How to Make an American Quilt: A Novel
Inventive and haunting, How to Make an American Quilt powerfully captures the rites of passage in women’s lives. The art of quiltmaking becomes a metaphor for the realities of being a woman in America as the unforgettable stories of seven members of a contemporary California quilting group unfold. And as we come to understand the beauty and complexity of the quilting process—to see its evolution in our country’s history—we come to intimately know the history of these women as well.
Based on the bestseller by Whitney Otto, this film seemed to miss all the poetry and the ephemeral charms of the wispy novel by trying to make a concrete movie out of it. Directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse (who made a similar hash out of A Thousand Acres), the film centers on Winona Ryder, who is debating her impending marriage and decides to make up her mind while spending the summer with her grandmother (Ellen Burstyn). This leads to a variety of encounters with Grandma and her sewing circle (which includes Anne Bancroft, Kate Nelligan, and Maya Angelou,…