Author Archives: jennifer

30 Days of Bible lettering: Days 1-7

I recently started a little creative project just for fun.  I came across a challenge on Instagram called 30 Days of Bible lettering and decided to try it out.

Each day there is a new verse to letter in some way.  I gave myself some rules because I knew I would quickly judge my efforts as not good enough and the perfectionist in me would ruin all the fun.  My rule is that I get just one try – no starting over, and I have just 5 minutes to do it.  My goal is for it to be a brief creative warm-up of sorts.

I have always enjoyed writing and as a girl spent many hours practicing my handwriting, so it’s no surprise that this exercise attracts me.  I hope, after 30 days, to be a little more confident, a little better at spacing and composition, a little less shaky, and a little better in general.

Of course, the best part is the time I spend pondering the verse as I write it.  I find myself thinking about its application in my life today, about my Savior Jesus Christ, and gratitude always follows.  After all, how can you read words like “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” or “thy comforts delight my soul” without feeling more confident in Him?

So many of these verses are also a call to action:  love in deed and in truth, pray without ceasing, let us not be weary in well doing!  With all that is going on in our world I find these messages particularly compelling.  Pray and serve and never quit – doesn’t that sound like a great way to live?

I broke my rule on the “pray without ceasing” one because I decided to learn to draw a wreath – something I’ve never tried before.  So of course I got out a scratch paper and fiddled with it and made mistakes and then got interrupted and all of a sudden I was 4 days behind!  I came back to the challenge, took a deep breath and just did my best.  So many mistakes, but I like it.

I mentioned life has been overly full lately.  I am grateful for all we have going on but I do sometimes wonder and fear when I look too far down the road – so much needs doing!  I loved being reminded that my part is to not be weary from all of it, but to joyfully do my best and trust that it will all work out.

Bible lettering has reminded me that much of the overload is a result of that more abundant life that Jesus promised.  I marvel at the blessings being poured out on us and while I sometimes shake at the responsibility they bring, my heart runs towards them, thrilled to be living a life with the meaning and direction Jesus Christ offers.

I am currently behind again on this project, but hope to catch up.  I’m posting them on my personal Instagram account, @jenniferSharrison, if you want to follow along.  Better yet, grab a pencil or pen and join in yourself!  I might do a second round of bible lettering, using my personal favorites.  This could become a really fun habit!

Long Time Gone quilt: a beginning

Earlier this year I joined the Long Time Gone sew along on Instagram.  When I’m done sewing through all my Carolyn Friedlander projects I plan to sew through all the Jen Kingwell patterns I’ve got.  The sew along seemed like a good excuse to start early.

My plan is to use low volumes and brights.  I’d like a quilt with a lot of contrast in it, so I’ve been pulling scraps along this theme.  Many of the blocks in the Long Time Gone pattern are great for using scraps, and I enjoy using little bits of past projects and favorite fabrics to make new combinations and create quilts that are something of a scrapbook.

In fact, sometimes I wonder how long I could sew for if I only used scraps.  I always think I’ll use a lot of them but my scrap bucket looks the same when a scrap quilt is finished.  I’ve toyed with the idea of sewing for a year with only scraps, just to see what kind of creative journey it inspires.

Unlike some of Jen Kingwell’s patterns, this one is easy to follow, and a block a week isn’t too much to accomplish.  I like sew-alongs for that reason:  they break things down to small steps, provide a deadline and a way to share progress, and I feel like I get more sewing done when I commit to them.

I did a good job of keeping up with the schedule for the first while, but when my daughter was in a car accident that left her with a concussion and just a few weeks left of high school, I let everything else sit while I worked to help her regain her health and finish school.  Nearly six months later, these blocks are still waiting for me to finish the rest of the quilt.  This year has been a lot crazier than I anticipated, and a lot is on the horizon, but I hope to have a finished quilt top before the holidays.

I have a few more blocks cut out and hope to squeeze in sewing time this week!

Jennifer

 

Lindsey’s Layer Cake Quilt

We have the best neighbors.  One of them celebrated the wedding of their youngest daughter in June, and I had to make Lindsey a quilt.

I made quilts for her older two sisters when they got married (you can find them here and here).  Lindsey loves animals and works at the zoo, and I happened to have a layer cake of Sarah Watts’ August fabric collection, featuring lions and gazelles.  It was the perfect fabric, so I needed to make a layer cake quilt.

I chose a simple layout due to time constraints and went through my stash to gather a few more prints so I could make it bigger.  In the end I settled on a patchwork style layout using the layer cake squares and added a triangle in one corner to create the white accents.  I cut a few of my 10 inch squares in half for the side borders and got to work!

I used a combination of spiral and straight line quilting to quilt it.  This was a really fun layer cake quilt project, and I was able to finish it in time for the wedding (barely!).  I am filing this layout away as a good option for quick layer cake quilts – sometimes you need to finish projects on a tight schedule and I would certainly make this again.

Something I love about these friends is knowing the quilt will really be used.  It also made me smile to have my children give it to them and to watch them open it up.

We backed it in a lovely plaid and finished it with an orange binding.

We are happy for Lindsey and Alex and I’m sure many wonderful things are ahead for them!

 

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