December 15, 2018

2019 Planning

It's planning and goal setting time again! Yvonne, of Quilting Jetgirl, is hosting her annual Planning Party to help us all set goals and make plans for the amazing things we hope to accomplish in 2019. Will you be joining the party?
2019 Planning Party  
Since I didn't actually set goals for 2018, I won't start off by assessing my progress on those 😊 We'll just say that I feel like I accomplished a lot, especially since I finally (finally!) achieved my goal of printing my patterns and getting them into shops. There's still so much work to be done on the getting into shops part, but at least I have some printed patterns to offer them and you, if you prefer the printed version over the PDF.

So, on to the goals for 2019...

1. Finish the first responder quilts!!
stack of quilts |
Nathan seems to enjoy reminding me that the fire at the Manor happened "two years ago" even though it was actually only 19 months ago. Sheesh. Those quilts really need to be finished, both so our town's first responders can actually use them and so they (and their various parts) are no longer taking up space in my house. This goal is a priority, but somehow still has to fit in around my quilts with deadlines. Ideally, I'd like to be finished before Nathan is right about the two years thing. That gives me a deadline of April 6.

2. Participate in the OMG link ups to finish up some WIPs.
Scrappy HST quilt block |
One of many projects that need finishing. This is destined to be a pillow cover, once it's quilted.
I've known about and been interested in the One Monthly Goal link up at Elm Street Quilts for a while now, but I've never participated. Well, I've decided that the WIP situation is getting out of hand and it's time to start finding some motivation to get things done rather than always jumping immediately on to the next new thing. It seems like setting one goal per month would be a good way to tackle some WIPs without getting overwhelmed, so that's what I'm going to do. As a bonus, I can use some of the early months to help me meet goal #1!

3. Host a QAL 😃
Medallion Magic quilt |
I'm pretty excited about this one! As I said on Wednesday, I'm going to host a QAL featuring my Medallion Magic quilt starting in January. I may be the last blogger in the quilt world to share about their QAL plans for the new year, but better late than never, right? Hopefully you haven't completely filled your QAL dance card and you'll be able to participate in one more. The PDF pattern is now available from either my Etsy or Payhip shops and the print patterns will be available in the new year.
Medallion Magic quilt along |
4. Have a table at our local spring craft fair.

There's a small craft fair here in town every spring and fall. Now that I'm printing my patterns, I plan to have a table come spring. Of course, that means I'll need to have quite a few different patterns printed by then. A table with only four quilt patterns on offer probably wouldn't result in many sales. I plan to update my existing patterns to get them ready for printing, plus I have a backlog of new patterns that I haven't released yet, so it's only a matter of finding the time to get to them all. Why are there not more hours in the day??

After trying the spring craft fair, I'll decide what I want to do about the fall. Will I have a table again? Will I look at going to one or more of the much larger craft fairs that are around? I'll know a lot more once I see how I do here, though this small market may not necessarily be a good indication of what a larger one would be like. Still, it's a place to start and I know there are quite a few quilters in the area.

5. Get organized!

With no established sewing room, I have sewing stuff everywhere in the house. Earlier this year I bought some shelves for the spare room to contain some of it, but there's still more work to be done. I also now have patterns to be storing (somewhere!) and a big box of bags for packaging the patterns. There's plenty of stuff in the house that could be cleared out, it's just that I don't usually want to spend my time decluttering when I could be sewing 😊 Please tell me you can relate!

I also need to find a better way to keep track of my current and upcoming quilt projects, especially the ones with deadlines. I've never missed a deadline, but I feel like I could have a better handle on keeping everything straight and knowing how much I've committed to, which will be helpful when I'm deciding whether or not to commit to something new.

