Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Sugar Camp Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel” as Want to Read:
The Sugar Camp Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Sugar Camp Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel (Elm Creek Quilts #7)

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,315 Ratings  ·  317 Reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini, this riveting novel in the Elm Creek Quilts series is thick with secrets in the years before the Civil War.

History is thick with secrets—and Pre–Civil War America comes to vivid life—in this stunning and suspense-charged Elm Creek Quilts novel from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini

Paperback, 416 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Pocket Books (first published January 1st 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Sugar Camp Quilt, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Sugar Camp Quilt

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
This book predates the history of the family in all of the novels. This book highlights Mr. Ligghit... the man that Sylvia's ancestors gambled out of the cabin/ land that eventually became Elm Creek Mannor.

Mr. L, as it turns out is a mean drunk who is up to no good at every turn. His neighbors that live on the Granger Farm have a maple sugaring business. The family that lives at the camp moved in with a cranky old Uncle that no one can stand. As it turns out- the Uncle was a stationmaster on the
Jan 04, 2010 Rebekah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 7th story in the Elm Creek Quilt series, Sugar Camp Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini, is different from all the other books in that it has no Bergstrom in it. This is pre-history. In The Runaway Quilt Sylvia learns of her family’s friendship with a Dorothea and her brother and how they became involved in the underground railroad accidentally through them. This story goes into how that family gets involved in it.
Dorothea’s Uncle hid a station on his farm while they lived there with him because h
Jun 20, 2008 Pdoe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what it is... if a book tells me it's an adaptation of an older, more well-known story, I enjoy it. It's fun to look for the elements of the original and see how they've been adapted. When the book doesn't do that, it just feels like a rip-off.

Take "Pride and Prejudice." Move it about 40 years forward and a couple thousand miles across the Atlantic, axe out pretty much everyone except Darcy, Wickham and Elizabeth and you've got "The Sugar Camp Quilt."

It is not an entirely felicitous
Nathalie S
Feb 10, 2013 Nathalie S rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elisabeth Petty
This was one of Jennifer Chiaverini's finest books! There is not a mention of Sylvia or the other Elm Creek people. This is set entirely right before the Civil War in Creek Crossing (which later will become Waterford). Dorothea Granger has been asked by her irascible uncle to make a quilt which exacting pattern is unconventional. Later we find out, after her uncle's death,that the quilt is actually a map for runaway slaves to find their way to the next station on their way North to freedom. Doro ...more
Kathleen Dixon
This is another in the Elm Creek Quilts series that I'm thoroughly enjoying, and it gives the story of neighbours of Elm Creek before Elm Creek became the family farm of the Bergstroms and the present-day owner, Sylvia. Dorothea and her parents live by the good graces of her uncle on his farm, having lost their own (communal) farm to flooding. They find the uncle demanding and judgmental, but there will be nothing for Dorothea's brother Jonathan to inherit if they don't suffer in silence.

This is
Mollie Matusick
Nov 25, 2014 Mollie Matusick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Sugar Camp Quilt novel takes us to the year 1849. This starts out with Abel Wright, a neighbor to the Grangers, who is on his way to purchase his wife's freedom from her owner. His wife is a slave and he wants to get her away from the slavers before she is sold off.

Jacob, uncle to the Granger's, wants Abel to wait until after the crops are in. But Abel insists he needs to go now or his wife may not still be there.

Once Abel returns with his wife, Constance, the Granger's go over to welcome he
Oct 07, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this story; discovering how Mr. Nelson and Dorothea came to love one another, and how they played an important part in the success of the Underground Railroad before the start of the Civil War... and while these characters are fictitious, there were many wonderful, brave abolitionists like these two characters, whose acts of bravery and heroism really did save the lives of runaway slaves; Jennifer Chiaverini once again tells a magnificent story and captures my attention and imagination c ...more
Aug 27, 2015 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This, the seventh in the Elm Creek Quilts series, takes a detour from the lives of the Elm Creek Quilters, and goes back to the time before Elm Creek Manor was built, when slavery was legal in the southern states and the underground railroad was helping slaves to freedom. In order to understand some of the characters in the story, it's helpful to read The Runaway Quilt.

The horrible Mr. Leggit, the original owner of Elm Creek Farm, works with slave catchers to capture runaway slaves, more for his
I can't seem to write a review without giving any of the exciting details away and all my favorite spots, so, I will say it was a thrilling combonation of mystery, history, and a little romance. :) Again, Jennifer Chiaverini weaves a beautiful story around the making of a quilt, family, and history. Loved it!

