need advice about starting quilting again

rated by 0 users
Answered (Not Verified) This post has 0 verified answers | 19 Replies | 6 Followers

Not Ranked
14 Posts
Points 645
Ocydroma posted on Wed, Jul 10 2013 2:13 AM

I started quilting about a year ago. My sister was imterested in learning also. So we found a local quilt store and a few others within an hour of our houses. We signed up for several different classes and joined the local guild.we enjoyed the classes, shopping and spending time together. My family bought a new larger house about 40  minutes from my sisters house. We still spent time together doing anything quilting but not as much as before the move. On February 27, 2013 my sister passed away due to a house fire. It was extremely hard to say the least. Our new house enables me to have a quilting room. The problem I'm having is everytime I want to go and sew, I go into my sewing room but can't get anything accomplished because I immediately think about the loss of my sister. I really want to get back into it but I'm having a hard time working through the emotions. 


Does anyone have any ideas of how I can actually go in my nice big room and actually sew? I know this is probably a strange request but I really need advice on getting my mind on something I really enjoyed doing. 


Thanks in advance

  • | Post Points: 155

All Replies

Top 10 Contributor
20,343 Posts
Points 254,959

My advice, is change the room around make it different.  Your sister would want you to continue .its something you both loved , so do it with this in mind , make a tribute  quilt to your sister and hang it up in your room for the world to see . hang her picture up and talk to her as if she was there. nothing wrong with this.  Relish in the memory you have of her being there with you . It sounds like you had a fantastic sister . Barbara



  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
9,061 Posts
Points 170,752

I agree!  Make a memorial quilt.  Did you inherit any of her fabric?  Do you have any favorite photos you can transfer to fabric?  Make your first quilt since her passing something with deep meaning for you.  <<<Hugs>>>

On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
79 Posts
Points 1,185

maybe you could make a quilt in your sister's memory for yourself, or finish one she started and use it in a chair in your quilting room so it would feel like her arms are around you when you use it.  you would feel like she's in there with you, enjoying the quilting that the two of you did together.  grief is a powerful thing and does different things to different people.  don't let anyone judge you.  good luck and all my sympathy to you......karen

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 25 Contributor
6,403 Posts
Points 119,676
Patti replied on Wed, Jul 10 2013 9:02 AM

I agree.  Rather than trying not to think of her for your first project, do a project that is dedicated to her.   A quilt, a wall hanging.  Keep it or give it to someone who would cherish it or donate it for auction or raffle for a cause she would have liked. 

When I lost my dear friend Margaret several years ago, I made a quilt with all rose fabrics and donated it to an annual Mennonite Auction and Relief sale.  I did not get it done for a long time, but the making of it helped me.  Margaret loved roses.

You may have many, many tears in the process, but keep at it and it will become easier.


Chiliwist Valley

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
13,901 Posts
Points 180,503
Marie replied on Wed, Jul 10 2013 10:47 AM

I agree with what Barbara and the others said, make a memorial quilt and always keep her with you in that room.  Matter of fact give that room your sisters name and when you go in there tell your family "I'll be in ......... room if anybody needs me, working on a quilt with her."  That way you could celebrate her every day.  (((((HUGS)))))

Millbury, MA

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 200 Contributor
335 Posts
Points 5,925
Jenia replied on Wed, Jul 10 2013 11:08 AM

Wow, everyone has the same advise, and I agree.  Working on a project has always helped me through grief, make something in her favorite colors, or her favorite pattern.  What was her first project going to be?  Make something for her and her memory.  Making that first cut will be the first step of many in helping deal with your loss.  It's very important to let yourself grieve when the mood hits you, just sit back and let the tears fall, then continue with the project when the mood gets lighter.

Remember the laughter you shared at the quilt lessons and group meetings.  Remember the great time you had shopping together.  What great memories to cherish!

Eventually, perhaps, someone from the quilting guild will come to your house and share your hobby with you, but you will always have your memories from your lessons together and each quilt will have a little piece of your sister there as she inspired you to begin.



  • | Post Points: 0
Top 75 Contributor
1,350 Posts
Points 25,270

I am so sorry for the loss of your sister.  I have a sister I share the love of quilting with and can not imagine the pain you are experiencing.  I agree with everyone.  A memorial quilt to hang in your sewing room will help you celebrate your sister and bring her warmth into your room


From Sunny Southern CA

  • | Post Points: 0
Top 150 Contributor
716 Posts
Points 13,400

I agree with all the above.  May I suggest one other thing that helps with grief, if your sister had a particular perfume or lotion that you associate with her, sometimes that helps if you have that smell in the room with you. Our sense of smell and hearing are very powerful in the grief process. My girlfriend always wore a particular perfume and she gave me a stuffed animal. I spray the animal with the perfume and some days I even wear the perfume myself. 

