Quilt Finish

Stella di Natale • Quilt Finish

I started this quilt as another class sample for the Triad Harmony quilt pattern. The name “Stella di Natale,” is my version of Star of Bethlehem, but it is also a cake and the Italian name for the poinsettia plant. Every time I make a pattern, I try to do them three ways: the way it came to me, one in a completely different style of fabric, and of course, a Christmas version.

Having come home from my mother’s funeral with a roaring cold (no covid!) and Overwhelmed by Everything, I sat down at the Sweet 16 the next day and quilted away while listening to the latest Inspector Gamache novel, by Louise Penny. The label:

Back in October 2020, this is how it started. It all was about those wedges of flying angels, the last bits of a fabulous Alexander Henry Christmas fabric. The first two images are before the Run to the Fabric Store (I was trying to use my really old stash). I like the last one much better after a fabric transfusion.

I made a video of how to construct this for my Guild Workshop, and these are some stills from that video. It’s all explained really nicely in the pattern, too. If you click through to the workshop post, you can see all their versions of this pattern.

I never quilted it up, because I used it in teaching to show the back — how I pressed the seams, and other questions about that center point (just be bold and follow the pattern directions). But this past week, as I thought about my own personal star in heaven — my mother — it just seemed time to quilt it up. So I did. By the way, that first picture of it surrounded by dried leaves is how December looks here in Southern California, when all the leaves of the wisteria vine coat our patio.

Here’s a shot of another quilt, but in a wintry landscape; this was after the graveside service was over with, and our two boys (now, men) helped hold Jingle Bells for a photo.

My mother was laid to rest where she was born: Paradise, in Cache Valley. Yes, it was very cold that afternoon, but the morning services in Salt Lake City were lovely, the talks heartwarming (all seven of us children spoke), and the scenery at her little cemetery was beautiful.

Here’s another wintry quilt. It’s Shine: The Circles Quilt made up in snowman fabrics and with a unique and playful setting, all done by Linda Kucera. I have a closer look at her blocks in an earlier post. Most of the Shine blocks are free on this website, and the index is found above.

And this happened. I entered two, but only Eris will be in the show. Now I have something to look forward to.

detail, Eris

I now close a chapter in my life: that of having a mother nearby to call, to talk to, to share something like the good news about my quilt. I’ve observed from many of you that this may be a long transition. On the morning of her service, I sat quietly in the corner before it began, so bereft, so incredibly sad. My niece Melinda sat down beside me and said “I know there will be times you will want to call your Mother. You can call me, instead.” Her words were a treasure, as was the support from my husband, family, sisters. This past month I also have received many treasured messages of love and support from all of you, and so appreciate them. Thank you all for your kindnesses; it has made this difficult road easier to travel.

Stella di Natale • quilt #271 • 34″ wide x 31″ high

Other posts about the Triad Harmony quilts:

Triad Harmony • Quilt Finish

Triad Harmony Workshop

Secret Garden • a Triad Harmony Pattern Quilt Finish

Spectral Light (aka Eris) • a Triad Harmony pattern quilt

Eris • a Triad Harmony Pattern Quilt Finish

Choose Something Like a Star • a Triad Harmony pattern Quilt Finish

25 thoughts on “Stella di Natale • Quilt Finish

  1. You did a beautiful job on that quilt. I know it will bring fond memories of your mother every time you look at it. My mother has been gone for well over 30 years and I think I miss her more every day. I actually still have a few clothespins from her kitchen. They are easy to spot because they don’t make clothespins like that any more. They look like regular clothespins but made better! LOL

  2. Oh my! Your sweet, sweet niece, Melinda. That brought tears (very good tears) to my eyes.
    Congratulations on your quilt being accepted. That quilting is beautiful.
    I love how the angels fit perfectly in those spots. It definitely gives the feeling of being protected and comfort ❤.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers. I would take Melinda up on her offer if you feel it was genuine. My sister became my person to call and i became hers. While it isn’t the same, it does help knowing I can talk to someone who feels the same way as me. It definitely isn’t the same, but she understands what I am going through.
    Love and prayers 🙏 ❤️

  3. Quilting your class sample while listening to an audiobook was exactly what you needed for a bit – an escape from not feeling well and having sad thoughts. I understand. The finished quilt is really pretty, and if I may say so, “looks exactly like Elizabeth.” You have a distinctive preferences for symmetrical, angular, precision-pieced quilts, evidenced also by that lovely Jingle Bell quilt. The backdrop for those photos is gorgeous! Such beautiful vistas, though I could “feel the cold” too. Congratulations on being accepted into Road 2 California! That’s exciting! It will be something wonderful to anticipate. I’m very happy for you. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  4. Oh, I really liked how you changed up that angel block using the more muted fabrics that brought attention to the angel fabric. Sometimes I forget that by using too many bright or bold elements, a design can be lost. Using subtle colors or patterns in fabric (or when I make jewelry) lets the eye rest.
    Reading your post brought tears to my eyes because I still miss my mom’s daily calls. Mom called me every morning to say good morning and wish me a good day. She told me every day that she loved me, even during my crabby teen years when I don’t think I loved myself much less showed love to anyone else. Now those daily calls (and texts) are with my sibs and my close niece and nephew.
    Not the same of course but I’m grateful to my parents that they made sure we knew we were loved so we could support each other after they were gone.
    Your niece sounds like a kind heart, do call her. I bet there are stories about her grandmother’s life that you could share with her.
    I do that with my own nieces and nephews. There’s always something about grandma and grandpa’s earlier lives to share with them – I call it “before you knew them”…

  5. Oh, Elizabeth, your quilts are beautiful! My favorite is the jingle bells 😻. You have come to mind several times and are in my prayers. Yes, call your niece and your sisters and Dad. ❤️

  6. Congratulations on being accepted again for Road to California! I’m really looking forward to going to the show and seeing your quilt.

