Another Prosper Quilt Top

One definition of “prosper” is to grow or increase; to thrive.  I find much to ponder in that.  In what ways am I growing or increasing?  What does thriving look like at this point in my life?  How can I best help others to truly prosper in more ways than just materially?  I’m curious:  what comes to your mind when you read that definition, those questions?  I pondered these things while I sewed my blocks together to finish another Prosper quilt top.

I shared the quilt blocks individually here and here last summer.  As stated there, my background color is called nocturnal, and it’s an Art Gallery Pure Solids color.  I also used it in my Show Up quilt top, which is the 48″ version of my Serve quilt.  Honestly, I think it’s making an appearance of some kind in most of what I’m sewing lately.  I really love the deep, deep blue.

This 9 block version is a fun lap size, approximately 67″ square.  It will be fun to finish.  Looking at it, I can’t help but feel like each block represents one of the last 9 years.  Darkness framing luscious blooms.  It’s awfully symbolic.

As for the growing I referenced earlier, I have been thinking about how we’re always changing and growing, but who we actually grow to be will surprise all of us in some ways.  Certainly there are things I will always like, and tendencies I’ll likely always have.  But isn’t it interesting to think back to who you were ten years ago – what has changed?  My journey of growth and increase over the last 10 years was a path I did NOT want, but today I’m so grateful for all I’ve learned.  Do I want to live it again?  Nope.  But I am deeply thankful to know what I know.  I know things today that I couldn’t have known without that journey.

 

I guess I learned to thrive on this journey.  Now I feel like another journey is needed, and in some ways perhaps I get to choose it more intentionally than I did the last.  I have a vision for the growth I want; the Future Self I want to be.  But who knows?  While I hope I recognize her, I’m sure I’ll be surprised.  I hope they are good surprises,  and that she is truly prosperous.

Who knows?  Maybe then I’ll make another Prosper quilt top in celebration.

Flower Applique and Flowers

I read recently that seeing or smelling flowers triggers the release of dopamine in our brains.  It’s no surprise that there’s a scientific explanation for why we like them so much, but it’s also fun to know that they literally make us feel happier.  Can you imagine a world without flowers?  Even imagined, or artistically rendered flowers?  I can’t.  I’m endlessly interested in them, stopping on my walks to smell, or photograph, or simply observe them.  Sometimes they alone can say what I feel.  On Monday morning we took our girls on an outing to… see flowers.  That’s it.  The flowers were reason enough.  Of course, the overcast sky, cool air, mountain scenery, as we walked didn’t hurt anything.  But still, flowers!  As I said, they’re reason enough.  So I guess it’s not surprising that flower applique and flowers together make me a little giddy.

I told you about my Marian’s flower applique block, and today’s flower applique features another version.  This one with a dark navy blue background made up of itty bitty… flowers.  I love the way the greens and dark pinks pop against the dark background.  I also demonstrated a little bit of broderie perse applique on this block when I added the bird and the butterfly.

These particular flowers were a gift from my daughter, who showed up at the house recently with a mason jar full of blooms she had arranged for me.  Such a thoughtful thing to do, and it made me smile every time I looked at them.  Since my daughter’s wedding last fall, I have increasingly found myself giving flowers as gifts.  I guess they’ve become  part of my love language.  Just like quilting.  Flower applique and flowers – it’s a great combination.

In writing this, I’ve successfully motivated myself to head outside and work in my flowerbeds.  We’ve made good progress this year, but there are years of neglect to overcome in some spots.  I want to plant flowers everywhere, so I’d best get to work!  And then tonight:  applique.  At least, I hope so!

Marian’s Flower applique quilt block

It’s no secret here at Hopeful Homemaker that I have fallen hard for hand applique.  My Finished Quilt Gallery is peppered with applique projects throughout the pieced quilts. I also have a too-large pile of applique quilt tops in need of finishing!  From my first project to my current one, I have enjoyed the quiet, thoughtful pace of applique.  Recently I taught an applique class, and in preparation I had the opportunity to draw a pattern that worked for the class.  I named it Marian’s flower applique quilt block.

I stitched a couple of blocks as samples before the class, each with a low volume background and a variety of prints for leaves, stems, and petals.  The fun scalloped border on one side is another opportunity to improve skills.  And of course we needed a couple of circles, since they are always a shape worth mastering!

Why Marian’s flower?  Well, that’s the name of my daughter who is currently away from home for an 18 month mission.  While we get weekly video calls and emails, it still tugs at my heart to have her far away for so long.  I’ve done this before; she is our 4th child to go and serve, but there are still times when missing her really aches.  So it felt natural to name it after the daughter I’m missing. It’s a reminder to myself that she is blooming by doing the things that will most increase her growth.

I turned one Marian’s flower applique block into a small pillow.  I sewed a cute insect print to the right side of it, made a back, and inserted a small pillow form.  It looks adorable on my blue chair on the front porch:

After teaching the class, I have at least a half dozen more semi-finished sample blocks.  I always debate finishing them, or saving them for the next class.  Which would you do?

 

Happy Sewing!

Love, Jennifer

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