May 31, 2018

TGIFF - Fidget Blanket

Welcome to TGIFF! 


If this is your first time here, then an especially big welcome to you 😊 I'd love to have you sign up for my newsletter, The Bulletin. If you do, I'll send you a link to download my Wind Farm quilt pattern, which is only available to subscribers. Then I'll pop into your inbox on the 16th of each month with a roundup of fun things to make, a family favourite recipe and news from here on my blog. I hope you'll join me!

I have a fun, quick project to share today. I was asked to make another fidget blanket for a special needs teacher to use with her students. She specified that she wanted it to be fairly gender neutral, and with not too many colours, so I chose this fun rocket print (from Connecting Threads a few years ago) for the outside. Those of you who remember my first fidget blankets may remember that I used the rockets for one of them too. It's one of my favourite kid prints 😊
Fidget blanket | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
The blankets are 12" x 17" and close with a button and loop (made from a hair elastic). I layered the inside, outside and batting together, stitched around and then turned it all right side out and stitched around it again. Attaching all of the activities acts as quilting to hold everything together in the center.

Here's the inside. I stuck with the same activities as in the other fidget blankets. There are ribbons for weaving, a zipper, laces to tie, a button to slide on a ribbon and a couple of different buckles for repeated opening and closing. There is also a velcro closed pocket and a button panel. I used the automatic buttonhole maker that came with my machine, but I do need to do a little more practicing to get the buttonhole properly centered.
http://devotedquilter.blogspot.com/2017/12/fidget-blankets.html
 There's a little rocket surprise inside the button panel.
http://devotedquilter.blogspot.com/2017/12/fidget-blankets.html
And a little star on a ribbon inside the velcro pocket.
http://devotedquilter.blogspot.com/2017/12/fidget-blankets.html

That's my finish for this week and now it's your turn! Link up your finishes below and then be sure to visit some of the other links and help them celebrate their finishes too 😊


May 28, 2018

Murrina Quilt - Stash Statement Blog Hop

Have you seen Stash Statement, the new book by My Quilt Infatuation's Kelly Young?
The book is absolutely beautiful and I was honoured when Kelly asked if I'd be part of the blog hop to introduce each of the quilts. I chose to make Murrina, after being assured by Kelly that it is much easier to make than it looks. Thankfully, she was right!

All of the quilts in the book are made by sewing scraps together to make large improv panels that are then cut to the sizes needed. You can read my thoughts on sewing the scraps together here. The short version? I really enjoyed the process and I'm looking forward to doing it again, especially since my scrap bag is still full and there are other quilts in the book that I want to make.

And now, after many sneak peeks, here's my finished Murrina quilt 😊
Murrina quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Murrina quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
 With all the negative space in this design, I knew it would be a great place to highlight a beautiful batik and I'm so glad the people at Island Batik agreed to send me all of this loveliness.
Murrina quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Murrina quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I debated whether or not to share the story behind this fabric choice since it makes me look foolish, but in the interests of keeping it real, here goes...When Katie at Island Batik agreed to sponsor the background and backing, she asked which fabric I wanted and I immediately sent her the SKU number for a gorgeous blue. A few days later I wanted to check something about the fabric, which is when I realized I had sent her the WRONG NUMBER! I was looking at thumbnail pictures of the fabrics and I had copied the number below the picture when I should have taken the number above it. Insert forehead smacking emoji here. After a few moments of staring at my computer in disbelief, I ran to my stash and pulled out a length of pink and threw some of my scrappy blocks on it to see if they'd work with what I had accidentally requested. To my relief, it did work. Phew. Even better, I loved the fabric when it arrived!

