Have you been following along on my Butterfly Effect Quilt journey here & on Insta? A few bits are starting to come together and seeing that excite me for the future! hopefully my fingers won’t fall off before I’m done! But this isn’t just ANY insane, labor-intensive, gorgous quilt on my table… it’s a quilt for a friend I’ve known for more than 17 years!
Keep reading to learn more about her, her story, & us!
***trigger warning – infertility
And Kelly has given permission to talk about her story.
You’ve Got A Friend In Me
This project has been a long time in the making, well more like an idea in the making… a thought, some kind of unknowable quilt that I hadn’t formulated yet. And it’s not even for me! Rather, it’s for a childhood friend.
We met in freshman high-school PE (physical education) class, she was a friend of a friend and the only one I kinda knew. I couldn’t share my clothing locker with just ANY stranger! And just like that we were a match in besties! We shared our nerdery through Mu Alpha Theta [math nerds unite!], AP classes, Class Board, and PAINT art club. We had laughs & tears, boyfriends & break-ups, family drama, you name it.
After high-school we went in different directions with huge swaths of time that we didn’t talk, but that next call always came so easily! No matter how many months had passed, we never missed a beat and it was as if no time had passed at all. We even did our best to meet up when we could – in New York City, Hawaii [twice!], & our hometown in Florida! There has been so many adventures, both together & apart.
Now in all the years I’ve known Kelly she has always thought of others more than herself. She was always the stereotypical ‘mom’ of the group: someone you could count on, someone you could talk to, & someone who would always do her best to support you (sometimes to her own detriment). She’s a person I’ve cried to, gotten advice from, & who has celebrated my successes [even the little ones that I couldn’t see for myself]. So I was happy for her when she met someone she loved and wanted to grow a family with. And of course the excitement of this growing family led to talk of sew-y things that would NEED to happen! Like an heirloom baby quilt to follow this little one for generations?
Let’s Get Personal
But as the months ticked by, the call with the exciting news didn’t come. What we were once at the point of bursting with joy to celebrate became a question mark.
Now I can’t begin to understand what this feels like. As someone who’s never gone through infertility, all I can do is be supportive in whatever way she needs. Kelly opened up about some of her experience and it was as if this time turned from magic to machinery… fertility tracking, schedules, tests, & more tests. Which all resulted in just two words that didn’t really answer anything…
Kelly was open with me, and open with all of you, in letting me share this here but I know there’s so much more under the surface that she has gone through with her husband and within herself. Next steps are evolving with the final path still unclear, though I support her with however she chooses to move forward or however things turn out!
But surely, at least for now, our previous quilty plans would need to be shelved. So it was a surprise to find that she still wanted to move forward with that heirloom quilt idea. That it would be a beautiful reminder of this part of her life – no matter the outcome.
Joyous, tumultuous, both?
It would represent the journey, rather than the destination.
And suddenly this project became even more special, layered, & nuanced. I HAD to do it!
When the fabric company Art Gallery Fabrics heard the story, they felt the same way and supplied the amazing fabrics to make this quilt dream a reality! check them out here Now if you’ve read Part 1 of my Butterfly Effect journey, you’ll know that this pattern & fabric combo came together as if it were kismet! Butterflies (a symbol she’s loved since we were kids – delicate, beautiful, & ethereal) are set in circles as if to encapsulate the circle of life.
And something about it being entirely English Paper Piecing really makes me feel the process and live in it in a way that I can’t say would’ve happened otherwise. That in real time in some small way it is capturing all our feelings, processing it in the moment, and writing it down in threads. With each meticulous stitch and fine detail, hours upon hours with just a needle & thread in my hand… I hope she sees how much I love her.
So I will end this post by saying…
this quilt will be AHH-mazing
still won’t hold a candle to Kelly < 3
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