Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jennifer Chiaverini  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1969

-- Facebook --
-- Twitter --
-- Jennifer Chiaverini on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Chiaverini is a graduate of the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Jennifer Chiaverini is a quilter and New York Times bestselling author. She is also a former writing instructor at Penn State and Edgewood College. Best known for writing the Elm Creek Quilts novels, Chiaverini also wrote four books of quilt patterns that were inspired by the novels and designs the Elm Creek Quilts fabric line from Red Rooster Fabrics. She currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin.

Selected Titles At Your Library

The quilter's apprentice :
ISBN: 1416556990. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster,. New York :. ©1999.

The wife of a landscape designer in Pennsylvania obtains a job doing housework for an old woman who quilts, and in the process learns to quilt herself. As the two quilt, the old one recounts her family's tragic story.

Round robin :
ISBN: 1416593047. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster,. New York :. ©2000.

The author of the regional bestseller "The Quilter's Apprentice" reunites with the Elm Creek Quilters in a continuing tale of friendship and loyalty in which quilting is a bountiful metaphor for the way people stitch their lives together, piece by imperfect piece.

The cross-country quilters :
ISBN: 1439148910. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster,. New York :. ©2001.

Five friends work on a "challenge quilt" that is symbolic of the problems they face in their personal lives.

Elm Creek quilts :
ISBN: 1571201777. OCLC Number:

. .

Provides patterns and instructions for creating twelve quilt projects inspired by the Elm Creek quilt novels, and includes tips and techniques for successful quiltmaking.

The runaway quilt /
ISBN: 1451606095. OCLC Number:

. .

When Sylvia Compson discovers evidence of her ancestors' involvement with the Underground Railroad, it raises the historical issue of the use of quilts as a method of signalling fugitive slaves.

The quilter's legacy :
ISBN: 1451606109. OCLC Number:

Plume,. New York :. [2004], ©2003.

Sylvia Bergstrom Compson and her fiancé Andrew embark on a difficult journey to find her mother's missing heirloom quilts, all the while discovering secrets regarding her mother's life and untimely death.

Return to Elm Creek :
ISBN: 1571202692. OCLC Number:

C & T Pub.,. Lafayette, CA :. ©2004.

Contains instructions and templates for quilting projects inspired by Jennifer Chiaverini's "Elm Creek" novels.

The Christmas quilt /
ISBN: 0739458817. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster,. New York :. ©2005.

When Christmas Eve comes to Elm Creek Manor, the tenor of the holiday is far from certain. Sylvia Bergstrom Compson, the Master Quilter, has her own reasons for preferring a quiet, even subdued, Christmas. Her young friend Sarah McClure, however, takes the opposite view and decides to deck the halls brightly. As she explores the trunks packed with Bergstrom family decorations that haven't been touched in more than fifty years, Sarah discovers a curious Christmas quilt. Begun in seasonal fabrics and patterns, the quilt remains unfinished. Sylvia reveals that the handiwork spans several generations and a quartet of Bergstrom quilters -- her great aunt, her mother, her sister, and herself. As she examines the array of quilt blocks each family member contributed but never completed, memories of Christmases past emerge. At Elm Creek Manor, Christmas began as a celebration of simple virtues -- joy and hope buoyed by the spirit of giving. As each successive generation of Bergstroms lived through its unique trials -- the antebellum era, the Great Depression, World War II -- tradition offered sustenance even during the most difficult times. For Sylvia, who is coping with the modern problem of family dispersed, estranged, or even forgotten, reconciliation with her personal history may prove as elusive as piecing the Christmas Quilt. Elm Creek Manor is full of secrets, from a Christmas tree with unusual properties to the sublime Bergstrom strudel recipe. Sylvia's tales at first seem to inform her family legacy but ultimately illuminate far more, from the importance of women's art to its place in commemorating our shared experience, at Christmastime and in every season.

The master quilter :
ISBN: 0452284686. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster,. New York :. ©2004.

