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The Quilter's Apprentice (Elm Creek Quilts, #1)
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The Quilter's Apprentice (Elm Creek Quilts #1)

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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  8,865 ratings  ·  945 reviews
After moving with her husband, Matt, to the small college town of Waterford, Pennsylvania, Sarah McClure struggles to find a fulfilling job. In the meantime, she agrees to help seventy-five-year-old Sylvia Compson prepare her family estate, Elm Creek Manor, for sale. As part of her compensation, Sarah is taught how to quilt by this cantankerous elderly woman, who is a mast ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by Plume (first published April 6th 1999)
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The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls WilderThe Sugar Camp Quilt by Jennifer ChiaveriniThe Persian Pickle Club by Sandra DallasThe Runaway Quilt by Jennifer ChiaveriniThe Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini
Quilt on the Cover
5th out of 141 books — 23 voters
The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate JacobsThe Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie MacomberA Good Yarn by Debbie MacomberThe Knitting Circle by Ann HoodKnit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton
Good Yarns: Knitting Fiction
55th out of 122 books — 207 voters


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Community Reviews

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Melanie
This was a quick easy read with nothing heavy of tense. I liked the way it explained some of the history of the block names. That was new to me. I also found out that I quilt left handed! I would've liked more description of the house which was being sorted. It was good to have a more realistic character who isn't finding life a bed of roses. I went to the Elm Creek web site so I could find out the proper order to read the books in so the story is more continuous:

"If you would like to read the b
...more
Misty
Aug 24, 2008 Misty rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: quilters, anyone who likes a book with absolutely nothing offensive or controversial inside
I picked this book up because I had heard gushing reviews from many members of my quilting guild. Note to self, don't rush out and buy books recommended by gray haired ladies. Not to say that gray haired ladies can't recommend excellent books. I will be checking out recommendations, like the rest of this series, from the public library. Well, at least I can pass this on to my gray haired mother.

It's a decent story but a bit predictable. Ok, very predictable. But it has a couple of interesting tw
...more
Lynne
There are times that you want to read a book that doesn't have any vampires, werewolves, serial killers and/or detectives from various historical periods and you just want to read a book about normal people, leading everyday lives but with a story to tell and if that's the case then this book is just the thing! It wasn't particularly exciting, but it has a cast of warm characters, quilts, and is very easy to read. It's very much along the lines of Debbie Macomber's books - the feel rather than t ...more
Beth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
BJ Rose
Lovely story-within-a-story telling of two women who learn to patch together the unraveled parts of their lives as they stitch together a quilt. My only disappointment is the lack of pictures or drawings of the quilt squares; they were well-described, but I would have loved to see what they looked like.
Melissa
What a charming story. I love quilting. I love reading. So this book was just about perfect for me. While it was largely a work of fiction, the aspects about quilting were not. They were very instructional in a non-boring type of way.

Sarah and her husband have recently moved to a small town where he was able to find a job. Having had to give up her own job for the move, Sarah is desperately trying to find one in this place with no luck. No luck that is until she accompanies him to one of his cli
...more
Trish
I am a quilter. I should state that at the outset. But I don't make quilts like many other people make quilts. I admire lots of tiny little pieces and stitches, but mine are...mine. They sometimes resemble something you've seen before, but sometimes they are something completely different. It depends on the fabric. Fabric is usually my starting point, not the pattern. Anyway…

I initially resisted this series but I was desperate one day for an audiobook and my library had this first in the series.
...more
Kathy Davie
The first in the Elm Creek Quilts quilting series, Quilter’s Apprentice is disappointingly juvenile in its writing although Chiaverini does a lovely job of setting up the series.

The primary character, Sarah, has given in to her husband’s need for a job by throwing up her accounting position when Matt gets a job offer in another city. Sarah does not want to continue in accounting and is having trouble landing interviews for anything else so when Matt has the opportunity, he takes Sarah along on a
...more
Donna
I started reading Jennifer Chiaverini's series on the Elm Creek Quilts. This first novel takes Sarah and Matt McClure to Waterford, Pennsylvania. Matt had accepted a position with a landscape architecture group in Waterford. Sarah had to leave her job and hopefully would find another in Waterford. Her potential was in accounting; but she hoped to try and get into some other area of business.

Sarah being unable to find a job, took a temporary job with Sylvia Compson to prepare her estate for sale
...more
Cath
This is the second book of Jennifer Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilt series that I have listened to recently. The first book, 'The Lost Quilter', had more depth to it because of the historical references and the characters, in my opinion.