For some reason the author chose to include copy-cat lines and scenes from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Emma occasionaly throughout. Although fun, I found that a bit uncreative to c
History is thick with secrets in The Sugar Camp Quilt, seventh in the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series from bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini. Set in Creek's Crossing, Pennsylvania, in the years leading up to the Civil War, the novel follows Dorothea Granger's passage from innocence to wisdom against the harrowing backdrop of the American struggle over slavery. She discovers that a quilt she has stitched for her uncle Jacob with five unusual patterns of his own design contains hidden clues t ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 21, 2014 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dorothea and her parents live with Uncle Jacob near Elm Creek Farm. Mr. Liggett, who burned maple trees (not used for maple sugar) and embarked upon a harebrained scheme to raise racehorses, bought a slave women and brought her to his farm. Citizens of Elm Creek Valley, led by Dorothea's parents of Thrift Farm, called the law on him. …demanded release since by law if once in the North, she was immediately free. He claimed she was his wife — she denied. Jacob has Dorothea make a special quilt wit ...more
Julie King
I have not read any of the author's other books and found this to be an easy and light read. Dorothea is 19 years old and living with her parents at her uncle's farm after they lose their farm. The uncle is difficult, but the family plan is to endure his idiosyncrasies until he dies and her brother will hopefully inherit the farm. The time frame is before the Civil War and slavery is addressed as various people hold differing views (some driven by moral beliefs, some driven by money). I did find ...more
Feb 07, 2011 Loralee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dorthea Granger has had a hard life. Her family's farm flooded and they lost most of their earthly possessions including the quilt tops that she had painstakingly made for her hope chest. They have no where to go except her mother's brother. Her Uncle Jacob is a stern man. He has a strong work ethic and shows his disapproval when anyone isn't pulling their load.

Dorthea dreams about furthering her education and marrying someday, but at the age of 19, both dreams seem like just that--dreams. Whil
I've heard from several friends that the Elm Creek Quilt serves by Jennifer Chiaverini were good books. This was my first, and while it was very readable, I didn't find it to be outstanding writing. The book is set in the days of the Underground railroad and the turmoil between abolitionists and pro-slavery. It is centered on the character of Dorothea Granger, a young woman whose family had lost their farm, and moved into the home of her Uncle Jacob. Uncle Jacob was stern, and often judgmental o ...more
Jan 26, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crafts, quilts
One of the many books in the Elm Creek Quilt series by Jennifer Chiaverini, this book could actually be more of a stand alone than any of the others. The only commonality it has with the other books are that some of the characters were briefly mentioned in a story in one of the other books. Aside from that, this is a book all its own.

We are first introduced to Dorothea, a young woman who lives with her Uncle and parents on her Uncle's farm. Her Uncle Jacob is a strict man and the family, while l
Heather Murphy
May 04, 2008 Heather Murphy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People that love to live and live to love!
Recommended to Heather by: Sarah G.
My favorite line in the book was “Men too often confused success with moral worth.” Moral conscience is a theme in this book. I enjoyed reading it because it was interesting by the 17th page whereas it usually takes me at least 50 pages to be engrossed. Also, it wasn’t too compelling that I couldn’t responsibly put it down and concentrate on more important matters. That’s the way I like books. Another very important quality to me is that the characters were praiseworthy each in their unique ways ...more
Oct 08, 2012 Lora rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was an interesting story and I liked all the historical details that the author put into this book. I think the story could have been fleshed out a bit, and I thought the author spent too much time building up to the climax and then just like that ended the story, just felt cut off at the end.
I have not read any other books in this series, so I understand this is the prehistory to those books. I think you can easily read this book without having read the others.
One thing I thought
Mar 22, 2013 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book by this author which I have read, although a quilter relation says she's read them all and really likes them. It is set in a pre-Civil War period in Pennsylvania--which as a state not too far from the South had many pro-slavery citizens as well as abolitionists. the time is also when the laws of the country favored the owners of runaway slaves, and so hiding escapees was dangerously illegal in many ways. The heroine, Dorothea, is pitted against several men who suspect her ...more
Charlotta Norby
Oct 08, 2012 Charlotta Norby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Years ago I read several of the first Elm Creek novels. Initially, I really liked them, but after a while I thought they got a little tedious or almost repetitive. It was almost always more or less the same story; the 4-5-6 quilters were having camp at Elm Creek manor, and then there would be somebody - either among the quilt teachers or the students - who was going through a personally difficult time which everybody helped her get through. So I stopped reading her books for several years and h
Apr 01, 2011 Joanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone especially if interested in The Underground Railroad movement or slavery
I actually listened to this book in the car as I drove to and from work everyday about an hour total unless I run errands as well.