  7. It has been such a stressful month for you. I’m glad to read that you have felt comfort from so many friends and family members. Congratulations on your acceptance in Road. It is a beautiful quilt as is the new Christmas quilt. I think your final fabric choices are perfect.

  8. I was very touched by what your niece Melinda said. What a wonderful woman she must be. Your quilts are beautiful, and I look forward to viewing in person your quilt at Road2CA.

  9. Your quilts are so beautiful! Each one is so unique using the same pattern. You have had a rough couple of months and thankfully you have the support of many to be there for you during the grieving of your mother. It’s always good to have something like Road to California to look forward to. Congratulations! I have a quilt that was accepted too so maybe I’ll see you there. You might find me in front of Eris enjoying its beauty.

  10. Congrats on the your quilt acceptance. A well deserved honor. It seems appropriate to have finished your Star of Bethlehem in memory of your mother. I hope in time it will be that quilt that brings you happy thoughts and memories of good times. I know of the sadness you speak of regarding phone calls with your Mom. That was a hard one for me too. You have a wise niece to recognize this and offer her ear and her heart. Blessings.

  11. Your niece Melinda sounds like a very compassionate and lovely human being; what a kind, caring, and insightful thing to say to you. Stella di Natale is beautiful, and I hope that the time you spent quilting it was full of reflection and good memories. And congratulations on your quilt being accepted to Road to California! I’ll be continuing to send you love and peace.

  12. Precious Melinda! It has been nine years since my Mom passed and there are still moments I think I must call and tell Mom about this….I just stop, close my eyes and have a little conversation with her. My Dad used to call me everyday on my way home from my office, “Where are you? Are you stopping by here today?” I did stop by Mom and Dad’s very often and Dad always wanted to hear about my day. I used to play half dozen or more of my office voicemails for him…..he got such a thrill hearing all the questions I answered for the day. I was customer service manager for an aircraft parts manufacturing company..AOG….Airplane On The Ground Urgent messages were always his favorites. I’m retired now and when the phone rings today and I’d give anything to hear him say “Where are you?”. Life has its joys and heartfelt challenges. Warm wishes to you this Holiday Season. Blessings, Dawn

  13. Lovely, lovely niece. But of course you can call me and very early in the morning!!

    Congratulations on your acceptance! I know it will be a thrill to see your quilt at Road!


  14. May we all have someone like Melinda in our lives.

    I was searching for a white elephant gift at TJ Maxx and found a beautiful glass pink tree. It reminded me of my bestie’s mother, who passed almost two years ago. I burst into tears thinking of my friend land how much it had to hurt.

    I am sorry you are both going through this chapter in life.

  15. I hope the quilting of your beautiful Stella di Natale brought you some peace Elizabeth. I love the second photo of it nestle in the fireplace. Congratulations on being accepted into Road 2 California. Lovely to have it to look forward to….I’ll get there one day, I hope. You have been in my thoughts and pray for you and your spirits. Be gentle with yourself, talk to Dave and Melinda when you feel and need and reach out if you need another ear.

  16. Grief is such a process and I’m so, so sorry you’re going through this. But, then, we all do, at some point and our ways through it are as different as the individuals. I do find quilting helps me think and cogitate these things. The fabrics you chose for Stella di Natale are unusually subdued for you (although chosen before your world changed) and at first sight, I thought “low volume – how cool!”. While I love all your renditions, this one is my favorite and now the most memorable. I still hear my mother’s voice, how she always said when calling “hey Bette” – always followed by a question or to ask a favor; and I hear my dad. They are still with me, with us. I’m thrilled Edris was accepted by Road and that seeing it again, displayed, is a bright star on the horizon for you.

  17. Loosing your mother is a pain like no other. I am so sorry for your loss. Having sisters and your lovely niece to call is a special gift that I hope you take advantage of. My mother has been gone more than 20 years. I still miss her every day, maybe not as painfully as in the beginning, but the desire to talk to her never goes away. I have no sisters or niece to talk to, so I am alone with my grief. Take care and take the time you need for yourself right now.

  18. So glad you are my darling sister. You have a gift. Mother is happily looking down on all of us. Envelope yourself in one of your beautiful quilts, sit quietly and remember Mother. It’s therapeutic. 💐

  19. Your new quilt is lovely and I enjoyed seeing how it developed – IMHO you made all the right choices! Congratulations on the Road to California acceptance – always an honor to get into a national level show. I’ve been listening to Anderson Cooper’s podcast “All There Is” on dealing with grief and recommend it, when you’re ready. And keep on quilting – it’s such a comfort!

  20. These are beautiful quilts and you will never forget the circumstance – fresh grieving – of when you worked on them, photographed them. So tender and sweet, your niece’s comment. What a gift. I too recommend Anderson Cooper’s podcast. It is really great. My Mom died almost 25 years ago, and I still occasionally cry, missing her.

  21. Every version of your Triad Harmony quilt is so beautiful. Give yourself extra grace during the holidays–new grief changes things.

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