July 01, 2022

Sparkler in Imagine Fabrics

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Sparkler is one of my favourite quilts to make. I love how it showcases the fabrics, plus it's so fun to watch the sparkler blocks come together. Quilt photography at the beach is a lot of fun, too!
Sparkler quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
For this version I used Imagine fabrics, designed by Kristy Lea for Riley Blake, which is shipping to stores now. Kristy, of course, is one of the ladies behind Make Modern magazine, which I highly recommend (and not only because they publish my patterns! It's a fabulous digital magazine 😊)

Did you see my quilt notecards that launched last week? I think this picture would make a great card, too!
Sparkler quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
This is Kristy's third fabric line (see the quilts I made with Create and Dream, too) and my fourth version of Sparkler. Click the links to see the original Sparkler, the blue one I made for Paul and the Snow Day baby size version.

Get the Sparkler pattern in my shop as either a PDF or a printed pattern (with free shipping). The pattern includes the throw size I've made here as well as baby and queen sizes.
Sparkler quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
We went on our first hike of the season this week and I saw my first dragonfly of the year while we were out on the hills overlooking the ocean. It's so much fun watching dragonflies dart around! I once had one land on my shoulder while we were camping, which was pretty cool.
Sparkler quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
Paul was my photography assistant and when he saw me setting up this picture, he came over to add his coffee mug as a prop 😆
Sparkler quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com

Sparkler quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
I love this print, with it's colour wheel of little shapes. In fact, I loved it so much I used it in white, green, orange and purple!
Sparkler quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
The purple looked perfect with these little beach pea plants.
Sparkler quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
Finishing at 52" wide, Sparkler was the perfect size to use one of the off-cuts of Warm and Natural batting from making a previous quilt. Yay for not needing to piece scraps together, but still getting to use some of the scrap batting!

I considered using white or grey thread for the quilting, but then I thought of using yellow (Aurifil 1135) and I'm so glad I did. The yellow just adds a little extra glow to it. I also considered doing custom quilting, with one motif in the coloured sparklers, another in the white ones and something else in the grey sashing. Then I remembered that a) I had a deadline for when to post the finished quilt and b) the forecast was calling for some very hot days. Since I don't have air conditioning, I don't quilt much when it's hot, which meant I needed a quick quilting option. As a bonus, the double loop quilting reminds me of the way dragonflies fly (they never fly straight for long!) and kind of echoes the circles of that colour wheel print.
Sparkler quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
I used the teal shooting stars print for the binding. I love how it frames the quilt and the shooting stars scattered around the edge of the quilt.
Sparkler quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
Sparkler is a confident beginner friendly pattern that comes together nice and quickly. There aren't any points to match up, either! Get the pattern now in my shop (PDF or printed) and don't forget to check your LQS for Imagine fabrics or you can get it online here.

June 27, 2022

Enjoying Life

Devotion for the Week...

Before I go into today's devotion, I want to let you know that this will be my last new devotion until September as it has become my tradition to take the summer off from devotion writing. I'll still be sharing quilt posts over the summer, but it's nice to take some time and just let my Bible reading thoughts steep for a while rather than needing a new devotion every week 😊 I may sometimes re-post an old devotion, but I haven't decided for sure if I'll be doing that. 

I am currently reading a chapter of Ecclesiastes each morning. Solomon writes a lot about everything being meaningless, "like chasing the wind" he says in chapter 1, verse 14. But then suddenly at the end of chapter 5, he takes a different view. "Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past" (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20).

I love that last sentence! "God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past." That's the kind of person I want to be! I want to be so busy enjoying the life I have that I don't have time to brood, or focus negatively, on anything.

So what is it that Solomon says gives people this kind of life? It's not that they have everything money can buy or that they never have to work a day in their lives. It's not even that they don't have any troubles. After all, we all know there isn't a person alive who has no troubles their entire life. Instead, Solomon says that it is people who enjoy their work and accept their lot in life who are too busy enjoying life for anything else to get in the way.

I have to confess that I don't always enjoy my work. Looking after toddlers can be hard. It can be monotonous, for sure, and it can be irritating. Not to mention it's work and I'd rather be doing something fun like quilting or reading. On the days I do enjoy my time with the kids, though, the day goes by faster and there's just a lot more joy. Usually, whether or not I enjoy the day has less to do with the kids and more to do with my attitude. If I'm focused on what I'd rather be doing, there's not much joy in my day at all. Being aware of our own attitude could do wonders for our enjoyment of our work, as a general principle.

As for accepting our lot in life, that is also mostly a question of attitude. I've known people who had hard lives, but still seem to radiate joy. It's not that they pretended things were perfect when they weren't, but rather that they chose to focus on the good. Then, because they were looking for the good, they always seemed to find something good to focus on, which kept them from dwelling on the negative. On the flip side, I've also known people who seemed like they had great lives who were miserable (and made the people around them miserable, too) because they focused on every little negative thing.
God blesses us all the time, in ways big and small | DevotedQuilter.com
People who have their attitudes focused on finding the good in their lives and finding enjoyment in their work, just don't have time to be negative. God blesses us all the time, in ways big and small. The question is whether or not we focus on those blessings. If we do, then He will truly keep us so busy enjoying life that we don't have time to be negative.

June 20, 2022


Devotion for the Week...

We have been the janitors for our church for 10 years or so and for much of that time the boys have helped in some capacity, too. One day several years ago, we were driving to the church to clean and in response to a complaint one of the boys had made, I pointed out that they sure liked the things we were able to do as a family because of the money we earned cleaning the church. From the backseat, Nathan said, “But we don’t get money for cleaning the church.” 

“Oh, yes we do,” I said with a laugh. “I hate cleaning so we wouldn’t be doing this by ourselves every week if we weren’t getting paid for it.” 

He was only small at the time, so he didn’t yet understand the concept of money or of being paid to do work. He also never saw the cheque we were paid with, so there was no way he could have known about it. Maybe he thought we took care of the church out of the goodness of our hearts?? I love remembering those funny moments from when they were little.

As adults, we understand the concept of being paid for work, but salvation isn’t a payment for things we have done. Instead, it is a gift from God, who does give it to us out of the goodness of His heart. “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).
Isn’t it a relief to know that we don’t have to earn our salvation? | DevotedQuilter.com
Isn’t it a relief to know that we don’t have to earn our salvation? If we really think about it, we know that nothing we could do would ever be worthy of it anyway. Actually, the things we do are the reason we need salvation in the first place! So God, in His great mercy, gives us salvation as a free gift, available to anyone and everyone who simply believes in Jesus.