April 12, 2021

The Only Right Way

 Devotion for the Week...

When I first learned how to properly put a binding on a quilt, it was sewn to the front by machine, then stitched to the back by hand. This, I believed, was the only right way to bind a quilt. When I taught some friends to quilt, I insisted they had to finish the binding by hand, even though one of them positively hated hand stitching. It wasn't until I had been quilting for over 15 years that I decided to try finishing the binding on my machine, for a set of placemats, and then I was converted. It's so much faster! And it looks just as good, especially with practice.

I should have known better than to insist there was only one right way to bind a quilt, since I had also at one time thought that quilting by hand was the only right way and machine quilting was cheating. Of course, then I tried machine quilting and fell in love with it, which quickly changed my tune! I have since learned to pray, "Lord, save me from ever again thinking my way is the only right way to do anything."

It seems Paul had encountered some Romans who felt their way of serving God was the only right way and he wanted to set them straight. "Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them...In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God" (Romans 14:1-3, 5-6).

It's all too easy to get caught in the trap of thinking our way is the only right way, isn't it? In some cases, this is true...we can't please God if we're lying to people all day long...but in most cases there are multiple right answers. Church service on Saturday night and sports on Sunday? That works. Sunday morning service, then off to work for the rest of the day? That works, too. Church every other week, and working the other week? That's good, too. None of those options is more spiritual than the others. None of them is more right than the other.

This applies to so many things! I once heard a pastor say he would ask a man to leave if he were wearing a baseball hat in church. Why? Does wearing a hat mean he doesn't love God? I realize the convention is that men remove their hats in church, but is it worth kicking him out over? To me, that feels very much like "my way is the only right way."

Notice that the things Paul gives as examples aren't the basics of theology. Those are non-negotiable. Paul isn't saying we can create our own theology. Instead, he's saying that we take what we know of God, which we learn from the Bible, and apply it to the decisions we make about how to live our lives and how to best serve Him. Ultimately, this is about how we serve Him, not about serving ourselves and our own convenience.
Is what I'm doing acceptable to God? | DevotedQuilter.com
As the test of whether or not what we are doing is right, Paul says in verse 5, "You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable." It's important to note that doesn't mean we should be fully convinced it's the easiest thing or that we just do what we want without considering God's view of it. Paul means we should be fully convinced that what we're doing is acceptable to God. If we are so convinced, then we can carry on. And then, when we encounter others who are also fully convinced that what they do is acceptable to God - even if we disagree - we allow them to carry on as well.

April 08, 2021

TGIFF - Respect the Power Tool

Welcome to Thank Goodness it's Finally Finished! For me this week, it's more a case of thank goodness it's finally photographed and blogged, since I actually finished this months ago, but the same feeling applies 😊

When Sam Hunter released her line of embroidery patterns, I was thrilled to see she had included her "Respect the Power Tool" graphic and bought it almost immediately, even though I really didn't need another hand stitching project. That didn't stop me from starting it right away, either, with the pattern increased to 150%.
Respect the Power Tool embroidery | DevotedQuilter.com
I love Jenny of Elefanz and her beautiful embroidery projects, which often feature tiny applique elements. With that inspiration in mind, I cut the sewing machine and the tiny spool of thread out of scraps of fabric. The mottled black fabric and the gold thread for the sewing machine were chosen to mimic my two Singer treadle machines.
Respect the Power Tool embroidery | DevotedQuilter.com
I used Aurifil 12 wt for all of the stitching. I chose orange for the thread spool as a nod to both Aurifil, for their orange 50 wt spools, and to Sam Hunter, since she's vocal about her love for orange. 
Respect the Power Tool embroidery | DevotedQuilter.com
I picked up a black 8x10 frame from the dollar store and I love how the embroidery looks framed! It hangs in our kitchen, right by the hutch where I keep my sewing machine 😊
Respect the Power Tool embroidery | DevotedQuilter.com
Side note, we were out of town yesterday, which meant about 4 hours total driving. I realized shortly after we left that, while I had my temperature quilt pieces to work on and my sew together bag that holds my hand stitching essentials, there were some essentials missing from the bag. Most notably, my scissors were sitting on the table by the chair in the living room, so I had no way to cut thread 😞 A stop at a fabric shop was already included in the day's plan and I figured I'd buy a cheap pair of scissors so I could at least stitch on the way home. I was thrilled to find these LDH thread snips at the fabric shop and snapped them up right away. Not only are they wonderful to use, they look great as a photography prop, too!

