September 21, 2017

Quilter's Connection Magazine

Back when I made the call for blocks to make quilts for the seniors displaced by the fire, a woman named Heather contacted me about doing an interview about the project for Quilter's Connection magazine. I had never heard of the magazine before, but I enjoyed my interview with Heather and she assured me she'd send me a copy when the issue came out.

Well, it arrived a few days ago and it is such a beautiful magazine!
Quilter's Connection magazine | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Quilter's Connection magazine | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
There are several beautiful projects in the magazine, including a quilt made with zippers (intriguing, right?) and profiles of a few Canadian quilters to watch. Quilter's Connection comes out four times a year and you can preview the current issue here.

This is not an affiliate post, I just wanted to share the magazine since I figured that if I had never heard of it before, you may not have either. The tag line says "For Canadian Quilters," but it's definitely worth checking out even if you're not Canadian 😉

Head on over to their website for more information, to buy an issue or to subscribe.

September 18, 2017

His Breath

Devotion for the Week...

There's a song I love called "Great Are You, Lord", and the chorus says:

It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It's Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to You only.

In an interview, one of the writers of the song said that the song was inspired in part by Ezekial 37:4-10, where Ezekial sees a valley full of dry bones and God asks Him if those bones could live. Ezekial responds by saying, "I have no idea! Only you know that, God!" (in the Devoted Quilter translation, anyway), and then we have the verses that inspired the song:

"Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army."

It's a beautiful picture, isn't it? God gives us the breath in our lungs and we then use that breath to praise Him, but when I was singing this song recently, I couldn't help thinking about all the other ways we use the breath He gives us.

What comes out of our mouths doesn't always sound like praise, does it? In fact, James 3:7-10 says, "All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be."

Now, most of us probably aren't calling down curses on the people who annoy us, but just think about the things we say when we talk about them. Actually, just think about the fact that we talk about the ways they annoy us. That in itself probably isn't speech that could be considered praise!

And what about when we're frustrated because something isn't the way we want it to be? This could be anything from the weather that's not cooperating with our plans to the bank account that won't grow the way we want to the toddler who just will not listen. No matter what our words may be in those situations, the tone of voice certainly doesn't convey praise, does it? And I'm sure we all know that tone of voice is at least as important as the actual words being said.

If we want to use the breath God gives us to pour out our praise, then we need to be aware of what we're saying (and how we're saying it) all the time, not only when we're actively focused on God. What we say matters. After all, "the mouth speaks what the heart is full of" (Luke 6:45). 
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com #christian #devotion
Paying attention to what we say may reveal attitudes that need fixing, so our whole lives can become expressions of praise to God.

September 13, 2017

Leaders and Enders

I'm pretty sporadic when it comes to making leaders and enders, but over the past couple of years I've still managed to accumulate a few hundred of these colour-coordinated 4 patch blocks.
4 patch blocks | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
They're made from 1 1/2" squares that I cut from my scraps as I cut for other projects. Since I want to actually use them, not just fill baggies in my sewing cupboard, I designed a throw size quilt that features the 4 patches as the center of the blocks. The quilt will be in Make Modern in January, so only sneak peeks for now 😊
Quilt block | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
It was great to start putting these blocks together and already have those centers ready to go!

I still have a lot of 4 patches left...enough to make at least 2 more of these quilts, so I don't feel like making more of them right now. I'll still cut the squares, though. It's a great way to use up those little scraps and have them ready to be used for something. And I'll likely use some of the remaining 4 patches to make another version of this quilt with a white, or at least much lighter, background. It's always fun to see how changing the background changes the whole look of a quilt.

But what to use for leaders and enders now? Well, I've also spent the past couple of years cutting scraps into 2 7/8" squares for HSTs and just sticking them in a bag in the cupboard.
Squares | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
The plan is to use them to make this quilt, Scrappy Triangles, designed by Jean Nolte.
Scrappy Triangles by Jean Nolte | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I even thought to write the magazine issue the quilt is in on the outside of the bag I store them in so I could find it again easily. For the record, it's in Love of Quilting, Nov/Dec 2011, which means I've been cutting these squares for almost 6 years 😝 Obviously I haven't been overly diligent about cutting!

