Cover of Crazy Quilt -- books

Crazy Quilt: Pieces of a Mennonite Life

cynthia yoder

Crazy Quilt is a love story. A quest for identity in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. A journey home.

Buy Crazy Quilt: Pieces of a Mennonite Life from

Now on Kindle! Look for the new ebook cover. And scroll down for an audio and more pics! But first…a picture of me and my sister at my grandparents’ house on “The Hill”! Check out that 1960’s pole lamp!

Click here for the Postscript and Book Club Questions

Here’s what it’s all about and what acclaimed authors are saying about it:

In her mid-twenties and in a state of despair and marital strife, Cynthia left her husband, and dropped out of graduate studies at Columbia University. She followed her heart’s prompting to move to rural Pennsylvania. Her aim was to collect the stories of her aging Pennsylvania German Mennonite grandparents.

What she didn’t realize was that she was embarking on a journey of inner healing that would lead her out of her depression. Coming to terms with family, cultural and religious roots she had cut off too quickly, Crazy Quilt: Pieces of a Mennonite Life is a story of love, healing and spiritual awakening from depression into a greater understanding of life and Spirit. Crazy Quilt: Pieces of a Mennonite is one of the first contemporary Mennonite memoirs ever published.”

About the print book: it is available through major booksellers, from third-party dealers. List price is $14.95 paperback.

Buy Crazy Quilt: Pieces of a Mennonite Life from

Praise for Crazy Quilt

“Yoder shows that healing is not a linear path from ‘problem’ to ‘solution,’ but an ever-deepening exploration of past and present, body and spirit, dependence and independence, fantasy and reality. We can all learn from her journey.”
– Susan Piver, Best-Selling Author, The Hard Questions

“A joyous, thoughtful exploration of faith, history, reinvention. Yoder defines forgiveness and maturity through a generous narrative of her grandparents’ timeline and her own life at a turning point.”
– Gwendolen Gross, Best-Selling Author, Getting Out

“A little book, but a powerful one.” –Allene Martin, KYYS/KQRC Radio, Kansas City

“An amazing journey of one young woman’s coming to terms with the clashes between her heritage and her future ideal for herself. Yoder evokes life within her Mennonite culture with vividness and clarity. What makes her book so unusual is the way she turns her particular American past into a story that speaks to us all.”
– Barbara Probst Solomon, Author, Smart Hearts in the City

“Crazy Quilt is like that good friend who dares to state the truth out loud – and laugh with you about it. Yoder’s memoir is witty, whimsical, and a great read.” – Lee Eshleman, Actor and Artist

“This book is written by one woman but is the story of all who have faced challenges. Here you will find courage and hope for your own life. I urge you to take Crazy Quilt home and read it.” – Joel Rothschild, Author, Signals

Buy Crazy Quilt: Pieces of a Mennonite Life from

“Yoder started healing when she broke out of her emotional solitary confinement and into the arms of her loving and supporting family. Hers is a path that others can follow.”
– Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., Author, The Miracle of Magnesium

Fun additional things:
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Listen to my family’s recording of “The Blessing Song”. This recording is from a Yoder Christmas gathering, 2001, which included my father’s siblings and families.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Have you seen the book trailer yet? You can view it here:


Crazy Quilt Started as a Family Memoir. Then a Professor Suggested a Change.

I originally wrote the book as a family memoir called, “Henry and Betts.” The spiral-bound book of their stories stayed next to Betts’ favorite chair long after Henry had passed. Here is the original design by my sister, visual artist Juanita Yoder. When I later attended graduate school, a professor suggested that I weave in my own story and turn it into a modern slice-of-life memoir.  Thus, Crazy Quilt: Pieces of a Mennonite Life was born.

The book was published by Cascadia Publishing House in 2003, along with Herald Press. Noted historian John L. Ruth wrote the foreword. Below is the original cover:

Cover of Crazy Quilt: Pieces of a Mennonite Life

A closer look at the cover photo! My grandparents and their friends during an outing. Bonnets and all!


cynthia yoder