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. 


  1. Beautiful story. Beautiful quilt. Beautiful friend. You knock it out of the park everytime for a dazzling home run. I laugh about the special names reserved for only certain people. Problem is I cannot speak some of them, they are only in my head. Of course I always had a name for my kids. But as to friends, not so much. Thanks for sharing this special moment.

  2. Where my comment has gone? Just wrote one!
    Alright... just wanted to say I love the way you write about your quilts, it's fantastic, it's like being there chatting with you :)
    Plus you take really good pics!
    This quilt is a beautiful thought :)

  3. Such a great quilt! Love the story and the pictures. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. I love the stories behind your quilts as much as your quilts. This turned out beautiful and has the perfect name. So glad to hear she plans on using it.

  5. I agree with the others, Preeti, reading the stories about your quilts is as enjoyable as seeing them :) Love this story and this quilt! Congrats on a very beautiful finish!

  6. Beautiful quilt and what a great story to go with it.

  7. Nice job and congratulations for getting it done in time. I know you will miss your friend but the Internet let's us stay connected pretty well! I like the way your colors work together.

  8. Great story. Change is always hard. Great name for the quilt. It's one I would have selected too. You must have put in long hours at the sewing machine to get this one done on time? Turned out beautiful. Love the blue and green colors.

  9. You are so thoughtful, witty, and prolific! It astounds me how quickly you turn out quilts. Like the others, I enjoy the narrative and photos that you share with each one. As for Elle, she sounds like an amazing friend and colleague. You'll do fine as her successor. I'm sure of it. May you find greener pastures in your own professional barnyard! Btw, peridot is my birthstone. I love it!

  10. A beautifully written post and absolutely stunning quilt, Preeti. Love the name you chose for the quilt and the quilting is perfect! That last picture of Elle with her quilt is priceless!

  11. A lovely story and such a cool thing to do: she will really understand now how you value her (and she looks totally thrilled). I hope things go smoothly for you once she's moved on.

  12. What a beautiful quilt and a beautiful story. I love the way you trickily figured out her favourite colour.

  13. Oh, Preeti, your stories are as rich as your quilts!

  14. A simple quilt block pattern becomes an amazing beautiful quilt. Very nice gift for your friend.

  15. How wonderful to hear of the process, the person and reason for the quilt, as well as seeing the great pictures and result. Thanks for sharing it all.

  16. Thanks for sharing your story. Beautiful quilt.

  17. wonderfully written my friend. My nickname from my husband is Elle. Elle from the first letter of my name but also feminine. The quilt and the making of the quilt are lovely. It's sad when a good friend, and that's hard to find, leaves for greener pastures.

  18. Wonderful story, and perfect name for the quilt. Your quilt is beautiful, and I am sure will be cherished for years to come.

  19. You have such a kind heart. What a lovely quilt with a lovely story to go along with it.

  20. Thanks for linking up with Throwback Thursday @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge!

  21. Thanks for revisiting this with us! The story is still so rich.

  22. Preeti what an amazing post! This is a beautiful story. What a perfect gift for Elle and shows the wonderful friendship between the two of you.