To hear us talk, many of us seem to believe we’re the first and only generation to struggle with not enough time. Or money. Or stuff. We whine and we worry. But check out Jesus’ response to his worried disciples in Luke 12. In what I imagine to be a sarcastic tone, Jesus says: "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. . . . Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them." And later, "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these."
There is something ironically calming about Jesus’ rather harsh comments, and his concrete examples are good reminders for our times as well. (See also the song on this text on p. 27.)
Here’s how I came up with this design:
I almost always begin with sketches on paper. Good design can often be boiled down to good decision-making. The more time I have to keep certain elements and discard others, the better the final execution. Too much time, though, and a design can be overworked. Find a balance.
Here’s the final pencil sketch. Important to me was keeping the leaf lines flowing smoothly.
Once the idea was established, I went looking for reference material. Google’s image search (www.google.com, choose the Image tab) is a handy way to begin. Finding a photo of lily of the valley and a variety of ravens was easy. Be careful: there is a fine line between reference material and plagiarism. If your gut is telling you your work is a little too close to something you found elsewhere, it probably is.
The leaves of the lily were pretty much as I recalled them, but it was helpful to have the photo to remind me what the bell-shaped flowers look like.
I used the photos of ravens to make sure that they looked like birds and not chickens.
Color was the last thing I thought about, although it isn’t always. Often realistic coloration–especially in fabric hangings–is dangerous. The color palette is just too limited and the result looks like a mistake. I used two greens and dark gray against a field of black.
The cut fabric can be applied to the background fabric using iron-on interfacing or a spray adhesive. Because this design is not season-specific and will likely be used only occasionally, you might want to sew the edges of the fabric pieces to make sure that it holds together well over time.
Download the pattern.