CHQuilts: More than just a completed quilt top

Sunday, December 10, 2023

More than just a completed quilt top

It has been a busy year for me, for so many reasons, but my favorite part was finishing this quilt top. I loved every minute of it.

This is my version of "Homeward Bound," a block of the month, which means it took 12 months to complete. It was the 2023 project offered to members of The Quilt Show, designed by Sarah Fielke of Australia.

For profoundly personal reasons, this one means a lot to me. I just wish my late husband John was here to see it completed. This one will always remind me of John, who tirelessly encouraged my quilting and was always complimentary about every quilt I made. 

He had quilt appreciation in his DNA I believe, since his mother and grandmother, with whom he lived his entire life until he met me, were quilters. In fact, his grandmother still quilted when she was in her 90's. She did some amazing work.

I wasn't a quilter when John and I met. That was in October 1976. I didn't make my first quilt until 2004, but I knew then that this was something I would always want to do. And I have never looked back. This blog is filled with stories of my adoration for quilting.

John always raved about the many colors in my quilts, though I've always wondered just what he actually saw when he looked at them. I used to consult with him about color combinations until I realized he didn't see them the way I did. I used to laugh when he said our cats were black and white, though he insisted. They are in fact, gray and white. Color blind, he had trouble distinguishing shades and even colors, confusing blue with green and red with pink.

Making the quilt with a black background was also John's idea. He mentioned it once a few quilts ago, "Why don't you use black instead of white?" he asked. So, this one's for you, John. 

He liked what he saw, the first four months of work which included that entire center section. He died in May, the fifth month.

Quilting Therapy  

I have mentioned in a previous post during my years of taking care of John, a stroke victim with disabilities, how quilting was my therapy. That was never more true than with this one. I worked on it when I was exhausted, emotional, and just couldn't seem to do or think about anything else. My brain no longer worked, but my fingers did. Hand-sewing dominated this quilt and I learned to love the mind-numbing needling that to anyone else might have seemed tedious. I love hand sewing however and plan to do it as long as my fingers still work.

The same was true for my journey into the grieving process. While little else did, stitching brought me comfort.

First in my new studio

I worked on this quilt while my new quilting studio was being remodeled, as outlined in a prior post. As has become customary, I turned to the quiet comfort of hand-stitching while chaos surrounded me.

When I finally got to work in my new quilting space, the final border was done in two days. I was completely immersed in my new surroundings, on a new machine, at a new quilting table, in front of a window where colorful leaves gently fell outside.

Finally finished, the icing on the cake was when I was able to take a picture of this quilt top hanging on my newly affixed design wall. Never before have I been able to take a picture of a hanging quilt top. I was able to enjoy a new perspective on a finished quilt top that I had never had before as I looked at it straight on instead of it on the floor or a bed. 

Those two days in my new studio were wonderful, even though I realized I have lots of organizing and arranging still to do, but that will come. I hope to hone skills there, both organizational and creative. I'm now ready for a new year and a new project. 


  1. Wonderful story Carol, beautiful quilt! Yes, therapy and also meditation, to calm the mind.

    Our ancestors spent eons doing similar tasks—sitting quietly for hours preparing food, making decorative stuff, including clothing. It feels good because that’s how nature designed us to live. Harmony with nature’s design always feels good! Quilt on, Carol! 🤗

  2. The heading said Anonymous. But it’s me, George O.!

  3. I’m sure that you will be quilting into your 90’s, as well, Girlfriend!!!❤️