The Last Unicorn Wall Quilt

This quilt is particularly personal for me. I’ve loved the movie The Last Unicorn since I was a child. And when I was expecting my daughter, I got the chance to have a chat with the author of the original novel, Peter S. Beagle, at a convention. (We spoke about censorship and The Canterbury Tales, if you must know.) To say this story impacted my love of fantasy is putting it lightly. I owe so much to this film and to Mr. Beagle.

I made this wall quilt as a testament to my own childhood and all those who felt likewise. I used satin on the figures to ensure they stood out from the cotton fabric in the background. The unicorn was tough to cut out and harder to applique down because she had so many small, wavy details that are typical of the Rankin/Bass drawing style. The red bull looked fine, but when quilting I added red thread flames all over him and then went back and added a small layer of yellow thread flames along his back to be similar to the animated version. Overall, I was so happy with how it looked that I made a second one to possibly keep.

The film is much beloved in my house to this day as well. As an adult, I’ve shifted from thinking I’d be the magical Lady Amalthea in the story to identifying more with Molly Gru. In fact, when I heard Molly’s rant about the unicorn appearing to her when she was older and no longer innocent as an adult, I cried. So this story really does keep on giving.

Thank you, Peter S. Beagle, for everything.

Love, Kira.

Empty Bobbins: The Last Unicorn

Empty bobbins are moments in life where we pause and reflect.  It’s like when your bobbin runs out in the middle of a project, and you have to pause everything you’re doing to reload.  Here’s one such reflective moment.  This is from a moment when my daughter, now seven, was two.

As a parent, one of the best things ever is getting to introduce all the cool stuff from your childhood to your kid.  So one Saturday evening, I took a chance and busted out The Last Unicorn.  Any kid from the 80’s remembers this film, and I was a little concerned that the Red Bull would frighten her.  I was right about the Red Bull, but after her initial fright, I think she even liked him.  She certainly talked about the Red Bull for a long time after that – and not in an anxious way, more like an old friend.

The_Red_Bull

Anyhow, so we got to the end of the film, you know, where the unicorns all are freed and come running out of the sea (spoilers!).  There’s a chorus, and by this point you’re super invested in the fate of the unicorns and stuff.  So was my two year old.  I watched to see what she’d do once she got a load of all the unicorns instead of just the one.

The moment was worth it.

Her mouth parted, and she was barely breathing she was so excited.  She finally whispered to me, “can I sing?”  Of course, I told her to go for it.  Now, she didn’t know any words, so she just sang long with the notes as best as she could.  But each syllable she muttered was an attempt to join in on the magic.

It was the magic that comes along with forgetting you’re sitting on a couch and that an adult is nearby.

It’s the magic that comes when you completely let go of pretension and just savor the moment – whatever moment that may be.

It’s the magic of everything around ceasing to exist except the story in front of you.

Somewhere along the way, we become too aware of our surroundings and forget how to do this.  But kids, they know how to do it instinctively.  And in my kid’s joy of singing along with the unicorns, I, too, forgot for a moment I was sitting on a couch on a Saturday evening.

 

Related blogs and posts:

Book Thoughts: The Last Unicorn (Peter S. Beagle)

Animation Revival Beyond Disney – The Last Unicorn

The Last Unicorn (1982)