And, since I had made my scrappy blocks with no plan for what I would use as the background, there are a lot of blue scraps in them. That might have made the blocks a little less distinct, as you can see happens when some reds or pinks are at the edge of the blocks.
Murrina quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Murrina quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly the top came together, even with Kelly's assurances. It looks like a complicated quilt, but it isn't at all. There are a lot of pieces, but some of them are really big, so it doesn't take long to piece a big block 😊

With some Warm and Natural batting and Aurifil thread (2600 for the blocks and 2530 for the background), it was time to get quilting. I quilted around the edge of each snowball block and then worked my way in to the center in a spiral. These small snowball blocks were satisfyingly fast to quilt!
Murrina quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Murrina quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I already wrote about quilting those straight lines, so I won't say much about that here. I will say that a few people suggested that lowering the pressure on my presser foot would help with the pleats, but unfortunately that isn't an option on my machine. I guess I'll just have to be more careful as I plan my quilting in the future.

While I was quilting those many lines, I found this...
Murrina quilt fix | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I have no idea how it happened, though it looks like it was either the water erasable pen I was using to mark registration lines, or the edge of the ruler I was using to keep them straight, since it is exactly on the drawn line. Neither makes sense, though. I have felt all along the ruler and can't find any sharp spots and the pen has a soft tip, so I can't see it tearing the fabric. A few deep breaths later, I kept quilting while I pondered how I would fix the problem.

Eventually, I decided to cut a heart out of the background fabric and glue it over the tear. I used the pen to outline the edge of the heart so that I could see it and then I stitched twice around the edge.
Murrina quilt fix | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Here's how it looks after the pen marks were washed away.
Murrina quilt fix | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
You can't see it from a distance, so it's a little surprise detail for anyone who looks really closely 😊

Also while I was quilting, I was on the lookout for teeny little pieces in the snowball blocks. Because the scraps were pieced in large chunks and then cut to size, some of the pieces are ridiculously small. Here are some of my favourites...
Murrina quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Murrina quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
A scrappy binding seemed the perfect way to finish this quilt, so I pulled out my bag of leftover binding pieces and joined them together. I left out any red or pink pieces, so the binding wouldn't disappear into the background, but anything else was fair game.
Murrina quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I purposely didn't join two pieces that were the same colour, just to keep it looking really scrappy. And then, when I stitched it to the quilt, the ending piece and the starting piece were both black with white dots! Go figure. I (very briefly) considered cutting the last piece off and adding in another fabric, but that seemed like too much work when I was so close to finishing, so the two black and whites meet. Oh well!
Murrina quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Thanks for inviting me to be part of the blog hop, Kelly! I had so much fun making this quilt and you can be sure I'll be playing with this improv technique again 😊

Yvonne, at Quilting Jetgirl, has also made a version of the Murrina quilt, so be sure to check that out. Her quilt and mine are nothing alike (judging from her progress pictures) so I can't wait to see it!

Just a few housekeeping items before you leave:

Are you subscribed for The Bulletin, my monthly newsletter? If you are, you should have received an email last week asking for your consent to continue receiving emails from me. It's important that you update your subscriber settings to indicate that consent because going forward I will only be sending the Bulletin to those who have consented (because of the new GDPR regulation that has just gone into effect). If you didn't see that email, you can contact me at devotedquilter at gmail dot com (using the same email address you have subscribed with) and I'll send it to you again. And if you're not yet subscribed, but you'd like to be, just click here 😊 I'd love to have you!

Lastly, Blogger seems to be having problems with sending comment notifications, which may or may not be related to the GDPR regulation as well. That means I'm not getting emails about each comment and I can't easily reply to those comments. So if you comment on this post, or if you have  commented on my blog in the past week and you don't get a reply from me, it's not because I'm ignoring you. I am still reading and appreciating every comment and I'm really hoping Blogger will get it straightened out quickly. Technology is wonderful, when it works, am I right?

