August 20, 2018

Legacy

Devotion for the Week...

When we heard last week that Aretha Franklin was in the hospital and her family had been called in, my husband said, "Wow. That will be a loss." Then, when she died on Thursday, we heard so many people talking about her music, her involvement with the civil rights movement and how bold it was for a young black woman to have been singing about Respect at that time.

What a legacy! What a wonderful way to use her talents to make an impact on the world. It made me think, "What will people say about me when I'm gone?"

I don't expect that my passing will make the national news or make headlines even in my small town. Yours may not, either. But that doesn't mean our lives won't impact the people around us in some way. How could we not? People's lives are connected to all of those around them and how one person lives will always have an impact on others. The question is, what will our legacy be?

Will it be one of service to a greater good? Or of only serving ourselves?

One of using the gifts God gave us to serve Him? Or burying those gifts out of fear and insecurity?

One of deep relationships or of being too focused on our work/hobbies/social media to connect with the people around us?

And more importantly, one with an emphasis on our faith or one where faith seems irrelevant?

Hebrews 11 is sometimes called the "Hall of Faith" because of the great faith of everyone listed. "It was by faith" is the start of all of the short profiles, including Noah, Abraham, Joseph and Moses. Everything these men and women did was founded in their faith in God.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I love the profile of Enoch, which says, "It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—'he disappeared, because God took him.' For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God" (v. 5).

He was known as a person who pleased God. Now there's a legacy to leave behind, wouldn't you say?

August 17, 2018

When A Quilt Isn't Working

Have you ever been working on a quilt and then really didn't like the process anymore? I've been finding that with my Scattered Stars EPP quilt for the past few months.
EPP stars | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I enjoyed piecing the stars together, but I'm not at all enjoying joining them together. I set out to join them randomly using two different grey fabrics for the background diamonds. I likened it to doing improv piecing. I wouldn't join the stars in set rows, they'd just be scattered over the background, which is what inspired the name. This is where it stands right now.
EPP stars | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
The problem is, I don't ever want to work on it. While I do like how it looks, I don't enjoy piecing the randomness nearly as much as I thought I would and I don't like trying to maneuver the weirdly shaped growing sections. But I don't want to stitch the stars together in rows with background diamonds in between either.

While this one has been in time out, essentially, I've been happily working on my hexie rainbow quilt, so it's not like I don't have an EPP project to work on, but the stars have still been on my mind. At first, I tried to convince myself to keep working on it, but I always chose to pick up the hexies instead. That's a sure sign that I'm not enjoying a project, wouldn't you say?

I finally accepted that I'm never going to finish Scattered Stars as it is going right now. That means I have two options...abandon the stars altogether or remove the grey diamonds to free the stars I've already stitched in and use the stars for something else. With over 100 stars made, I'm not fond of the idea of abandoning them, but what else would I use them for?
EPP stars | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Then, while scrolling IG in the airport on our way home last month, I saw this picture:
EPP quilt inspiration | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

It's exactly what I've been looking for! It calls to mind the Flowers for Eleni quilts and the more recent Kingfisher SAL, both of which I loved, but with stars rather than hexagon flowers 😊

I love the addition of the curved sections in the corners, too, but I'm not sure if/how I'll be incorporating those. Maybe applique bias tape? Embroidery? Or maybe they'd make the quilt look too busy. I think I'll have to have a few stars stitched onto backgrounds before I can decide.
EPP stars | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
What colour(s) will I use for the background? There's a riot of colour in the stars, but I purposely made them with all prints and no solids. So I think I may continue the riot of colour in the background, but use all solids. That way I could pair each star with a contrasting background, but (hopefully!) keep the whole quilt from being too busy.

And lastly, I don't know if I'll stagger the columns of stars as they are in the picture, or if I'll make them line up neatly. Again, I'll be better able to judge that when I have a few stitched up.

Still lots of decisions to be made, but at least now I feel like I have enthusiasm for the project again, which is a big improvement! I want to get a few backgrounds cut so I can start working on stitching the stars while we're on the road, alternating with my hexies 😊 I'll definitely share my progress as I'm going.

So how about you? Have you ever completely changed a quilt partway through construction?

August 13, 2018

Perspective

Devotion for the Week...

Last Monday was the start of the 100 hexies 100 days challenge on IG and the theme for the first week was "all about me." Each day all of us participants have been sharing something about ourselves along with our hexie for the day. One lady shared that she loves taking pictures of flowers in her garden and she shared a collection of her pictures. The last one is a close up of what looks like a dandelion puff in silhouette and it is gorgeous. You can see it here, just click to the last picture.

