Sarah, a widowed schoolteacher, rushes to be with her sister, Emily, about to give birth. It's September 1864, and the war has come to Winchester, Virginia yet again. Sadly, Emily and her baby die, leaving Sarah to take Emily's maid Rebecca and son Bobby to freedom. Her mother insists she take along a young slave named Thomas for protection. It's almost one hundred miles to Baltimore, where they can take a boat to Boston, and then board a train west. Can Sarah lead this group to safety, avoiding stray Confederates, Union soldiers, and slave catchers? And why does Rebecca say to look for quilt squares on their journey?
In present day, Gracie and her boyfriend, David, visit Grandma Molly over the Christmas holidays. Forty years ago, Molly helped her sisters-in-law clean out a house after their Grandma Mary's death. Molly found a red and green quilt that no one else wanted, so she brought it home. An old legal envelope was safety-pinned to the quilt, which had a faded bloodstain on the back. A great aunt warned her to burn the envelope and quilt, and after a family gathering, the envelope disappeared. Molly hid the quilt away. Now she wants Gracie to find out if the quilt dates to the Civil War and who made it? However, Grandpa Patrick walks in and makes a fuss. "Ah, Molly, what are you doing with this old quilt again? Can't you let it go after all this time?" Gracie wonders, what's going on with my grandparents?
Can Gracie find the story behind the red and green quilt and help her grandparents resolve their problems the way she did with the California quilt?