Sometimes writing has very little to do with quilting. Like right now, in the middle (or hopefully perhaps the end of the middle third) of The Hawk, there’s so much to note to the reader, and some of it I know. Some I don’t, which doesn’t bother me, it comes with the authorial territory. But where a quilter or sewing enthusiast enjoys bringing more fabrics into the fold, a writer’s preference is to keep it simple. Don’t beat a dead horse. Redundancy is a drag; um, did I already say that? Well, if not, then yes, repetition breeds boredom. Right now I’m trying to maintain a steady course with the noveling, but it’s hard, having been away from this story for months, also in that this is a LONG story. Does the reader need an occasional gentle nudge, maybe. I’ll know later on, but for now, the squiggles are piling, and that’s what’s important.
Because when the words aren’t there, well, that’s no fun at all.
That’s sort of like trying to sew without fabric. Now, I live in a small house, so there’s no way I can establish some monstrous stash. However, when a quilt comes a’calling, I go a’buying some cottons. I did that today, after the writing was finished, for a quilt back, and a baby quilt. Buying fabrics for baby quilts is still new, but boy, I’ll tell you, I sure like it.
Never before have I had two such fascinating hobbies, which at times are so similar, and at others diametrically opposed. Writing taught me much in the ways of patience, which is so necessary for quilting, like when standing at the ironing board, pressing seams. And quilting has given me a new appreciation for fashioning vibrant landscapes with only prose. Writing demands my morning brain, when the words are still within my grasp. Sewing requires a different sort of butt nailed to a chair (unless I’m pressing seams), the kind that travels well into the evening after all the good words have been used. Last night I sewed past eight p.m., watching the Giants take a series from the Cubs, finally getting the mum-quilt-top put together. It’s now hanging on my quilt wall, and will be placed into the actual quilting queue perhaps as early as Sunday. Yesterday I did no writing, for the husband is back, the retreat over. While he acclimated himself to home, I quilted the little sister comforter, stitching in the ditch, then attaching the front of the binding. Tomorrow I’m spending the day with my eldest, a sewing gig for us ladies. I’ll chat with my daughter while hand-sewing the binding for that quilt, as well as the toddler blanket, as Buttercup whines for our attention. I know that part of the routine well.
I’m a lucky woman, able to balance these rewarding pastimes amid the usual trappings of life. But then, it’s been one helluva summer, and autumn is looking to continue in that vein. Thank goodness American football is around the corner, and as for the Giants…
Okay, they’re still in contention for a playoff spot, if the Dodgers’ three top pitchers happen to get abducted by aliens. Barring that, watching San Francisco play has become more of admiring rookies filling in spots all over the infield. Meanwhile, I consider plots for The Hawk, mulling over fabrics for future quilts. And as I wrote today, from Eric’s POV, how important is the essence of hope. Not for my baseball team, ahem, but for all that sits on the horizon. Babies to be born, books to be finished, quilts to be compiled; I don’t know the outcome of any of those realities, but that’s all right. It’s like writing The Hawk; I don’t know all that’s coming, but I know the end.
And in the end, that’s the main thing.