March 20, 2019

In Progress This Week

As always, there are a bunch of projects on the go at once around here 😊 One of them is a computer project for now, but it will likely result in a lot of sewing in the future. Sandra, of Musings of a Menopausal Melon, has started her 30 Quilt Designs 2019 challenge and I've jumped right in again. This is the fourth time I've participated in a 30 designs challenge and I'm still working on finishing projects from all three of the previous ones, lol. Here's my first design, which I created specifically to use the collection of colour-coordinated 4 patches I've made over the years as leaders and enders. Funny enough, Scraps Squared was also designed during one of these challenges to use that same collection of 4 patches, which seems to be never ending!
Of course, I realized after I posted it in the challenge FB group that at the size I've designed it, the 4 patch blocks would need to be 4" finished and mine are only 2"! I guess now I need to start making bigger 4 patches as leaders and enders!

On a completely different note, I'm sure you were as heartbroken as I was about the shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. The amount of hate some people feel just boggles my mind. If you're looking for a way to show love and support for the people affected by the attack, you can make a 6 ½" heart block (or several) to send. All of the instructions and the address for mailing the blocks can be found here.
Hearts for Christchurch |
I mailed my blocks yesterday and when the postmaster noticed that the envelope was going to New Zealand he made a comment about the sadness of the situation there. He is familiar with the concept of mailing quilt blocks for projects like this as he was the one dealing with the sudden surge of mail into our box two years ago, so I explained I was mailing blocks for people to make quilts for the families. He just nodded and said, "So you quilters are just like one big family then." 😊 Doesn't that do your heart good?

I've also been working on my Island Batik March challenge. The challenge this month is Vintage Reimagined, so we're to take a vintage quilt or pattern and make it more modern. I'm combining a blue Irish Chain and bright pinwheel blocks with Island Batik's solid white to make my quilt. All of the blocks are made, so now it's time to cut all of the sashing pieces and get to the assembly.
quilt blocks |
This will also be my contribution for Sarah's Hands 2 Help Comfort Quilt Challenge and it will be going to Victoria Quilts Canada. Are you participating in Hands 2 Help? Sarah has a variety of charities to choose from, so there's likely one that you would be interested in supporting and although the official sign up week is past, more participants are always welcome.

I'm also working on these placemats for my MIL. We won't talk about how these are her gift for Christmas 2018 (shhhh!).
Dresden plate |
I used the Missouri Star Layer Cake Dresden ruler, which I also used for my Dresden Log Cabin quilt back in November. I found I had a little extra fullness this time, so it took a lot of pins to tame the dresden in order to applique it to the background. There's still a bit of waviness, but I think I'll be able to quilt it into submission. When I made the center circle for the mini back in November, I used large basting stitches before pulling the fabric around the template and I found the circle wasn't really smooth. This time I used small basting stitches and the circles are much smoother around the edges.

I've been waiting for some navy Aurifil thread to arrive and it was in my mailbox this morning (along with some friends), so now I can get those center circles appliqued on. The navy thread is 2785, the aqua is 5005 and the cone is a replacement for my 2600 that is almost gone.
Aurifil thread |
That's what's keeping my occupied these days 😊 What are you working on?

March 18, 2019


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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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.
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