Remembering to Turn On The Light

I’ve turned to my favorite inspirational quotes for comfort lately. This quote from the Harry Potter movies is one of my favorite ones, so I decided it deserved to be featured in a Quilt Diaries quilt. I’ve found there’s a lot of wisdom that can be found in the books and movies (I’m a fan having read all the books and watched the movies). I think this quote is one of the biggest pieces of wisdom.

I’m not always an optimistic person. I battle a lot with fear and have a BIG flight instinct. My family has a few stories they tell and can laugh about now how I left them during a tornado or when we had a raccoon break into our hotel room. Fortunately, they all seem to have much more level heads in urgent times and I’ve figured out how to manage my reactions most of the time.

But lately things have been tough. It’s not just the fear around Coronavirus, it’s dealing with the unknown on so many levels. It’s also about being empathetic and soaking in what’s going on around me and trying to figure out what I can do to help. I’ve sewed and donated masks, supported my small and indie business friends as I’ve been able, and stayed at home as much as possible to help keep things safe. I’ve tried to limit my news consumption so I’m keeping up to date on things, but not overwhelming myself. But some days it feel like the bad things are greatly outnumbering the good things.

Fortunately, I ran across this favorite quote the other day and it helped me shift my thinking. What was the “light” I was finding right now? What are the good things that have happened? I started to make a list (as you gathered by now lists are kind of my thing!):

Time with Those I Love – I’ve enjoyed more time with family and friends lately (virtually, by phone and at a distance, or course) than I have in a long time. We were all “busy” before and sometimes weeks and months would go by without us connecting. I’ve started checking in on my “people” on a regular basis and they are checking in with me as well. This is something I want to continue long-term despite what’s going on now.

Good Homemade Food – We’ve had some good family cooking time at home. We bought an ice cream maker and started making homemade popcorn. It’s been fun to make and enjoy those treats as a family.

Happy Mail – Happy mail has been the best!! I have been surprised by so many good gestures and gifts over the past few weeks. One week felt like it was my birthday! I got a sweet card from a favorite crafty friend, homemade candied jalapeños from my childhood best friend’s husband, some fun craft supplies from another crafty friend, and a beautiful cake from another friend as a thank you for making masks. I’m starting to put together some happy mail to send to friends and family, too, which has been joyful!

Sharing with Others – Sharing among family and neighbors has been a blessing, too. We’ve been checking on each other to see if we need anything. I’ve bought things others needed when I saw them in the store and they’ve done the same for us. One neighbor even made us dinner this week which was 2 of his amazing homemade wood fired pizzas. The best part is that they were delivered safely over the fence with the long pizza paddle onto our pan!

Return to Gratitude – The biggest light I’ve found from this list is gratitude. We are very blessed right now. Each day I wake up and if I’m feeling well, we have enough to eat, and my husband and I are still working, I am very grateful. I know we’ll be fine that day and we’ll figure things out if needed.

I hope this quilt inspires you to turn on the “light” right now and find the things that are good. I know things still may be tough, but I hope you are able to find some good things right now, too. Please remember to turn on the light when you can!

Construction Notes

As you know, The Quilt Diaries project are a creative practice for me where I regularly make a small quilt to try new techniques and ideas. This quilt really stretched me creatively when making it! I had to really let go of perfection and just figure things out with what supplies I had on hand. The final product is much different than the original idea, but I love it! It’s not perfect, but heart-felt and made with a lot of joy. To me that’s the best reason to make a quilt! Here’s a few things I did to make this:

  • The lettering on this quilt was made with glitter iron-on vinyl cut on my Cricut Maker. 
  • I opted to quilt the piece first and then add the lettering since it was small and I didn’t want the quilt lines breaking up the black text.
  • I did a more traditional appliqué technique on the white wedge pieces, folding the edge down.
  • I used a large stitch (stitch 1:3 on a Viking Opal) to make the blue stitched outline on the stars and white wedge outline.

For more information about these techniques, check out my blog post here.  

The Quilt Diaries are just getting started! Visit our page here to find out more about this creative project and see more mini quilts and stories!