25 year old Finn decides to leave her fiancee Sam working on remodeling their home while she spends the summer at her Grandmother's country estate working on her master's thesis. Finn has been working on her thesis for a long time because each time she gets near finishing it she decides to start it over with a different topic. Her current topic is the ritual importance of country arts and crafts in various societies.
Her Grandmother's home (an old country mansion surrounded by orchards) actually belongs to Grandmother's sister, Glady Joe, but Grandmother moved in with the sister after her husband died. When Finn arrives she finds a quilting bee group there working on a patchwork quilt. This group has for years been working on quilts together. The women all know Finn, and she is comfortable with them. Finn has her favorites but there is one who has an unhappy reputation for not well-tolerating children, and there is another one who is nosy about and critical of Finn.
We learn that Finn's own mother and father were divorced when Finn was a child and that the mother has had a long succession of men she dumped. Neither of Finn's parents are in the film except that the mother appears near the end to reveal that she and Finn's father are getting remarried.
The theme of both the movie and the quilt the ladies are making is love and marriage and the question of whether monogamous life long marriage is a realistic goal. As the film develops we learn via flashbacks the infidelity difficulties that affected the lives of the quilting ladies, some of which are still impacting their lives and are unsettled, including one younger member of the quilting bee who was recently widowed and is now involved with the husband of another member who has long suffered from her artistic husband's infidelity. Finn's fiancee visits and shows Finn a floor-plan that omits a separate room for Finn's writing that they had agreed to, but includes instead a guest room that he says they can also use as a baby's room. This start an argument and the fiancee leaves upset that the two have different ideas of how Finn will occupy her time after marriage.
Finn gets further confused about her own desires as she learns of marital difficulties she hadn't suspected of the women she grew up knowing.
One of the flashback stories is about an ancestor of a black woman in the group at the end of the Civil War. She started out searching for her parents who had been sold away years earlier, sees a crow that seems magical to her, and follows it because she thinks it will lead her to information about her parents. Instead she realizes later that it led her to the man who is her soul mate. Later, when Finn is struggling to decide whether she should continue a romance with an extremely handsome young farm boy she met at the neighborhood pool or whether she should break that off and marry Sam, she finds her own crow to follow.
The story lines all are happily wrapped up by the end of the film.