The “Nurture” of Words (and quilts)

Last night I attended The Nature of Words (www.thenatureofwords.org) annual literary festival’s evening of “Guest Author Readings”. This local literary festival’s guest author evening included readings by two poets: an Oregon Poet Laureate, Professor Lawson Inada and a National Slam Poet, Karen Finneyfrock.

While listening to these wonderful poets and the other guest authors perform their poetry or read excerpts from their novels, I began to think about the “nurture of words”. Reading poetry and literature nurtures our souls and stimulates our creative spirits whether they explore complex painful emotions or humorous and joyous experiences.

Eventually my thoughts turned to quilting and creating handmade items (as my thoughts always do). Quilts are nurturing – they keep you warm, they make you smile, they say ‘someone cares about you so much that they took hours and hours (and hours and hours) of their time to make you a substantial gift’.

Quilts and quilting can be also thought of as poems. We carefully select a pattern for our quilts (as a poet might select the Haiku poetic form) or we create our own unique design (a free-form poetic structure). As we make our quilts, each section of the quilt we piece is essentially a stanza of our poem. The final product is something that we choose to share with the world, a private individual or just keep for ourselves (as poets do).  My friend who is a talented long-arm quilter essentially creates beautiful poems on her customers quilts with thread as her poetry composition medium. The process of creating a quilt,  quilting a quilt, and/or giving someone a quilt as a gift, can be as nurturing as beautifully crafted poignant words on a page of prose or poetry.

I wanted to end this post with a short poem about creating a quilt, but I am not a “written word poet”. Instead I will leave you with several images of one of my textile poems: Central Oregon is Central to Me.

6 thoughts on “The “Nurture” of Words (and quilts)

  1. Joan Huehnerhoff says:

    some poems are free form and some are very structured. some quilters are free form (who needs a pattern?) quilt designers. and some are structured. I fall in the structured. Give me a triple irish chain and I can work magic. My quilt poem would be along the lines of “Roses are Red, Violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you.”
    I love your blog. keep up the good work.

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  2. torbengb says:

    “… and hours and hours…”
    I don’t think people realize how much time and effort it takes to create an artful quilt. I know I don’t, I have only the vaguest of ideas but this post helps understand the craft better.
    Would you consider doing a “behind the scenes” post some day?

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  3. tierneycreates says:

    Thanks Jean and Torben for your comments and support! Torben – behind the scenes is an excellent idea: A Look Inside the Secret World of Designing and Assembling an Art Quilt 😉

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