Wednesday, 23 April 2014

WIP Wednesday - This and That

I spent about an hour yesterday quilting feathers in the sashing of my scrappy log cabin quilt and I reached a milestone (of sorts). I now have all the blocks and cornerstones quilted, as well as all the sashing that runs vertically.

That means I only have to do the sashing that runs horizontally, the borders and the binding before I can declare this finished.

Yeah, it's still going to be a while.

I have a bad habit of putting this aside to work on smaller and easier to finish other projects, but I will get it done. If for no other reason than I'm getting tired of writing progress reports on the same quilt over and over!

That being said, today's sewing session was spent transforming the last of the four-patch blocks for my Hands2Help quilt.  Now all the blocks are done so I can start putting this one together.
In other news, I managed to give myself a sore wrist by sewing too many hexagons, so I've had to take a break for a couple of days.
Caution: Too many hexagons can be hazardous to your wrist!
I mean, seriously, a hand-sewing injury? Whoever heard of that? I'm anxious to get back at it, but I guess I'll have to be careful not to spend so long stitching each time I take it up.

As usual, I'll be linking to these places. Have a great week!

Monday, 21 April 2014

It doesn't need to be done again!

Devotion for the Week...

Life is full of repetitive tasks. Ones that just don't stay done. Like washing dishes. As soon as you're finished cleaning the supper dishes, someone wants a glass of water or you need a cup of tea, and boom...another dirty dish. And laundry. It's never even finished in the first place. There's always another load that needs to be put in the washer, or one that needs to be folded and put away. I really don't know how women survived having so many children in previous generations. The laundry alone would be enough to exhaust me!

The Bible, though, tells the story of two vastly different things that were both done once and never need to be repeated. The first brought death, the other life.

In the Garden of Eden, God told Adam, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die" (Genesis 2:16, 17). Did he and his wife, Eve, listen? No. First Eve was deceived and ate the fruit, then she "gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it"(Genesis 3:6). That one act of disobedience, of a person thinking he knew better than God, has stained all of human history. It has affected the life of every person who has lived since that day. We are all born with the same nature  Adam had. We all go into life thinking we know better than God and we all want to do things our own way. This is sin, and the Bible says, "the wages of sin is death"(Romans 6:23). It also says, "death came through a man" (1 Corinthians 15:21), through Adam. Once Adam disobeyed God's command, it was done for everyone, forever.

Thank God that's not the end of the story! Here is the rest of 1 Corinthians 15:21 along with verse 22: "For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."

Jesus' death on the cross paid the price for all the sins of every person affected by Adam's disobedience.  Just seconds before He died on the cross, Jesus said, "It is finished," (John 19:30). He died knowing He had done everything God wanted Him to do, having fulfilled every part of the plan for which He came to earth. He never needs to do it again, nor does anyone else need to do it again. "For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God" (Romans 6:9, 10).

Adam's act of disobedience brought death to us all. But John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Jesus' death paid that penalty for all who choose to believe in Him as their savior.

Have you made that choice? Have you accepted His sacrifice of love for your sins? If not, you can accept it right now, by simply talking to God and telling Him you understand that you are a sinner and that you believe Jesus died for you.

Then you can know the price for your sins has been paid in full, and need never be paid again.




Saturday, 19 April 2014

Hands2Help Progress Check

It's time to link up progress reports for the Charity Quilt Challenge. And I actually have progress to report!

 

I started with this piece of fabric from my stash. I bought it to use as the backing for my second quilt, which I made before Paul and I got married, for his sister and her new baby. That baby is now 16! So these vehicles have been hanging around a long time!

I didn't have enough of it to make many blocks, so I decided to make it the center panel of the quilt.

Then I pulled blues, greens, yellows, greys and blacks from my stash to coordinate with the bright coloured machines.




I'm making disappearing four-patch blocks to go around that panel. I love how the personality of the block changes with just a little cutting and rearranging of the pieces. This block went from this...







to this! Doesn't this have so much more pizazz?

 
 So far I have three sides worth of blocks finished, and the four patches made for the other side. I just have to do the cutting and resewing on them. I'm thinking I'll bind it in red, but maybe black would be better. What do you think? And do I need to make blocks that have a little red in them to balance all the red in the center?

I'll be linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for the progress check. It'll be fun to see what everyone else it up to.


Monday, 14 April 2014

Working or Just Dreaming?

I joined instagram a few days ago (I'm @devotedquilter). I am amused by how quickly I began to feel the pull to check my instagram feed often to see what people have posted. It's fun to get little snippets of their lives, especially snippets of what they're stitching. The list of blogs I follow has been growing too, so I spend time every day checking in to see what's new on my bloglovin feed.

I want to be working on my own quilty projects, though, so I have to be careful how much time I spend looking at others' creations. I only have so much "me" time, after all. If I spend it all sitting with my laptop or my phone I won't get much stitched together myself.

