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

March 04, 2019

Would I Be Willing to Do This?

Devotion for the Week...

Our boys are usually the ones responsible for bringing in the wood we use in our wood burning furnace during the winter. Since the weather in the winter isn't always great for outdoor work, I have one standard I use for deciding when to send them out to bring in the wood - would I be willing to work outside in this weather? When it's really windy, the answer is probably no because the wind chill would make it too unpleasant. If it's fairly cold, but there's no wind, the answer is yes, I would, so out they go. To be honest, usually when I'm sending them out, I'm also wishing I could join them since I really enjoy bringing in wood! Alas, indoor work usually gets in the way.

'Would I be willing to do this?' is not a bad standard for when you're tempted to ask someone else to do anything. If you're not willing to do it, why are you willing to make them do it?

It would seem God thinks 'would I be willing to do this?' is a good standard, too. Consider this story Jesus told: "When Jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner were trying to sit in the seats of honor near the head of the table, he gave them this advice: 'When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited? The host will come and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table! Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, ‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’ Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted'” (Luke 14:10).

Jesus often needed to correct His disciples for their inclination to worry about being honoured, which is exactly what He was doing with this story as He saw everyone trying to get the best seats at the dinner party. People aren't much different now, are they? We all want to be 'properly' honoured or given what feels to us like the right amount of attention and prestige. Just think about how easily we can be convinced that we need the 'prestige' version of a credit card or other service. We like to think of ourselves as important and worth the honour.

Jesus tells us that we're going about it all wrong. We should be humbling ourselves, not in a fake way that is really just a ploy to get people to correct us and so give us the honour we already know is due us, but we should honestly "Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3).

What does this have to do with the question, 'would I be willing to do this'? Well, Jesus is telling His followers to humble themselves, which most would consider a difficult way to live. Would He be willing to do it Himself or is He asking us to do something He wouldn't be willing to do? We find our answer just a couple of verses later in Philippians 2: "Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross" (vv. 6-8).

As in so many other things, Jesus is our model when it comes to humbling ourselves. Think of all the honour that is due Him as the Son of God. Then think of how He came into our world, born in a stable rather than the grand palace He deserved. Think of His life as the son of common people, trained as a carpenter like His earthly father and then ministering to the masses with "no place even to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). He never sought special treatment or special honours.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.com
Jesus' whole life is an amazing example of humility, capped by the ultimate example when He allowed Himself to be crucified so that He could save us. We have ample proof that He was willing to humble Himself just as He teaches us to do. Now it's up to us to follow His example.

March 02, 2019

Blogging Anniversary Sale

I can't believe it's my 6 year blogging anniversary! Where does the time go?? Since I don't think anyone was following me way back then, here are the posts from my first month of blogging, complete with my beginner free motion quilting progress. Note that the hexagon quilt in one of the posts is basted, but not yet quilted, lol. Maybe I should try to get that finished.

It has been an amazing 6 years, thanks to your comments and friendship 😊 Thank you for reading my thoughts and for being so enthusiastic about the (many) things I've made over years. Your support and encouragement have meant so much to me! And, of course, the inspiration from reading your blog posts and seeing your pictures on IG is one of the reasons my to-make list is several miles long.

To celebrate, I'm having a Blogging Anniversary Sale, with all of my patterns 25% off from now through March 6th with the coupon code 6YEARS.
DevotedQuilter.com

Shop the sale now!


Here's to the next 6 years! I hope we get to keep making things and sharing them together 😊

February 26, 2019

Scraps Squared Pattern Updated

In my quest to make all my patterns available in printed form, I've updated and expanded my Scraps Squared pattern. It now includes baby (48" x 48") and queen (90" x 90") size options, along with the original throw (60" x 72") size shown.
This is one of my favourite patterns because I love anything that lets me use up some of my scraps 😊 I don't know about you, but I could probably make 6 more of these without running out of scraps!

Sewing the 4 patches together is a great leaders and enders project, which is exactly how I made mine (plus all the ones I still have sitting in a baggie waiting to be used, lol).

You can get the updated Scraps Squared PDF pattern from my Etsy or Payhip shops. Printed patterns will be available soon.

What colour background would you use? I'm thinking a blue background would be great, though that would eliminate a good portion of my scraps, since blue is definitely dominant in my scrap bag!

February 25, 2019

Not Alone

Devotion for the Week...

Jesus told us straight out, "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows" (John 16:33). We won't all face the same things, but every single one of us will have problems of some sort. Unfortunately, some of the problems people face make them feel completely alone, separated from everyone, and like no one else has ever experienced the trouble they're facing. None of those things are true, but the feeling of it can be overwhelming.

