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!

Half Rectangle Triangle Tutorial

In coming weeks I will share projects involving Half Rectangle Triangles, so I want to share my simple method for sewing and trimming them.  The half rectangle triangle (HRT) is a fun quilt block to make, but it does need to be trimmed correctly.  My first HRT project was my 20 in 20 quilt, a favorite of mine. I enjoy using them in quilts and I believe it’s a valuable block to have in your skill set.  There are plenty of tutorials and videos available online for this versatile and fun quilt block.  Since my Serve quilt pattern is full of half rectangle triangles (or HRTs), I decided to make my own half rectangle triangle tutorial, which I can guarantee stays available indefinitely.  

*Note:  The blocks demonstrated in this video finish at 3″ x 6″, so they are trimmed to 3.5″ x 6.5″.  To begin, you will need (2) 4.5″ x 8″ rectangles.  This is the size I start with for the 3″ x 6″ HRT block.


And there you have it!  My method for making a custom ruler for trimming your HRT blocks.  I actually own a few different “special” half rectangle triangle rulers, and yet I prefer this method.  It’s faster and simpler and works for both A and B HRT blocks.

I’m going to supplement the half rectangle triangle tutorial video above with a few photographs, which I hope will make it easier for you to make your own HRT blocks.  Here goes:

I refer to half rectangle triangles as HRT A and HRT B, depending on which direction the diagonal line follows.  We will make them standing on their short side, portrait style.  The half rectangle triangles with the angle running from bottom right to top left are HRT A. Triangles with diagonal line from bottom left to top right are HRT B.

Flip the triangle on the right, with right side down, on top of the left triangle.  If desired, you may pin before sewing because you are sewing on the bias.  Sew together along the diagonal.

Carefully press the seams closed, then gently open and press again.  Your untrimmed half rectangle triangles are sewn together and ready for trimming!

The trick with HRT blocks is in the trimming.  Because the diagonal is not a 45 degree angle, simply squaring the block won’t work.  I marked the 1/4″ seam allowance spot on these blocks below, and you can see they are NOT on the seam.  Therefore, we have to trim differently.

Now, to trim, we will first make a “custom” trimming window on an acrylic ruler.  For this size block, take washi tape and tape a 6.5″ x 3.5″ window on your ruler.  For right handed cutting use the top right side of the ruler, and for left handed cutting, use the top left.

Here is my ruler all taped for right handed quilting:

Using a sharpie, mark the 1/4″ seam allowance spot with a dot in each corner of your taped window.  You will use these dots to align your seams for trimming.

Trim your HRT A block by placing the window over the block.  Check 4 spots, namely that the fabric on the bottom and left sides is covered by the washi tape.  This ensures fabric for trimming the last two sides.  Next, align the dots you drew along the seam, as you see the pointers indicating in the photo below.  Trim the right and top sides.

Flip the block around.  This time, make sure the left and bottom cut lines run along the tape.  Again, align the dots on the seam (which should be easy) and trim again.

To trim a HRT B block, repeat the same process, but use the opposite two dots to align with the diagonal seam.  Again, be certain there is excess fabric on the left and bottom sides.  Trim.

Flip the block around and repeat the alignment, then trim the last two sides.  

You now have two perfectly trimmed half rectangle triangles, one A and one B.  The seam at the corners are 1/8″ away from the corner of the block, ensuring that when sewn into a quilt with a 1/4″ seam allowance, the seam will be in the right place.


So many great quilt designs include HRT blocks, and they’re also fun to design with.  I hope you find this half rectangle triangle tutorial helpful, and that you will enjoy sewing them!  



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