Friday, March 20, 2015

2015 SOLSC 20/31: I Lay My Stitches Down

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Betsy, Dana, Beth, and Anna
for hosting this meeting place each day in March
and for nurturing our writing lives. 

Didn't you just love putting a 
two in the tens place today 
and a zero in the ones place 
for twenty slices completed?

    I'm sharing a new-to-me book that I learned 
about in a session at NCTE in November.
Catherine at Reading to the Core is
hosting this week's poetry round-up.  
       Be sure to stop by for a taste of poetry love.

In January while reading the poetry shelves,
searching for inspiration 
for a Poetry Friday post,
I stumbled across this book.
I clutched it to my heart
and headed for the checkout desk.
It took me awhile to get around to reading it.
My WTR (want to read) stack always looms tall 
and sometimes spills over onto a second shelf.

Introduced to the author
and her research process for the book
in an incredible NCTE session, 
I was not disappointed!  
A perfect post for Poetry Friday during February, 
a great focus for National African American Read-In,
except that February found me working in our library, 
sprinting to finish writing a curriculum unit,
and overseeing a kitchen remodel.  

Meticulously researched by Cynthia Grady,
each poem is "... ten lines of ten syllables,
to mimic the square shape of a quilt block."  
Each poem has three references:  
"to reflect the three layers of a quilt:
...a biblical or spiritual reference,
a musical reference, and 
a sewing or fiber arts reference."

Beautifully illustrated by Michele Wood,
 the quilt squares at the bottom of each poem
appear somewhere in the illustration on the opposite page.
Additional text in the light brown border
gives historical background to enlighten the reader.
Each poem is written in the voice of a distinct person.
You will linger over the words and the paintings.  

I eagerly search for the words 
"I lay my stitches down," 
 that became the title of the book,
and find them in the final poem, "Basket." 

" thimble, thread, and needle comfort me,
I lay my stitches down and troubles fall
away.  Before too long, I'm breathing with
the rhythm of my quilting - listening
wide with every fiber of my soul:..."
Plunge into Grady's exquisite poems
 and Wood's rich, vibrant illustrations.
Listen to these voices from the past. 
You may reach for thimble, thread and needle,
or choose to arrange some words on the page.


  1. I was at that session, too, Ramona, but had forgotten about this book. I'm adding it to my wish list now. Thanks for sharing it today!

  2. This book sounds wonderful! Your description makes me want to get it and share it with others.

  3. That book looks amazing. What a find for you!

  4. OH, I love the sound of this book! My mother, a master quilter, would love this! Thanks!

  5. Sound great will have to go look for it! I need to get my quilt out and work on it.

  6. I have this beautiful book, only regret is that I can't share it with my mother, Ramona. She wrote poetry and quilted, would have loved it very much. Thanks for sharing the parts you love.

  7. I need to see if I have this book in my library!