Slice of Life & Progress on 2 Quilting Projects

In my last post  ( “She’s Probably Frying Zucchini in Heaven” )  I let it be known that my sister’s MIL had passed on and what a wonderful woman and legendary Italian cook she was ( HERE )

She was a devout Catholic and while I was raised as a Protestant and participated in many Protestant denominations over my lifetime, at one point I decided to explore the Catholic faith and am now officially a Catholic, though I attend sporadically at this point.

Still, at the funeral mass the ritual washed over me in comforting waves…and the priest had known her for all of his life. His mother and her were in the same maternity ward giving birth to him and to my BIL.  His parents were my BIL’s godparents and my BIL’s were HIS godparents.

That loving and compassionate priest  couldn’t get through the service without getting choked up on numerous occasions.

While I was over there with my BIL on that horrific night that we found her, fallen out of bed, and had assisted him and stayed until the ambulance came, I did not go on to the hospital.   I got the whole story later. She’d had a stroke and her heart was going in to failure but the tests showed a bit of infection and pneumonia setting in so it may have been a virus of some sort that heralded the end.

She was taken to a local hospital and then life-flighted to one in Pittsburgh.  She passed on early the next morning.

Both my niece and Steve, my BIL,  said that towards the very end a Presence and deep peace could be felt in the room and her attention left them and her eyes lit up and she began reaching towards the ceiling / air.  This did not surprise me as I have researched near-death-experiences off and on over the years….

The “Wake” was held at her house and while many people contributed a wonderful variety of foods, there were two big ‘hits’ :)   My BIL brought homemade canned pickles and peppers that were from his mom’s recipes, and the granddaughter that had come up from the south to stay there replicated her spaghetti sauce recipe, using the last of her canned tomatoes from the cellar.

Meanwhile prior to this and afterward life went on. My oldest son is in Missouri but the two others were pallbearers. Photos of them, the kids on the weekend with their cousins at a local place where they can jump on trampolines, the twins turning 8 years old, and one of them stopping by for cookies….

Meanwhile the drone of lawnmowers permeates the neighborhood as it just did a few days ago…I and many of my neighbors mowed on Sunday or Monday, had rain, and are mowing it all again now. My back yard had lush grass that had grown a good 2-3 inches since Monday afternoon when I had last mowed.

The crabapple tree is getting ready to display her spring glory soon…

I finished up the 3rd border of the Flower Basket Medallion :

I finished up another fan quilting section on my Rose of Sharon hand quilting project, marked another section and started again… I always get questions about this fan marking so once again, you can check it out at Fun With Barb’s Etsy Shop 

I have done traditional echo quilting and crosshatch on several quilts in the past…for his one I am enjoying the fan stencil :)

You might also enjoy : Crosses & Losses Quilt : Finished 

I’ll be putting some more hand quilting stitches in on Sunday and joining other Slow Sunday Stitchers at Kathy’s Quilts 

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13 Responses to Slice of Life & Progress on 2 Quilting Projects

  1. Karen says:

    I am a rather sporadic Catholic too – raised in it but rarely go anymore but still consider myself one. Funerals are such a odd thing aren’t they – like a family reunion on one hand with laughter and reminiscing but tears too as we miss the one that is no longer with us – family tends to get us through these things don’t they.

  2. The funeral mass sounds a beautiful and comforting memorial service for an amazing women, who clearly touched so many of you.
    You are pretty amazing too, to have had so much going on and yet to have completed another beautiful fan section. Your quilting must be a great therapy…
    That crabapple will put on a special show for you this year and you will desrve it!
    Wren x

  3. Joyce says:

    Rest in peace, dear Grandma Berti, you were loved on earth and now in heaven!
    Before Catholic rituals were “updated,” the funeral Mass was particularly beautiful. Black vestments, incense, (although I think they still use that on the casket at the end of the service), and the strains of the organ accompanying a haunting Latin entrance hymn, the title of which I can’t think of now….my grandparents were buried in this rite and it was both comforting and heart wrenching at the same time.
    Don’t be surprised if Grandma Berti pops up in dreams or other quirky ways to let you know she loves you all!

  4. Eileen says:

    Hello, I am so glad the funeral mass was so nice. May your MIL rest in peace now. Your grandchildren are beautiful, the twins are growing fast. Pretty flowers and your quilt is lovely. Enjoy your weekend!

  5. It appears that you had a wonderful celebration of Berti’s life. Lovely family photos, gorgeous crabapple buds, and you’re starting to get your summer exercise already with mowing. No mowing here, but it is greening up.

  6. CathieJ says:

    I too am a part-time Catholic churchgoer. My dad was Lutheran, Mom Catholic. I was brought up in the Catholic church, but have drifted back and forth in adult-hood. I married a non-practicing Lutheran. There are times when the rituals of the church really speak to me and others when they just don’t. Your photos of family are great. I am looking forward to seeing that tree in full bloom.

  7. Gail says:

    My Dad died two weeks ago and we had a lovely celebration of his life with tears and laughter. Today is our first family get together without him. There may be a few more tears. Your border is beautiful and I’m in love with the fan quilting too. Hugs to you

  8. Deb says:

    So nice seeing those trees start to bloom for you! I really miss lilacs in May when I lived up there.
    Love seeing your beautiful quilting – such an inspiration you are.

  9. Kaja says:

    It sounds like the funeral was a wonderful celebration of your MIL’s life.
    The crabapple is very pretty and, as always, your applique is wonderful. I like those curves in the quilting a lot.

  10. Susan says:

    It always seems impossible, but life does go on. We don’t forget, and we don’t stop grieving, but life goes on anyway. Your border looks fabulous, and so does the fan quilting.

  11. Melanie says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of this beautiful woman in your life.

    Always good to hear the other things that are going on in your life as well…kids, grandkids, your gorgeous quilts.

  12. Pat Taylor says:

    Having attended a recent Catholic funeral that celebrated the life of a long time friend, we were so moved by the genuine celebration – so many wonderful stories that often had us all smiling and laughing – tears yes, but you left church feeling so uplifted which is as it should be. Beautiful stitching going and it will help to bring much comfort.

  13. audrey says:

    Your hand quilting is looking so good! Love the quick little glimpse we got to see!

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