March 18, 2019

Whiteout

Devotion for the Week...

Have you ever driven in whiteout conditions? It's not a pleasant experience, let me tell you. Thankfully, we have only experienced it a couple of times and each time it was only for a brief moment. Believe me, though, that's plenty long enough.

Here's what it's like, in case you've never experienced it for yourself. The most recent time for us, we were driving home on the highway on a day with flurries and a lot of wind. There wasn't a lot of snow falling, but what had fallen was really being blown around. At one point, a car coming towards us flashed its lights in warning a couple of times, so Paul slowed right down and a few seconds later we reached a stretch of road with a lake on one side and a power dam on the other. With no trees to block it, the wind whipped the snow around so much everything around us vanished. We couldn't see the truck that was ahead of us, we couldn't see if there was anything coming towards us and we couldn't see the road. We also knew that anything coming behind us wouldn't see us and we were now travelling much slower than normal for that road, so we had to hope that anyone behind us had also slowed down before hitting the whiteout. It was crazy scary. A few seconds later, we drove out of the whiteout again and when we saw a car coming in the opposite direction, Paul flashed our lights in warning for them.

As we drove the rest of the way home, I kept looking at the flurries that fell and marveling that something so small could so completely block our sight. That led me to think about the parable Jesus told about the farmer scattering seeds (Matthew 13:1-23). It's a long one, so I'll summarize: A farmer went out to plant seeds, but some fell on the path where they were eaten by birds, others fell on rocky ground where they couldn't develop roots, others fell among thorns where they were choked out and still others fell on good ground where they produced a crop. Jesus then explained that the seeds that fell on the path are those who hear the message of God's kingdom, but never believe. The seeds on the rocky ground are those who believe, but never grow deep roots so at the first sign of trouble they abandon their belief. The seeds among the thorns are those who hear the message, but the worries of life crowd it out so they don't do anything with what they've heard. And the seeds on the good soil are those who hear the message, believe it and live lives that help others to also hear the message.

What does that have to do with driving in a whiteout, you ask? For most of us, "the worries of life" (v. 22) are small things, but when there are enough of them we can get so distracted that we lose sight of eternal things. We stop thinking about God much because we're too busy thinking about our worries. Letting our worries block our view of Jesus will keep us from really living for Him.

Driving in the whiteout, we had no control over the snow or the wind. Likewise, we may not be able to change the circumstances of our lives, whatever they may be. They might be swirling around us, distracting and in the way.

Driving in the whiteout, we couldn't change how much we could see, no matter how much we wanted to, but we can always change how much of God we see. We can choose to focus on Him despite the circumstances, by choosing not to focus on the worries.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.com
Yes, we still try to change our circumstances, if we can. No, we don't just give in and accept things that aren't right or that aren't good for us. But we also don't allow those things to block our view of God. We can keep Him in sight through prayer, through reading the Bible, going to church, listening to worship music...whatever it takes to keep Him in our days, even when those days are hard.

We can't make our worries disppear, though that sure would be nice. While we work through them, though, we can make sure we don't allow them to block our view of God.

March 15, 2019

Medallion Magic QAL - Part 3

It's time for part 3 of the Medallion Magic QAL and it's time to start sewing! If you're just joining the QAL, no worries, it'll be simple to get caught up and start sewing your own Medallion Magic quilt 😊
I'm aiming for this to be a slow, relaxed quilt along, with not so much to do each month that you can't keep up. We're all too busy to be stressing over keeping up with a QAL! Here's the schedule of events:

January 15th - Gather fabrics and pattern
February 15th - Cutting
March 15th - Center star - we're here!
April 15th - Borders 1 and 2
May 15th - Borders 3 and 4
June 15th - Borders 5, 6 and 7
August 15th - Finish party link up opens

If you don't have your pattern yet, you can pick up your copy from my Etsy shop in either PDF or printed versions.

