The ‘Gone Away’ Quilt.

P4020138 by you.
I’ve been alluding to an ongoing project for quite a while: the gift I was making for my dear friend Scott who selfishly left all of his friends and family to go and live a life of elegance and refinement in England along with his true love and Orlando, his cat. Personally, I can’t understand why anyone would choose to leave a country with bushfires, sharks, poisonous snakes and funnel web spiders and also forgo teaching pimply, hormonal secondary kids to go and live in a place with all of that history, shopping, ancient castles and the like… but to each his own. This gift was a lot longer than it should have been in the making, purely because I was terrified of producing something that Scott and Mark would bundle away in an upstairs cupboard and never look at again. (These guys have high standards.)
Some time last year I wrote a post about drive-by patterns… the ones you innocently click on, fall in love with and just have to have. Normally, I don’t use proper patterns for my quilts, but this one is a beauty. So easy to follow, and once you get into the routine of putting the blocks together, it all moves very fast. Once you get over the paralysing procrastination, that is.
When I decided that I wanted to make Scott a quilt so that he could combat the slight chilliness that apparently besets England every now and then, I called up Mark and asked him which colours Scott likes. He thought for a bit, then said, “I don’t know. But I DO know that whatever colours you choose, they’ll have to match.”
That was so funny, because it’s true. I’ve never seen more colour co-ordinated desks/offices/filing cabinets in my life, as the ones owned by Scott. He adores order, so naturally his labeller is one of his most prized possessions. He surrounds himself with  sparkling, dust free surfaces, napery and antiques. Even his cat is an antique. He has been known to listen to music that doesn’t have electric guitars and lyrics, and he hires a caterer for dinner parties. In fact, the more I think about it the odder it is that we are friends at all. Maybe opposites do attract! So clearly a scrappy quilt with a jumble of colours, shapes and sizes wouldn’t be appropriate. I had to lift my game.
Anyway, I went to the source and asked the man himself which colours he liked (which kind of gave away the fact that I was making a quilt for him, but never mind.) He listed a few colours, but every second or third one was red. After a few minutes of this my mighty intellect grasped the fact that maybe this was significant. So I headed off to Amitie to buy some red fabric.
Do you know how hard it is to buy red fabric that doesn’t look like it comes from a bordello or from some second-rate production of ‘The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas’? Those that would have been suitable were covered in flowers and were clearly unsuitable to be given to a man. In the end, I went with the polka dots. Personally, I like dots so I figured he might too. It was either that or garish chrysanthemums, which I felt would make me woozy if I had to work with them. So the dots won out.
P4020139 by you.
I finished piecing the top after a hectic two days in January. Then it sat while I debated about how to quilt it. In the end, after another two months of procrastination, I rrealised that unless I did something… anything to it…. Scott was likely to die of old age before this quilt was delivered. (And he’s a lot younger than I am, so that translates into the quilt never being finished.) So I simply used the swirly loopy stitch that seems to be becoming my trademark. White binding to finish, because that house is child-free and things stay pristine. *sigh*
P4020140 by you.
This quilt is very large, probably one of the largest I’ve ever made. Still, as I was wrestling the bulk of this beast through the machine, I consoled myself with the thought that it is certainly large enough to protect my dear friend from any draughts or icy blasts that might sneak into his abode. I hope that Orlando finds it comfortable, too.
But on second thoughts, Scott probably won’t let Orlando near it. He’ll clash. An orange cat on a red quilt? Unthinkable!
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26 Responses to The ‘Gone Away’ Quilt.

  1. Amelia says:

    Oh My!! I love this!
    And your machine quilting is fab.
    Well done.

  2. saffronlie says:

    That is so beautiful and elegant! Just gorgeous.

  3. Alexis says:

    You are amazing!

  4. Fairlie says:

    “Even his cat is an antique.”….that line just cracked me up!

    I’m sure he’ll adore and cherish that quilt.

  5. Lee says:

    What a lovely piece! A true treasure (from a true friend.)

  6. M says:

    That is just totally fabulous. totally.

  7. Urspo says:

    awesome quilt!
    however, the nasty poisonous things intrigue me – surely you don’t have any of these things lurking about?

  8. persiflage says:

    Scott, you’d better like it – or else! It looks great. Yet another wonderful work from your wonderful friend.

  9. trash says:

    Yes sometimes it does get a mite not so warm over here in the UK. In fact I might need such a thing to keep those chills at bay ……..

  10. Janet says:

    wow, that quilt is awesome. I love too how there are squares among the rectangles. And the shadow box effect. All very special, I’m sure he will love it.

  11. Oh Wow! I can just see it in Scott and Mark’s red room – the colours you’ve chosen are perfect. Plus there is little chance of the red fading in England’s far gentler light ( an added bonus).

    I expect Orlando will snuggle down wherever he chooses, like any other cat. he’ll look great against the backing fabric.

    FD – you’ve made a very beautiful and special gift with this quilt.

  12. Mad Woman says:

    Oh it’s beautiful! He can’t possibly dislike it.

  13. Scott says:

    It’s absolutely magnificent Frogdancer – I love it and will treasure it.

  14. suse says:


    Just stunning.

  15. jodie says:

    majestic !!!!
    It is truly wonderful….

  16. river says:

    That is beautiful Froggie. Quite manly too.

  17. Laura says:

    Oh. OH. Its just LOVELY Froggie!

    It will spend a lot of time in the red room, I’m sure.

    You’re really cranking along now!

  18. It is just stunningly beautiful! Well done.

  19. kelly says:

    simply stunning! thank you for sharing

  20. Widget says:

    I am so pleased he got it…….and it is truly amazing!

  21. Kiwi Lindsay says:

    Beautiful just beautiful.

    Isn’t it interesting how the simplest ideas [but not necessarily simple to choose fabric and make!] can look so stunning?

    Exquisite work, and machine quilted on a domestic machine? Even MORE kudos to you (I cheat and pay a friend to do mine on her long-arm quilting machine, or they’d languish unfinished in the bottom of a cupboard).

  22. Jayne says:

    You’re very talented and oh, so patient! 🙂

  23. Stomper Girl says:

    Wow it is FANTASTIC. And huge, look at it dwarfing your sons!

  24. Ellen says:

    Wow!!!!! I think you have surpassed yourself this time! This quilt is not only stylishly elegant but absolutely enormous too!

  25. kelly says:

    Can you share what size the blocks are? I JUST love this quilt!!

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