Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Uppsala Stars Pattern & Christmas In My Heart Day# 5




Uppsala Stars

Without further ado, allow me to present 'Uppsala Stars'. Just short of a drum roll and some tap dancing, here it is! Months of planning, and weeks of writing--I feel like I've given birth again.

I'm sure this star block is familiar by now as it keeps showing up in my work.  Composed in red and grey, it has deep significance as it brings memories of Sweden flooding back to me. Let me tell you the story as l show you the quilt.


I grew up in Sweden. Or to be clear, I grew up while I was an exchange student living in Sweden. I left a few days after my 16th birthday, returning a little more than a year later. Thinking I was well equipped for a year abroad, I hadn't a clue how difficult it was actually going to be. I had problems with a host family, but I had 2 others who rescued me when I needed them most. We're still in contact, and they hold a special place in my heart. Nothing could prepare me, though, for the extreme loneliness I felt. I didn't know the language, and I struggled through. Most younger Swedes were eager to practice their English, but no understanding of spoken Swedish was a massive barrier for me.

At Christmas of that year, I moved from Oskarshamn in the southeastern area of Sweden to Forsbacka, which lies a few hours north of Stockholm. A brand new dialect was another setback, but slowly the Swedish came. My new family was good for me.



Forsbacka was, and still is a tiny little town in the country. I spent a lot of my time the rest of that year walking and looking. I looked at houses, buildings, store fronts, and watched people and nature. I visually drank Swedish landscape and culture. 

Often I walked in the dark, which is early in Forsback during the winter, and the stars over Storsjön were like brilliant bits of crystal. I would stand in the middle of Byvägen looking up, and I knew those stars were the very same ones my family back home would see soon. I wonder how many times I sent my love off in the dark. My heart lived in the stars that winter, but I felt grounded and at peace.



It's no different all these decades later, living here, and longing for the people I grew to love there. This quilt is for all of them. The Svedegards, the Brandeskars, and my dearest friend, Helena and her family in Uppsala. I send you my love with Uppsala Stars.



59" x 68.5"

This is a teaching pattern, created and designed to make you sucessful. It's just what I needed when I had less experience. I knew most of this, but less of that, and patterns would leave out vital information. I would run to my computer to look it up, or wait to ask a friend to explain it better. My poor quilty friends! I asked a lot. This pattern will take you step-by-step from fabric to binding. (I have omitted the actual quilting as that would be another volume on its own!) 


Perfect for pre-cuts, scraps, or stash, it provides fabric requirements, in-depth instructions, and dozens of helpful tips. If you are tired of patterns that fall short of explaining the How-to's, this is for YOU! Imagine creating this quilt with someone at your side helping step-by-step. I'll be there. 

Uppsala Stars is available through Craftsy. The download is 23 pages, and is available as a PDF at a special price of $10.50 until December 1 when it will be regularly priced at $12.50. Hard copies will be available by early December.



Visit the other blogs listed today for the Christmas in My Heart hop. Visit each blog, and you must leave a comment, then log into Rafflecopter here to enter to win a $25 gift certificate from The Fat Quarter Shop. My sincere thanks to Marian at Seams to Be Sew for hostessing the hop this week. It's been a pleasure to be included.






a Rafflecopter giveaway

78 comments:

  1. The grey and red is so calming. Thanks for sharing your story about Sweden.

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  2. Such a beautiful quilt! It must have been quite interesting to spend time in Sweden.

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  3. Love the quilt and ty for the story too i really like your star block.....happyness04431@yahoo.com

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  4. Great quilt, and what a lovely story to go with it.
    jen dot barnard at btinternet dot com

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  5. Your story is wonderful!!! And I simply love your quilt...vibrant colours!!!

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  6. A lovely quilt and a lovely story! my ancestors are from Sweden, i would love to go one day!

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  7. This is a very interesting post. The quilt is so pretty..one of my favorite colors.

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  8. Love the red and gray. A lovely story to go along with the beautiful quilt.

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  9. This is one of the best projects on the blog hop so far. Love the stars.

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  10. I love the contrast in your color choices in your lovely quilt. Thanks for sharing it's story as well as yours
    in stitches

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  11. Lovely quilt!
    patsystitch@gvtc.com

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  12. Very cute, thanks for sharing!
    cork@pa.rr.com

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  13. Well done, Julie -- hope it's a landslide seller!!

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  14. That is as beautiful as the story to go with it. My husband's family came from Sweden so I appreciate all of the wonderful colors you used here.

