Join Emma Yoder Miller, the Amish widow-turned-newlywed, as she leads another quilting class with a new group of unlikely students, all with tattered pieces of their lives that need mending. Members of the patchwork group find friendship, faith, healing, and restoration while gathered around their quilts, under the Father’s guiding hands—for only He can take what’s ragged and shabby from the lives of His children and turn it into beauty for His glory.
About the Author
New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda's stories consistently earn spots on the nation's most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.
Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.
When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at www.wandabrunstetter.com.
Read an Excerpt
Anna Lambright wanted her freedom. She'd turned eighteen a week ago, but her parents were holding her back. Most of the young people she knew had at least started their rumschpringe, but not Anna. Her folks held a tight rein and had forbidden Anna to do any of the things other kids did during their running-around years.
"What are they worried about? Do they think I'll get into trouble?" Anna mumbled as she tromped through the damp grass toward the barn to feed the cats. It wasn't fair that she couldn't have the freedom most of her friends had to experience some of the things English teenagers did.
When Anna entered the barn, the pungent odor of hay mixed with horse manure made her sneeze. If I weren't Amish, what would I be doing right now? she wondered, rubbing her eyes as they began to itch and water.
To make matters worse, Anna's mother thought Anna should do everything expected of an Amish woman. Anna didn't enjoy cooking or sewing. They just weren't her thing. She'd tried sewing a dress and had made a mess of it. She couldn't even manage to sew something as simple as a pair of pillowcases without making stupid mistakes. Mom had tried teaching Anna to quilt, but Anna was all thumbs. Her stitches were uneven and much too big.
Anna felt like a misfit. She hadn't been baptized or joined the church yet, so she was free to leave if she wanted to. Only trouble was, where would she go, and how would she support herself? If she left, she'd have to stop working at Dad's window shop, because she was sure he wouldn't let her stay on.
Inside the barn, Anna spotted three cats — one white, one black, and one gray with white paws, sleeping on a bale of straw. As soon as they sensed her presence, they leaped off the bale and zipped across the room to their empty dishes.
"Are you hungerich?" Anna asked, reaching for the bag of cat food on a shelf near the door.
Meow! Fluffy, the all-white cat, stuck her nose in one of the empty dishes. The other two cats pawed at Anna's legs.
"Okay, okay, don't be in such a hurry." Anna filled the dishes and then set the food back on the shelf.
While the cats ate, Anna wandered over to the horses' stalls and stopped to watch Cindy, Mom's honey-colored horse, eat the oats Anna's fourteen-year-old brother, Dan, had given the mare a short time ago.
Anna didn't have a horse of her own. She borrowed Mom's whenever she had somewhere to go that was too far to walk or ride her bike. Anna actually preferred riding her bike. It was easier than trying to manage the horse. Even a horse as gentle and easygoing as Cindy could be unpredictable.
One time when Anna had gone to Shipshewana to run some errands for Mom, a motorcycle had spooked Cindy, and Anna had struggled to get the horse back under control. Her mouth went dry just thinking about what could have happened if she hadn't been able to get Cindy settled down. The nervous horse could have crossed into the other lane of traffic, run off the road into someone's fence, or taken off down the road.
Just last month a woman from their community had died in a buggy accident that happened between Middlebury and Shipshewana. Anna figured she'd be safer in a car, although even then there were no guarantees.
"Do you ever feel like breaking out of here and running away?" Anna murmured as the horse finished up with her oats.
Cindy's ears twitched as though in response; then she ambled across the stall and stuck her head over the gate.
Anna scratched behind the mare's ears. "What do you say, girl? Should we escape together?"
"Who are you talking to?" Dan asked, surprising Anna when he came out of nowhere.
"I was talking to Mom's gaul, and you shouldn't sneak up on me like that. Where were you anyway?" she asked, turning to look at her blond-haired brother.
"I was up in the hayloft." Dan's blue eyes twinkled, and he grinned at Anna like he'd been doing something special. "I like to go up there to think."
"What were you thinking about?"
He shrugged his broad shoulders. "Nothing really. Just pondering a few things."
Anna tipped her head. "Such as?"
"Wondering what I'll be doing next year, when I graduate from eighth grade."
"I thought you were gonna work for Dad in the window shop."
"I might, but I'm not sure yet. There could be something else I'd enjoy doing more."
