A Ginkgo Remembrance Quilt For Guylty

20160104_160112

The finished product! Ginkgo Remembrance, 2016.

In November 2014, the lovely Guylty shared a very touching post about a tree planting ceremony that was held in Germany by the local historical society in remembrance of her father. Her children were asked to plant the tree, and the tree chosen was a Ginkgo tree. Guylty shared a bit about her father, and his history as a refugee during WWII… memories that touched me and stayed with me long after I’d read the post. At the time, I was pretty new to the Armitage community, but the more I came to know her through comment threads, her blog writings, and her many efforts to support various charities, the fonder and fonder I became! An idea began to germinate in my mind that I’d like to make a quilt for her, and I knew that the ginkgo tree would always have special meaning for her.

I began actively looking for a beautiful quilt fabric that showed a ginkgo tree in early 2015, but soon learned that no such fabric was available either online or in local fabric stores. There were a lot of nice fabrics that had trees, and a lot of nice fabrics that had ginkgo leaves, but I stubbornly wanted an entire, beautiful ginkgo tree. I looked into printing my own fabric with a ginkgo tree, but licensing fees for all the really nice professional photos of ginkgo trees were outrageous. I thought about asking Guylty for permission to use one of her photos of the actual tree, but then she’d have been curious as to why, and I wanted this to be a surprise.

red theme ginkgo

Bottom: magazine article featuring “Ginkgo Blues” by Nicole Bridges. Top: My wonderful Hubby was able to convert the original blue theme to a red theme using photo editing software and tweaking the temperature range so I could “preview” what this pattern might look like in reds.

Then in the summer of 2015, I began thinking about going a different route, maybe trying an abstract art quilt and creating the ginkgo tree from different fabrics in a collage. I was looking at online photos of ginkgo-themed quilts, and came across a beautiful pattern called “Ginkgo Blues” on a fellow quilter’s blog. She’d posted a photo of the magazine she’d obtained the pattern from, and I was able to track down the magazine with the pattern online. I found that the quilt was designed by a contemporary quilt artist from Australia named Nicole Bridges.

I loved the quilt, which was wall-hanging size. My problem was, I didn’t really know too much about Guylty’s preferences as far as her favorite colors. (That’s the problem with online overseas friendships!) I google-searched stuff like “Guylty Pleasure My Favorite Color” and came up with a lot of other fandom members’ favorite colors in comment threads on her RAPS posts… but Guylty herself never helpfully chimed in with “Oh, yes, blue/green/red/purple is my favorite color, too!”

That’s when I decided to reach out to Suzy, who conferred with cRAmerry, who’d actually met Guylty in person, and together they helped me settle upon red. They shared a photo she’d tweeted that showed a red sofa in her home, and said she’d seemed to like a red/purple scarf that was given to her as a gift. I also felt, from a comprehensive review of her RAPS photos, that Guylty used a lot of red in her craft-work. So I really hope Guylty doesn’t hate her sofa, or only likes the color red as it pertains to a blingy background for Richard Armitage!

At first I thought I’d whip that quilt out in time for her birthday, but Hannibal’s Francis Dolarhyde kind of got in the way of that when I found myself spending all my free time watching him, screen-capping him, and blogging exhaustively about him for weeks on end. When that was over, I realized I should finish my aunt’s quilt before embarking upon a new project, so that took a few weeks to wrap up, and then I was ready to start! I’d already shopped fabrics and was all set to go, but there was the minor problem of learning the technique of applique needed to apply the many tens of thousands of ginkgo leaves to the quilt.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Suffice it to say, I spent about one afternoon piecing the background, and then several decades appliqueing the leaves! I learned something, too… I’m completely crappy at applique! Even after all those leaves! I have simply instructed Guylty not to examine the leaves very closely… unless she needs a good laugh! LOL

20151128_171835

Here is the finished top, minus the borders. You’ll note that before I realized how bad I was at applique, I enthusiastically added quite a lot more leaves than the original pattern called for!

However, after many marathon quilting sessions, I did eventually finish the leaf appliques. I really like how it turned out, with the color-wash effect of darker to lighter greens transitioning into yellows. In my mind, this represents the seasons of life and the changing of generations, which seemed very suitable for a remembrance quilt.

I could have left it wall-hanging size, but felt that if I added a bigger border than the pattern called for, it would be just about right for a lap quilt. I then spent a couple of weeks trying to figure out what fabric would best tie it all together, and finally settled on a light green inner border, then a dark red, then a really interesting outer border that looks a little like a beautiful sunset and brings out the yellows of the ginkgo leaves.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Once my borders were on, I settled on a soft and snuggly red flannel for the back, and Mom and I quilted it the first weekend in January, and off it went to Ireland… only a year after the idea first occurred to me! LOL

Although I’m not likely to do the applique thing again anytime soon, I was rather proud of myself for completing this little quilt, and pleased with the final product. I hope it brings you pleasure, Guylty, and warm memories of your father. (((Hugs!!))