Phew! This has been a really long post, hasn't it? Well, this is it for me, but I highly recommend you hop around to everyone else who has made a quilt from Kelly's book. But be warned - you may find yourself highly inspired to play with scraps, lol! Here's the full schedule:

4/16- Grand Bazaar    Shelley @ Cora's Quilts
                                    Connie @ Freemotion by the River

                           Diann @ Little Penguin Quilts

4/30- Precarious  Jess @ Quilty Habit                       
                             Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts
                                                            
5/7- Beach Retreat  Sarah @ Sarah Goer Quilts                               
                                 Liz @ Savor Every Stitch 
                                                           
5/14- Fire Pit   Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts                                          
                         Preeti @ Sew Preeti Quilts
                                                            
5/21- Detour    Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts                         
                         Shelley @ The Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts
                                                            
5/28- Murrina    Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl             
                            Leanne @ Devoted Quilter
                                                            
6/4- Scattered    Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal                      
                           Christine @ Triangles and Squares 
                                                            
6/11- Bloom Chicka Boom   Chris @ made by ChrissieD            
                                               Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
                                                            
6/18- Regatta   Susan @ Quilt Fabrication                             
                          Debbie @ A Quilter's Table    
                          Christa @ Christa Quilts
                                                            
6/25- Catch a Falling Star  Cynthia @ Quilting is More Fun Than Housework        
                                              Anja @ Anja Quilts
                                                            
7/2- College Prep   Hilary @ by Hilary Jordan                 
                                Lori @ Crossquilt
                                                            
7/9- Take Flight (bonus digital pattern)  Kelli @ Seriously, I Think It Needs Stitches 
                                                                 Paula @ The Sassy Quilter


Have a great week!

Yeast

Devotion for the Week...

There are lots of times when I think, "Who was the first person who figured out that if you do this and this and this then you can eat the result?" For example, have you ever read the process to get coffee beans you can use to make yourself a drink? It involves picking beans, removing a slimy layer, washing and drying the beans. And that only gets you to the point where you can start roasting them. Who ever came up with all of those steps?

Likewise for chocolate. You start with a pod, from which you remove the bean, which has to be dried. Then you can remove the nib, which has to be ground and liquefied to produce chocolate liquor, which is only the starting point for making chocolate we would recognize. Who was the first person to look at that pod and think of working with it for so long to produce a sweet treat?

Yeast is another one that interests me, though there isn't actually any documentation to show how it began being used to make bread. Researchers think it probably came about because a mix of flour and water was left longer than usual, which allowed the naturally occurring yeast to begin to grow, which made the bread rise when it was baked. But how did people get from that to the bread we eat today? I remember reading stories about how people heading to the Yukon during the Gold Rush would carry their bread starter in a jar inside their clothes. It had to be kept warm because having that starter meant having the beginnings of food. Whoever it was who first started using yeast, I am grateful to them! I love bread and I love baking different breads. I enjoy watching the yeast as it froths up in a bowl of sweetened water before the other ingredients are added and it has always amazed me how little yeast is needed to make a batch of bread that requires so many cups of flour.

When talking with His disciples, "Jesus warned them, 'Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod.'" (Mark 8:15). The Pharisees had just been arguing with Jesus and "testing him, they demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority" (v. 11). Frustrated with them, Jesus and the disciples left the area and it was when they were alone that Jesus warned the disciples.

As I said, it doesn't take much yeast to affect a lot of flour. Likewise, it wouldn't have taken many Pharisees to have affected a lot of common people. They were respected as the religious leaders of the day so the common, less learned people would have accepted the opinions of the Pharisees as being God's own. That would have been fine if the Pharisees were leading according to God's will, but they weren't. In Matthew 23, Jesus actually called them hypocrites, whitewashed tombs and snakes!

The Pharisees affected people not only because they were respected, but also because they were vocal. It's hard to ignore people when they're constantly repeating the same message. 'The squeaky wheel gets the oil' after all. And so the Pharisees constantly reminded people of the many regulations they must follow. They were outspoken in their disapproval, even going so far as to rebuke a woman after Jesus healed her on the Sabbath. Never mind that she was set free from the pain she had been living with for years, they were indignant because Jesus had done 'work' on the Sabbath.

So what was Jesus warning His disciples about? He was talking about the influence of people who would insist that things must be done their way, but they have stopped looking to God for direction. Beware of people who insist on their own self-serving view of the world and of God, who expect others to rigidly adhere to their rules and who have little or no concern for people.

