Friday, December 9, 2016

Angel's Midnight Garden

We cannot appreciate light unless we have known darkness.  It is the contrasts that heighten our experiences.

I like contrast. I like big, bold patterns that stand out. I am a big believer in - if you have to do something, make it bold.

Meet Midnight Garden.

This quilt is for Anju, and yes that is her real name :-D But I call her Angel.
Angel went to medical school with my sister. We have known each other for the last 25+ years.

Angel, at my wedding
Angel is the eldest of five siblings - four sisters and a brother.  The year was 1995. When Angel came down with rheumatoid arthritis, it was severe. She was in a lot of pain.  But when she turned to her mother and said -  "You should get Vee (her younger sister) married", it became clear that she did not think that she would make it.  (Traditionally, sisters get married in order, with the eldest first.)

Initial Fabric Pull (discarded)

Kaffe Fabric
This works
This will shine against a charcoal background
Some practitioners of SahajaYoga meditation heard about Angel's situation.  They visited her in the hospital and gave her realization (initiated her into meditation). Slowly, Angel's entire family started following Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (founder of SahajaYoga meditation) and practicing meditation. I was living in Mumbai at that time. When I returned home for a visit, Angel rode her cute scooter and came to see me. I was dumbfounded. I asked her - what are you doing?  The evidence of RA was still there but she was mobile and managing well. The best part - her spirits were buoyant.

Enjoying the process
Staying organized

Angel introduced me to SahajaYoga meditation and I have been a follower ever since.
The first block

Loving it!

Added drama in the middle

Angel had lost a year of medical school due to her illness. But she went back and finished school. Vee got married and I remember being at her wedding, while I was struggling with my marriage. 

Backing from Connecting Threads

Angel went to work at the SahajaYoga hospital in Navi Mumbai, about two hours away from me.  We visited each other as often as we could. Angel went to Aurangabad to study Pathology, while continually battling the debilitating disease. That is where she met Dr. S and they fell in love.  I have asked her several times to share the details about how they met, how they fell in love...who said what and when. But Angel does not kiss and tell.

Quilting the Beast
Thank goodness for Walking Foot
Getting there - slowly

My dad passed away in1998. In 2001, I walked out of  my troubled marriage and moved into a working women's hostel in Mumbai.  It was then that I received the invitation to Angel's wedding. I was at the lowest point in my life and it was nearly impossible to go.  I sent word that I would not be able to attend.

Quilted and Trimmed

I will never forget the expression on Angel's face - a mixture of joy and disbelief - when I slowly emerged from behind my mom to look at Angel - the beautiful bride in her wedding finery.  We hugged and cried.  I wished her all the best. I took a train back to Mumbai the next morning.

Bound too!!!

We met off and on over the years, whenever I visited home.  Paul and I got married in 2007 but went to India in 2008 to remarry with Hindu rites.  My mom was just relieved that finally her daughter was no longer a divorcee, that Paul was willing to take me off her hands (figuratively speaking).

Paul - such a natural!!!
It was my second marriage so things were rather low-key. Mom had arranged for someone to apply my henna.  As the design developed, I felt depressed. It was pretty but it was too plain and simple and not fit for a bride. I started crying and called Angel.  She came and picked me up and got my henna done at a professional's. And then she bought me bangles - the most beautiful, glittering red bangles, arranged in a design, fit for a bride.

All the guests brought gifts for me. None for Paul. It is the tradition that bride's guests bring gifts for her, whereas the groom's party would give gifts to him.  Since there was no one to represent Paul's side, he got no gifts. It was only Angel & Dr. S who brought gifts for Paul.

So Bright - Love it!

Wine Flower on Orange - WOW!!!

Eye-Popping Colors
Angel continues to deal with pain, deformities, and other health complications as RA takes a toll on her.  One day it will be over but till then Angel does what she has to do. She gets up every morning and goes to work, socializes, inspires, cares, treats, meditates, inspires and gives thanks for all the love, joys and blessings in her life. Did I mention inspire?

Charcoal Fabric - Background and Binding too!

All done!

Thank you Kaffe!

Shining all the way

This quilt is a celebration of Angel and her indomitable spirit, of her love and thoughtfulness.  How she keeps the faith, and not only shines through the darkest of times, but brings joy and hope to all those around her. 
That is Paul - modeling it

I will be seeing Angel at Christmas when I will give her this quilt.  I can hardly wait to see that expression on her face. And a few more because there is no such thing as too many pictures.

Wishing you a joyful holiday season and a flurry of happiness!!!



  1. What a gorgeous quilt!!! I have yet to use black for a background, but I am inspired to do so now! Angel sounds like a true angel and she obviously is one special person. I love your stories that you share. May you all have a blessed Christmas and I hope you can report on how Angel likes her quilt!!

  2. What an amazing story and such a beautiful quilt to go along with it. I feel for your friend. I was 27 when I got RA too. It has been very hard.

  3. Thanks for sharing your Angel story. She sounds like such a beautiful person. Enjoy your visit.

  4. What a lovely story. Thanks for sharing. And the's amazing. Such great colourful prints.

  5. Beautiful, both the story and the quilt.

  6. What a sweet story! The charcoal really makes those prints shine. (I liked the first pull too.) I think your quilt model may need some lessons! :)

  7. This is so beautiful! Sounds like she really is an angel!

  8. A beautiful and thought provoking story. There has to be darkness so there can be light. Your quilt is beautiful, as beautiful as the one you created it for.

