We're pleased to bring you this guest post written by New York Times and USA Today best-selling author and avid quilter B.J. Daniels. Here, she discusses how quilting helps her find creative balance during the writing process.
Plus, she's sharing an exclusive giveaway of her latest novel, Atonement, a Western romance set in Beartooth, Montana. More details on the giveaway can be found on the bottom of this post!
How Quilting Helps Me Find Balance in an Already Crazy Life
I always loved to sew and make things, but when I started a demanding career as a full-time fiction author, I felt I had no time for anything fun. Then I moved with my husband to a small town where I was the only writer. I was no longer around creative people and I missed them. I also missed making things. That’s when I decided to do something I’d always wanted to do: I took a quilting class. I not only met the most amazing creative women who are now friends, but I fell in love with quilting.
What appealed to me about quilting were all the different fabric colors and designs. I wanted to learn how to put them together. To my surprise, quilting was a lot like writing. With my books, I start with a lot of ideas but have no idea how they go together. The possibilities for both books and fabric seem unlimited. But as I learned, when I piece together both the book and the quilting project, a pattern emerges.
Still stretched for time though, I found I couldn’t commit to a full-size quilt at first. But I could make small projects. In fact, they were perfect. I got the creative satisfaction of accomplishment quickly with a table runner or wall hanging – unlike the months it takes to write a book.
I love that I can be as creative as I want with fabric, colors and quilt patterns. The finished product is all mine – good or bad. I have made bright quilts and wall hangings for my office that also inspire me. I also found that organizations are often looking for handmade projects to auction off at charity events. I love donating something I’ve made. This year I made a full-sized Western quilt for Brenda Novak’s diabetes charity. Next year, I will be donating Western quilted Christmas stockings.
I’ve found that quilting actually helps my writing. Not only do I need that creative outlet and a break from writing, but if I get stuck on a plot, I find it helps to quilt for a while. It doesn’t take long before I figure out what I need to do with my story and I go back to writing.
One lucky reader will receive a free copy of B.J. Daniels' latest book, Atonement, a Western romance set in Beartooth, Montana.
The deadline to enter is 11:59 MT on July 16 2014. A winner will be chosen at random on July 17, 2014, and notified via email. Good luck!
*Please note: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
Have you thought about taking a quilting class? It could enrich your life the way it has mine.
About B.J. Daniels
New York Times and USA Today best-selling author B.J. Daniels lives in Montana with her husband, Parker, and three Springer Spaniels, Spot, Jem and Ace. When she isn’t writing, she quilts.
To contact her, write: B.J. Daniels, P.O. Box 1173, Malta, MT 59538 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.