These people still exist today and they still influence those under them, steering people away from God and towards their own interpretation of what God wants.

And as much as we are watching those in positions of authority, being certain that those we follow are following God, we also have to be mindful of our own attitudes. Are we following God? Or have we allowed our opinions to become rules we insist others must follow?
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
The yeast of the Pharisees is a dangerous thing. We don't want to be influenced by it, or to be guilty of becoming it.

May 24, 2018

Straight Line Quilting

This will be the last sneak peek post about this quilt, I promise! The finish post will be up on Monday, which means I better get it finished, lol 😊

I debated for a long time how to quilt the background and I kept coming back to the idea of straight lines. I don't usually use my walking foot for anything except binding (see my machine binding tutorial here for all my tips and tricks), but I pulled it out for these lines.

The title of this post is a bit of a misnomer, though. There's not a perfectly straight line in the entire quilt! Every one of them wobbles or even goes completely off course. If imperfections are what give a handmade item its character, then this quilt has character in spades!
Straight line quilting | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Isn't that background fabric gorgeous? It's from Island Batik and I love the subtle texture it adds to the large areas of negative space in the quilt. There are subtle variations in the colour too - light pink, dark pink, red and orange are all in there.

I started off quilting lines that were just under half an inch apart since that was the width of my walking foot, but I quickly realized that would take f.o.r.e.v.e.r to finish the 72" square quilt. I widened the spaces slightly in an effort to preserve my sanity and actually finish in time for my blog hop post deadline. Truth be told, even using the guide with my walking foot, the spaces are rather inconsistent, but the overall effect works. I'm a big believer in organic lines 😊

I have been struggling with one thing, though. I quilted the snowball blocks first since I was still trying to decide how to quilt the background. Now, as I approach the blocks, I find I'm getting a lot of these puckers.
Straight line quilting | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Straight line quilting | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I'm trying to minimize them as much as I can, but there's just no way to avoid them completely. I'm not quite sure why they're happening. I don't remember there being any fullness in the quilt top when I finished piecing it and I thought I had it basted securely enough. I'm wondering if more basting would have been helpful. And it may just be because I quilted the blocks first. If you know how I could avoid this in the future, I'd love to know!

When I'm between the snowball blocks and just stitching lots of long lines, there are no puckers or ripples at all
Straight line quilting | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
And the back is perfectly flat too, even right by the blocks.
Straight line quilting | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
The back of the quilt is another beautiful print from Island Batik. The first time I checked the back of the quilt I thought it was full of puckers, but then I realized it was only the dark lines in the print. Phew!

With an unexpected morning off today because of snow (yes, snow!), I have about 11" left to quilt, which shouldn't take much longer. I may even get through it all this evening, which would be great.

I have this scrappy binding all ready to be put on as soon as I can finish the quilting.
Scrappy binding | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Check back on Monday to see the finished quilt. I can't wait to share the whole thing with you 😊

One last thing...my Churn pattern is still available at the introductory price for another couple of days. Saturday morning I'll be changing the price, so get it now to save 25%! Get your copy at either my Payhip or Etsy shop.

May 21, 2018

Stronger

Devotion for the Week...

I took Zachary to see a physiotherapist last week. His basketball coach suggested it when he and Paul were talking about Zach's unusual running posture, saying that maybe she could identify the problem and offer help to correct it. It turns out that Zach has weak hip and butt muscles, which she says is really common, and those weak muscles cause his legs to turn in slightly. Because of that, he's running on the insides of his feet which is causing him to look awkward now and would likely lead to knee and back issues later. We came home armed with resistance bands and a few exercises for him to do to strengthen those muscles.

One of the things she told him really struck me. He doesn't need to go back to see her until he finds the exercises are all too easy for him because she can't do anything for him except tell him what exercises to do.

"I could hook you up to all kinds of machines and poke and prod you, but it wouldn't help any," she said. "Only you can make yourself stronger."

