May 20, 2019

A Little Thing

Devotion for the Week...

Are you prone to worry? Generally, I'm not, but there are a couple of situations that trigger it for me. One of them is when I have a new child about to start coming to me for child care, especially if I know that child doesn't go to sleep on their own (I can't leave the older kids who don't nap unsupervised to rock another child to sleep). I stress when I know that I'm going to deal with a child who probably won't nap because they can't drift off on their own, which means a sleepy, cranky child who is also unaccustomed to being away from mom for so long. I dread the first day, especially, and it plays on my mind for weeks before it happens.

The thing about worry, though, is that it doesn't change the outcome of that first day at all. The child is either going to deal well with the transition or she's going to scream in my ear for hours or, more likely, something in the middle. Whichever way it goes, the worrying I did for days ahead of time doesn't change our day.

Jesus warned us not to waste our time worrying. He asked, "Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?" (Luke 12:25). Obviously, the answer to that is a resounding no. No amount of worrying can do something as monumental as adding even an extra second to our lives. If we could, we'd probably all set a goal of worrying enough to add years to our lives.

The interesting thing is that Jesus goes on to say, "And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?" (v. 26).  A little thing like that?? Talk about a difference in persepective. To Jesus, who knows intimately the full power of God, adding a moment to our lives looks like a small task, easily accomplished, whereas for us it is a complete impossibility.

Since we can't do something as little as adding time to our lives by worrying, why do we think that worrying will make a difference in other things?  We would be much better off if we turned our worries over to God, who, unlike us, actually has the power to do something about them. 1 Peter 5:7 says, "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you."
Whatever worries us is well within the power of God | DevotedQuilter.com
It's hard to remember to do that, though, isn't it? Maybe it would be easier if we remember that to God, adding time to our lives is just a little thing, so whatever is worrying us is well within His power, too.

May 15, 2019

Medallion Magic QAL - Part 5

Welcome to the next installment of the Medlallion Magic QAL!
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
April 15th - Borders 1 and 2
May 15th - Borders 3 and 4 - we're here!
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.

I know that adding two (or even three) borders in one month sounds like a lot, but one of my favourite things about this medallion quilt design is that 4 of the 7 borders are just plain fabric, which gives the pieced borders room to breathe. I've always found most medallion quilts are so busy it's hard to focus on anything and I intentionally designed Medallion Magic to allow the pieced borders to shine.

Here's my original Medallion Magic, made in Northcott fabrics:
Medallion Magic QAL | DevotedQuilter.com
Now I have a confession. You know how when you're having a party, you like to have everything ready before the guests arrive? Well, that's what I've been doing each month with this QAL so that each month I could share my version of what your quilt will look like when you finish. Except that I'm not done for this month yet. In fact, I've hardly had time to start. Whomp, whomp, whomp.

This month we're adding a plain border, just like last month, and then adding the flying geese border. The flying geese are paper pieced and this is how far I've gotten. They've been sitting like this since sometime last week, just waiting for me to get back to them. Finishing my MIL's placemats and then some secret sewing crowded out piecing these flying geese, but those things are done now and I hope to get my borders finished up quickly. When I do, I'll be sure to add a picture here!
foundation pieced flying geese prep | DevotedQuilter.com
On the bright side, that Island Batik purple is gorgeous 😊 I bet it will look even better when it's made into flying geese, though!

One tip I have to share for when you're foundation piecing a bunch of identical units - assembly line sew them! Sew a seam on all of them, press them all at once, trim them all at once, then sew the next seam the same way. It's faster than piecing one whole unit, then the next whole unit, then the next one, etc.

So, how are your Medallion Magic quilts coming along? Link up a picture so we can see!



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May 13, 2019

The Trophy

Devotion for the Week...

One thing is for certain, providing childcare for a living ensures I will never run out of devotion ideas 😊 Lately they've been all about races. Going down the stairs? Whoever hits the bottom first yells, "I win!" Driving trucks from one end of the kitchen to the other? Whoever stops first yells, "I win! I get the trophy!"

Depending on the day, the trophy declaration can cause two possible reactions. Either the rest of the kids triumphantly yell, "I get the trophy, too!" or they start to cry and whine because they're not getting the trophy. In fact, the very first day Silas claimed he won a trophy, one of the girls immediately started screaming because she wasn't getting one.