I find that this is true, especially, of mental illness because of the stigma that has always been attached to it. People who are dealing with depression or anxiety often don't want to talk about it because it feels like a weakness or a character flaw in a way that having a physical illness doesn't.

Opening up to someone, though, can sometimes bring relief when you discover that the person you're talking with knows exactly what you feel. I saw that happen recently when I was a part of a conversation in which one person talked about his recent struggle with depression. Another person said to him, "If it's any comfort to you, I've been where you are and I came out on the other side." You could see the man's face change as those words sank in and he felt the hope that was in them.

I've been there. These are powerful words to someone who feels alone and lost.

I know a young woman who is walking the difficult road of infertility and who started a blog to document her journey in the hopes that it would help someone else to not feel alone. I know another woman with a chronic illness who posts often about her treatment on IG and FB and connects that way with others who have to have similar treatments so they can lift each other up. Connecting with others who understand the specifics of our situation can lessen the feelings of separation, of no one having gone through what we're going through. It can make us feel seen and understood rather than alone and lost.

Paul tells us that God "comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us" (2 Corinthians 1:4). His comfort is all around us, residing in people who understand what we are going through and can give us comfort through that understanding.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.com
Whatever you are facing today, know that you are not alone. Reach out to others and you may be surprised by the understanding and comfort you receive.

February 21, 2019

Wyoming Valley Block - IB February Challenge/Dust Off a Quilt Book Blog Hop

Note, the fabrics for this project were given to me by Island Batik as part of their ambassador program.

Welcome to my stop on the Dust Off a Quilt Book blog hop 😊 When Bea said she was planning this hop, it sounded like such a great idea I signed up right away. The only question then was, which old book would I use? I have so many great quilting books and magazines there's no way I'll ever use them all, but this was a great excuse to dig one out and make something from it, so thanks for the opportunity, Bea!

If this is your first time here, thanks for stopping by! If you're interested, I'd love to have you join in the Medallion Magic QAL. We're cutting our fabric this month, so there's plenty of time to get caught up before we start sewing next month. You can also sign up for The Bulletin, which I send out on the 16th of each month. It includes news from here, a favourite (or new favourite!) recipe and a few fun things to make. Subscribers also get my Wind Farm quilt pattern, which is only available to subscribers 😊

This quilt is also my February Island Batik ambassador challenge project. Our challenge this month was to create a mini quilt measuring less than 24" x 24". Mine is 12" x 12", so it definitely qualifies! Here's a peek:
Wyoming Valley quilt block mini | DevotedQuilter.com
I chose to use this book by Jinny Beyer. It's a gorgeous book full of eye candy and interesting snippets of information about the blocks and I highly recommend it.
The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns | DevotedQuilter.com
I figured it would take me forever to choose a block, since there are over 4000 blocks in the book and I'd have to consider them all before picking. But then I noticed I had a Post It flag sticking out partway through the book. And, when I opened to the page it marked, I found another Post It covering one block and the flag itself was covering the description of the block.
The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns | DevotedQuilter.com
 Apparently I chose the Wyoming Valley Block for something at some point in the past, but I can't remember when or why. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to make it!
Wyoming Valley quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
And here's my version 😊 I will say that reversing the light and dark from the block in the picture made it more difficult to get all the units laid out properly. I kept turning the HSTs the wrong way, thinking the blue should match up with the black in the block when really it was the cream that needed to match the black.
Wyoming Valley quilt block mini | DevotedQuilter.com
The orange and cream fabrics were both in the Stash Builder rolls in the Island Batik box of goodies that came a few weeks ago. The gorgeous aqua is from the Blossom line and was leftover from my Sparkler quilt. I don't have much of it left now and that makes me sad. It's such a fabulous colour!

I used my new Accuquilt to cut out all of the pieces for the block, which made quick work of the job. It also meant I had to sew four Y seams, since the orange pieces are parallelograms. It has been a few years since I last sewed Y seams, but I thought I remembered how to do it and the first two I sewed worked perfectly on the first try. The third one took a couple of tries and ended up with a bit of a ripple at the inner point of the Y, but I figured it would look fine once quilted. The fourth one took me more tries than I care to count! I took it apart so many times one evening that I just gave up and left it for another day. Then, when I tried it again, it took another couple of tries before I got it right. Phew! You'd think it would have gone the other way and they'd get easier as I went along, but that definitely wasn't the case. Thankfully, they all looked good in the end and they were even better once they were quilted 😊 I wouldn't even be able to tell you now which one it was that gave me so much trouble.
Wyoming Valley quilt block mini | DevotedQuilter.com
I used a scrap of Warm and Natural batting and I really think the batting scraps are taking lessons from the fabric scraps and have learned to reproduce when I'm not looking. How else would you explain the fact that I keep using batting scraps and yet there always seem to be more??