The impending marriage of Elm Creek's most renowned quilting instructor prompts the stitching of a perfect commemorative bridal quilt, an endeavor that is challenged by closely guarded secrets among the Elm Creek Quilters.

The sugar camp quilt :
ISBN: 0743260198. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster,. New York :. ©2005.

In Creek's Crossing, Pennsylvania, in the years before the Civil War, Dorothea Granger agrees to sew an unusual quilt to fulfill her uncle's deathbed request, realizing later that the quilt pattern contains an Underground Railroad map.

The Christmas quilt :
ISBN: 143910025X. OCLC Number:

Pocket Books,. New York :. 2008.

Master quilter Sylvia Bergstrom Compson helps her friend Sarah McClure uncover the story of an unfinished Christmas quilt and works on a new quilt for her reluctant daughter-in-law that depicts holiday memories of Elm Creek Manor.

Circle of quilters :
ISBN: 074326021X. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster,. New York :. ©2006.

When the departure of two Elm Creek Quilts founding members prompts an influx of new applicants, the artists' retreat considers several candidates, including a history lover, a chef, and a gifted teacher.

The quilter's homecoming /
ISBN: 0743260236. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster Paperbacks,. New York :. 2008, ©2007.

Newlyweds Elizabeth and Henry set out on a cross-country journey to the site of their new home only to discover that they have been the victims of fraud and are now penniless, which forces Henry to take a job as a ranch hand while Elizabeth begins a new quilt.

More Elm Creek quilts :
ISBN: 1571204512. OCLC Number:

C & T Pub.,. Lafayette, CA :. ©2008.

Quilt projects from several novels in the Elm Creek series, with sidebars about characters pertinent to each quilt, with specially written vignettes and a chapter contained only in this book.

Sylvia's Bridal Sampler from Elm Creek quilts :
ISBN: 1571206558. OCLC Number:

C & T Pub.,. Lafayette, CA :. 2009.

"This book contains the patterns for the 140 traditional blocks that make up the quilt, Sylvia's Bridal Sampler, that was featured in one of Ms. Chiaverini's previous novels"--Provided by publisher.

The aloha quilt /
ISBN: 1416533192. OCLC Number:

. .

Bonnie faces a bleak winter alone, with her divorce looming. A welcome escape comes when Claire invites her to Maui to help launch an exciting new business: a quilter's retreat set at a bed and breakfast amid the vibrant colors and balmy breezes of the Hawaiian Islands.

The winding ways quilt :
ISBN: 141653315X. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster,. New York :. 2008.

The arrival of newcomers into the circle of quilters heralds unexpected journeys down pathways near and far as well as capturing the spirit of friendship at the moment of its transformation.

The quilter's kitchen :
ISBN: 1416583297. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster,. New York :. 2008.

In this cookbook disguised as a novel, Anna's new position as head chef at a quilting retreat gives her access to the group's recipe trove.

The lost quilter /
ISBN: 1416533176. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster,. New York :. ©2009.

Master quilter Sylvia Compson discovers a stash of letters in the attic of Elm Creek Manor and traces a tale back to 1859. An escaped slave, Joanna, spent a brief period at Elm Creek Farm until she was captured and returned to bondage, leaving her son in the care of the Bergstrom family. If Sylvia is to determine the fate of Joanna and her son, she must rely on one important clue-- the meticulous heirloom quilt Joanna stitched and left behind.

A quilter's holiday :
ISBN: 1451658214. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster,. New York :. 2009.

For the Elm Creek Quilters, the day after Thanksgiving marks the start of the quilting season, a time to gather at Elm Creek Manor and spend the day stitching holiday gifts for loved ones. On this quilter's holiday, Master Quilter Sylvia Bergstrom has invited her friends to continue an old family tradition of sewing quilt blocks representing their thankfulness and gratitude. As each quilter explains the significance of her carefully chosen block, stories of love and longing for family and friends emerge.