Anna could certainly relate to that. Mom and Dad expected her to help out in the shop, answering the phone and taking orders from customers. The only part of the job she enjoyed was being able to use the computer. Because they had to order a lot of things online, they'd been given permission from the church leaders to have a computer in their shop. Of course, they'd never have one in their home. That was against the rules of their Amish church, and Mom and Dad were not about to knowingly break any rules. Anna enjoyed having access to the internet. When things were slow at the shop, she would take a few moments to explore different websites showing places to visit. She knew without a doubt that spending a good deal of the day on the computer would have been no problem for her, if it were allowed. Anna couldn't believe all the information out there, available by just the click of a mouse.
"Have you ever thought about what it would be like if you didn't join the Amish church?" Anna asked her brother.
Dan shook his head vigorously. "No way! Where would I go? What would I do?" He reached out and stroked Cindy's neck. "Don't think I could be happy if I left our way of life."
Anna didn't say anything. If she told Dan the way she felt, he'd probably blab it to their folks. It was better if she kept her thoughts to herself, at least until she'd made a decision.
"I'd better get back in the house and help Mom with breakfast," Anna said.
"Okay, see ya inside. I've still got a couple of chores I need to do." Dan ambled away.
Anna shook her head. If her brother had chores to do, what was he doing up in the hayloft thinking about his future? She gave Cindy a goodbye pat and hurried out of the barn.
When Anna stepped into the kitchen, she found Mom in front of their propane stove, stirring a pot of oatmeal. Anna wrinkled her nose. Oatmeal was not one of her favorite breakfast foods.
Anna studied her mother. She was only forty-seven years old but seemed to be aging fast. Maybe it was the fine wrinkles across her forehead, or it could be the dark circles beneath her pale blue eyes. Mom's hair was a mousy brown, and some telltale gray was showing through. Anna hoped she wouldn't look as haggard as Mom when she was in her forties. She hoped her light brown eyes wouldn't lose their sparkle, and that her auburn hair would keep the depth of its color well into her senior years.
"Did you get the cats fed?" Mom asked, breaking into Anna's musings.
Anna nodded. "They were as desperate as usual." She removed her jacket and the woolen scarf she'd worn over her stiff white covering. After hanging them on a wall peg, Anna picked off some cat hairs she noticed clinging to her dress and threw them in the garbage can under the kitchen sink.
"Did you notice how chilly our wedder is getting?" Mom questioned.
"Jah, and I don't like cold weather," Anna mumbled as she began setting the table. "Summer doesn't last long enough for me."
"Some chilly or rainy days are what we can expect during the fall. Winter will be here before we know it." Mom flashed Anna a smile. "Before you start setting the table, there's something I want to tell you."
"Oh? What's that?"
"Emma Miller will be starting another sixweek quilting class next Saturday, and I signed you up." Mom's smile widened.
Anna's mouth dropped open. "What? Why would you do that? You know I don't sew."
"That's true, and since I haven't been successful at teaching you, I thought maybe Emma would have better luck."
Anna frowned. "But Mom ..."
"No arguments now. Your daed and I talked this over last night, and we think it's what you need. I went out to the phone shack earlier this morning and left Emma a message, letting her know that you'll be taking part in her next class." Mom patted Anna's shoulder. "If you give yourself a chance, I'm sure you'll learn a lot from Emma. From what I hear, she's a very good teacher. And who knows? You may even enjoy the class."
"Right," Anna muttered under her breath. She'd heard about Emma's quilting classes, and the last thing she wanted to do was sit in a room with a bunch of strangers.
* * *
Los Angeles, California
Carmen Lopez had only been out of bed a few minutes, when her telephone rang. She glanced at the clock on her bedside table, wondering who would be calling her at 5:00 a.m. The only reason she was up this early was because she had a story to cover in Santa Monica and wanted to get an early start before the freeway traffic reached its peak during rush hour. There was nothing worse than sitting in a traffic jam with irritated drivers honking their horns and hollering at each other. Carmen always wondered why they did that. Did those people think it would make the vehicles miraculously start moving? Being a reporter, she'd learned very quickly that people liked making statements in any way, shape, or form. Truth was, being engulfed in traffic made her nervous, bringing back the memory of the tragic way her precious sister, Lorinda, had died.
The phone rang a few more times, and Carmen finally picked up the receiver. "Hello," she said, stifling a yawn.
"Carmen, are you awake?"
"Oh Mr. Lawrence. Yes, I'm up. I'll be heading to Santa Monica soon to cover that story about the recently opened homeless shelter."
"Forget about that. I put Eddie Simpson on it."
Carmen's brows lifted. "You gave my story away?"
"That's right. You don't have time to go to Santa Monica today."
"Yes I do. I got up plenty early, and —"
"I just booked a flight for you to South Bend, Indiana, and you need to pack. Your plane leaves in four hours."