Here's my original Medallion Magic, made with Northcott fabrics. Yep, I still love it!
Medallion Magic quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
And here's my new center star, in Island Batik Paisley Park fabrics. It's giving the original some serious competition, don't you think?
Medallion Magic quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I love the rich, elegant feel of the purple and doesn't the teal just seem to glow? I know I've raved about Island Batik neutrals in the past, but I have to do it again for this one. This creamy white is called Almond. It's speckled with tiny dots and it's perfect 😊 I'll take a whole bolt of it, please, and throw in a bolt of the purple while you're at it!

Putting the center star together calls for some flying geese and some HSTs, both of which require drawing diagonal lines on the fabric as guides. I find I get much more accurate results when the pencil I'm using is really sharp, which always makes me think of my junior high shop class. One of the projects involved drawing elevation diagrams and my teacher was insistent on us twirling the pencil as we drew each line to keep the point from wearing down on one side. The twirling was meant to produce the thinnest possible line, though I never mastered the proper twirling technique. I do find myself twirling my pencil as I draw guide lines, though, and it does make for a thinner line, so I gained something from the class, even if I've never again drawn an elevation diagram.

All of that to say, my tip for this month is to try twirling your pencil as you draw your guide lines. Maybe you'll find it increases your accuracy, too. Do you have any tips to share for making flying geese or HSTs?

I do love when points are pointy, don't you?
Medallion Magic quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Now it's your turn! I can't wait to see your center stars 😊


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

March 13, 2019

Night Sky Pattern Release

I'm pleased to get to release a new pattern today 😊 Meet Night Sky.

This quilt uses only two fabrics to make a bold, striking quilt that comes together quickly.
Night Sky quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
Night Sky includes three size options - a 42" x 42" baby, the 60" x 72" throw size shown and a 90" x 90" queen size. It's good to have options, don't you think? What size quilt do you make most often?

The sample quilt was made with Michael Miller fabrics, a Cotton Couture blue solid and the black sequin print from the Glam Girls line by American Dream House. The sequin print is so fun and I'm sad that I only have a little bit left of it now.

I have to admit that while I love the simplicity of a two fabric quilt, I am curious about what Night Sky would look like if every star were a different colour. Actually, the night I finished the quilt top I sent a picture of it to my friend Michelle, then almost immediately I sent another text saying I wanted to make another one in all the colours! It hasn't happened yet, but working on the pattern to get it ready for this release has really kindled that fire again. I feel like lately I want to make everything scrappy and colourful, lol.

I've been asked in the comments, so I thought I'd edit to answer here - a fat quarter would be enough to make one star, so if you want to go scrappy, then your collection of fat quarters would be perfect for it.

Night Sky is available at its introductory price through March 21st (Nathan's birthday 😊). You can get the PDF through either my Payhip or Etsy shops.

Get Night Sky from my Etsy shop

Get Night Sky from my Payhip shop


What colours would you use for Night Sky? Do you have a favourite stargazer who would love to have it?

I'm linking up with TGIFF and Beauties Pageant.

March 11, 2019

The Right Words

Devotion for the Week...

I am no good at debating. Though I may know exactly why I think something is right or wrong, the moment I have to counter someone else's arguments, I forget everything I wanted to say. I can't think  fast enough on my feet to keep up with another person who is convinced I'm wrong and has the arguments to prove it.

Two hours later, on the other hand, I know exactly what I should have said to prove my point. It's very frustrating, I can assure you! Thankfully, I've never been in a situation where my lack of debating skills mattered much and the many times I lost my train of thought or otherwise couldn't compete verbally didn't result in anything bad happening. Unless you count my annoyance at not winning, lol.

The Bible tells us, though, that in the end times, "there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers" (Luke 21: 12). Now, that sounds exactly like the sort of situation where my lack of skills could cause very bad things to happen, don't you think? But Jesus, who is speaking to His disciples in this passage, isn't concerned. He goes on to say, "But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me" (v. 13). I'm sure it would be, if I could remember what to say under pressure!

Fortunately, Jesus and I won't be relying on my abilities should this ever come to pass in my life. "So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you!" (vv. 14, 15).