I've tried using the pages in The Quilter's Planner that are designed especially for keeping track of projects, but I want something different. I think I need something that allows me to move the quilts around rather than list them. I'm thinking maybe a bulletin board with individual papers for each project. I'll still be using my Quilter's Planner for all of my weekly and daily scheduling/planning, though. Do you have your Quilter's Planner yet? If not, you should order one! This will be my fourth year using it and it gets more beautiful every year. Those are all affiliate links, but I genuinely love my QP, and I highly recommend it 😊

Well, that should certainly keep me busy, don't you think? Especially since I didn't mention the Island Batik ambassador challenges, which I'll be doing again if I'm chosen as an ambassador for another year (fingers crossed). I'm also involved in a few blog hops in the first part of the year, so I'll be making for those of course. And there are so many design ideas I want to make...You know how it is!

What are your plans/goals for next year?

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

December 12, 2018

Medallion Magic Pattern Release and QAL

I always love pattern release days, but this one is extra special 😊 Not only do I get to release my Medallion Magic quilt pattern, but I also get to announce that I'll be doing a QAL with this pattern starting in January (happy dance, happy dance)!
Medallion Magic quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.comv
Medallion Magic is the result of me wanting a medallion quilt where each border has a bit of breathing room so that all the individual parts can shine. I also wanted to make it a rectangular quilt, rather than the usual square. The throw size quilt finishes at 62"x 70" and is made using traditional piecing and foundation paper piecing. It would be appropriate for a confident beginner, but the bold design is perfect for any skill level (I may be biased, lol).
Medallion Magic quilt pattern |
I know I say it a lot, but this is one of my favourites of all my quilts. I love it so much that we hung it in our living room so that I get to enjoy it every day. Right now it's kind of obscured by our Christmas tree, but I can still see it perfectly from the chair where I usually sit.
Medallion Magic quilt pattern |
You can get your PDF copy of the pattern from either my Payhip or Etsy shop and printed patterns will be available soon. The PDF pattern is available at the introductory price through Friday, December 21st, so be sure to get your copy early to be ready for the QAL.
Medallion Magic QAL |
I am really looking forward to making a whole new version during the QAL. The Island Batik fabrics I've chosen for the new one are completely different from the Northcott fabrics I used for the original quilt so it will be fun to see it in such a different look. Considering how much time I've spent admiring and petting the new fabric, I'm thinking it's a good bet the new Medallion Magic will be a hit, too 😉 I'm looking forward to sharing the new fabrics with you soon!

The QAL will start January 15th and will run for 6 months, with a finish link up party in August 2019. There will be prizes and link up parties and beautiful eye candy and I can't wait!! I know, too many exclamation points in this post, but I'm *almost* wishing it were January 15th already.

Get your copy of the pattern today so you'll be ready for all the fun 😊

I hope you'll quilt along with me!

December 10, 2018

Advent 2018 - Herod

Devotion for the Week...

Last week, for the first week of Advent, we looked at the innkeeper. This week we're going to tackle the bad guy of the Christmas story, King Herod.

King Herod was, well, king, and apparently he wasn't too keen on the idea of  the "newborn king of the Jews" (Matthew 2:2) the wise men came asking about, especially when they told him, "We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him."

In fact, "King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this" (v. 3) and immediately set about trying to find out where the Messiah was supposed to be born. Once he knew that, he sent the wise men on their way, telling them, "Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!" (v. 8). Of course, we know that he had no intention of worshiping Jesus. He was too interested in preserving his own power to ever allow anyone to take it away from him. He would rather order the murder of innocent baby boys than see his own power given to someone else (vv. 16-18)

Does that sound like anyone else to you? Jesus threatened the status quo for Herod with His birth and then again for the religious leaders with His ministry as an adult. The Pharisees were so threatened by Him, His authority and His popularity with the people that they arranged the crucifixion to get rid of Him! They liked their positions of honour and authority. They didn't want to share that with anyone or, even worse, lose it entirely.

Never mind that they were putting themselves in direct opposition to the plan of God. That didn't concern Herod or the Pharisees because they were so focused on themselves they they couldn't recognize God working in their midst. Even with prophecies from hundreds of years past, they either couldn't see what was going on around them or they didn't care.
Advent devotions |
Unfortunately, we can sometimes be so focused on ourselves that we miss what God is doing around us. Or we may see it, but we resist it because it threatens our status quo in some way. As God's people, we shouldn't be the ones getting in the way of His work. We shouldn't be the 'bad guys' of His story, but sometimes we are. We allow our insecurities, our self-interest and our desire to stay comfortable to get in the way of partnering with God in His work.

