AKA: Yes, The Water Really Is That Color. This quilt was a long time in the making, but found its forever home quickly.
Back in late 2017, Liz of Savor Every Stitch introduced her pattern called Haphazard. Made entirely of half square triangles, the design is generated by computer code on her website. Each iteration of the code, and therefore the resulting layout, is unique. I loved this nerdy, techy idea and filed it away in my quilty bucket list.
Several month later, we were cruising the Bahamas. As usual, we marveled at the variety of brilliant blue waters around us. I thought, "I wonder if I can capture this in a quilt?" Even now, I have to look at my photos to convince myself that those colors really DO exist in nature!
After pulling fabrics that reflected the gorgeous water around us, I remembered Haphazard, and I ran the program until this layout called my name. The top pieced up quickly and easily and I even had some fun "ship in a bottle" fabric for the backing. Top and back sat quietly folded together for a long time.
If you've ever seen any of Liz's quilts, you know she is an expert free motion quilter. I knew that to truly honor her pattern I would need to step up my FMQ game. So the quilt sat for many, many months as a flimsy, until I felt ready to tackle the extensive quilting.
When I heard recently that my dear friend Bear was gravely ill, I knew it was time to pour heart, soul, and embroidery foot into this piece. I started with the cream background areas, adding dense fillers in many designs. Bear is an amazingly multi-talented person. So as I stitched, I concentrated on all the curly, swirly, swoopy, doopy wonderful ways that he is.
Wishbone pathways dance their way across the quilt.
Swirls fill this dance hall square.
And swirl chains in move through this odd shape.
Water meandering and curve echoes kiss at one point.
Pebbles, flowers, paisleys, squiggles...I threw in everything I had. I wanted abundance and exuberance, joy and music in this quilting!
And when the dense background was finished, I pulled out all my blue, green, gray and turquoise threads and started on the beautiful blue water triangles. But this time, I wanted simpler, more open lines. Dot to dot triangles. Big, smooth feathers.
These are the blue healing waters, and I want them to to flow unimpeded, bringing hopes of peace and strength to Bear's life.
In the smallest triangle, very close to the center, I quilted a bas relief heart by surrounding it with dense matchstick stitching. Because love persists even when we are far apart. I can't be physically with Bear right now, but he has this token of my support and care.
Sean and I wrapped the quilt around ourselves to give it one final infusion of love, then mailed it to California. It has been keeping Bear warm for several weeks now and I know he feels the love inside it! XOXO