Liberty Dresden Quilt Top

A friend of mine recently went to London, and while she was there, posted a video of the gorgeous collection of tana lawn available at Liberty of London.  London is my dream destination and yet I’ve never been there….

When I saw her video I remembered a project I started last spring at Kathy Doughty’s workshop.  These prints are from the quilting cotton collections that Liberty released several years ago.  I have carefully saved every little scrap and was excited to find I could cut 36 long wedges from my pieces!

For this project I used a ten degree wedge ruler that is 25 inches long.  My fabric pieces weren’t quite that long, and on a few of them I added a strip to make them longer.  The dresden is 49″ across.

I had a number of ideas in mind for the background of this quilt – NONE of which included this purple Mostly Manor Stripe by Victoria Findlay Wolfe.  I had a smaller piece on hand and it happened to be sitting nearby when I was selecting the background.  On a whim I tried it out and to my surprise I loved it!

I loved purple as a second grader, but have avoided it since.  I am learning that it has it’s place in design and sometimes is just the right color to complement a project.  The bold navy stripes in this print turned out to be a beautiful contrast to the small scale prints in the wedges.  I waited impatiently for yardage to arrive so I could assemble the top.

I hand appliqued the outer edge of the dresden to the background.  Now it’s just lacking a center, which will be this awesome yellow.  I am currently debating quilting ideas before I decide when to applique the center circle in place.

I love the colors and prints of these designs.  My Fireworks quilt was the original project I made with them.  It am happy to have made another quilt top using leftovers.  This was a refreshing fast project to indulge in and now I want to make more dresdens!

To Make the World a Little Better

A little over two years ago my family and I faced a challenge that changed us.  We’re not unique; life is supposed to do that for all of us in some way.  It left me reeling emotionally for some time, and it’s still hard.  There was a sudden need for a Plan B that hadn’t been written, that I didn’t want to write, and a road ahead that looked bleak.  I remember thinking to myself that I didn’t know how I would get through it, or even if I wanted to.  It was tough.

As we’ve walked the road now for a couple of years, I’ve learned that you do get through it – even the things you would give anything to avoid – and that there is a gold mine of opportunity to learn, ask questions, grow and overcome.  The interesting thing about growth is that much of it is invisible on the outside.  From the outside, some might think our family has more holes than ever, and from their perspective they may be right.  But on the inside, where so much is happening that really matters, my heart sings gratitude.  When life requires you to live on a really deep level, it’s natural that things on the surface won’t always look perfect, and it’s also natural that you don’t worry so much about that surface that once seemed to tell the entire story.  It’s an inaccurate reading.

Even so, I have times when I worry and wonder and doubt.  A few months ago I was feeling vulnerable and concerned when the voice of the Spirit came into my mind.  This is what I heard:

“Never in the history of the world has there been a family exactly like yours.  Why are you worried that yours looks different from all the others you can see?  Quit looking around!  Spend more time asking Heavenly Father what he wants your family to look like, to be like.  Let Him teach you about your potential and what he wants you to do.”

This lesson hit me like a thunderbolt.  It was one of those things that I knew, but in being told it was like hearing it for the first time.  It’s true.  Like every other family out there, mine is unique.  We’re not supposed to look like every other family.

And so I’ve been asking more.  Asking Heavenly Father what he wants our family to be like, what things I need to start or stop doing, or do differently.  Interestingly, the conversation has been a lot less about the specifics I thought I’d learn, and a lot more about service.  So far my biggest lesson has simply been that God wants us to be serving.  He wants us lifting, blessing, and strengthening others.  He wants us working to make the world a little better.

I was asked last-minute to teach a class in Church today, and the topic is service.  The lesson is full of quotes from Gordon B. Hinckley, who is one of my heroes.  When I read this quote everything inside me went still.  He captured my heart:  “I wish to be up and doing.  I wish to face each day with resolution and purpose.  I wish to use every waking hour to give encouragement, to bless those whose burdens are heavy, to build faith and strength of testimony.”

I want so much to be this sort of person.  I didn’t want to teach the lesson and forget a few weeks later how much these words meant to me.  So I dusted off my pen and practiced some lettering.  This handout was the result.

If it resonates with you, too, feel free to download the PDF, which includes a full page and a half page format.  The world would be a pretty amazing place if we all lived each day with this desire in our hearts!

Download PDF HERE


Anthem Quilt Pattern

Every year I promise myself a red, white and blue quilt for the summer.  I’ve never made it happen – until now.  I’d like to introduce Anthem, a vintage-inspired star quilt that is a quick and fun project.

This quilt is inspired by a vintage block I came across a while ago.  I was drawn to the way the stripes rotate around the star.  Given my love of the lone star block, I liked this variation and decided to try it out.

These blocks come together very quickly (no Y seams) and provide big impact.  The blocks finish at 22″ and you only need nine to make a quilt that measures 66″ square.

The pattern is now for sale in my Craftsy store.  I’m offering it at an introductory price of just $4.99 through July 8th.  Download the pattern now and have a finished quilt top before the 4th!

Happy Sewing!

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