Friday, November 13, 2009

An Advent Quilt



Last winter, while my City Quilt was still just a twinkle in my eye, Vanessa and I went fabric shopping. I described what I was envisioning for my City Quilt project and she loved the idea. So much so that we began to talk about an urban advent calendar with a similar feel.

Then, when I was bit by the quilting bug in August, I emailed her, "are you serious? do you still want an advent calendar? it's now or never." And she said, "YES!"

So while I made each little building for my quilt, I made a double for hers. We were in constant communication about which buildings she wanted and what my progress was and how it was all going. And I loved that part.

See, I know myself enough to know that if I am going to abandon a project, it's going to be a project for me and it's going to be a project without a deadline. And the City Quilt was both of those things. Bringing Vanessa into the picture meant that it wasn't just for me. There was something in it (a quilt!) for her too. And she needed hers by advent. That gave me a deadline. As I would sew each morning I would get really excited about the pieces I was making and look forward to telling her all about them. I really liked the process of making the City Quilt, but part of what I liked so much about it was sharing it with someone that was pretty invested in the whole thing.

So, her version is a city scene at night, in the winter. There are fabric covered buttons with numbers embroidered on them that make their way to the top of the quilt. And there is a small bicycle with a loop that will hang from each number as it gets closer and closer to Christmas.






And there she is. Feel free to click on this picture if you want a closer look.

Merry Christmas, Vanessa!

27 comments:

sharyncarlson said...

oh I love this so very much! what an amazing project!

Anthea Goodman said...

Oh! That is beautiful!! You're so talented! I do sew, but haven't had the courage to set off on a project like this. You have done, and its looks fab!

Sian said...

What a stunning project..it is just beautiful and you'll have it forever. Wonderful.

Mama V said...

Readers here should know that, as payment, Robyn will only accept woolens that I have knit for her and her family. Doesn't seem like a fair trade-off, now does it?!

You have been such a diligent, patient, persistent Worker Bee, Robyn -- keeping up with the housekeeping and the kid-raising while making time for baking and scrapbooking and card-making and photo-taking, all while working on your City Quilt WHILE also making its cousin version in our Advent Calendar! It was easy to work together with you while also trusting your creative judgment and amazing mad skilz! I might be wrong, but I actually think the drone and worker bees don't work nearly as hard as the queen. So henceforth I shall call you The Queen Bee. MUCH more apt.

But seriously, this is such a special gift that our family will cherish and look forward to using for years and years to come. It's already up in our living room, which means we'll probably count down the days until Thanksgiving with it before starting all over for Advent. ;) We love how every bit tells an aspect of our daily life here in Brooklyn (Readers: stop #4 is our home!), and the more we look at it, the more symbolism we interpret from the telling of the Advent story made incarnate in our lives.

You know how people make conversations starters that go something like, "If your house was on fire, what would you grab and take with you if you had time?" My answer would be this quilt! (After grabbing my children first, of course.)

Anne at Film and Thread said...

This is so fantastic! What a labor of love!

Goes On Runs said...

amazing!

Fiona said...

Gorgeous!

Robyn said...

awww!!! Vanessa! so sweet! I'm all teary!

debs14 said...

This is incredible. So much work and love put into it. She's a lucky friend!

Susan said...

Robyn, I am absolutely speechless. I was so stunned reading this post that I didn't think I really understood what you were talking about until I got to the end and realized that you had, in fact, made two city quilts. What a gift. And I love, love, love what Vanessa has said about the meaning of Advent becoming incarnate in the everyday of our real lives. It's beautiful. Now I'm tearing up!

If it's okay with Robyn and Vanessa I would love to see this quilt on Sunday. But I leave that to the judgment of the Queen Bee, of course.

Robyn said...

Susan, I was particularly curious what your reaction would be. Vanessa has tied so much theology into this quilt (like ending the journey at the skyline as sort of "now go out!" message and the border having newspaper looking headlines like "Kennedy is killed by a Sniper!" to which Vanessa said, "Perfect! Jesus was so political!") and so much of sounded right up your alley!

Maybe we can arrange a viewing? Vanessa?

Ruth said...

You are one very talented lady and I am sure that the Advent Quilt will be treasured for many years to come. Can I stop by to see it in the flesh when next in NYC, please???

firefly said...

"Readers: stop #4 is our home!"

How fitting for #4's current residents that there appears to be some kind of biblical exegesis onfgentile inclusion etched in the upper room's windows (at least, I think it is exegesis of gentile inclusion. My spanish isn't so hot, but I think I could spy the word for 'incircuncisión' in any of the Latin languages...).

firefly said...

onfgentile = of gentile

firefly said...

Since Robyn responded to that comment (over the phone) by saying, "What?!" I thought I should just clarify that it's meant as a (confusing) compliment. You know, on grounds of inclusivity, diversity and all that.

Mama V said...

@ Susan and Robyn: Asking me to bring the quilt to Robyn's Reveal Party is like asking me if you can borrow your own car. The transfer of goods just happened last night, so I'm still getting used to the fact that this sweet baby is MINE! If Robyn says it's okay, then it's okay!

Though, I should say instead that I'll bring it only if Susan brings her quilt. And everyone else, for that matter, who has received a commissioned or gifted quilt from Robyn! I know for a fact that she has made many more amazing things than has been showcased publicly on this blog! We should hijack your party theme and make it into a Robyn-Made Quilt Party!

@Firefly: I understood your original comment/compliment and loved it. Thanks. ;)

All Hail The Queen!

Susan said...

I would love to bring my quilt, of course. Robyn--what do you think?

Susan said...

Actually, I have two. And they are both amazing.

RachelB said...

This is gorgeous, what a lovely quilt to put up year after year.

JIW said...

oh my, Robyn. This is beautiful. What an amazing gift!

Seeking La Loba said...

So very cool! I love the nighttime and winter effects.

I love the idea of a multi-quilt display party. Should I bring mine?

firefly said...

I want to come so badly that if I had the money to spare in savings, I just might buy a last minute ticket. But the move to SF has pinched me, so I'll just demand lots of pictures. ;)

Maria Ontiveros said...

Gorgeous! As is everything on your blog. I had been visiting before and somehow it fell out of my cue. Will definitely restore it, as I find all you do so inspiring. Even the pix of the kids at the science museum bring me back to the days when my teenagers were little!
TFP,
Rinda

scrappyjacky said...

Absolutely stunning....what a wonderful project.

firefly said...

This morning I woke up and thought, "She shouldn't be the Worker Bee or the Queen Bee. She's the Quilting Bee!"

Hee hee...

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this!! It is gorgeous!!

-Steph

Tabitha and Larry said...

Speechless.
;)tabitha