January 15, 2019

Medallion Magic QAL - Part 1

Today's the day!! It's time for the Medallion Magic QAL to start! Yay!
Medallion Magic QAL | DevotedQuilter.com
Can you tell I'm excited, lol?

I have some great prizes lined up so I want to take a minute to thank our wonderful sponsors before we get into the first part of the QAL.

Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts is sponsoring winner's choice of any printed pattern (in the US) or PDF pattern (international).

Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts is sponsoring winner's choice of 2 PDF patterns

Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl is sponsoring winner's choice of 2 PDF patterns

Make Modern magazine is sponsoring a 6 month subscription

Kristy at Quiet Play is sponsoring a year's subscription to the Quiet Play Pattern Club
Tish at Tish's Adventures in Wonderland is sponsoring copies of her patterns.

And I'm sponsoring winner's choice of 2 PDF patterns as well 😊

Now let's get to the quilt! Here's my original version, made in Northcott fabrics.
Medallion Magic quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
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!

For this first month we have three tasks:
  • get a copy of the pattern. PDF copies are available through my Etsy or Payhip shops. Printed patterns are also available through my Etsy shop so you can have your pick of formats.
  • gather your fabrics
  • share you fabric choices on your blog or on IG (use #medallionmagicQAL) and link up to this post before February 15th for your chance to win. If you don't have a blog and aren't on IG, you can email me a picture to share and I'll include it for you.
To make things even more fun, I have some 'getting to know you' questions/fill in the blanks for you to answer when you share your fabrics. You can answer any or all of them, in as much or as little detail as you want 😊 Since it's the people we're sewing with that make the party fun, let's get to know each other better!

Here are the questions:
  • If I can't be sewing, I want to be _____.
  • What's your favourite meal? I'm bored of all our usual meals, so links to recipes would be greatly appreciated!
  • What's your favourite sweet treat? Again, recipes would be lovely!
  • Do you watch or listen to anything while you sew?
  • What's your favourite technique? Applique? Foundation paper piecing? EPP? FMQ?

I've been waiting for weeks to share my fabrics for my new QAL version of Medallion Magic and now I finally can 😊 Aren't they gorgeous?
Island Batik fabrics for Medallion Magic | DevotedQuilter.com
Thank you to Island Batik for sponsoring the fabrics for the QAL! The white fabric is from the Foundations line and it's called Almond. It will be my background instead of the dark brown in the original. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around how completely different the two quilts will look with such different backgrounds.

The rest of the fabrics are from the Paisley Park line. The three to the right will be the main fabrics, with the dark purple replacing the blue and the others in place of the greens. The three fabrics on the left will only be used in small bits in the strip blocks. The blues and greens in the original quilt were all solids, so I'm looking forward to making a print version. I've always loved how changing the fabrics can change the look of a quilt pattern and I think this version is going to be beautiful.

Now for my answers to the questions 😊
  • If I can't be quilting, I want to be outside hiking or snowshoeing, depending on the season. Or maybe snuggled under a quilt reading a good book. Or baking something. Or going for a run. Or playing a game with Paul and the boys. Or walking along a beach...Pretty much anything except cleaning!
  • My favourite meal is spaghetti and meatballs, but I don't use a recipe for either one. The meatballs are ground beef, crushed soda crackers, an egg, steak spice, garlic powder, oregano and grated Parmesan cheese mixed together, rolled into balls and cooked in a frying pan until no longer pink. The sauce is tomato sauce, minced garlic, basil and oregano and sliced mushrooms. Mix it all together in a pot, bring to a boil and then simmer for a couple of hours, with the meatballs in the sauce.
  • Oh, how to choose a favourite sweet? I love so many! I'd have to say it's Cookie Dough Truffles, which I make so much easier by putting the cookie dough mixture in a 9x13 pan, covering with the chocolate and then cutting into bars. They taste the same, but they take sooo much less time.
  • Sometimes I listen to music or to an audiobook while I sew. Sometimes I watch an episode of Gilmore Girls, but I'm on the last season so I'm soon going to need something new to watch. A lot of the time, though, I don't watch or listen to anything, maybe because babysitting toddlers is a loud job and it's nice to have some quiet in the evenings.
  • I love the magic of piecing a quilt top together and I love machine applique, but I think my favourite technique has to be free motion quilting. It's amazing how it can change the look of a quilt top entirely. Plus, it's just a lot of fun!