'The Quilter's Apprentice' had just a hint of historical fiction woven into a sweet story about a relationship between a grouchy, sad, very direct older woman who is a master quilter, and a bubbly, idealistic, young woman wanting to learn the craft and inspire the o
...more
Susan
I had an assignment to read a book I've read before and loved, I chose The Quilter's Apprentice and I'm glad I did. Though I remember reading this book at least ten years ago and loving it, I was surprised to discover how much I had forgotten. It was, again, a great read, so much so I'm reading the second in the series now.

Sarah eager to switch from her accounting job to one in public relations agrees to move to small town Waterford, PA where Matt, who was layed off a few years ago, accepts a po
...more
Meagan
This book was a fun introduction to the quilting world, which I've been interested in for quite a while. It was also quite quick, but I think I'm going to go back through the book to look up what some of the quilt blocks look like. They sound quite pretty and are in my imagination, and I want to know if I'm anywhere near my guess! The story follows a rather predictable path, every time Sarah is quilting with Mrs. Compson the older woman shares a story of the farm's earlier, brighter days. As the ...more
Doreen Colby
This was a guick and easy book to read. I needed something light with a feel good story. I enjoyed learning about the quilts and their names. I have tried quilting in the past and can appreciate the time and work that goes into making one. I will probably read some of the others in this series.
Loraine
This is the fourth Elm Creek Quilts novel that I have read. This is actually the first in the series and explains how Sarah and Matt became involved with Sylvia Compson and began Elm Creek Quilts. The others were fine read out of order but it was nice to hear the beginning of the story.

Once again, well developed characters who had both their strengths and weaknesses and who fought to work through problems with other family members. The storyline was interesting as Sylvia brought Sarah into the
...more
Kristine
A quick, easy read. Amazingly clean. Sometimes I think she struggles with describing the quilts, although being a quilter myself, I know many of the blocks by name and can visualize them without a description. She does a wonderful job weaving the stories into the plot. I think she could have done more description, as well and development of the relationship between Sarah and Sylvia. It seemed a little too scripted - it happened too easily. I am curious to see what she does in the next book, alth ...more
Elizabeth
I definitely needed my google search engine as I read this book! So many quilting terms were used and explained really well, but I really wanted to see what the quilt patterns were that were brought up. I absolutely soaked up this beautiful story and although predictable, everything that I wanted to happen, happened, including the desire to make a quilt! (What? It could happen!) can't wait to read more installments!
Maryellen
Sarah moves to a new town with her husband and must look for a new job. She is an accountant but is looking for a different career direction. While searching for a new position she meets Mrs. Compson, an expert quilter. She agrees to exchange manual labor for quilt lessons. I wanted to like this more than I did because it dealt with quilting. Unfortunately the characters of Sarah and her husband come across as weak and boring with heavy doses of banality. I kept waiting for a backbone to show up ...more
Nan
I really liked this book for several reasons. This is definitely a quick-read yet there is depth to the story as I have found myself thinking about some of the periphery circumstances and even out-lying characters. There are thirteen books in this series which is a good thing because I am sure to launch into the second soon. The setting is scrumptious--present day, in an enormous manor house pre-dating the civil war. While this is not a historical fiction novel, the story includes the home's his ...more
Dyana
My mother is a quilter so this book appealed to me. It was a cozy, fast read. When her husband Matt finds a job with a landscape architecture group in Waterford, Pennsylvania, Sarah McClure leaves her job as an accountant to follow him. Dissatisfied with her old job Sarah begins to hunt for a new job in public relations; but after many interviews and no offers, she takes a temporary job at Elm Creek Manor tidying up and preparing the mansion for sale. Matt is working there rejuvenating the groun ...more
NayNay
I really enjoyed this book...it is a very heartfelt and inspiring read. This is a series with 20 books, and I look forward to reading all of them.

Jennifer Chiaverini is a new author for me and I really like her writing style. Her characters are real and her books flow with ease. These are perfect books to read this time of year, they are cozy and warm. If you like a good book, add this one to your bookshelf!
Kathleen Dixon
I read the 4th and 10th books in this series after grabbing them off a returns trolley at the library - they just really appealed - and now I'm starting at the beginning to see where the author started them. Not that the series order matters too much, especially because the settings of the separate books aren't chronological. Also, we never do get to know about people in a strictly chronological order, so reading them in a haphazard fashion is just like real life!

