Sometimes I just need to sew…

The quilting seems to be evolving into how the writing used to work; one WIP being written, two or three others in varying states of revisions.  My sewing room now resembles those earlier days; a new quilt resides on the wall, Scrappy’s Big Sister, while the Birthday Quilt top rests on a pile of fabrics, while the Roomie Quilt is stacked from the first square to the last, waiting its turn.  I have some tasks next week that will preclude any sewing related to quilts, but I will be making curtains.  I’ve never done that, but several sites are bookmarked, and it doesn’t look too difficult.

The Roomie Quilt, which doesn't look as patchy in real life.

The Roomie Quilt, which doesn’t look as patchy in real life.

Just a matter of measuring the windows correctly; measure several times, cut once.  Then sew straight lines…

But yesterday, as I was waiting for several things to coalesce, I felt the pull to arrange yet another collection of cottons onto the wall.  Part of it was due to lounging on the sofa yesterday morning, reading the novelistic WIP, but the Scrappy Quilt, while perfect for evenings watching baseball while seated on the couch, isn’t quite long enough for horizontal schlepping about.  I had scraps left from the Summer Duvet, and from the Roomie Quilt, so I sorted those pieces, made some straight edges, then plopped all those remnants onto my ironing board, and set about fashioning yet another quilt…

This is so similar to my routine a year ago, three years ago, or from just about the time we came back to America in 2007; I was obsessed with writing, to the point that a day did NOT go by without me either writing something new, editing something recent, or pondering what was coming next.  It was, well, a little crazy, as manuscripts slipped from my wobbly gray matter onto the keyboard one after another, much like these quilts up, then off, the wall.

But unlike first drafts, quilts have a home.  Not that a home makes much difference when one is compelled to write a novel, but at least it’s easier to store those rough drafts in cyber realms than try to shoehorn another quilt into our little house.

Roomie Quilt in a more manageable form; I think it's pretty, stacked from the top row to the bottom...

Roomie Quilt in a more manageable form; I think it’s pretty, stacked from the top row to the bottom…

Scrappy’s Big Sister will take Scrappy’s place on our sofa, while Scrappy will go live with my youngest, keeping the Whale Quilt company.  Meanwhile, I’ve been reading more of The Hawk than just a chapter in the morning and again in the evening.  I have a plan, of sorts, concerning how to breach the distance that has descended, due to all these blasted quilts; I’m going to finish reading, then read it again, making the necessary revisions.  Then…

Then, regardless of which quilt is usurping the wall, I am going to get back to that story.  I need to, well, write, as well as sew.  Sewing is sort of mindless, well, it’s a small chore to keep a huge quilt top on the table, getting pins out before the needle runs over them.  Sewing is therapeutic for how little I need to consider.  Just sew a (relatively) straight line, backstitch here and there, making sure the bobbin doesn’t run out.  But writing…

Oh writing!  Even thinking about that action makes me nearly teary.  I can’t explain it, other than to say some things in our lives are more precious than others.  Breathing and eating and sleeping are important; we can’t function without them, but other needs feed our souls, giving us reasons to inhale, imbibe, and slumber.  When I’m crafting a rough draft, there is little that can tear me away, until that day’s chapter is written.  Then I disengage, aware tomorrow another chapter awaits, and while I’m eager to delve into that world, I take my time, not wanting to intrude upon the magic.

Maybe that’s how it is for hard-core sewing enthusiasts, where fabric is the language, hues and textures calling to their hearts.  I can’t say that’s how I feel about sewing; it provides a creative outlet bringing me great pleasure, and lovely quilts for others.  But it doesn’t hit me the way writing does.

Still, sometimes I just need to sew, like this morning, because I can’t get what I need from the writing at the moment.  Sewing is great for making me feel as if I’m not just schlepping around on the sofa all day; it’s a stop-gap, and I don’t say that with disdain.  I say it with great gladness and outstretched hands, itching for some light green fabric to go between Big Sister’s rather thrown-together rows.  Scrappy’s older sis (but probably not the only member of the Scrappy family) isn’t quite as tidy as Scrappy, in that the scraps are smaller, especially the solids.  But I think, once it’s all said and sewn and done, Big Sis will be just as beautiful, in her own floral way, as Scrappy is.

Scrappy's Big Sis; the two top rows were sewn together last night, and are significantly shorter than the rest, but long enough.

Scrappy’s Big Sis; the two top rows were sewn together last night, and are significantly shorter than the rest, but long enough.

Just like books; not all get revised, but I’ve been editing The Hawk as I go along, which is good, because it’s already a behemoth, and is, ahem, maybe half done.  But it’s not being written as I normally write, or maybe this is my new method.  Write some here, quilt some there, read a little, sew a bit more.  Then take a deep involuntary breath, and let the words slip onto the virtual document, allowing another story its freedom.

Quilts are one manner of relaying my existence.  Novels are just as meaningful, although quieter.  And, to my slight chagrin, I don’t seem able to do without either of them.

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2 thoughts on “Sometimes I just need to sew…

  1. laura bruno lilly

    “…some things in our lives are more precious than others. Breathing and eating and sleeping are important; we can’t function without them, but other needs feed our souls, giving us reasons to inhale, imbibe, and slumber.”
    Very well put. Remember that ‘the writing is always there for you.’ It doesn’t just walk away even if you walk away from it at times.

    Oh and BTW: about those curtains. Be sure to check out French Seams…easy to do and they really make a difference in the finished product. 😉

    withreasontoimbibepeace

    Reply

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