Prizes available this month are patterns from Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl, patterns from Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts and patterns from me. The three prizes will be drawn randomly from all those who link up their fabric selections. Remember that if you don't have a blog and you aren't on IG, email me your picture and I'll link it up for you.

So, grab your pattern (Etsy or Payhip PDF or Etsy printed), pick your fabrics and share them in the linky before Febraury 15th 😊

I can't wait to see what fabrics you choose for your Medallion Magic!

January 14, 2019

They Know

Devotion for the Week...

Have you ever been around someone and felt that they didn't like you? It's not a nice feeling. I thought of that feeling a few days ago when I read Luke 15:1,2 which says, "Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!"

Can you feel the contempt the Pharisees and teachers of religious law felt towards the 'tax collectors and other notorious sinners'? Their horror at the thought of sharing a meal with such people is obvious and you can almost see them recoil. You can be sure there were sneers on their faces whenever they talked about these sinners.

Now imagine you are one of those tax collectors or that you've done something to make them lump you in with the notorious sinner group. I doubt the Pharisees and teachers of religious law bothered to hide their contempt and disrespect, in fact, I have the feeling that the Pharisees were quite open about their feelings, so the sinners knew what they thought of them. If you were one of those being so judged, how would you feel?

If it were me, I wouldn't feel at all inclined to be around those Pharisees and teachers. I wouldn't want to listen to what they had to say or to do what they said to do. That's pretty sad when you consider that the Pharisees and teachers were the religious leaders of the day. They were the ones who were supposed to be helping people come closer to God. I don't think they were very good at that job.

Jesus, on the other hand, attracted such people. Why? Because there was no contempt in His voice when he spoke about them or when He spoke to them. There were no sneers on His face and He didn't pull back at the thought of being near them. In fact, He willingly touched those that others wouldn't dream of touching, as shown when He touched a leper to heal him.

It was because of His obvious respect for them that the people often came to listen to Him teach. They were drawn to this man who could talk about the holiness of God while at the same time showing love and compassion to those who lived lives full of mistakes and failures.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.com
Who are we more like? Do people feel love, compassion and acceptance when they're around us? Or do they feel disrespect, contempt and loathing?

If we want to draw others closer to God, we have to first make it so they want to draw close enough to us to listen as we talk about Him.

January 10, 2019

New Printed Patterns and a Little Change

I have two new sets of printed patterns! It's so exciting to open up a box from the printer when it arrives 😊 Apparently I have a thing for blue patterns. Who would have expected that, lol? I swear I auditioned a bunch of different colours, but these pretty blue shades just looked the best. Who am I to argue?

Here's Reach for the Stars
Reach for the Stars quilt pattern | www.devotedquilter.com
and Medallion Magic.
Medallion Magic quilt pattern | www.DevotedQuilter.com
Only 5 more days until the Medallion Magic QAL starts! Will you be joining me? You can get a PDF version of the pattern from my Etsy or Payhip shops and I'll have the printed version added to my Etsy shop soon. I have some great prizes lined up and I am so excited to see new versions of Medallion Magic, not to mention getting to make another version myself 😊

In other news, I know I've mentioned this before...my usual response whenever I don't know how to do something is to put it off. I've been doing that for almost 2 years (!) with one blog task I wanted to tackle. I bought the domain name DevotedQuilter.com back when Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs discovered that someone had already bought meadowmistdesigns.com, meaning that she couldn't use that if she wanted to remove the .blogspot part of her blog address. At the time, I wanted to be sure I could have DevotedQuilter.com, so I bought it, but I didn't have any idea how to go about making the change. So I put it off and put it off and put it off.

Then today I decided I wanted business cards. I sent a picture of a mock business card to a couple of friends and one of them mentioned removing the .blogspot, especially since a batch of business cards will last a long time and I could potentially have the wrong address on my cards for years if I print them with the .blogspot and then change. That was all the nudge it took! Well, that and Laura's assurance that it's actually pretty simple to do, lol. And she was right! So, if you'll look up at the address bar, you'll see that I am now located at www.DevotedQuilter.com! Happy dance, happy dance! 😊 It's funny how it feels so different with the .blogspot taken out, don't you think?