Surprisingly, the Bible even talks about that. "He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty" (Proverbs 28:19). I'm not working my land to grow my own food. I'm not even selling my quilts to buy groceries, but the principle stays the same. If I don't work, I won't have any results.

This may seem very basic. It may seem like it doesn't warrant much of our time, but the book of Proverbs puts a strong emphasis on the importance of work. We read in Proverbs 10:4: "Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth" and in chapter 13, verse 4: "The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied." Chapter 20:4 says, "A sluggard does not plow in season, so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing."

We all have many different types of work we do. When I'm sewing, I say I'm working on a particular quilt, but there's really no part of it that feels like work. It's fun and I love to do it. Then there are other types of work that most certainly feel like work. Housecleaning? That's work. I don't want to do it, but it needs to get done at least some of the time. Whether it is the fun of working towards a quilting goal, or the necessary work that is required to earn a paycheck or keep the house and family in running order, if we don't do it we won't reap the benefit.

Thinking about making a quilt will not produce something I can snuggle under with a good book. Looking at instagram or blogs and dreaming about how I would make a particular quilt in my favourite colours won't either. While it doesn't much matter in the end whether or not I make another quilt, I don't want to spend all my time just dreaming about quilting. I want to dream and plan, yes, but I also want to actually quilt!

The same holds true for my writing. I spent years dreaming about writing, dreaming about finishing a book and getting it published, but doing little or no writing. It didn't get me very far. Now I am writing at least once a week and even when I'm not sitting and typing a devotion, I'm thinking about it, crafting parts of it in my mind as I do other things. Working on my writing has given me better results than just dreaming about it!

As for the housework...well, it won't do itself. My husband does a lot around the house, but there are some tasks that are mine and it's very noticeable when I neglect them. Thinking about how much we need clean laundry is not nearly as effective as putting clothes in the washer, then the dryer and then folding them so they can be put away.

Do you have work you want or need to do, but you find yourself spending more time thinking about it than actually doing it? Let this be your gentle reminder that getting to work will produce abundance, while just dreaming leads to nothing.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Joining Rows

Since I last posted about this,I have spent a lot of time working on my hexie flower quilt. It has reached the point where I feel like it's almost finished, so now I want to work on it even more to see it finished. Do you find you're more excited to work on a project as you near the end? Of course, I'm only nearing the end of the quilt top, not the actual finished quilt, but a finished top is something to celebrate too.

Here are all 56 flowers joined into their 7 rows.
 But wait...it gets even better!

I've started joining those rows to each other. So far I have combined four rows into two wide rows.

I am so glad I chose to use two different blues for the background, and that I stitched them randomly rather than trying to create a pattern.
I love the interest it adds to the background, without making it so busy that it takes away from the flowers.

On a totally different note, I have joined Instagram. I am @devotedquilter, if you'd like to follow me there.

And on another completely different note, Craftsy is having a flash sale this weekend, with great prices on some of their classes. I noticed that Angela Walters' Dot to Dot Quilting and Free-Motion Quilting with Feathers are both included in this sale. I have watched both classes and learned a lot from them. I love Angela's teaching style and her fmq is amazing.

I hope you're having a great weekend! I'll be linking to some of these places.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Finish-a-Long List for Quarter 2

Can you believe a quarter of the year is gone already? At least we have some quilty finishes to show for it, thanks to the motivation provided by the Finish-a-Long! So here I am, planning out what projects I want to finish for this quarter.

1. Scrappy Log Cabin. I know. It was one of my priorities last quarter, but it's still unfinished. I did work on it though, and now I'm extra determined to get it off my list!
2. This pinwheel project I started last week. I'm ready to start quilting it, once I get some backing fabric. I want to share a series of projects on this blog, but I need pattern testers before I can do that. If you're interested in testing patterns for me, I'd love to hear from you. Just tell me in a comment or email me at piecefullydevoted at gmail dot com.
 




3. My Hands 2 Help Charity Challenge quilt. I have a center portion made using this heavy equipment fabric and I plan to border it with disappearing 4 patch blocks. I've started cutting for those, but that's as far as I've made it so far. Are you making a quilt for this year's challenge? What a great way to help someone and participate in a quilting 'party' too!





  
4. I have offered to test a pattern for Leanne of She Can Quilt, so as soon as I get the pattern, I'll be starting in on that.

That's it for me this quarter. As always, I have a couple of other projects on the go, but they're not far enough along to even think I could finish them in the next three months. Eventually they'll find their way onto the list for another quarter. My snowman runner that was on the list last quarter isn't finished, but let's be honest...I really don't want to look at snowmen now, when the snow is finally starting to melt. They'll reappear on my list in the fall.

How about you? Is your goal list written and linked up with Katy at The Littlest Thistle? You have until the 14th to get in on the fun.
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