Be The Light Lantern Quilt

Reclamation Project VI: Light


Inspiration Song & Lyrics

Bea Miller – Fire N Gold

When you’re stuck in a moment
And your spark has been stolen
This is our time to own it
So own it

Baby, we were born with
Fire & gold in our eyes

Uncomfortable in My Own Skin: Reclamation Project VI – Light

A beacon of hope
Shining light into darkness

Carried in my heart

Be The Light Lantern Quilt
Be The Light Lantern Quilt

When I was writing my post for the Reclamation Project V: Rainbow quilt, I was reminded of the path that I want to walk in life.

I forgot that the beauty of my work was that I [am] a light shining into the darkness and working to make things better. Looking for a beacon of hope and encouragement from everyone else, I forgot my own strength.


I also had a very powerful experience at about the same time. I was in a guided meditation, and I experienced a panic attack (Reclamation Project III: Lost). I was safely walked through it, and the entire time I was able to talk and calmly evaluate what was happening to me. Reflecting back on how quickly the panic attack was resolved by listening to my inner voice and trusting my instincts, body, and feeling safe in my surroundings leaves me feeling lighter and freer knowing I have new tools for the future.

Afterwards, we continued with the meditation. I constructed a series of mental images of a glowing light, that became a lit lantern, that then passed through me and left me with a sense of wholeness and well being. I immediately came home and searched the internet to find a grouping of images that resonated with the lit lantern I had conjured in my mind, not knowing exactly why I was doing it.

Once I had found the images, it was clear I needed to use them as an inspiration for another mini quilt. So I went to my sewing room, set the project I was working on aside, and stayed up late into the night to sew the lantern. I felt so compelled I knew I wouldn’t sleep until the idea was starting to become a reality.

Be The Light Lantern
Be The Light Lantern

Piecing the two sides of the lantern went quickly, and after building confidence in sewing Y Seams for the Lucent Quilt, tackling sewing the top to the lantern was not too hard. Feeling confident things were moving in the right direction, I saved the finishing of the quilt top for the next morning. 😉

Be The Light Lantern
Be The Light Lantern

Out of the images I had saved, I was especially drawn to the image of the lantern sitting on the snow and casting shadows along the ground. I worked improvisationally to piece the shadows and surrounding negative space for the lantern. My goal was for the three shadow lines to work back and point at a single location within the lantern. Again, a Y Seam was necessary along the bottom edge of the lantern, and a bit of faith that the idea would come together when I had only pieced a small portion and it was looking a bit odd.

Be The Light Lantern Quilt - Quotes
Be The Light Lantern Quilt – Quotes

I finished the quilt top just before I left for a long vacation. Knowing it was waiting on my return, and eager to get back and finish the quilt, I spent some time while I was away thinking about how I would quilt it. I want this mini quilt to help remind me of my own inner light and of the things that inspired and buoy my spirits, so I searched to find quotes that resonate with me and I think will help remind me about my inner light and the path I want to forge.

At the top of the quilt, it says:

Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space. It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe. It gives freely of itself and is not thereby diminished. -Michael Strassfeld

I especially love that quilting also fills all available space. 😉

Be The Light Lantern Quilt - Quotes
Be The Light Lantern Quilt – Quotes

On the left of the lantern, it says:

To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts – that is the duty of the artist. -Robert Schuman

Be The Light Lantern Quilt - Quotes
Be The Light Lantern Quilt – Quotes

And to the right of the lantern, I quilted:

Love is not consolation. It is light. -Nietzsche

Be The Light Lantern Quilt
Be The Light Lantern Quilt

For the lantern itself, I wanted the quilting to reflect a sense of pulsing, growth, expansiveness, and of course light. I started with my walking foot and outlined each panel and started some gentle arcs centered on the point the shadow lines converge. Then I came back and free motion quilted more organic lines to fill in.

Be The Light Lantern Quilt
Be The Light Lantern Quilt

I think the texture of the quilting appears best with the early morning sun glowing across the quilt at an angle. To fill the rest of the negative space around the lantern and quotes, I used a repeating swirl hook motif, which I think also doubles to look a bit like a candle flame.