Really, we want to try to be more like the innkeeper and less like Herod.

December 08, 2018

Christmas Prep and Other Stuff

I don't know about you, but I'm in Christmas gift prep mode these days. Sure, if I'd been smart I'd have planned some of these gifts earlier in the year, but for some reason I don't usually think 'Christmas' until at least November, lol. I'm thinking I'm not really alone in that, am I right?😊

So, what am I working on? First up is my project for the kids I babysit, which is actually a two-for-one as it will also be my December Island Batik ambassador project.
cat pillows |
These positively adorable cats are on their way to becoming pillows and should be finished this week. My in-laws will be here Monday evening so ladder stitching the holes left for stuffing them will be the perfect hand stitching task for while we're visiting. The pattern for these is by Chris Malone and is in the Autumn 2018 issue of Quilter's World magazine.

Then I have the cross stitch ornaments for my boys. Every year I make an ornament for each of my boys that reflects something important from their year. It's one of my favourite Christmas things and every year I'm surprised by how much they seem to enjoy it, too. However, I'd just like to say it's very hard to stitch for three people you live with when all three ornaments have to be kept secret from all three recipients! I can't share any pictures yet, just in case, even though one cross stitch is finished and another one is about half done. I don't think any of the boys ever come here, but Zach and Aiden are on IG now and might follow a link to the blog, so I don't want to take any chances. You can see last year's ornaments here and you can follow the link in that post to go back in time to older ornaments. It occurred to me a couple of days ago that when I started this tradition in time for Aiden's first Christmas, I only intended it to go until the year they're 18, which leaves me with only two years after this one for Aiden. I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around that.

I'm also working on one bit of non-Christmas secret sewing, which I absolutely love.
flower applique |

fmq detail |
These are Island Batik fabrics again and aren't they beautiful? This is a 12" mini quilt so I'm expecting to have it finished and ready to mail soon.

Then there are the 'I haven't started yet, but I plan to do' things...

I try to make ornaments for my grandmother every year and some years I give away a dozen or more to friends and family. Last year it didn't happen, though I did get some gorgeous wood burned ornaments from a friend to give out. I haven't started yet this year, but I do have a plan. It involves red fabric, white embroidery floss and hand embroidery. Tick, tock, tick, tock...I better get a move on! Good thing ornaments are small!
red and white |
My mother-in-law has hinted rather strongly that she'd like some new placemats in lemon and lime colours, with navy. That's our plan for their Christmas gift, though at this point I'm pretty sure it won't be finished in time to go under their tree. I've debated for a while what design to use and finally I decided that when she's here on Monday she can help me plan. That way I know she'll love the end result and I'll stop waffling over the decision.

I have a few people I'd like to make drawstring bags for, then add a few yummy treats to finish the gift. Good thing the bags are quick to make! I haven't decided yet if I should make the bags in Christmas fabrics or not, since Christmas fabrics would eliminate the need for wrapping but non-Christmas fabrics would mean the bags could be used all year. Decisions, decisions, right? The treats are no problem as I can make them with the kids I babysit, who love to help me with baking.

Last, but not least, while searching for ideas for embroidered ornaments, I came across this gorgeous hand embroidery design. It's too big for an ornament but I love it. I'm trying very hard to convince myself that I don't need to make it, but I'm not sure it's working 😄

I wonder how much I'll get done in time for Christmas. I really don't understand people who are bored, lol. I can't remember a time when my mind wasn't constantly thinking of all the things I would love to do, if only I had time to squeeze it all in!

December 03, 2018

Advent 2018 - The Innkeeper

Devotion for the Week...

It's Advent time again! Our tree is up and decorated and the stockings are hung on the mantel 😊 I love having our Christmas decorations up, especially the handmade ones.

