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Josh Gary's grandmother's last words were “Finish my grandmother’s quilt.” The woman, Annabel McMurtry, chosen to quilt it with him can envision who wore the pieces and what happened. This results in two stories in one. Two couples in the same place, one in 1867 at the end of the Civil War and the resulting love affair of the quilters. Both couples try to save the dying town of Star. Helen, that Yankee woman, became one of the first female post masters, but she and the Rebel Colonel she married struggle to bring the town back to life by attacting business. The modern day couple are deterred in their efforts when the town is nearly destroyed by a tornado.