Michelle B
Enjoy family, friends and hobbies


  • | Post Points: 0
Top 50 Contributor
2,826 Posts
Points 43,869

Ocydroma, my condolences on your loss.  You've gotten some great advice already & I agree with others - make something to honor your sister's memory & hang it in your sewing space. Then, she'll be with you in spirit & memory when you go in to sew. I made a wall hanging for my father in law but he became ill & passed away before I could give it to him. I hung it in my sewing space & can remember him fondly when I sew.  If something like this does not seem comfortable to you, consider honoring your sister's memory in another way & know she'd probably want you to keep on quilting. Hugs & warm wishes to you.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 75 Contributor
1,410 Posts
Points 20,560

I'm so sorry for your loss and the grieving that you're going through.  You have come to the right place and it sounds like you're getting some good advice.  The only thing I could possibly add was that I remember hearing a *slightly* similar story from one of the other members on this site not too terribly long ago.  It was a different situation and I hope you won't be offended that this came to mind when I read your story, but I thought she could possibly be helpful if anyone remembers who it was, since it sounds like you're describing some of the same feelings that she was going through.  This person was going through a different kind of loss - she had lost a pet who used to always sit with her in her sewing room. Every time she was sewing her dog was with her.  After she lost the dog, she had a very hard time going back to sewing.  If I remember correctly, she described it as every time she sat down at her machine, the grief and the memories and the loss all came back to her.  She had overcome it, but I can't remember how or what it was that got her though it.  I know there was a lot of time involved, but I can't remember if she had any activities or things she'd done that helped her get over that hump.  I hope you won't be offended that I thought of that story.  Obviously, the loss of a pet is nothing like the loss of a sister and I am not suggesting that that her situation was the same as what you're going through.  I just thought that that person might have some advice about how she got over that hump, since she was describing the same sorts of feelings (though maybe not at the same level as yours).  Does anyone remember who that was or any parts of that story that might be helpful to Oxydroma in getting back into her sewing room?

Raleigh, NC

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 75 Contributor
1,347 Posts
Points 26,565
Answered (Not Verified) Agnes replied on Wed, Jul 10 2013 4:48 PM
Suggested by Joyce

All the advise is wonderful but the grieving person may not be ready for all that rawness that it brings on. May I speak from personal experience? When my DH passed away from his severe illness even though very expected , last Sept, I was floundering for a while no matter how much he was such a help and enabler for my quilting. I was just getting to the point of starting a quilt from his shirts for our grandson when the real wham-o hit. That grandson's dad (my son) passed away very unexpectedly on Feb 10, 2013. All thought of sewing was gone. I eventually started on small bits and UFOs but nothing gave me back my old desire. With my birthday in May it became apparent that I needed to change stream. I started a totally new quilt, cut ,sewed and had it done in no time. The crowning glory for me was when I named it "Goodbye 68, Hello 69." That was the kick in my back side that I needed. Since I finished that I have been able to go back to the Memories quilt. It is now coming together with stars from his Papa's shirts and blocks from a few of his Dad's shirts. I hope to have it ready for my grandson's 15th birthday towards the end of Aug. He lost two very treasured people while he was 14. This is very healing for me and I hope will be helpful for him.

Ocydroma--Hopefully you can get some closure and then continuance shortly. It is something that is a very personal and individual experience.

Agnes in NW Ontario

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
907 Posts
Points 15,080

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost a brother a few years back and it took me some time to get over the guilt of " what if's".

I love the idea of a memory quilt. I did a photo quilt for my Mom with her life in pictures, ( I did them in black and white  and did the quilt in yellows and blues)  from childhood to now- she loved it. You said she died due to a fire. Could you do a quilt for the fireman, maybe a wall quilt they could hang up? Or do a quilt for a burn victims unit where they could use it to raffle it off to help with other cost? I am just thinking here.  Or maybe there are other quilters in your area that are already doing things like that and you could get involved , or you could even start a group. You could start it from your church or even

Don't push yourself to make something happen, just allow it to evolve, you will know what to do when the time is right. 

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 75 Contributor
1,664 Posts
Points 25,235
Susie replied on Thu, Jul 11 2013 8:55 AM

I am so sorry for your loss!  I love the outpouring of support quilters give to each other!

My Granny has been gone almost 3 years now and I still can't get myself to do the memory quilt for her.  I have pictures that cycle through my computer screen and there are times that one will cause me to just break down sobbing.  All I can say is to take your time.  Work on other stuff and do the memory quilt when you can see well enough to make the cuts without cutting your fingers.  I know I'm not there yet, but I do have my plan in place.

Chicagoland, Illinois

  • | Post Points: 0
Top 150 Contributor
611 Posts
Points 9,270
Joyce replied on Sun, Jul 14 2013 2:34 PM

Ocydroma, I am so sorry for the loss of you dear sister.  I lost my mom March 2013.  She had lived with us for about 2 years and some days I just can't go downstairs for anything.  It is getting better a little at a time.  I haven't been able to really get into making a quilt but to get myself involved I have joined a couple of swaps here on QCA.  That has not only been fun but has me buying fabric and cutting and watching videos and chatting with others.  I joined the pillow case swap so that made me actually sew and it was fun.  I remembered mom coming in and sitting on the side of the bed watching me sew and talking about my great aunts that used to quilt.  Now it is a precious memory.  Can you play some nice music while you work?  you will be in our thoughts & prayers.




  • | Post Points: 20
Page 1 of 2 (20 items) 1 2 Next > | RSS
Have a Question? | About Us | Privacy Policy | Join Today © 2018 F+W All rights reserved.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.