For Advent in 2016, I shared each week about the characters in the Christmas story. I wrote about Elizabeth, Joseph, Mary and the shepherds (that one is still my favourite of all the devotions I've written). This year, I want to look at some of the other people in the story. I'll be honest, some of them are only sort of in the story, but whenever I considered what to do for an Advent series these were the ones who came to mind.

This week I'm starting with one of those 'sort of' characters - the innkeeper. Now, the innkeeper is never actually mentioned in the bible. Luke 2:7 says, "She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them." That's it. There's no mention specifically of an innkeeper, though the KJV does at least say, "there was no room for them in the inn."

Let's set the scene: the emperor Augustus has declared that everyone must go to his ancestral hometown for a census. That means there is chaos everywhere as people are forced to go be counted. People are coming and going and the city of Bethlehem is so crowded that 'there was no lodging available for them.'

We know nothing about the owner of this inn in which there was no room for them. He was probably like all the other innkeepers in Bethlehem, who also would have had no room for this young couple. But even though there was no room for them, he made room. He found a space that he could offer to them and that's one of the things that keep coming to my mind whenever I think of him.

What he had to offer wasn't perfect. He didn't have a large space to offer this pregnant woman who was obviously very near the time to deliver her baby. He probably couldn't offer her much in the way of privacy or peace, but he could at least give her shelter. He didn't let what he couldn't offer get in the way of offering what he could.

How often do we hesitate to do something because what we can do won't be perfect? We feel like we don't have 'enough' so we don't offer anything at all. And yet, maybe the little we could offer would be exactly enough.

The other thing that always comes to mind when I think of the innkeeper is this verse: "Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!" (Hebrews 13:2).

This innkeeper didn't have a perfect room to offer to this young couple in need, but he gave them what he could and in doing that He played host to the Son of God!  Just think about that for a moment. He could have said no when Joseph came looking for a place to stay. He could have ignored that feeling of compassion that prompted him to give them somewhere to rest even though his inn was already full, but instead he said yes.

He thought he was saying yes to Joseph and Mary, but really he was saying yes to God.
Advent devotions |
Did he ever realize who he hosted? Did he notice the shepherds when they arrived to see the child the angels told them to find? Did he hear them praising God as they left? Maybe, but maybe not.

Maybe we will recognize the moments when God works through us, but maybe not. The important thing is for us to say yes, even in those moments when we think what we have to offer is not enough. We don't know what He is doing around us, but if we are open and willing to say yes when we feel prompted to help someone or to speak words of encouragement or to offer hospitality to strangers, we may just find ourselves saying yes to God.

November 30, 2018

Dresden Log Cabin - November Island Batik Challenge

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

I'm squeaking in under the deadline with this one, for sure 😜 The November Island Batik challenge is Cozy Log Cabin and there were two stipulations...the project had to use log cabin blocks in some form and the finished size had to be at least 36" square. Well...I got it half right, lol.

Meet my Dresden Log Cabin mini quilt 😊
Dresden Log Cabin mini quilt |
When I first started thinking about this challenge, I figured I'd probably use quarter log cabin blocks, but then I bought the dresden ruler and started looking for a reason to use it. The middle square of one really big log cabin block seemed like a great place to put a dresden plate, so that became the new plan.
Dresden Log Cabin mini quilt |
I drew up the plan in EQ8 with a finished size of 36". This challenge also seemed like the perfect place to use the Spirit Rhythym 2 ½" strips that were in my second Island Batik box. Actually, several of us ambassadors have used our strip packs this month. Log cabin blocks just seem to ask for precut strips, don't you think?

I happily pieced my dresden plate and appliqued it to the 9 ½" square for the center of the quilt and then started building around it. It wasn't until I was adding the last round of strips that I realized that somehow my quilt was only going to be 33", not the 36" I had planned. That was when I actually looked at the measurements in EQ8 and realized I had intended to start with a 12 ½" square. Oops!

I considered adding more rounds to bring it up to the 36", especially since the Spirit Rhythym line has a lot of beautiful fabrics in it, but I wanted to limit the colours to the teals and blacks and I didn't have enough of any print in those colours for another round. Ah well. 33 is close to 36, right?

