introduced her to quilting to enlist her help.?A quilter?s retreat in Hawaii,? Claire had said. ?What could be more perfect? And who knows more about setting up a quilt camp than you???Sylvia Cooper, for one,? Bonnie had said, but before she could reel off the names of the other Elm Creek Quilters who were far more qualified to tackle the project, Claire had accused her of her old fault of excessive self-deprecation and insisted that only Bonnie possessed the perfect combination of knowledge, experience, and trustworthiness that Claire needed to launch her new business venture. She offered to hire Bonnie as a consultant, and in exchange for Bonnie?s expertise, she would provide a modest stipend, room and board in Maui for the winter, and a guaranteed room at Aloha Quilt Camp whenever Bonnie desired.Bonnie felt as if her old friend had thrown open doors and windows to let fresh air and sunshine into a room too long shuttered and neglected. Elm Creek Quilt Camp closed for the winter, so why not spend the off-season in Hawaii? She couldn?t sit at home counting the days until her divorce, as if on the day it was final, her disappointment and anger would magically vanish. Where better to begin building a new life for herself than in Hawaii, where she would be soothed by balmy breezes and lulled to sleep by the pounding surf, where she could help a beloved friend launch an exciting new business, where everything was unfamiliar and nothing would remind her of what she had lost?

Continues...

Excerpted from The Aloha Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini Copyright © 2011 by Jennifer Chiaverini. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 79 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(35)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 79 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Thank you, Jennifer Chiaverini for another great book!

    When Bonnie Markham, one of the founding members of Elm Creek Quilt Camp, goes to Hawaii to help her friend Claire start up a similar quilt camp in Lahaina. She is anxiously awaiting the final disolution of her marriage to her ego-centric coniving ex-husband, and hoping the change of scenery will help her cope with a broken heart. Little does she know that the change in scenery will change HER in many unexpected ways. She will learn to make decisions, to take control, to regain self-confidence and to forgive. Along the way, when she is least expecting it she'll learn she could have a go at learning to love again. This book is well researched, and includes many interesting facts about Hawaii and the history of quilting there. I love that Jennifer Chiaverini has taken one of her core characters and stretched out beyond the boarders of Pennsylvania. She allows her characters to grow and change, while still keeping them grounded and committed to eachother and to Elm Creek Quilts as well. "Mahalo" to the author for adding another fine book to this excellent series.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Awesome Reading

    This is a book in a series. But you do not need to read all the books (although I highly reccommend it!) The Aloha Quilt is written very well. As you read the characters just draw you in. It is very hard to put the book down. I love this book because it is somewhat dramatic, is very touching, and somewhat romantic. All the ladies are very interesting by themselves, so putting all of them or some of them in at one time makes the reading awesome. Another thing I like is that you do not need to be a quilter to read them. Enjoyed reading it. I have read all of the books in the series (more than one time) and it is so interesting and just makes you want to keep reading (sometimes until 2am). They are all so awesome! You feel as if you are right there and while I'm reading I can see all of the places etc.., that the characters are in.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2010

    keep 'em coming

    Okay. So there was one Jennifer Chiaverini book that I wasn't crazy about. But my biggest complaint about her novels is that she doesn't produce them fast enough. Her recurring characters are people I'd like to know (doesn't everyone want to have a friend like Sylvia?) Several years ago, when this reviewer / quilt maker was a complete novice, I can recall that one of the first questions I asked some of the more experienced quitters was, "Are there really places like Elm Creek Quilt Camp?" [At the time I was told 'no,' but looking at some recent quilting magazines, there may be now. If so, I think we can credit Chiaverini with their inspiration.] Her descriptions of quilts - how they are made, the artists who created them, the stories behind them - are not just filled with love, but filled with lots of good information, too. Several years ago, my guild hosted a quilter from Hawaii who taught us the basics of Hawaiian appliqué and showed us some lovely pieces she had made. Unfortunately, she didn't have time to delve deeply into the history of the quilts. Chiaverini does in this book. As the saying goes, that alone is worth the price of admission. I think this is one of her best.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Aloha Quilt - Memories of Maui

    This first novel by Jennifer Chiaverini that I've had the pleasure of reading brought me back to our recent visit to Maui, Hawaii. We actually stayed at the Hooilo House mentioned by the author, went for a Haleakala sunrise, experienced wonderful aloha from people we met, as well as many other things uniquely Hawaiian as described in this captivating book (including drinking 100% Maui coffee!).

    What I learned from the book gave me a yearning to return to Hawaii, to Oahu to see the wonderfully described Iolani Palace, to be there at a time when we can see the whales breach, and to see and perhaps purchase a handmade Hawaiian quilt.

    Thank you, Ms Chiaverini, for transporting me back to an enchanting and totally relaxing place and time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    What a wonderful story!

    A wonderful story as always in her novels with a quilting background. This story also includes a history of the Hawaiian Quilt as well as some history of Hawaii itself as well as situations many of us can identify with.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    ALOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHA!!

