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Cincy author's quilting club makes Wisteria Lane seem like Mayberry.

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Jennifer Chiaverini's The Winding Ways Quilt has enough drama to rival any Desperate Housewives episode. In the 12th installment of the Elm Creek Quilts book series, a sewing circle deals with pregnancy, breakups, and failed dreams. There's the career-driven control freak, Sarah, who's found out she's going to have twins. And two of the club's original members, Judy and Summer, have decided to quit the group and move on with their lives. And don't get Chiaverini started on one gal's divorce. "Fortunately, they remember the lessons of the past, and they turn to one another for love and support instead of struggling alone," says the Cincinnati-born Chiaverini, who created the series in 2000. To look at her, you wouldn't think the eye-turning Chiaverini was the stereotypical quilter with a needle in her hand. She picked up the hobby a few months before her wedding, when she didn't know anybody who could make her an heirloom quilt to brighten the new apartment she'd share with her husband. So Chiaverini bought a how-to manual at a book shop and fabric at a discount store, and taught herself to make a quilt. The newfound pastime inspired her to write her first story, about a young woman and her much older friend, both of whom have joined a quilting club. "Any quilter will tell you, a quilter's quilting friends are some of the dearest, most generous, and most supportive people she knows," says Chiaverini. "Two quilters who have just met will be strangers only until their mutual passion is revealed. Then they can talk like the best of friends." She signs her book at 7 tonight at Laurel Lake's community room, 100 Laurel Lake Drive in Hudson. Admission is free. Call 330-653-2252 or visit www.learnedowl.com.
Wed., April 2, 7 p.m., 2008

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