Patience Griffin

Study Guide

Questions About Patience’s Books for Curious Minds

Kilts & Quilts®

1. When tragedy strikes some people have to get away to deal with it, some feel like they have to stay put, some feel paralyzed and couldn’t bolt even if they wanted to. Which are you? And has your strategy helped or failed in dealing with tragedy?

2. If you could run away, where would you run to? Who, if anyone, would you take with you? And if you could bring only one book, which would it be?

3. To escape your daily life, do you submerge yourself in books, television, people, shopping, or chocolate cake? What is your escape?

4. Note from Patience: Being creative helps me relax. I like to keep a quilting project by the machine at all times to unwound…even if I only have a few minutes to work on it here or there. It’s good to know what brings me back to center. How do you achieve that cathartic experience, to achieve your center?

1. Gabriel says “small towns are not easy” (page 56). The author grew up in a small town in Missouri. How do you think her experience in a small U.S. town shaped her portrayal of Gandiegow? What similarities do you see between Gandiegow and small town America?

2. Emma says that one thing she has going for her is self control (pg 159). How much is it really “self control” or “desire to please” and where does it get her when she exercises her “self control”?

3. How do Claire and Emma complement each other? Do they have qualities that each other envy? Do they have misperceptions about each other? How do these affect their friendship?

4. Parents, marriage and children play an important role in this book. How does the loss of parents affect the characters? How about the arrival of or desire for children?

5. Everyone has expectations for Emma, her famous parents, Gabriel, Claire and even the Gandiegow quilters. How do Emma experiences in Gandiegow help her find a way to stand up to them all and chart her own course?

6. If you could give Emma some advice about how to deal with her parents what would it be?

7. A quilt is made up of scraps and pieces of material. Patience Griffin shows us that life is also made up of scraps and pieces. Emma thinks the doctor’s quilt will be a “mess” and is surprised when it turns out beautiful. What aspects of this book look like the scraps and pieces of a mess – but become a beautiful quilt?

8. What do the boots represent? Gabriel’s desire to get Emma to wear them and Emma’s resistance?

9. Father Andrew says “we are all anxious, but we don’t always recognize the real reasons. Sometimes we have to dig deeper to find the truth” (pg276). What truths do the characters in the book have to dig deeper to find?

10. The various miscommunications throughout this book are very entertaining. Which one did you enjoy the most? Which one bothered you the most?

1. Early in the book Kit asks “is Ramsey a brawny bear or a cunning fox”? While Ramsey “figures Kit for a spoiled rich girl”. How do these assumptions effect the way they behave towards each other and what are the moments where they realize that their assumptions were wrong?

2. Kit and Ramsey both have plans and dreams and are determined not to let things stand in their way. What do they sacrifice by keeping to their determined pathways? What convinces them to try different pathways?

3. “Ye don’t get on the wrong side of the quilters” says Ramsey on page 26. Kit uses business to win over the quilters – what other way have the quilters been won over?

4. Ramsey is the younger brother and Kit is the older sister – how does their birth order effect who they are?

5. Deydie says “plenty of time, plenty of grace and plenty of creativy. How does this life philosophy contrast with other characters in the book? Is Deydie right?

6. Compare the Armstrong household to the Woodhouse household. Are their qualities in each household that are missing from the other? Are their qualities that are the same in each family?

7. Ramsey is a constant tease and says at different times in the book “I am not the promising kind” or “I didn’t make a promise” why does this both frustrate and interest Kit. How does Kit feel when he finally does become serious?

8. Since her Father’s death Kit has shied away from fun loving people and surrounded herself with those who understand how hard the day to day could be. John Armstrong also lost his father and assumed his role. How have Kit and John handled this loss in similar ways? In different ways?

9. Kit says “it’s a man’s world. If she didn’t act like a man she would be chewed up and spit out.” Is she right? Whereas Deydie says “every woman needs to know how to handle a broom?” is this good advice for Kit?

10. Harper says “you being overly responsible isn’t helping anyone. If you do everything for everyone you are cheating people of the opportunity to do things for themselves (Page 328)”. Would Ramsey agree with her?

1. When Max arrives in Gandiegow he is immediately pulled in to participate in community activities. He joins in with little fuss. Why do you think he went along with it? Because he’s interested in Pippa? Because he wants to win over the community? Or because he’s a nice guy? Would you be able to go along like he did?