Then it was time to quilt it, but I couldn't decide how I wanted to do that. I felt like it was asking for some detailed free motion, but I had no inspiration. I basted it with a scrap piece of Warm and Natural batting and then I waited a few days, pondering, but I couldn't figure it out. The only idea I had was for the center of the dresden plate. Every time I thought of quilting that center circle, I pictured a spiral.
Dresden Log Cabin mini quilt |
Then on Tuesday evening I thought, "Why not quilt the whole thing with one big spiral?" So that's what I did 😊
Dresden Log Cabin mini quilt |
I chose to use my free motion foot for the whole spiral because a) I'm lazy and didn't want to have to turn the quilt as much as a walking foot would require and b) the irregular lines in the Spirit Rhythym prints seemed to lend themselves to more irregular quilting lines as well.
Dresden Log Cabin mini quilt |
This was my first time quilting one giant spiral over the whole quilt and I have to say I really enjoyed how quickly I finished the whole quilt. Of course, it's only a 33" square, so pretty much any quilting design would have felt like it was finished quickly, lol.

Usually, when I think about quilting, I think about outlining any appliques or highlighting special sections of the piecing. Quilting one big spiral doesn't do either of those things. Let me tell you, when I reached the edges of the dresden plate and completely ignored those felt very weird!
Dresden Log Cabin mini quilt |
In the end, though, I think the quilted spiral serves to highlight the spinning effect created by the print (which, as you may remember, was a total accident!).
Dresden Log Cabin mini quilt |
Another thing about quilting one spiral is that it means there's no changing thread colours. Over the black prints, that wasn't a problem, but I wasn't sure how I'd feel about having black thread over the teal fabrics. Happily, I found that it doesn't bother me at all, especially from a distance.
Dresden Log Cabin mini quilt |
Dresden Log Cabin mini quilt |
And I really love the texture created by those randomly space, wobbly lines 😊
Dresden Log Cabin mini quilt |
Phew! It's suppertime on the last day of the month, but I managed to get this posted before the calendar flips over to December. Yay!

And, as I type, the pieces of my December challenge project are spread out all over our kitchen table. The power was out here from last night around 9:30 until about 3:30 this afternoon, so I did as much of the non-sewing work on that as I could. Both this mini quilt and my December project are destined to be Christmas gifts, so it feels good to be making progress on that list, especially as we'll be into December in just a few hours. Are you making any gifts this year?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go clear my sewing things off the table so we can eat supper. No power all day means we've cooked a couple of frozen pizzas for supper, lol. That also means very few dishes, so I can get to some actual sewing this evening 😊

I hope you have a great weekend, with lots of sewing time!

November 27, 2018

Commissioned Placemats

As I mentioned a few posts ago, for Christmas last year I gave each of the kids I babysit a personalized denim placemat and recently one of the moms asked me to make more placemats so they'd have a whole set.

What with working on a bunch of things all at once, the placemats took a while, but they're finally finished!
personalized denim placemats |
I love making things from my collection of old jeans! It feels good to create something beautiful from the pile of outgrown, ripped beyond repair or stained jeans that I've hoarded in a closet for 'someday' 😊 Of course, even with these placemats, the pile doesn't look any smaller, lol. Just like quilting cotton scraps, I'm sure the jeans are multiplying when I'm not looking.

