crazy quilt Brooklyn Museum of Art

Welcome to My Storytelling Quilt

Welcome to my storytelling quilt (click to catch my Alabama sound).

In mountain tradition, my Southern grandmother created free-flowing art that warmed her family on winter nights. She pieced scraps of twill, denim, corduroy, children’s outgrown clothes, men’s shirttails, worn-out dresses, and cotton sacking into the “memory gems” of life. Like her, I toss aside perfection for small, unpredictably shaped patterns. This blog is my verbal crazy quilt—the color and richness, my garden of perfect moments.

For more Deep South voices, read the story of a North Georgia whale or the tale of a suburban funny farm.

4 hens sport funny hats in the acrylic painting Hen Party by Catherine Hamrick

You’ll find my random world on the sidebar: Characters, Creatives, Humor, Places, Poems, Skipping through Gardens, Southern Crazy Quilt, Southern Women, and On Writers & Writing. If you’re a writer, scroll down the sidebar for helpful publishing links. To read tidbits on Southern lifestyle and culture, drop by the Random Storyteller Facebook Page.

37 Comments

  1. Karen Lin

    Know what? I used to design and hand make quilts. I had one that never saw a machine, literally all done by hand, stolen out of the back of my car (that and a self portrait in pointillism were the hardest things to lose in the middle of a move). I love quilts. The one we’re using now is starting to fall apart; it’s getting to the point where I can’t keep up with the fixes. I’m looking to buy a cotton quilt but the ones I’m seeing have polyester in them (say at Macy’s). Yuck. Do you know a good place to get a cotton quilt? … ha and that wasn’t even your real topic… This is calling going-off-on-the-symbol! We’ve just dug out of the snow and it’s beautiful and sunny today!

  2. potterwillam3

    I love this sentence!!! I don’t know why, but I do. I think it has an unexpected structure with a dose of allusion that warms you up.
    My grandmother, in the tradition of mountain mothers before, created free-flowing art that warmed her family on winter nights.

  3. Aquileana

    Salut Catherine… Lovely words and I much enjoyed the analogy with the quilts is the same and the way you highlight that Textile artists toss aside perfection for small, unpredictably shaped patterns.
    Just great! All my best wishes ⭐ Aquileana 😀

  4. Dennis Cardiff

    Hi Catherine, what a wonderful description of your blog. My mother was a quilter and my wife is a fabric artist. Often we would visit antique stores and buy stitched, woven and crochet treasures. There is nothing more comforting than a crazy quilt with all it’s memories of former clothing, curtains, cushion covers and love.

    It is a true joy connecting with you and sharing your verbal crazy quilt. ~ Dennis

  5. exiledprospero

    The quilt is such a good metaphor for writing–for what is a writer if not a collector images, feelings, ephemeral coincidences?

  6. dray0308

    I am fortunate to have a quilt my grandma made me before senility took her. She had all of our family from Alabama send her fabric, over 20 relatives, and she made a quilt out of those pieces for me for Christmas one year. I still have it and used it for a long time but no longer do because it is getting frail. Great post!

  7. drapersmeadow4

    Well, I’m not a seamstress by any account, but I know a weaver of beautiful words when I see one. Thanks for sharing your gift! I’m just stopping by to wish you a very Happy Holiday before I get back to writing my book.

  8. reocochran

    I like that your grandmother chose different scraps of fabric which were of different textures and weights. Twill and corduroy will be the sturdy fabrics holding this together with her stitches sewed in love. ♡
    I am not on Facebook but will keep an eye on your stories on wordpress. Smiles, Robin

    1. Catherine Hamrick

      Hey Robin. Wow. Your comments are the germ of a good Twitter feed. I love how you express yourself creatively–even in a few sentences.

      Economic circumstances determined the fabric scraps. Happenstance quilt piecing, I suppose. But it worked out!

  9. The Oracle Jasmine Kyle

    OMG I LOVE THIS CATHERINE~!!! I think a story quilt so FREAKING COOL! WOW I never heard of such a thing. I am going RIGHT to the google machine for MORE!!! Thank you for opening this door for me!

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