Traditions from Elm Creek quilts :
ISBN: 1607054027. OCLC Number:

C & T Pub.,. Lafayette, CA :. ©2011.

Contains thirteen step-by-step instructions for quilting projects inspired by the Elm Creek Quilts novels written by the author.

The Union quilters :
ISBN: 0452297605. OCLC Number:

Dutton,. New York :. ©2011.

In 1862 Water's Ford, Pennsylvania, abolitionism is prevalent, even passionate, so the local men rally to answer Mr. Lincoln's call to arms. Thus the women of Elm Creek Valley's quilting bee are propelled into the unknown.

The wedding quilt /
ISBN: 0452298490. OCLC Number:

Dutton,. New York, N.Y. :. 2011.

Meditating on the weddings she has attended in Elm Creek Manor throughout the years on the morning of her daughter's wedding day, Sarah McClure evaluates the symbolic features on a wedding quilt designed to display the signatures of beloved guests.

The wedding quilt /
ISBN: 0452298490. OCLC Number:

Dutton,. New York, N.Y. :. 2011.

Meditating on the weddings she has attended in Elm Creek Manor throughout the years on the morning of her daughter's wedding day, Sarah McClure evaluates the symbolic features on a wedding quilt designed to display the signatures of beloved guests.

Sonoma rose /
ISBN: 0452298997. OCLC Number:

Dutton,. New York, N.Y. :. 2012.

As the nation grapples with the strictures of Prohibition, Rosa Barclay lives on a Southern California rye farm with her volatile husband, John, who has lately found another source of income far outside the federal purview. Mother to eight children, Rosa mourns the loss of four who succumbed to the mysterious wasting disease that is now afflicting young Ana and Miguel. Two daughters born of another father are in perfect health. When an act of violence shatters Rosa's resolve to maintain her increasingly dangerous existence, she flees with the children and her precious heirloom quilts to the mesa where she last saw her beloved mother alive. As a flash flood traps them in a treacherous canyon, only one man is brave-or foolhardy-enough to come to their rescue: Lars Jorgenson, Rosa's first love and the father of her healthy daughters. Together they escape to Berkeley, where a leading specialist offers their only hope of saving Ana and Miguel. Here in northern California, they create new identities to protect themselves from Rosa's vengeful husband, the police who seek her for questioning, and the gangsters Lars reported to Prohibition agents-officers representing a department often as corrupt as the Mob itself. Ever mindful that his youthful alcoholism provoked Rosa to spurn him, Lars nevertheless supports Rosa's daring plan to stake their futures on a struggling Sonoma Valley vineyard--despite the recent hardships of local winemakers whose honest labors at viticulture have, through no fault of their own, become illegal.

The giving quilt :
ISBN: 0142180246. OCLC Number:

Dutton,. New York :. 2012.

When the creative residents of Elm Creek gather the week after Thanksgiving to work on quilts for Project Linus, they respond to Sylvia's provocative questions to alleviate respective personal challenges and learn helpful lessons about the strength of human connections.

An Elm Creek quilts companion :
ISBN: 0142196703. OCLC Number:

. .

Over the course of the bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series, readers have expressed a longing to visit Elm Creek Manor, meet the quilters themselves, and admire their beautiful creations. Jennifer Chiaverini's "An Elm Creek Quilts Companion" is the next best thing to a guided tour. Inside, readers will discover a treasure trove of delights, including the Bergstrom family tree, character biographies, quilt block illustrations, full-color photographs of quilts featured in the novels, and "Behind the Scenes at Elm Creek Quilt Camp," an exclusive short story inspired by questions from real readers.

The Loyal Union Sampler from Elm Creek Quilts :
ISBN: 1607057654. OCLC Number:

. .

