Welcome back, and thank you once again for taking time to read my blog, this time I’m writing this with love and laughter in my heart but with tears in my eyes.

There have been many studies showing that patchwork and quilting is a fabulous hobby for relieving stress, and it proves that it can help with blood pressure and mental health.

For many years I have turned to my sewing machine if I’ve found life getting in the way, but never quite realised how true the studies are until the last few weeks.

On Mother’s Day, my mum told me reluctantly that she had a pain in her side, three weeks later she passed away in my arms. She had been in pain for a while, but didn’t want to worry me, or my husband.

A mother to the end.

My beautiful Mum

We got back from the hospital after she passed away at around 5am and went to bed in the vain hope of sleeping, by 8am I was up and in my sewing room, I stood looking around, in complete and utter hopelessness, I hadn’t envisaged losing mum so quickly.

What on earth was I going to do? within a few minutes I was standing at my cutting table, drawing parts of Dragonflies and butterflies onto Bondaweb, I had lots still to do for the block of the month, so as I stood drawing, bonding and cutting I started to think of all the happy times I’d had with mum and dad, he passed away ten years ago, there was always lots of laughter in the house and although dad was the instigator of the many pranks, mum was always there to encourage him on.

A Few from the reject pile

Once I had a selection of my flying friends ready to be used, I moved over to the ironing board, I stood bonding the Dragonflies and butterflies and remembered about how much mum loved her garden, dad did most of the hard work, but she was the boss, she knew where everything was going to be planted, she had my husband build a summerhouse with space for growing plants – flowers and tomatoes from seed, she and dad spent lots of time transplanting the seedlings and nurturing them in their growth, just as she had done with my brother and I when we were young. She loved when their hard worked paid off and was content when she had a garden full of flowers and a bowl full of tomatoes, and was never happier than when the family she had nurtured turned up to enjoy the proceeds of their hard work.

Coneflowers were always in the garden

The bonding now done, I moved to my sewing machine, I started to zigzag the blocks, thinking about summer holidays when we were young, dad didn’t drive, but that didn’t stop us from getting out and about, mum would buy seven day bus travel cards, and we would get on a bus, complete with picnic and head off to a different place every day for the week. We visited parks, played rounders, lazed in the sun and ran in the rain, we always went home with a full stomach, mum’s picnics were legendary, there were only four of us, but she could have fed at least eight people with the picnics she prepared.

It was now close to 10am, people had to be notified, a hard task at any time, but this was all so unexpected I was numb, somehow I got through it, but what next?, back to the sewing machine. A couple of hours passed in a flash, mum was never far away from my mind, to be true, she never left it, but I could feel myself becoming calmer with each stitch, I was, without a doubt sewing through the pain.

Several days passed, each one bringing more of the same, we had to empty the house, lots of tears and laughter, photographs bringing back memories of happy times, it was exhausting to the the least. Each morning before leaving I would sit at my machine and also on our return home. The Block of the Month was becoming my sanctuary, I’m so glad I had this to work on, and have time to sit and think, but become calm in the process.

Working on the borders of the quilt had me thinking more and more about my parents garden, and the fun we used to have when the hosepipe came out, it was guaranteed that no one went back indoors dry…. A tradition I was happy to keep going with my family, and yes, my grandchildren expect nothing less when their mum gets out the hosepipe.

Dahlias were always in the garden and the tubers were always stored for the following year

The last few days have been without a doubt, some of the hardest in my life, but my sewing machine, my fabrics and thread have been there with me all the way. Mum is now at rest, and my quilt top is also complete, and in the last week I have managed to get it quilted and bound. I’ve also added some beads and hot fix crystals.

I’ve been working on this quilt since last year, and all that time I’ve been procrastinating over a name for it, I couldn’t come up with anything suitable, but, as I was stitching the last few sections of the borders it suddenly came to me, and it was so obvious, I had to call it ‘Connie’s Flower Garden’ in honour of my mum, she never saw my quilt, but each time I look at it I’ll remember her and her love for us all, and her love for her garden.

‘Connie’s Flower Garden’

Losing a family member is never easy, but I know it helped me greatly having time to reflect whilst sewing.

I really hope I haven’t depressed you all, but writing this has also been a great help to me. Thank you for being here with me. Next time, normal service will be resumed….

Carol

Responses

  1. Lynne Cavill Ham

    Sorry to hear of your loss Carol, we lost Mum 2 weeks ago, and the echos of your post are here too. Your quilt is lovely, and like you, will always be your mums legacy. As for normal service next time, this is normal, we all go through it and you have been wonderfully eloquent in the way you have expressed your feelings xxx

  2. Mo Jones

    Very well written Carol, you are so brave and have hidden strength as I don’t think I could of written it so soon after my mum passing. So full of memories for you and your loving family and yes Corrie will be so proud of you and sure she is smiling at you. Big hugs to a good friend that P&Q brought together x