November 26, 2020

Sneak Peeks

Being a quilt blogger is hard when you've signed up for a bunch of fun things that mean you're sewing, but you can't share it yet! I have three projects coming up the first week of December, so I thought I'd share some sneak peeks today.

Quilt Block Mania is coming next Tuesday and I have a fabulous scrappy block to share. I love it so much I made four blocks instead of the one that is required. I'm not sure if I'll have time to get it quilted before Tuesday, but I'd really like to.
Scrappy star project to come |
I've started working on the annual cross stitch ornaments for my boys. I'm only making two this year, since it was always my plan to only go until they finished high school. I'm trying only stitching from the front, like this, and it seems like it's a bit faster, especially where there are blocks of the same colour. 
cross stitch |
The Love and Kisses blog hop starts soon and my day to share is on the 6th. I'll be sharing a new version of my Bloom block and it looks so completely different in the colours of the Love and Kisses fabric line! The background is solid this time, which means the swirl hook quilting shows up soooo well 😍
swirl hook fmq |
Are you wanting to learn free motion quilting? I just learned about the Intro to FMQ mini course, which would be a great way to get started. Full disclosure, I'm an affiliate for HollyAnne's courses, which means I earn a commission if you purchase the course after clicking my link. I haven't taken Intro to FMQ, but I'm all about enabling you to learn fmq because it's so much fun 😊

Another blog tour I'm working on is the Designer Knits tour for Riley Blake. I'll be sharing three new garment makes, one from a Love Notions pattern and the others from Sinclair Patterns, from these fabrics, plus a solid grey that is already stitched up.
knit fabric |
I can share this Harper cardigan I made as a test, before making the version for the blog hop. I bought this sweater knit last year to make a different cardigan, but when it arrived I discovered it wasn't as wide as most garment fabric, so there wasn't enough. Lesson learned - check the fabric width before ordering! The Harper (a free pattern from Sinclair) has different length options, though, so I could just barely squeak out a cropped version.
Cropped Harper cardigan |
Because I was so focused on fitting all the pieces on the fabric I had, I wasn't paying attention when I cut the sleeves and I forgot to flip the pattern piece over for the second one. That meant I had two right sleeves (or two left, I'm not sure)...whomp, whomp...and no extra fabric to cut a replacement. After staring at it for a while, I figured I might as well keep going so I'd at least be able to tell how well the cardigan fit, even if one of the sleeves was weird. Luckily for me, the shape of the sleeves isn't all that different from the front to the back, so it isn't weird at all! I love wearing it and I'm so glad I didn't just give up when I realized my mistake.

Aside from all the sewing I've been doing, I'm also thinking a lot about next year and what goals I want to set. I've been designing more quilts, too. I've added at least two to my to-make list the past week or so, which explains why that list never gets any shorter 😊

How many things are you working on right now? And how many are you dreaming about??

November 23, 2020

Crowd Noise

 Devotion for the Week...

Have you ever been in a group of people where everyone is talking, sharing their ideas or telling their stories and you have something to say but it's impossible to get a word in edgewise? It's so frustrating, isn't it? Especially if you're more prone to being quiet and letting others speak rather than pushing yourself to the forefront. It's hard to feel like your voice and your contribution matter when everyone is always speaking over you.

Now, just think about how many people are praying at any given moment. It's a mind-boggling number, right? And yet God can hear us. All at the same time. We're never told to wait in line, to take turns, to worry about whether or not someone else is already talking to Him.

Here are a few verses to consider:

"In those days when you pray, I will listen" (Jeremiah 29:12)

"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

"And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for" (1 John 5:14-15)

"Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere" (Ephesians 6:18).

Major League Baseball had crowd noise piped in during their games this year, to make up for the fact that there were no actual fans there. When you read the phrase 'crowd noise,' you can imagine the sound, can't you? It's that constant buzz created by the chatter of thousands of people. Now imagine the crowd noise created by the millions of people being persistent in their prayers right now as you read this. Imagine trying to get a word in edgewise in that conversation!

I don't understand how it's possible, but God doesn't hear crowd noise. He can be fully present in every conversation at all times or He would have told us to use some kind of schedule or mediator so we could be sure He was paying attention when we were talking to Him. Instead, He tells us to pray at all times and on every occasion and He assures us that He hears us whenever we pray. 
Our prayers aren't just crowd noise to God |
Background quilt is Windows

I find it reassuring to know our prayers aren't just crowd noise to God!