I haven't counted my squares, but I know I don't have enough for the whole quilt. I can definitely make a lot of HSTs, though, so there's no reason not to get started. Besides, the way I make leaders and enders, this will take a long time anyway 😊 That'll give me plenty of time to cut more squares.

For now, since I'm using black thread to sew my black blocks together, I'm choosing dark squares that are black, or pretty close to it, so the thread won't show.
HSTs | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
According to the pattern, I need 864 light/dark HSTS. So far I have...
HSTs | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
HSTs | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
8! It's a start, right?

Do you make leaders and enders? If you do, what blocks do you like to make most and what do you like to make with them?

September 11, 2017

Planning

Devotion for the Week...

This is what my Quilter's Planner looked like over the summer.
Quilter's Planner | http://quiltersplanner.com/product/2018-quilters-planner/?affil=101389
This is what it looked like last week.
Quilter's Planner | http://quiltersplanner.com/product/2018-quilters-planner/?affil=101389
Ignore the blotted out spots...I jotted down a couple of phone numbers 
It's not that there was nothing that needed to be done over the summer, but it was vacation time and I was very much in the "it'll get done when it gets done" mode. I could do a little here and a little there whenever I felt like it.

Now, though, I'm babysitting four 1-3 year olds full time so my available time to do anything productive is rather limited. That means I have to schedule it in and actually make myself (try) to follow through on my plans. I have to admit, I don't always get everything done, but crossing things off feels really good 😊 And for some strange reason, I actually like seeing the column for each day filled with tasks, with all intentions of being super-productive. I may even be guilty of over-planning in my enthusiasm, writing down more things than I could possibly ever accomplish in the time I have available, as evidenced by the not-crossed-off things on last week's list.

Then I wake up on Saturday morning and there's no water. So much for my plans to clean the bathroom, workout and then shower! Since I knew this would be today's devotion, I was rather amused by how the lack of water hijacked my plans for the day, while at the same time that I was annoyed because I couldn't get done what I wanted to.

"Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that" (James 4:13-15).

You do not even know what will happen tomorrow. How true is that? No matter how hard we wish it, we cannot see into the future to know if we will have the health to pursue the plans we're making, or if we'll still be living in the same place or if we'll still be alive then. We don't even know if our water will be flowing through our taps when we wake in the morning!

If it is the Lord's will...My plans have a tendency to be all about my will. They reveal what I want to accomplish, where I want to be a year from now, the work that I want to be doing. Can you relate? I often have to remind myself to step back and ask if what I'm planning is God's will for me or not.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com  #christian #devotion
Of course, this doesn't mean that we shouldn't make plans, either in the short-term or the long-term. It means that we try to remember that our plans are really in God's hands. We acknowledge that His will must prevail and we must be ready and willing to adjust our plans to fulfill His plans.

That's not always easy, especially if we're attached to our plans and dreams, but it is the best way to be sure that we are living the lives God has planned for us. And you can be sure His plan is the best one!

September 07, 2017

TGIFF - Divided in Quilty Magazine

Welcome to TGIFF! This has been the first week back to work and school for us and it has made the week feel like it has flown by at super speed. Here are the boys on their first day of school. Zach is now in grade 8, Aiden is in grade 10 (senior high!) and Nathan is in grade 4.
First day of school | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Back in early December I made a throw quilt for Quilty magazine in 9 days. 9! It was crazy, considering I was also working full time and most of my quilts take me at least weeks, if not months, to finish. However, deadlines can be very motivating, so 9 days after the fabric arrived in the mail, I had it finished and quickly got it ready and put the finished quilt back in the mail.

But I didn't take a picture of it.

Whomp, whomp, whomp.

Now, though, the quilt is in the September/October issue of Quilty, so I have a picture to show you (by taking a picture of my copy, lol!) 😊 Meet Divided...
Divided in Quilty magazine | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
This quilt was inspired by a man who visited our church to speak. His shirt had an orange peel-like design, with the button placket in a different print altogether, making for a really stark division between the two sides of the shirt. I hardly heard a word he said because I kept staring at his shirt and trying to envision how I could turn it into a quilt design!

