Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Return to Phebe

I left you last month with the news that Hospice had been called in to care for my mother. There were ups and downs but my mother passed away on August 26 without lingering and suffering. I was very thankful for that. This has been a year of endings for me - both my mother and mother-in-law passed away and a daughter left home to marry (not a bad thing but it is an ending).

As you can see, I'm still slowly working on Phebe. My goal to have her to the machine quilter by this time went out the window when my mother's health deteriorated. After the funeral, I really had no desire to work on Phebe and it has taken me some time to get back into quilting. To be truthful, there are still days I'd like to pack Phebe away. Instead, I'm planning to finish her in memory of my mother and mother-in-law neither of whom were quilters but were very supportive and encouraging of my projects.

Ever since beginning Phebe, I've felt there was just too much space around Henry (Phebe's husband). So, I'm going to add a border collie. Perhaps someone can tell me if they are the traditional dog to herd sheep? What you see in the picture is Publisher clip art and not my appliqued dog yet. Then I thought, shouldn't Phebe have a cat? Yes! I've appliqued a calico cat sitting next to Phebe. Unfortunately, it looks like the cat is sitting on a sheep's head so I plan to move that sheep a little to the right.

I think I may be thinking too hard but I've decided who is who in the sheep family. Mama is the sheep with the cat on her head. Papa is the sheep with the wavy lined body. Their children: #1 is the sheep on the far right, #2 is the sheep getting ready to jump or is he supposed to be laying down? and #3 is the one on the far left. However, it could be that I just need to have a good long sleep, ha!!!

OK, back to normal thinking.

Besides the applique and embroidery going on in the center and borders, I've been fussy cutting and stitching the sashing and cornerstones to the Ohio Stars. I can tell you that I will be very glad when this part is done. Until now, I'd thought of myself as a fairly good piecer, no longer. What I have is Wonky Ohio Stars which are sewn to finished size 1/2" sashing and of course, I had to choose sashing fabric with lines. Any little stitching wobble and fudging is very evident. 

This all brings me to what I'm trying to "say" with this quilt. I deviated from the pattern by making Phebe and Henry older, hopefully representing a life well lived, a full life. I don't know anything about their real lives but I imagine it was like ours today - good and bad, things to be happy about and disappointed with. Yes, I'm disappointed my piecing and applique isn't as good as it should be but it won't be so noticeable in the quilt when its all stitched together. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying (most of the time) the process!

Until next time,


  1. So, so sorry about your mom. That is a lot of endings to deal with in one year. I am glad she did not suffer and is where she needs to be now. It will take awhile to get over the pain---but it will get better. You will have fond memories of all 3 women in your quilt. I like the idea of the dog and cat additions. Makes it more real to me!! The quilt will be fantastic when finished---it is such a long process with all the little pieces. I have all my fabrics together & will be starting this soon I hope.

  2. Condolances for your mom. A mom's passing just changes our lives, writes a new chapter and we continue on. As Judy wrote, it does get easier.

    Now if you want to finish Phebe, stop the unsewing !!!

  3. You are definitely overthinking the sheep thing! Think about all the good memories you have of your Mother and MIL as you work on this quilt and it will always be a special quilt to you. With all those wonky Ohio stars - it will be anyway!

  4. I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. I know how difficult it can for life to feel normal again and to feel motivated to do much. But what a delightful tribute to finish Phebe in their honor. You are being too hard on yourself as your Phebe is just wonderful. Just seeing it today brightened my spirits so thank you so much for sharing. Sending many hugs your way.

  5. I am so so sorry to hear your sad news about your mum. My love and thoughts to you. xxx

    Phebe is looking absolutely stunning! Can you do all my stars for me please?

  6. Mayleen, I am so sorry for your loss. It's never an easy thing to say goodbye to one's mother. I know. You must not feel guilty for not quilting, nor for whatever you don't want to do. You're in mourning, and it will be some time until life has some semblance of normal again. This quilt is good therapy, and will be a lovely remembrance, but do not allow guilt to make you work on it when you don't want to. Take it easy. And may God pour His perfect peace into you.

  7. so sorry to hear the sad news of your Mother and Mother in Law.
    What a lovely and beautiful tribute to dedicate this gorgeous quilt to them -
    What a great stack of star.

  8. Very sorry to hear of your Mum's passing, and I think that your continued work on the Phoebe quilt in her memory is a really lovely one Mayleen. I've been very busy and not much time for blog reading or sewing, trying to catch up slowly. Love the addition of the cat and dog, these small details are what will make this quilt very special!!!!!

  9. I am so sorry for your losses this year, but in a while you will be able to look at your beautiful quilt and remember both your Mums with peace and love. What a lovely tribute!

  10. Hi Mayleen, so very sorry to hear that your mother has passed away - my belated sympathies are with you. Your Phebe will be a beautiful tribute to her life.