At first I was prepared to be disappointed because Sylvia, Sarah and the other Elm Creek quilters were not in the story at all. But this is an intriguing and informative tale of not only runaway slaves and the Underground Railroad but some pre-history to the Elm Creek series, even though it's the 7th in the series.

The greasy Mr. Liggitt (not sure of spelling since I'
Julie Barrett
Oct 12, 2013 Julie Barrett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sugar Camp Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
Wanted to read all the books in the series and this one sounds fascinating.
Dorothea is making Uncle Jacob's quilt. He had a certain design but to her the squares did not make sense.
Once you realize what they are depicting the secret will be out. The story tells of the times before the war when slaves were owned by others.
She hopes to get the quilt done for Christmas day to surprise him. She really labored over it and he didn't seem to appreciate her best w
Fred Ann
Jun 17, 2014 Fred Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My interest in quilting is increasing with each |Chiaverini novel I read. The Sugar Bush quilt has introduced me to the quilt block pattern, Delectable Mountains . I also have chosen fabric to make a Sawtoth star quilt. Perhaps after reading a few moe Chiaverini books I hall embark upon making a sampler quilt. The sugar Bush quilt portrays a very difficult part of American history devoted to thew aiding of runaway slaves using the underground railroad to Canada, I am loving these stories.
Apr 23, 2015 Egm rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do not usually enjoy the Elm Creek Quilt books set in the past as much as the "current day" ones, but I found I enjoyed this more than I expected. However, I found the ending very unsatisfying. In a sense, it ended too soon. Some of the ending is known in advance as the events in this book precede those from The Runaway Quilt. However, there is still time between when this book ends and the events of that book and I would like to learn more about what happens during that time.
Jul 21, 2014 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed, as I have all of them so far. However, I kept waiting for it to tie in with the other 6 in the series. It talked about the location of Elm Creek, but not the people. I was surprised where it ended. Yet, I very much enjoyed it - minus the fact it was about slavery. That crap has GOT to end in every way, along with the prejudice. God made us all, loves us all, and expects we all love each other. Easier said than done, but some are a little more behind than others.
Oct 08, 2015 Batya7 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book! It wasn't just the quilt tie-in (me being a quilting enthusiast) that hooked me. This was a story with real depth. It treated the horrendous condition of slavery, and slaves becoming free, with a sensitivity and depth I haven't encountered elsewhere. It is rare that I am so captivated by what I thought would be a light mystery. Surprise!

I look forward to reading other Elm Creek Quilts books and will keep my eye out for Jennifer Chiaverini.
There are something like thirteen books in this series, but I think it's more like a multi generational saga than a series. The story is set in 1849 when the anti-slavery groups were just beginning to exert themselves and the Underground Railway was setting up its routes, stations and guides. What I liked best about this book was the way characters revealed totally different characteristics as the story went on. There is a full range of types in this small village and the feelings of the 'townie ...more
Fitchburg Public Library
A stand-alone historical novel from Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilters series, this book is set in 1840s Pennsylvania against a backdrop of brewing unrest between supporters of slavery and abolitionists. Heroine Dorothea Granger is tasked with making a quilt for her quick-tempered uncle in an unusual pattern. When her uncle's death uncovers family secrets, Dorothea must decide whether to follow the plans he has laid out or take up her own destiny, while considering the attentions of a pair of suito ...more
Jun 01, 2013 Catherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although this book is part of the Elm Creek Quilts series, it could actually stand alone, and could easily be read and understood by anyone who has not read any of the other Elm Creek Quilt novels.

This book is set in pre-Civil War years and deals with the issues of slavery and abolition. The main character, Dorothea, is a young woman who lives with her parents and harsh uncle on her uncle's farm. Through a series of events, she becomes involved helping runaway slaves as they move through the Un
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Thread of Truth (Cobbled Quilt #2)
  • Dove in the Window (Benni Harper, #5)
  • Touching Stars (Shenandoah Album)
  • The Lover's Knot (Someday Quilts Mystery, #1)
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)
  • The Quilter's Apprentice (Elm Creek Quilts, #1)
  • 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 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)

Share This Book