Writing is a Lot Like Appliqué

Writing is a Lot Like Appliqué

Posted on June 18 by Sue Williams in Non-fiction, Recent Releases
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Growing up, I never imagined myself as a writer, but I’ve had a life-long love affair with crafts, particularly appliqué. It started when I was seven years old. My aunt, Kathy, gave me this small wall hanging that she had made with scraps of material and bits of embroidery floss. I’ve always cherished that little cloth picture. Something about its colours and its simplicity, is just so beautiful. And it has emotion. It’s a little work of art.

Inspired by my aunt’s creative genius, over the years I learned embroidery, crewel, and quilting techniques, and eventually began designing my own appliqués, striving for the same effect.

In my mid-fifties, as a result of a perfect storm of personal events, I, a committed landlubber, suddenly decided to sail the North Atlantic with my husband, David — a year-long ocean experience that was far more challenging than I had ever bargained for.

After our return, I made the appliqué of our sailboat, Inia, being tossed about in monstrous seas, mid-ocean, mid-storm, in the middle of the night, to convey what I had experienced; more importantly, how I had felt.

Then I decided to write a book about this life-altering year away. And I discovered that, to my surprise, the writing process and the appliqué process are similar. There is the starting with a general idea, a theme, the drawing of bold strokes. Then there’s the adding of focal points here and there, and the taking away extraneous clutter. And, lastly, there’s the adding of the finishing touches, the tiny embellishments that make the scene sparkle — always thinking; what’s missing, what’s enough, what’s too much, until it feels ‘emotionally accurate’, until it feels ‘just right’.

I am over the moon to say, Ready to Come About, the memoir of my improbable adventure on the high seas, and my debut book, has just been released by Dundurn Press. What’s more, artistic director, Laura Boyle, used my sailing applique to design the book’s cover. It’s an emotional match made in heaven. It’s perfect on every level. I couldn’t be happier.

Thank you, Laura and Dundurn Press!!




Sue Williams

Posted by Kendra on September 18, 2018
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Sue Williams

Sue Williams earned a degree in occupational therapy from Queen’s University and practised OT for over thirty years. In 2016, she left the health care field to focus on writing. Sue lives in Guelph, Ontario.