Creative Distractions by J Vincent

There are many distractions when it comes to writing.  Some are just plain work--laundry, grocery shopping.  Some are fun--lunch with friends, a walk in the park.  Put to the right use all of these can add creative touches to writing when one uses incidents that happen or ideas that are sparked by them.  But for this blog I have a different sort of creative distraction in mind.

One of the things that distracts me from writing is quilt making.  I have sewn and hand quilted since the 1970’s when a neighbor asked me to finish a top she had pieced.  That led to a second one she had squirreled away,  Then, of course, I had to make quilts for my children and down the slippery slope I went.  When I took up writing in the late ‘70’s quilting went to the sidelines.  I still made a quilt here and there, mainly for my daughters as they finished embroidered blocks or tops and wedding quilts.  But it wasn’t until my oldest daughter took up quilt making that I returned to this particular distraction with a vengeance.  I was self-taught but my daughter took classes.  She revolutionized my quilt making by passing along what she learned.  I once hated piecing quilt tops but no longer.

One of the best things about quilt making is the instant gratification the quilts provide.

Early this summer I made a quilt called Catkin for one of my nieces.  I loved the Egyptian look of the fabric and the colors.  While I followed a pattern that didn’t leave room for “creativity” that is not the case with most of the quilts I make.

My hearts quilt which I gave to a very good friend was a lot more creative.  The center block with the four hearts to embroider was what I started with for the quilt.  I had to design the single hearts and the setting for all the blocks.  It sometimes takes more math skills than anything to set a quilt top together but the reward is great.

My most mathematically challenging quilt was made from the baseball and softball team logo t-shirts my son got from all the teams he played on over a fifteen period.  I put over fifty shirt logos into this quilt.  Naturally no two logos were the same size which made it more of a challenge.  Due to the number of blocks I had to make it double sided which made the math even trickier.

Then there was the butterfly blocks Mom had hand appliquéd and embroidered to set together.  I decided to band each block with one inch strips of four colors.  It did turn out a lovely springtime quilt.  Below it's pictured with a corner of the back folded over.

One of my favorite quilts is the sunflower quilt I made from a sampler class I took with my daughter.  I love sunflowers --my sewing/craft room is covered with many different sunflower items.  I even hand stenciled a sunflower border around the room.  One of the blocks in this quilt has 130 pieces in it.

Last year for Christmas I made throws.  My daughters love the old classic Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.  I took fabric books, cut them apart, and you see the result below.  The only difference in the two throws was the setting strips (sashings)--one green and one red. My daughter-in-law loves snowmen and here is a photo of her throw.

These are a few of my “distractions.”  While I should get to writing I really must get back to sewing.  As Pat said in an earlier blog, “Christmas is coming!”  I lost the past three months and didn’t get a head start on my quilt projects for this Christmas.  So many stitches to take, so little time!


Pat Davids said...

What beautiful distractions you have. What a talent.

My distractions are: the dog wants to play catch, check my e-mail, play a game of solitare, the dog wants out..again.

Joan Vincent said...

Thanks Pat. I am greatly distracted these days by free cell and spider solitaire!

Reese Mobley said...

Joan, you do such beautiful work. I wish I had a fraction of your talent. My family is my biggest distraction.

Melissa Robbins said...

Joan, your quilts are beautiful and I'm in awe of quilters. I quilted blankets for my older two kids and they were nothing compared to yours. We lost my daughter's in the fire. :0( I used left over fabric my mom used to make my daughter's Christening dress.

I cherish the quilt my grandmother made me. My grandmothers were expert quilters.