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Guest blogger: Stella Quinn

6 June 2021

How flannel pyjamas started a romance

Let me introduce you to Myrtle.

Once upon a time she was a random jumble of two-inch fabric squares, cut from twelve pairs of kids’ pyjamas, living in a plastic tub. She spent about four years in that tub as a UFO (that’s craft talk for an unfinished object) until one horrid December when Kid #3 had an accident.

Our normal world came to a screeching halt as we moved into recovery mode. We packed up and went on an extended stay at my mother’s house in a tiny town in regional Queensland, and Myrtle’s tub came with us.

Her pieces were a mess by this time, and any plan I’d had for her design was long forgotten, but we (me, my kids, my mum) decided it was time to set her to rights, one piece at a time.

It took time, care and attention, but slowly, Myrtle took shape. She kicked that plastic tub to the curb and became a family heirloom: a quilt, made from the flannel pyjamas my kids had worn when they were toddlers.

Fast forward eight years and I began writing a romance about a woman, Vera, who felt like she was all in pieces. Her boyfriend had betrayed her, she’d lost her job and her pride, she was desperately worried about the elderly aunt who relied upon her … she was a mess. The idea of Vera moving into a country town where the locals ran a quilting group took hold. It’s a metaphor that’s been used before—the movie How to Make an American Quilt being the obvious one—but no-one knows as well as I know just how cathartic the slow and steady creation of a quilt can be when your life feels like it is a state of upheaval.

In The Vet from Snowy River, Vera is determined to remain apart from the community of Hanrahan. She’s lost faith in people, and even the charming vet who keeps asking her out can’t breach her defences. But then she meets Marigold, a retired florist and town busybody with a heart of gold. Marigold persuades Vera to bring along her aunt’s UFO to a meeting of the Wednesday Night Craft Group, and slowly, piece by piece, Vera begins to piece her life back together again.

Craft could be perceived to be a dying art. Haberdasheries (remember them?) are a thing of the past, fabric stores keep closing, and you can buy a rump steak for less money than you’d need to buy a reel of cotton, and yet I think craft—like romance—deserves space in our lives. Why not decorate the loo rolls with the kids and grandkids to make a penguin colony? Or glue googly eyes onto pet rocks from the garden?

Craft and romance make us feel good … just like our favourite pair of flannel pyjamas.

You can find Stella here: Website | Facebook | Instagram

The Vet from Snowy River

A hot vet. A rebellious teenager. And meddling but well-meaning townsfolk. Vera gets more than she bargains for when she runs off to a new life in the country … A fresh and funny rural romance, perfect for readers of Alissa Callen and Rachael Johns.

Vera De Rossi no longer believes in love …

And thanks to her ex-boyfriend she’s also broke, jobless, and staring down the barrel of a court case that could land her in prison. Turning to her talent for baking, Vera opens a cafe in Hanrahan, a cosy tourist town in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains.

Josh Cody, once Hanrahan’s golden boy, escaped sixteen years ago with gossip hard on his heels and a pregnant girlfriend in tow. Now he’s back: a qualified veterinarian – and a single dad with a lot to prove. A new start and a grumpy teenage daughter … it’s a lot to juggle, and there’s no room in his life for further complications. But that’s before he walks into The Billy Button Cafe and meets its prickly owner …

Reeling from the past, Vera has no intention of being sidetracked by the hot vet with a killer smile. But fate has a way of tripping up our best intentions and between a stray cat and a busybody with a heart of gold, this is a town—a family—unlike any other. And, whether Vera wants it or not, is there anything a family won’t do to help one of its own?

Available via this link as well as in bookstores and department stores around the country.

  1. 6 June 2021 7:24 pm

    I am not a crafty person but I do love home made quilts, Vera’s quilt turned out so very beautiful and I loved The Vet From Snowy River, Vera and Josh are amazing characters as are the town folk

    Have Fun


  2. 6 June 2021 11:16 am

    Thanks for posting my blog, ARRA!

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