I didn't have enough of the fabric I used to applique the E to the first placemat, so my customer chose to have all of the placemats use a different fabric and I love the look of the colourful bindings when they're all stacked together.
personalized denim placemats |
It's a family of 4, with one placemat already made, so here are the other 3 placemats with initials.
personalized denim placemats |
I think the J placemat might be my favourite (and not only because it's for the little baby).
personalized denim placemats |
I especially love the texture created by quilting the randomly spaced diagonal lines following the seams of the denim strips. I ran my fingers over the placemats quite a few times while working on them.
personalized denim placemats |
She also asked for 4 placemats with stars for company and she specified that the stars didn't all have to be yellow.
personalized denim placemats |
For the backs, I used the beautiful Island Batik fabric left over from making the backing for our new bed quilt. The backing for that is made, but it's not basted yet. I'll get there, lol 😊
personalized denim placemats |
I love how the colours in the backing coordinate with all of the different colours of the applique and bindings.
personalized denim placemats |
That's one WIP crossed off my list, but it certainly hasn't reduced the swirl of ideas and plans in my head. I may or may not have added 2 more WIPS since I wrote about all the things I was working on, lol. I'm pretty sure there will never be enough hours for all the things I want to make.

Now on to the next project!

November 26, 2018

Not Yet

Devotion for the Week...

We have a lot of snow already, more than we usually have by now, and it really makes everything feel Christmassy. It's not December yet, though, which is always the real start of the Christmas season for me. Sure, I've played Christmas music a few times and I'm working on and thinking about gifts, but I always feel like Christmas starts when the calendar turns over to December. Right now, it's almost time for Christmas, but not yet.

 Next week is the start of Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas when we anticipate the celebration of Jesus' birth. I'll be sharing Advent devotions again this year, but before I do, today I wanted to share some thoughts about that 'almost, but not yet' feeling.

Before Jesus was born, the people of Israel had been waiting 400 years to hear something from God. 400 years! And we think waiting four weeks for Christmas is tough, lol. Malachi was the last of the Old Testament prophets, the last one to declare God's word to His people and then the people waited. And waited.

They knew there would be a leader coming someday, a ruler who would "stand to lead his flock with the Lord’s strength, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God" (Micah 5:4), but they didn't know when this leader would come. Imagine how they must have felt as they lived under the rule of other nations, as they paid taxes to people who didn't serve God and as generation after generation passed.

Waiting is hard enough when we know the end date. We know what we're waiting for and when it will happen. Whether it's Christmas, a visit from someone we love, a vacation we've been planning or just an evening out with friends, whatever we're waiting for has a scheduled date. The Jewish people had no scheduled date in sight. They simply had to trust that it would happen as God had promised.

Does that sound familiar? It should! Before He left, Jesus promised that He would return to the earth someday, but we have no idea when that will be (see Matthew 24). He told us to be alert and to be ready, but not when it would happen. He even told us specifically that "no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows" (Matthew 24:36). It has been a lot time, but we have to trust that God will fulfill this promise, just as the Jews had to believe.

God knows we don't like waiting and He knows we struggle with waiting over long periods, so He even assured us in the Bible that He hasn't forgotten His promise just because it has been a long time coming. In 2 Peter 3:9 we read, "The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent."
Weekly devotions on Christian living |
We are in the "almost, but not yet" time of waiting for Jesus to come back. The promise will be fulfilled, but it will be on His schedule, not ours. We simply have to wait for the right time to come.

November 19, 2018

Other People's Stuff

Devotion for the Week...

In our church kid's program last week, we went over the 10 commandments, reading them out (loudly!) from a screen. They were written in kid-friendly form, a single sentence for each commandment and the last one in particular really caught my attention.

Here are a few versions of Exodus 20:17:

"You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor" (NLT).

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's" (KJV)

"No lusting after your neighbor’s house—or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbor’s" (The Message).

But our list at Kids Klub simply said, "Don't wish for other people's stuff."

Don't wish for other people's stuff.

How much time do we spend wishing we could have what other people have? Sometimes it's actual physical stuff, but not always. Sometimes it's the other stuff, like when other people travel frequently and I wish we had the freedom that comes with being retired. Or when I see other quilt designers who are visiting guilds to teach and I wish I were being invited to teach, too. Maybe you have young children and you see people whose kids are grown and wish you could sit and enjoy a cup of coffee in peace like they can.

The problem with wishing for other people's stuff, physical or otherwise, is that it is the opposite of being thankful for what we already have. We can't wish for more or even just for something different and feel thankful for what we have at the same time.

