Susan Wiggs | Letting Go is Hard To Do...
May 12, 2011
"How do you say goodbye to a piece of your heart?" If you're a quilter, you
have a time-honored way to express yourself.
"A quilt is an object of peculiar intimacy. By virtue of the way it is
created, every inch of the fabric is touched. Each scrap absorbs the quilter's
scent and the invisible oils of her skin, the smell of her household and, thanks
to the constant pinning and stitching, her blood in the tiniest of quantities.
And tears, though she might be loath to admit it...."
That's a quote from the beginning of THE GOODBYE QUILT, a story
about letting go, leaving home, and obviously, quilting.
I am not a quilter, but I'm a quilt-appreciator. The background of the author
photo for this book is a family heirloom quilt, which is about a century old,
yet just as sturdy now as when it was stitched. A really good quilter knows how
to make things that last.
When my own daughter was leaving home, I made her a scrapbook. However, The
Goodbye Scrapbook doesn't resonate in quite the same ways as THE GOODBYE QUILT. In the
novel, the narrator, Linda, creates her quilt from the bits and pieces her
daughter Molly has left behind--a favorite dress, a school uniform, an award
ribbon--the kind of thing we don't want to throw away, but can't justify
keeping, either. Incorporating all these things into a quilt design is a way to
hang and let go all at once.
I'm not a quilter, but many of my friends are. One of the best I know is Joan,
who created an original quilt design, which can be found in the back of the
book. Her whimsical yet practical instructions are the perfect grace note at the
end of the book. Also, her blog and Etsy shop are incredibly charming and not to
The novel is my gift to readers. And I'm guessing some people will want to give
it as a Mother's Day or Graduation gift, since the publisher made it so pretty.
There's lots more for readers on my web site. Click here to request a beautifully letter-pressed and signed book plate
and bookmark. And here to view a lovely song by Alice Peacock and slide show
with images that inspired the book.
Question for readers of this blog--what did you get Mom for Mother's Day?
7 comments posted.
Re: Susan Wiggs | Letting Go is Hard To Do...
I cannot wait to read this book.
I gave her candy, took her out to eat - she spent the weekend with us and also gave her a gift card so she could pick out something nice.
(Pat Lieberman 11:59am May 12, 2011)
I gave her my presence, spices from Penzi's, and several plants from annual plant sale including a black viola, a red coleus and lavendar.
(Alyson Widen 1:40pm May 12, 2011)
Unfortunately, my Mother passed away a few years ago, so I spoke to her, as I do almost every day. It seems as if she passed away only yesterday, and I miss her terribly. I did call my Dad, though, and I think he knew that I was going to call. Out of the 3 girls in the family, even though I don't live nearby, I'm pretty much the closest to him, and have since I was small. It could be because I'm the baby of the family. Anyway, if she was still here, I would have driven out to see her with my Husband, and spoiled her rotten!!
(Peggy Roberson 3:14pm May 12, 2011)
Our mother is no longer with us either, but my brother passed away not quite 10 weeks ago. I'm sure he passed on our good thoughts and prayers to her and our father.
(Sigrun Schulz 5:49pm May 12, 2011)
My mother passed away nearly 20 years ago, but I miss her as much today as I ever have. She loved to read and I appreciate her sharing her love of books with me. I'm looking forward to reading "The Goodbye Quilt" but I must confess "Home Before Dark" remains remains my favorite of your books.
(Jill Hayden 6:49pm May 12, 2011)
Sadly, my Mother is not with us any more. She died 4 years ago. However, this year was special in a different way. May 8th also happened to be my oldest son's 38 birthday. He and I went out to dinner to celebrate our "Happy Mother's Birthing Day". It is our special event.
(Robin McKay 7:01pm May 12, 2011)
I absolutely loved The Goodbye Quilt and felt many of the same things when my only child went off to college. Funny enough, I'm working on my own quilt right now with a purpose that will change my life as much as the quilt in the bood did. What did I get my mother? A quilted purse. She had looked for one over a year ago and couldn't find one so when Mother's day came around it seemed the perfect gift for her. She loved it. The colors were good for almost anything she wore and it was the size of a purse she normally buys herself.
(Christina Harrison 10:48pm May 13, 2011)
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