July 27, 2016

A New Baby Quilt Start

Paul's nephew, Jordan, and his wife, Karyn, and expecting their first baby in the fall. Naturally, my first thought was "baby quilt!" I debated which pattern to use for a while, but I've decided to re-make my Friendship Galaxy quilt. The Friendship Galaxy pattern is available in my Etsy and Payhip shops.

Here is the original that I made last fall.
Friendship Galaxy Baby Quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I want to make it again with a less-busy background print. Though I do love those Connecting Threads rockets (affiliate link), I find they overpower the small stars a bit.

I picked up this Northcott Artisan Shimmer print a couple of weeks ago to use as the background. I love the shimmer! Jordan and Karyn don't know if they're having a boy or a girl, so I figure this fun black/grey works for either, plus it will really make the stars pop.
Baby quilt background fabric | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Then last night I started pulling fabrics for the stars. Those small stars only need a scrap of fabric 3 1/2" x 4", so they're great for using up small pieces. Once I had lots of scraps pulled, I went digging in my main stash and this is what I ended up with.
Baby quilt fabric pull | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

As you can see, my reds are a little skimpy, so I may see if I can find another red or two, but other than that I'm pleased with this grouping. There are quite a few Connecting Threads fabrics (affiliate link), some batiks, some Kona solids and some mystery prints that I've had so long I have no idea where they came from!

Now it's time to get cutting!

Linking to Let's Bee Social, NTT and the Needle and Thread Network's WIP Wednesday.


**This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click the link and then make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, but it does not affect the price you pay.**

July 25, 2016

Fruit of the Spirit - Faithfulness

Devotion for the Week...

Here we are already, on week 8 of the fruit of the Spirit devotion series! I have been finding it amazing to really focus on all the character traits the Holy Spirit can cause to grow in our lives if only we allow Him to work in us. I hope you've been enjoying this series too! If you've missed any, you can easily get caught up - here are all the links to the introduction, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and goodness.

And just as a reminder, here is the verse on which I've based this series: Galatians 5:22,23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

When I think about faithfulness, I think of the faithfulness between a husband and wife who have taken a vow to remain together for better and for worse and to never turn away from each other. There will be good times and not-so-good times, but those who are faithful do not abandon each other or decide to seek out a relationship with someone else to replace their spouse.

God calls His relationship with us a 'covenant', which indicates a vow or promise. He has chosen this relationship with us and Jesus promised us "surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Nothing will cause God to abandon us or to decide to choose someone to replace us. Paul wrote, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38,39). Nothing in all of creation can cause God to renounce His relationship with us!

Of course, faithfulness doesn't only come into play in a marriage. Faithfulness is really a matter of commitment. Commitment to doing what we said we would do, or being where we said we would be even if, in the moment, we don't feel like doing those things or going to those places. Faithfulness means our word means something.

Unfortunately, faithfulness can be hard. Sometimes we just don't want to follow through on our commitments. We don't want to do the work we said we would do. Relationships (any relationship, not just marriage) can be hard and it can be tempting to seek out something new. Sometimes we just want to be selfish and ignore the promises we made.
Weekly devotions | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit nudges us in those moments. I know I have felt it and you probably have to. It's that feeling that we are not doing the right thing, that we need to follow through on what we said we would do, whatever that may be at the moment. If we will obey those nudges, those reminders that God's faithfulness should be evident in His people, then gradually faithfulness will become our norm. Give in to the temptation to blow off a commitment once and it becomes easier to do it the next time. But keep your commitments again and again and the voice of temptation will have less of a hold on you. You will become faithful, as God is faithful.

July 18, 2016

Fruit of the Spirit - Goodness

Devotion for the Week...

It's week 7 of our fruit of the Spirit devotion series and this week we're thinking about goodness. Once again, if you're just joining in, or if you've missed a few posts, you can get caught up with the introduction, love, joy, peace, patience and kindness.

Our verse for this series is Galatians 5:22,23, which says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."


The original word that Paul used for goodness, agathōsynē, means "uprightness of heart and life, goodness, kindness." In planning for this devotion, I immediately thought of this verse, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2).

It feels like there is a decided lack of goodness these days. We have all, much too frequently, felt sorrow and disbelief when we heard about the tragedies around the world. There is no denying that 'the pattern of this world' is far removed from the 'good, pleasing and perfect will' of God.