As per my usual, I worked out my quilting plan as I went. I quilted a quick dot to dot design in all of the cream print triangles first with Aurifil 2311, then did some quick back and forth lines in the orange parallelograms with 2210. I used 5005 to quilt the same dot to dot design in the aqua triangles that make up the center star, then filled the centers with micro stippling. Then I started doing some micro stippling in the rest of the aqua blocks. I hadn't gone far when my bobbin ran out and as I filled it I realized there was no way I'd have enough thread to finish all of the stippling. I don't have a local source for Aurifil, either, so there was no chance of getting more in time to finish for the blog hop. Oh no! I looked through my Gutermann thread and found a spool that was almost the same shade, so I used that in the bobbin and used the bobbin of Aurifil for the top. Saved! I even had enough of the Aurifil left to finish the binding, too.

I wanted something special for the center square, though, and I didn't have enough 5005 for it. Instead, I chose 2210 and quilted a flower, surrounded by more micro stippling. I love how it turned out! I think I even like it better than if I had used the matching thread I'd originally been planning.
Wyoming Valley quilt block mini | DevotedQuilter.com
And, of course, I love, love, love how the quilting looks on the back! I used Island Batik's Rice fabric for the back and I like the subtle spots of colour that show through the quilting in some places. They don't show up well in the pictures, so you'll just have to trust me that they're there and that they're very pretty.
Wyoming Valley quilt block mini | DevotedQuilter.com
Wyoming Valley quilt block mini | DevotedQuilter.com
Wyoming Valley quilt block mini | DevotedQuilter.com
 Be sure to hop over to visit all of the other bloggers taking part in the hop and see what they made from their old quilting books! Again, thanks to Bea for having such a fun idea and organizing the hop so I could make a mini I love so much 😊

Here's the full schedule for the hop...

Monday Feb 18th
Turid at densyendehimmel
Pamela at Pamelaquilts
Selina at Selinaquilts
Kathleen at Kathleenmcmusing

Tuesday Feb 19th
Jennifer at curlicuecreations
Stephanie at stephjacobsondesigns
Kathy at Kathysquilts
Shasta at high road quilter
Theresa at bumbleberrystitches


Wednesday Feb 20th
Sharon at Vrooman’s quilts
Suzy at Websterquilt
Nancy at patchworkbreeze
Karrin at karrinscrazyworld
Denise at craftraditions

Thursday Feb 21st
Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Jennifer at Dizzyquilter
Lee Anne at Podunk Pretties
Lyndsey at Sew Many Yarns

Friday Feb 22nd
Bea at Beaquilter
Barbara at Bejweledquilts
Marian at seams to be sew
Brenda at songbirddesigns

February 18, 2019

Escalating

Devotion for the Week...

You would think I'd be used to it by now, but I'm still amazed by just how often working with toddlers reinforces concepts found in the Bible. Just last week I read "A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare" (Proverbs 15:1) and immediately I could picture it.

It's a common occurrence for one child to be sitting and looking happily at a book, when another one leans over and touches the page, causing the first child to squawk loudly and yank the book out of their reach, which then makes the newcomer protest and try to grab the book to bring it back to where they can reach it. The book holder then gets even louder and pulls harder and on it goes until I intervene.

Biblical truths are so often evident in toddlers because, at 2 and 3 years old, they haven't yet learned the self control that society requires of us. They don't know to use their words rather than yanking things away or yelling incoherently when something is happening that they don't like.

Of course, even after we do learn that self control, 'harsh words' still surface sometimes and make tempers flare unnecessarily. We  don't squawk like a 2 year old, but we can lash out and when we do we often find that the person on the receiving end of our words lashes right back.

It's hard to respond to unpleasantness with a gentle answer, isn't it? It's natural to want to lash out in some way, which is precisely why we see toddlers doing it all the time, but all it does is escalate the situation.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.com
When I have to intervene with the kids, I usually start by pointing out who had the book or toy first, telling the newcomer that it's the other child's turn and they can have a turn in a few minutes. But then I also tell the child who has the book or toy that next time they need to use their words. They can either say, "It's my turn," or they can ask me for help. Either way, using calm words works so much better to keep everyone involved from getting angrier and angrier. It allows us to work towards a solution, rather than just reacting angrily to what is happening in the moment.

I wonder how different our world would look if everyone remembered this simple principle. "A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare" (Proverbs 15:1).
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