A LLL Commemorative New York City Quilt for DaphneHS

finished product

“City Scapes” 2017, for DaphneHS

2017 was not a very productive year as far as my hobbies went! I think I managed a whopping 4 blog posts, and quilted even less than that! As you may remember, my life was really sent spinning in February and March of 2017 when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and my focus completely shifted at that point. I was already mostly finished with the top of Daphne’s quilt before the entire right side of my body went numb my diagnosis, but even after I regained near-normalcy, I had by then become fanatically involved with trying to eat in a healthy, organic way, which meant I was committed to a big garden and a lot of cooking … I didn’t really get back into the quilting until November, and by that point it had almost been an entire year since I met fellow Richard Armitage fan Daphne over the course of a weekend of Love, Love, Love in New York City…. but I really wanted to do something that might convey how deeply I appreciated that weekend.  Daphne gave so much of her time and energy, taking us all over New York City and showing us the sites- Times Square at night, Times Square in daylight, Central Park, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 5th Avenue, Rockefeller Center in daylight, Rockefeller Center at night, World Trade Center Memorial, The Oculus, Bryant Park, and Grand Central Station… she was lovely! Brings a big smile to my face just thinking about how well we hit it off! And so when I suddenly realized I needed to get my rear in gear if I wanted to get Daphne her quilt before the year was out, I had to get busy in a hurry. LOL!

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Thankfully, I’d already completed most of the top of the quilt before my MS detour, and the theme of the quilt was easy- New York City! I’d found this “Skylines” fabric by Hoffmann Fabrics , and after learning from Daphne that she was cool with pretty much any color scheme except for orange, I had only to decide upon a pattern. I had 2 contenders, a “Skylines Circle” quilt, which was simple but striking, and “Skylines Sensation”, which reminded me of a stained glass window like those inside St. Patrick’s cathedral, where together we lit a candle last year. Then I realized I could actually do both patterns, and make this quilt a reversible number… perfect! So when November rolled around and I got back to work, I really only had to put a border on the front, then I was ready to create quilt number 2, which would be the back.

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Of course, “simple yet striking” was not exactly technically easy to do, because it involved  more effing applique- where the large circle is attached to the black background fabric. Although it caused me a bit of panic, in the end I was pretty lucky that my sewing machine started skipping effing stitches and had to go to the shop, because it forced me to take my project over to Mom’s quilting studio. Mom, having misplaced her quilting partner and found instead a fanatical organic gardener for the better part of a year, was more than happy to assist, and Daphne’s quilt undoubtedly benefited from her technical expertise on how best to applique that circle on… the infuriating Skylines Circles pattern instructions very helpfully only said “applique the circle to background fabric” as a final step… which was obvious, but how to do that, step-by-step, was left to the hapless individual! Huge thanks, Mom! She helped me figure out the fusible and get it ironed on, and took the reins when I told her I was afraid I was going to mess it up. It was a nice bonding time we had, and I realized how much I missed our quilting time together.

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In the end, Daphne, I’d be hard pressed to say which side is my favorite! Both sides turned out better than I could have imagined, which is fitting for such a lovely friend! Looking at it just make me smile, and remember all the many laughs and giggles we shared while we were Richarding at the Laura Pels Theatre, and traipsing all over New York City! Enjoy!

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25 comments

  1. CraMERRY · January 12, 2018

    Wow Jen, „das ist der Hammer“ as we say in German (that‘s the hammer). So beautifully done with all the memories of your encounter. I‘m (as always) deeeeply impressed. 😘
    I hope you feel fine too….

    Like

    • jholland · January 12, 2018

      Hi CraMERRY! Thank you so very much- I like the expression… I think I’ll say that next time one of my kids impresses me… LOL. I can safely say that I am feeling well again, though my MS did act up in a very scary way right before Christmas. I woke up one day and had all but lost my ability to write legibly, and my speech was slightly difficult and came out just a bit slurred as well. Another round of IV steroids and now they are probably changing my medication (pending insurance approval), but I gradually regained near-normal status just this past week. Prior to the past couple of weeks I’ve been doing great, and now I hope/pray that I’m fully back on track!

      Like

  2. Guylty · January 12, 2018

    O – M – G!!!!!! That quilt is a masterpiece, Jenn! I am stunned. Particularly the round design is absolutely amazing. Fantastic work by you – and your mum. (And the little helper, too.) I am really impressed with your work – you are creating works of art. And I love that your quilts are full of colour, too. (My own “Preoccupied Original” is continuously on display in the sitting room. I see it from where I am sitting right now, and it remains the best “warming implement” ever because it doesn’t just physically warm me, but it warms my heart.
    Also – just to say that there is no one who deserves this more than Daphne! For me, New York will forever be connected with her helpfulness and kindness. She was the Army’s fairy godmother, so to speak – even though I was not there when you and Hariclea were treated to her services. In any case, a great, well-deserved present.
    Lastly – wow, organic gardening? Fantastic, I’m impressed again! Sounds as if you are very active and managing MS well. Good news all round!

    Like

    • jholland · January 12, 2018

      I was really happy with this one! It is colorful and eye-pleasing, and Daphne was definitely pleased- you’re right- she’s just amazing! And I’m so happy that your quilt continues to warm your heart… you are just as deserving! Yep, we really had quite the garden going, and we’re gearing up to start even earlier this spring… I’ve missed having all the fresh greens and other produce after we put the garden to bed in the fall. I have been managing MS really well, though see above in my response to C- had my first relapse a few weeks ago. I’m back to normal now, though.