All of the fabric for this quilt was provided by the Me + You division of Hoffman Fabrics. The background is one of their Indah solids and the prints are all from the Indah batiks line. I have to say I loved the feel of the fabrics and I will definitely want to use them again.

Thanks to this quilt, I now know I can make a quilt in 9 days, though I hope not to make a habit of it.

What have you finished this week (or many weeks ago, but now you can share it)? Link up below and be sure to visit some of the other links to celebrate their finishes with them 😊



September 03, 2017

Adaptation

Devotion for the Week...

As I mentioned last week, I love knowing the names of the wildflowers I see and to that end I just bought another book about Newfoundland's wildflowers and ferns. The book includes a short section that describes the various habitats that exist on the island (limestone barrens, wetlands, coastline, etc), all of which have different challenges and advantages for plants. For example, plants that live along the coastline have to deal with salt spray, which would be deadly to most plants because the salt would make them dry out.

Of course, there are plants growing along the coastline, including some plants that grow right on the beaches. Those plants are able to survive in that salty environment because they have a feature that protects them from drying out; for example, they may have a waxy coating that protects the leaves. Without that coating on the leaves the plant would struggle to survive.

Thinking about how different plants adapt to different growing conditions made me think of my favourite flower when we lived in Igloolik, which is a small island in Nunavut. The arctic has a really short summer and plants have to be hardy to survive. Dwarf fireweed is a gorgeous purple-pink flower that grows like a carpet all over the place. It lines the sides of the runways, making for a beautiful display when you come in for a landing.

The summer after we moved to Newfoundland, we were driving one day and I noticed the roadside was covered in tall purple flowers. When we stopped I was delighted to see it was a tall version of the dwarf fireweed I had loved so much in Igloolik. It makes me smile when I see it every summer, both because it's a beautiful flower and because it reminds me of our time in Igloolik.

The fireweed that grows in the arctic is a dwarf version of the fireweed that grows here because the summer doesn't give plants time to grow that tall in the north. Dwarf fireweed has adapted to quickly reach its full height and produce flowers so it can produce seeds before the short summer is over. It's the only way the plant can thrive in a less-than-ideal environment.

Spiritually speaking, we are also living in an environment that is less than ideal. I don't mean the world around us (though it certainly has less than ideal elements). I'm actually thinking of our human nature. There are a few elements of our human nature that make it less than ideal for us to survive and thrive as Christians.

First of all, our human nature is selfish. It wants to have all of our needs and wants met, regardless of how meeting them may negatively impact us or others. Just think about how a toddler reacts when told 'no' and you get a picture of our human nature in action. Sure, our parents mostly trained that out of us (hopefully), but there's no denying that basic selfishness stays in some form or another.

Second, our human nature is focused on 'now' and has trouble making decisions based on the future. This plays out in a lot of ways, from not being able to control eating because we want that dessert now, even though we also want the smaller waistline later, to not being able to control our spending because we want to buy something now, even though we also want to save for the proverbial rainy day.

Put those two elements together and we have a recipe for disaster, everything from marital affairs to stealing from employers to gossip can be traced back to these elements of our human nature. And Christians aren't immune to these problems. Paul wrote, " I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do" (Romans 7:15). That sinful human nature has a tight grip on us and it can be hard to live contrary to it.

Thankfully, we have an adaptation that God has given us as Christians to help us survive and thrive even though we are living with this human nature. That adaptation is the Holy Spirit living inside of each of us.

Jesus told us, "the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:26). God knew what we would need to survive. He knew that we would need constant reminding to live His way, not the way that would come naturally to us.

Knowing us, knowing our human nature and what we would need to live as Christians thriving despite our human nature, He gave us the Holy Spirit, living within us to speak up when we are tempted to say or do something we shouldn't. The Holy Spirit is the One who reminds us that there is a better way to live. The Holy Spirit is also the One who reminds us of God's grace when we make mistakes and need His forgiveness.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Living with our sinful nature is certainly less than ideal, but with the Holy Spirit we can definitely survive and thrive as God intends.

August 28, 2017

Is This Good Information?

Devotion for the Week...

I love knowing the names of the flowers and birds we see on our hikes, so I have books about both and we often refer to the books after seeing something new. I would love to know more about identifying all of the different rocks we see, too, but I'm still looking for a good book to help me there. If you know one, be sure to let me know in the comments!