I kept staring and staring at that picture, thinking about how dandelions are usually considered weeds, something to be pulled out and discarded. Her change in persepective, though, was so different from the normal view that it made the dandelion puff stunningly beautiful. And that led me to think about how God's perspective on our circumstances is so different from our normal view.

Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."

Let's note, first of all, that Paul is not saying that everything in our lives is good. Illness is not good. The death of a loved one is not good. Accidents are not good. Poverty is not good. There is no debate there. We would like for everything to be good and rosy and perfect every day of our lives, but we all know that isn't our reality. There is no way to avoid trouble. It's part of living in this world where sin exists.

But God can use everything, even those things that aren't good in and of themselves, to create good in our lives. His perspective is different. It's not that He looks at those things and sees them as good, as I said, but rather that He also sees how He can use them to create something good for us.

Our perspective is limited to the here-and-now. We see how something is right now - the pain, the uncertainty and the fear. We can't see where today's circumstances are leading us, but God can. He sees not only today, but also all the days we will ever have.

I have heard people say that their illness brought them closer to God or made them more appreciative of the people around them. I have heard of hardships bringing families closer together and of people losing their jobs only to find a new career path that was so much better than where they were before.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Not everything that happens in life is good, but from His different perspective, God can see how to use it for our good.

August 10, 2018

Island Batik Great Outdoors Blog Hop - Formal Garden

Note, the fabrics for this project were given to me by Island Batik as part of their ambassador program.

Welcome to my stop on the Island Batik Great Outdoors blog hop! All through this hop the ambassadors are sharing the newest Island Batik fabric collections (which are hitting stores now!) and there are prizes galore to be given away 😊 You'll want to be sure to check in with everyone to see the amazing things they've been making.

I was assigned the beautiful Vintage Morris collection to work with for this hop. This was the surprise bundle in my first Island Batik box back in February and I just love the nature inspired prints and the range of colours from very light to very dark.
Vintage Morris Fabric by Island Batik | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I think my favourite print might be this one, called Mini Sprigs, which is included in the collection in 6 different colours.
Vintage Morris Fabric by Island Batik | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
The inspiration for this quilt design came from the print on my shower curtain, of all things. Proof once again that quilt designs really are everywhere! I've been looking at it for years and thinking, "That needs to become a quilt design" and now it finally has.

I'm pleased to introduce you to Formal Garden. Shower Curtain Quilt just didn't have the same ring to it, lol, and the regular squares and rectangles of the block remind me of garden plots surrounded by pathways. 😊
Formal Garden Quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Formal Garden Quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Formal Garden Quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
 I just love quilt-on-the-beach pictures, don't you?

I had yardage of one light fabric and one dark from the bundle, so I chose the light as my background. That meant I couldn't use some of the other lights for the blocks because I was afraid they wouldn't have enough contrast and the block design would be lost. I'm looking forward to using them in upcoming projects now that I don't have to keep them secret anymore.

Two of the fabrics I did use almost blend in with the background. You can see what I mean in the pictures above, but here are close ups of them.
Formal Garden Quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
My blocks are actually straight, I swear, but they sure don't look it when draped over a rock for pictures!
 Formal Garden Quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
These ones certainly didn't blend in! I love this deep green tone on tone.
Formal Garden quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
 In certain lights, the copper toned background of this print seems to glow around the green.
Formal Garden quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
 This light teal is so pretty, too.
Formal Garden quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
 And I love the dragonflies!
Formal Garden quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Unfortunately, I didn't have time to get this one quilted in time for the hop, but I do know what design I want to use, so I'm a step in the right direction already.
Formal Garden quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I plan on releasing the pattern, just as soon as I can get it written and tested. If you're interested in testing it for me, please let me know in the comments. Formal Garden finishes at 59" x 73," is super quick to piece and it would be a great stash busting quilt.
Formal Garden quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I said there are giveaways during the blog hop, didn't I? Well there are - and lots of them! Island Batik is giving away fabric strip packs on their blog (where you can also find the full schedule of participants) and each ambassador is also hosting a giveaway on their blog.

For my giveaway, the winner will be able to choose 2 of my PDF patterns 😊 To enter to win, just leave me a comment telling me your favourite summer activity.

For more entries, follow me on IG (@devotedquilter) or FB (@devotedquilterdesigns) and leave a comment for each way you follow me.

And for one more entry, subscribe to my monthly newsletter, The Bulletin. If you do, I'll show up in your inbox on the 16th of each month with news from here on the blog, a family favourite recipe and a fun themed roundup of things to make. You'll also receive my free Wind Farm quilt pattern, which is only available to subscribers. If you subscribe, just leave another comment saying you did (or already do!).