You'd think I'd learn my lesson and just tackle these intimidating things as they crop up rather than putting them off for so long, especially since they're almost never as difficult as I think they're going to be. We'll see if this is finally the one that makes that lesson stick.

Now I should go work on getting all of those new patterns into their resealable bags. Have a great weekend!

January 08, 2019

Island Batik Getaway Blog Hop

The Island Batik Getaway blog hop has begun! All month long my fellow ambassadors and I will be showcasing the new Island Batik fabric lines with our projects. These fabric lines are the ones that were secret in our second big box of fabric back in July. You'll see mine on the 23rd and I can't wait to show it to you. I love, love, love the fabric line. In fact, my blog hop quilt is the second thing I made with it, but I can't share the first one until the spring 😊

While you're waiting to see my blog hop project, check out the other ambassador's projects. I'll try to keep the list updated with links directly to the blog hop posts as they're published. There's also a giveaway on the Island Batik blog, so you'll certainly want to head over there to enter!

Monday, January 7 - Crystal Ball

Tuesday, January 8  - Ditty

Wednesday, January 9 - Elk Lodge

Thursday, January 10 - Feline Fine

Friday, January 11 - Flea Market

Monday, January 14 - Fortune Teller

Tuesday, January 15  - Gypsy Rose

Wednesday, January 16 - Paisley Park

Thursday, January 17 - Soul Song
Friday, January 18 - Twilight Chic

Monday, January 21 - Winter Park

Tuesday, January 22  - Bazaar

Wednesday, January 23 - Blossom

Thursday, January 24 - Boho

Friday, January 25 - Brookview

Monday, January 28 - French Blue

Tuesday, January 29  - Midsummer Night

Wednesday, January 30 - Oh Deer

Thursday, January 31 - Snow Berry  

Friday, February 1-  Candy Cane Lane and Icicle
Anne Wiens- Icicle - Sweetgrass Creative Designs

Barbara Gaddy - Candy Cane Lane  -Bejeweled Quilts by Barb

January 07, 2019

Being Still

Devotion for the Week...

Every morning a devotion from (in)courage pops into my inbox. I don't read every single one, but I do read a lot of them and I enjoy them. Back in November they shared a post about self-care and one phrase caught my attention. In reference to Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God," the author, Bonnie Gray, wrote, "the The Hebrew word for “be still” is raphah, which means “to loosen your grip, relax."

I've always had a rather literal interpretation of 'be still,' as in stop working on it, whatever it may be at any given moment. Stop working to solve your problem, stop trying to work everything out yourself. Just stop. The NASB translation, which says, "Cease striving," certainly fits with that literal interpretation.

But if raphah means to loosen your grip and to relax, then it actually goes a bit deeper than not working. It also means to stop worrying, to stop letting the situation swirl around in your mind endlessly. It means to let go of the problem and hand it over to God, who has better control over it anyway.

Raphah goes beyond physical stillness (not actively working to fix things) to the mental, emotional and spiritual (relaxing, experiencing calm despite the circumstances). After all, I could stop trying to fix a situation while at the same time still obsessing over it and worrying about how it will turn out. Raphah means that I relax my mind as much as I relax my efforts.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
When we're still, both in mind and body, we are better able to see how God is working in our lives and in our circumstances. In order to recognize His hand in our lives, we need to loosen our grip on everything. Otherwise we might be tempted to think that it was our worrying and our effort that accomplished everything when really it was Him.

"Be still, and know that I am God."

January 06, 2019

Getting Organized

One of my 2019 goals is to get my quilting stuff more organized. I haven't thought much yet about the fabric and tools side of it, but I need to figure that out soon. I found out this week that I've been accepted as an Island Batik ambassador again, which means I'm soon going to have another big box of fabric to play with that's going to need to go somewhere. Such a wonderful problem to have, right??
getting organized | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I have, however, created a bulletin board with all my current projects on it and space for the upcoming ones. I'm hoping this visual aid will help me decide what to commit to and also help me feel like I'm moving forward with the right things.

