A Crafter's Life, Adventures in Paper Piecing

Back to Making Things and Lovely Surprises in the Mail

Hello My Blogging Community, thanks for all your support during the most challenging time in my life.

I wanted to share that I have finally returned to “making” after quite the hiatus after the loss of my husband.

But first, let me share the two wonderful surprises I got in the mail today.

Surprise #1

My blogging buddy in Dublin Ireland, Helen @crawcraftsbeasties.com sent me a hand painted card featuring a Beastie comforting another Beastie:

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To learn more about the amazing Beasties that Helen makes, check out her website – crawcraftsbeasties.com.

Surprise #2

My blogging buddy in the Netherlands, Emmely @infectiousstitches gave me an amazing stitched card:

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It was like a large fabric postcard with a wonderful handwritten note on back.

I so appreciate all the support from my blogging community including so many people who have never met me in person and only know me from my blog. I wish we could all get together for some tea and pastries at a nice cafe.

No Longer Dreading the Mail

I feel I turned a corner as I am no longer dreading sympathy/condolence cards in the mail. So many thoughtful people have sent their condolences over the loss of my husband but each card was like a gut wrenching stab reminding me of my profound loss. I dreaded getting the mail and making myself open the cards and their words of sympathy blurring before my tearing eyes. Perhaps in retrospect I should have put them aside and read them later. I felt compelled and obligated to open each card.

On Tuesday I began an 8 week Spousal Loss Grief Support Group. The first meeting was incredibly difficult especially at first but by the end of the meeting as we all started to share and connect it got so much better. The Grief Counselor facilitating the meeting is amazing. This support group is through our local hospice and is a free community service.

There is an educational component to each meeting and I learned a lot about grief and why I have struggled with some severe irritability. I am so happy to have a safe place to talk about complex feelings with others who have also experienced the profound loss of a life partner.

I now get the whole “support group” concept where people going through similar experiences can support each other and relate to each other struggles, especially with the help of an amazing group facilitator.

Back to Making

I knew I needed to return to sewing and the tactile experience of working with fabric as part of my healing. I was either struggling with low energy or lack of interest, but I kept trying to dive back in.

First I tried to return to the Tula in a Box quilt I was working on before Terry died (and Terry helped me lay out the blocks) – see post .Tula in a Box. I managed to get the quilt back up on the large design wall in the hallway (I had half of it sewn together) as I had removed it from the design wall after he died as it was upsetting me:

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But I have not done any work on it.

Then I tried to work on taking out the stitching of a quilt I made into a tablecloth. I decided to turn it into a quilt. I did get the stitching out but got stalled on getting it ironed out so I could sent it out for long-arm quilting:

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Finally I thought I would try some hand work – something I could sit in front of the TV (I’ve been watching endless Netflix in the evening) and work on – English Paper Piecing (EPP):

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That worked. I’ve been working on making EPP hexies in the evening. Occasionally making the hexies feels bittersweet at Terry punched out the paper piecing templates for me. But I like to think that we are making them together.

54 thoughts on “Back to Making Things and Lovely Surprises in the Mail”

  1. Ahhhh. . . Glad to hear you are reacting to your feelings, have a safe place (support group) to process your “moving on” and especially love the hand stitching! It’s like coming back to our roots. There is a peace like no other when we pull a threaded needle through cloth. After my finger injury and losing the desire to do anything, hand stitching seems to be the answer. I will think of you as we stitch. (BTW, I’m recovering/healing well!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Martha. I am glad you are able to do some stitching and that you are healing. Glad you have forgiven your kitty! You never know I might come visit you someday and will be sharing about my upcoming move in a future post 🙂

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  2. I was sorry to hear of your loss. I hope you continue to have such good support. So glad you are finding solace in crafting. Hexies, hand pieced, love them! I have a hexi project I possibly started 7 or 8 years ago, it’s ongoing and each time I pick it up again it brings me pleasure. It must be something to do with the handstitching and traditional feel of the craft, plus personally mine is working a little wonky and so it’s imperfectly perfect, like life itself.

