Friday, December 10, 2010

Good Mourning

Today is a special day for me.  It has a sad story, but a good quilt.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of losing my mother, Catherine.    It almost seems impossible that she has been gone that long and that I have manged to live (and live well) without her.

Another reason I decided to make a "Mother" quilt this year is that I am the age, 48 years old, that she was when she passed away.  Like so many vibrant, beautiful women, she died of breast cancer.

"Mother's Garden" is the quilt I've been working on for many months in anticipation of this day.


The quote is by Alice Walker, author of "The Color Purple".  It seemed the perfect sentiment to me.

This is my own design and was inspired by antique quilts.  The center block was made about 5 years ago and the project was resurrected this year when I designed the borders.




I intend to mark the quilt top today and baste it.  I look forward to spending many hours hand quilting it this winter.

Thanks for letting me share this story and quilt with you.

48 comments:

  1. BARB! This is so moving and stunning! What a treasure... I love your letters... and the dog tooth applique borders! Your mama would be proud! HUGS!

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  2. Beautiful! What a wonderful memory of your Mother. Everything about it is great - I especially love the letters.

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  3. It's wonderful, Barb...everything about it. The colors (pink background!) the letters, that fabulous appliqué, just everything! It's such a happy piece. I hope it provides comfort and happy memories as you quilt and enjoy it in the years to come.

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  4. Lovely! Enjoy the quilting. Would love to see pictures of the marking. I know, that's weird. I'm a hand quilting geek.

    Laurie

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  5. A beautiful quilt with a haunting history. Are you including the story on the label?

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  6. I am so pleased for you that you have finished the top and are going to quilt it this year, may you have lots of fond memory while hand quilting.
    Your dear mum was so young, I lost my dad when he was just 58 and it will be 20 years next year.
    The quilt is going to be so very special.

    hugs
    Christine

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  7. What a terrific quilt and a nice reminder of your mom, who I'm sure you miss dearly. I'm so sorry you lost your mom at such a young age. I'm 48 too and cannot imagine leaving my family..yet!! May we live long happy lives!!

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  8. your quilt is colorful and exciting and beautiful.

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  9. beautiful beautiful quilt. I have a mental countdown until the age when my mom died of cancer (probably breast cancer which had spread everywhere else). She was 55 which is too darn early. but oh, 48. I'm so sorry for your loss, Barb. you chose a great way to honor her.

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  10. You never get too old to miss your momma!! I'm 48, too, Barb, and mine passed about 4 years ago and not a day goes by that I don't think of her and wish she could see her legacy...I think she can from where she is!! :-)
    The quilt is just breath-taking, for its beauty in its own right, and for its sentiment. You'll be cuddling with your mom all winter!! What will you use for the backing? I can't wait to see!
    Blessings,
    Mary Lou

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  11. Dear Barb, Your quilt is really gorgeous, and I am in awe that it is your original design. I love everything about it....color, birds, letters....EVERYTHING. I lost my Mom 5 years ago, and my Dad died at 52. You never really get over it. Best wishes, Michele

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  12. What a beautiful tribute to your Mom. I love the design, and the colors too.
    May your mind wander back to happier times as you do the quilting.
    My mom has been gone 11 years, my Dad 25. I sure miss them...especially during the holidays.

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  13. Dear Barb,
    I am so sorry for your loss!
    You have done a beautiful job designing the quilt in your mother's memory. I love how it reflects the gentle and calm emotions of motherhood and a daughter's heart.
    Enjoy stitching more memories into the quilt!

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  14. What a beautiful post! It is 7 years ago today that I lost my Dad to cancer, so I feel very comforted by your post to know I'm not alone. Thank you!

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  15. I thank you for sharing the story of this quilt. The quilt is a lovely way to remember ..... and to see how far you have come.

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  16. wonderful story and lovely quilt. Hand quilting this will be great therapy.

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  17. It's a beautiful quilt, and such a nice tribute to your mother. The idea of using the pink in an antique pattern is so perfect, and I love the lettering and the sentiment.

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  18. It is an absolutely beautiful quilt and such a special way to honour her. 48 is so young. The red and pink together in the quilt are gorgeous, and then the birds, and the hands ... it is all just fabulous. I'm going to email the link to my mom so she can see it too. Riel

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  19. what an amazing way to honor your Mom she would have been so proud of you and all you have accomplished in the past 20 years.
    I absolutely love this quilt, the words, the design, the story behind it
    I hope you have many hours this winter quilting it and remembering all the good times you had with your Mom
    Kathie

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  20. Ahhhh.... This post made me burst into tears. I so miss my mother, who passed unexpectedly in the summer of 2008 at the age of 68. What a fantastic tribute to your mother's memory. It is a beautiful, beautiful quilt, to treasure from generation to generation.

