2018, A Year I Will Never Forget

It’s been far too long since I wrote a blog post. You know how some years pass and you think “what did I do or accomplish that year”? Other years are remembered for all that you did or experienced. 2018 was a year I will never forget. It was a bittersweet year for me.

I’ve been my mother’s caregiver for the last 4 ½ years. I’ve always been close to my mom. We did a lot of traveling together through the years, China, Kenya, Europe and so much more. We always got along (except when I was 15!) and enjoyed each other’s company. We’ve laughed and cried, been in awe of things and just had a great friendship.

In the beginning of 2018 I could see, and so could my mother, that she was failing physically. She was as sharp as always, but her body, at 89 was wearing out. By Mother’s Day she signed herself into Hospice care and on July 22nd she passed peacefully while holding my hand. She waited for me to be with her that morning. She was a kind, smart, lovely woman who I will miss forever. Having said that, if you’ve ever been a caregiver for a loved one you know that your own life takes a back seat. And that’s hard and often frustrating. But we do it because we love them so much.

So, what does this have to do with quilting? Looking back at the quilts I made in 2018 and I see a theme. Not a planned theme, but nonetheless a theme. A theme of going forward, thinking positive thoughts. Two quilts I made in 2018 are named “Positive Energy” and “Direction”. I didn’t make as many quilts as I usually do in a year, especially in the first half of the year. But when I could, I snuck into my sewing room and made stuff. And it carried me through my grief, as it does now.

Over the next few months, I thought I’d share with you what I accomplished last year. Here’s a story about a basket I made.

I live in a wonderful neighborhood. We all have large lots, and two gravel roads. We live at the end of a long road. One way in, one way out. We don’t see our neighbors much, but just enough. A few years ago, a family of four moved in across our street. The Mom and Dad have become great friends. Helpful, funny, partying buddies and just really good people. They have two cute kids, around 13 and 11. I’ve “adopted” the kids because I love kids and these kids are so interesting and fun. They walk up our long driveway to take the short cut to the mailboxes.

Miss A, the 13-year-old asked if she could interview me for her American Heritage Girls badge. She needed to interview someone who was a fiber artist. I was so pleased! Someone thinks I’m a real fiber artist! Of course, I said yes. One afternoon in April she came up to see me. Miss A was prepared with a recorder, notebook, pencil and a list of questions. This is serious stuff! Miss A asked me well thought out questions, and took notes of my answers. It was a fun and interesting interview. After Miss A left, I was so touched by her sincerity and, if truth be told, how cute she is that I decided to make her a little something. A basket! Quick, useful and fun. I asked Miss A’s mother what her favorite colors were and started digging through my stash of teal and pink fabrics. I got busy and made her a cute little basket. It’s about 10” x 6”. She loved it! And I love Miss A.
baskets out of clothesline
I make these baskets out of clothesline. I wrap fabric around the clothesline and zig zag the rope together. Here’s one I made for my Son and Daughter in love to match their French styled dining room.
baskets out of clothesline
If you are interested in trying this yourself check out Susan Breier’s book “It’s A Wrap”. Susan’s book is a great resource for making all sorts of clothesline vessels. I’ve made several sets of coasters using this technique. Be careful though, it’s addictive!
baskets out of clothesline

Talk to you later!