Babsie {Mini Quilt}
2018 Finished Quilts

Babsie {Mini Quilt Finish}

In loving memory of Babsy, Barbara Nieters Buchen.

Babsie {Mini Quilt}

Babsie {Mini Quilt}

The overlapping circles at the bottom represent the connection between generations and the free-floating orange peel at the top is the separation felt in losing Babsie, the last of her generation in our families. During a week spent with family, I began hand quilting the piece in the evenings as we remembered Grandma: her love of food, her horrible massages, and her unyielding curiosity to the end. She graduated with a degree in Chemistry in the 1940s, supported her family during WWII, and she was a pillar in her community and family.

Babsie {Mini Quilt Detail}

Babsie {Mini Quilt Detail}

The mini quilt finished at 12″ wide by 16″ tall. I started the quilt a few hours after we learned my husband’s grandmother passed away. It’s the first quilt I have fully hand quilted, and quilting it in the evenings as the family sat together and remembered Grandma was a very soothing and cathartic experience.

The upper orange peel has a double layer of batting (I used Quilter’s Dream Dream Orient batting), and I machine basted the batting to the quilt top in preparation and stabilization prior to hand quilting.

Babsie {Mini Quilt Detail}

Babsie {Mini Quilt Detail}

I used a combination of Aurifil thread colors and weights for the hand quilting. I used: 28wt 2135 (Yellow), 40wt 2340 (Cafe’ au Lait), and 40 wt 2312 (Ermine). My plans for the quilting evolved as I stitched along, and I especially love the quilting detail in the overlapping circles orange peel where the 2135 and 2340 merge and blend together.

Babsie {Mini Quilt Detail}

Babsie {Mini Quilt Detail}

The texture of the mini quilt is really like nothing else I have ever done. The final background stitches in the upper right hand corner took me about 8 hours to complete. I purposefully made the quilting more and more dense in that area and less dense in the lower left. Loss can make us feel unmoored, ungrounded, and floating with the weight of the world pressing down on us. I tried to achieve that feeling with the quilting.

Babsie {Mini Quilt Backing}

Babsie {Mini Quilt Backing}

This is a full view of the back of the mini quilt prior to adding the quilt label, which has been added since I took this photograph. The quilt is made using American Made Brand solids, and to add to the finish I graduated the binding fabrics to mimic the piecing in the quilt top.

30 thoughts on “Babsie {Mini Quilt Finish}

  1. vivian383 says:

    This is beautiful Yvonne, and a lovely memorial to Babsie .

  2. kaholly says:

    Well, I have goosebumps! What an amazing tribute, very thought provoking, and I’m sure, healing for you to imagine and then execute.

  3. So many beautiful stitches and, for you, memories I know!

  4. Rita Long says:

    There is a lot of feeling in your quilt . Hand work is very soothing .

  5. Patty says:

    It look fabulous and is a wonderful tribute.

  6. Cindy Pieters says:

    Memories hand stitched into this beautiful tribute piece.

  7. What a lovely piece and remembrance.

  8. Lorna Jones says:

    She was a force of nature, to be sure. I know it was hard for everyone to say goodbye, but what a wonderful tribute.

  9. Wanda Bamberg says:

    Yvonne, I turned out so nice. I love all about it and your descriptions of why you did what you did simply helps it all be better. Babsie would love it. In my Old Deep East Texas way… « You done good ». .

  10. This is beautifully done, Yvonne. I love the meaning in the piecing and the texture of the quilting. Like you, I love the mingling thread colours where the quilting overlaps.

  11. Shasta says:

    My deepest condolences for your loss. That quilt is a lovely tribute and I am glad it has given you some comfort during this time.

  12. aquilterstable says:

    Beautifully done on so many levels! Your hand-quilting is exquisite and I too love where the colors overlap. So much meaning and emotional sewn into this piece… I know it will be cherished for a long time.

  13. Jan O says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. This quilt is a lovely tribute to your grandmother; I like the symbolism you’ve created. I’m glad you got to spend time with family remembering someone who was so special to you.

  14. This is a terrific piece and all the thought and emotion that went inoto it is reflected in it. Its interesting how having hands occupied is a great way of dealing with loss and the touch/feel of the fabric is comforting in some physical way. I love it and I am sure you do.

  15. Beautiful Yvonne. I love the thought and emotion put into this piece.

  16. Rochelle Summers says:

    Thank you for sharing Babsie, both the person and the quilt. What a great way to work through the emotions of love and loss, to remember the good and the bad, to allow the grief to be. The quilting is wonderful.

  17. Nancy N says:

    A wonderful tribute to your relationship with Babsie. I have always found hand quilting to be a time of reflection and meditation. I do hope you consider including what some of the symbology is on your label, or as an addition to it on the back of the quilt. Too many times those meanings are lost on others who see the quilt.

  18. Genevieve says:

    I was so moved by all the thought you put into this mini. I’m sure your great Grandma is looking over you when you did this piece.
    God Bless

  19. Carole says:

    It’s so hard to say goodbye to people we love. What a special way to make your memories tangible. May your heart mend just a little every time you enjoy happy thoughts triggered by your quilt.

  20. Tammy says:

    What a beautiful story piece. Your work and words are truly heartfelt.:)

  21. Lea says:

    What a beautiful tribute to you’re beloved Babsy. It is gorgeous, the colors, the quilting, the design, all if it.

  22. Cheryl says:

    Such a beautiful piece, and a wonderful way to remember and work through the grief.

  23. Brenda Ackerman says:

    Hello Yvonne; This is such a special and beautiful piece of quilted art that holds so much meaning and emotions for you with each and every stitch. Thank you so much for sharing such a special piece of your quilting with us as well as a very delicate memorable piece of your life. With loosing my Dad in November this past year, I can understand to a degree and my prayers include you and your husband because of this and especially, because I care!

  24. Joanne H says:

    What a wonderful quilt! I love the story behind this and feel that it has helped you through a very emotionally difficult time. Thanks for sharing this and providing a coping possibility for the rest of us. 🙂

  25. Mary says:

    A lovely way to remember Babsie. She sounds like an amazing individual who will be missed dearly.

  26. She sounds amazing – and accomplished! What a great memorial for you – of her. Hugs

  27. Elizabeth E. says:

    I think your small, tactile mini quilt is perfect homage to Babsie. I, too, made a small quilt in homage to someone dear to me, and I love looking up and seeing it. I hope her memory brings you joy in this time of sadness and loss.

  28. Beautiful design and wonderful execution. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  29. Kate says:

    A beautiful finish, celebrating the life of a beautiful person.

  30. Jasmine @ Quilt Kisses says:

    I have never hand quilted with thick thread and big stitches. This beauty makes me want to try. A sweet memorable quilt.

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