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  15. What treasured memories this quilt will bring to many. Beautiful!

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  16. Beautiful quilt! I also enjoyed the trunk show from yesterday. Thank you for sharing your story and your work.

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  17. Such a beautiful picture you paint of Sweden and your time there! I love your quilting as well.

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  18. Oh, my...this is really a treasure! Love it!

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  19. Beautiful quilt and a lovely story. Thanks for sharing!

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  20. Awesome! You did a great job on this quilt, Julie. Even though I saw it in progress, the full effect is not realized until you see it in its entirety. Wonderful job!!!

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  21. This is really beautiful!! It will be a family treasure, for sure! :)

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  22. Thank you for sharing your story and quilt with us - very special.

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  23. I don't know what impressed me the most your story or you quilt.
    Both are beautiful.
    Merry Christmas

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  24. Such a beautiful quilt. Thank you for the memories of your time in Sweden. The stars will be such a sweet reminder of the night sky. Merry Christmas

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  25. Your quilt is beautiful and the story that accompanied it is even more so. Nine years ago my family hosted an exchange student from Germany and we grew to love her and she us. She's been back here about 3 times over the years and my husband and I visited her and her family two years ago. Being shown around the German country by locals is a real treat as we really got a good tour. I was greatly impressed with their two level grocery store which had an escalator for shopping carts to go from one level to the other, an American food section complete with Miracle Whip, Hunts ketchup, and Cheerios, and a 40 foot long sausage counter. She's become like a sister to my daughter as they are only a year apart. The reason we wanted an exchange student was so my daughter would know what living with a sister was like (my daughter has 4 brothers). After our student was here for two weeks, I found them sitting on my daughter's bed crying. At the AFS orientation, we were told to deal with problems right away so I immediately pressed them as to what was going on. "We're sad because I have to leave in 9 months," the student told me. If it wasn't for the ocean, those two would be inseparable now. Karen

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  26. OM goodness. The quilt is just lovely and grabbed my eye right away but...it was your heart-felt story that meant the most. Do you write professionally? If not, I think you should. I was right there beside you, looking up at the stars. Marvelous!

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  27. I was hoping this was the star when I saw one on your post a couple of days ago because I liked it a lot. I really enjoyed reading the story as well. I agree w/LJ above me, if you don't already write professionally you should consider starting. =) Good providence w/your pattern sales!

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  28. I love your quilt and enjoyed reading the story about your time in Sweden. What an experience for a teenager!

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  29. Great pattern - and I love the colours you used!

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  30. NEAT QUILT-LOVE THE DESIGN+COLOR CHOICES! THANKS FOR SHARING!
    msstitcher1214@gmail.com

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  31. Very Christmas-y quilt! Thank you for sharing! Love it!!

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  32. What a beautiful story to go along with a beautiful quilt. Thanks!

    Please click on the delaineelliott above for my email link.

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  33. Love it. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  34. Pretty scrappy quilt. 24Tangent@gmail.com

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  35. It's gorgeous & all the more precious because of the story!

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  36. I so love a red and white quilt!

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  37. meget smukt - jeg har vist det til min mor, og det er et stort julegaveønske - måske kan jeg nå at sy quilten inden juleaften??
    Tak for dit design.

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  38. I am always drawn to quilts with stars. I really love yours with all the little squares. Thanks for sharing your special story and quilt.

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  39. Really a beautiful quilt and so nice of you to be sure and help others learning to quilt by writing a learning pattern.

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  40. I am always drawn to quilts with stars. I really love yours with all the little squares. Thanks for sharing your special story and quilt.

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  41. That story tugged my heartstrings. Excellent quilt. I love that it is a teaching pattern.

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  42. I'm so glad your story had a happy ending.And it continues to this day. Love the quilt. The stars are beautiful.

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  43. Very pretty quilt. I am sad that your host family wasn't a good fit for you. It makes me wonder about those who visit the USA.

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  44. Very pretty quilt. I am sad that your host family wasn't a good fit for you. It makes me wonder about those who visit the USA.

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  45. Beautiful quilt. Congratulations on such a gorgeous finish!

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  46. Thanks for sharing your story. Great quilt.

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  47. What a beautiful quilt. Lovely story too (I like your star!)

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  48. I LOVE your quilt! What a beautiful design with a lot of heart in the story behind it! Thanks for sharing!

