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Monday, January 11, 2021

#CRAFTS WITH ANASTASIA--MYSTERY SUPER FAN DRU ANN LOVE COMPARES CRAFTING A QUILT TO CRAFTING A MYSTERY

Dru Ann Love is the creator/founder of dru’s book musings where the “day in the life” and “get to know you” segments are prominently featured. She is a 2017 Mystery Writers of America Raven Award recipient and a two-time Anthony Award finalist. Dru Ann is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and a reporting monitor for the Sister in Crime National Monitoring Project. Dru Ann will be the Malice Domestic Fan Guest of Honor for 2021. Check out Dru's book musings at drusbookmusing.com.


I’ve always been a reader and my love for books keeps me entertained. I was not a crafter. I remember home economics in school where we sewed the obligatory apron and bib dress with patch pocket. I knew how to darn socks, stitch a hem or two. But in 2003, the year I was downsized from my job, I decided to take one of the quilting classes that was offered at the community college. 
The art of picking out fabric within a color scheme and creating a quilt was so magical. It’s all the pieces and the story you create that reminded me of a cozy mystery, where we are introduced to characters, a murder happens, and the goal is to find the killer, which aligned with quilt making. Pick your fabric, design your pattern, and the result is a quilt that is to be treasured, just like a cozy mystery brings satisfaction when the killer’s identity is revealed, and justice prevailed.


My first quilt (see photo above) was a sampler using four different quilt blocks and it was 100% hand stitched. From that first experience, I can now create centerpieces, table runners, pillows, bed scarf to name a few. Click here to see sample of my quilt projects. However, my quilts are now 100% machine stitched because carpal and cubital tunnel affected my hand dexterity, but that did not stop my love of creating quilts. In fact, now that we are dealing with a certain crisis that will be nameless, I’ve made more quilts in the past six months than I did in the last two years. 

Quilting and reading cozies is relaxing, engaging, and entertaining, both spurring the creative juices whether to create a design pattern or solving the puzzling cases in the stories.

When you begin to write your story, you have a beginning, you may have the middle and you may have the end. That’s how it is with quilting. You have the fabric pieces, you may have a design, but by the time you start cutting the pieces, that middle section changes and as a result the end that you didn’t have in mind, makes itself know when the last piece of the process is binding the quilt with a satisfied smile on your face because you are done. Just like when you type “end” on your story.

30 comments:

dru said...

Thank for inviting me. Writing this article let me see how working on a crafting project is similar to writing a novel.

NoraA said...

Good morning Dru, it's nice to see you getting out and about. My only adventure in crafting and using a needle was in the 6th grade. We made a paper mache puppet head with a toilet paper roll.. Then sew the body together. We learned three different stitches which seems to have lasted me a lifetime.

dru said...

Nora, we did the same paper mache puppet head too.

Celia Fowler said...

I enjoyed your post and also your quilting page showcasing your quilts - they're fabulous!

ANASTASIA POLLACK said...

Dru, it was a pleasure having you join us today.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Dru,
What fun to read a blog by you! I love your comparing quilting to writing a mystery. My craft of choice is knitting, though lately my hands have been hurting more than usual.

Neil Plakcy said...

What an interesting metaphor! I've read about your quilting before but I never connected it to structuring a mystery.

And I'm sure you have to go back and pick out a few stitches now and then, just like authors have to delete material and start over.

Karen McCullough said...

The quilts are beautiful and I love the analogy of putting together and quilt and structuring a mystery novel! I'm going to keep that in mind as I write.

Mary Monnin said...

I'm a quilter too, and I loved seeing your projects. My favorites are the table runner, which reminds me of one I've cut out but not sewn, and the Misaligned and Blazing Blues, because the colors just pop.
Thanks for sharing these!

dru said...

Thanks Celia

dru said...

Neil, I never thought about comparing quilting to writing until I sat down and thought of how to write this article, but it does make sense.

dru said...

Marilyn, since I had cubital tunnel, I had to give up hand quilting. I'm glad quilting can be machine-done.

dru said...

Karen, thanks. It is about the beginning, middle and end.

dru said...

Neil, sometimes it is not worth going back and correcting a quilt as it does sometimes create more problems.

dru said...

Hi Marilyn, I like creating simple quilts, especially smaller ones.

Pat D said...

My sister quilts and I am envious! I thought about trying it at one point but the multitude of colors and fabrics to choose from overwhelmed me. I decided I'd rather read!

Ellen Byron said...

What a great post! Dru, I LOVE your quilts. And the analogy to writing a mystery. Your sense of color and design is spectacular. Our cozies should be as good, lol!

Kathy Krevat Author said...

What a lovely post! Your quilts are amazing!

Erica Obey said...

Beautiful. My entire foray into sewing was when I was outraged by the price of a bathroom curtain in a catalogue and said, "For $250, I can sew six seams." And I did. They were even more or less straight.

Kelly Brakenhoff said...

I hadn't noticed the similarities between quilting and cozy mysteries until you mentioned them. What a great idea. Thanks for sharing your talent with us! I'm glad you can still quilt using your sewing machine. I can't do hand needlework anymore either, but I still use my sewing machine too.

dru said...

Pat, thanks. I tend to stick to a few colors or I would go crazy as well.

dru said...

Ellen, thanks. Your cozies are great.

dru said...

Thanks Kathy.

dru said...

Erica, I would too make my own curtains.

dru said...

Hi Kelly, it's amazing the similarities.

Edith Maxwell said...

I love this comparison, Dru. And it's so true! Your quilts are lovely.

dru said...

thanks Edith

Erica Obey said...

Re: curtains. Yes, but your curtains would have been works of art. Me, I'm just cheap. And okay that curtain looks perfectly fine and cost me 1 yard of fabric and some time and effort.

Leslie Wheeler said...

Wonderful post, Dru Ann. Even though I'm no quilter, I have long sensed the connection between quilting and writing, inspired by a quote I found from a nineteenth century quilter when I worked on American history texts. I have misplaced itat the moment or I would share it verbatim here. It goes something like this: you get or are given a number of pieces of fabric, but how you put them together is your own business.
Thanks for your post and for sharing your beautiful quilts!

dru said...

thanks Leslie