I have big plans to use Sam's graphic again, this time in a way I can wear an d proclaim my love of sewing everywhere I go. There are just so many projects lined up in head, I'm not sure when I'll actually get to it!

That's my finish, so now it's your turn! What have you finished recently (or at least found time to share recently, lol)? I'm looking forward to seeing and celebrating your finishes with you! As a reminder, much as we all love to see WIPs, this linky party is intended for finished projects.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

April 06, 2021

Rain Will Make the Flowers Grow - Quilt Block Mania

It's Quilt Block Mania day again! This month the theme is Rain and I have to admit that it took me quite a while to come up with an idea for a block. In the end, though, I'm thrilled with this fun block 😊
Rain will make the flowers grow quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
When I first designed it, I thought I would embroider the letters, but then I remembered the crayon technique that I used in this mini quilt. You can find the full tutorial in that post, if you've never tried colouring your quilts with crayons.
Rain will make the flowers grow quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
After the wax is removed, the letters have a soft look.
Rain will make the flowers grow quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
Once the letters were finished, I dug through my scraps to choose colours for the flowers and a few different blues for the raindrops, then fused everything in place using Heat n Bond Lite. This is one of the reasons I keep even itty-bitty scraps, lol.
Rain will make the flowers grow quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
Rain will make the flowers grow quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
All while I was cutting the pieces, I debated if I would stitch around the flowers right away or leave it to be done with the quilting. As you can see, leaving it to be done with the quilting won, so my flowers are unstitched for now. I often do this with applique because only stitching around them once saves time compared with stitching them down and then quilting them separately. I may have infinite patience for quilting, but I don't have infinite time! Case in point, I haven't had time to quilt this yet, but I'm hoping to get it done soon. We have a space in our kitchen that fits a 12" mini quilt perfectly and this would look great hung there for the rest of the spring.
Rain will make the flowers grow quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
If you want to make your own Rain Will Make the Flowers Grow block (or mini quilt!), you can get the free pattern download by entering your email address here. Doing so will also subscribe you to The Bulletin, which I send out twice a month. I hope you'll enjoy reading it!

As always, there's an abundance of blocks from the Quilt Block Mania designers, so hop around and gather them all up. You can also join the QBM FB group.

Rainbow of raindrops by Carolina Moore
Raindrops by Perkins Dry Goods
Rainy Day Walk Home by The Quilted Diary
Raindrop by Blockofthemodotcom
I Love Rainy Days by Heidi Pridemore
Petrichor by Althea Gyde
Gray Skies are Gonna Clear Up by Blue Bear Quilts
Rain from Heaven by Faith and Fabric
Umbrella and Gumboots by Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
April Showers by QuiltFabrication
Pouring Rain by Patti's Patchwork
Spring Crocus by PhoebeMoon Designs
Playing in the Rain by Puppy Girl Designs
Rainy Day by Studio R Quilts
Rain Showers by Slice of Pi Quilts
Rain by Oh Kaye Quilting
Doves in the rain by Sara Flynn
April Showers by Inquiring Quilter
Rain Will Make the Flowers Grow by Devoted Quilter
I've Got Sunshine on a Rainy Day
Let it Rain
Splish-Splash by Pretty Piney Quilts
April Showers by Cotton Street Commons
Rain on the Window