Isn't that a wonderful assurance? In what would probably be the most stressful moment in our lives, the words we would need in order to tell people about Jesus would be given to us and we would know exactly what to say. Not only that, but our opponents wouldn't even have anything to say back at us, our arguments would be so compelling. I have never experienced that with only my own words!
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.com
Of course, we don't have to wait for the end times and the persecution they will bring to tell people about Jesus and He provides the words for those everyday moments, too. Peter is an excellent example. He, out of fear, denied even knowing Jesus while Jesus was on trial, but then after receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, he "stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, 'Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this'" (Acts 2:14). What followed was a powerful sermon about Jesus and God's plan for salvation and "Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all" (v. 41). 3,000!

God will give us the right words to say so we can tell others about Him.

March 05, 2019

Infinity Pillow - Text It! Blog Hop

Before I launch into today's post, I want to mention that my Blogging Anniversary Sale is still underway, through March 6th, so head on over to my Etsy shop to pick up a pattern (or several!) at 25% off 😊

With that out of the way, welcome to my stop on the Text It! blog hop, sharing the gorgeous and fun projects from Sherri Noel's new book, Text It! If this is your first time here, then an especially big welcome to you! I'd love to have you join in with my Medallion Magic QAL - we're cutting fabric right now, so you're not even behind. You can also sign up for The Bulletin, which I send to your inbox on the 16th of each month with news from here, a family favourite recipe and a collection of fun things to make. When you sign up, you'll also receive my Wind Farm quilt pattern, which is only available to subscribers.

When I first looked through Sherri's book to see what project I wanted to make, I stopped dead at the picture of her Infinity Quilt. I may have even said out loud, "That one, obviously." I chose to make the Infinity pillow sham, which is included as a variation in the book.
Infinity pillow | DevotedQuilter.com
I can't wait to share the quilt on our bed, but it's still not time yet...
The reason this was such an obvious project for me to make goes back to an evening when my husband called out to me from downstairs, where he sat at his computer. When I walked into the room, he said, "I found a tattoo I want to get." I was surprised, until I saw the picture on his screen, at which point I told him that if he was getting it, then I'd get it too. This particular tattoo was perfect for us because when we were dating and writing letters or little notes to each other, we'd always sign them with X's, O's and the infinity symbol. You should know that I had never once considered getting a tattoo until that moment, but a few days later, we had matching tattoos, which was how we celebrated our 15th anniversary.
Infinity tattoo | DevotedQuilter.com
While thinking about telling the story in this post, I was surprised to realize that we've had the tattoos for almost 5 years now. Where does the time go?? We'll be celebrating our 20th anniversary in August, but I don't think there will be any tattoos involved this time 😊

I debated for a while what colours to use for the infinity symbol. I thought about using the same fabrics that are in the quilt I just finished for our bed, of which you can see a sneak peek in the picture above, but I thought that might be a bit too matchy-matchy and boring. I thought about going crazy with scraps, but I thought that might detract from the quilt too much and I really wanted the two to work together. Then I thought of using all black scraps, with the pieces the letters are on made from the same fabric as the background so it would look as much like our tattoos as possible. As you can see, that's what I went with.
Infinity pillow | DevotedQuilter.com
I used Island Batik's Rice fabric for the background, which is so gorgeous, but doesn't really photograph well. There are faint streaks of blue-greens along with tiny dots of colour all over the fabric, which give the fabric a beautiful texture. You can maybe see it a tiny bit better in this picture of the envelope back of the pillow sham.
Infinity pillow | DevotedQuilter.com
I used a few pieces of each of the black Island Batik fabrics I have and added a mix of other blacks from my stash for the letters and the EPP pieces that make up the infinity symbol.
Infinity pillow | DevotedQuilter.com
I've never done a binding on a pillow or cushion cover before, but I love the way it frames it. This is the first time, but it likely won't be the last.

I used a scrap piece of Warm and Natural batting and the quilting is done with Aurifil 2600. My cone of 2600 is so close to empty now that I used 2024 in the bobbin because I didn't know if I'd have enough for both the top thread and the bobbin. I definitely wouldn't have had enough, so I'm glad I thought to use something different in the bobbin right from the start and saved myself from the stress of losing a game of thread chicken.

