Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Quilt the Book

I signed up for an online class called Quilting 101- Patchworking the Perfect Plot by Suzanne Johnson.  The class started weeks ago while I was preparing for my book launch, but I'm still eager to dive in to the lessons and do them even though I couldn't participate along with the class.  The opportunity to take this class got me pondering how long it's been since I actually quilted a quilt.  (Like some stories I've written, I do have some unfinished quilts waiting in line for my attention.)

Anyone who has been in my home has seen what quilts mean to me and how I adore them.  They are my passion, my pass-time.

Yes, I'm a quilter.  There's something about cutting out shapes of different prints and textures and sewing them all together.  I've got quilts hung on my walls.  Quilts draped over beds.  I've made quilts as gifts.  Taught quilting classes.  I LOVE quilts!  (Though I still haven't made the most coveted quilt of allthe Amish quilt, deep winter colors set against black.)

Many years ago, when LTC was stationed at Fort Leavenworth, it was always a boon to visit a quilting store that I loved, located in Osage, Kansas.  I have to admit I never got to Paduka, KY, to visit the Quilting Museum there.  That had been one of my goals.  But LTC took me to Keepsake Quilting in New Hampshire years ago.  Keepsake Quilting is a fabulous store where everything is quilted or catered to quilting.  In fact, I've been getting their catalogue for years and flipping through the pages wishing I had more time and my fingers were nimble enough to quilt those tiny stitches again.

But I digress.  Why?  Nothing we do is for nothing. 

You see, my love of quilting also prepared me for piecing together characters and plots, conflict and motivation, goals and resolutions in my writing.  Consistent stitches reflect the overall theme that must be weighed against every essence of story structure, as well as every day I sit and type at the keyboard.  Perfectly squared edges or rounded borders have to fit their partner pieces in order to complete the overall design.  Color, theme, and texture vs character motivation and external and internal conflict provide the meat of the piece, whether in a story or a quilt.

Doesn't that give you the warm fuzzies?

We live our lives, not realizing what will feed into our passion for writing.  Everything we see, everything we do or say, becomes a piece in the quilt or story that will complete the whole.  We are the result of our environment.  We are the product of our experiences.  Without the pieces we attain, we cannot tap into the emotion and intensity a character needs in order to please our final goal... readers.

Life is a puzzle and we are each a piece that benefits the whole.  And whether we quilt or write, we're in charge of how that puzzle is completed and resolved.

Do you like to put together puzzles?  Have you ever associated writing with quilting?  And if you were a quilter, what color theme would you choose?

Duke by Day, Rogue by Night Available now at Crimson Romance


  1. Piece things together with a plan? Oh please. It's more like I run around helter skelter, pick up stuff, and throw it in a bag.

    Then Stephanie takes the bag and sorts it out.

    I admire the artistic. Even now, I am trying to trick my book club friends into making me some Christmas wreaths.

    1. It's obvious you and Stephanie make a great team, Jean! ;)

      Oh, don't forget to use Magnolia blossoms this year! They will look fabulous on your porch!!!

  2. I love, LoVe, LOVE quilts!!! But no, I won't be making any anytime soon. I hate sewing! In fact, I'd just about rather scrub the highway with a toothbrush than have to sew. And I don't do puzzles either. But I do know how to plan, love it even. And that came from piecing artwork together, I suppose.

    Someday I'd like to have a quilt with periwinkle in it...different from any I've had up to date. I really miss my double wedding ring quilt. It was bubblegum pink with cotton batting and I wore it plum through.

    1. Periwinkle makes perfect sense since this is the color of your favorite crayon, Lesia! Woot!

      Quilt bring you closer to home, I think. When I say quilt, I automatically want to touch one, I think of snuggling under one, I think of the comforts of home. What was so amazing about this class is, it brings that sensation to the writing too. ;)

  3. I have never liked puzzles. I know you would think that I would because I can take chaos and create order with them and I really enjoy that in other ways but a puzzle always seemed like a waste of my time.

    After all, once you are done you just take it back apart. I always felt like what was really the point.

    I will have to give that quilt question some thought.

    1. LTC loves to put puzzles together. I think it's more about challenging the brain and then you can do it all over again. (I made another rhyme!)

      But when you look at a book and how the plot, characters and conflict are puzzled together, or patched together like a quilt, it makes sense that the pieces make a whole that no one can put down. In a way, it's a strange comparison but it somehow makes sense in my mind. ;)