Thankfully, the vast majority of people will never intentionally harm another person, but even still, we all know that it's hard to be truly good. Just spend time with any toddler and you'll quickly learn just how natural it is for us humans to be selfish and mean and demanding. Between raising my own boys and babysitting toddlers belonging to others, I have witnessed many, many tantrums, pokes, pushes, grabs, etc. Toddlers want what they want, right now, and they're not concerned with how that might affect others. That is, in a nutshell, the natural human state, which is why parents have to teach their child to behave like a 'civilized person'. Goodness doesn't come naturally. It has to be learned and it takes effort.

That is why Paul tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. 'Renewing' here carries the idea of a renovation, of changing something for the better. So, the Spirit of God will change our minds for the better, allowing us to be no longer bound to the pattern of the world, but instead to think and act according to the will of God.
Weekly Devotions | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
This renewing of our minds is an ongoing process as the Spirit changes our attitudes and behavior in different ways, bringing us ever closer to being like Jesus. Gradually, the more we walk with the Spirit and allow Him to work in our lives, the more we will grow in goodness.

And this world can certainly use more goodness.

July 16, 2016

12 Days of Christmas in July - Snow Friends

Remember all those snowmen I was making back in May? Well, today is my day for the 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop, so I finally get to share them with you. First, though, I want to say a huge thank you to Sarah for all her work organizing this blog hop! Also, I'm sharing today with Marsha at Quilter in Motion, so be sure to pop over to see what she has to show you :)

And now, meet my Snow Friends!
Snow Friends Quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
This quilt came about because I wanted to re-do the first pattern I ever offered for sale. Portrait of a Snowman was my design for one 12" block and I was so excited when I first offered it for sale.
Portrait of a Snowman | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Almost immediately after posting it for sale, though, I realized it could have been constructed differently, which would have eliminated the seams across his face. It has kind of nagged at me ever since, but I never really made time for it until Sarah, at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, asked if anyone would be interested in a Christmas in July blog hop. I signed up right away, figuring it would be the perfect opportunity to get this pattern redone.

And it was! This is my new version of that first snowman. I like him so much better without those seams in his face. I like the shape of his hat better too.
Snowman quilt block | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Since I was re-doing the pattern, I also wanted to make it into a full quilt, rather than just a single block, so that meant my first snowman needed some friends. My inspiration for the layout was those picture collage frames you can buy and so I made the snowmen (and women) blocks in a couple of different sizes. There are 12" x 12" blocks, 6" x 6" blocks and a couple that are odd sizes, like 8" x 12".

I had a lot of fun drawing the different snow people and then making all the blocks!
Snowmen quilt blocks | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I love that their character seemed to come alive once I embroidered the mouths on!

My plan had been to finish my quilt, finish the pattern and get it to the two people who generously offered to test it for me, all in time to have the pattern available to launch today. Well. That didn't happen. Why is it things always take longer than I think they will? The pattern is with the testers (finally!), so it will be available shortly after I hear back from them. If you're interested, you can follow my blog through Bloglovin, Feedly or by email, or you can sign up for my monthly newsletter, The Bulletin. That way you'll be sure to know once the pattern is released :)

The quilt finishes at 48" x 48." When I finally got it all put together, I was surprised by how big it was, which really amused me because it was exactly the size I designed it to be! Not only that, but I've made 48" square quilts before and somehow they always seem bigger than I was expecting. I'm not sure why I can't seem to visualize that size quilt! Thankfully, it still fits on the wall in our entryway where I plan to hang it come Christmas time :)

You may have noticed that my quilt is still only a quilt top, not actually a finished quilt. That's partly because I haven't figured out how I want to quilt it yet! The faces are big enough that they need some quilting, but I can't decide what. I'd appreciate any suggestions you have :)

There are lots of other great Christmas-related projects being shared during this blog hop, so be sure to check them all out. Plus, Sarah is hosting a quilt-a-long during the hop, posting a new set of instructions each day (about an hour's worth of work for each day, I believe). Here's the full schedule:


July 14th:     Sharon Vrooman @ Vrooman’s Quilts
                    Carole Carter @ From My Caroline Home

July 15th:    Yanicka Hachez @ Finding Myself As An Artist
                   Chris Dodsley @ made by ChrissieD

July 16th:     Marsha Hodgkins @ Quilter in Motion
                    Leanne Parsons  @ Devoted Quilter

