Quilting Connections with Log Cabin Threads

I once thought book groups were where women connected best through the years. But now I think it’s in quilting groups. I’m not a quilter by any means but I know many women who are and they’re treasures, every one.

One of the metaphors out of quilting I love best is the definition of a Crazy Quilt as “organized chaos.” When I’m in the final chaos of revisions it feels like organized chaos. I’m most extended then, overcome with clutter and detail, trying to make sure I’ve not changed the eye color of a character half-way through or given her a back story early that I never use. I’m trying to see the big picture while stitching every detail into place. Sometimes it’s as though I’m wearing one of my husband’s work boots on one foot while standing barefoot on the other.

My life seems crazy, a hodge-podge of color and shape and texture but there is order there if I just seek it. The offer of an encouraging word just when I needed to hear it. The kindness of strangers lending their teaching skills. A wise word from an editor. The nurture of laughter with a friend. These moments that seem disparate really aren’t. They’re patches of a kind, threaded together to form the quilt of who we are.

I was once invited to a quilters retreat to talk about stories in our lives. The women brought their sewing machines and materials and they worked away while I talked about the power of story. A few women convinced me I could quilt and I ended up staying up well past midnight working on a “nine patch” with its blends of green and brown, not colors I usually choose by the way. Somewhere in my subconscious when I selected my “fat quarters” to make my little quilt creation my mind chose colors of my story, a book about both holding on and letting go. My story inside A Log Cabin Christmas Collection called "The Courting Quilt" shares that theme of staying connected to our memories while letting them go to make new ones. I can imagine a group of women sitting around a quilt frame with "threads and tongues" going strong, telling stories and finding order in the process. Why, there's even a quilt pattern called Log Cabin. Out of the chaos of my life that weekend came something creatively connected. How serendipitous is that!

I hope you’ll look for the serendipitous moments of your creative day today. That word means “the phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.”

The authors of A Log Cabin Christmas have contributed prizes for one large giveaway basket you have a chance of winning by entering the giveaway. Yes, you might have sought for it by entering but it's still an "agreeable thing" to win. I sent my Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt, Community and Craft book along with beautiful quilt-themed cards by a master quilter and friend Sue Kopp and magnetic book marks by a local quilt artist. To enter the giveaway the form is at the end of the post,  should you have questions about how to participate, visit this page.

Here’s one last tidbit of detail that serendipitously arrived about story and quilt: blood spilled onto a quilt can be neutralized with the spit of that same bleeding soul. Isn’t that amazing? Our own spit can wash away blood better than water or even some high-tech stain remover. All right, so that may seem like a useless piece of information – unless you’re a quilter who has just spilled her blood on a work of soft art. Then, knowing how to get rid of the stain becomes pretty important. I don’t remember who wrote it but someone once said that to become a writer all you had to do was “open a vein and bleed over your paper.” So perhaps there are more links to writing and quilting than I’d earlier thought! So sew away and don't forget to enter the drawing for the great giveaway.  These authors have bled over their work.

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