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  3. Hi Tierney, You have been on my mind these last few months.  I was happy to see this post it let me know you were ok.  I was completely blown away by the death of your husband as I’m quite sure you were also,  Life just doesn’t seem to be fair sometimes but apparently there is a reason for everything sometimes we just have to look harder for the reason. I so enjoy reading your blogs please keep them coming and keep that beautiful smile on your face!! Rose 

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Rose and I so appreciate you reading my blog! Life does seem to be unfair and there are some days I still don’t believe it (like it is a really sick joke). I even had a dream that he was still alive and it was a hoax! Thanks for your support 🙂

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  4. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to get back to the last project you and Terry worked on together, but it’s good to hear you’re delving back into your creative outlets. And I’m glad (okay, “glad” isn’t the right word) that you’re doing the support group. Stay strong, lady!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ugh, you’re breaking my heart. My thoughts truly go out to you. It’ll be a painful project to get back to, but I know that the day you finish it will be a day you’ve really come to terms with your grief. 😔

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Some days might feel brand new and full of hope, some might feel like Groundhog Day, living the same awfulness over again, and some might be like Irish weather where all of it comes in turn throughout the day. I’m glad you found the support group helpful and hope it will continue to be so.

    As to Netflix, what are you watching these days? We’re in season 3 of the Unfortunate kids, as I call them. A Series of Unfortunate Events. Anything good you can recommend?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Melanie for your thoughtful words! As far as Netflix my brother got me into the show Travelers which is interesting science fiction. I’ve also been watching a bunch of Netflix original movies – like Birdbox. I’ve also been enjoy Amazon Prime shows such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. There is like endless stuff to watch!

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  6. I’m really straying from the topic but I watched Travelers and loved it. Now. Back on topic. I am glad your fingers are busy and helping you feel better. Sending x and o. (I am, not your fingers. Or maybe they are. Oh, I’m so tangled up. In any case, x and o.) Claudia

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  7. Hi Tierney. I’m glad you are back to crafting, and that you aren’t pressuring yourself to complete your projects just yet. The “wandering” from project to project is healing, I think. Allows you to just “be” for awhile, and not “do” so much. Last night at church, our minister said something that made me think how wonderful a support group is. He said, many sacraments are meant to be corporate – that is, they are meant to be taken with a community. He said, when people isolate themselves, they can get lost. So, now I am thinking that your support group is like that – you wander as you heal, but your group, church, family, and friends will keep you from getting lost. 🙂 And if you wander toward West Virginia sometime, I will wander with you. And of course, God is always with you, on the hills and in the valleys. I will keep you in my prayers, friend.

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  8. Don’t know about anyone else, but I think I just read that Tierney wanted to do an international meetup event. Not sure tea and pastries would be enough for this occasion. Going to have to work to build out that menu. And Sheperd’s Pie has to be on that list. We are all just a plane ride or ship sail away from this epic meeting that I think could happen one day. Looking at plane tickets now.

    I really like Helen’s special drawing / hand-painted card. While I have never met you in person, I can tell from your many postings and other people’s responses that you are one truly special lady. It is my sincere hope that you continue going to the support group and continue working on your various works of art as your heart and emotions permits.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Tierney, look at the April class schedule at the Stitchin Post. I must have been thinking of you when I designed the quilt I am going to teach called Sunflower Vase. There will be applique techniques, collage, and the use of hexies in the quilt. If you are up to it I will help you through making it a therapeutic quilt to recovery. Sewing and handwork of any kind seems to be healing, and helps calm my nerves when feeling anxious or irritable. My continued thoughts are with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Glad to read that you are able to craft again, it’s such a part of who you are. The support group sounds great, it’s helpful to understand that how you feel is normal and ok and that you’re not the only one going through this horrible period. It’s going to be a long journey but I am sure you’ll make it. *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome. I was really shocked when I read your post about Terry and wanted to do something a bit more personal than a comment or e-mail. Luckily Helen was able to help me out. 🙂

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  11. Great news to read that you’re nurturing your spirit and getting back into EPP. Beautiful cards! I recently joined a support group this year as well (for a different reason), and can definitely vouch for the benefits of coming together in an empathic space with others. It’s def. scary at first, but way to go, Tierney. I wish you lots of healing connections there. Big hugs.

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