A LLL Commemorative New York City Quilt for DaphneHS

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“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!

I Dabbled in Erotica, Or: A Commemorative “Celebration of Greece” Quilt for Obscura

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Boxer At Rest, 2016. (We’d had windy day after windy day that week… this was the best I could do!)

As you may know, Hubby and I were fortunate enough to travel to Greece in September on a wonderful tour led by our own lovely Obscura, and after the tour, I spent yet another fun-filled week in her company, along with several other like-minded ladies, dubbed AHA (Armitage Hellenic Association). When we returned, having been gone for a stretch of 19 days (officially my longest vacation ever!), I hit the ground running at work, with so much catching-up to do, that I never found the time to blog about it. Oh, and I was also feverishly working on another quilting project. =)

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Richard Armitage as John Proctor (2014), and detail of head (Boxer at Rest). Look at those muscular necks!

I wanted to create a commemorative “thank you” quilt for Obscura, celebrating our time together in Greece. I thought about a theme that involved stunt-driving, but ultimately I got my inspiration from this post on Obscura’s blog, Ancient Armitage, where she discussed her appreciation for the art of the Hellenistic period (323 BC – 30 BC) and its evocative, emotional impact on her. Naturally, she compared one of her favorite examples of that era, Boxer at Rest, with our (also quite sexily gorgeous) Richard Armitage. Obscura’s post was written prior to 2014, when John Proctor came into fruition, but I couldn’t help but notice a striking similarity between The Boxer and our favorite Puritan farmer, myself!

Perfect, then! Of course, no such fabric celebrating the brawny male nudity beauty of the famous Greek sculpture existed, so using several HD images of Boxer at Rest, I created the fabric myself using my favorite design-your-own fabric site, Spoonflower.com. Once I had a nice layout celebrating some of the best bits, I ordered 5 panels of the Boxer fabric, and with Hubby’s help, I also created a background fabric for the back of the quilt using a kaleidoscopic repeat of a small area of the Boxer’s beard. For this quilt, which I hoped to get out by Christmas, I needed blocks that would be fast and simple, so I chose to do a pattern called a “Four Patch Posie“, where 4 repeats of squares cut from the fabric are put together into  kaleidoscope blocks to create interesting new patterns. Because one such block contained a 4-way kaleidoscopic view of the, ah, genitalia, Mom dubbed this quilt “The Porn Quilt.” LOL

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What I had failed to predict ahead of time was that, while the panels themselves are really beautiful representations of a splendid, ancient work of art, my efforts at erotica blocks were destined to turn out alarmingly drab, having nothing but tones of black and bronze. Too dark! Too dull! Not at all feminine, and just completely unappealing! Whoops. Looking at just the blocks together on the design wall, I was dreadfully disappointed, and just about scrapped the whole project, but later I decided maybe I could brighten it up by adding a more colorful fabric in the sashing between the blocks and in the border.

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That did improve the overall appearance, and, well, if Obscura isn’t crazy about the front, then at least I think she will appreciate the back of the quilt, which shows the very alluring Boxer in all his glory. I chose a Greek-themed overall pattern for the quilting stitches, and after a few missteps trying to embroider a label for Obscura, Mom and I managed to get it quilted the weekend after Thanksgiving. Then, while I was off gallivanting in New York City, my long-suffering Mom was kind enough to do the binding for me. (Thanks, Mom!) She’d probably kill me if she knew I posted her picture, but the last step was to obtain pictures of the finished product, and we had a terrible time of it fighting gusts of wind!

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I had a bit of a scare after finally shipping it off, when I heard not a word from Obscura for over 2 weeks. Because the quilt is really a bit on the weird side, and I myself had moments of extreme doubt as to whether it was attractive enough to gift to its intended recipient, I was a little paranoid that maybe Obscura was struggling with the awkwardness of receiving a well-intentioned but fugly-as-hell quilt, so hadn’t gotten up the resolve to respond in any way… but then there were the holidays and a mention of an ER visit, so I thought maybe she just hadn’t had any time to respond. When I finally located my shipping receipt and tracked the package the other day, it turned out it had reached her general vicinity but hadn’t been confirmed as delivered, so next I worried that the package was lost or that some other unsuspecting person may have received a porn quilt! LOL! Finally, I just had to contact Obscura, who had to schlep off to the Post Office and track down my dubious offering. =)

I had a lot of laughs, Obscura, while making you this “Porn Quilt”… between enduring Mom’s ribbing about the nudity, my initial dismay when I saw the blocks looking all kinds of blah on the design wall, my multiple really craptastic efforts at making the label, and even while persevering against the gusting wind when I was ready for final photographs before wiping my hands of it shipping it off! Maybe not quite as many laughs as we had together during our goat bell misadventures and our many trips across the Corinth Canal… but close! Enjoy!

