Columbine Mini Quilt

I wrote here about my love for the Colorado Rocky Mountain Columbine.  Really, it’s one of my all-time favorite flowers, which was part of the reason I drew a larger version and embroidered it.  (You can find the FREE embroidery pattern for the columbine here.) I haven’t done much embroidery in recent years and I was a little rusty, so the flower was a fun project for me.  Once it was done, the question was what to do with my stitching?

Except that really, it wasn’t hard at all to decide once the idea hit.

You see, there’s another reason why the columbine is special to me and my family.  My youngest sister Kristen was a student at Columbine High School, and was at school the day of the shooting.  To say that day changed all of us would be an understatement, and it certainly changed her life more than the rest of us.

Last month brought the 18th anniversary of the shooting, so I used my columbine to make a mini quilt for Kristen.

I gathered some scraps left over from the quilt, found a solid that coordinated, and pieced together a simple design that complimented the flower.

I cut out the flower name from the State Flowerscape text print and top stitched it to the quilt.  For the backing I used a scrap from Heather Bailey’s Clementine collection and even thought to add little corners for easy hanging!

I also added a “you are loved” tag to the back when I added the binding.

This has been a project that was good for my soul, a reminder that light can always overcome darkness, that healing and hope are real, that God is mindful of us.

I’ve heard a song over and over again in my mind as I worked on this, “Columbine, flower blue, tenderly I think of you…..”

Life is precious.

Columbine Embroidery

The Rocky Mountain Columbine is Colorado’s state flower.

I was raised there, and loved it when I occasionally spotted columbines growing in the wild.  They are such beautiful flowers, fragile and dainty and yet also strong.  You would have to be to survive winter in the Rockies.  For some reason when I see or think of the columbine I feel hope.

I’ve seen columbines in many colors, but none are as beautiful to me as the blue-violet petals of the flower designated by Colorado.  I have grown columbines in my gardens over the years and have learned that they’re hardy but also susceptible to aphids.  In the seasons the aphids have been bad, I’ve had an almost irrational need to make sure my columbines survive.  I love these flowers.

The years I’ve spent quilting have taught me something about the way my brain works.  While occasionally I learn/make something and quickly move to something else, what happens more often is a tendency to have lots of closely related ideas come to mind, and a desire to explore them is strong.

So it shouldn’t be surprising, I suppose, that after making that fun State Flowerscape quilt, I couldn’t leave my favorite state flower alone.  I drew a larger version of the flower and went to work embroidering it.  My embroidery skills are a little rusty but it worked.

I’ve already sewn this piece into a project and given it away, but I have plans to revisit this design and use it in a future project.  For the sake of my own sanity I’ve written a simple pattern and if you’d like to download a copy as well, you’re welcome to it!

Download Columbine Embroidery Pattern Here

Hope you enjoy it.  I’ll share photos tomorrow of what mine turned into.

State Flowerscape and EPP

Remember my State Flowerscape quilt?

The more I sewed with Kristin’s lovely fabrics, the more I thought about trying to fussy cut the 50 Nifty print to showcase a particular flower.  Since I am a Colorado native, naturally my first thought was to use the Rocky Mountain Columbine.

I was not disappointed!  It happened that I’d recently decided (rather impulsively, I might add) to join the Ice Cream Soda EPP (English Paper Piecing) quilt along that Jodi had started.  My first set of shapes arrived and were the perfect size for the columbine.

The only previous experience I’ve had with EPP was the Sweet as Honey beehive I designed for Bonnie Forkner’s blog hop.  It is still a favorite project and hangs in my sewing room.  I look forward to getting more practice with these ice cream soda blossoms and hope to have a really awesome quilt to show for it when I’m done.

In this, my first block, I’m happy with the contrast in color and with my novice attempt at fussy cutting the flowers.  Most of all, I am excited that the state flowers work so well with this kind of project.  One more reason to buy that awesome print, and more proof that different fabric styles can mingle quite nicely.

Want to win some fabric?  Over on Instagram I’m sponsoring a giveaway for one of the State Flowerscape map panels and a bundle of coordinating fat quarters, including the awesome print these columbines come from.  You can find me there @hopefulhomemaker and comment on that post to enter. (please note that the giveaway is being hosted entirely on my Instagram account, NOT here on my blog)  The giveaway will end on Friday May 5th.

Have a great day!

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