How true is that?? Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could go to someone once or twice a week and have them hook us up to a machine and when we were done we'd be stronger and more fit than when we walked in? People everywhere would be so much healthier than we are now.

But that's not the case, of course. If I want to lose weight, then I have to take responsibility for my eating and my exercising. If I want to avoid back pain, I have to do the exercises I've been given. If I want to stay healthy as I age, then I have to keep moving. No one else can make me stronger and healthier.

The same is true spiritually too. No one else can give us knowledge of the Bible. No one else can memorize Scriptures for us. No one else can strengthen our faith and no one else can deepen our prayer lives.

At the most basic level, no one can make us accept salvation. I can take my boys to church, take them to the kids' mid-week program and drop them off for the youth program, but I can't believe for them. They have to make that choice themselves. I have to make that choice. You have to make that choice. John 3:16 says "For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." Notice it says "everyone who believes in him", not 'everyone who knows someone who believes in him' or 'everyone who has been told about him.' No one can have that belief for another person.

Psalm 119:11 says, "I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." You can't hide God's word in my heart and I can't hide it in yours. Sure, reading or hearing someone else explain a verse might help, but to really remember verses we have to make the effort to read them for ourselves.

2 Timothy 2:15 says, "Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth." Paul wrote this to Timothy, a young pastor, but it applies equally to anyone who may ever tell someone else about what God says in His word. That means it applies to every believer. We can only correctly explain the word of truth if we take the time to know it and to understand it. Again, listening to sermons or reading books and devotions can help, but they are not enough by themselves.
Weekly devotions for Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
It's easy to forget to do exercises as often as we should, or to put it off for another day when life gets busy. It's just as easy to put off the things that make us spiritually strong. But there is no substitute and no one else can do it for us. We are responsible for our own spiritual fitness.

May 17, 2018

Churn Pattern Release

I love getting to release one of my patterns 😊 Today I'm releasing my Churn pattern, which was originally published in the 2018 Quilter's Planner.

The pattern is now available through both my Payhip and Etsy shops and, to celebrate the release, it is available for 25% off until May 25th.

Churn finishes at 60" x 70", which is my favourite throw size, perfect for curling up with a good book or stretching out for a nap.
Churn Quilt Pattern | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Churn uses the traditional churn dash block in a fun modern setting. The simple patchwork background stitches up quickly, but adds lots of visual interest. As a bonus, it's a great way to use favourite prints from your stash. In fact, the whole quilt is a great scrappy stash buster.




As always, if you make Churn, I'd love to see your version, so be sure to tag me (@devotedquilter on IG or @devotedquilterdesigns on FB) or email me a picture or link to a blog post (devotedquilter at gmail dot com).

Happy stitching!

May 14, 2018

Raising Them to Serve God

Devotion for the Week...

To all you moms reading, I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday 😊 The highlight of my day was when Nathan gave me the gift he planned and bought all on his own...a spool of gorgeous blue thread. Little things like that are enough to melt my heart!

As Mother's Day approached, I kept thinking about a woman in the Bible named Hannah. You can find her story in 1 Samuel 1. Hannah was married to a man named Elkanah and she had no children. We don't know how long they had been married, but it was definitely long enough that there should have been several children and the lack of a child was heartbreaking for Hannah.

Nowadays women who deal with infertility suffer intense disapointment, frustration and more. In Hannah's day, she would have dealt with not only her own emotions, but also the judgement of her whole society. At that time, a woman's biggest purpose was to bear children and not doing so was seen as a black mark against her. Being declared 'barren' was an awful stigma to bear.

To make matters worse, Hannah was not Elkanah's only wife. "Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not" (1 Samuel 1:2). And "Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the Lord had kept her from having children" (v. 6). Can you feel the awful weight of heartbreak Hannah carried?

So Hannah prayed. Verse 10 says she "was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord." Hannah prayed, "O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut" (v. 11).

And God answered her prayer, giving her a son she named Samuel. What joy she must have felt!

