The five stories lovingly contained in Hearts and Gizzards: Motherhood in Motion are Clara's. Always symbolizing love and comfort, Hearts and Gizzards is the name of a quilt designed by the Ladies' Art Company in 1898. Variations of this design are often found in folk art. These quilt designs became marvelous works of art, carrying with them far greater value than their humble beginnings. Favored by Clara, the Hearts and Gizzards design epitomizes motherhood and caretaking while finding the miraculous in the mundane. The reader sees how quilting gives Clara a sense of communion with the generations of women before her.
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Clara is an ordinary woman, equally at home in her domestic life and in the corporate world. Following the birth of the second of her three children, Clara chooses to leave the corporate world and the urban life she knows so well, and with her husband, Sweetheart, takes up residence in an idyllic and sleep community. Having forsaken two-piece suits and high heels, Clara now revels in the minutiae of being a dedicated housewife and mother. But sometimes, too much of a good thing can make a person a little stir crazy. For Clara, it soon becomes necessary to turn to quilting, an age-old art which becomes her lifeline to surviving motherhood during the trying times when she doubts that she'll make it.
The five stories lovingly contained in this volume are Clara's stories. The reader gets to see how quilting gives Clara a sense of communion with the generations of women who have made quilting a part of their lives; how Clara learns a lesson in diplomacy when she accepts the challenge of working on a group quilt for an auction to benefit the school library; how a temporarily side-lining injury causes Clara to take up an alternative form of needlework with near-disastrous results; how a scrap quilt becomes the perfect take-along project when chaperoning a distant swim meet; and, finally, how Clara hosts a family reunion at which her trademark charm and wit are solely tested but at which she also unexpectedly unearths two long-ago quilters on her own family tree.
In the best-selling tradition of Whitney Otto's How to Make an American Quilt, the author of this delightful collection pieces together life and art, stitching a whole that is as movingly real as it is wondrously beautiful.
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