Carmen frowned. Andrew Lawrence could be a difficult boss at times, and he was a little overbearing, but he'd never pulled her off an assignment and sent another reporter in her place. And he'd never expected her to fly somewhere without giving her advanced notice. "Why are you sending me to Indiana?" she questioned.
"There's been a lot of media hype about the Amish lately, especially with some of the reality shows on TV about Amish kids who've left their families and gone wild," he said. "Since you have connections in Indiana, I figured you'd be the best person to get the lowdown on this. You know — find out why these kids go wild and why their folks look the other way."
"Get the lowdown?" Carmen's eyebrows puckered. "I have no connections in Indiana, sir. And what makes you think I can learn anything firsthand about Amish kids going wild?"
"Your brother-in-law lives there, doesn't he?"
"Well, yes, Paul lives in Elkhart, but —"
"Didn't you mention once that he knew some Amish people?"
"Not in Elkhart, but in Shipshewana," she explained. "Paul took some quilting classes from an Amish woman, but that was over a year ago."
"That's perfect! You can pick the man's brain, nose around the place, ask a lot of questions, and maybe get into a few Amish homes. I'm expecting you to write a good story that'll shed some light on why all Amish kids go wild during their days of running-around. ..." His voice trailed off. "What is the Pennsylvania Dutch word for it ... rumschpringe?"
"I think that's it, but I'm not sure if Paul has stayed in contact with the Amish woman who taught him to quilt. Also it could take some time to get that kind of information."
"No problem. Take all the time you need."
Carmen blew out her breath. "Mr. Lawrence, I really don't think ..."
"It's all set, Carmen. Your flight leaves at nine, so you'd better get packed and hustle yourself to the airport. Give me a call when you get there. Oh, and keep me posted as you gather information. I think this will be a great story. It could even win you a promotion if it's done well, so you'd better not let me down." Mr. Lawrence hung up before Carmen could say anything more.
Carmen sank to the edge of her bed and groaned. She had to admit she was intrigued by this assignment, and if a promotion came from doing it, that would be great. There was just one problem: Even if Paul was still friends with the Amish woman who'd taught him to quilt, there were no guarantees that he would tell Carmen anything. Things had been strained between her and Paul since Lorinda had been killed. For several months after the accident, Carmen had blamed Paul, thinking he could have done something to prevent it. And even though she'd gone to Elkhart once since Lorinda's funeral to see Paul's daughter, Sophia, she and Paul had never really resolved the issue.
It was ironic that Carmen had been thinking about Paul lately. In fact, she couldn't seem to get him out of her mind, no matter how hard she tried. Even before her boss called with this new assignment, her conscience had been bothering her about the strained relationship. Was it right to blame Paul for her sister's death? Was she using him in order to have someone to blame? Could her anger against him just be a cover-up for her own grief? Maybe the best thing to do was apologize to Paul for having blamed him and then ease into the request for him to introduce her to his Amish friend.
Dark brown eyes stared back at Carmen as she smiled at her twenty-four-year-old reflection in the mirror above her dresser. Her hair looked pretty good, even in its tangled state. Just like her sister, Carmen had long, black, lustrous hair she could style any way she wanted. As she pulled her thick locks into a ponytail, her plans seemed to fall right into place. She would apologize to Paul. This trip might work right in with the new assignment she'd been given and ease her guilt at the same time. At least it was a step in the right direction.
Blaine Vickers hated his job. Well, maybe not all of it — just when he was asked to do something he didn't feel comfortable with. Like only moments ago when his boss, Stuart Johnston, had asked Blaine to give a demonstration on fly-fishing to a group of wannabe fishermen who'd be visiting the sporting goods store tomorrow afternoon.
"Can't someone else do it?" Blaine asked as he and Stuart entered the break room together.
Stuart shook his head. "None of the other employees knows fly-fishing as well as you, my friend."
Blaine grunted. "But you know I'm not comfortable talking to people."
Stuart gave Blaine's shoulder a quick thump. "What are you talking about? You're a salesman, right? You talk to people every day."
"That's different. I talk to people one-on-one, not in a group setting where all eyes are on me." Blaine had never mentioned it to Stuart, but he hoped to someday own his own fishing tackle store. It wouldn't be a big place like the sporting goods store — just a small place where he'd sell only things fishermen needed. It was probably nothing but a pipe dream, but it was nice to have a goal and something to focus on rather than thinking he'd be stuck working here for the rest of his life. Not that working for Stuart was bad; Blaine just wanted to do his own thing.
Stuart raked his fingers through the back of his curly dark hair. "You'll do fine talking to those people. Don't sell yourself short."
