A Designer of Words

A friend of mine, Mary Wollesen, designs quilts. I mean, these are not your typical quilts made to throw over a bed, although she has some lovely ones doing just that. The below quilt Mary named ‘Rainy Days and Sundays’ looks perfectly at home on someone’s bed. However, most of Mary’s creations are one-of-a-kind treasures, made to hang on walls or drape over sofas or chairs. They are gorgeous works of art. People spend hours admiring, appreciating, and snuggling in them. It’s so win-win.

A couple of days ago I was a writer lost in Mary’s field, out searching for fabrics. Mary’s always got a new project going and I wanted to rip apart a threadbare dress, use it as a pattern, and make a new one from it. So we lunched and zipped in and out of stores, talking about the creative process while sifting through stacks of cloth. Oddly enough,  the quilting and writing businesses have a lot of similarities. For instance: You need to first come up with an idea for the fabric/story. Then you need to pattern/plot it, followed by pinning/hanging it together, and finally, you need to have the skill, talent, and tenacity to get in there and make it whole.

We also discussed the different daily approaches like: how comfortable is your work area (or just how long can you lean over fabric cutting it out or banging out words on a keyboard before your back freezes up)? How do you find time to get the work done with constant interruptions, such as life, love, and laundry? How do you get yourself to produce when you don’t feel like it? How can you love doing something, when it is such a pain in the butt much of the time? Hmmmm. No answer to the last question.

So it comes to pass that all us artistic types are a little nutty. It’s just not writers. I was worried there for a spell.

But doing what we do not only makes us happy, it makes us experts in our fields. I mean, here I was in a quandary as to whether or not I could find fabric and feel better about the dress I adored being worn out, filled with holes, and faded to a mere shell of its former self. And along came Mary to help me coordinate two patterned fabrics I never would have thought of using together and voilà! Kismet. She is a person who has mastered the centuries old art form of combining separate fabrics in such a way that makes your jaw drop. And glory hallelujah, she gave me the benefit of her expertise. I am now happily taking apart my well-worn dress seam by seam, looking forward to using it as a pattern for something new and exciting.

So here’s my hope: One of the days, Mary is going to need help with a poem, letter, memoir, or short story, and I will be there. Because I am an expert on the written word.  I know from experience that if you put this word here, that phrase there — combined with a lot of hard work and a little luck — you create something exciting and moving; something people will want to read.

Now if you will excuse me, I need to go do the laundry.


6 responses to “A Designer of Words”

  1. What a sweet blog. I do stained glass, although not so much lately since I became a published writer. They make wonderful gifts. Yesterday I posted photos of a few of my glass projects on Pinterest.

  2. Lin, I forgot to add, thanks on behalf of all our fellow authors at MuseItUp for the generosity of spirit you have.

  3. Mu dear Lin,
    How loving and giving you are. I am so grateful for your friendship and, often, guidance. Hope things improve with your back. Have been following your trials and tribulations, as always. Take care, my friend, Heather

  4. What treasures your words are Dear Heather.

    I admire and yes envy your friend's talent. I can JUST about stitch a seam together and make it hold in a soft breeze…anything more and my needling talent flies out the window, but recently I have become close with someone I have adopted as the sister my parents never saw fit to give me no matter how hard I begged for one…and trust me, with nothing but three scuzzy brothers and their equally scuzzy friends always underfoot I BEGGED a LOT!

    My NEW SIS loves that I enjoy writing LONG snail mail letters to her, like my Grandmother did with HER sister almost half a century ago,. She enjoys reading about the day-to-day things we share back and forth, and I enjoy reading her responses back.

    These letters have become little classics we look forward to and are saving to read again over and over like the special gifts they really are.

    We've lost the art of sharing the journey of the human spirit…we, as authors cherish that part of what makes us who we are.

    Luckily some of us have found others who want to know how our minds weave our words into fantasy places and worlds that may or may not reflect what the "real" world is all about.

    While at the same time many need to admire the magic your friend brings to life with her enchanted needles and threads. You knew that, Heather.

    I am enthralled with the magic of Heather Haven the writer, I am also enthralled now with the magic and appreciation Heather Haven the reporter of her friend's skills has brought to vivid life for me as well.

    Thanks Sweetie. Love Always, Lin