When I think about it, my hobby is kind of crazy. You see, I buy lengths of beautiful, perfectly good fabric and cut them into squares, triangles, strips, and other shapes, then sew them back together. The result is a quilt—an object that’s both decorative and functional. Often, women use scraps of fabric from worn garments or leftovers from sewing projects to create their quilts. FYI: 35th century BC - An ivory carving, found in Temple of Osiris at Abydos in 1903 and currently in the collection of the British Museum, features the king of the Egyptian First Dynasty wearing a mantle/cloak that appears to be quilted.* Clearly, quilting is nothing new!
In The House Without a Christmas Tree (by Gail Rock) the author tells readers this about Addie’s grandmother:
When one of her flowered cotton housedresses began to wear out, she would hack out the collar and sleeves, and it would suddenly be a slip. When that started to go, it became a bib apron and then a smaller apron, and then a dust cap for her hair and then a quilted pot holder (which she called a “hot pad”), and in its final incarnation, the tiny remaining scrap would go into a patchwork quilt or a braided rag rug. Any piece of fabric that found its way into our house wouldn’t get out again for a good fifty years if Grandma got her hands on it.
I’ve added a little bit of color to Bluebonnets for Elly by including a quilt in several scenes, including this one:
Derek fumbled with the key in the lock, pushed the door open, and ushered Elly inside. She stepped into a typical bachelor pad—white walls, black leather sofa, gigantic state-of-the-art TV, coffee table of dark heavy wood—a sharp contrast to the lush hues outdoors. A patchwork quilt draped over a recliner added the only touch of color.
Elly walked across the hardwood floor while Derek closed the door behind them. Nervous, she stroked the quilt, tracing the tiny stitches on a square with her finger, wondering who’d created it.
A former lover?
“What a beautiful quilt,” she said, looking around the room for more signs of a feminine touch.
“Yeah. My sister made it for me.”
“She sure is talented.”
Good. A sister. Not a girlfriend.
It seems to me that writing a book is a lot like making a quilt. Bits and pieces of ideas, varied characters, and interesting settings are combined to make a book. And all the parts have to fit together with no loose threads. If done properly, the result is a story that readers will enjoy.
In celebration of National Quilting Month (March) here are photos of two of my creations.
They’re not perfect by any means, but the combination of bits of fabric combine to make a whole and they function well to keep a person warm. Besides, putting them together was fun!
Happy National Quilting Month!
INTERNATIONAL QUILT STUDY CENTER Quilt History Timeline, Pre-History – 1800 Compiled by Carolyn Ducey, IQSC Curator - www.quiltstudy.org/