I love the texture created by quilted swirl hooks, especially with the way the light comes into our room in the morning 😍 I might need to buy or make pretty pillowcases now so our regular pillows look as nice as this decorative one.
Infinity pillow | DevotedQuilter.com
Infinity pillow | DevotedQuilter.com
A big thank you to Sherri for having me as part of this blog hop! Text it! is beautiful and I highly recommend it if you like words on your quilts 😊 You can get a signed copy of the book directly from Sherri, or you can order a copy from Amazon.

Before I send you off to see the other quilts and pillows with something to say, I have a giveaway you can enter, with two prizes. One is a copy of Text It!, which unfortunately is only available to a winner who lives in the US. The other prize, 2 large spools of Aurifil thread, will be shipped anywhere in the world. To enter, leave me a comment telling me one special way you've celebrated an anniversary or birthday and be sure to let me know if you're in the US or not so I know if you're eligible for the book prize. For additional entries, follow me on Instagram  or Facebook and leave a separate comment for each. And for one last entry, sign up for The Bulletin and leave another comment for that. I'll randomly choose the two winners on March 17th and contact them via email, so be sure your email address is either linked to your comment or include it in the comment.

Edited to say - Congratulations to the giveaway winners, wlstarn (comment #7) for the copy of the book and Carol Andrews (comment #83) for the Aurifil thread.

Remember to shop my Blogging Anniversary Sale and thanks for visiting! Feel free to pin this and share 😊
Infinity pillow | DevotedQuilter.com
Now here's the schedule of other bloggers participating in the hop. Be sure to check out their versions of Sherri's fun designs!

MONDAY MARCH 4 – BEE HAPPY

PAMELA JANE MORGAN – MYSWEETLITTLESTITCHES.COM                            
SHARON LILABELLE LANE – LILABELLELANECREATIONS.COM

TUESDAY MARCH 5 – INFINITY Quilt

LAURA PILAND – SLICEOFPIQUILTS.COM
LEANNE PARSONS – DEVOTEDQUILTER.COM
KATIE MUTER STARCHER – KATIEMAEQUILTS.COM

WEDNESDAY MARCH 6 – PILLOW TALK

KATE COLLERAN – SEAMSLIKEADREAM.COM
CHERYL DAINES BROWN – QUILTERCHIC.COM
DORIE HRUSKA – FOREVER-QUILTING.COM

THURSDAY MARCH 7 – FREEDOM Quilt

JEN SHAFFER – PATTERNSBYJEN.BLOGSPOT.COM
TARA MILLER – QUILTDISTRICT.COM

FRIDAY MARCH 8 – LOVING YOU Wall Hanging

ELLEN AULT – .HANDMADE3D.ME
SHERRI NOEL – REBECCAMAEDESIGNS.COM

MONDAY MARCH 11 – COUNTING SHEEP Baby Quilt

DEANNE EISENMAN – SNUGGLESQUILTS.COM
SUSAN PELLAND – SUEPELLANDDESIGNS.COM

TUESDAY MARCH 12 – HOME PILLOW

JOANNE HARRIS – QUILTSBYJOANNE.BLOGSPOT.CA
PATTY DUDEK – ELMSTREETQUILTS.COM
ANDY KNOWLTON – ABRIGHTCORNER.COM
SANDRA STARLEY – UTAHQUILTAPPRAISER.BLOGSPOT.COM
CINDY PIETERS – STITCHINATHOME.COM

WEDNESDAY MARCH 13 – LIFE IS SHORT Wall hanging

BECCA FENSTERMAKER – PRETTYPINEY.COM

THURSDAY MARCH 14 – HUSTLE PILLOW

FRIDAY MARCH 15 – SEWING MACHINE MAT

LAUREN WRIGHT – MOLLYANDMAMA.COM.AU
SANDRA HEALY – SANDRAHEALYDESIGNS.COM
CHERYL KRISEL LYNCH – cheryllynchquilts.blogspot.com/

SATURDAY MARCH 16 – WRAP UP


SHERRI NOEL – REBECCAMAEDESIGNS.COM

Infinity pillow | DevotedQuilter.com

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