An Opera-Themed “Sampler” Quilt For Hariclea

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Opera Is Magic, 2016. (I named the quilt, of course, after Hariclea’s wonderful blog!)

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!

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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.

Bottom Row Programming

Here I am working in Creative Studio on Hari’s quilt. It’s really cool. The program allows you to use a laser pointer to define boundaries on the actual quilt, then import patterns and stretch or squeeze them in any way you like to fit the actual block. (It also allows you to design your own patterns, but that was beyond my scope for this, our first real quilt using the new program.)

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)

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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!)  =)

Final 2

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Mom? She did a beautiful job on the binding. =)

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!)))

 

A Voynich Rag Quilt For Linnet Moss

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Naked ladies in womb-like chambers and vessels! Very strange plants with spectacular blooms and unique root systems! Astrological diagrams and indecipherable script! What’s not to love about The Voynich Manuscript!?

I warned you, didn’t I, that I’ve been on a mad quilting spree lately? So here’s another OT post… though I think I’ll try to write up my impressions on RA’s narration of The Chimes later this week. Now… back to quilting! (Story of my life lately!!)

Probably about 8 years ago, I became interested in a relatively obscure and ancient text known as The Voynich Manuscript. I stumbled across it online while on one of those meandering rabbit hole experiences fighting pregnancy-induced insomnia browsing historical mysteries. The long and short of it is this: carbon dating indicates that the vellum parchment upon which the manuscript is written and illustrated is at least 600 years old, and historians, scholars, cryptographers and even an emperor down through the centuries have never yet deciphered the language or made any sense of its bizarre, but entertaining, illustrations. Countless individuals have devoted years upon years to understanding this manuscript, and continue to do so to this day! Some have concluded it is an elaborate hoax, while others believe it is written in some kind of code, and still others believe it is simply written in an ancient language lost to time. A decent summary of the manuscript’s history can be found here, and a library of HD images can be found here.

I think I really started following Linnet Moss, (who I consider to be sort of an honorary Armitage “appreciator” in that she doesn’t blog about him or obsess over him, but does seem to comment here and there on blogs of those of us who DO blog about and obsess over him)… when something caught my eye on her blog… it was a serialized romantic short fiction titled The Voynich Affair. Anything with the word “Voynich” was bound to catch my eye, and I was hooked after the first installment! I began leaving comments on her site, and pretty soon she came over and began leaving comments on this site, and she’s been a top commenter here ever since.

A couple of months ago, an idea popped into my head that I couldn’t ignore. I was admiring the wonderful illustrations of The Voynich Manuscript, puzzling about what in the world they could represent, and because I have been quilting like a maniac, I suddenly had the thought that these illustrations would make for a wonderfully interesting fabric. A Voynich quilt! I ran a few searches, not expecting to find any Voynich-themed fabric, since it’s a pretty obscure subject, and sure enough, I couldn’t find anything but a few t-shirts. I was familiar with a fabric site where you can design (and even sell) your own fabric called Spoonflower.com. I went over there just to be sure someone hadn’t already thought of this idea, but if they had, they hadn’t listed the fabric for others to browse and buy.

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The actual cover of The Voynich Manuscript, (color boosted for eye appeal!) I love the hide-pattern visible!

I downloaded HD images from the library, and as far as I could tell they weren’t copyrighted, so there should be no objection from Spoonflower about using them for a fabric design. I also downloaded a picture of the cover of the manuscript, boosted the color a bit, and used it as a background for actual pages of the manuscript that I wanted to include in the quilt. Hubby as usual helped me get all the pixels adjusted for good definition on a standard 42″ width cotton quilting fabric, and we worked out that we could fit about 6 pages per yard. I chose 36 pages, a selection of some of the most charming illustrations, including the far-fetched botanicals, some almost astrological charts, and some of the adorable naked ladies frolicking together in their strange pools and chambers!

Never having ordered from Spoonflower before, I didn’t know how legible the fabric would be, but it turns out that as long as you follow the pixel guidelines, the quality is spectacular! It’s perfectly legible! Or it would be, if anyone understood the language… LOL!