So, that's 4 possible entries. And yes, I will check to be sure the winner is actually following me as stated 😉

The giveaway will remain open until after the end of the blog hop. I'll pick the winner the morning of September 8th and they will be notified by email (so make sure to leave me your email address if you are a no-reply blogger).

Here's one last picture. I think this might be my favourite of all. I love this beach.
Formal Garden quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
And here's the full schedule of participants 😊 Happy blog hopping! I'll try to keep up with updating this list with direct links to the blog hop posts as they're published.

Monday, August 6 - All A Flutter - Yellow Cat Quilt Designs, Creative Blonde
Tuesday, August 7 - Birds N’ Bees - Ark Angel Creations, Patterns By Jen
Wednesday, August 8 - Canterbury Manor - Sally Manke, Powered By Quilting
Thursday, August 9 - Eclectic Garden - Desert Bloom Quilting, Sew Karen-ly Created
Friday, August 10 - Vintage Morris - MooseStash Quilting, Devoted Quilter (that's me!)
Monday, August 13 - Safari - Sew Incredibly Crazy, SweetGrass Designs
Tuesday, August 14 - Spring Blossoms - Mary Mack Made Mine, If These Threads Could Talk
Wednesday, August 15 - Victoria and Albert - Bejeweled Quilts, Clever Chameleon
Thursday, August 16 - Wild Things - Freemotion By The River, Kauffman Designs
Friday, August 17 - Petting Zoo - Den Syende Himmel, Sarah Goer Quilts
Monday, August 20 - Ocean Odyssey - Gateway Quilts, The Quilt Rambler
Tuesday, August 21 - British Rose - Busy Hands Quilts, Mania for Quilts
Wednesday, August 22 - Dear William - The Inquiring Quilter, mmm! Quilts, Living Water Quilter
Thursday, August 23 - Dragonfly Dreams - Inchworm Fabrics, BeaQuilter
Friday, August 24 - Fur-ocious Friends - Quilting Affection Designs, Dizzy Quilter
Monday, August 27 - Globetrotter - Pamela Quilts, Curliecue Creations
Tuesday, August 28 - Jungle Cruise - Vicki's Crafts and Quilting, Little Bunny Quilts
Wednesday, August 29 - Lavendula - Carole Lyles Shaw, Masterpiece Quilting
Thursday, August 30 - London Calling - Quilt in a Not-Shell, Lizard Creek Quilting
Friday, August 31 - Spirit Rhythm - Steph Jacobson, Whispers of Yore
Monday, September 3 - Sweet Tweets - Kathleen McMusing, Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Tuesday, September 4 - Whatnot - heARTS Creations, Slice of Pi Quilts

August 06, 2018

The Start of Two Fun Things

There are two fun things starting today that I wanted to quickly share with you. The first is an Island Batik blog hop sharing all of their newest fabrics that are just becoming available in stores now.
From Island Batik:

Aaaah the great outdoors. We’re seeing more and more research that says spending time outside is good for your mental health. A lot like quilting, in that way! ;) So, on those days when it’s just too hot to fire up the iron and sewing machine, we stay get outside and have fun walking, tending to your garden, or just basking in the glorious (hot) sun!

The great outdoors are what inspired the this hop’s theme. Throughout the month of August, our Ambassadors will be featuring Island Batik’s newest fabrics, appearing on shop shelves SOON! See something you like? Ask for it at your local quilt shop, or request it if you don’t yet see it. We have the most delicious collections to share with you!


For the full schedule of participants, click here. The ambassadors are a talented group, so I highly recommend checking out what they've all made.

I'll be back on Friday with my project for the hop 😊

The other thing that starts today is 100hexies100days2018, on Instagram. I participated in this challenge last year and had so much fun making and sharing hexies. The idea is to make at least 1 EPP hexie every day for 100 days and there are weekly themes and prizes. I'm the prize sponsor for this first week with the theme of All About Me. If you like hexies and you're on IG, you should join in! The hexie makers are all so supportive and welcoming, which makes it extra fun.

Here are my first hexies, along with some of the strawberries I picked this afternoon.
Hexies | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
During last year's hexie challenge, I made 429 hexies for my Hexie Rainbow quilt. We'll see how many I make this time around 😊 I still need hundreds of black hexies plus some greens, blues and purples, so I'll probably still need more even after the challenge is finished.

Do you know of anything fun that's just getting started? Share in the comments if you do!
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