As a novice quilter and fibre artist, I never quite know when inspiration will strike. Whether it’s an exciting new pattern, a captivating texture or a fabric I just can’t live without (hello quilters, you KNOW what I’m talking about), in a flash of enthusiasm and compulsion, we buy the fabric, pattern or Pinterest the hell out of our muse. This time, when I spied the vibrant hexagons in Tula Pink’s Free Spirit line, I was taken. A total goner. Love at first sight, I had to have it. I had no idea what I was going to make. But that was just details. I know you know the feeling.
Luckily it pays to know the fabulous quilting sisters at Nantahala Quilts, who were able to help me get my hands on Tula’s sought after (and usually back ordered!) fabrics. Along the way I spied a relatively straight forward and graphically bold pattern from Yvonne at the Quilting JetGirl, that would help me work on my precision (if you saw my last blog for Nantahala Quilts, you’ll know that a quilt must satisfy both my creative urges as well as focus on one particular skill at needs work), without being too tedious. Seriously y’all, if I got my points wrong on this one it was going to be obvious. And I just couldn’t do Tula wrong.
It was tough to pick four hexies fabrics out of the transcendent lineup, but easy to pick a coordinating background fabric. My love of Robert Kaufman’s Essex linens is bordering on obsessive. (I *MAY* have half a tall boy dresser filled with a dozens of yards in 8 colors right now, just waiting for the right projects.) For this one, I just guessed using photos from the website (and got extremely lucky) that the Poppy color would perfectly match the orange-red gradation in the Tula hexies. It couldn’t have been a better marriage.
The pattern went together stupidly easy and I was so in love. Every step was a joy. I kept being asked who I would give it to and what it was for. Maybe I should sell it? But I loved it too much and was pouring all that emotion into it as I worked. The answer came as I finished the top and began laying out the quilting. All those quilted hexies were a labor of love, and as I pushed and pulled this hefty soft quilt through my machine I thought about my sister, her two sons and husband who had, after almost a year of waiting, just arrived in Colombia to adopt a new member into our family. A mother of four, two earth side and two in heaven, my big sis was growing our family to accommodate one more and I was so excited for them all. The bright colors made me think of colorful South America. Of possibilities and hope. Rainbows of new life. A child that is born into the family after a loss is often called a rainbow baby. Our new treasure was not born of my sister’s body, but he is definitely born in our hearts. I would give the quilt to Juan Jose.
No, it’s not blue. And it doesn’t have trucks and superheroes on it. But I love that. It’s possibilities. We can’t predict the heroic and wonderful journey he will take in a new land with a new family. That story is yet to be written. But the linen is textural and cuddly, the fabric vibrant and cheerful, and I hope the whole effect says you are welcome and wanted here. Here in the States, and here as one of us.
Of course the picture taking day was extremely cold and windy in the Northeast, but we used it to our advantage as the quilt floated on the breeze like a hero’s cape. See? It’s a quilt fit for a superhero after all.