November 20, 2020

Flower Path Pattern Release

I'm always excited when it's pattern release day, but this one is doubly exciting 😊 Flower Path is my 10th pattern release for 2020, which means I have met my biggest goal for the year! Happy dance, happy dance!

Flower Path was originally published in Make Modern last year and the pattern is now expanded to include a 48" square baby quilt size along with the 60" x 68" size shown here.
Flower Path quilt pattern |
I love playing with orange peel shapes. They're so bold, especially in bright colours like this red and yellow, but they're also really simple to cut out and to stitch around. That makes them great if you're not quite comfortable with machine applique yet. And if you are comfortable, they make for a quick sew 😊

I made my Flower Path quilt using Foundations fabrics from Island Batik. The red and yellow are incredibly vibrant against the mottled dark blue, which is called Storm and is in my top 3 favourite Island Batik fabrics, for sure.

All of the piecing and quilting is done with Aurifil 50 wt thread, of course, and there's Warm and Natural batting inside. Together they make for a soft and cozy quilt. When Zach had soccer games on a chilly Saturday morning last month, this was one of the quilts we took to wrap up in. A friend said it was too pretty to be out at the soccer field and I just laughed. They can all go in the washer, I told her 😊 I love using my quilts whenever we can!
Flower Path quilt pattern |
To celebrate the pattern release, Flower Path will be available at its introductory price now through November 28th. Printed patterns are a pre order and will ship once they arrive from the printer. PDF patterns are available for download immediately after purchase, of course.

Buy Flower Path - PDF

PRE ORDER Flower Path - printed (free shipping)

Thank you for your support of my pattern business this year  - for buying patterns, writing reviews in my Etsy shop, commenting here or on social media posts and for pinning images to help spread the word to other quilters who don't know about Devoted Quilter patterns yet. I appreciate you so much!
Flower Path quilt pattern |

November 16, 2020


 Devotion for the Week...

There have been so many thought provoking and moving social media posts and graphics since Kamala Harris became the VP-elect of the US. One, which I can't find now, had thumbnail headshots of all the former VPs, with a full body picture of Harris on the right side. Three of the former VPs were circled in different colours and the caption at the bottom said "Until the red circle, she would have been a slave girl. Until the blue circle, she couldn't vote. Until the green circle, she would have attended a segregated school." For all of those years, she would have been discounted immediately, and not only from discussions of who could be vice president.

Discount, in this sense, means "regard (a possibility, fact, or person) as being unworthy of consideration because it lacks credibility," according to Oxford Languages. It's dismissing a person without giving any thought to their abilities or intelligence, because obviously there can't be any of either because they are ____. You can fill in the blank with any number of possibilities that people use as an excuse to dismiss others, whether it's their skin colour, their gender, their age or their education.

Discounting people is nothing new. I stumbled upon an example of it in the Bible this past week. In 1 Samuel 16 we read, "Now the Lord said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king" (v. 1). Samuel did as God commanded and had Jesse bring his sons to him, but when Samuel considered each of Jesse's boys, God said he was not the one He had chosen (vv. 6-10). Can you imagine Samuel's confusion as he looks at Jesse's sons standing in front of him, all of whom God has rejected...after God told him specifically that He had chosen one of Jesse's sons?

Then Samuel turns to Jesse. I picture Samuel with his brows drawn together and his head cocked to the side, his face the very picture of "I don't understand what's going on here, but..." as he said, "Are these all the sons you have?" (v. 11).

To which Jesse replied, "There is still the youngest...But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats" (v. 11). Samuel told him to send for David and when he arrived, God said, "This is the one; anoint him" (v. 12).

Was it his age that made Jesse discount David? Or was it not worth the bother to bring him home from where he was watching the sheep? We don't know, but for whatever reason, Jesse didn't even consider that David might have been the son God had chosen to be king.

Have you ever been discounted by someone? Maybe a teacher or a coach or even a parent didn't consider you worthy of some job or task. Or maybe someone you wanted to be friends with dismissed you without even getting to know you.

Of course, it's not only other people who discount us. Sometimes we discount ourselves, thinking, "I could never do that," whatever that might be. 

What we can learn from the story of David's anointing to be king is that God doesn't discount us. He knows what we are capable of, even when others don't think we're capable of anything. He knows who we can be, even when we're convinced we'll never be anything more than we are right now. When Jesse presented his first son, God told Samuel, "Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (v. 7). God doesn't worry about whether people think we're too young, or that a woman can't do the job or that a person of colour can't possibly be qualified. He knows that none of that outward stuff matters at all.
God sees our possibilities |
Background quilt is Blowing in the Wind
God sees our possibilities and counts us in for all the things we could do because of who He made us to be.