Blaine meandered over to the coffeepot. What choice did he have? Stuart was his boss, and even though they were friends, if he wanted to keep his job he'd have to do what he was told, like it or not.
"Say, Blaine," Stuart said, joining him at the coffeepot, "I'm going fishing at Lake Shipshewana on Saturday. Since you're not scheduled to work that day, why don't you go with me? Unless you're gonna be busy doing something with your lady friend, that is."
Blaine shook his head. "Sue and I broke up a few weeks ago. I thought I'd mentioned it."
"If you did, I must've forgotten. Between staying busy here at the store, going to my kids' games, and trying to keep Pam happy, I can only focus on one thing at a time." Stuart added a spoonful of sugar to his coffee and took a sip. "How come you and Sue broke up? I mean, you've been going out for a few years now, right?"
Blaine sighed. "It's complicated."
"It or Sue?"
Excerpted from "The Tattered Quilt"
Copyright © 2013 Wanda E. Brunstetter.
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 STARS I really enjoyed The Tattered Quilt. I could see where most of the story lines where going but did not even guess where one ended up. It makes me want to make a quilt again. I enjoyed reading this story. I missed the first book in the series but would not mind going back and reading it. Emma Yoder Miller is planning another quilting class when her husband suggests they go down to Florida for a vacation. Emma agrees if no one signs up for her class that she has already advertised for. She does enjoy teaching her quilting class with her husband. They touched lives in their first class together. Anna Lambright wants to do her rumschpringe time but her parents are holding onto her too tightly. She is eighteen. Her mom signed her up to take Emma's quilting class since she has had no luck teaching Anna how to sew. Anna does not want to go. Carmen Lopez lives in Los Angeles and is a reporter. Her boss wants her to get a story about Amish kids going wild for rumschringe. He wants to use her brother-in-laws contacts to meet some Amish. When she gets to Shipshewana, Indiana and finds the quilting class is getting ready to start again she signs up with her boss okay. Blaine lost a bet with friend Stuart who had taken the quilting class before so he had to take the class. He never thought he would lose a fishing bet. He would rather fish can't believe he has to make a quilt wall hanger. Selma Nash is a grouchy lonely old lady. She is never happy and tells her neighbors all the time to keep their animals and pets off their lawns. Her neighbor Jan has been keeping his dog tied up. A couple of days after her birthday he handed her Emma's name and address and told her he paid for the class for her. That was the nicest anyone had been to her in along time. She knew she would be the best sewer in the class. Jan had taken Emma's first quilting class. He surprised that he enjoyed it. Jan and Terry were working on the roof of Emma's house when a beautiful women went inside. Terry was smitten and wanted to meet her. He found out she was single and signed up for the class right then. Cheryl the blond was told that Emma might be able to help her fix her grandma's tattered quilt. Cheryl's grandmother is in a rest home and wants to bring it to her fixed up when she goes home to Oregon for her birthday. When she finds a class is starting she agrees to take the class. I like how these strangers over six week time learn about each other and make a difference in each others life. The characters had good and bad faults. They open up to each other and some change in little ways and some big. It does mention a few scriptures and prayer. A little about Amish life. Has some good humor thrown in too. It is a clean read. I have enjoyed reading Wanda E. Brunstetter's books and will continue to look for them in the future. publication: August 6th 2013 by Barbour Books 320 pages ISBN:1616260866
I enjoyed reading this story. Wanda Burnsettters book never disapoint.
A tattered quilt amidst tattered lives Emma and Lamar Miller put their vacation in Pinecraft, Florida on hold. Emma felt the need to remain in their Amish community in Shipshewana, Indiana to teach another 6-week quilting class. As in the past the class filled up quickly, and the Millers were once again put to the challenge. The students were as tattered as the old quilt that one of the students brought to Emma for repairs. Was it possible that those six people could find restoration and peace through the process of quilting? As a custom, the Millers prayed for each of their students as the weeks passed by, and lives would be changed through their compassion and prayer, and unexpected events. This series of books is quite different from what we're accustomed to in Wanda Brunstetter's writing style. I'm finding this series to be very entertaining, refreshing and amusing. She has added numerous elements to these stories that reveal many facets of our society, and she blends them with the Amish tradition in a very unique way. Wanda is very familiar with Northern Indiana, and has made numerous Amish friends over the years. Her sense of humor comes through in this series in a way I have found very enjoyable. There are numerous plots interwoven throughout "The Tattered Quilt," and the characters are as varied as the quilt designs found in the area. Faith, hope and compassion are very strong currents that run throughout the lessons in quilting and the lives of these characters. Pick up the entire series and relax and enjoy the entertainment these books offer! I thoroughly enjoyed "The Tattered Quilt" as much as I enjoyed "The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club." In addition, if you have the opportunity, be sure to see the musical based on the first book in the series. It is outstanding! Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Wanda E. Brunstetter through Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Wanda Brunstetter has done it again!! If you liked "The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club", you will find this book just as captivating and charming. This book has very believable characters, great storyline, and an unexpected surprise at the end. Emma Yoder Miller & Lamar Miller, newlyweds, are once again offering Amish quilting classes for a total of six weeks. They are opening their home having faith in God to have His hand in who enrolls for their classes. When classes begin there are six students, two men and four women. They come from a wide variety of lifestyles, occupations, and ages. They all have their own unique reasons for signing up. You will be wondering from the start how in the world they could possibly work through their differences and issues. Prepare yourself for experiencing their ups, their downs, their prejudices, and ulterior motives for enrolling. Wanda Brunstetter has a way of drawing you into her books and you won't want to put them down! She also works a message into her books that we can take and apply to our own lives. Don't judge each other based solely on the outside appearance, people are not always what they seem. Wanda, thank you so much for the hours of entertainment and enjoyment your books provide. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it!!
