Sunday, June 28, 2015

To Greener Pastures...

I love it when Paul calls me a brat. When Joyce calls me "you little shit" it makes me smile and giggle. My online quilter buddy Carrie explained that a similar term of endearment is "you rotten heifer" used among very close friends in Texas.
It is that ultimate validation, reserved for very few. It is proof of a special bond.

Kelly (from Connecting Threads)

Peridot (from Connecting Threads)
I am going to call her Elle.  Elle is my colleague but she quickly became my friend as we commiserated over our challenges at work, ate lunches, and shared stories about our families - Elle's grand babies and my conversations with Paul.

High Contrast

Low Contrast

Elle had decided to move back to the west coast and would be leaving by the end of June, she said.  She wanted to be close to her family.  Bummer!!!

Elle had been at this job for over a decade and I had just started.  I could not get enough advice, suggestions, recommendations about how to write a certain section of the document, how to deal with a certain difficult person, how to best make use of office resources, what to say, how to say and when to say it.  There was so much to learn and I was nervous.

First Blocks

Me: You cannot dump this all on me and leave.
Elle: You'll do just fine. And I will be available by email.
Me: And phone?
Elle: Yes that too.

Matching Seams


There were times when Elle hesitated to give me advice.  Should she tell me the Elle way of doing things? Or she should let me make my own decisions and figure out what is best for me? I sensed her hesitation and decided to clarify things.

Green, Blue & Beige

One day we were eating lunch at an Indian restaurant.
Me: I know you feel torn between telling me what to do and letting me figure it out myself.
Elle: Yes. Because you will be in-charge once I leave, and it doesn't have to be my way.
Me: Yes. But for now, please do not hold back. Give me everything. Please.
Elle agreed.

Finished Top

So, how do you say "THANK YOU" to someone who is giving you 10 years of wisdom in 10 weeks? No words/cards can do justice.  But a queen-size quilt can come close.

1. Find out her favorite colors
2. Choose a simple pattern that can be made quickly
3. Fabric
4. Make it fast

Finished Quilt
One day, Elle was wearing a light green jacket.
Me: Oh, that is a pretty color.  Is it avocado?
Elle: It is pea soup.
Me: What is your favorite color?
Elle: Green.

Completed Step One.
I decided to make a rail fence. I decided to use a pattern similar to Alex's quilt, but larger blocks.
Checked my stash.  Two batik prints stood out - a beige neutral and a blue (flecked with green). I needed to add two green solids - to match/contrast the batiks and bring out the green. I chose Kelly and Peridot from Connecting Threads.
Mulled over the pattern for a bit. Should I use the beige + peridot and blue/green + kelly OR beige + kelly and blue/green + peridot. When in doubt, I know I can always trust my friends at the M* forum. Based on the advice received, I went with higher contrast arrangement.

Oh, I chose the backing fabric also from Connecting Threads. Amazingly enough, this feathers wide backing fabric was the perfect match.

Backing Fabric (from Connecting Threads)
I quilted it using my walking foot with gently curving lines, spaced close together.  The quilt was completed on June 9th. I still could not decide what to name it.
  • Rainforest
  • Walk in the Woods
  • Into the Woods
  • Greener Pastures
  • Hammock in the Woods
  • Forest Trails
  • Bittersweet
  • Naturewalk

I did get some wonderful, helpful suggestions from my buddies at the M* forum. I chose "To Greener Pastures" hoping that Elle's move to the west coast brings her new opportunities and lots of happiness.

Green Binding (Hope there is enough green here)
I invited Elle to my house for dinner.  She graciously accepted. But when I gave her the quilt, she was incredulous.

Elle: I can't believe you made me a quilt.  Oh, I love these colors. These are my favorite colors. 
Me: Green, like you said.
Elle: I love those curved lines. I still can't believe you made me a quilt.
Me: Please use it. Do not put it in a closet.
Elle: Oh no, I am going to use it.  
Me: And when it is worn out, I'll make you another one.
Elle: You are a crazy woman!!!

We had achieved that special bond.  Mission Accomplished!!!

Quilting Detail (Variegated Thread)

What is that special term of endearment for you? How did you earn it? Do you have a special name for your dear friend?
I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

Elle with her quilt

Linking with Throwback Thursday.