 

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Here’s one yard of “my” fabric… you can see the background is composed of the cover material, and each panel contains 6 big-ass Voynich pages! I intentionally made the pages large enough to read, just in case Linnet deciphers any of it! =)

The fabric is super-cool, at least for an amateur Voynich nerd like myself! Mom thought I should use it to piece a traditional quilt, but I had a different idea from the moment I conceived of the Voynich Quilt… I wanted to make a rag quilt out of it, which is a fun and super simple endeavor that I thought would make a charming quilt and add interest with all the ruffled/ragged borders between the blocks.

What is a rag quilt? I don’t know much about the history of the rag quilt, but I really love the simplicity of the quilt, and I’ve done one once before using minky/cuddle fabric as a baby shower gift. Rag quilts go together in a matter of hours, and I love the contrast between the front and the back of the quilt. The quilt is put together using a huge (~1″) seam allowance right on the front of the quilt, and all of those seams are later fringed and the quilt is washed to intentionally cause the fabric to fray and ruffle along the seams. The back of the quilt is smooth.

Mea culpa…I did have one mishap during the fringing process. I blame the Denver Broncos. Evidently at one point I snipped right through a seam and all the way through the quilt. Of course, I only discovered the “wound” I’d inflicted when I was at the office, ready to package it and send it off. This almost caused me to decide to keep this quilt and have another go at it with my extra fabric for Linnet, but then I realized I was just as likely to have a fringing misfortune on the next one. All my quilts have their little glitches, I fear. No worries… I sutured it there in my office using my veterinary equipment to prevent the wound from enlarging further, then took it back home and used the sewing machine for a more substantial repair, in case 5-0 silk sutures wouldn’t stand the test of time. And, well, maybe Linnet will get a smile when she sees the scar, knowing that both the craftswoman AND the veterinarian did a bit of work on this one.

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Voynich Rag Quilt, 2016

You can believe I ordered enough fabric to make two of these quilts, because I really think I need a Voynich rag quilt of my own! And one of these afternoons, I’ll be tackling that project! I’ve been eager to do another rag quilt… an adult version, for a couple of years… and I must admit that I love the way it turned out!

In the meantime, I certainly had fun putting this quirky thing together, Linnet, and hope you  will enjoy it as much I do! (((Hugs!)))

A Ginkgo Remembrance Quilt For Guylty

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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.

 

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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

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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.

 

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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!!))

 

 

Is This A Pattern?

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Here’s what the kids wore to Thanksgiving. Seems like a lifetime ago…

I have not:

    • really visited the Richard Armitage forums since before Thanksgiving.
    • spent much more than an average of 10 minutes scanning Richard Armitage blogs per day since before Thanksgiving.
    • been on Twitter at all
    • searched the web for Richard Armitage news
    • watched any RA shows/movies/interviews (oops, nevermind… I did look at the deleted scenes of Hannibal S.3)
    • felt the need to blog about anything RA-related since before Thanksgiving.

Looking back, I believe my level of Richard Armitage Preoccupation significantly waned in late November and all of December in 2014, then seemed to pick up speed again in the early part of 2015. It seems to be a pattern.

 

 

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Here’s my aunt’s quilt top just before we put it onto the quilter. I’m just glad to be done with it… really don’t like it very much but she’s into garish colors and this does deliver garishness. Sigh. It will have a final black border binding, but you get the gist.

I have (since Thanksgiving):

    • done every bit of my Christmas shopping, virtually entirely online except a few little stocking stuffers
    • kept up with wrapping as the packages began to arrive
    • completed one gift quilt for my aunt
    • completed the top for another gift quilt that has been in the planning stages for months
    • conceived, loosely designed, and in some cases shopped fabric for an additional 5 quilts

 

Quilting

Here it is loaded onto the quilter. Mom is frizzling with the thread tension. Young love is looking on.

  • for the first time DESIGNED fabric for one of those (and that just arrived yesterday, wowing me completely… unbelievably excited in my own, nerdy way, and wishing I could share but just can’t yet because I wish to later surprise someone who reads this blog!)
  • started the process of designing another custom fabric for another of those
  • shopped for kids clothes for Florida… after realizing the kids have apparently outgrown most of their summer clothes… PLEASE let the weather in Florida be balmy and please let these items  still fit them when summer returns here!!

 

christmas chaos

This is my office at work. Christmas chaos, I tell you.

I have yet to:

  • finish wrapping presents
  • pack for Florida
  • mail gifts to Florida and elsewhere
  • finalize pet-sitting arrangements (damn, at this point Dolarhyde is looking better than nothing)
  • get my hair done (it’s been since August and looking not-so-hot)
  • get a border and a back on my completed quilt top- that’s not looking promising… and WHY do I have these inconvenient quilting and design urges right at Christmas!?!?! Just when money and time are both tight, that’s when all I really want to do is quilt!
  • clean my house (I hate to leave my house in disarray and have to come back to it)
  • hang Christmas stockings (the tree is just not happening this year… grandmas, the ball is in your court for some sort of Christmas tree experience for the kids!)

