Quilt World

It’s good to periodically air one’s quilts. This photo shows multiple quilts airing on a clothesline.

I am a quilter and have made many quilt tops, most from established patterns and some I’ve designed. My first quilt was mad from scraps of fabric from old clothes. I enrolled in a few quilt classes and learned that 100% quilter’s cotton is a much better choice. The fabric will last longer, and all pieces of the quilt will be of consistent quality. These characteristics contribute to the longevity of the quilt.

A quilt is like a sandwich, in that it consists of a top, the middle, usually commercially prepared batting (like meat or cheese in a sandwich), and a fabric back, the second slice of bread in the sandwich. Quilt backs are usually one large piece of fabric, although one can piece a quilt back to create a reversible quilt, most people do not. The quilts airing on clothes lines are part of my quilt collection.

I’ve also “rescued” old quilt tops from antique stores and auctions where the unfinished quilt top is an unrecognized treasure. Making quilt tops is the creative part of the quilting process for me. I made the following quilt. It is an example of a finished quilt with a log cabin block design. After machine sewing the quilt top, I took it to a professional machine quilter to assemble and stitch the quilt sandwich. I finished the quilt by adding a binding strip to the edges.

Nebraska Life Magazine https://www.nebraskalife.com/ published an excellent article about the University of Nebraska Lincoln’s International Quilt Museum last year https://www.internationalquiltmuseum.org/ . Coincidentally, the editor of Nebraska Life Magazine asked if I would be willing to write a Letter to the Editor for an upcoming issue about an article of my choice as the magazine needed more letters to the editor that edition. Since I’m both familiar with and love the International Quilt Museum, I wrote a letter praising that institution. It was fun to see my letter in the editorial section and then I forgot all about it.

I’m also a writer and periodically submit poems to Nebraska Life and request the poetry editor’s consideration to publish those poems. The magazine has accepted and published an occasional poem in the past. This spring, I have a new book of poetry titled, as happenstance has it, A Quilted Landscape, published by Scrufpea Publishers in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in May 2021. They are poems about place and a few poems in the book have quilting metaphors, like my poem, Truth Unraveled, in the first section of the book.

"Everything you add to the truth subtracts from the truth"  
Alexander Solzhenitsyn 

Psychologists report that memory 
is susceptible to alteration,

like decorating unsightly facts with rickrack,
lace edgings added for good measure.

Each recollection we believe is memory 
is mentally sorting 

and rearranging the past, 
like wearing hand-me-down clothes 

faded from the sun
last worn by older cousins.

People with recovered amnesia 
have the truest memories; 

like comparing bright colored quilt blocks 
stored in an old trunk away from light.

to the faded quilt on a bed. 
If police investigators and historians 

could time-travel, 
they wouldn’t need to stitch 

stories together, 
just visit the scene of the crime. 

Reality is a moving target,
an invented truth, 

leaving humankind adrift 
in a roiling sea of ethical dilemmas 

and accusations of fake news. 
We treat each other on today’s whim, 

ripping the seams of fragile lives,
frayed fabric and costs be damned.

To promote the book, I’ve made an author page, found a venue for a Book Launch in July, posted information to my author page, developed a postcard, and mailed them to libraries, colleges, and far away friends, hung a few posters in different towns, and will be doing another email barrage to friends and colleagues. I find that self-promotion is one of the most challenging parts of the writing business. Marketing after a book is published, like binding the quilt edges at the end of the quilting process, is necessary, but not always fun.

The cover photo is my photograph taken from the window of a small plane.

Published by llzranch

parent, writer, mental health counselor, gardener, environmentalist

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