Nathan likes to know names too, so he often asks me what something is while we're out hiking. A couple of weeks ago he asked me about a low growing plant with red berries that we see everywhere and I told him it's called cracker berry. Of course, the next question was, "Can you eat the berries?" I told him you can, but they really don't have much flavour, so we don't bother.

Nathan has recently made friends with a guy living up the road who is here from Jamaica and there are blueberry bushes near his apartment. While Nathan was taking Dane to where they could pick the blueberries, they passed some cracker berry plants and Dane asked if Nathan knew what they were, and if you could eat them, so Nathan repeated what I had told him. When he told me the story (on yet another hike where the woods were full of cracker berries), Nathan said, "I'm just using the information you gave me!"

We do that a lot, don't we? We get information from so many different sources every day - friends, family, news programs, social media, books, websites...Some of that information is good, some not so good. Sometimes we're specifically looking for information, like when we watch the news or ask questions or when kids are in school. Other times, though, we're not even aware that we're taking in and filing away information.

Some of that information we've filed away without realizing it could affect our view of God and what we think is His view of us. Someone who has an abusive or neglectful father will store that information under the category "what fathers are like," so when they are told that God is our Father, they are drawing on faulty information to create their image of God as Father. Someone who is constantly treated with disrespect and contempt will store that information under "my worth" and will struggle to believe that God could love them, while someone who is told they're stupid will file that under "my worth" as well and will believe they have nothing to offer.

With all this information coming at us constantly, we need to be paying attention. We need to be asking ourselves, "Is this good information?" This is true for all of the information we take in, but it is especially true of those things that affect how we view God and those things that affect how we think He views us.

The standard, of course, will be what the Bible has to say on the subject. If the information we're taking in doesn't agree with what the Bible says, then it is not good information. These are the things the Bible tells us:

1. God loves us.


"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love" (1John 4:7, 8).

"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" (John 3:16).

"But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness" (Psalm 86:15).

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).


2. God made each one of us for a purpose and we are all precious to Him.


"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27).

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well" (Psalm 139:13, 14).

"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1).

"Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it" (1 Corinthians 12:27).
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
These are things we can trust as good information. Any information we take in that is contrary to what we read in the Bible is bad information and we should discard it immediately rather than filing it away. Often, that is easier said than done, but if we are aware that it is bad information at least, we can try to discard it each time it comes to mind.

August 21, 2017

I'm With Him

Devotion for the Week...

We bought Aiden his first drum set for Christmas 2011 after he had spent months taking all of my metal mixing bowls and my pots, then spreading everything out around him and drumming on them with my wooden spoons. In May 2013, he upgraded to a larger set (he looks like such a baby in those pictures! Wow!) Talking to Aiden about music is like talking to me about quilting...there's the same enthusiasm in his voice, the same excitement about all the things he's doing or wants to do.

This weekend, he'll be performing in a music festival. A local musician was so impressed by Aiden and his friends, when he heard them a few months ago, that he asked them to be his band for this festival. It will be Aiden's first performance outside of a school setting and we're all looking forward to it (Aiden, especially!).


Because he's performing, Aiden gets into the festival for free. He also gets one ticket for a guest. Let's say I'm the one using that guest ticket. Because I'm going with Aiden, I get in for free, even though I'm not doing anything to contribute to the festival. Really, that's for their benefit, because I have zero musical talent, so they don't want me trying to contribute! All I have to do to get in is show up and say I'm with Aiden and they'll let me in, even though I didn't pay for a ticket and I'm not doing any of the work.


Sound familiar? Jesus has offered all of us a 'guest ticket' to relationship and eternal life with God. Jesus did all the work and now we are able to have that eternal life simply because we're with Him. "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" (John 3:16).


There are a lot of people still trying to earn their way into heaven, but it doesn't work that way. It's not like the festival tickets, where some people are getting in free because they're performing, others are getting in free because they're guests and everyone else can just buy a ticket. The only way to God is through Jesus.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
My work can't get me saved. Neither can yours. No matter how hard we try, it will never be enough, because we have no talent for righteousness, any more than I have for music. Fortunately, God isn't looking for people who have righteousness figured out, because He knows we can't do it. Instead, He is looking for those who are willing to admit they can't do it on their own and who are willing to say, "I'm with Jesus."

