I made this quilt top a year ago and finally got around to quilting it now. This post is edited from what I wrote back then.
August always brings back this memory.
It was a brutally hot night, not a breeze to be had, and not having air-conditioning was putting a strain on everyone's sense of humor. Someone threw out the idea of a midnight swim (I think it was me). Actually it was closer to 8 p.m., but when you are little and it's summer and it's dark out, it might as well be midnight. It was a quick walk to the beach and we were all good swimmers but we made sure to look out for each other. I sat at the water's edge for a good long time, not too sure that I wanted to go in, but no breeze meant plenty of mosquitos and they were getting to me. I started splashing around, inching closer to full-fledged dunk, when the water lit up with blue-green bubbles. I had disturbed some microscopic creatures and they let loose with their bioluminescene. I fell into the water with a big splash and my arms were covered with sparkles. It was like having a bunch of shooting stars in you hair. It blew my mind. Everyone began to dive and jump and splash and the water just lit up. The idea of becoming a mermaid seemed a worthwhile pursuit and I'm pretty sure I dreamed about doing so that very night. It was an amazing experience - a truly beautiful moment.
A few years later, I saw the movie JAWS and needless to say, never again did I swim after the sun went down, let alone midnight.
I never became a mermaid either, and we eventually got air-conditioning. I played with becoming a coastal biologist, but I went to film school instead. I still go to the beach on hot nights and wonder about the little creatures swimming around my feet. I think about them when I'm sitting in my air-conditioned living room, which is where the idea for this quilt, Midnight Swim, came about. I was messing around with some hexagons when the image of a coastline presented itself to me. From that, it became a tribute quilt to that night on Long Island Sound, when we had turquoise sparkles in our hair and green bubbles on our shoulders, and not having air-conditioning was not such bad thing; it led us outside to a world of wonder.
During the coldest months, this quilt will remind me of that wonderfully warm night. It will remind me to turn off my phone, turn off the television, put on my coat and gloves, and go outside.
Enjoy the rest of this beautiful summer.