Blog » Is Writing a Book Like Making a Quilt?
- 2015-02-06 08:30:00
I have been a quilter for many years and enjoyed making an intricate, scrappy beauty more than any other hobby. Until I began to write. Now here was a craft I dearly loved. But wait, I loved quilting, too. In fact, I couldn’t decide which I liked better.
Writing or quilting? Quilting or writing? Both of them held me captive. I simply had to quilt. And write. Combining the two crafts in my new book, A STITCH IN CRIME, I wrote a whodunit set around a quilt show with a no-show judge and a stolen, legacy quilt. And I thought of five ways the two pursuits are very much alike.
1. They have a similar starting point.
Writing: I wanted to write a mystery, but what kind? A police procedural? Locked room/puzzle mystery? Hard-boiled detective? I decided on a cozy - which has been defined as “cats & quilts and not a lot of blood.” Now I had the direction I needed to move forward.
Quilting: I wanted to make a quilt, but what kind? A bed cover? A wall hanging? A miniature? A table runner or Christmas tree skirt? I decided on a blanket-type, something the family could use on picnic outings or grab at home when the weather turned cold. Then I had the direction I needed to move forward.
2. Both inspire vision.
Writing: I needed a setting. Where would the story unfold? I thought about it a lot. Maybe a small town? I put together memories of many historic California towns: Weaverville, Ferndale, Jacksonville, Cottonwood, and added Sisters, Oregon to the mix, creating my own surviving Gold Rush town I called Larkindale.
Quilting: I needed a pattern. What would it look like? I thought about it a lot. It could be something with flowers or a sampler or a picture…like a landscape. But I love recycling leftover fabrics. I decided on a scrappy Log Cabin pattern.