Once in a great while, if you’re lucky, someone will unexpectedly melt your heart with an act of kindness that leaves you without the words to thank her.
After 24 hours, I have mustered up some words, but I’m still struggling to describe how flummoxed I was to receive a mysterious parcel from someone I have talked to online but never met, and then to open it and find pure magic.
One of my favorite blogs belongs to JHolland: veterinarian, devoted mom and wife, humorist, limerick-writer extraordinaire and… expert quilter! A year ago she read my short story about the Voynich Manuscript, a mysterious, undeciphered Renaissance book illustrated with fantastic plants, celestial diagrams (and not a few naked ladies). It’s an interest we share, and when JHolland had the brilliant idea of making a Voynich-themed quilt, she created two of them and sent one to me.
In the world of fandom, I have noticed, there exists this motivation for people to surprise each other with beautiful things. The Greeks had a word for it, charis, which means the grace of giving and receiving pleasure. It is part of fan culture, but in this case, the generous act came from someone whose fan interest happens to be different from mine.
You can see how this lovely piece of fabric art was conceived and constructed here (with photos that do it better justice than mine). J. writes about a tiny imperfection in the quilt, which only makes it more delightful in my eyes. It’s like a handmade book–no two are alike.
As special and beautifully crafted as it is, I’m glad this particular “edition” includes two copies. I hope that each of us will think of the other, whenever we sit under these cozy quilts, admiring them whilst drinking a glass of (white) wine, nibbling from a cheese platter (with suitable condiments, natch) in the company of a Beautiful Man.
Thanks J. You’re amazing!
What a beautiful gift. And J’s craft is amazing, not to mention her generosity in making such treasured and personal items for a “virtual” friend. I already commented over on J’s post, but I just wanted to add here that it couldn’t have gone to anyone better. Your stories are delightful, and yes, somehow, you should be paid for sharing them with us, for free. Plus, you are so generous with commenting, even on blogs and topics that are not *exactly* 😉 about your own guilty pleasure… So this expression of fandom love is well deserved, whether you are part of our fandom or not.
Thank you, Guylty. I could say a few things about your own generosity but I know it would embarrass you. When this quilt arrived, I was reminded of another time I received an unexpected and most delightful gift from an Armitage fan 🙂
I really think there is something about fandom, at its best, that inspires these gestures. Sometimes it is the person half a world away that you feel closest to…
This kind of generosity just floors me. So beautiful and thoughtful it makes me cry.
I have a pending post thatbi have yet to finish that specifically talks about the time and art giving (and all giving) found online and in our fandoms. I will be adding a link to this, you can be sure.
Thanks Crystal, I can’t wait to read your post!
Guylty speaks perfectly. You deserve this wonderful gift for all that you share, and it is, truly, a wonderful and beautiful gift. The Voynich Manuscript is my favorite book of yours so far too.
Thank you so much Ellen. I have to add that my CH fan friends have several times surprised me with generous gestures large and small. You know who you are 🙂
Maybe one day I can write another story about West and Lynn. But I’d have to figure out how to make the romance part exciting, now that they are together.
I can’t tell you how delighted I am to see Jerome in possession of the quilt! He really kind of coordinates, doesn’t he? LOL! And I see an oriental rug there that also coordinates with that red in the border. Good job on holding it up for the LSH… that crazy thing is pretty heavy. (You should have seen the effort and the contortions involved in fitting it into the large flat rate mailing box… Hubby made the most of his huffing and puffing act!) I love this post… not least that gorgeous photo of RA that you so generously included… =)
That photo of RA really struck me, as did your reaction to it.
Yes, the LSH was getting a bit impatient holding the quilt up while I took photos. It is sturdier than it looks 🙂 I am quite charmed that your Hubby takes such an interest in your quilting activities, and contributes to them. So sweet!
Oh, yes… one of Hubby’s many fine qualities is his willingness to enter into any and all of my projects. He’s great at cutting fabric, he runs a lot of calculations to adjust for seam allowances and angles with different shapes, he can look at any quilt I see online and figure out a template for how it can be most efficiently accomplished… and he can stuff a very big quilt in a very small box! LOL
You make a great team!
And thanks for all the pingbacks!
Sylvie G said:
This is so thoughtful and so clever 🙂
Yes, I’m still amazed by it!
Very cool 🙂
Thanks! It’s a treasure.
…of course, I’d be delighted if someone just sent me a cat 😉
Or a cake 🙂
Where’s my present? 😉
Cat’s in the post. I chose a particularly scratchy one.
Gee, thanks 😉
Lisa @ cheergerm said:
That is an incredibly thoughtful and beautiful gift. Tops.
Tops is right! Thanks Lisa 🙂
Linnet, what a lucky and also deserving recipient of JHolland’s beautiful, specifically tailored work. I agree with the comments from Armitage fans ( and sure there are more to come) – if not an actual hard core fan, you’re at least an “honorary.” We know you read us ( as we do you) and you always take the time to comment or like. You delight us with your food blogs and so much more. Enjoy. ( Jerome, we know, is already smitten.)
Thanks Perry. In spite of my monolatrous devotion to the One Actor, I do consider myself an honorary RA fan. I have vicariously enjoyed the RA fandom since starting my blog, so it feels natural.
What a beautiful gift! My mother is a quilter – I know how much time and effort they take!
Thank you! Yes, I can tell that many hours of work go into these beauties. Which is what makes this such a generous gift.
What a beautiful piece of art, what a great gift and well deserved!!!! ❤
Many thanks, Herba! Yes, I can’t get over what a clever idea she had, and how beautifully she brought it to life.
It’s just perfect and has the perfect owner! I love how the blogs are threading this pattern between u all bringing us ever closer together 😀and Jerome is princely curing his tail regally on top of his new throne! Hope he’ll let you borrow it 😉
Me too, it’s a quilt not a cat-bed. But Jerome begs to differ.
When I first started blogging, I didn’t get that it is really about building a community. That’s one of the nicest parts of it.
Wow, what an amazingly cool gift! Lucky you! 🙂
Thank you Linda! I feel very lucky 🙂 LOL I was afraid you were going to call me a jammy cow 🙂 Whenever I see that on Twitter, it makes me laugh.
Ha ha! I would never be so crass 😉 Well, only on my own blog!
LOL, to me it’s a hilarious expression!
What an incredibly thoughtful gift!
It certainly is! I wish I had the skill to work with fabric this way.
She does it again! So very kind and thoughtful! And the quilt is absolutely beautiful! This just warms my heart… 🙂
Thank you Esther. I was really touched by it, and delighted.
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Meghan Masterson said:
This is so wonderful!
Thank you Meghan!