Be The Light Lantern Quilt
Be The Light Lantern Quilt

The Be The Light Lantern mini quilt finished at 23-inches wide by 20-inches tall.


  • Kona black (lantern), nightfall (shadows), marine (background / binding)
  • 4 Denyse Schmidt solids for the yellow / orange glowing panels of the lantern


  • 50wt Auriful 2130, 2220, 2692, and 2735


Be The Light Lantern Quilt
Be The Light Lantern Quilt

I like the feeling of fullness, peace, and hope that working on this mini quilt brought me, and it was certainly a quilt that I felt strongly compelled to create and finish. I am thankful for the Reclamation Project, and while I don’t exactly know what I will be creating next, I know the series is not quite finished.

Love, art, quilting, and freely giving. Those words and ideas are beacons for me, to help light and remind me of my path. What resonates the most with you and illuminates your world? Have you ever experience a strong compulsion to create something?


  • I found your words reflecting the lantern quilt very well. It can be easy to forgot the purpose and or the reason that we have chosen to improve a part in our lives, plus even if we do not forget it is especially easy to stray away from that purpose. I like that you acted and directed your experience into something that you can actually see and touch. It helps to stay focused and not stray so far when we have a mini quilt looking over us while we are creating. I also want to add that Yvonne, you did an incredible piece of art. Your words are written clearly and so easily read and the free motion swirls does enhance the lantern and the look of flames dancing all around. Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful creative day!

  • You are an amazing lady! I love your Reclamation pieces and especially when you give us insite into each one! This one is beautiful! Well done! There have been times when I had an idea and had to get it out of my head!

  • The quilting makes this quilt! It looks awesome with the different textures. I love the story of how you were able calmly recover from your panic attack–that sounds like such a powerful experience!

  • Your quilting is absolutely wonderful in this piece. It really took this piece to the next level I feel like. Great job! I really like this long term project that you’ve been doing, it has really got me thinking about my own quilting. I’ve even started doodling to remember ideas so that I can make quilts that send my own message! 🙂

  • Such a powerful quilt, Yvonne! I’m almost speechless (that doesn’t happen very often LOL). Thank you for sharing your journey with this quilt. The quilt is awesome and I agree with the others, your quilting choices are awesome and beautifully executed. I look forward to your next quilt in this series!

  • This is such an amazing journey that you are on with this project. I love everything about this particular one and the story within the quilt itself. The quotes are perfect and really convey your message. Personally, what resonates with me has changed and evolved as I get older but my constant throughout has always been music. It moves me, can makes me laugh, it comforts me, and can even make me cry. It’s such a strong part of who I am.

  • I love the quote quilting and how you connect your letters (specifically “t” and “i” because they always require special attention)! The blog post and the pics show how much you love this quilt and how much you enjoyed the process. What a refreshing thing to read today. Thank you. 🙂

  • The quest to find meaning is the over-riding arc of many people’s lives. Thank you for sharing your very personal experiences.
    I am totally impressed with the quilted quotes because it can be difficult to separate the words – you did an excellent job! Isn’t it great, how with a little practice, even the scariest of piecing (Y-seams) becomes easier?

  • Love your quotes that you quilted on here. I’m trying to think back on the other quilts in this series to see whether this is true or not, but it feels like this is so much the most positive, peaceful and confident of the quilts you’ve done so far. Which makes it even more of a pleasure to see and read about. I’m so glad you’re finding tools that give you confidence going forwards, and it’s such an effective quilt even without the backstory. And what resonates with me and illuminates my world? Love, family, creativity, the beauty all around me, enjoying the moment, and being my own person without needing approval or reassurance from others. And frequently there’s a compulsion to make something, too frequently for all the other things that need doing!

  • A panic attack during meditation of all things? Yikes! I am glad it was eased quickly. I like the light imagery.
    What resonates with me? I am trying to picture what mental images might help me in stressful times and my first thought is a lush, green garden or woodland.

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)