 

 

Advertisements

51 comments

  1. amirasaryati · January 14, 2016

    Wow!! it looks amazing in Red! Thank you for tagging my blog there, it is really nice to come and stop by here to see your version!
    I am sure Guylty is going to enjoy it!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. CraMERRY · January 14, 2016

    *LIKE*LIKE*LIKE*LIKE*LIKE*LIKE*LIKE*LIKE*LIKE*LIKE*LIKE*……… 😀
    Very impressive and I’ m sure, Guylty doesn’t hate her sofa 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Guylty · January 15, 2016

      Quite the contrary – I love my sofa. Especially when I share it with visitors and John Porter is on the box…

      Like

      • CraMERRY · January 15, 2016

        Yes, it’s quite funny. But can you imagine him on the sofa too … ? 😉 *sigh*

        Like

      • jholland · January 15, 2016

        Yes, John Porter in front of it would elevate ANY sofa…

        Like

    • jholland · January 15, 2016

      LOL- the sofa probably has all kinds of nice connotations if that’s where she sits and watches Armitage! =)

      Like

  3. Herba · January 15, 2016

    This is so beautiful and a very special gift!!! What a lovely idea ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • jholland · January 15, 2016

      Thank you, Herba! I was really happy with it, and then when Guylty went bananas over it, I was over the moon! LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  4. June · January 15, 2016

    Thanks for sharing the background. A wonderful story!

    Like

    • jholland · January 15, 2016

      Yes, when I was given my first quilt (from my mom… a wedding gift long ago before I myself became a quilter) I always really wished she’d stopped to take a few pictures of her steps along the way. So I always try to do that on the quilts I give to people! Definitely off topic but I figured Guylty at least would be curious to see the stages leading up to the final product!

      Like

  5. crystalchandlyre · January 15, 2016

    Really beautiful work and such a generous and thoughtful gift! So much time and work. Guylty is worthy of being blessed with such a friend too. With all the sadness this week this is a very nice and needed dose of joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Guylty · January 15, 2016

      Still struggling to comprehend that *someone* made this for me… An overdose of joy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • jholland · January 15, 2016

        Yes, and as crystalchandlyre says, it was kind of a sad week, so to have you receive it and react so joyfully was a huge pick-me-up for me, too!

        Like

    • jholland · January 15, 2016

      Oh, thank you! It was a labor of love, and I think we can all agree that Guylty has done many, many hours of the same! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Guylty · January 15, 2016

    And yet another gift for me – a great post that describes the whole process of how this stunning piece of art was conceived and made. Thank you so much, J – “gobsmacked” is right. I was overwhelmed with lots of feelings when I unfolded your quilt from the parcel, and I could no believe my eyes. The quilt is perfect in so many ways – it is flawlessly stitched (I have no idea what you imply about the appliqué being shoddy – it looks perfect to me), it features my favourite colour (red), it is beautifully designed, it has a theme that has an important meaning for me, and it serves as a reminder for not only my father but also you who made it. And apart from all that, it actually has a practical purpose – as I live in a house without central heating!
    I don’t think there are enough words to thank you for this gift. But let me tell you that this is a very VERY special gift to me, and I appreciate the time and effort you spent on making this for me – someone you have not even met (yet!). Thank you!!!!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • jholland · January 15, 2016

      LOL… Re: the applique… I went right off the edge of the leaves on almost every leaf. Had to go back and add more stitches 10,000 times! But, I told myself… leaves in nature DO have their imperfections. LOL That’s my story and I’ll stick to it. I’m super glad you have use for it and that the colors we settled on were a hit!

      Like

  7. Helen · January 15, 2016

    Wow wow wow wow wow… That is not only a gorgeous quilt but the thought and effort behind it are just amazing 😃😃😃😃😃 A lovely gift for our precious Guylty (and I can vouch for the need for cosy quilts in her house 😉)

    You are both special people! 😘

    Liked by 2 people

    • jholland · January 15, 2016

      Aw, thank you, Helen! I’m happy that SHE is happy and so glad I was finally able to come up with a winner after so many fruitless trips to the fabric store! LOL

      Like

  8. suzy · January 15, 2016

    Wow, I am deeply impressed! It is so beautiful – great work for a special friend 🙂 I am very happy to participate (a little) in the production process…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • jholland · January 15, 2016

      Thank you, Suzy! And thank you for keeping the secret so well! You and cRAmerry were awesome to help me past my second big stumbling block of what color she would most enjoy! (And you were right!)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: OT: An Amazing Surprise | Guylty Pleasure
  10. Hariclea · January 15, 2016

    As i was saying to G it’s just incredibly beautiful, the thought and love and time behind it and the quilt itself, the colours and it’s just so vivid and to me it looks almost as the leaves have just dropped onto it or are blow by the wind on it, so so special 🙂 She’s a very lucky lady and you have really got a blessed heart and hands 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • jholland · January 15, 2016

      Oh, thank you so much, Hari! I love the way the leaves detach from the stems and seem to blow off the quilt, as well. It’s a cool effect! And we all know she’s well worth it =)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Esther · January 15, 2016

    Oh, this brings tears to my eyes…What a lovely lovely thing to do! And it turned out so very beautiful too!