August 17, 2017

Quilt Deliveries!

I know you've been waiting to see pictures of the residents with their quilts, so here you go! I don't have pictures of all of the residents with their quilts, but I do have 7.






Delivering the quilts has taken a while because the residents are rather spread out. Some in a home 2 hours away in this direction, some more in a home 2 hours away in the other direction...that sort of thing. Thankfully I've had a few people help with the deliveries.

I also had the most wonderful note show up in my mailbox one day this week. It seriously made my day!
Isn't it nice to know the quilts are being appreciated? This note definitely goes to every one of you who sent blocks or batting or whatever to help with these quilts, as well as everyone who helped put the quilts together.

There are still a few quilts to be delivered, but they should all be finished in the next few days. Then it's on to the quilts for the employees. I should have enough for them soon, so there will be more pictures of finished quilts in the near future 😊

August 14, 2017

Tenting

Devotion for the Week...

I love camping in our tent. There's something about sleeping in a tent that feels wonderful and, believe it or not, luxurious to me. It's like sleeping directly outside, but with something to keep the bugs away, lol. Waking in the morning is my favourite part, when the tent is all warm and full of sunshine and the birds are chirping all around us.

That being said, I am also glad I live in a time when sleeping in a tent is a recreational thing and not an everyday thing. Especially since we live in Newfoundland, where the winters are cold and snowy. I love traveling around the province and exploring, but I don't think I would have loved living in a tent all the time, moving around as needed to find food, dependent on nothing but a tent and a fire to stay warm through the coldest months. I am grateful for my nice sturdy house when the wind is howling and the snow is falling!

The Bible sometimes refers to our physical bodies as tents. In 2 Corinthians 5:1 Paul wrote, "For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands." And Peter wrote, "I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me" (2 Peter 1:13, 14). 

What I find interesting about this analogy is that tents are not very sturdy; they're easily torn or destroyed. Those in the past who lived in tents full time would have had to be constantly repairing or replacing them. The older the tent, the more patches it would have had and the more work it would have taken to keep it functional. Isn't that just like our bodies? We get scraped and bruised, bones get broken, we get sick. Definitely, the older the body the harder it is to keep it functional!

The wonderful thing is, these tents we're living in now aren't what we'll be living in forever. Paul said that after this earthly tent is destroyed, we will have an eternal house, built by God. What a promise! When our bodies give out and we die, whether through sickness, old age or some tragic accident, our easily damaged earthly bodies will be replaced by something far, far better.

I also find it interesting that Peter referred to his coming death as a 'putting aside' of 'the tent of this body.'  While I don't think any of us welcome death, there's comfort in knowing that our physical death is not the end. Nor has it been the end for any of our loved ones who have already died. They've merely put aside the tent of their earthly bodies and are now in the eternal body made by God for them. Isn't it amazing to think of seeing them again, someday, after we have put aside our own earthly tents?
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

One more interesting thought is that tents are temporary. Even those who lived in tents all the time viewed them as temporary, though for them this was because they often moved around with the seasons, following their food sources. They would take their tents down, carry them to the next place and set them up again. For us, the tent of this body is temporary because when this life is over and we are in heaven with God, we will live forever in those eternal bodies He has made for us.

We can't really imagine what those eternal bodies will be like, but they can be sure they will be as different from our earthly bodies as my camping tent is from my house.

August 10, 2017

Mix it Up! Mini Quilt Pattern Release

My Mix it Up! mini quilt pattern is now available in both my Etsy and Payhip shops!
Mix it Up! mini quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Have fun playing with colour in this 36" x 36" mini quilt. Made with machine applique and simple blocks, this quilt comes together quickly and allows you to experiment with your favourite colours. Solids or prints, or even some of both, mix it up however you like.
 Mix it Up! mini quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Use blue and yellow to make green, as shown, or try red and white to make pink, red and blue to make purple or change the background colour and use black and white to make grey. What colours will you mix up?

Get your pattern now at Etsy or Payhip.