      Like

      • Guylty · January 13, 2018

        Sorry to hear about the relapse. Sounds as if your medical team has things under control though. Hopefully they will continue to manage it so effectively.

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        • jholland · January 15, 2018

          Yes, I’m kind of excited about the new treatment. Rather than self-administered injections 3x/week, I would get an IV infusion every 6 months. That sounds pretty wonderful to me. Hope insurance approves it!

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        • Guylty · January 16, 2018

          Keeping my fingers crossed that bureaucracy is not going to make things difficult for you!

          Like

  3. armitagebesotted · January 12, 2018

    OMG I am astonished. I can feel the love through the computer screen. This is beautiful on so many levels — the actual object, as a metaphorical object (covering/shielding/warming someone with your love), all of its many messages. I’m crying.

    Like

    • jholland · January 12, 2018

      Oh, thank you so much, Besotted. It was a labor of love, and it certainly revived my quilting fever. So many ideas, so little time… LOL! It’s also nice to be back on the blog and hearing from friends… how have you been?

      Like

  4. SueBC · January 12, 2018

    That is a beautiful quilt. And such intricate work on the wedges of the circle! I don’t think I would have the patience! I’m sure it will be a much loved gift. Glad to hear that you’re managing pretty well.

    Like

    • jholland · January 15, 2018

      I never thought I’d have the patience for such a hobby either, but it turns out to be a fun creative outlet and relaxing. Thank you for the compliments- if I only completed one quilt last year, at least it was a good one!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Perry · January 12, 2018

    The long shot looks beautiful, but for some reason, the individual images are showing just a black screen for me. Any ideas? It’s s good to hear from you.

    Like

    • jholland · January 15, 2018

      I think WP was glitchy the other day- I had the same problem viewing it myself!

      Like

  6. Perry · January 12, 2018

    Never mind. Now they’re showing up. Simply stunning.

    Like

  7. Servetus · January 12, 2018

    Spectacular!

    Glad to hear things have evened out just a bit for you health-wise.

    Like

    • jholland · January 15, 2018

      Thank you, Serv! And yes, I’m very pleased it evened out. It was horribly upsetting to be unable to write legibly. Strangely, I was still able to use my hands for other tasks- I could type perfectly, and draw blood or use my surgical instruments with no problem… so it wasn’t generalized incoordination. Just writing. The brain is a strange beast…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. DaphneHS · January 12, 2018

    I almost feel guilty for receiving such a beautiful, thoughtful gift–I had such a wonderful time with both you and Hariclea last year that I feel doubly blessed! You’ve captured not just the joy of the Love, Love, Love experience but also the beauty of New York City. It truly was a magical time and the quilt exceeds all my expectations, it’s a true work of art. And my sister pointed out that it even has the colors of the LLL playbill and poster, and she’s right! I can’t decide which side I love best, so I keep flipping it back and forth, lol. Thank you so much again, and I’m so happy that you’re doing better health-wise now!

    Like

    • DaphneHS · January 13, 2018

      Just saw your post about the relapse right before Christmas–glad the new medication seems to be working. Hope insurance approves asap!!

      Like

      • jholland · January 15, 2018

        Yes- the card I sent you was the last legible thing I wrote, which I did first thing in the morning. That afternoon, looking back on charts, my handwriting deteriorated but I didn’t notice because it was so busy and I was in a hurry-my handwriting is always bad when I’m in a hurry. The next day, I sat down to write some sympathy cards to clients whose pets we had put to sleep, and I could not write legibly when I tried to do it. I was a hot mess! Thankfully, it gradually returned and I’m back on track, but new MRI shows a lot of active lesions in my brain, so they are concerned and want to try a different drug. Onward…. =)

        Like

    • jholland · January 15, 2018

      Oh, how cool! I didn’t really realize it had the same colors as the LLL playbill, but it totally does! It was a magical time, completely! And if not for you guys, I would probably have spent most of my free time in my hotel room, too intimidated by the big city to go out on my own. I would never have discovered the beauty of NYC.

      Like

  9. Helen · January 13, 2018

    Wow wow wow! Spectacular! Everything about this quilt is exquisite. You are a creative genius and Daphne is a lucky lady 😃

    Glad to hear you are back on track after your setback. That must have been very frightening. Are you still working in the surgery? 😘

    Like

    • jholland · January 15, 2018

      Thanks, Helen! I am still working full time. I had to do IV steroid infusions for 5 days following the relapse, and I was incredibly fatigued in general for a couple of weeks (sleeping through my lunch hours, sleeping through the weekends) but it didn’t compromise my eye-hand coordination in general- just something about writing. So weird. For several days, the girls took notes for me, then I became able to write in print but not in cursive. Now I can write in cursive, and it’s not perfect but it’s legible. It was so upsetting! So thankful I am back on track. =)

      Like

  10. Esther · January 18, 2018

    Wow, absolutely stunning! What a beautiful job you did on that quilt!
    And so nice to read you again and to hear things seem relatively stable on the health front. 🙂

    Like

    • jholland · January 18, 2018

      Thanks, Esther! This is one of my favorite quilts. And I’m glad to be back to normal now, too! My recent setback got me terribly behind at work, but I’m hoping to do a blog post about Lauren Blakely books as soon as I catch up.

      Liked by 2 people

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