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  49. This is a very pretty block and quilt! Hearing the story behind it makes it more special. l love this colour palette!

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  50. Your quilt is beautiful. I've never lived more than 25 miles from where I grew up and I found your story very interesting. Thank you for sharing it. Cyndi D.

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  51. What a beautiful quilt and a beautiful story. I cannot imagine what you went through. I left my hometown and everyone I knew at the ripe old age of 42 when my husband was transferred by his company. I remember all too well how homesick and lonely I was and I was only 5 1/2 hours from home AND could speak the language... sorta... the south does have a different slang than I was used to. lol

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  52. I love your gorgeous quilt, and the uplifting story that went with it even more. I wanted so badly to be a foreign exchange student when I was in high school, but my Mom wanted me to stay home. Being a grown up now I can't blame her, I wouldn't want my babyy in another country, either. I am thinking of getting your pattern, as I would love to make my own.
    Thank you so much.
    My email is: bestbelle2010@aol.com

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  53. Your quilt is beautiful and I enjoyed reading about your year as an exchange student in the country of my grandfather. That year shaped you in so many ways!

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  54. What a wonderful story and opportunity to be able to be an exchange student. I loved reading the story and the quilt is so beautiful. I love how you added the hearts in, and appreciated that you took the time to tell us the story of your time in Sweden. Christmas is definitely here in the heart of Pink Doxies.

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  55. What a beautiful quilt and a lovely story. I've never been to Sweden, but my Great Grandparents are from there. So I have a tug on my heart for it.

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  56. What a beautiful quilt and story. Can you tell me how big it is. It doesn't tell on your pattern page. Thanks

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    1. Thank you. Yes, Frieda. I must have missed that, and did add it to the post today. It measures 59" x 68.5".

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  57. What a gorgeous quilt! Absolutely beautiful. I loved the story, too. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  58. Dear Julie,
    what an amazing quilt (could be brought to Sweden when visiting:)), and so Swedish, I´m so proud of you! When reading your text, it brings back so many memories - both happy and sad. I´m so glad to have you and your family in my life. Best wishes from your Swedish sister:), Helena
    Love Helena

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  59. Such a pretty quilt! I love the reds and greys set on the white.

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  60. That is lovely. I particularly like the border and quilting and a quilt is always better when we hear the story that goes with it - thank you.

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  61. lovely quilt, i like the color combo you used
    in stitches

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  62. Beautiful quilt! Love red and grey color combo.

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  63. Gorgeous quilt design and quilt. And what a wonderful story to share. You certainly had an interesting year when you were 16. What an experience. You are a strong person to endure the distance from family and friends, the weather, language and culture. Glad you found some good memories and friendships to treasure from that special year.

    QuiltShopGal
    www.quiltshopgal.com

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  64. The red and gray is a great color combination, and I appreciate hearing the history of the heart in the star block. I often think I'll do a mix of close quilting and more spaced out, but I usually get tired and forget the close stuff. claire aka knitnkwilt.wordpress.com

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  65. What a wonderful part of your life, thanks for sharing that with us. The quilt is gorgeous. The pattern is added to my wish list on Craftsy. The red and grey are great together. 'So glad to have found your blog via Creative Goodness Linky Party. Now following your blog.

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  66. What great memories and nice quilt as a tribute. Merry Christmas!

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  67. This is a beautiful quilt ad I loved reading the story about your time in Sweden. Thanks for sharing this. :)

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  68. Underbar Julie!!!!Kram till dig

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  69. Love the mix of red, grey and white. I can't imagine living in another country where I don't speak the language. One of Drama Teen's good friends is an exchange student in France this year. Thankfully living far from Paris. But we all wonder how she's doing being so far from home, with Christmas coming.

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  70. Fabulous quilt, Julie! It definitely has that clean, fresh Scandinavian look.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv

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  71. Beautiful quilt and what a wonderful story!

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  72. Vacker stjärnquilt.Ha de gott.
    Marianne

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It's always enlightening to hear your thoughts or suggestions. I try to respond in a timely manner, but admit life is very full here! I will return comments online if it's of general interest, but offline if a personal response is more appropriate. Give me a shout with anything urgent at julie@pinkdoxies.com, and I'll try to get right back with you. While I believe in free speech, spamming will not be tolerated, and as in all our interactions, speak kindly.

If you want to be certain of a personal reply, leave your email or email me privately. Many people are not even aware when they have become a no-reply blogger. Yes, I know it's frustrating for us all.

Julie