Category Archives: Quilting and Sewing

“She Listened”, A Finished Lone Star Quilt

I’ve made several lone star quilts.  This one is different.  Over the years quilting has become an increasingly spiritual experience for me.  I sort through difficult feelings, receive insights and inspiration, feel God’s love as I sew.  I also feel compelled to sew more about my life experiences, to make quilts that capture or tell my story.  “My Heart, Today” is such a quilt, and this is too.  We had a hard year last year, and some things won’t be fully resolved for a few years.  But because of the hard things, I spent many hours on my knees in prayer, and really good things came of that.  One of them is this quilt.  I have titled it “She Listened”.

I wanted to capture what it felt like to receive answers.  To somehow depict how I feel when peace, warmth, light, and ideas flood my mind and heart.  This quilt is it.  When I finished the diamonds and put it up on my design wall, my eyes filled with tears.  I felt all the same feelings I feel when I’m listening for answers.  When that light comes.  I stood there looking at my lone star and thought “THIS is what it feels like.”

I made another quilt, titled Living a Prayer, that I’ll share soon.  The hard parts of life, parts that prompted Living a Prayer and My Heart, Today,  made She Listened possible.   I am known, loved, heard.  Because of these experiences, I needed to make a quilt that honors it.  A quilt to honor the hours I’ve spent listening to hear my Savior’s voice.  A quilt to honor what it feels like to receive answers.

This quilt features fabrics from Rifle Company, combined with a few basics from the original Cotton + Steel designers.  The small scale florals perfectly conveyed my heart.  And the color scheme transports me back to a particular morning I want to remember.

I chose the Rifle Co lawn from Menagerie for the background, to convey the heavens and because of the gold print.  We chose gold thread for the quilting, a perfect match!  I finished with more Rifle Co flowers on the back, again with lots of gold, and a dark binding to frame it all.  Incidentally, the measurements for this quilt are from my Lucky Lone Star pattern.  It’s so rewarding to see all those diamonds and fabrics come together!

I saved this quilt to share at Easter.  Today I’m joining millions of others in fasting and praying for an end to this pandemic, for the safety of medical professionals, for the strengthening of economies, and for life normalized.  I know that God answers prayers.  He has answered mine so many times, and I’m sure he will answer many more!

I’m curling up in “She Listened” this weekend, pondering the goodness of God and my many blessings – even in difficult trials.  If you are praying and listening for answers, I’ll be praying for you, too.

20 in 20 March Report

I just couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t write about quilting when the world is grappling with much more difficult things due to the pandemic.  Additionally, I donated my laptop to one of my kids to be used for homeschool (we have six students now learning online, plus my husband working online from home, so I’m mostly tech support now and rarely touch a computer myself anymore). So I hope you’ll forgive me for posting this monthly report for my 2020 goal more than a week late.  I guess I’m wrestling with how to carry on and in a new setting and with serious things things weighing on all of us.  In spite of this crisis, I have continued sewing.  So here, at last, is my 20 in 20 March Report.

My 20 in 20 goal is to sew for at least 20 minutes daily in 2020.  Honestly, March was a challenge.  With the heartbreaking news, sweeping changes around the world, and my own pressing fears/worries, my desire to sew fled.  Creativity dried up overnight, leaving in its place a knot of stress in my stomach.  Last month I wrote about the benefits of accessibility, so I’ve forced myself to keep sewing.  It hasn’t really helped my emotional state, though.  Hand sewing or binding is the closest I’ve come to feeling calmed by my usually therapeutic hobby.

As you can see on the right in the photo above, I had one day in March when I didn’t sew a single stitch.  It was Wednesday March 18th, the day we started online schooling from home with our kids, and also the day we had an earthquake here in Utah.  In a way, I’m glad I have a brown block to mark that day.  It was definitely different!  So this makes three days in 2020 (other than Sundays when I don’t sew) that I have missed my goal.  I’ve had one per month thus far.  We will see how April goes!

One thing I’m brainstorming is a way to add an additional marker to a few days in this quilt.  I want to mark QuiltCon, and the day everything got cancelled, and the day of the earthquake.  I’m sure I’ll want to mark the day we all get to emerge from our homes, and other significant days in this terribly unique year.  If you have any ideas for me, please share them!

Finally, I will say that I still love sewing.  I’ve made masks for others and given away fabric for making masks and it feels good to have done that.  I love being able to sew for the sake of doing something “normal” in a world turned upside down.  I will press forward with my goal and see what creative things come from this time of sheltering in.  I’m grateful for my family, for a roof over my head, and food to eat, and the word of God, and prayer.  And beauty. Simple gifts that sustain me.

Sawtooth Quilt

I’m sewing a lot of bindings on quilts lately.  With six students now learning from home, I’m spending most of my time helping them.  Instead of sewing at my machine I’m working on things I can pick up and set down at a moment’s notice.  So now, after hanging in the closet for five years (yikes!) I’ve finished my Sawtooth quilt.

I don’t remember what pattern I used to make this quilt top.  There’s a great pattern for a sawtooth quilt in Denyse Schmidt’s book, Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration.  I quilted this back in December, before quilting my Christmas Color Stack quilt.  It was a good quilt to practice quilting feathers on.  All the feathers in yellow go one direction and the feathers in the floral fabric go the other direction.

I particularly love the quilting in the yellow strips.  It shows up so well, and it feels like a happy color right now.

When I went back to my original post about the quilt top, I was surprised to read it and learn that I also planned to quilt this with feathers back then!  I’d completely forgotten, and it’s funny that I made the same decision years later without realizing it.

I’m also grateful that years ago I began the habit of making a quilt back for every quilt top as soon as I finished the top.  I’d even made the binding for this quilt and all three were hanging together on a hanger.  All I had to do was cut batting, baste it, and quilt away.  It’s easier to quilt an old quilt top when I already have a backing made.

The back is a pink with a strip of the floral down the middle.  This quilt still lacks great contrast when you stand back and look at it (a great lesson I learned in making this, by the way). But it’s pretty and useful and making me smile on a cloudy day!

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