Mary Anne is sitting for Carolyn and Marilyn Arnold, when she decides to take them to see Elvira the goat. Mrs. Stone talks to her a little while the girls play and asks if she’s ever meet Mrs. Towne, who lives down the street. She loves gardening and quilting and Mary Anne is hooked. She’s suddenly decided that she wants to learn more about sewing, but she doesn’t know how to contact her and she thinks asking is too forward. Kristy suggests she just call her and she finally decides to do it.
Mrs. Towne asks Mary Anne to stop by for a visit. She shows her all of her quilts and some of her work and they have tea together. Mrs. Towne offers to give her lessons on sewing. Mary Anne arrives early for their first lesson, but no one answers the door. She goes inside and finds Mrs. Towne laying on the floor with a broken ankle. She calls her dad and calls for help.
When Mrs. Towne comes home, things are different. Mary Anne stops by and sees that her house is now a mess. She cleans up a little and then Mrs. Towne suggests they barter for the lessons: Mary Anne does things around the house and she gets her lessons. Things go okay for awhile, but pretty soon Mary Anne has no life.
Mrs. Towne calls her over to get a wasp out of her house, just as she and Logan are going on a picnic. They spend most of the day at her house. She then calls and interrupts a BSC meeting, only to have Mary Anne carry a box up from the basement. Mary Anne spends a good portion of the book worrying about how to talk to her about things. After she calls during another meeting, she finally tells her how she feels. Mrs. Towne is cool and suggests Mary Anne just go back to paying her for the lessons.
Mary Anne gets quilting fever and decides to teach lessons to kids, with Claudia’s help. Charlotte, Becca, Nicky, Buddy and Vanessa all join. After a visit to Mrs. Towne’s house, they decide to make a quilt for her. Buddy and Nicky quit because boys in the neighborhood make fun of them. In the end, they decide to make their pieces for the quilt anyway.
*It’s kind of ballsy of Mrs. Towne to suggest the barter system. She offers to give Mary Anne lessons, without mentioning any type of payment. I would have assumed she just wanted the company!
*Mary Anne describes a ton of sandwiches she and Logan make for the picnic, including avocado and cheese, pimento cheese and peanut butter and jelly.
*Mary Anne almost wets herself because Mrs. Towne has a pleater machine. Look, I learned how to sew and quilt from my grandma at a young age and even today, I wouldn’t know what the fuck that does.
*Mallory and Jessi sit for the Pike kids and find out that Nicky is getting teased. He makes fun of Byron for wearing an apron and helping make cookies, but he blows them off. Given how much Nicky wants to be accepted by the triplets, you would think he’d listen to them.
*They make a whole shitload of cookies at the Pike house: chocolate chip, peanut-peanut butter, chocolate chip coconut, M&Ms, oatmeal chocolate chip, chocolate chip raisin and one with the leftover pieces of everything else tossed into the mix.
*Ann’s notes say that she wanted to write a book that showed her love of quilting. Yeah, except that most 12 year old girls reading this book wouldn’t know what half that shit is, let alone the sewing stitches.