An Interesting Project

I had the opportunity to listen to a very interesting speaker at a guild meeting, her name was Helen Ogden Widener. She discussed the book she had recently written and the research she was able to conduct, as well as the quilt she constructed from reproduction materials to recreate the subject of her book.


Helen wrote about the quilt created by Elizabeth Patton Crockett. Yes, Crockett like David Crockett. She was his wife, and she made a beautiful postage stamp quilt sometime between 1850 and 1860. The book is titled Scraps of Life and is full of pictures of the original quilt kept at the Alamo, as well as interesting facts of the time and a pattern to recreate the original quilt at the back of the book. (For more information on this book, click here.)

When I recently went to my retreat, I brought with me a grocery store bag full of small pieces of material, each measuring about 12×5″. The pieces are comprised of cotton, wool, linen, madras, and a variety of combinations thereof. They were given to me by a friend who’s occupation is buyer for menswear, particularly dress shirts and slacks. They no longer needed their samples, so rather than throwing the material out, they gave them to me. I hadn’t figured out what to do with the pieces yet. Until tonight.

I finally made the connection – I am going to use these rectangles as the basis for my recreation of the Elizabeth Patton Crockett quilt. I will need to use some materials of greater quantity for the outer portions of each block, but I believe I can make a very pretty and functional quilt, with the look and feel of an older quilt by using these pieces from my friends.

So my message to you is that sometimes inspiration takes time to evolve. I have had many an experience that I wanted the light bulb to come on but it didn’t. Once I stopped watching the proverbial pot, my idea was revealed.

My friends, I hope you have the patience to let your inspiration find you. Sometimes it means taking a break from what you love to let your brain cool off and refresh. Happy quilting!!

4 thoughts on “An Interesting Project

  1. chindeep3141 says:

    This is such a great message, and one that rings true to me. While writing my books, each a 3-4 year ‘project,’ I found that I needed to step away every once in awhile to prevent burn out. Sarah Ban Breathnach, one of my favorite authors (Simple Abundance) calls this “Priming the Pump of Inspiration.” Thanks for sharing this important, inspiring bit of wisdom Maria 🙂

  2. chindeep3141 says:

    exactly! and refreshed. I totally get it.

  3. Kimber says:

    Totally on board with this too!! I have found with just about anything, that once I get bored or hit a dead end, walking away for awhile helps sooth and rekindle the inspiration.

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