    I loved it! Bonnie gets blessings and Craig...well I won't ruin it for everyone, but you wont' be disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2010

    Revisit an Elm Creek Quilter in Paradise

    Bonnie travels to Maui to help her friend, Claire, set up a quilt camp in Maui. Some of Bonnie's emotions seem a bit over the top and I wanted to say, "Get a grip, girl," but I haven't experienced what this character was going through. However, the descriptions of Hawaii were wonderful and true. The descriptions of how to make a Hawaiian quilt were very clear and the history of Hawaii was very fascinating. The book ends back in Pennsylvania at Elm Creek Quilts, but I won't give away the ending. I have enjoy all of Ms. Chiaverini's books. They are permanent books in my library. And, I have a hawaiian quilt/wall hanging that I have started, so the extra instructions were helpful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2010

    I have all your books and get them read in about a week or less,usually 3 days. I like how they continue on with the same people like reading about your friends. I am planning on making a quilt from the instructions given in the story.

    I really like Jennifer's style of writing, once you start you don't want to put the book down. I always read some when I first get up while I drink my morning mocha. Its like your reading about someone you know. When your finished you can't wait until the next book. I can't wait until it comes out. I hope you come out with another quilt book to go along with this book. I am an avid quilter and have all the books for the other quilts and have started the bridal quilt. Keep up the great work.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Next Hallmark Channel Movie?

    This book has all the makings of a Hallmark channel movie or even a big screen flick. Stressed out, disenchanted heroine in desperate need of a time out. Add on BFF now relocated to Hawaii. Stir one skanky soon-to-be ex-husband and few secrets...

    Even if you have not read the other books, this book is able to stand by itself and shine on it's own merits.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

    Another Great Book for Quilters

    I have read all of Jennifer's books and enjoy each and every one. This one was a bit different, as it didn't take place at Elm Creek, but that certainly gave us another view of quilting. Looking forward to her next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Being a lover of the Elm Creek Quilt Series, I was ready to read the latest book. Little did I know it would be one of my favorites. A total change of scenery and some really interesting new characters.

    I would have to rate this as my second favorite of the series. The descrptions of the scenery make you feel like you are in Hawaii. I found it interesting to learn some Hawaiian history and the history behind Hawaiian quilts. I can't wait to find out more about Aloha Quilt camp.
    Hats off to Jennifer Chiaverini for another hit.
    Can't wait for the next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Chiaverini has done it again!

    Bravo for Ms. Chiaverini branching out from Elm Creek to set down possible roots in Hawaii for a new quilt camp venue. As with all her books I liked the background of the particular quilt design and the way she incorporates it as an underlying current throughout her book. She always writes believable characters and scenarios. The interaction between characters keeps you glued to the pages to find out what happens next. This was a great book for curling up with a warm blanket, a cup of cocoa, and a rainy day.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2013

    I am not a quilter but now have more appreciation for quilters,

    I am not a quilter but now have more appreciation for quilters, quilts, and the history they share. I enjoyed reading about the Hawaiian history and culture.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    A lovely addition to the Elm Creek Quilts series.

    This book is yet another good example of the ever expanding "Quilts" series. It is set in Hawaii, a great backdrop for for a book which includes just enough romance to be interesting, but not so much that it gets syrupy. I enjoyed reading about a woman who is still interested in widening her horizons and getting out of her comfort zone.

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  • Posted June 7, 2013

    Wonderful story -- a must read

    For all Elm Creek fans, this one is a must read, and if you have never visited Elm Creek quilting camp, you should. In Aloha Quilt, Bonnie finds herself in Hawaii, helping an old college friend set up her own quilt camp, and endures trials and triumphs along the way. She has difficult questions to answer, and decisions to make, but the indomitable owner of Grandma's Attic, previously sold by a vindictive ex-husband, finds the peace she needs, and the hope of a new life she craves on the beautiful island in Hawaii.

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  • Posted December 3, 2012

    highly reconmended

    Another wonderful book by Jennifer Chiaverini. This series is especially good if you like quilts or Hawaii! It's a quick read but fun and interesting.

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  • Posted May 26, 2012

    This was a good book. Very well written. My first book by Jennif

    This was a good book. Very well written. My first book by Jennifer Chiaverini. I picked the book because of the setting in Hawaii and only later realized that it's part of the long series. Even though I did not read the first 15 books, I was not disadvantaged by the act. Author had blended and introduced characters by giving just enough info to make a good flow.

    This book included a bit of romance, love/hate relationship, bitter divorce relations, and lots of quilt sewing techniques.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Best book by this author!

    I've read books 1 - 16 in the Elm Creek Series, and this is Chiaverini's best book to date. I loved reading about the island and the culture there. The love interest in the storyline added a new twist. Great read!!!!

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  • Posted October 30, 2011

    Very enjoyable.

    Jennifer Chiaverini's books always are a good read. She weaves history and fiction together in a very entertaining way. This book would be enjoyed mostly by women.

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    I hate to say this....

    I have read so many of Jennifer's lovely books, but this is not one of them. I keep reading, hoping that the story will "pick up". It doesn't. I hope that her next installment is better. Sorry!

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