Despite some sad news with David Bowie’s and Alan Rickman’s recent deaths, 2016 is starting beautifully for me. I have just received a gift that is such a surprise and such an amazingly generous gesture that I have to share the news with you – not least because it comes with fandom love attached. Let me set the scene…
Thursday (yesterday) is always an especially busy day for me, with a big deadline looming, preceded by a lot of work under pressure. I wouldn’t quite say that I dread Thursdays, but I can usually feel the stress of the day in my tense shoulders from the moment I get up. Yesterday, I was so busy with work
ok, and with wasting my time with an unsuccessful attempt at spicing up my RAPS photo book video, that I did not have time to leave the house or even go downstairs to check the mail. It was not until after I had (successfully) reached my deadline that my daughter returned from school and delivered a parcel that had arrived from me. Now, I *knew* that a parcel was on its way to me because the sender had told me she had “found something for me” and asked for my address. But not in a million years did I anticipate what I began to unwrap – and that made my day! A mysterious, white, soft bundle was in the package from Jholland of the Preoccupied with Armitage blog, accompanied by an envelope that suggested I open the gift before I read the note. I unwrapped and could hardly comprehend what I found. A hand-made remembrance quilt, dedicated to me, and personalised in the most beautiful way.
J created a beautiful quilt for me that has much meaning. The ginkgo leaves are a reminder of my late dad in whose honour a ginkgo tree was planted in the village where he grew up. J knew this from a post I had written in November 2014, and she decided to make and surprise me with this amazing, unique and priceless gift. I love the graduation of colours from the fresh green to the light yellow leaves, symbolising the passing of time and the journey of life. The quilt is absolutely flawlessly made, not a stitch amiss, it is simply perfect. The ginkgo leaves also make another appearance in the actual quilting of the piece. And red is my favourite colour. The details of it are simply stunning – the leaves are individually cut and sewn, they are all different, just like in nature, and they even have individually sewn veins!
This quilt is so much more than its practical use as a lap blanket and its assigned purpose as a remembrance quilt. While it will definitely keep me warm during the cold winter months in my central heating-less Georgian house (current indoor temperature: 13°C/55 F), and serve as a reminder of my dad, it will also remind me of the amazing generosity and kindness of the woman who made this for me. As a fellow crafter, I do know how much work goes into such a quilt. I have never even attempted making one myself – I suspect I have not got the patience that is involved in the making: From designing the pattern and sourcing the fabric, the cutting and assembling of the individual pieces, to layering, bordering and quilting the finished product, is a long process. I would call it a labour of love – and to be the recipient of that love is very special and very dear to me. Especially considering that J and I have never met (yet). This is an heirloom piece that is usually reserved to family and close friends, and I am touched beyond words that I have been given such a valuable present.
Thank you, J, for an amazing gift that has me still shaking my head in disbelief. The quilt will always also be a reminder of you, and thus of the bonds forged in a community that I have always perceived as caring and warm, as well as generous and kind. Your gift symbolises all that (and thus even serves as a tiny reminder of RA – after all, if it wasn’t for our shared interest in him, we would never have met), and for me it is another landmark in this whole journey of preoccupation with Armitage 😉 It is another marker for the tone within our interactions, and tangible proof that there is more between fans than just whipping up each other with saucy pictures and juicy comments on our adored Mr A. Even via our virtual platforms, we touch each others’ lives, and forge friendships. It is good to be reminded of this positivity by way of a beautiful, yet practical, and certainly one-of-its-kind present. Thank you ❤
Apologies for the pictures in this post – they don’t do this piece of art justice! It is simply stunning. Please do me a favour and hop over to J’s blog and read this post in which she explains how the quilt was conceived and made, and which has much better photos that detail the various steps in the making of the quilt, as well as really interesting descriptions of the process involved in creating such a masterpiece. You should subscribe to her blog, anyway – she recently proved her comic talent (once again) with a hilarious spoof on RA’s cloning conversation with Bryan Fuller. And please give her some love, too – she put a lot of fandom love into this quilt, and that includes you, too!