This is the second book built around shattered, unhappy, and needy lives. Emma Yoder Miller was a widow who found her wonderful new husband in the last quilting class. Now she continues to run six week quilting classes, with her husband, for the people that God sends her. A strange group of people have found themselves beginning classes whether they want to or not. Anna is 18 and wants to experience life outside of her Amish community, but her mother has signed her up for this class in hope of keeping her from the Englishers. Selma was gifted with these classes by a neighbor who finds her abrasive attitudes in need of attention. Terry is a blue collar guy who sees a pretty girl in the class and decides to join in hopes of getting a date. Blain just lost a fishing bet and grudgingly goes to class as a looser. Carmen has her own secret motive, and Cheryl just wants her favorite grandmother's quilt mended and stays around for the class. This book takes this rag muffin group into the perfect place for them to learn that God is watching out for all his people, and has a plan for everyone to find joy in his presence within their own different and varied lives. Emma is the catalyst, and quilting is the means for great lessons and conversations about life, love, family and God. I really enjoy this series and hope it continues with more books.
Number 2 in a type of series. It has the same characters, but can be read as a stand alone, clean read book. Great!
I am a quilter and this book touches my heart
The Tattered Quilt is about newlywed Emma Yoder Miller, who yet teaches another quilting class. This new group of students consists of a biker, a fisherman, a disgruntled neighbor, a young Amish girl, a reporter, and another young woman. These students all have their issues that they need to work through. Will they put their trust in God to get past their problems? I really loved this novel. Being book two of The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club series, there were many students from book one who make an appearance. Which, for me, was nice to see an "update" on their lives. I really loved the twist at the end. I definitely didn't see that coming. I would say this book is a great addition to my Wanda Brunstetter collection. I enjoyed it more than The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club. (Which I loved, too!). Highly Recommended!
I had read the Half Stitched Amish Quilting Club and was so into the book that I read it in 2 days. And now The Tattered Quilt. It kept my interest the whole way to the end of the book. All the students are so different in their reasons for taking the quilting class. Thanks for another great book, Wanda Brunstetter.
I have enjoyed all of your books Tattered Quilt was great. I like the way everything comes together keep writing them.
I would highly recommend this book, a continuing series of The Half Stitched Quilting Club. I love to read about the Amish and follow the lives of the characters.
Another amazing book by Wanda E. Brunstetter! Emma Yoder has now remarried and become Emma Miller. She is still the sweet, gentle woman that teaches lessons about getting along with others while teaching quilting classes. Now she has a wonderful complimentary partner in teaching in the form of her husband Lemar. Their new class again has a wide variety of students in it. They have joined the class for various reasons. Selma is a belittling busybody who joined the class because it was paid for by someone else. Terry is a rugged roofer who wants the chance to meet a pretty woman who is in the class. Blaine loses a bet and has to take the class as a result. Anna’s mother signs her up in a desperate attempt to keep her from leaving the Amish faith. Carmen holds tightly to bitterness while hiding her secret motives for taking the class. And Cheryl has a broken, mistrusting heart that needs as much mending as the tattered quilt that she brings to Emma to repair. Wanda has done a marvelous job of developing each and every one of these characters. The interactions between them are wonderful. I loved seeing how each of them developed in their personal lives and in their relationships to the other students throughout the book. I won a free copy of this book through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.
Awesome book, just a good has her first book the Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club, I now have read more of her books. She is an awesome writer.
It was a beautiful story. I loved it.
Heart warming! I love the surprise ending of the tattered quilt.