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  21. What a beautiful quilt, and the meaning makes it even more special. A wonderful tribute to your Mom.

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  22. Yet another fabulous Barb quilt & a lovely tribute to your mom.

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  23. So touching, and what a treasure. I wonderful tribute to your mother!
    christine

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  24. Oh this is wonderful! What a treasure for sure!

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  25. Oh Barb, this quilt is BEAUTIFUL!! I'm sure your Mom will be smiling down on you as you put each stitch into it.

    Hugs,

    Crispy

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  26. Oh Barb - what a beautiful tribute to your mom. It's such a gorgeous quilt. I love the pink background - its so eye-catching and then there's so much to look at and enjoy in the applique. The dogtooth borders are wonderful.
    I have to wipe away the tears to type this - my mom had breast cancer when she was 43. I am only a couple years away from 43 myself. My mom is a survivor for which I am profoundly grateful.

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  27. Your quilt is so lovely, that I forwarded a picture of it, with the saying under it, to my own mother. She will be 90 in May and has Parkinson's disease. I tell her to hang in there because I cannot make it without her and she says that she felt the same way when her own mother was aging and that I would be ok as she was. Your quilt is inspiring and uplifting. So I thank you for sharing it. I think that we are all fellow travelers with the mom's we love so much. Hugs from me too..

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  28. Wow, what a beautiful quilt and such a heartfelt tribute. Thank you for sharing it and reminding me how lucky I am at 48 to still have both my parents. Thanks for the touching reminder.
    BTW, love the Pennsylvania antique flavor of the quilt and that you pulled out the center and are finishing it.
    Sending a big hug.

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  29. Oh, Barb! What a beautiful quilt and a lovely tribute to your Mother. Your story has really touched my heart. Merry Christmas!
    ~Joyce in MI

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  30. A lovely tribute to your mother, and I'm sure you'll have somewonderful memories of her while you hand quilt it.

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  31. A beautiful quilt and a lovely tribute to your mum. Like many I too have lost my mum to cancer 4 years ago and my dad this past March. It is wonderful to have the memories and to keep reliving them. Enjoy your winter quilting and the reflecting that comes during quiet times.

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  32. There are tears in my eyes. What a beautiful tribute to your mother.

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  33. What a gorgeous quilt! A beautiful tribute to your mother.

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  34. An amazing quilt, Barb! I love the design in the centre. A wonderful tribute to your Mum.

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  35. Thank you for sharing that with you. I am designing/drawing some hand quilting for a top I am about to put in my frame. I would be interested to see what choices you come up with. Hand quilting is comforting.

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  36. Thank you for sharing the quilt and your story, Barb. I'm so lucky that my 86-year-old mother is still vibrant, feisty, active, and a great comfort when I need advice.
    Bless you and your memories of your mother -- cherish those memories as you quilt this special project this winter.

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  37. A beautiful quilt and a wonderful tribute to her. It really glows with all your love for her and her love for you.

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  38. Oh my goodness, it's wonderful! What a great memorial to your Mother.

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  39. What a beautiful quilt! I think that hand quilting it will be very comforting. I lost my mother 2 years ago, and I miss her every day.

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  40. Wow. 48. That's SO young. Your quilt is beautiful. I hope when you wrap up in it, you will have wonderful memories of your mother. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  41. What a treasure! I love hand quilting projects like this that I can linger over for weeks and months. Can't wait to see the reveal :).

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  42. This quilt is amazing, I think it's very special and your quilting is going to be fantastic.

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  43. I burst into tears seeing your beautiful quilt and reading previous comments. So many of us belong to that same club, the one that requires us to have lost our mothers too soon. I hope you will continue to share this project as you quilt it.

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  45. Barb, I cannot imagine the emotional journey this must be as you have created the quilt and stitching it. I can imagine memories have been your constant companion. And probably a Godwink or 2 I can imagine....At 29 my cousin died of breast cancer and I remember having an emotional moment when turned 29 and thought of her. I have her pic in my gadgets on my blog to CELEBRATE her memory. This quilt is amazing! DId you choose the pink background representing breast cancer or for another reason or JUST BECAUSE? I can see your mom smiling as you work on it! Maybe she is even blogging it in heaven!

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  46. i saw today's post and had to go hunting back to find this one so i could see what it said. what a lovely quilt. it's so wonderful and says so much. thank you for sharing it.

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  47. Very emotional story for me, my story is almost the same, (my mother died when she was 47....
    The quilt is beautiful and I think working on it was emotional for you !

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Thanks for commenting, I love hearing what you think.