Then, after Samuel was weaned, she fulfilled the promise she had made to God. When the family again traveled to worship at the Tabernacle, she took Samuel with her and went to Eli the priest, telling him, "I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life." (vv. 27,28). "Then Elkanah returned home to Ramah without Samuel. And the boy served the Lord by assisting Eli the priest" (1 Samuel 2:11).

She gave Samuel back to God, leaving him to be raised in the Tabernacle where he would serve God every day. Thankfully, we aren't called to give our kids to our pastors so that they can serve in the church all the time, but we are to do our best to raise them to serve God.

While talking about the commands God gave him to give the people, Moses said, "Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up" (Deuteronomy 6:7). Our goal is to teach our kids about God in such a way that they will want to follow Him too.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
And don't despair if your kids are grown and out on their own, but not yet following Him. You still have opportunities to share God with them whenever you talk to them (texting counts!). I heard one mom say that she would occasionally send her son links to Christian songs that she was really enjoying and that sometimes he would go and listen to them.

What is your best strategy for teaching a child (of any age) to serve God?

May 08, 2018

Island Batik May Challenge - Flower Box Cushion

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

I'm finished the Island Batik Ambassador challenge well in advance this month! The theme for May is Playful Pillows and it really did feel like I was playing as I made this one 😊
Flower Box was my first published pattern, in Make Modern magazine (affiliate link) back in May 2015. I made a cushion for that publication, then made a mini quilt in December 2015 using 4 blocks.

I made a cushion again to fit this challenge, but completely changed the colours, using two bright orange batiks for the flower and two greens for the corners. Normally when I think of orange and green together I think of fall, but the limey colour of the greens makes this feel more like spring to me.
Flower box cushion | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I used Warm and Natural batting and basted it together with a random bit of old (content unknown) fabric for the backing, which will not be seen, and got to the quilting.

I love to use blanket stitch around applique shapes, this time in Aurifil 2210 (caramel). My first ever quilt had hours and hours worth of hand embroidered blanket stitch done with black embroidery floss, but machine stitching goes much faster!
Flower box cushion | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I quilted a design called Flourish, from Christina Camelli's book Step by Step Free Motion Quilting, in the flower petals and a spiral in the flower center, both with the Aurifil 2210.
Flower box cushion | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
In the green triangles I used Aurifil 1231 (spring green) to quilt loops. This is my favourite design for triangles and I'm sure it has a name, but I don't know it.
Flower box cushion | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Using Aurifil 2024 (white) I stitched around the applique, then again about 1/4" away from the applique. Finally, I quilted a stipple in the background. Even with the tight stipple I finished all of the quilting in one evening 😊 I had forgotten how quickly you can quilt something so small!
Flower box cushion | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I used the bright orange dot batik to make an envelope back for the cushion. I managed to put it together with the outside piece facing the wrong way, but since batiks don't have a wrong side and the stitching looks neat enough, I decided to leave it.
Flower box cushion | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Having now made this pattern 3 times, it is really fun to see it in such different colours. If you'd like to make your own Flower Box cushion or mini quilt (or full size quilt, for that matter!) you can get the pattern from either my Payhip or Etsy shops.

Zachary and I had fun at one of my favourite beaches last night getting these pictures and some of another quilt that I'll be able to share this summer. I love Newfoundland scenery!
Coachman's Cove | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Can you see Zach out climbing on the rocks? And there's a sneak peek of the quilt 😉
 Coachman's Cove | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Coachman's Cove | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Thanks again to Island Batik for letting my play with these beautiful fabrics and for the fun challenge. Now it's time to get started on the June challenge!

Don't forget to pick up your copy of the Flower Box pattern from Payhip or Etsy!


This post contains an affiliate link, 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.

May 07, 2018

Following Through

Devotion for the Week...

I can remember one day when Aiden was about three and he was not cooperating when we were shopping. I said that if he didn't behave I'd return something we had already bought at a previous store and Paul looked at me and said, "Are you really going to do that?" Of course, Paul knew that I had no intention of going back to that other store, so my threat was an empty one.