I've hung the board in our spare room (where the wallpaper is still the same as when we bought the house, lol. Renovations happen slowly around here!).
getting organized | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I started by printing out monthly calendars and writing all the deadlines I know of so far, along with my Medallion Magic QAL schedule (Will you be quilting along? We start on the 15th and I can't wait!!). As I'm writing this post, though, I realized I also need to note the months that I'm responsible for managing TGIFF and the weeks that I'll be hosting.
getting organized | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Since I'm usually piecing at least one project and quilting something else, they each get their own category. I haven't actually started quilting the pinwheel quilt that's listed here, but I'll need to get to one that soon in order to meet the deadline. I just need to quilt enough of Multiplication to free enough pins to baste the pinwheel quilt first. Anyone else have to juggle the basting pins like that?
getting organized | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
The 'write pattern' category is for new patterns that I haven't released yet, while 'update' is for my existing patterns that I want to get ready for printing. There are several more patterns in both categories, but three of each seemed like enough to have in my head at any one time. I'll just add a new one each time I finish one.

The upcoming category is for things that I know I need to get started on soon, but that I haven't actually started yet. I need to add a few things to this category, too. Nana's placemats are actually her Christmas gift (oops!), but I'm hoping to be able to start them next week, so they'll soon be moving up to the piecing section. I pulled fabric for the Turnabout Patchwork quilt yesterday and I think I'll be starting that tomorrow, so it's about to move, too. Moving things around like this is exactly why I wanted a bulletin board rather than just a list.
getting organized | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
 As I mentioned earlier, I'm an Island Batik ambassador again this year and there was considerable excitement in the ambassador FB group as we all started receiving notifications of big boxes of fabric headed our way. This section of the board will start being filled in once we have the list of monthly challenge themes. I think planning ahead will be easier if I'm often reminded of what the upcoming challenge themes are and I can also make notes of possible projects and stick them to the board.

You can see in this picture that I was merrily trimming the papers close to the words until I remembered that I should leave room for the pins to hold everything in place. You can barely see March! I clued in partway through the trimming that I need to leave room on the sides for the pins 😊
getting organized | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
I may make changes to the board as the year goes on and I see how it works for me, but this is looking good for a start. It makes me happy to see it each time I go into the spare room, which is actually quite often since that's where my fabric is stored.

How do you organize your projects?

January 01, 2019

January One Monthly Goal

One of my 2019 goals is to participate in the One Monthly Goal linkup at Elm Street Quilts each month to help me get some projects finished rather than having them continue languishing in the cupboard. Another of my goals is to finish the first responder quilts, preferably before the second anniversary of the fire in April. For this month, I'll be combining the two and setting an OMG in two parts.

The first part is that I will finish the quilting on at least one more of the first responder quilts. I'd love to quilt two, but I'll be satisfied if I get one more done. I already quilted one during the first part of our Christmas break, so I'm already one closer to being finished 😊 And since I have a lady who is willing to do all of the binding for me, I don't need to worry about that.

Here's the next quilt top that needs to be quilted (and pressed, obviously, lol).
first responder quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
The second part of the goal is to make contact with the RCMP, the fire chief and the EMTs to get an updated count of how many quilts I need. I know we have two new RCMP in town, which means two more quilts than were on my previous list, and the volunteer fire department had a recruitment drive in the fall. I've been putting off asking the fire chief how many new members joined because I've been avoiding knowing the final number. It's been easier mentally to feel like I have to do half a dozen or so more, even knowing I might actually need a full dozen, rather than finding out the actual number. Please tell me I'm not alone in feeling that way! However, if I'm to finally finish this project, I do need the accurate count.

I also need to count the finished quilts that are stacked up as I can't remember how many are done. I think that as I count I'll attach a piece of paper to each quilt with the intended recipient's name. That will make it a little easier when it comes time to photograph and blog about them all since I'll want to separate them into a couple of blog posts to avoid having so many quilts all in one post. Plus, that will be another task finished in preparation for actually giving the quilts away.

What are you working on this month?
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