In the family we call this Logan’s Star. It’s the Lone Star quilt I made my grandson nineteen years ago, just before he was born. Over the years I’ve made hundreds of quilts, enough that a few years ago my delightful but ever practical daughter suggested the family had enough quilts and perhaps I should turn my needle elsewhere.
It’s true that every time I find a story bogging down, or the irritations of real life begin to intrude too much on my fantasy world, I find myself in a fabric shop or prowling through the scrap baskets stashed in the closet, looking for something special to piece together. Once upon a time, when I came home with several cuts of this and that I couldn’t resist, my late husband innocently inquired why it was necessary to go purchase more yardage to cut up into little bits when I had a dozen baskets of snippets already. I explained that my heroine wasn’t behaving and I needed a way to handle my frustrations. And these were brand new colors and prints. He shook his head and went back to running his model trains. My compulsion didn’t resonate with him any more than his did with me. Perfect marriage.
I thought I’d just about conquered my private addiction until a few weeks ago. I knew I was in trouble when the plot wouldn’t thicken and the characters turned wooden as well, and I found myself in the dark recess of the closet where the fabric stash hides. With a new baby in the extended family, I was lured into the snare of matching this with that, snipping and cutting, and turning a pile of pink flowers and yellow gingham into a finished quilt. The urge bit deep this time, and before I knew what I’d done, I was deep into a yellow Garden Gate quilt, followed by a blue Irish Chain, then a green Double Hourglass, and a beige and forest green Tilted Star. And my fingers itched every time I saw another color combination I couldn’t resist. The delicious print of lilacs, the lure of blue gingham and spring daisies, the delight of oriental butterflies. What’s a compulsive quilter to do?
For the sake of my editor and my neglected characters, I’d better get this fever under control soon. But meanwhile, could I just get a yard of that scrumptious blue and green swirl, and maybe, before its all gone, a length of the candy stripe and the rose and white calico, please.
This is the result of the last time I went on a quilt bender. I have a friend who is addicted to Corvettes the way I am to quilts. This was the result of two addicts coming together. It alternates Stingrays with the Corvette crossed flags logo. I’d had the fabric stuck in a bag for ages, bought with no idea when I’d find a use for it. Buying fabric is a little bit like coming up with a scene and not knowing the rest of the story. You know you’ll use it someday, so you save it someplace where you can find it. One day, just the right thing will come along and it will fit right in.
Now, if I can get myself loose from the thimble, scissors, and pins, maybe I’d better see if my characters are ready to pick up their threads and weave the rest of their story together. Writing is a lot like quilting. You take all the pieces that blend together, find a pattern that uses them, then stitch the parts into a neatly fitted whole. Funny how much my two passions have in common. If you’d care to see more of my patchwork, drop by www.facebook.com/BluebonnetRoadQuilts and take a look. Or if you’d like to read some vintage Texas romance, my Santa Rita books are available from The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.com.
Look forward to hearing from you.