Author and women’s rights advocate Eliza Calvert Hall planted the seed for quilt fiction with her book Aunt Jane of Kentucky, published in 1907. The collection of short stories celebrates the themes of women’s relationships, harmony in marriage, and working together as a community. Eliza used quilting as an underlying metaphor in her writing. She concluded Aunt Jane with the following: “Patchwork? Ah, no! It was memory, imagination, history, biography, joy, sorrow, philosophy, religion, romance, realism, life, love, and death; and over all, like a halo, the love of the artist for [her] work and the soul's longing for earthly immortality.”
Sandra Dallas published her first quilt fiction work The Persian Pickle Club in 1996. Set in 1930s
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Author Earlene Fowler titles each of her novels in the Benni Harper Mystery series for a traditional quilt pattern which also provides a hint for the novel’s storyline. The series follows ex-cowgirl, quilter, folk art expert, and amateur detective Benni Harper as she solves murders and mysteries alongside her police-chief husband Gabriel Ortiz. Benni enjoys hot-fudge sundaes, fast food, and The Waffle House, while Gabe sticks to health food and runs every morning. Together, the two form the perfect crime-solving duo.
Other notable authors of quilt fiction are Clare O’Donohue, Terri Thayer, and Marie Bostwick. Curl up under a warm quilt and nestle in for an enjoyable read.