Mom’s Quilted Tree Skirt, a Poetryaction to Pick a Pine Tree

Poetry Friday logo by Linda Mitchell

Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)
I’ve been busy with lots of family dramas lately, and I’ve felt overwhelmed with life and business/promotion stuff, and I haven’t been writing too much. This week, I finally forced myself to spend 30 minutes per day working on a new trade picture book project. First I went through my picture book ideas document and chose something to try. Then I did a bunch of brainstorming. I have a premise but no actual plot, which is always where I run into trouble :>D But I did some more brainstorming of silly possibilities related to the premise, and I have a few glimmers of hope. (ETA at 3am: I’m sick and will be under the covers for the foreseeable future. ???? Ugh. COVID.)
I was relieved to find this poetryaction to share this week, since I haven’t written any poems recently :>(

A couple of months ago, I read Patricia Toht’s lovely Pick a Pine Tree, which is a delightful rhyming picture book about getting and decorating a Christmas tree. It made me think of a few cherished decorations we have, one of which is the tree skirt my mom quilted. I tried (because I didn’t have this photo at hand) to remember some of the patterns that go around the skirt. When I thought of reindeer, the thought struck me that the little tiny stitches of hand quilting could be like the reindeers’ hoofprints in snow. I loved that and went with it. I also wanted that emphasis on tradition (maybe because we don’t have THAT many holiday traditions), so I used the repetition of “year over year over year.”
So I wrote this poetryaction. And now I need to find the other books in this series to read!

Speaking of picture books with wonderful rhyme, head over to Buffy Silverman’s blog for the Poetry Friday Roundup this week!Save

14 Responses

  1. Laura, wishing you well! And you will find the just-right words for your pb…you always do. Thanks for your reindeer hooves too! xo

  2. Hope you are on the mend and that the family drama becomes less intense. But good for you for carving out some writing time anyway. Love the hoofprints stitching your memories.

  3. Laura, I’m so sorry you are sick! 🙁

    I’m encouraged that I’m not the only one who can do a premise without a plot. The story of my fiction picture book writing. I have to really puzzle it all out.

  4. Sending get well wishes and hoping that your down time will give your brain a chance to miraculously come up with plots. Or, you’ll just get some rest, watch some TV, and read a trashy novel. (although I doubt it!!! except maybe for the part about getting rest!!!)

  5. “triangled fields” and the repetition of over create the quilt of this poem. I hope you are not feeling too sick. Covid did a number on me a year ago. The fog lasts a while, so give yourself grace. Your body needs you to pay attention.
    So what is your advice on plotting? I am writing a picture book and one of the many critiques I have is about the plot, no real rise and fall. I want to argue for the quiet and sweet meaningful books…

  6. Those reindeer hooves are delightful. I love the combined brevity and energy of your poem. You capture so much here! I’m so sorry you’ve been in the midst of family drama and illness. Take care of yourself!! I hope you feel better soon!

  7. I saw that you have tested positive, wishing you feeling healthier every day, Laura. Despite what you’ve written that you haven’t written poems lately, this is a loving one, bringing in something you treasure. I love the thought of those tiny hoof prints. Take care of yourself!

  8. What a joy to “stitch together” an heirloom and your words, Laura. Awfully creative for one down with covid! Get well soon!

  9. Laura, creating a poem based on a treasured heirloom is a wonderful idea. Tiny stitched hoofprints opened your thoughts wide enough to create a small poem with memories. Get better soon. It is sad to hear that COVID is still attacking others.

  10. This quilted skirt is a treasure. I know how much work it probably took for your mother to finish this project. Such things make good poetry because, of course, the memories and emotion and memories personal gifts bring year after year.

  11. I like your “year over year over year,” and what a lovely, and inspiring quilted skirt. Sending more healing thoughts your way Laura!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,504 other subscribers

Are You Looking For?