Keep in mind, there is no trophy. I don't have a stash of trophies I hand out to the self proclaimed winners of all these races every single day. Whatever trophies they are claiming are entirely imaginary. Which means, of course, that there are more than enough to go around, lol.

Some days (usually the ones where there's crying and whining) I find the whole winning and getting trophies to be super annoying, but most of the time I'm just amazed at how ingrained it is for us to want to win and be given awards. Before they turn three, kids have definitely begun to understand that being first is better than losing and that if there's a trophy to be had they want to get it. Even if it's only the right to claim the imaginary trophy, they want to have that.

This is nothing new, of course. Right from the beginning of society, humans have tried to be ahead of the other humans around them. To control more land, or better land. To have more money, more servants, more power. If it's possible to have more of it, then humans have tried to position themselves so that they come out ahead.

Even Jesus' disciples weren't immune to this. In Matthew 20:21, the mother of James and John comes to Jesus and asks Him a favor, "In your Kingdom, please let my two sons sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left." We could say this was just a mother looking out for her boys, but those boys were standing right there, ready to answer enthusiastically when Jesus asked if they could drink from the bitter cup He was about to drink. They eagerly wanted the honour their mother was trying to arrange for them.

When the other disciples heard that James and John were asking to be given places of honour, they were indignant, probably because they too harboured the desire for a place of honour. So Jesus sat them all down for a little talking to: "You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many" (vv. 25-28).

The Bible doesn't tell us what the disciples said to that, or what they thought. I would imagine they were a little confused, a little frustrated that Jesus wasn't talking about all the power and glory they'd have one day. Whatever their reaction was, they didn't really understand what Jesus was trying to teach them.

At the Last Supper, after Jesus announced that one of them would betray Him, they "began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing" (Luke 22:23). And then, as proof that they didn't understand the concept at all, "they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them" (v. 24). They just didn't get it, did they? So, again, He taught them, "among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves" (vv. 26, 27).

It's natural to want to win a race and get the trophy, even if it's all pretend. When I play a game, I aim to win, even if all I win is the right to brag for two minutes before we set up for the next round. It's fun to win! There's nothing wrong with that and Jesus wasn't talking about races or games.

He was talking about how we live our lives and how we treat others. The world around us teaches that in order to be successful, we have to win at everything and everyone else should have to serve us because of our greatness. Jesus says that's not how we should be at all. We're supposed to be like Him, aiming to serve others and make their lives better rather than constantly looking for other people to serve us and make our lives better.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.com
And, in the end, if we live His way, then we will hear, "Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!" Now there's a trophy worth having! And the best part is, there are plenty of them to go around.

May 10, 2019

Multiplication in Make Modern

Waiting to share quilts can be so hard sometimes! Today I finally get to share my Multiplication quilt 😊 It's in issue 28 of Make Modern, which is available now.
Multiplication quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
At 96" x 96", this is the largest quilt I've ever made. Before I started, Dad asked how big it was going to be and when I told him, he nodded and said, "So, 8 feet." That stunned me. Somehow an 8' square quilt feels so much bigger than a 96" square one!
Multiplication quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Because it's so big, getting pictures was really hard, especially since the weather was awful the week I finished and needed to send the pictures to Make Modern. We finally ended up taking it to our church and moving chairs out of the way to get a space big enough to hold it up that also had plenty of natural light. Zach and Paul are standing on chairs behind the quilt to get it all the way up off the floor 😊

Whether you describe the quilt in feet or inches, Multiplication fits our queen size bed with plenty to drape down on the sides. Doesn't it look nice with my Infinity pillow?
Multiplication quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Multiplication quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I used gorgeous Island Batik Foundations fabrics for the top. I love the beautiful, rich colours in these blender fabrics and I really wish I had the whole Foundations line stashed somewhere.
Multiplication quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I used this Island Batik fabric for the backing. Isn't it fun? It has the colours of the fabrics on the front, but in a totally different look.
Island Batik backing fabric | DevotedQuilter.com
The batting is Warm and Natural and I used Aurifil thread for all of the quilting. I used 2692 to quilt meandering loops and flowers in the black and blue Xs.
free motion quilting flowers | DevotedQuilter.com
Then I used 5005, 1231, 2530 and 2210 to quilt these teardrop shapes in all of the bright coloured triangles. Do you know the proper name for this quilting design? I never know what to call it!
free motion quilting in triangles | DevotedQuilter.com
I bought my Janome 6700 when I was about halfway through quilting the Xs, so it was half quilted on my Kenmore machine and half on the Janome. The difference in the throat space was incredible. I went from 5" on the Kenmore to 11" on the Janome. When I put the needle in the exact middle of the quilt, I still had more throat space available on the Janome than the Kenmore had to begin with!
Multiplication quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
There are books and bookshelves everywhere in our house, lol. Paul and Zach built this bookshelf, using a church pew 😊 It houses our Brandon Sanderson collection (we have almost everything he has written, Skyward being the most recent addition) and many of our other favourite books.
Multiplication quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I highly recommend Make Modern magazine (and not only because they include my quilts, lol). You can get 6 month and 12 month subscriptions. They have also created an All Access Subscription, which allows you to access all 27 of their previous issues with an annual subscription. That's a lot of fabulous quilty content! Click the link to check it out. Or, get issue 28 here.