August 08, 2017

Churn in the 2018 Quilter's Planner

I am excited to have a quilt in the 2018 Quilter's Planner (affiliate link). Meet Churn 😊
Churn quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Kitty of The Night Quilter, has done all the photography for the Planner again this year and her photography is just so beautiful. I love this close up shot.
Churn quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Churn came about when I challenged myself to use a traditional block in a non-traditional setting. Once I had the small churn dash blocks in the design, I added the bold grey to kind of echo the shape of the churn dash and I loved the simplicity of it. I didn't want all that negative space to be boring, though, so I used low-volume patchwork to fill it up. The result is a design that comes together quickly, but has plenty of interest.

I left the teal churn dashes unquilted other than stitch-in-the-ditch and a spiral in their middles. The grey is quilted with dense matchstick quilting in Aurifil 1158 and the background is quilted in an echoed loop design in Aurifil 2600 (which really does work with any colour!).

All 13 of the projects in the 2018 Quilter's Planner (affiliate link) will be in a full colour companion magazine this year. There's also a gorgeous sampler quilt pattern, designed by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs. Pre-orders for the Planner are available now, so be sure to get your copy (affiliate link). International orders can be placed through the Fat Quarter Shop.


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

August 07, 2017

Sticking with It

Devotion for the Week...

I just finished reading Gretchen Rubin's Better than Before, which has the subtitle Mastering the Habits of our Everyday Lives. I found the analysis of habit formation strategies really interesting, and I was especially interested in how some habits (like brushing our teeth) become second nature and we never really have to decide to do it again. We just brush our teeth without thinking about it. Other habits, though, we have to constantly stay on top of or we will talk ourselves out of them (like exercising).

Even the things we really want to do can sometimes be subject to our lazy nature. We can always find excuses for not doing the things we want to do, whether that's a hobby or eating healthy or working out, and usually those excuses center around something like, "I've been doing so well, I deserve a break." Or maybe it's "Just this once, then I'll get right back to it." Can you relate? I know I'm guilty of telling myself both of those, and then the habit I'm trying to maintain slips and becomes harder to get back to.

In Galatians, Paul wrote, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9). And in Ephesians, he wrote, "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10). If you put the two verses together, it sounds to me like we should always be doing good works of some sort, and that there's the chance we will get tired of doing them because we aren't always going to see the results right away.

That's kind of like keeping a habit, isn't it? Eating healthy is something we know we should do, and maybe we even want to do it, but it's not always easy. Sometimes we just don't see the results of the good we're doing and that makes it hard to stick with it when we're tempted by treats. Likewise, being kind to that person who is always negative or rude isn't always easy, and it can be hard to stick with it when nothing ever seems to change.

But God promises us that we will reap a harvest if we don't give up. We may not know what exactly that harvest will be, or when it will come, but we can be sure it will happen if we stick with the habit of doing good. And we can be sure it won't happen if we get weary and give up.

For each of us, the habit of doing good will look slightly different because our lives and circumstances are different. Some of us are in the habit of helping people who are sick or shut in. Others are in the habit of praying for their community or their pastors or coworkers. Others are good at listening to everyone. Others are encouragers and still others seem to have an endless supply of patience and kindness for even the most difficult people.

While our habits of doing good will be different, we all have the same promise from God. Someday, in some way, a harvest will come from our faithfulness to keeping that habit of doing good. That means we need to be constantly on guard against the temptation to blow off the habit for a day, or a week, or even forever.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Sticking with the habit of doing good won't always be easy, but God promises it will be worth it.

August 04, 2017

The Summer Lull

Every spring I find myself yearning for summer vacation and thinking of all the sewing I'll be able to get done. Just think about it - no babysitting (because school's out and I only babysit teacher's kids) and my boys are old enough now that they don't need so much of my attention, so I can sew for hours every day if I want to! Projects are lined up 6 deep in my head.

And then summer comes and I hardly sew. This has happened often enough that I've finally realized it's a thing, which has made me think a lot about why. Here's what I've come up with:

1. There are other things going on. Whether it's hiking, picking strawberries, swimming at the pool, reading in the backyard or whale watching...there are lots of things going on in the summer that don't happen much during the school year. Plus, when it's nice outside, I feel like I should spend as much time as possible out there enjoying it. After all, we spend most of the winter months inside.
strawberries | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
It doesn't get much more fresh than picked from the backyard!

