Art Quilt Progress and Literary Inspiration from Margaret Atwood and David Blight

Here are my completed Attic Windows blocks–so far; they are 4 1/2″ square:

This is my design wall in my studio: a framed board covered in cotton batting so fabric sticks to it. As you can see, I have a large area to fill up with 4 1/2″ blocks to make something close enough to a bedspread for a queen sized bed.

I really got side-tracked this month by the new Margaret Atwood novel The Testaments which was released September 10th; when I got my copy I could not put it down for a week. Many of you might know Margaret Atwood from her famous book, and now Hulu TV series The Handmaid’s Tale.

You might not know that her 1995 novel Alias Grace–which is AWESOME–is about a quilt-maker–and a murder mystery–and is full of allusions to traditional quilt block pattern names.

I started quilting in the mid-1990s, after I read Alias Grace. I wanted to be a writer, then; but after reading this book, I put down my pen and started sewing. I also recommend The Robber Bride. Oryx and Crake–not so much; I was depressed for a week after reading that one.

Moving on to another author…..David Blight. Now am listening to the 14-CD Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom while I sew. It is a gripping narrative and difficult to stop listening–it’s hard for me to think of another person who represents what I think of as the greatest American ever. My opinion, yes. I believe he was the most photographed person of the 19th century. But I have not fact-checked that; it’s from memory. When is the Frederick Douglass epic movie going to be made? It will need to be a multiple season HBO production with a budget higher than that for Game of Thrones.

Now I can’t use reading as an excuse!