    Like

    • jholland · January 15, 2016

      Thank you, Esther! I got a little teary at the final product and writing my letter to her, too. And yet I was terrified she might think it was too eye-poppingly bright!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. mujertropical · January 15, 2016

    Now that I’ve stopped crying over this gesture of friendship, I simply want to say that the love you put into the making of that quilted throw is the embodiment of why art is essential for the survival of our very souls. The fact that you can express your desire to comfort, show your admiration and appreciation for S, and your hope to bring her joy – that you can do it using a very specific talent you have worked hard to perfect, is a miracle. You have reminded all of us to be generous in our expressions of affection towards each other, because we are a family. A virtual one, diverse, brilliant, sometimes kooky and swoony about a certain voice, group of gorgeous and amazingly supportive one. An Army. An international one that breaks through generational and cultural barriers. We should get rid of all politicians and rule the world ourselves. I’m sure we’d do a much better job at keeping the peace and getting things done well. Thank you for being lovely, for letting your light shine and for making this wonderful gift for my friend. Losing a loving father is a terrible thing, a hole that life drills in your heart; your quilt will remind her that she is loved in many ways.

    Like

    • jholland · January 15, 2016

      Oh, now you have me teary, too! This fandom, the people in it, such a diverse group, has continually amazed me, too. Thank you, mujertropical. (((Hugs!)))

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Kathy Jones · January 15, 2016

    What a beautiful way to express your creativity and honour G. Quite an accomplishment to warm her heart and self at the same time. The design, colours, everything about it is perfect. Not being a quilter or crafter in any way, I loved reading about your creative process and the evolution of a wonderful work of art.Very interesting. Thank you for sharing your generous spirit with us.

    Like

    • jholland · January 15, 2016

      Thank you, Kathy, and welcome! I am today overwhelmed with everyone’s kind words, and before that, I was totally overwhelmed with anticipation! Guylty tried to convince me to wait and not pay shipping, but that was simply IMPOSSIBLE! Once it was finished I couldn’t wait to hear her reaction! =)

      Like

  14. Kathy Jones · January 15, 2016

    What a beautiful and creative way to keep G warm on the inside and the outside. Thank you for sharing your creative process. It was really interesting to read how your vision for the design, color palette and construction came together to make such a lovely and thoughtful gift. Or maybe I should say “treasure”. “Gift” doesn’t seem a grand enough word.

    Like

    • Kathy Jones · January 15, 2016

      sorry. Did not mean to comment twice. The first one did not post for a few minutes so I thought it was lost in the cloud.

      Liked by 1 person

    • jholland · January 15, 2016

      I’m glad readers found that of interest! I thought about just sending a little write-up with photos to Guylty via e-mail, but then I decided what-the-heck… this blog has been a bit lifeless for the past many weeks, so I might as well share what I’ve been up to! =)

      Like

  15. armitagebesotted · January 15, 2016

    I’m speechless. I love, love, love this fandom.

    Like

    • jholland · January 15, 2016

      Me, too! This fandom has changed my life in so many positive ways!

      Like

  16. Servetus · January 19, 2016

    Truly beautiful!

    Like

  17. Perry · January 20, 2016

    This whole story warms my heart. @Jholland – the thought behind the idea is what friendship is all about and the finished project is mouth wateringly beautiful. @Guylty – photo in situ, maybe?

    Like

    • jholland · January 20, 2016

      Thanks, Perry! It has to go down as one of my favorite quilts, not least because of Guylty’s delighted reaction! =)

      Like

  18. Mezz · January 23, 2016

    What an absolutely beautiful quilt and gesture. Thank you so much for sharing your process with us. 🙂

    Like

    • jholland · January 23, 2016

      Thank you, Mezz! I never would have imagined that this post would have garnered so many comments and such an outpouring of kind words. Lots of smiles and even a few happy tears from my end, I can assure you!

      Like

  19. linnetmoss · January 25, 2016

    This is gorgeous and you are one very talented and generous lady! Loved the pictures of the steps in making it.

    Like

  20. Gratiana Lovelace · January 25, 2016

    A beautiful quilt and a beautiful gesture of friendship!

    Like

  21. FrolicNPlay · February 3, 2016

    Absolutely Gorgeous! Sure Guylty loves the quilt! What a wonderful gift and tribute. I’m a quilter also and can’t appliqué worth a darn either! You have a quilting machine?! Green with envy!😊

    Like

    • jholland · February 3, 2016

      Welcome to commenting! I didn’t know you were a quilter! I feel your pain about the applique. Only AFTER I finished the quilt did my mother-in-love reveal she’s just purchased the ultimate Cadillac of embroidery machines (I forget the name of it) which apparently will ALSO allow you to trace out a pattern using the needle head then computerize it and do the applique for you! That would have been SOOOOO convenient! Technically I don’t have a long-arm quilter… but Mom does! So we’re quilting buddies.

      Like

  22. Pingback: Richard Armitage Fans are fans of Richard Armitage Fans | crystalchandlyre

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s