Show Up – a Serve Quilt 48″ top

When I wrote my Serve quilt pattern, it occurred to me that not everyone would want to make a 72″ square quilt, so I also made a version that is two-thirds the size.  This is my Serve Quilt 48″ top, and I’m calling it “Show Up”.

This quilt top is entirely from my stash, and while I LOVED the rich, dark blue, I didn’t have enough of it, so I started adding in pieces of another, not as dark, blue for the background.  Kind of like life.  We use what we have, give what we can.  And you know what?  I LOVE this little quilt top!  I love the scrappy, two color background and the way it makes me look a little longer.

In that same spirit, I decided to play with the red solid also.  The little print I used as the second star color has both red and pink in it, so I decided to sprinkle pink throughout the large star.  

I love the bluish-gray I used for the circle of outer stars, but when I tried to use those fabrics for the center star, they fell flat.  It lacked interest.  I had actually been eyeing this vivid green throughout my sewing sessions, so I gave it a try.  It’s perfect.  

This unintimidating version – a Serve quilt 48″ quilt top – was a fun, quick sewing project.  It would make a great toddler quilt or would also look great on a wall.  In my case, I want to play with adding other elements to this one as borders, just for fun.  I’m brainstorming what I might want to do, especially since adding pinks, the green, and a second blue gives me room to expand the color scheme of this quilt.  Oh, to have more time to sew without deadlines!  Hopefully soon.

Happy sewing!


Blackberry Pie Recipe

I did not expect to love this blackberry pie recipe so much.  Maybe it’s the time of year, or perhaps it’s because I really needed to bake something beautiful.  Regardless, we all enjoyed it.  I learned recently that Abraham Lincoln served blackberry pie at his first inaugural luncheon, and I’m sure that’s what planted it in my head.  So when I saw delicious looking blackberries at the store on a snowy February day, I did what any sensible person would, and bought some.

Now we have a new favorite pie recipe that I’ll probably make every February.   Yum!  More than that, I feel like if I’m doing things at home to celebrate and discuss holidays like President’s Day and Martin Luther King Day, then my kids will be more likely to appreciate the “why” of these important days.  Baking this blackberry pie created an opportunity for good discussions about what these men have contributed to our country, and how we can honor them as citizens today.   I want these holidays to be more than just a day off school for them.  And of course, it helps that everyone loved the pie so much.  (My oldest son came to wake me up and thank me for it when he got home from work and tried it.)  So, now I’m sharing it with you!

I’m going to share my recipe, with a couple of thoughts.  I used instant tapioca in mine to thicken the filling but you could substitute corn starch.  Also, I increased the berries because my favorite pie dish is my Emile Henry ruffled 10″ ceramic dish and I wanted more filling.  For a regular pie dish, only 4 cups of berries should suffice.  

Blackberry Pie Recipe

5 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup instant tapioca
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
1 tsp lemon juice
2 Tb butter
Dough for double pie crust
1 egg
Cinnamon sugar or sugar crystals

In medium saucepan, combine the sugar, tapioca, and salt.  Add 1 cup blackberries, 1/4 cup water, and lemon juice, then mix gently.  Cook and stir over medium heat until the berries burst and the mixture is gently boiling.  Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in remaining berries.

Roll out one pie crust to 1/8″ thickness and gently place in pie pan.  Spoon berry mixture into pie crust and dot with the butter.

Roll the second pie crust to 1/8″ thickness.  Using cookie cutters or a knife, cut stars of various sizes and place them over the berry mixture until it is covered.  I started with larger stars, then medium, and used the smallest stars to cover tiny holes at the end.

Beat the egg in a small bowl, and brush over the pie crust gently.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or sugar crystals.

Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.  Cool on a wire rack, and serve with ice cream or whipping cream.  It is delicious warm or cold!

(recipe adapted from Taste of Home)

I hope you enjoy this blackberry pie!  Happy baking!


Serve Quilt – 5th Pattern in Resolute Collection

Awake, Arise, Stand, Listen.  What’s next?  Here is my Serve Quilt, the 5th pattern in my Resolute collection.  As I’ve said previously, each pattern was designed based on a single word.  I chose them for their value in my personal life AND in my creative life.  When I first made my list of words, I had no idea what kinds of quilts would follow.  All I knew was that it would challenge me and also be a very “me” sort of project.  Now here I am, at the end of the list.  So let’s talk about the Serve Quilt pattern!

Serve is primarily a half rectangle triangle (HRT) quilt pattern.  I have grown to love the HRT block so it was no surprise I began sketching with them.  I made a video/tutorial post for half rectangle triangles to assist you in making them.  It’s available here.  The HRT blocks in the Serve quilt create a large 8 pointed star, with a smaller center star at the heart.  There are 8 stars orbiting the main star.

My reasoning?  Let me quote from the pattern introduction:  “I feel like everything we experience and learn in life can be used to serve others. One definition of ‘serve’ is ‘to be sufficient for a purpose’. I like that. As I pondered and sketched, this star took shape. It’s big and bold, and it also has an orbit of smaller stars surrounding it. To me, it feels like showing up in our biggest, best, most sincere and authentic ways to serve others, even when things are spinning around us. I want to do more good in my sphere of influence. This design is how I say it in fabric.”

The quilt measures 72″ square, but it also includes measurements for a smaller, 48″ square version.  This original version is all made with solids, and I really love it, but I’ve also made a second, colorful version.  I think a scrappy version would be interesting to make.  So many options with this bold pattern!

I love buying cool fabric on clearance and saving the yardage for a quilt back down the road.  This amazing bird design by Thomas Paul was the perfect thing for the Serve quilt.  

A blizzard rages outside as I type this.  I wish I could curl up with a book under this quilt today, but life has other plans.  I get to go serve!  I’m a volunteer in a place that’s dear to me, and where the weather changes nothing, so it’s out into the snow I go!  I hope you’re warm and safe, and hopefully doing something creative today.  Happy sewing!

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