life is about letting go

after 2 days of serious sewing 4 joyful birds!

first sketch (and in fact final basic design) for a bird puzzle block, of course inspired by Jude's Class over in Small Cloth, Patchwork in Perspective Part 2

 I had gotten stuck in the BirdQuilt and here was the solution to unblocking my clogged up brain

this is StarBird number one, made with a nine-patch-grid in mind; a lot of stitching and seams meeting at the back which needed a good iron-press, so I got to thinking, maybe there's a shortcut:

number two, with larger areas pre-cut, however this proved to be more difficult than I had imagined, especially the triangle on the left! which pushes the piece up a bit; good to know though.

Number three is the one with the green polka dots, where I divided the larger left triangle into two, making for a better fit, plus the 'body' is made up of three parts again: a square and two triangles (are you still following?)

I suppose I could get away with keeping the lozenge (i.e. the head) and the larger triangle with the wings facing 'downward'. However in all other variations I think I'll stick to the making of squares, as I am not that precise, despite using the same templates and ironing the seams flat before stitching.
 I have learned and discovered for myself by actually doing (duh), that breaking the parts down into (parts of) squares and then sewing them all together according to the nine patch grid makes perfect sense, which is why Jude, among many other patch-working people probably follow this principle; the nine patch (or 4, 16, 25 etc) method is the most forgiving as far as I can tell
I also very much like the grid-lines showing

instead of being less work, number four proved to be more work, although that could be down to my imprecise cutting and ironing! those angles where the corners meet up were particularly cumbersome, although I did enjoy trying all this out!

I am now sewing four more, same as number one, albeit with different background colours, as I need a couple more for the quilt. The birds are all Blue so they match the colour scheme, because I'm that organised (not;-))

This is a 2faced post, much joy in the stitching and much sadness due to family circumstances, I wasn't sure how much I wanted to share here, but the crowd's not that big so here goes:
it has been a tough year for me, not just because I have been struggling with my burn-out and physical pain - I am on the mend! - but also because both my aging parents' health has deteriorated rapidly these past months; in fact my 85 year old mother now does not have long to live. Although we, i.e. my younger sister and brother, do not know exactly how long, as no doctor can possibly answer such a question.....With parents aged 88 and 85, I suppose this is only to be expected and we have of course known this was going to happen, especially after our dad's heart attack a year ago. It has been an emotional blow to hear, see and feel how bad it really is now. Fortunately my siblings and I have a good, loving relationship and can offer each other support. I have a husband and two sons, who are incredibly sweet, kind and loving; a couple of close friends who are simply there for me.
Many of you have been through this and know exactly what I'm talking about.

We will be together tomorrow, just the five of us spending precious time together

I don't know how or what or why, just that I am going to have to let go 


Marti said…
Letting go is not easy. I was in my 30's when my parents died, within two years of each other. They were not all that old; my Dad died first at 73 and then my Mom two years later at 67. both had terminal illnesses so we knew that the end was coming but even so, when it came, it was not easy and I was not prepared. Their deaths were over 40 yrs ago and still, there are times that I think of how it was. The one thing that I hold to is that you never ever really say goodbye for their memories come and they comfort. All I can say to you Saskia is to be good to yourself and know that those of us who come here, hold you in our hearts.
Mo Crow said…
(((Saskia))) your birds are so joyous in these bittersweet days for you and your family
Dana said…
Yes, joyous birds! For the inevitable losses of life, no, no, well, okay, but only because you force me. My parents are similar in age to yours. They are doing relatively well right now, but the specter of loss is at my shoulder already. My limited experience has shown me that Marti is right, you can never be truly prepared no matter how clearly the end can be seen. You are doing just the right thing by joining with your family and spending the time with your parents while you can. If I were there I would hold your hand.
Nancy said…
Saskia~ The birds bounce with joy! The heart weeps with sorrow. Life. I am grateful you have good sibling relationships, it will help in the days to come, for who else shares that special family history. I am also grateful that there is time to spend together...sharing love and memories together...being in and moving through the moments that are our days.
Today is my mama's yahrzeit (anniversary of her death). 11 years ago we said good-bye to an amazing mom, teacher, children's bookseller and just person in general. I still miss her. My dad passed in July of 2000. Moving into the elder position in the family is an odd thing. Love be with you my friend. xo
Liz A said…
Thank you for sharing your truths here ... enabling each of us to revisit our own losses and then reassure you that yes, it will be hard, but there will be grace ... and in time, there will be peace
to share as a Whole family...this is just so so Good.
My heart is With you, Love and Love
Hazel said…
Your StarBirds are wonderful and full of energy. I hope that stitching is offering you some peace during this hard time. Even with the knowing it was coming, I was completely unprepared for the overwhelming emotions when my dad died last year. I wish you, and yours, comfort and love during this time. oxo
Saskia said…
I would like to offer a collective thank you to all of you who have commented here (and one who sent an email)
reading how you experienced this final letting go of a parent does bring comfort
being together with the family this past weekend was very good for all of us, we shared lots that needed to be shared; we also enjoyed a hilarious slide-show Friday evening, with a mixed bag of slides, ranging from family holidays in Denmark, our parents' wedding!, carnaval in Maastricht, to a business trip in Australia our dad made many years ago, we of course didn't recognize anyone in the pictures (nor did he anymore), we held hands, laughed oud loud and shed many a tear; we have no idea when or how it will end, but that of course is the same for all of us

emotions run riot, I'm calm one minute, sad the next, I have cried loads these past weeks and expect there will be more tears to come; fortunately I do find solace in stitching, in being busy with my hands, these StarBirds make me smile
again thank you all and a big hug, as you can never have enough hugs! xxx
buysse maria said…
Soft and gently hug for you and your family ,hartegroet
Patty said…
Being close to your siblings is wonderful, especially now. When mom died my late brother and I, along with some other family members,
shared happy and funny memories. This is how our parents continue
to live - in our hearts. Love how you figured out the bird pattern!



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