Funny that I should receive the heartwarming response that she received my gift from Hari on Mother’s Day- made my warm-fuzzy-filled day all the better! And somewhat fitting, as well, because my own Mom had quite a part in this quilt. We’ve been in a bit of an Armitage Drought, lately, and in case anyone ever wonders what I tend to do when I’m not full-on preoccupiedwitharmitage, well, I’m generally spending time with Mom quite preoccupiedwithquilting. =)
Lately, though, my hobbies have converged to some degree, as I’ve found myself
obsessing thinking about doing some sort of an Armitage-themed quilt. And while I ponder that, I’ve been inspired by some really warm fandom friendships. When I think about these people, I’m afraid my quilting addiction kicks in. You see, when I’m fond of someone and feel like I get to know her a little… I’ll maybe come across a fabric or a pattern that prompts an idea for a quilt I think she might like.
And that’s exactly what happened when one of my online fabric stores sent out an e-mail announcing “Night At The Opera” (a new fabric collection), and with it, a free pattern. Yep. You guessed it… the lovely blogger and frequent commentator Hariclea popped straight into my mind!
I took a closer look at the fabrics in this collection, and I was charmed.
Faster than the speed of light, Moments later, I’d downloaded the pattern and ordered my fabrics. I jazzed it up a bit with a slightly wider border and four cornerstones… and indulged my love of bling by choosing a rather “sparkly” black fabric instead of the one shown in the pattern. (I just can’t help myself when it comes to metallic gold on fabric! Thorin Oakenshield has nothing on me! LOL)
As you can see, it’s a very simple quilt. Piecing squares together is about as straightforward as it gets. But not only did I like the fabric, the pattern, and the way it practically screamed “Hari”… I happened to need an uncomplicated block pattern for my own quilting advancement.
Mom and I have been using an out-dated program on her long-arm quilter for years, and because of its limited capabilities, we always just quilted an “overall pattern” across the quilt. However, there’s a completely new and wonderful program available called Creative Studio that allows you to do much more intricate quilting, such as quilting each block individually, with ease. Mom, especially, had long been
intimidated by the need to learn a whole new program, but when her old computer connected to the quilter crapped out needed to be replaced, we decided to finally bite the bullet install Creative Studio on her new quilting computer. And what could be a better quilt to learn all the new capabilities of Creative Studio than a very basic pattern of squares set on point?
I got the idea that as long as we were going to take a stab at quilting individual block patterns, we might as well make a big “sampler” out of it, and try out as many of our new block patterns as we could. Mom hated this idea, and campaigned pretty vigorously for me to alternate between two block patterns over the light and dark blocks, respectively… but I’m nothing if not stubborn, and thought that since the top of the quilt is such a simple one, I’d like to redeem it by making the quilting itself wildly exciting for Hari!! (Okay, so maybe only *I* become wildly excited about a smorgasbord of block patterns… but still, I’m pretty sure Hari is going to like the way it turned out! LOL)
And not only was I thrilled with the way this “sampler” approach turned out, but Mom really fell in love with the effect of having a different pattern in every block, too! She has shown off this quilt to anyone and everyone (seriously… even the man who came to remove a tree stump!) and wants to do another in the same style of quilting. I am not fond of (or very good at) doing the final binding… once a quilt comes off the quilter, I am instantly ready to move on to a new project, so my lovely Mom usually does my binding for me. (I make it up to her in veterinary favors and products!) But she was so very taken with this quilt, that she insisted on doing the final binding by hand, which is quite an undertaking! (I
ineffectually argued that I didn’t think Hari would care whether the binding was done with a sewing machine, but now it was Mom’s turn to be stubborn!) =)
The back of this lap quilt is made of a soft, cuddly flannel. And Hari may find a “hitchhiker” grass seed or two… when the binding was finally done, I hung the quilt out for a few pictures, and damned if the cable system, which was admittedly looking pretty frayed for the last few photo ops, didn’t finally snap just as I was hoisting the quilt! Down went the quilt, and wouldn’t you know, it landed flannel-side down (which means: sticky-like-velcro-side down!) right in a big patch of grass seeds! I may have spent almost as much time picking seeds off the quilt as Mom spent doing the binding! LOL
It was definitely a labor of love, Hari… and I hope it will keep you cozy and bring a smile to your face for many years to come. (((Hugs!)))