Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Year's End

This is the year that my patience was tested.  I had to constantly quiet the ants in my pants and learn to be quiet and peaceful while sitting with my parents.  This quilt that John and I slept under last night is one that I pieced and then quilted, all while sitting with both or one of my parents.  It's warm and lovely and I smile when I look at it.  And now that Mom has died, all I want to do is hand-quilt this elliptical Drunkard's Path.  Continuing to sit and be quiet and be thankful.  Mom was the one who taught me to sew - I even took her sewing machine to college with me in 1967.  Because that's what we did - take our sewing machines to college.  It is ironic that I always found a way to get out of handwork, usually by giving it to Mom.  And now in her last years and in her death, it is handwork that is such an important solace.

This is the year that I recognized how much I am gravitating toward minimalism in design.  I study the two books I have by Yoshiko Jinzenji - Quilting:  Line and Color and Quilt Artistry:  Inspired Designs from the East.   In February I am taking two classes with her at QuiltCon in Austin. 

This year I feel good about trying new things, like hand applique and curved piecing.  I am glad to have these techniques in my bag of tricks.  This curved pieced bit - my homage to the Badminton Shuttlecock - still needs some handpiecing on the background.  But I don't love this piece and don't know whether I want to spend more time on it.  And it's ok.  What I did learn from this piece is that an unexpected color, like the grellow, can really perk up a palette.

 As we ushered my parents out of this world, my family prepares to welcome another into this world.  My NYC niece Jen is having her second baby, a little girl, next month.  My favorite quilts to make are baby quilts.  I made three just after my dad died.  And now to make this special baby quilt helps balances the loss and focus on the Circle of Life (cue music from Lion King).  We had all the kids and grandkids with us Christmas Eve.  One of the many joys of that evening is that our youngest grandson Ben is now 12 - we played Christmas Charades and Christmas Trivia and Ben competed along with the rest of us.  But one of the sadnesses is that the grandkids are all too old for toys.  I'm thankful for my great nieces, my niece Laura's little girls, who are not too old for toys.  I had great fun watching them open what John and I got for them.  And I'm thankful for my friend Eileen's little boy Henry who came over and played with John and his train.  There is nothing like a 5-year old who can't keep his eyes off the train.  Or a 75-year-old.

This year was one of peace for my family as my parents lived their final chapter. 

P.S.  And this year was one of deepening friendships with my circle of quilt besties - an amazing group of women whom I love.

1 comment:

Jennifer Lowe said...

We love you, too, Donna.