November 14, 2020

UFOvember - It's in the Bag!

How many UFOs do you have? I'm too scared to count, so we'll just say...A LOT 😄 Bobbie, of Geeky Bobbin, is hosting UFOvember to inspire us to take control of those unfinished objects and maybe even turn some of them into finished objects. Rather than counting my UFOs, I decided to tackle one of them and get it completely finished. I planned first to finish the two guitar quilts, but I really, really don't want to piece the battings for them, so I ordered batting instead and it didn't arrive in time for this challenge. I had another UFO on my list of 2020 goals, though, so I pulled that out to finish.

I started my Quilter's Planner Bag in the summer of 2018, when the pattern designed by Amy Barickman was in the Quilter's Planner magazine. To really personalize it, I decided to go crazy with free motion quilting on the front and back panels. I got the front one finished pretty quickly, but then the back got set aside so I could work on something with a deadline and then it just never got picked up again. I'd see it sitting in my cupboard now and then, but there was always something else to work on, until Bobbie's challenge gave me a deadline for finishing the bag. It's amazing how motivating a deadline can be!
Quilter's Planner bag |
The outside of the bag is my favourite Northcott blue solid and I quilted it with Aurifil 4140. Luckily I had a partial spool of it, so I didn't have to change colours since nowhere local to me carries Aurifil and I wouldn't have had time to order it once I decided this would be the UFO I'd finish. I used Hobb's Thermore batting. It's super thin, so it didn't add much to the bag, but it did give it some structure and added definition to the quilting.

The front of the bag is done with flow quilting, using some of my favourite motifs, shown above. I thought about doing the same for the back, but wanted to try something different, so I divided the panel into sections. Then I quilted each section with a different motif. 
Quilter's Planner bag |
I realized partway through quilting the third section that the front panel and the first two sections of the back were quilted on my Kenmore machine, before I bought the Janome 6700 I'm using now. That means I have two projects that were partly quilted on both machines - this one and my Multiplication quilt, which I was working on when I bought the Janome.

For the sides, the bottom and the strap, I put all the pieces side by side on a piece of the Thermore and quilted them with quick back and forth lines.
Quilter's Planner bag |
I used a grey and blue Moda Grunge fabric for the lining. The lining has interfacing on the back, to give the bag more structure. I didn't have any interfacing, except the dozens of orange peel shapes I cut out back when I made my Divided quilt. I had thought I'd use the interfacing method to make the orange peels, until I realized that the white interfacing would show at the edges. Since the fabrics for the orange peels were all dark, I really didn't want that. I didn't want to throw out the interfacing, either, so it has been sitting ever since, just waiting to be used. I've used a few pieces for other projects, but this was definitely the most I used all at once. Thanks to the combination of Thermore batting and the interfacing, the bag feels nice and sturdy.

It has pockets, too! There's a large pocket and a small one.
Quilter's Planner bag |
Thanks, Bobbie, for the push to get this UFO moved into the finished category 😊 It's so much easier to use now than it was when it was stuck in a cupboard in pieces!

There's plenty of other inspiration coming all month long. Check out what these quilters are doing about their UFO situations:

  • November 1 - Bobbie Gentili -
  • November 2 - Becca Fenstermaker -
  • November 3 - Joanne Kerton -
  • November 4 - Sue Griffiths -
  • November 5 - Ashli Montgomery -
  • November 6 - Anne Boundy -
  • November 7 - Sarah Ruiz -
  • November 8 - Teresa Weaver -
  • November 9 - Karen Brown -
  • November 10 - Bobbi Bridgeman -
  • November 11 - Raylee Bielenberg -
  • November 12 - Althea Gyde -
  • November 13 - Kenzy Hogan -
  • November 14 - Leanne Parsons -
  • November 15 - Jessica Caldwell -
  • November 16 - Laureen Smith -
  • November 17 - Karen Kehl -
  • November 18 - Stacey H -
  • November 19 - Cinzia White -
  • November 20 - Laura Piland -
  • November 21 - Rachel M -
  • November 22 - Kathryn LeBlanc -
  • November 23 - Judit Hajdu -
  • November 24 - Lyra McCabe -
  • November 25 - Jill Therriault -
  • November 26 - Cristina De Miranda -
  • November 27 - Kate Starcher -
  • November 28 - Valerie Prideaux -
  • November 29 - Kim Mastromartino -
  • November 30 - Natalia Knowlton -
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