Every moment of wishing we had something that others have is a moment of feeling like what we have is not enough. The more time we spend wishing for other people's stuff, the more dissatisfied and discontent we become with our own lives. That is definitely not what God wants for us.

Instead, He wants us to focus on gratitude. Paul wrote, "Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Weekly devotions on Christian living |
It's not the amount of stuff, or even which stuff, we have that makes us happy or unhappy. It's all about our attitude about our stuff. No matter how much we have, there will always be something more we could wish we had. Or we can make the choice to be thankful for what we have and not spend our time wishing for other people's stuff.

November 17, 2018

Printed Patterns

I have a tendency to dream about things for a long time before I actually do them, especially if it's something that will stretch my abilities. The less I know about how to tackle something, the longer I will procrastinate on it. Thankfully, making the move to printed patterns is no longer just a dream 😊

What a wonderful feeling to open the box when it arrived!
Printed quilt patterns |
I started with just two patterns. Love Birds is one of my personal favourites and Churn is the one I most often see that others have made, from the 2018 Quilter's Planner. (As an aside, do you have a planner for next year yet? If not, the 2019 Quilter's Planner (affiliate link) would be a great choice!)

I may have been just a little excited about the first shops that said yes to carrying the patterns. Of course, the first two shops are both within walking distance of my house, lol. Hand delivering their patterns was fun, too 😊
Churn quilt pattern |
The printed patterns are now available in my Etsy shop, so if you prefer to have the paper version of a pattern, click to get your copy.
Churn quilt pattern |
I have my Reach for the Stars pattern ready to be printed and I'm working on the Medallion Magic pattern now. The plan is to have both of them printed before the end of the year and then hopefully 2019 will see a flurry of patterns moving to the printed state. I'm behind on releasing patterns now, so I have lots to work on!

If you know of a quilt shop that might be interested in my patterns, please let me know!

November 13, 2018

Handmade with Love Super Bundle Flash Sale

I'm popping in quickly to let you know that the Handmade with Love Super Bundle (affiliate link) is available now for a 48 hour flash sale. This bundle includes 21 ebooks, 25 patterns and 6 ecourses 😲, all for 97% off the cost of buying them separately. Topics include quilting, bag making, sewing for baby and the home, knitting, crocheting, embroidery, cross stitch and more.

With Christmas fast approaching, you can be sure there's at least one perfect gift idea just waiting for you in the bundle!

I used one of the patterns in the bundle to make these beautiful dragonfly embroideries for my mom for Christmas last year. When I bought my bundle (at a reduced price because I'm an affiliate, just to be clear), I had no intention of making Mom's gift, but I loved the dragonflies when I saw them and immediately went searching for some white fabric to stitch them onto. I think I went from buying the bundle to starting to stitch in less than an hour!
Embroidered dragonflies |
The bundle also includes a 6 month subscription to Make Modern magazine (and you know I love Make Modern 😊). That subscription alone is almost the cost of the full bundle!

This is the last time the bundle will be available as the folks at Ultimate Bundles will be retiring it for good after this sale, so don't wait! The sale ends Wednesday, November 14th at 11:59 pm ET.

Get your copy of the Handmade with Love Super Bundle now!

Note, this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click the link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay. Thank you for your support!

November 12, 2018

Not Alone

Devotion for the Week...

Just before Halloween, Nathan wanted to go to a haunted house created by some youth groups in town. I was thankful that the schedule for the haunted house included a 'tamed down' time for younger kids because, though he's fascinated by scary things, Nathan is easily scared and tends to dwell on creepy things when he should be going to sleep. I was also grateful that Zachary was involved with the haunted house, so he could tell Nathan about parts of it beforehand so Nathan was a bit prepared.

The day before the haunted house, Nathan arranged to go with his friend, Liam. When we got there, Liam's whole family was going, but Nathan still wanted me to go, too, so we let Liam and his family enter ahead of us, then we followed right behind them. It ended up being the perfect arrangement. Everyone who was going to jump out suddenly jumped out as the people ahead of us approached, making it much less scary for Nathan. Though he was terrified at the start, Nathan loved it and (as a bonus for us both) was not scared at all when he went to bed that night.

