Secret Garden Quilt in Bright Colors

Well, life is certainly interesting and it has a way of sending us on unexpected detours.  I didn’t mean to step away at all, let alone for over a month.  And to keep it even more curious, here I am today with a quilt I should have shared long ago.  It’s my

Secret Garden Quilt

in bright colors, mostly Art Gallery Fabrics.  I made

my original version

in rich jewel tones.  This one is bright and fresh with clear colors throughout.

The Secret Garden quilt is ideal for using large scale prints, LOTS of colors, and juicy florals.  It requires the Jaybird Quilts Hex N More ruler to cut the jewel shapes and triangles, and is incredibly fun to make.  Kind of a “sew outside the block” experience, and one that’s fun to design as you go.  No Y-seams.  Lots of fun.

In fact, most of the fabrics I used here, I purchased simply because I liked them.  I had no idea what I would do with them.  The fun thing is that there are so many little spaces to drop more color and tie things together, that you can use pretty much anything in this quilt and it will come together.  It’s a great exercise in color theory.  Maybe that’s why I love it so much.

I also love the way my eye travels, lingers, and explores this quilt.  It’s definitely not one you can take in at a glance.

I had it quilted in a floral edge to edge pattern that suits the quilt well.

This Secret Garden Quilt in bright colors deserved an equally bright backing, so I chose two favorites.  The striped floral, and the birds in trees.

And of course, a bright pink binding was in order.  Why not?  I’ve definitely been into red or pink bindings for a while now.  I like their bold presence.  This quilt deserved no less.

Just looking at these photos makes my fingers itch to pull fabric for another.  Time to open

the pattern

and get started!

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!

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