Serve Quilt: Rainbow Edition

I miss working on my Resolute Quilt Pattern series, so today is a good day to share another version of the Serve Quilt .  The first Serve Quilt featured a simple color scheme in solids, which I love.  But this one makes me smile in a different way.  Here she is, the Serve Quilt, Rainbow Edition.

When I was working with my selection of Art Gallery solids on my Candy Shop Listen quilt , I enjoyed the saturated colors and didn’t want to put them away.  It occurred to me to infuse the Serve Quilt with the same colors.  I pulled a favorite Sally Kelly print out and ta-da!  It was the perfect combination.  And so I began.

The center star provides opportunity to showcase all eight colors, and they simply rotate around the star through it’s points, and through the smaller stars.  I chose a low volume Ruby Star print with tiny stars in different colors as my background fabric.

I love seeing quilt patterns made and re-made in different fabrics and colors.  This Serve quilt, rainbow edition shines in a different way compared to the original.  I love it just as much.  (It also makes me hungry to circle back to my smaller, Show Up version , to see what I can add to it.)

Melissa Kelley quilted this one, also.  She’s my favorite local longarm quilter and always does amazing work.  This edge to edge design is hers, and is a nice compliment to the quilt.  It adds movement but doesn’t compete with the design.

Rather than using the dark print for binding, or just one color, I decided to use all 8 colors in the binding.  Each color lines the quilt along the edge where it’s displayed in the stars.

For the backing I selected another Sally Kelly print from her Paradiso collection.  It’s a vivid, fantastical design that I’ve saved.  I’m so happy to have it on the back of this big quilt!

So there we are:  Serve quilt, rainbow edition.  A reminder to show up with purpose in our spheres of influence.  Serving brings happiness and color to our lives, especially when we’re in trying circumstances and low valleys.  I know of nothing that brings perspective and a lighter heart faster than service does.  I guess this version reminds me of the effects of wholehearted service:  so much beauty and happiness.

Wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, I hope you find a way to contribute.  It’s good for the soul! Happy sewing!

Lucy Boston 1″ block – a start

For years I have admired English paper pieced (EPP) Lucy Boston quilts and quilt blocks.  I especially love the fussy cutting that usually accompanies them.  The symmetry, secondary patterns, and creativity in these blocks also appeal to me.  So, of course I bought papers!  And now I’ve finally made my first ever Lucy Boston 1″ block.  It’s a start on what I’m sure will be a very long term project.

I first learned about these Lucy Boston quilt blocks from the ladies at Alewives Fabrics .  Their weekly kits caught my attention, and this block is one of them.  I bought all the fabrics and never made it.  When July 4th rolled around and I felt sad I’d had no time to sew, I remembered this block.  This block became my tiny holiday stitching project.

Last year I started a larger size with 2″ elongated hexagons, or honeycombs.  I love it, but still wanted to make the smaller size.  This block only measures 8.5″ square, so I’ll need many more to make a quilt!  I purchased the paper pieces for both sizes at Paper Pieces .

Have you made a Lucy Boston quilt?  Do you English paper piece?  I didn’t think I’d enjoy it so much.  For me, it’s definitely been a stage in life thing – when my lap was always full of children I certainly didn’t have a needle nearby.  But now, it’s nice to have stitching I can carry everywhere I go.  I might enjoy applique a tiny bit more, but as my skills improve I enjoy EPP more.  Now, the real challenge is to find time to actually turn on my sewing machine!  This summer is busy!

Birthday Hopes

I have been thinking about life as a chapter book, with plot twists and secondary stories, and chapters.  Some chapters we can predict, and others take us to places we never imagined.  I started a new chapter this week, one that hinges on a number and a milestone birthday.  My daily life hasn’t changed, but my thoughts have.  At first I dreaded it, then accepted it, and now I’m going to embrace it.  Today, I have a few birthday hopes to record.

Most of my dread stemmed from the feeling that I hadn’t accomplished what I expected.  But along with that, however, were challenges that forced growth in other, unanticipated areas.  That story brought me to my knees and to God, changed me at the core, and still tutors me.  In short, my forties were, hands down, the hardest decade of my life so far.  Motherhood has been both my undoing and my making, and the theme continues at a higher crescendo now than ever before.  So of course it wasn’t what I expected.  I’m sure my fifties won’t be, either.  But here I am, ready to make it the best 10 years of my life.

My birthday hopes:

  1. Accept full responsibility for my thoughts and feelings, and learn to create the life experience I wish to have by controlling those two things.
  2. More fully translate my faith in Jesus Christ into moments of tension, dismay, fear, weakness, doubt, disappointment, and uncertainty.  Let the perfect plan and the perfect sacrifice of my Savior inform all my responses to life’s challenges.
  3. Tell my story in artful ways that feed my soul.  I have missed working on projects like She Listened , Living a Prayer , and Through Tears She Saw More Clearly .  My heart needs more of this, so I will create time for it AND encourage others to do the same.
  4. Be a better resource, a better helper.  In this space, that means contribute more that others can use.  Watch for the first of quarterly free patterns coming this fall.
  5. Write, write, write.  Work on family history projects I’m passionate about.  Find a way to record all the thoughts swirling around in my head and heart and put them here.
  6. Accentuate the positive.  Assume the best about people.  Look for the good.
  7. Cultivate a daily pattern of living that is in harmony with my life’s mission and which constantly moves me toward the future I envision.

There was a time, nearly ten years ago, when I didn’t know if I would ever feel truly happy again.  In that season I bought a small bleeding heart plant from a local nursery because the sight of it resonated with my pain.  At the end of the summer, I planted it in the only available spot I had – a “bit of earth” where nothing else had ever come back a second year.  Not promising.  And yet, the next spring, it was back.  It’s been back every year since, and is now a large and thriving part of that flowerbed.  This spring it was heavy laden with perfect little hearts, and I was overcome.  I paused to observe it every day, knowing it was a quiet, perfect gift from a God who loves me.

On Sunday I shared my birthday with two of my daughters.  One of them returned home at the end of June from serving an 18 month full-time mission in Guam – half a world away!  Another daughter is preparing to do the same thing in upstate New York, beginning in August. My gift was hearing them share thoughts and feelings, seeing evidence of the amazing women they’ve become.  I’ll never forget it.  My heart was full of life, love, happiness, in spite of the dark and hard things we worry about.  It was a day that reminds me to look forward in faith no matter how hard a moment, or day or month or year, may be.

So I’m taking all these memories, challenges, and perfect moments with me.  They make me who I am.  And I’m going to use them to become more ME, the girl I’m meant to be, to live well, serve fully, and carry my birthday hopes into the future.  Most of all, I want to be an encourager.  I want to bless lives.

Thanks for coming along!

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