On my bucket list between “Register a patent” and “Visit Athens” is “Sew a quilt.” (Or is it “Quilt a quilt”? I should know, but who proofreads their bucket list?)

I collected my material, found a design I liked and even cut out pieces. I had enough for a few squares when I realized – I’m cutting fabric into tiny pieces, only to sew it back together again. If I needed a blanket wouldn’t it be more practical to sew together the biggest pieces of material I can find? Or even better, go to Target and buy one?

Such thoughts reveal my absolute lack of craftiness. I don’t get it. So, with a heavy heart I marked quilting off my bucket list and decided to read a book instead.

Falling to Pieces by Vannetta Chapman is about Callie Harper, pharmaceutical rep from Houston, who inherits her aunt’s quilt shop in Shipshewana, Indiana. Callie knows less about quilting than I do, but the Amish women in town rely on the shop to sell their quilts to the tourists on market days. Completely unfamiliar with the Amish, this thoroughly modern, conceal-and-carry approved woman (if you don’t know what that means you aren’t from Texas) is surprised to find herself accepted into the community. She’s just beginning to fit in when she gets crossways with some residents for selling the quilts on the internet.

And this is where Vannetta Chapman really gets crafty.

This isn’t your typical agrarian book where the women stay in the kitchen and on the farm. No, these Amish ladies are entrepreneurs, and when someone is murdered they turn into amateur detectives.

How do the peaceful, non-violent Amish deal with a murderer in their midst? How do they handle neighbors who don’t share their ways? I think one of the reasons this book appeals to me is that it shows the cooperation between the Englishers and the Amish. In Chapman’s Shipshewana there’s no artificial division between Christians. Everyone functions as part of the community.

Although the mystery is solved by the end of the book, I wasn’t ready to leave Shipshewana. Thankfully, two more books are planned in this series. Isn’t that wunderbaar?

So maybe someday I’ll give the quilting another go, but until then I’ll content myself with appreciating other people’s talents. Besides, as long as I can curl up with a good book, I don’t care what the blanket looks like.

How about you? What craft have you mastered? What have you always wanted to try?

(It’s come to my attention that the FTC wants bloggers to disclose any connection between themselves and the product being reviewed. I bought this book for full cover-price even though there was a 20% off sale on Saturday. I was that impatient. Vannetta is a friend of mine. We ate lunch together once, but we went Dutch. I’ll keep you posted on any other potentially scandalous connections.)

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