I'm just finishing up another quilt for Make Modern, which I'll get to share in a couple of months. I love being a small part of such a wonderful publication 😊

May 06, 2019

Endurance

Devotion for the Week...

Paul and I have registered to run the Tely10 at the end of July. The Tely10 is a 10 mile, or 16 km, road race that we've been considering for a couple of years and this is the first time we're going to run it. I've never run 16 km at once before, but I'm really looking forward to the race.

To get ready, I'm using TrainAsOne, which is an app that creates individualized training plans that sync with my Garmin Forerunner 235 running watch. The app sets the duration and pace of each workout, then uses the data from the Garmin to analyze my performance and adjust my future runs as needed. I love the program, especially for the different types of runs it sets for me. There are interval runs (intervals of very fast with recovery periods in between), repetition runs (very short bursts of what I call 'crazy fast' with periods of recovery in between) and economy runs (steady runs at what the app has determined as my natural pace) among others.

The length of each run varies, with most of mine falling in the 25-60 minute range at this stage of my training. Sometimes, though, the app schedules an 11 minute economy run, which hardly feels worth the effort of changing into my running clothes. On one of those really short runs a couple of weeks ago, I was thinking about how 11 minutes just feels silly and then I thought about how, for someone who doesn't run, 11 minutes would feel like an impossibility. If you're not in the habit of running, doing so for 11 minutes straight just isn't going to happen.

Over the weekend we were talking with my sister-in-law, Kim, about when she used to run a couple of years ago. She said that when she first started she'd walk from one light pole to the next one, then run to the next, walk to the one after that and then run to the next one. By slowly increasing the distance she ran, she eventually got to where she could run for 30 minutes straight. It was hard, but it was good, too.

That conversation, plus my own thoughts during that last short run, made me think of this verse from Romans: "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance" (Romans 5:3). That's from the NLT translation. In place of 'endurance' the NIV uses the word perseverance and the KJV uses patience.

Whether we call it endurance, perseverance or patience, most of us want to have it for dealing with life. We don't particularly want to go through the process of developing it, though. We just want it to spring forth, fully formed and functioning, so we can deal with the things life throws at us. Instead, it is those very things life throws at us, especially the hardest things, that cause us to develop the endurance.

Building up physical endurance is hard and it takes time and there's no substitute for doing the work. We can want endurance for years, but if we don't work to develop it then it will never happen. The same is true for spiritual and emotional endurance. Those difficult people in your life, the ones you have to be pleasant to even though you hate dealing with them all the time? They're helping to build your endurance. The financial situation you wish you could escape? Endurance. The chronic illness that has invaded your life? Endurance.
The hard things in life help to develop our endurance | DevotedQuilter.com
We all deal with things we wish had been indefinitely postponed, but whatever the situations, they're working to develop our endurance. Eventually, as we work through various hard situations, we will come to the place where things that used to bother us, don't bother us anymore, just as an 11 minute run can become so easy as to be laughable. It's hard, but it's good, too.

April 30, 2019

Dresden placemats

I've finally finished my mother-in-law's Christmas gift! Only 4 months late, lol, but better late than never, right?
Dresden placemats | DevotedQuilter.com
Last fall, when I was working on my Hexie Rainbow quilt, my MIL pointed to a lemony-yellow hexie and told me that she'd love to have placemats made with that shade of yellow. A little later, she pointed out a lime green hexie and said that green would be perfect with the lemon yellow for a set of placemats. I can recognize a hint that broad, so I asked what colour she'd want with them 😊 She picked navy and maybe white, if the design needed another colour.

