Solar eclipse quilt + old friends

It's been 20 years (20?!) since we've been friends and he's one of my favorite people on the planet. And those are the type of people you make a quilt for. 

I just realized we've been to four continents together. Two trips were to Africa—the first of which we went bungee jumping near Victoria Falls, above the great Zambezi River and saw our first wild elephants. Not at the same time. There was the summer teaching in Taiwan—where, among other things, he tried to convince kids that he was a member of 'N Sync (wait, or was it Backstreet?!). Then there was more everyday stuff like the UK. And stateside life. 

Stonehenge, 2006.

Stonehenge, 2006.

He was the first one I called when my marriage went south. And he took me to Disneyland after I finished chemo. He's been there in some of my favorite moments and most painful. He turned 40 this year and I planned to make a quilt. I sent him quilt patterns to choose from and he selected Elizabeth Hartman's Solar Eclipse Quilt. The request: just make it happy. 

I *mostly* followed the pattern. I flipped some of the blue and purple blocks so they didn't have a straight edge center ... just to open up the eye to more movement throughout. I went with 25 blocks (which meant cutting roughly 550 pieces from 17 fabrics). There were a lot of points and angles in this one, but it worked out. I used organic cotton batting (heavenly!), straight-line quilted it at home (eek!), backed it in half purple and half botanic print and used a black hatch fabric binding. Phew! :) Insert celebratory glass of wine!

So what fueled this project? Wine, love and Gilmore Girls. Trusty Netflix told me, based on my interest in West Wing, that I would like Gilmore Girls—which I'd never seen before. (GASP, I know.) While cutting, sewing, quilting and binding, I made it through five seasons of TV-watching wonder. Um, over 100 episodes. (<< Hello, quilts take forever!) Can I tell you how much I heart the show writing and Luke's diner?! Clearly, I need to watch more ASAP. Like right now. Gilmore Girls and some wine and maybe planning the next quilt? Who's with me?

It pains me to have said farewell to the box and trust in a safe delivery. But I know the quilt has found a forever home. So, so grateful to have a friend like this in my life and I'm thrilled to bring a warm quilt into his. Happy birthday Blain! xoxo