PATCHWORK & APPLIQUE. This is a treasure trove of more than 100 traditional 6" blocks, inspired by the best-selling The Union Quilters novel. Inspired by Jennifer Chiaverini's best-selling novel, The Union Quilters, this sampler quilt offers a treasure trove of traditional blocks sewn by the women of Elm Creek Valley to support their troops during the American Civil War. The book includes historical notes on the novel and photos of 9 Loyal Union Samplers made by Jennifer and other Elm Creek Quilts lovers from around the world. These blocks can be mixed and matched with blocks from Jennifer's wildly popular Elm Creek Quilts sampler, Sylvia's Bridal Sampler.

Mrs. Lincoln's dressmaker :
ISBN: 0525953612. OCLC Number:

Dutton,. New York :. ©2013.

Presents a fictionalized account of the friendship between Mary Todd Lincoln and her dressmaker Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave.

The spymistress :
ISBN: 0142180882. OCLC Number:

. .

Pledging her loyalty to the North at the risk of her life when her native Virginia secedes, Quaker-educated aristocrat Elizabeth Van Lew uses her innate skills for gathering military intelligence to help construct the Richmond underground and orchestrate escapes from the infamous Confederate Libby Prison.

Mrs. Lincoln's rival :
ISBN: 0525954287. OCLC Number:

. .

"The New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, Jennifer Chiaverini, reveals the famous First Lady's very public social and political contest with Kate Chase Sprague, memorialized as "one of the most remarkable women ever known to Washington society." (Providence Journal) Kate Chase Sprague was born in 1840 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the second daughter to the second wife of a devout but ambitious lawyer. Her father, Salmon P. Chase, rose to prominence in the antebellum years and was appointed secretary of the treasury in Abraham Lincoln's cabinet, while aspiring to even greater heights. Beautiful, intelligent, regal, and entrancing, young Kate Chase stepped into the role of establishing her thrice-widowed father in Washington society and as a future presidential candidate. Her efforts were successful enough that The Washington Star declared her "the most brilliant woman of her day. None outshone her." None, that is, but Mary Todd Lincoln. Though Mrs. Lincoln and her young rival held much in common-political acumen, love of country, and a resolute determination to help the men they loved achieve greatness-they could never be friends, for the success of one could come only at the expense of the other. When Kate Chase married William Sprague, the wealthy young governor of Rhode Island, it was widely regarded as the pinnacle of Washington society weddings. President Lincoln was in attendance. The First Lady was not. Jennifer Chiaverini excels at chronicling the lives of extraordinary yet littleknown women through historical fiction. What she did for Elizabeth Keckley in Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker and for Elizabeth Van Lew in The Spymistress she does for Kate Chase Sprague in Mrs. Lincoln's Rival"--

Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule :
ISBN: 0525954295. OCLC Number:

. .

"The New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker and Mrs. Lincoln's Rival imagines the inner life of Julia Grant, beloved as a Civil War general's wife and the First Lady, yet who grappled with a profound and complex relationship with the slave who was her namesake-until she forged a proud identity of her own. In 1844, Missouri belle Julia Dent met dazzling horseman Lieutenant Ulysses S Grant. Four years passed before their parents permitted them to wed, and the groom's abolitionist family refused to attend the ceremony. Since childhood, Julia owned as a slave another Julia, known as Jule. Jule guarded her mistress's closely held twin secrets: She had perilously poor vision but was gifted with prophetic sight. So it was that Jule became Julia's eyes to the world. And what a world it was, marked by gathering clouds of war. The Grants vowed never to be separated, but as Ulysses rose through the ranks-becoming general in chief of the Union Army-so did the stakes of their pact. During the war, Julia would travel, often in the company of Jule and the four Grant children, facing unreliable transportation and certain danger to be at her husband's side. Yet Julia and Jule saw two different wars. While Julia spoke out for women-Union and Confederate-she continued to hold Jule as a slave behind Union lines. Upon the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Jule claimed her freedom and rose to prominence as a businesswoman in her own right, taking the honorary title Madame. The two women's paths continued to cross throughout the Grants' White House years in Washington, DC, and later in New York City, the site of Grant's Tomb. Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule is the first novel to chronicle this singular relationship, bound by sight and shadow"--

Fates and traitors :
ISBN: 0525954309. OCLC Number:

. .

