Quilting, stitching, crocheting


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Remembering Aunt Helen

Last weekend when I was cleaning out my big linen closet, one of the treasures I found was a quilt top given to me by my Aunt Helen. She had made the gorgeous Log Cabin all in blues and pinks.  Log Cabin is one of my favorite patterns.  We traded quilts the day she gave it to me ... I gave her one of my scrappy quilts that I called Heart Scraps.

Two days later I learned my aunt had passed on ... just a few days shy of her 83rd birthday.  It was a shock because she had not been sick very long and Aunt Helen had lots of health issues all her life.  She had been at death's door so often that no one thought much of the fact she was in the hospital again.  She had always rallied before ... much to the amazement of her family and doctors!!  But this time was different and I honestly think SHE decided it was time to go to her heavenly Home.  She has many family members there to greet her and one of her precious great-grandchildren to hold.

She was a strong and vibrant person.  She could take charge of any chaotic situation and have everyone organized and functioning in no time.  She raised her daughter alone in a day and age when divorced single-moms were somewhat rare .... so was divorce, for that matter.  She was an RN and worked very hard her whole life.  She was still working up until her brief illness ... she babysat elderly folks for their families ... arriving in her own car and walking to their door with her walker !  Also not long before this illness she was babysitting her great-grandchildren ..... what a joyous blessing for her!

She was an avid quilter.  We often traded books, patterns and fabrics over the years.  There was a period of time that I would send all my fabric pieces and scraps to her and her daughter, Cathy.  They were making quilts out of any fabric handy for the homeless people in the area (Dayton,OH).  They did this for quite a while ... all by themselves.  My cousin told me today that her casket was draped with her last totally handmade quilt (finished in Oct).  And the church pews were all draped with her quilts too.  Oh my, what a tribute to her !!  They also found my Heart Scrap quilt on her bed !!

But what I remember most about Aunt Helen is her unconditional love !!  She was there for me during some very dark times in my life!!  She was always a large woman and she loved to hug .... getting one of her hugs was so very healing & wonderful ... totally enveloped in her love.  Oh, how she laughed .... a lot.  Her laugh was infectious.  She suffered in her life and life was hard for her but she always had a smile and a big laugh and freely loved us all !!!

Her daughter, her grandchildren and her 6 great-grandchildren all loved her greatly !  They learned how to love and quilt !!!

This is the quilt top she gave me.  Please excuse Miss Kitty, she thinks I laid this out just for her !

Her seams were PERFECT .... and Prairie Points all around,  Am going to miss her !!!


  1. What a special memory....thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow Joanne, That was a beautiful express and memories of mom. You are so right about her laugh and hugs! I have only cried about 5 times today...because I will miss her "LISTENING" EAR!! She was the best listener when I would talk about something. She always thought whatever I had to say was interesting. LOL Now that is a gift!

    I remember her making that quilt and I thought it was gorgeous also! And those points! I LOVE IT! So glad you will have that for a memory. I love all mine. We even have one that was so beautiful hand quilted...a basket quilt, and Katie will inherit it because last year she took markers and colored it!!! Yes, I said colored it with magic markers. I was so distressed at first, than told her mother, "Well, I guess that is the quilt Katie is going to inherit"! LOLOLOL Only fair! :)

    Thanks for remember mom in such a special way~

  3. Thanks for sharing such a special memory. The quilt is gorgeous! Love the pinks and blues - and the cat! :)

  4. Beautifully expressed Joanne, and ditto to what you wrote. Aunt Helen was the best - I will always see her larger than life smile and hear her voice and laughter. I will miss her always but I am so happy that she is in heaven with Zander and Mom and others who have gone on before us! She is healed, whole, and filled with the radiance of God's Glory. I also have a log cabin pink/navy blue quilt that she made as a wedding gift. I always think of her when I see it. It was on my bed for quite a few years but had to take it off because of animals and afraid that it would get ruined. Maybe it's time to get it out again. (((hugs)))

  5. Hi Jeanne... Originally, I came to thank you for your visit and to enjoy some of your blog.. and then I began to read your tribute to your precious aunt...and you just captured my heart.
    In describing your aunt and her strengths and love for her family,I was taken back in time and so many memories of the elder women in my life came flooding back. Those women in my life were all quilters and hand needleworkers...and loving and strong beyond measure...and so filled with love. Thank you for the chance to get to read about such a loving woman and her acts of love with her quilts....you truly sent blessings to me today when all those memories came back. xxxxx

  6. Hi Joanne,
    Yes, of course you can take this pattern to use..it's why I post them. The only thing I ask is,that if you use it on your site,you link it back to me. I love Sunbonnet Sue and I love sharing..and you are most welcome to copy her off and transfer her that way..whatever works best for you. This is a little series of 6..this is the first and each Thursday,I'm gonna post a different one of the set.\
    I just got through sending Charlottes mother some Sunbonnet Sue patterns via email.. do you applique or embroidery..or both? I love both. CC

  7. What a lovely remembrance you have of your aunt and how happy she must be to know that you love quilting too. I love the idea of having a quilt "exhibit" at the funeral! I'll have to pass that idea on to my husband for my time....


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