2. Pippa is a strong independent woman who has a hard time accepting help. She feels NSV and her dad are her problems alone and keeps the extent of the problems to herself. Even though she is part of a tight knit community she won’t ask for help. Why? How does she accept the help that is given without asking?

3. One negative aspect of a tight knit community is the village’s expectations and how to move beyond them. Pippa and Ross have to be willing to let Gandiegow down to get what they want out of life. Do you know anyone who always does what others want them to do?


4. Max doesn’t like Christmas because, when he was young, his father died at Christmas time. Max reluctantly participates in Gandiegow’s holiday festivities anyway. How does this participation help Max to let go of his grief and guilt? What things have you tried to help to ease your grief and guilt?


5. Pippa’s relationship with Max is rocky because she will not let herself be open and vulnerable. What allows her to change and overcome her guardedness?


6. Pippa believes her father is capable of anything and is struggling to accept he is human with flaws. Do you remember when you first realized your parents were just people after all?

1. Sadie’s Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) colors so much of her decisions in her life. All she wants is to live “normally”. What does that mean for Sadie?


2. Even in Gandiegow, Sadie is limited in falling in love, not only by her thinking, but also by the Gandiegowans. Why is it hard to see past someone’s chronic illness?


3. Oliver has been responsible for and protective of Sadie ever since their parents died, but he has become even more so since her CKD diagnosis. What does Oliver do to limit Sadie?


4. Gigi did not want Oliver to let Sadie know about her heart trouble, believing it would be too big of a burden for her. How does that backfire?


5. Sadie has a difficult time in Gandiegow because so many things and people remind her grandmother Gigi because Sadie is still grieving the loss of her. Was it such a good idea for her to come to the Kilts & Quilts® Retreat so soon? Why, or why not?


6. Ross is determined to live his life the way he wants now that he’s not “engaged” to Pippa. Yet, he is pulled in and constantly finding ways to help Sadie get over her grief and showing others how to help her, too. It takes him a while to realize he has more than a friendly affection for Sadie. Do you think some men/women have trouble recognizing a good thing?Why?


7. Why does Dand let Sadie read to him when he has resisted everyone else who has been pushing books on him?


8. Our true vocation is often staring us in the face and we don’t see it. Why is Ross trying to find a different vocation? How does he figure out what it is that he loves doing?


9. Gandiegow has some very interesting wedding traditions and superstitions. What are they? What wedding traditions do you have within your family? Your culture?


10. Ross and Sadie didn’t realize they were so attracted to each other at first. Instead they felt instantly comfortable with each other and thought they were just great friends. Do you think true love is more like this or that giddy feeling you get when first meet someone you are sure you are going to like?


11. Ross and Sadie didn’t realize they were so attracted to each other at first. Instead they felt instantly comfortable with each other and thought they were just great friends. Do you think true love is more like this or that giddy feeling you get when first meet someone you are sure you are going to like?

1. Joe had passed away before Rachel and Hannah made the trek to Scotland. Even so, how does Joe’s presence still affect Rachel?

2. What do you think about Rachel keeping Joe’s memory alive for Hannah?

3. Deydie pushes Rachel to atone for Joe’s death (whether fair or not). How does Deydie unknowingly create opportunities for Rachel to grow?

4. How is Rachel’s story mirrored in Grace Armstrong’s situation? How are their situations different?

5. Describe Gandiegow’s reaction to Harry. How does this reaction differ from the town’s reaction to Rachel?

6. Think about Brody’s various reactions to Rachel wearing his mother’s locket throughout the book. How does the locket’s presence affect Brody?

7. Brody quotes the passage in the Bible to himself “put childish ways behind you”, but he was still holding on to Abraham’s beliefs about women and his misconceptions about Robena and Keith’s relationship. When do you believe he was finally able to “put childish ways behind him”, if at all?

8. What do you think of Brody’s reaction to forgiving his mother and his decision to forgive Rachel?

9. Brody almost lost the future he wanted because of his resentment towards Rachel. Has there been an event in your life that you couldn’t let go of? Are you still holding on to it now? Would you like to let go?

