|Log Cabin Variation Baby's Quilt|
Writing is one of those creative endeavors that requires material from many different sources. We don’t just sit down and write with no experience from which we draw our stories. From people watching to research, we build information we have gathered into a whole story.
When I’m at a loss and my creative muses have bowed out for whatever reason, I’m inclined to turn to other creative efforts. Gardening is top of my list when the weather is warm, sunny and dry. Since I no longer have a garden, I dig around in pots and tubs on my balcony. This past weekend, that is how I spent the better part of Saturday morning, instead of working on my novel in progress, This Can't Be Love.
|Welsh Pennsylvania Square from Scraps|
While potting around, I had time to think and breathe in the good earthy smells and let my thoughts wander freely. In the process, an idea bloomed for my monthly contribution to Classic and Cozy. I admire my fellow bloggers here who contribute and always come up with something worth reading and drawing others attention to.
I sometimes think of gardening and other forms of distraction as part of my attention deficit or displacement activities. Yet, they have a creative purpose all their own. When the mood strikes me or I have a good reason, one of my favorite activities is making quilts. This was a favorite pastime of my mother as well. In fact, sewing of any kind is a passion we both shared.
|Attic Window from Found Fabric|
I wasn’t always interested in quilts. My first love was dressmaking, but I went to an exhibition of Welsh quilts in Llanidloes, about ten years ago, put together by Jen Jones, another American living in Wales. A few years before, I had been to the American quilt exhibit at the American Museum in Bath, England.
Having a close friend, Sue Mordan, who is a talented quilt-maker, also encouraged my interest and I began with small projects such as wall hangings, pillow covers and table runners. I was also intrigued by the influence of Welsh quilting tradition on the Amish in Pennsylvania. Though the Amish quilts have gained international acclaim, their simple solid color quilt designs are based on traditional Welsh, multi-colored design patterns, as the book Making Welsh Quilts, explains.
Every quilt requires imagination, planning, design, choices. The process frees my head for other things. A form of daydreaming, the same sort of freedom that allows all thinkers to come up with theories and stories that may change the world. For me, it seems a good exercise to prepare for writing a novel.
|Making Design Decisions|
© 2014 Leigh Verrill-Rhys
All photographs (except Making Welsh Quilts bookcover) © 2014 Leigh Verrill-Rhys