Tears for Jean

“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.”
Edna St. Vincent Millay

I lost my only sister several years ago.  The hole is your heart just doesn’t go away.  She went through several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation over 5 years.  Some of those times I went to sit with her during those treatments.  Being a quilter, I had to have something for my fingers to do during those periods of time.  I cut out a lot of blocks and sat and did hand piecing waiting for that drip to be complete.  Over the years of her treatment, that is the only time I worked on them.  Since she has passed away, the project has been buried deep in the quilting room.  I’ve brought it out a few time and just couldn’t bring myself to finish what I had started.  Last month, I finally pulled it out and put it together.


I couldn’t bring myself to put any more of the blocks together.  Then it struck me that making the pieces fall away from the central design was the process that I watched with my sister.  I watched the pieces of her fall away gradually during the years of her treatment. To me this piece represents the process that I watched play out in front of me.

It is hand pieced and hand quilted.  42″x approximately 5?”

“If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?”
Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper



Filed under art quilt, batiks, quilting, quilts, Uncategorized

7 responses to “Tears for Jean

  1. Nan, a sad but moving story and a beautiful and meaningful quilt. Thank you for sharing this. And of course you are always a sister.

  2. Oh Nan, I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my only brother 5 years ago. I had a very hard time doing any quilting, My knitting was the only thing that would calm me. I am glad you were able to finish this piece. It is beautiful! A fine tribute to your sister. It is difficult when you are asked if you have siblings. How do you reply without going into a long story? Do casual acquaintances need to know the story of the loss? I hope that you have healed. I try to pretend that I have, but am not always successful.

  3. Nan, this is a beautiful tribute to your sister. The quilt is perfect. I have sat with someone going trough chemo and it changes everyone. I lost a brother to cancer. It is never easy – to watch them go and to be the one left behind. You will be a sister always.

  4. I’m so sorry Nan. Your quilt absolutely reflects the feeling you wrote so eloquently about. Thank you for sharing.

  5. A beautiful quilt to remember your beautiful sister

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s