The apprentice of the title is a
...more
Leann Leas
Oct 21, 2014 Leann Leas rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all quilters
Recommended to Leann by: a quilter
I absolutely loved this book. My mother won it as a door prise at a Quilt Show at a church in our town and she let me read it first. God bless her!! I am a quilter, so everything in the book struck a chord in me! And I learned a few quilting tips. It amazed me that she was able to hand quilt the top and get the quilt quitled in a matter of weeks. My quilts take months to complete. I also enjoyed the fact that in the front of the book, there were illustrations of each of the quilt blocks. Haha!! ...more
Maria
Searching for a new series to listen to in my car, I got this book on CD at the library. I quite liked the narrator and the way she does the voices of the different characters. I liked that each character has her own background story of problems, and how forgiveness comes about. It's a sweet story about relationships and friendships as well.

The story centers around women who love to quilt, so there's quite a lot of the history of quilts and different techniques. As I'm from a line of pioneers wh
...more
Lisa
Sarah is feeling resentful and frustrated. She has given up her job as an accountant and moved to a new city to support her husband in a new job, but is not finding work. And then, when one of her husband's landscaping clients tries to give her a job cleaning, she thinks she has hit rock bottom.

The only thing that makes her think it may be worth working for the abrasive Mrs. Compson, is that the elderly woman has promised to teach her how to quilt. It is during these lessons that she just might
...more
Nathalie S
This is the very first book in the series when Sarah McClure reluctantly takes a job with Sylvia Compson and how their uneasy relationship matures and deepens as they get to know each other. This is the beginning of the Elm Creek Quilt Camp. More pieces to the puzzle fall into place!
Rebecca
Although she has a degree in accountancy, Sarah doesn't enjoy her profession. When her husband gets a job in another town, Sarah gives up her job and moves with him, but has trouble finding work in the new place--no one will consider her for anything but accounting. Then she accompanies her husband to his new job, helping an elderly lady get her extensive grounds in order before selling her family mansion. Sarah finds Sylvia rude beyond measure, but nonetheless ends up helping her out in exchang ...more
Michele
This was a wonderful book. It was just what I needed to read today. It was sweet and good and innocent. I loved Sarah's relationship with Mrs. Compson. I loved the stories she told and I loved the quilting. It was just a beautiful book.
Darlene Wilson
After moving with her husband, Matt, to the small college town of Waterford, Pennsylvania, Sarah McClure struggles to find a fulfilling job. In the meantime, she agrees to help seventy-five-year-old Sylvia Compson prepare her family estate, Elm Creek Manor, for sale. As part of her compensation, Sarah is taught how to quilt by this cantankerous elderly woman, who is a master of the craft.During their lessons, Mrs. Compson reveals how her family was torn apart by tragedy, jealousy, and betrayal, ...more
Fay Risner
I've read two books in Jennifer Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilters series and both of them are good. I enjoy reading about the same characters in this series. In The Quilter's Apprentice, Sylvia needs a reason to keep from selling her childhood home. She loves the place but hadn't visited in years because of a family misunderstanding. Now the estate is all hers when her sister dies. She has mixed feelings about living there with good and sorrowful memories. Hiring Sarah and Matt McClure to clean th ...more
writer...
Relational conflicts and generational stories add to the obvious love of quilting shared by Chiaverini.
Not in love with the MC, Sarah, but other interesting characters were soon presented who had a few background stories to keep me reading. I did enjoy a book of quilt talk, though some spots were more detailed than I cared to follow.
I did really love the introduction of WWII related stories and era. Intriguing. I'm thinking there's more to this series than meets the eye.

Appreciated discovering
...more
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Jennifer Chiaverini is the New York Times bestselling author of several acclaimed historical novels and the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series, as well as six collections of quilt patterns inspired by her books. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin. About her historical fiction, the Milwaukee Journal Se ...more
More about Jennifer Chiaverini...

Other Books in the Series

Elm Creek Quilts (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Round Robin (Elm Creek Quilts, #2)
  • The Cross-Country Quilters (Elm Creek Quilts, #3)
  • The Runaway Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts, #4)
  • The Quilter's Legacy (Elm Creek Quilts, #5)
  • The Master Quilter (Elm Creek Quilts, #6)
  • The Sugar Camp Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts, #7)
  • The Christmas Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts, #8)
  • Circle of Quilters (Elm Creek Quilts, #9)
  • The Quilter's Homecoming (Elm Creek Quilts, #10)
  • The New Year's Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts, #11)
Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker The Runaway Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts, #4) The Quilter's Legacy (Elm Creek Quilts, #5) Round Robin (Elm Creek Quilts, #2) The Cross-Country Quilters (Elm Creek Quilts, #3)

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