2. It's hot. During the winter I laugh at you southerners who cringe and hide out inside when the temperature dips to near freezing. This is my payback, obviously. We have been having an unusually warm summer and I don't deal well with the heat. For the record, heat for me means anything above 27°C, or 80°F. Go ahead and laugh, lol, but once it gets hot in the house, I can't do anything productive! We don't have air conditioning because most of the time we'd only need it for half a dozen days of the year, so there's really nowhere to hide. And yes, I am aware I'm a wimp in this area 😁
rosebud | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Seen on a hike with Paul, the boys and my parents this week.

spreading dogbane | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Spreading dogbane, which looks like it deserves a much prettier name. Seen on the same hike.

3. Summer = Lazy. This is the biggest factor, I think. I'm sleeping in, then lingering over a cup of tea. I'm reading more (I finished Gretchen Rubin's Better than Before last night) and going for more walks. I said to my husband one day last week, "I love the lazy summer days, but I sure don't feel very productive lately!"

The summer hasn't been a total bust, of course. I've basted some diamonds for my Scattered Stars quilt and sewn a few pieces together while we've been driving here and there.
 diamonds | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I've been working on getting the quilts for the seniors finished and packaged up and out the door (still working on that last part). I made some ornaments.

Mostly, though, I'm hanging out in the sunshine and enjoying the relaxation. Yesterday, for the first time ever, I watched humpback whales breaching and slapping their fins on the water. It was amazing!

Are you enjoying your summer (or winter for those Down Under)? Do you find your sewing (or not sewing) goes through seasonal changes?

August 02, 2017

2018 Quilter's Planner Pre-Order

It's time to pre-order your copy of the 2018 Quilter's Planner!
Designed by Stephanie of Late Night Quilter, the Quilter's Planner is a great tool for planning your everyday stuff and your quilting stuff, all in one place. I've had both the 2016 and 2017 versions and I can't wait to get my hands on this newest edition.

This year's featured designer is Alison Glass and the Planner includes stickers and colouring pages designed by Alison.

New for this year, the Planner also includes a companion magazine with 14 patterns, including one of mine. The list of designers makes me feel like I'm keeping quite exalted company, so I'm sure the projects will be amazing 😊

Pre-order your copy today!



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

August 01, 2017

Quilts for Seniors - 21 Finished Quilts!

All of the quilts for the residents are finished!!! That's 21 quilts made for the seniors who lost everything in a fire back in April, ready for delivery, thanks to all of you who donated blocks, batting, backing, binding, money and time! Thank you so much!

If you donated a quilt or some blocks and don't see them in these pictures, don't worry. I do have them and they are going to be used. I have enough quilts left over after the 21 I set out to make that I'll also be giving quilts to all of the employees of the home, plus all of our town's first responders. Those are still in progress, so this isn't the last you'll see of these charity quilts.

And now, on to the quilts! Be warned, this is a picture heavy post 😊
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

This next quilt was made by a woman who lost her father in a house fire a couple of years ago. It's hard to pick out in the picture, but the machine embroidered blocks all have bible verses on them. I checked with the manager of the home to see if any of the men would especially appreciate this quilt and she told me there is one man of great faith, so this quilt will go to him.
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Box Blocks quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
It's a pretty wild assortment of blocks, isn't it?? It's amazing how beautiful the quilts are considering how much variety there is in colour and style, but somehow it all works.

These 21 quilts are all packaged up and ready to go, including a short letter explaining where the blocks came from. In fact, the quilt in this picture is already gone. Mr. Brien moved to Alberta after the fire to live with family, but his son-in-law was here in town last week, so he picked up this quilt to take home to Mr. Brien.
Quilt tied with ribbon | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I'm hoping to get some pictures of the residents with their quilts when they are delivered. If I do, I'll be sure to share them here.

I am so excited to have these quilts going to their new homes, and I pray they will be a blessing to the residents. Again, thank you so, so much for helping make this whole project happen!

I'm sure you were looking carefully, and I'm curious...Did you see your blocks?
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