The year is 2012. Gracie works at the county museum in Jubilee Junction, Iowa, where she is hard at work putting together an exhibit of historic quilts. She stuggles with an overbearing boyfriend who is pressuring her to leave her hometown and get a job near him in the big city, juggling three jobs to make ends meet, and trying to serve as peacemaker between her two elderly aunts who can’t seem to stay in the same room together without fireworks going off between them.
This dual timeline timeline adventure begins during a family reunion of sorts, when Gracie inherits a box of cassette tapes, a quilt, and the key to a family secret from from her Grandmother Grace. Gracie and her Aunt Violet listen to the tapes together and are transported back to the early 1940s, to the onset of World War 2, as the elder Grace narrates the tale of how she and her twin sisters, Violet and Vera, traveled from their ancestral home in Iowa to California to help with the war effort.
When Vera hears that Gracie has inherited the “California Quilt,” she will not rest until that relic from the past is destroyed.