July 17th:     Tonia Conner @ All Thingz Sewn
                    Selina @ Selina Quilts

July 18th:     Lara Buccella @ Buzzin Bumble
                    Soma Acharya @ Whims and Fancies

July 19th:     Joanne Harris@ Quilts by Joanne
                    Suzy Webster @ Adventurous Applique and Quilting

July 20th:     Vicki in MN @ Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
                    Jennifer Fulton @ The Inquiring Quilter

July 21st:     Michele Kuhns @ Crayon Box Quilt Studio
                    Jan Ochterbeck @ The Colorful Fabriholic

July 22nd:     Alla Blanca @ Rainbows. Bunnies. Cupcakes.
                     Zenia Rene @ A Quilted Passion

July 23rd:     Joanne Hubbard @ Everyone Deserves a Quilt
                    Paige Alexander @ Quilted Blooms

July 24th:     Carolyn Jones @ …by CJ
                    Tisha Nagel @ Quilty Therapy

July 25th:     Susan Arnold @ Quilt Fabrication
                    Beth Sellers @ Cooking Up Quilts
                    Linda Pearl @ One Quilting Circle

Merry Christmas, and thanks for stopping by!

July 11, 2016

Fruit of the Spirit - Kindness

Devotion for the Week...

It's time for another look at the fruit of the Spirit! This week we're moving on to kindness, which marks the halfway point of this series. If you've missed the previous posts on the fruit of the Spirit, you can catch up with the introduction, love, joy, peace and patience.

Our verse for this devotion series is Galatians 5:22, 23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Remember that these are not 9 separate fruit. It is not a case of one person growing love while another grows patience. Rather, these are all different sides of one fruit, all of which the Spirit will cause to grow in our lives if we are willing to listen and walk with Him.

In thinking about kindness for today's post, I thought of this story. Rather than summarizing it, I'll just post the whole story here. This is John 8:2-11:


At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

So, let's start with the teachers of the law and the Pharisees. They were the religious leaders of the day. The church people, so to speak. They have caught a women 'in the act of adultery' and have dragged her into the temple courts.

Can you imagine her shame? Her humiliation? Her fear? Surely she knew the Law of Moses, and that it required an adulterer be stoned.

How is it they caught her 'in the act' anyway? And why haven't they dragged her...accomplice...into the temple courts? There are some who think this poor woman was set up, that the man was in on it with the religious leaders who needed someone to use in their attempt to trap Jesus. Lovely, right?

Their treatment of someone caught doing wrong has to be the perfect example of anti-kindess. Unfortunately, modern-day church people can be just as bad. We aren't so likely to throw stones at people, but there's no denying we throw words that do at least as much damage as a stone could. Think about the gossip that swirls when someone has an affair, or when someone's kids are in trouble with the law. People are often more than ready to believe the worst, to spread the story near and far and to separate themselves from those who are being accused. When people need kindness they are often given condemnation and shame instead.

Now consider Jesus' response. The religious leaders are hoping Jesus will condemn this woman just as they have. Instead, without saying a word, He starts to write on the ground with His finger. How I wish we knew what He wrote! Many speculate that He started writing words like 'liar' or 'gossip,' words that would make these self-righteous men realize that they are not perfect either. Obviously, we don't know if that's the case or not.

Whatever He wrote, the crowd kept pushing Him to make a ruling on the woman's fate, so Jesus stood and told them to go ahead and stone her...so long as the one among them who has never sinned is the first to throw a stone. Then He goes back to writing on the ground.

Slowly the crowd disperses. I love that it's the older ones who leave first. Are they the ones who are most aware of their own sins? Are the younger ones still determined to focus on the sins of others rather than their own? Eventually, though, they all slip away, leaving Jesus and the woman alone.

And He, the only one who had the right to throw a stone at her, the only one who could have condemned her, doesn't.

I picture a smile on His face as He looks around where the crowd had stood, then turns to the woman and tells her He doesn't condemn her. I can almost hear the kindness in His voice, can't you?

The next time we're confronted with someone who has done wrong, who will we imitate? The religious leaders and Pharisees, who heaped shame and humiliation on the woman (who assuredly already knew she had done wrong), or Jesus, who refused to condemn her?

Jesus won't be standing there in that moment, ready to stoop down and write on the ground. But we do have the Holy Spirit within us, ready to remind us of our own sins and the kindness of our Savior, which could stop the stones we might otherwise have thrown.
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