Virginia Davies Clark and her friend Natalie North go to a quilt retreat to teach workshops at the Mayfield, An historic ranch in Williamson County, northwest of Georgetown, Texas. But Virginia’s lessons in paper piecing and Natalie’s lessons in knit felting are no match for Colin Carswell’s (the owner of the ranch) hamming it up with equal parts history, an ancient curse, and histrionics. Part of the ranch is being renovated and Carswell leads an “archaeological/historical” tour of the ranch house, especially the attic, the old ranch buildings and cemetery, and the story about the old curse for the visiting quilters-until Virginia stops the show by uncovering human bones in an old steamer trunk.

When the full skeleton is later exposed, Virginia can’t help but wonder if it’s somehow connected to the rumored sightings of a historical ghost and the curse. After Colin Carswell is found dead clenching an emerald the size of a tennis ball along with a very old lap quilt, it’s up to Virginia and Natalie to thread the clues together before someone else, like them, becomes history. Virginia’s mastered the art of piecing together blocks to create intricate quilts, but now she wishes she’d stuck to basting and batting.

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