Empty threats are easy to make as a parent, but they rarely work. Kids figure out really quickly that we won't actually follow through with those consequences we're threatening and then our words mean nothing. There's no incentive for them to do what we're telling them to do because they know there will be no consequence if they don't.

After Paul called me out in the store that day, I became much more careful about only threatening real consequences that I would actually follow through on. Not that I was perfect at it, but I certainly tried. I also became aware of just how often parents use empty threats and how often they elicit no reaction whatsoever from the kids. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for!

We talk a lot in church circles about God keeping His promises and usually we're talking about the good things He has promised us. Things like salvation (John 3:16), a home with Him for eternity (John 14:3), an eternity free of sickness, pain and death (Revelation 21:4). Wonderful things, and wonderful promises.

But there are also consequences spelled out in the Bible. The most important one is "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Since "everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard" (Romans 3:23), which means everyone's earned wage is death. Thankfully that first verse continues, "but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). So there is a consequence spelled out (death), but also the way to avoid the consequence (believing in Jesus).

There are other consequences as well. Consider these:

"Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’ "(Matthew 7:21-23). This one might seem confusing, but it means that those who merely say they follow Jesus, without having any actual faith in Him, will not enter heaven. These verses are about those who say they believe, maybe because they think it's what others want to hear or because it is what is expected of them, while in truth they actually don't believe.

"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Those who refuse to have faith in Jesus will find one day that there is no other option that God will accept.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Just as with a parent, God does not want to have to follow through with the consequences. "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" (2 Peter 3:9). He has shown us the consequences along with the clear path for everyone to follow to avoid those consequences precisely because He longs for us all to take the path of faith. He does not want to lose even one person, which is why salvation requires nothing of us except belief. "God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it" (Ephesians 2:8,9).

I love knowing that God keeps His promises. There is comfort in knowing that He means what He has said to us. Of course, that also means that the consequences He has presented are not empty threats.

May 03, 2018

Snowballs in Spring

These spring snowballs aren't made of real snow, thankfully!

I've been working on my Murrina quilt, from Kelly Young's book Stash Statement, in preparation for my stop on the blog hop later this month. There are 51 snowball blocks in the quilt, in three different sizes, and mine are all finished 😊 Don't they look pretty all stacked up?
Snowball blocks | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Island Batik provided this gorgeous fabric for the background of the quilt and it was so much fun to press open each corner and see how the bright pink batik interacts with the crazy busy-ness of the scrappy block centers. Here's one of each size block.
Snowball blocks | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
 Some of the small blocks. I love the tiny tents in the top right block 😊
Snowball blocks | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Some of the medium blocks.
Snowball blocks | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
And some of the big blocks.
Snowball blocks | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
There are a lot of background pieces in this quilt, but now that they're all cut, I think the quilt will stitch up really quickly. Here's my tower of quilt top pieces 😊
DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Since I was going to be sewing all those corners (204 of them, to be exact), I figured I might as well also make some bonus HSTs while I was at it. No sense wasting all those corners, right? I drew the lines for 1 1/2" finished HSTs on all of the corners. On the smallest blocks the seam allowances ended up being slightly smaller than 1/4", but I think they're still wide enough to not cause problems.

I loved pressing these open too!
Scrappy HSTs | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
With 204 tiny, scrappy HSTs, I couldn't resist playing around with a few of them in a fun layout. I found that any HSTs with red or dark pink in the scrappy half of the block messed up the look of the layout because there isn't enough contrast. I'm sure I'll find a use for them sometime, though. Maybe a pincushion or something like that.
Scrappy HSTs | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I'm thinking this would make a fun cushion cover or mini quilt, whenever I can find time to get it pieced together. In the meantime, they're hanging out in my fancy pants storage system 😊
Scrappy HSTs | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I'll definitely want to play around with Kelly's method of scrap sewing again. And those tiny HSTs have sparked an idea for a future quilt too. One thing's for certain...I'll never run out of ideas for things to make!
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