On a Friday afternoon in mid-summer, we got a late start on our shopping because the dog had gotten stung in the nose by a bee, and we didn't want to leave her alone with her big, sad nose. We made pizza dough together and set it aside to rise in time for dinner at five. We looked at the quilts I had made that were here and there around the house and we talked about quilts, and what they are, and how they get made (stuff gets cut up, messed around with, and put back together). Andy arrived home around three to hang out with the dog, so we headed out to the fabric store to get the material. Arden and I had to be home by the time the dough had risen!
I had done some math beforehand so I knew exactly what we would need. We grabbed a cart and headed toward the quilting cottons. I told her to pick out a solid color (hot pink) and then we would pick out six prints (I'd written the pattern for ten, but I knew that settling on six would be plenty). We looked at the pinks and talked about how pinks were different — some were more yellow, some were more blue. She tried to decide between two of them and put her eye right up close to the fabric, about an inch away: a secret "Pick Me" message encoded in the weave? I tried not to bust out giggling [or sobbing — so, so sweet] and told her to stand about eight feet away while I held big swaths of the fabrics up next to each other, and then it was obvious: That one. (Turns out, you have to actually stand back to see the secret message.) We thunked the bolt into the cart and zoomed off toward the prints. We were guided by the preferences she'd mailed me a few weeks before: hot pink, lime green, sky blue, and purple, in stripes, big flowers, and no tiny calicos. Check. Down the aisles of bolts we raced.
"How about this one?"
"I love that one! [Thunk.] How about this one?"
"I love that one!" [Thunk.]
"How about this one?"
"These are so cute!"
"I know, these are adorable!"
Thunk, thunk, thunk thunk. The cart filled up. Thunk. Thunk. Back and forth we went, congratulating each other on our choices.
"I love the little sqares you picked out!"
"I know! I love the stripes, too!"
"This is gonna be so cute!"
"I know! This is going to be adorable!"
"Totally! And are you not just totally psyched to have such an awesomely cool aunt to make you your very own quilt?!"
We picked out the backing (white with bright yellow polka dots). It was already 4:15 and we would need a half-hour to get everything cut and make it home. As fast as we were going, however, it wasn't fast enough. We were picking out the binding when suddenly someone was ready to be done.
"Aunt Alicia, I'm starving! I am so hungry! I'm so hungry I can't even shop anymore!"
"Oh my goodness! Well, then you'd better start running back toward that corner so we can get the batting!"
"Back where it says 'BATTING'?"
"That's the one!"
I sped along behind her, cart rattling in alarm. We got everything we needed and had it cut, then zoomed back home to check on our dough and start on our pizza before someone keeled over from sheer hunger. Once the 'za was in the oven, we went out back and took a picture of our goods:
I started sewing the next day. The quilt was small — a throw quilt, perfect for sitting under while reading Warriors, or snuggling up with to watch Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. I'd finished it by Sunday, tossed it in the wash, and then folded it neatly. It waited on the sideboard until last week, when I gave it to her at the park.
We named it the Raspberry Lemonade Quilt, because it reminded us of raspberries, and lemonade, and other summertime treats we love.
Like summer afternoons together, in general.
And really just all things dreamy and, oh, just all things so very, very precious and sweet. So very sweet. xoxo