So now you know! No problems. Still love Armitage. Just busy as hell!

 

Richard Armitage Distraction Muted, But Devastating

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Richard Armitage selfie, December 1 2014. From @RCArmitage on Twitter.

That new selfie! I will say that although it doesn’t have the same sizzling effect on me as the selfie he tweeted from the set of Sleepwalker, I really love this image. It’s the warmth and kindness in his eyes. The laugh lines. The dimple. He looks more loveable than smokin’ hot, but maybe I needed that from him yesterday.

I can’t say that I didn’t follow events from yesterday at all, but I do find it odd that I followed the premiere of Into the Storm so much more closely than the World Premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. I have a ton of catching up to do. Like Servetus, I think I will hold off on reading Hobbity reviews prior to my date night with Hubby.

While I eagerly read reviews prior to The Crucible, and would do so again in the event that RA stars in another play, I did feel that the reviews of ITS informed my preconceptions of the movie, which hampered my enjoyment slightly. However, as far as Hobbity interviews and press junkets from the premiere… I have hardly watched any of it. My experience from yesterday was almost entirely comprised of checking out Richard’s outfit (Nice!) and looking at a few pictures on Twitter.

Why was I so apathetic? I still feel an abiding love for Richard Armitage. That’s definite. I still adore his work, his kind, humble, generous attitude, his handsome face, his backside. (Guylty, thank you for this image. You deserve a special award of some kind from the fandom. LOL) Anyway, I’ve always been a fan of Middle Earth, long before RA was even on my radar. So you’d think I’d have been all over the coverage of the World Premiere. But I wasn’t.

Maybe it’s just that life is always incredibly busy for me during the weeks following Thanksgiving. I have Christmas shopping and gift planning on my mind. I have quilting on my mind.

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A few of my 2013 creations. Most are One Block Wonders. Maybe one of these days I’ll do a post to explain what that means. =)

In 2013, I learned how to quilt, and threw everything into it, as is my usual habit. The more you get to know me, the more you will probably appreciate that I seldom do anything by half-measures. Anyway, I made more than 10 quilts (yes, I’ve lost track of how many I did) and gifted many of them to family members. Those who didn’t get a quilt last year may have expectations this year, which is unfortunate because in 2014, I threw everything into my Richard Armitage Affliction, instead. I had completed 2 quilts and started 2 more quilts prior to the onset of my Preoccupation in April, and suddenly with Christmas looming, I realized I’d better get cracking!

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Why yes, Richard Armitage, I did. Thanks in No Small Part to You.

Unfortunately, Hubby and I made a Colossal Error on one of these quilts-in-progress over the weekend. (He is a whiz with the rotary cutter. When I need cutting, he’s my man. However, with the quilt pattern a distant memory, clouded with Armitage Affliction, I directed poor Hubby to cut a set of triangles, from irreplaceable fabric, the Wrong Fricking Size. Expletive!!!!!!) We ultimately had to then re-vamp the entire design, looking at this as “an opportunity for creativity” rather than a humdinger of idiotic proportions. Hence, the title of this post. My Preoccupation with Armitage is ultimately to blame for the devastating quilting dilemma I now face. (Don’t worry, Richard. I still adore you.)

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Richard Armitage and Yael Farber together again? This is a reason to Vacation Plan. Immediately.

I’ve also been moody about The Crucible again. I miss John Proctor and I’m jealous of the cinema-goers. Enough said. However, one bit of exciting news was that Richard Armitage revealed in a Guardian article today that “I’m definitely going to work with Yaël again – I don’t know how soon that’s going to be. But we are planning another production. We want to really expand and explore something we touched on in The Crucible. But I can’t say anything just yet…” So, another collaboration from this Dream Team is in the works! That says a lot about the mutual respect between Farber and Armitage, and is just the ticket to cheer me up! I am thinking of setting up a savings account specifically for this eventuality, and depositing a monthly amount toward it. Naturally, my hope would be that I was saving for a trip to Broadway, but I wouldn’t exactly hate the prospect of London again. Not that those are the only two options, but they seem more likely. I love having advance notice! I simultaneously want it to be as soon as feasibly possible, and distant enough to allow me to save enough that it wouldn’t stretch the finances, or Hubby’s goodwill, too soon. =)