Thursday, 14 June 2012

The Curse of the Perfect Gift

     Not long ago, the comadre of El Gringo Viejo (the mother-in-law of his daughter) made up a gift for the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre with her own hands.   It was in a format inspired by the classical patchwork quilt, with overtones of French design and finery of appointments.  It is truly a remarkable piece.    Very large, perfectly squared, with built in pole loop for hanging, and impeccable stitching and assembly....all designed to humiliate the Gringo Viejo who is incapable of accomplishing anything done by hand.

     The colour scheme also fits perfectly into the setting at the Quinta.   It also fits perfectly into the intentions of the two sister cats to defile anything that is luxuriant and simultaneously comfortable.  Since The Quilt was done-up in a very nice home that also has cats, the Queens of the Quinta sniffed out that they had "connections" in a far away place known as Central Texas.   They took that, of course, as an invitation to make good use of the neatly folded "cat mattress" at their earliest opportunity.    Shortly after becoming comfortable, they learned  a new set of marching orders concerning gifts coming out of Central Texas.    A shaking out, some Febreeze, a quick brushing with a slightly damp dishtowel solved any possible damage, and the quilt was taken to safer precincts.

     After a few days, we decided to hang the quilt, using its available rod-loop, in front of the bedroom window, so as to further prohibit the entry of cold during the very chilly nights that can occur in our area.   It worked perfectly, and accentuated the colonial-inspired windows that are silled and barred of hand hewn Mexican tropical oak from the nearby forests in the higher reaches of the Sierra Madre.   The colour of the oak takes on a very dark brown, like thick coffee,  and blends in with the screen framing that is of a slightly blonder pine from the same area.   The outside view would be a crinoline with a bit of lace-work, with the quilt showing through in perfect blend with the white walls, dark window construction, and framed outside on top with the off-red, split tile roof.   The inside view was equally balanced and presentable.   The room was further improved by a certain "quieting" that was pleasant.
     Everyone agreed that this was the perfect place to have the quilt.   They also agreed that the perfect place to put it was behind the beds in the main bedroom, hanging on the wall via its own personally selected and crafted pole of tenaza wood, processed by hand by Sergeant Major Alvaro, where it provided the same "quieting", and fit perfectly and squarely into the wall dimensions there.

      But wait!   There's more!   You see, in the guest room, The Quilt went perfectly as a bedspread on one of the super-single beds, and strangely matched with one of the ancient patchwork quilts that had been one of the first made by El Gringo Viejo's grandmother (the quilt is 100 years old now).   The guest room is very and truly rustic, with exposed adobe and an almost perfect image of a room built in the 1790s....built from the ground up by hand, remember.   One could almost hear the two quilts gossipping with each other about the things they had seen, comparing notes about where they had been,  and talking about me in front of my back.   Yes!  We could use the Quilt as a quilt!

      Then, in that same room, if we take down the denim curtains, leave the lace curtains that are hung directly on the large butterfly windows, and hang The Quilt on the decidedly low-tech curtain rod....lo and is obvious that it had been made specifically for that application and in this room.   The odd perfection of the colours and tones blending into each other with seeming intent was compelling.    Yes!  This is where we shall deploy The Quilt, because it had its pole loops, and it is....strangely....exactly the breadth of the window (which is made in the same style as the other bedroom's window) with about four inches left over on each side, a perfect cover.    It extends almost all the way to the floor, but is high enough off to not worry about attacks by an errant mop.

      Finally, another radical notion was to hang The Quilt along the "long, west-facing corridor" which is easily accomplished.   We have an arrangement of rope for hanging clothes to dry or to air,  or serapes during the summer to provide quiet and shade during the torrid afternoons for the entire 66 feet of the  length of the corridor.    El Gringo Viejo hung The Quilt out, where once again it fit perfectly into the dimensions, waving very gently between all the flowering things and the corridor proper.   The hummingbirds would come up to inspect any chance that the new arrival might have some source of nectar and then go about their way, un-concerned about the new presence.  The Quilt looked "right" hanging there as an accompaniment to the natural setting that makes up the Quinta's front area....full of flowers, bees, birds, butterflies, and growing things.

     So, there we are.   At this writing The Quilt has been placed on the wall behind the beds of the master bedroom.   We are content with that decision.  Because, you see, since each choice would be perfect, there is no wrong choice.    It actually speaks to the mastery of design, execution, and decor that is represented by our comadre.   The Quilt has a friend in the Quinta, no matter which room or placement we use.

Thanks to La Comadre.   And thank all OROGs for your attention.   We have more news and observations coming out.
El Gringo Viejo