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Friday, February 22, 2008

Quilting and Novel-Writing

This is the first quilt I did. I finished it almost three years ago. It's completely a scrap quilt. Many of the pieces are leftover fabric from dresses or other projects of mine over the years. Some were pieces my from my mom's stash, and some were pieces she received in a quilt block swap. As you can see, it's throw sized. I didn't give much thought to color and composition, I just sewed blocks together and tried not to get any two of the same design too close together. Like most first projects, I learned a lot.

Making a quilt (yes, even a baby quilt) seems to me the sewing equivalent of writing a novel. It takes a long time, and planning is required. As you go (or at least, as I go) your plans change and morph. You take the pieces and lay them out, shuffle them around, see how they look one way, and then another. Although I will say that "cut and paste" is much easier than "rip out and re-sew". You add some things and take some away. Maybe you let it set awhile and then come back to it much later and finish it in a burst of inspiration (that's how my first quilt went, anyway, and many of my short stories).

And when it is all over, you have something to be proud of, even if it is a little bit homely by other's standards. :) Although, it's much easier to go back and revise the rough draft of a novel than to revise a whole quilt. (Well, I say that, but ask me again later when I'm actually doing the revision of my novel and we'll see.)

Speaking of novel writing, I am not doing so well in that department. I've written maybe six whole pages this month. I have been doing a lot of research reading, however, which is good. It keeps the novel on top of my mind, so that I am thinking about it and planning and trying out different ideas. When I will really get worried is when I'm not thinking about it anymore. It's a short jump from not thinking about a story to not finishing it.


nanjodogz said...

Lovely quilt -- I know the time it takes to make a quilt, I've made a few -- so many, many hours of love and it shows in yours -- beautiful!

Nicole said...

really fun. i'm working on my first "full-size" quilt now, and even though it's a "crazy quilt" it's still interesting to see how many tiny thoughts make up the whole vision. happy quilting!