Sometimes it's just easier to do hard things when we don't have to do them alone, even if it's something we really want to do. When God told Moses that he would be the one to set the Israelites free from slavery to Pharoah, Moses didn't think he was the right one for God to send. "Moses protested to God, 'Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?'" (Exodus 3:11).

God didn't then launch into a list of Moses' qualifications or reasons why He chose Moses for this job. He simply said, "I will be with you" (v. 12). Moses continued with his questions, and God patiently answered them, showing Moses how He would prove to the Israelites that God had indeed sent Moses.

Then Moses went back to his own lack of qualifications again, "O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled" (Exodus 4:10). To that, God responded, "Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say" (v. 11,12).

Even that wasn't enough for Moses, though, and he pleaded with God to send someone else. God relented; "All right...What about your brother, Aaron the Levite?...I will be with both of you as you speak, and I will instruct you both in what to do" (vv. 14,15). That, finally, was enough for Moses.
Weekly devotions on Christian living |
Before He went up to heaven, Jesus assured His disciples, "Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (28:20). Whatever we have to do, we can be sure that we are not going to do it alone.

Do you have something you want to do, but it's a bit scary? Or is there something God is asking you to do and you don't feel qualified for it? Either way, God is saying to you, "I will be with you." And if that somehow still doesn't feel like it's enough, He may send a friend to help share the load. Whatever it is we have to do, God will not leave us to tackle it alone.

November 07, 2018

WIPS This Week

I have a bunch of projects on the go this week and I'm having trouble deciding from one day to the next which one I should work on 😊 Does that ever happen to you?

Last Christmas I gave the kids I babysit personalized placemats and a few weeks ago one of the moms asked if I would make 3 more for the rest of the family and 4 unpersonalized ones for when they have company. The denim is all pieced, the letters are fused and the Aurifil threads are picked out. Now I just need to zig zag stitch around them and they'll be ready for basting.
applique letters |
The Island Batik challenge for this month is to use log cabin blocks, so of course it makes perfect sense that I started with a dresden plate, right? 😄 I completely missed the spinning effect created by the print until I posted the picture on IG and someone pointed it out to me. Bonus! There will be a log cabin involved in this quilt, I promise, just as soon as I can get it pieced, lol.
Dresden plate |
I have the top pieced for our new bed quilt and I am soooo in love with it! These are all Island Batik fabrics too and I'd be hard pressed to pick a favourite. Could I have a full bolt of all of them, please??
quilt top |
Time to make the backing...and for this I did actually have the full bolt! What a nice feeling to crack open the plastic on my first ever full bolt.
Island Batik fabric |
Queen size quilts take a lot of backing fabric, so there wasn't much left after I cut what I need. I think I'll use what's left as the backing for the placemats.
Island Batik fabric |
Isn't the Island Batik gecko cute?
I'm also quilting another of the first responder quilts. No, I haven't forgotten about them! This one is about 2/3 quilted and when it's finished I'll have 3 quilts ready to hand off to the lady who is doing the binding for me. We have one new police officer in town and I think there are some new firefighters as well, so I'm not sure exactly how many quilts are left to go. I'm just trying to take it one quilt at a time and eventually they'll all be finished. Emphasis on the eventually, lol. Nathan seemed to delight in pointing out that the fire (and quilt block drive) was 2 years ago. I corrected him, of course - it was only 19 months ago 😊
loopy quilting |
As I piece other things, I'm also working on my leaders and enders project. I'm making 2 ½" HSTs from light and dark scraps and my collection is definitely growing. Of course, I need hundreds of them, so the bag I have so far is barely a drop in the bucket.
HSTs |
HSTs |
On top of all that, I'm also still working on my two hand stitching projects 😊 We have a 4 day weekend coming up and Zach has basketball out of town two of the days. I'm not looking forward to all the time driving, but at least I'll get to do lots of stitching on the green round of my hexie rainbow quilt.

Phew! At least I won't be bored, right?
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