COLUMN: Children’s book tells quilting story

Inspiration is one of those things that can happen when you’re least expecting it.

Inspiration is one of those things that can happen when you’re least expecting it. In fact, so many great ideas have come while houses are being cleaned or some equally uninspiring task, that it almost becomes a part of the creative routine at least it does for me.

For local quilter and writer Brandy Maslowski, it happened at a quilting retreat as she watched a young girl’s fascination with quilting grow.

The experience took hold in Maslowski and eventually came to life as her children’s picture book, Kristy’s Quilt, which was released after a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014 with gorgeous full colour illustrations by local illustrator Marcia Stacy.

The book was Maslowski’s way of telling not only a story that she had seen unfolding in front of her, the young girl’s desire to learn about quilting, but was also her way of helping ensure that quilting wasn’t something that just faded into obscurity.

“It would be such a shame to see it as a grandmother’s pastime and not carried on,” she said about quilting.

As a result Kristy’s Quilt turned into a book that was not only about Kristy’s introduction to quilting, but the book is peppered with facts and information about how to put a quilt together.

For those who feel like they might want to try writing someday, Maslowski says it is important to be ready for that time when the idea hits and, when it does, to get it down on paper.

“You never know when it’s going to happen,” she said, so be ready.

Once you’ve got it down, even if you just get the bare bones down, it’s there for when you’re ready to work with it.

Although being prepared for inspiration can be tough, the hardest part, she says, is the editing process.

Even after the book had been looked at by 10 different people, Maslowski said she was still finding typos and mistakes, so when you’re going through that process you have to be diligent and pay attention.

During her final edit of Kristy’s Quilt, Maslowski went through the book line by line, using a ruler to keep her attention on the line she was reading. The process helped her find those final errors.

On Dec. 17, Maslowski will be a part of a reading featuring four Summerland authors at the Summerland Library.

This is the perfect chance for anyone who wants to introduce their kids to a variety of local writers or, even better, give them a chance to see them read from their books and to get something signed.

As an added bonus, if enough kids show up to the reading, Maslowski hopes to be able to do an improvised storytelling session with illustrator Marcia Stacy.

The idea is that kids suggest some ideas and, based on those ideas, Maslowski and Stacy will write and illustrate a short story on the spot to help show kids how easy coming up with an idea and telling a story can be and how fun it can be.

The reading takes place at the Summerland Library on Dec. 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. and, along with Maslowski, it features Danielle Krysa, Danny Evanishen and T & R Critchelow.

Douglas Paton is a Summerland writer and musician. If you know of a local arts and culture event, contact him at dgpaton80@gmail.com.