"The New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker returns with a riveting work of historical fiction following the notorious John Wilkes Booth and the four women who kept his perilous confidence. The world would not look upon his like again. John Wilkes Booth--driven son of an acclaimed British stage actor and a Covent Garden flower girl, whose misguided quest to avenge the vanquished Confederacy led him to commit one of the most notorious acts in the annals of America--has been the subject of scholarship, speculation, and even obsession. Though in his plot to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln Booth did not act alone--"I am determined to be a villain," he tragically prophesized on the occasion of his acclaimed 1862 New York City debut in the role of Richard III--he is often portrayed as a shadowy figure, devoid of human connection. Yet four women were integral in the life of this unquiet American: Mary Ann, the mother he revered above all but country; his sister and confidante, Asia; Lucy Lambert Hale, the senator's daughter who loved him; and the Confederate widow Mary Surratt, to whom he entrusted the secrets of his vengeful wrath. In Fates and Traitors, New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini renders for the first time as fiction the compelling interplay between these pivotal actors--some willing, others unwitting--who made an indelible mark on the history of our nation"--

Christmas bells :
ISBN: 1101984791. OCLC Number:

. .

"New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini celebrates Christmas, past and present, with a wondrous novel inspired by the classic poem "Christmas Bells," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I heard the bells on Christmas Day/ Their old familiar carols play/ And wild and sweet/ The words repeat/Of peace on earth, good-will to men! In 1860, the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow family celebrated Christmas at Craigie House, their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The publication of Longfellow's classic Revolutionary War poem, "Paul Revere's Ride," was less than a month hence, and the country's grave political unrest weighed heavily on his mind. Yet with his beloved wife, Fanny, and their five adored children at his side, the delights of the season prevailed. In present-day Boston, a dedicated teacher in the Watertown public school system is stunned by somber holiday tidings. Sophia's music program has been sacrificed to budget cuts, and she worries not only about her impending unemployment but also about the consequences to her underprivileged students. At the church where she volunteers as music director, Sophia tries to forget her cares as she leads the children's choir in rehearsal for a Christmas Eve concert. Inspired to honor a local artist, Sophia has chosen a carol set to a poem by Longfellow, moved by the glorious words he penned one Christmas Day long ago, even as he suffered great loss. Christmas Bells chronicles the events of 1863, when the peace and contentment of Longfellow's family circle was suddenly, tragically broken, cutting even deeper than the privations of wartime. Through the pain of profound loss and hardship, Longfellow's patriotism never failed, nor did the power of his language. "Christmas Bells," the poem he wrote that holiday, lives on, spoken as verse and sung as a hymn. Jennifer Chiaverini's resonant and heartfelt novel for the season reminds us why we must continue to hear glad tidings, even as we are tested by strife. Reading Christmas Bells evokes the resplendent joy of a chorus of voices raised in reverent song"--

Enchantress of numbers :
ISBN: 1101985208. OCLC Number:

. .

"The only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the most brilliant, revered, and scandalous of the Romantic poets, Ada was destined for fame long before her birth. Estranged from Ada's father, who was infamously "mad, bad, and dangerous to know," Ada's mathematician mother is determined to save her only child from her perilous Byron heritage. Banishing fairy tales and make-believe from the nursery, Ada's mother provides her daughter with a rigorous education grounded in mathematics and science. Any troubling spark of imagination--or worse yet, passion or poetry--is promptly extinguished. Or so her mother believes. When Ada is introduced into London society as a highly eligible young heiress, she at last discovers the intellectual and social circles she has craved all her life. Little does she realize that her delightful new friendship with inventor Charles Babbage--brilliant, charming, and occasionally curmudgeonly--will shape her destiny ..."--Jacket.


Fates and Traitors

  • Starred Review, Kirkus
  • Starred Review, Library Journal
  • Starred Review, Booklist

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    Please contact Jennifer through her website.