Friday, March 3, 2023

Literary Sewing Circle: Sisters of Grass

Our Spring 2023 session of the Literary Sewing Circle starts today! 

I'm pleased to announce that our group read this time around is:

Sisters of Grass by Theresa Kishkan

This is an older novel (2000) by a Canadian author, but one that speaks to those of us who love history and textiles. It's a slower paced, literary and poetic novel - I try to have a variety in our titles and this one is quite different from our last middle grade mystery! The author is also a poet, essayist and maker, and I hope that you will enjoy all of those elements in this novel. 


In her vibrant first novel, Sisters of Grass, Theresa Kishkan weaves a tapestry of the senses through the touchstones of a young woman's life. Anna is preparing an exhibit of textiles reflecting life in central British Columbia a century ago. In a forgotten corner of a museum, she discovers a dusty cardboard box containing the century-old personal effects of a Nicola valley woman. Fascinated by the artifacts, she reconstructs the story of their owner, Margaret Stuart. Margaret, the daughter of a Native mother and a Scottish-American father, she tries to fit into both worlds. She's taught photography by a visiting Columbia University anthropology student that she falls in love with.

With strong, poetic language, Kishkan makes the past reverberate through the present in a richly patterned work celebrating the complexities and joys of life and the sustaining connections of family.

(via publisher)

Photograph by Alexandra Bolduc

About the Author: 

Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada. Her work has appeared in many literary journals and she has published 14 books, as well as 3 chapbooks. Her titles range from poetry to essays to novels and novellas.

Her work has been shortlisted for a number of awards, including the Pushcart Prize, the Relit Award, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and the Hubert Evans Prize for Non-Fiction (three times). Inishbream won an Alcuin Award for Design Excellence and Phantom Limb was given the first Readers’ Choice Award by the Canadian Creative Non-Fiction Collective at Banff in 2009

She was born in Victoria, B.C. and has lived on both coasts of Canada as well as in Greece, England, and Ireland. She makes her home on the Sechelt Peninsula with her husband John. She says "My interests include natural history, ethnobotany, textiles, and music. I’m an avid if sloppy quilter. I grow vegetables and flowers happily, if carelessly. John and I operate a small private press, High Ground Press, printing broadsheets on a 19th century Chandler and Price platen press and an Adana tabletop press."

(from author's website)

This book is available for purchase in multiple formats.

You can find many formats at all of these locations:


Book Depository

Barnes and Noble

ABE Books

Or, of course, check your local library!


We also have two sponsors for this round of the Literary Sewing Circle! This book is set in British Columbia, and in recognition of that, we have two pattern companies based in British Columbia offering a prize for participants. Both prizes will be drawn randomly among participants who have posted a project by the deadline of April 21, whether here at the blog or on IG using the #LiterarySewingCircle hashtag. 

Thank you to our sponsors for this round!

Helen's Closet (based in Courtenay, BC) is offering one PDF pattern to a winner. 

DG Patterns (based in Mission, BC) is offering 3 PDF patterns to one winner.


How does the Literary Sewing Circle work? We read a book together, discuss it, and then make something inspired by our reading. As long as you can point out what inspired you from your reading, even if just a sentence, you can share your makes in our final roundup!

Anyone can join, and you can sew, knit, crochet, quilt or embroider - any textile art that you like doing - to participate. This is a reading/sewing circle, very low-key; no competitions here, just reading and sewing for fun. That said, we are fortunate to have some sponsors for this round! The two prize offerings will be drawn for from all participants who have linked up a project by the end of the roundup (April 21) and awarded by random draw. 

There is no official sign-up to worry about; just start reading along if you wish, and leave your thoughts on the book or your project on any of the Literary Sewing Circle posts. We do have a dedicated book discussion post halfway through and again at the end, but leave your thoughts anytime. And you can follow along on Instagram too if you like: look for #LiterarySewingCircle and you'll find us.

And when the final post goes up, so does the project linkup -- you can leave a link to your finished project there, whether it is on your blog, a pattern site, or even Instagram. It's easy :)

So, join in, and share!

Literary Sewing Circle Schedule

March 3 - Announcement & Introduction

March 10  - Inspiration post 

March 17 - Author feature

March 24  -  Preliminary book talk

March 31 - Inspiration post

April 7 - Final Post: book discussion wrap up & posting of project linkup

We will have our project linkup live for two weeks after the final post to allow you to finish up and post your projects. The linkup will close on April 21 and prizes will be drawn for at that time. 


  1. Wonderful! A very different novel, you are right. I have purchased an ebook. Ready to start reading. ..Sara

    1. Hope you'll like it and find it gives you lots of project ideas too


Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!