1. Small towns can feel claustrophobic. So can hovering parents. Can you relate with Sophie’s need to get out of Gandiegow and have an adventure? Did you ever feel like Sophie and want to reinvent yourself?

2. A lot of people have some varying degree of Seasonal Affective Disorder like Sophie. Do you know anyone who suffers from the winter blues?

3. The Wallace and the Bruce help Sophie to settle in. They, also, in some respects become her protectors against Hugh’s bellowing. How do you think Hugh feels when his dogs seem to choose Sophie over him?

4. Sophie overhears her parents talking about her not being marriageable. Have you ever had a time when you overheard something wrong?

5. Hugh never went into his sister’s bedroom but made sure it was maintained. What do you think it cost him emotionally to hang onto the past? How do you think Sophie’s presence helps him to grieve and then heal? Do you think remembering the good things about the departed helps to lift the grief?

6. Amy and Davinia connive to bring Hugh back to life by tricking Sophie into coming to Kilheath Castle. In this case, do the ends justify the means? Or did his two relations step way over the line?

7. Sophie is afraid to let Hugh know that she suffers from SAD. Would you have explained it to Hugh or would you have covered up your condition? If you were Hugh would you share your PTSD or would you have kept it to yourself?

8. Hugh had screwed things up with Sophie when he said they should marry. Men sometimes don’t think when they talk (women, too.) Would you give Hugh a chance to state his case like Sophie did or would you be done with him altogether?

1. Tuck thinks to himself that he crossed a line by missing his brother’s wedding, and he ends up ostracized by the people of Gandiegow. Other than this, do you believe Tuck earned his bad reputation, or was it unfairly given?

2. Think about a time you had heard about someone’s reputation before eventually meeting them. Were you able to let go of prior expectations to really get to know them, or did their reputation become the first impression that stuck with you?

3. Tuck has a defense mechanism self-described as “being an insensitive jerk”. Which other characters use defense mechanisms?

4. Both Tuck and Ryn were emotionally stuck on traumatic events in their respective youths, but they were able to find the future they want for themselves. Is there emotional trauma in your past that is keeping you from living the life you want?

5. John struggles with his sense of self after the accident on the boat. Describe John’s process to create a “new normal” for himself and his family.

6. Tuck almost lost the future he envisioned by avoiding talking to Ryn about her feelings, choosing instead to “work harder” at pleasing her. Do you think their misunderstandings could have been avoided?

1. Rory and Diana have a lot in common. Both of them love their jobsand it is central to who they are? It was painful for them to be distractedbecause of the other. At what point did they start to accept that they could bein a relationship and still maintain their identity?

2. Cait and Deydie have reconnected throughout the series. How doesthis dynamic relationship relate to the theme of personal growth andforgiveness in this book?

3. Bonnie has been in the background of the series. Did you enjoy learning more about herlife and perspective? Are you excited for her future?

Sweet Home, Alaska

1. Throughout the book, Donovan regrets not being in Sweet Home the past seventeen years. In the end, he realizes that he needed to have the long journey to come home to be the man that he is today, that maybe he wouldn’t have been good for Hope and Ella if he stayed, ie, he may not have gotten sober. Do you believe that the hard things in life make us who we are today?


2. Donovan insists that he will be selling the lodge as soon as possible. But in what ways do his actions speak differently? Are his actions indication of his true desires or inner conflict of unresolved feelings?

3. The Sisterhood of the Quilt taught Hope the joy of connecting with others through quilting. She reaches out to her neighbor Bill when she develops the idea ofthe Memory Tree Quilt (pg. 57). In what other ways does Hope’s love of quilting help her to connect with others, especially when she is in need of connection?

4. Hope’s main supporter, Piney, intervenes multiple times to bring Hope and Donovan together. How do Piney’s little lies help and/or hinder Hope and Donovan as they mend their relationship?

5. Hope and Donovan have both dealt with the trauma of losing a younger sibling. How did they handle these losses differently? And how has their journey of grief been similar?

6. AsHope learns of Donovan’s return, she experiences a difficult moment with a local gossip, Miss Lisa. Hope draws from her mother’s advice to see the true intention of Miss Lisa’s gossiping was to connect with others. And instead of running away from the situation, she treats Miss Lisa with compassion. When is a time that you’ve seen behind someone’s actions to their true intentions?