  9. Your story is as beautiful as the pictures. I am sure this quilt will be treasured by your friend who was there for you when you needed her.

  10. This is a touching post Preeti. Thank you for sharing it. Love the use of large scale Kaffe Fassett. Just beautiful.

    "We cannot appreciate light unless we have known darkness. It is the contrasts that heighten our experiences. LOVE THIS!!

  11. Beautiful quilt!! Angel will treasure it. Thanks for sharing this story. I enjoyed reading it and I did have a tear or two roll down my cheek.

  12. What a story! The quilt is a treasure of love and beauty. I hope your marriage is a daily story of love and companionship. I wish the best of health for April.

  13. I loved the story. It made the quilt all that more special. I was actually thinking of a dark background too! The charcoal worked well! Kaffe fabrics are black light reactive so the light ones glow too!!! What a wonderful quilt and an awesome story and post to capture it!!!! Well done!

  14. May the love in Angel's quilt give her and boost and some healing... I too have RA (in remission) and am grateful everyday for that... Love to you and Paul for this season... and a very Happy and Healthy New Year...GB

  15. I loved reading about your friendship with Angel. I also love the colours and fabric in this quilt. My brother & wife are visiting India for 2 months, flying to Mumbai at the beginning of January and then travelling along the west coast by train - they are really looking forward to this journey, as I'm sure you do every time you go home :)

  16. Beautiful story. Beautiful quilt.

  17. Beautiful quilt, thank you for sharing the story that goes with it. Love and life are beautiful too, sometimes we suffer along journey in order to have love.

  18. Wonderful story and beautiful quilt! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Your stories and quilts are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them.

  20. A breathtakingly beautiful quilt Preeti. An even more inspiring and beautiful friendship that you and Angel share. You had me in tears. She is remarkable and amazing and I can see exactly why you made this quilt the way you did.
    Paul modeling it cracked me up. Tears and laughter all mixed. :)

  21. This quilt is beautiful and will make a wonderful gift for your friend. Love it!!

  22. It is a beautiful quilt for a beautiful person. I just love it.

  23. Aw, Preeti, what a heartwarming tribute to your sweet friend, and a beautiful quilt stitched just for her! I'd love to be a mouse in your pocket when she unwraps her gift and all the love you've poured into its creation pours out and engulfs her! XO

  24. The story of your friendship with Angel touched me. This quilt is gorgeous and a fitting celebration of your close, loving relationship!

  25. You totally surprised me when I came to the close-up of the 4 small squares that meet; upon first look at the quilt I thought it was ONE fabric! That Kaffe, along with that Preeti, makes for a terrific team! :-) Beautiful quilt, beautiful person, beautiful quiltmaker, and beautiful story.

  26. What a wonderful and special friendship! Beautiful quilt!

  27. Beautiful quilt for a lovely friend. I am sure she will cherish it. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

  28. What a touching story you have shared with us. And what a beautiful quilt that Angel will treasure as she feels the love that it was made with. Happy Holidays to you!

  29. Preeti, another beautiful quilt for a beautiful story of friendship! I love reading all the stories behind your quilts. Quilts are more than fabric, they are small parts of us and our time. They represent a moment in our life that will remain when we are gone. It is so beautiful that you have chosen to share this gift with Angel. I am sure you are looking forward to your time with her soon. Hope you guys have a great visit!

  30. It's a gorgeous quilt! Those colors really shine against the charcoal. What a beautiful gift for your friend.

  31. What a powerful and touching story Preeti! I know this quilt will be loved and appreciated by your friend, and surely it will bring years and years of comfort to her! I'm excited for you to give it to her in person!!!

  32. What a story thi quilt has already - I'm sure it will be much loved. Thanks for linking up to #scraptastictuesday! !

  33. What a gorgeous quilt and such a inspiring story to read. I hope you have a wonderful time with Angel when you see her.

  34. Another beautiful story, Preeti! And a beautiful quilt to match--so joyous! I love your bright fabrics against the charcoal. I have always liked the wild colors and prints of fabrics like Kaffe's but have never felt confident using/combining them. Separating them with the charcoal is a really appealing way to show them off. Have a lovely time with your Angel.

  35. What a beautiful quilt. She will love it. I wanted to tell you I took your advice from a previous blog post. I bought a quilt kit on Craftsy for the fabric - but won't be using the pattern. Tula Pink for less than $8 a yard! I thought that was pretty good!

  36. Once more, your blog has delighted, informed, and inspired me. Love Kaffe Fassett fabric. I've never used it or bought it because I'm waiting for just the right pattern and moment . You have clearly found yours! The contrast is most fitting for the way Angel chooses to deal with her disease. Blessings to you for your labor of love, Preeti!

  37. Thank you for sharing your stories. I really like quilts with blacks and brights together and this is a wonderful one! Pretty!

  38. What a beautiful story, told wonderfully throughout your stunning quilt, thank you so much for sharing, with joy and happiness to you all.

  39. Beautiful quilt! You are so 'real' - I can't find another way of putting it. Thank you for sharing your stories. - From a reader who has been lurking for a few months now, but had to say something in response to your touching post.