Last week, there was a large shift in my family. My husband’s maternal grandmother, Barbara Nieters Buchen, passed away. She was the last of her generation on both sides of our family.

Babsie, as she was affectionately known, was 94. I had the honor of knowing her for 16 years and the pleasure of calling her grandma for almost 15 years. I know she loved me, and she frequently told me that she was proud of me, including the last time we got to visit with her in June. As the last of my own grandparents passed away when I was a teenager, Babsie and her husband John (who preceded her in death 4 years ago) gave me the beautiful ability to have a relationship with grandparents as an adult.



I was pulled to my sewing machine last week after I learned that Babsie had died. You know how much I love transparency designs, and I have had this idea in mind for a while, but I wasn’t sure how well I could pull off curved piecing and piecing orange peels. I had a stack of 10-inch squares of American Made Brand solids, a set of Jen Carlton-Bailly’s 4 1/2-inch quarter circle templates, and I just committed to giving my idea a try.

I have so many thoughts when I look at this pieced mini quilt. I see son, mother, and grandmother. I feel sadness and hope. I see love and transition.

I am planning on hand quilting this mini quilt, but other than that I don’t have a plan on how it will progress at the moment.

37 thoughts on “Babsie

  1. shoshana says:

    transitions are always those “stop and look”moments in our lives. loss of a beloved family member eventually eases, or should i say, the hole stays, but we learn how to walk around it and not keep falling in every time we pass… but it can also be a window into gratitude for ……….[fill in your own blank], thinking of you, shoshana

  2. Danice G says:

    So sorry for your loss. I also lost both paternal grandparents long before my birth, and both maternal grandparents as of 2003. I understand that pain. Blessings to you and your family.

  3. Helen says:

    How could she not love you and be proud of you Yvonne ? I actually love it and think it’s important when in laws tell you that . To a certain extent your own family have that familial unconditional love whether they actually like yuh or not . But when your in laws tell you that , you know it’s for yourself, because they like and love you as a person . I’m sorry for your loss .

  4. vivian383 says:

    My condolences for your loss. It must have been lovely for you to have her in your life for as long as you did, As Helen says, our in laws only love us by choice To have Babsies’ love and friendship must have been wonderful .Your lovely little quilt shows me a transition here from earth to elsewhere…no matter what your belief system is. You should frame it and give it a small space in your mobile home.

  5. Katherine Simonton says:

    I am so sorry for your loss-sounds like you have many special memories with Babsie to be cherished. Glad you have quilting to help you thru this time. Take care.

  6. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss, Yvonne. How neat that the two of you had such a good relationship. Your mini is very meaningful. Thanks for sharing it.

  7. Daniela says:

    Yvonne, thank you for sharing. I am sorry to hear of your family’s Loss. I love that you chose to honor with your craft. Keep the memories close to your heart.

  8. Yvonne, I love how you were able to express your loss and pain in an amazing and challenging mini that definitely is representative of your style. I know when I lost my sister last year that quilting was essential for my healing. Hugs, Mary.

  9. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my grandma a few years ago, and it was devastating. Sewing through the grief helped me, too.

  10. Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts says:

    This is a perfect example of how we use quilting as therapy. I hope you find some comfort while working on your mini, and I’m sorry for your loss.

  11. Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts says:

    This is the perfect example of how we use quilting as therapy. I hope working on this mini brings you some comfort and I’m so sorry for your loss.

  12. I’m so thrilled you had such a lovely connection with Babsie, but I understand how much more difficult it makes the loss of a loved one. Sewing has been a wonderful outlet in helping me deal with grief, too. Thinking of you.

  13. Liz says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss! I’m glad you have sewing as an outlet for your grief. Your mini quilt is beautiful.

  14. wbamberg says:

    Yvonne, Grandmothers are so special. Thank you for sharing your close relationship with Babsie. I had both my grandmothers until I was in my 40s. Therefore my three daughters had 3 of their great grandmothers into their 20s so we all remember these special ones well.

