A Crafter's Life

The Last Baskets

I mentioned in my previous post What’s On the Design Wall: Sasquatch Quilt Top Completed, that I needed to work on something “emotional”. I’ve completed my “emotional” project and here is a post about it.

My late husband Terry (aka “Terry the Quilting Husband) was a quilter and a crafter. He also helped me on numerous projects such as making binding for my quilts, cutting fabrics, making hexagon templates for my English Paper Piecing projects; and being an all around “sous chef” for my quilting/crafting endeavors.

One of the projects he worked on prior to his passing in December 2018 was covering clothesline with batik jelly roll strips (40 – 2.5″ x 42″ strips) to make Bali Boxes (actually “bowls” as I do not make the boxes) from the pattern by Aunties Two:

Here he is sewing the continuous strip (entire jelly roll sewn end to end) of batik strips on to the clothing line (see old posts “Throwing Pottery” on the Sewing Machine, Prepping to Make Fabric Bowls , and Prepping to Make Fabric Bowls, Continued for more on the process):


As a result of his efforts I had a roll of batik covered clothing line rope, but we got busy on other projects and I put it away:

Over the past nearly 2.5 years since his passing, I’ve slowly worked on completing projects he began and did not finish; or projects he helped me with and we did not finish. An example of one of these projects was a quilt for his eldest brother Andy (he came from a family with 7 kids and I sent one of his completed quilts to most of his siblings when Terry passed, except I did not have a completed quilt for Andy) that I discussed in the post – The Last Quilt.

(Trying to write this post without breaking into tears, but I want to share this experience with you as perhaps there is someone out there that wants to find the strength to complete projects started by a loved one who passed…)

So continuing my journey to complete anything he started before he passed, I realized it was time to make something with the clothesline he covered in batik strips. I decided to make two baskets: one for his sisters Diane and Susan, and one for me.

Here are images from my recent creation of these baskets – I like to call the process “throwing pottery on the sewing machine”:

Here is the basket for Terry’s sisters fresh off the sewing machine and then an image of the binding for the top being put on:

Here is the completed basket and the view of the bottom of the basket:

You might wonder what is peeking out of the top of the completed basket. Well I decided that my era of making baskets was done for now and I put together a kit for Terry’s sisters to make their own baskets to include: 1) a batik jelly roll; 2) the pattern; and 3) several packages of clothesline rope:

Here is the second basket which I made for myself with the remaining batik strip covered clothesline. It came out bigger than I anticipated and I am using it to store batik scraps:

Last week I shipped the basket to Terry’s sisters in New York and they have received the package.

Along with the basket and basket making kit I included a printed photo of Terry working on covering the clothesline for the basket.

As I did in the quilt I sent to Terry’s brother Andy (The Last Quilt) I said that the gift was from Terry and me – from this life and the next

40 thoughts on “The Last Baskets”

  1. Reading your post I had a lump in my throat imagining how emotional you must have been as you made the baskets – which are wonderful by the way. You are truly a star for using the strips and making something, also actually gifting one to his family, together with a kit so they can carry on making similar. You are so, so thoughtful. I am sure there are many crafters, myself included, who have inherited half done projects gifted by passed away loved ones or just found amongst their final belongings. I have a half made knitted cardigan from my mother who passed away nearly eleven years ago. I have never been able to face finishing it, even considered undoing it and using the yarn to make something else, couldn’t do that either. I also have some of her sewing things, in fact I opened a bag of her fabric the other day, not peeped inside for a few years, it still smelt of her craft room – which brought on tears but not only sad ones, nice memories too. Maybe one day I will actually finish her things, who knows. For now, just happy to have them still.

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  2. So very touching. Such a memorable gift for you and his family! I think of you often and stay connected on your posts. Janet

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  3. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Tierney. I remember those posts…TTQH was quite the guy – so pleased you’re able to bless/introduce others new to your blog to him. He’s so much a part of your life – seamlessly (no pun intended!) moving from then to now.
    All a part of the healing.

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  4. What a beautiful post, Tierney. How thoughtful of you to make the pots for Terry’s sisters with the rope that he covered. And then to add the extra touch of the ingredients to make more. It is passing Terry’s gift on even further. A lovely way to honour his memory.


  5. This is beautifully written and describes a sharing and healthy outcome of using things Terry left. His family will be so proud to have these baskets/bowls and feel the connection.

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  6. This is so beautiful! Your bowl is so lovely, and you are so kind to send his sisters one as a gift with the means to make more of them 🙂
    My Dad often helped my Mom with her quilting as well – he did her cutting and helped with picking out fabrics and so on. She has several projects that they worked on together that she can’t bring herself to work on.

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  7. What a brave and thoughtful thing to do. I hope it helped ease your grief to stitch the strips that Terry had covered and it is just wonderful that those strips are now two beautiful and useful baskets, and are no longer lying inert in storage.
    It is hard work to stitch those coils — I made one basket and decided that was the end of that!

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  8. The baskets are beautiful and are truly an incredible gift Tierney! What a blessing you have given Terry’s sisters as each basket was filled with love (yours and Terry’s), sweet memories, and creative inspiration.


  9. Hi Tierney,
    Lovely to meet you here via Saania Sparkle’s blog.
    So sorry to here of the death of your beloved Terry r.I.p.
    So glad that you have been able to use his memory and work to bring such joy to your nearest and dearest and at the same time pass on your skills by sending materials. I am sure it has all been such a cathartic process.
    There is so much in this post that I identify with,. Occasionally I try to continue some of mum’s (died 2015)creative projects and work on some of my own and the batik baskets remind me so much of my regular trips since 2012 to my beloved Gambia, West Africa..
    Thank you so much for sharing and allowing me this reflection.
    Take care.


  10. I love that you had the courage to continue what was the project that had lain dormant AND not just bundled it all up and sent it goodwill or said to your textile buddies, “would anyone like this?” – magic and congratulations on managing to overcome the sadness and memories and gift the “yarn (loosely) baskets” to family members…

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  11. Wow, it must have taken some strength to finish this last project and write about it too. Completing Terry’s work seems like a good way to remember him though, and the baskets you made are lovely! I liked the idea of “throwing pots on the sewing machine” too, very creative! ❤️

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