Poetry Friday posts

Classroom Connections posts

All my poetryactions

Go to my Poetry page for:

  • National Poetry Month projects through the years
  • Small Reads Roundups (poems grouped by topic)
  • Introductions to several favorite poetry forms
#waterpoemproject15 Words or Less Poems20for2030 Painless Classroom Poems50 State Poemsacrosticsactivity pagesactivity sheetALAA Leaf Can Be...Amy Ludwig VanDerwaterA Need to FeedanthologiesanthologyA Rock Can projectsaudiopoemsawardsbad newsBarbara Juster EsbensenBilly Collinsbiopoemsblog tourbookalikesbook festivalsBookSpeak!book spine poemsbook trailersbop poembyr a thoddaidcafepresscalendar poemsCamp Read-a-LotCan Be... bookscan be... poemsCapstoneCarol Varsalonacascade poemsCatherine FlynnCCRA.W.3CCRA.W.4CCRA.W.5centoschapter bookschoral compositionschristina rossetticinquainsCLAclassified ad poemsclassroom connectionclassroom connectionsClover Kittyconferences and conventionscrown sonnetscybilsdansaDare to DreamDavid Elliottdeeper wisdom poemdefinitosdiamantesdiversitydizaindodoitsuDot DayDouglas Floriandownloadablesdrum corpse.e. cummingsekphrastic poemsepistolary poemsequation poemsessentialethereeseventsexquisite corpseFairy Tale Garage Salefamilyfibonaccifiction picture booksfinding familyfirefightersforeign editionsfound poemsfree author zoomsfree versefrom studentsgeesegeorgia heardghazalGift Taggiveawaygolden shovelgoldilocksgratitudehaikuheart of aheart of a teacherHeidi MordhorstHelen FrostHighlightshow-to poemshow to make a rainbowI Am FromI Am poemsidiomsif you want to knit some mittensIf You Were the MoonILAimagepoemsinterviewin the middle of the nightIRAIrelandIrene LathamJ. Patrick LewisJanet WongJoyce SidmanKendraKerlanKidlit Comboslailaura's board booksLaura's booksLaura's poemsLaura's readingsLaura ShovanLee Bennett HopkinsLilian MoorelimericksLinda Booth SweeneyLine Leads the WayLion of the Skylist poemslittle free librarylive writingLullaby and Kisses Sweetlyricsmadness poetrymargaret simonMarilyn Singermary lee hahnmask poemsMeet My FamilyMelissa StewartMentors for Rentmentor textsmetaphorMichelle Myers LacknerMillbrookMinnesota Book Awardsmoonmy reading lifemy writing processN+7naaninarrative poemsNational Poetry Month 2012 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2014 (riddle-ku)National Poetry Month 2015National Poetry Month 2016National Poetry Month 2017 (#wonderbreak)national poetry month 2018 (haiku a day)National Poetry Month 2020National Poetry Month 2021 (#EquationPoem)national poetry month 2022 (sticky-note poems)National Poetry Month 2023 (Digging for Poems)National Poetry Month 2024 (magnipoems)ncteNerdy Book Clubnifty newsnifty stuffNikki Grimesnonfictionnonfiction booksNonfiction Writers Dig Deepnovelsnovels in verseodesOne Minute Till BedtimeoppositifyOskar's VoyagepadletpantoumsparodiesPatreonpeacepersonalpet poemsphotopoetryphrase acrosticspicture booksplagiarismpoempicspoemspoems for two voicespoemsketchpoetic pursuitsPoetry 7poetryactionspoetry activitiesPoetry Blastpoetry booksPoetry FridayPoetry Friday AnthologiesPoetry Princessespoetry promptspoetry sistersPoetry Tips for Teachersprogressive poempublishing processpuddle songPutridquotationsraccontinosRandy Salasread-aloudreadaloudreading poetry in the classroomRebecca Kai Dotlichrecipe poemsrefugeesresearchreview copiesreviewsrevisionrhyming booksrhyming nonfictionrhyming picture booksRhyming Picture Books the Write Wayrhyming poemsRiddle-kuriddle poemsRock Can Be...Rock the Blogrondeau redoublesRudyard Kiplingsalas snippetsSCBWIschool visitsScotlandseasonssecrets of the loonSELsestinasshrinking daysskinnyskypeslice of lifesmall readssnack snooze skedaddlesnowman-coldsonnetsStampede!storm poemstorytimestorywalkstudent poemsstudent workSylvia VardellTanita Davistankatautogramteachableteacher resourcesteen/adult poemsterza rimasthankfulthank yous and referencesthe business sidethings to do iftracy nelson maurertrioletstunie munson-bensonvideosVikram MadanvillanellevillanellesWater Can Be...wealthy elementaryWe BelongWhat's InsideWhy-kuwinterwonderwonderbreakword of the yearwordplaywordsmithswork for hirewritingwriting bookswriting processwriting promptswriting the life poeticyoung authors conferencesYouTubeZapZap Clap Boomzenozentangle
Show More Show Less

Discover more from Laura Purdie Salas

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Join Laura's monthly newsletter for eductators

Get three of Laura's favorite poetry activities when you subscribe to "Small Reads."