    I am touched by the quilt block you made to honor Babsie. It is lovely and so full of love and meaning. However you decide to finish it up, please include her name, birthdate, death date, in memory of and your name and the date you made it. No matter whether front or back, just somewhere permanently attached.
    God bless you and your family. Fondly, Wanda.

  15. patty says:

    Perfect quilt . I am sorry for your loss.

  16. Carole says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, Yvonne, but happy you got to know this special soul. ♡

  17. Babsie will always be in your heart and live on in memories. This mini quilt will show the love for each other,a special togetherness,

  18. quilterpt says:

    So sorry to hear about your grandmother-in-law. She sounds like a very special lady. Your block is a lovely tribute. My condolences to your husband the rest of your family.

  19. Brenda Ackerman says:

    Hello Yvonne; I am so sorry for your loss of a very special person in your life. I think she would have liked your newest quilt, I think it is spectacular and send you hugs as you continue your journey of healing while quilting this quilt. You and your husband are being held in my special thoughts. Thank you for sharing!

  20. This is a beautiful design, I can see your loss and your love in it. I look forward to seeing how you design to hand quilt it.

  21. annette810 says:

    So sorry for your loss. What a great design to commemorate her as well as her decedents.

  22. Anja Clyke says:

    So sorry, Yvonne. You were fortunate to have a relationship with her. Both my grandfathers were deceased when I was born. One grandmother passed when I was 12, and the other when I was around 30’ish. I love your curves. Makes me want to play with curves. ☺

  23. It’s good that your creativity gives you time and space to grieve and reflect. Loving and being loved is wonderful. My grandparents died before I was 14 but my children (who are all in their 20s) have grown up with the love and family continuity provided by having three of their grandparents still living – it’s been lovely to see their relationships evolving over the years. Take care Yvonne and give yourself time to love and be loved as the family grieves and adjusts.

  24. sue7oaks says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother. I love this little mini – you’ve done an outstanding job in dealing with those curves! It will be something to remind you of her and hand quilting sounds like a nice meditative way to finish it off.

  25. Cocoa Quilts says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad that you had so many years with her to experience that adult and grandparent relationship.

  26. So sorry for your loss and for your husband’s loss. It is so wonderful that she became a grandmother to you as an adult and you were so lucky to have her for so long. The quilt is so perfect – a wonderful transparency reflection on family. No need to respond. Take care of you and your husband in this difficult time.

  27. So sorry for your loss. Taking it to art is so healing, and i love what you designed. I hope you write the story to stay with your quilt so other will know it too.

  28. Kaja says:

    I’m sorry for the loss of this special person, but how wonderful that you had the opportunity to experience this relationship. Your little quilt is a beautiful way to commemorate Babsie.

  29. You and your husband must really be feeling the loss. I know I will be a mess when I lose my Granny. She is only two years younger than Babsie.
    Yes, sewing is therapy. The yellow is beautiful. Great curves!

  30. Jasmine @ Quilt Kisses says:

    My condolences on your loss. She sounds like a sweet lady. The block inspired by her is beautiful.

  31. kaholly says:

    Zoo sorry for your loss. How blessed you were to have her in your life. The block is a wonderful tribute.

  32. Kate says:

    So sorry for your family’s loss. Your mini is a wonderful way to celebrate all those good memories.

  33. Ruth says:

    What a fantastic age and to have had a relationship like that is wonderful. It’s a lovely piece to remember her by.

  34. Lisa J. says:

    How wonderful that you could have a relationship with Babsie into her 90s. The quilt is a lovely testament to the love amongst the generations of the family.

  35. So sorry for your loss. But what a gift your time with her was. What a lovely mini to help remember her by.

  36. Rochelle Summers says:

    Such a beautiful way to honor a woman who meant so much to you and your husband. Thank you for sharing your tribute to Babsie.

  37. Sue Rostron says:

    What a lovely tribute to a lady who sounds amazing.

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)