Then I debated what design to use until the middle of December, so I knew this particular gift would be late, though I didn't expect it to be this late. In the end, I came up with this dresden design because I wanted to make more dresdens after making my Dresden Log Cabin back in November.

My MIL is definitely right - those three colours look fabulous together! All three are Northcott solids and I used Warm and Natural batting along with Aurifil thread.

I started by quilting the center of the dresden with Aurifil 2785 and then I outlined the dresden twice, once right at the edge and once ¼" away. The swirl hooks in the background were a lot of fun to quilt, but it was hard to squeeze them in some of the small spaces. That's where my love of tiny quilting came in handy, lol.
Dresden placemats | DevotedQuilter.com
FYI, the placemat is flat, the brick wall behind it isn't
I wasn't sure what to quilt in the dresden itself at this point, so I quilted the borders next. Simple back and forth lines in the green and wishbones in the yellow add wonderful texture. Both are done with Aurifil 1231 (spring green) which had the remarkable ability to look yellow on the green fabric and green on the yellow fabric 😊
Dresden placemats | DevotedQuilter.com
Then, thanks to a Pinterest search, I found this quick and simple, but oh-so-pretty design for in the dresden, which is also done with 1231.
Dresden placemats | DevotedQuilter.com
Dresden placemats | DevotedQuilter.com
I love a solid for quilt backings! I backed the placemats with the navy, even though it looks lighter in this picture. Isn't all of that quilted texture amazing??
Dresden placemats | DevotedQuilter.com
I love the Aurifil 1231 on the navy 😊
Dresden placemats | DevotedQuilter.com
I love my labels from Finer Ribbon, but I don't like how they flap on smaller projects. I decided to try stitching them into the corners of the placemats and I'm so pleased with how they look. In fact, I may start attaching them to all of my quilts this way, not just the small ones.
Quilt label | DevotedQuilter.com
We'll be seeing my MIL this weekend when we're out of town for Zach's basketball games, so I'll get to deliver the placemats to her. I hope she likes them as much as I do!

April 29, 2019

Our Primary Message

Devotion for the Week...

When Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after the resurrection, He reassured them that everything that had happened to Him was according to the Father's plan as revealed in Scripture. "Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" (Luke 24:45). What a relief that must have been for them! Not only was Jesus there with them, but everything was exactly as it was supposed to be. You can almost feel the collective relief.

Then Jesus continued with this: "It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ (v. 47).

This should be our primary message: There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.com
We can make teaching others about God complicated, full of rules and regulations, or we can simply teach them that there is forgiveness of sins available to anyone and everyone who repents.

It may not be the easiest conversation starter, especially if we don't know the other person well, but if we allow God to lead us, there will be moments when we're able to share this simple and profound truth with people who need to hear it. And, of course, everyone needs to hear it.

April 26, 2019

Slim Fit Raglan

I made a new shirt!
Slim fit raglan | DevotedQuilter.com
 I'm very excited about this Slim Fit Raglan pattern by Patterns for Pirates 😊 It went together so easily, even for this sewing-with-knits beginner and I love how it feels.
Slim fit raglan | DevotedQuilter.com
I chose to do this one all in one fabric, but I have enough to make another one with the body in this fabric and the sleeves in a print. The pattern includes three sleeve lengths and I'll probably use the 3/4 length for the next one. I bought the fabric from L'Oiseaux Fabrics and it feels like a much higher quality fabric than what you find used for store bought shirts. I used Aurifil 2785 for all of the stitching.

I used my twin needle to hem the sleeves and the bottom hem and this time I remembered to sew with the right side facing up so the twin needle detail actual shows on the outside of the shirt.
Slim fit raglan | DevotedQuilter.com
Slim fit raglan | DevotedQuilter.com
I have an old serger, but it makes me a little nervous because sergers cut off the extra seam allowance as you sew, which makes me feel like I can't rip out any mistakes as easily. For that reason, I sewed this on my Janome and it went perfectly. I didn't even have to rip any seams!

This was my first time attaching a neckband, which went okay. It's not perfect, but the ripples are all fairly small and they're at the back so it looks good from the front 😊
Slim fit raglan | DevotedQuilter.com
There's something very satisfying about wearing a shirt I made myself. I think it's safe to say I've been bitten by the garment sewing bug! In fact, I may or may not have paused the writing of this post twice while distracted by garment pattern and knit fabric shopping...

April 23, 2019

April Island Batik/Accuquilt Baby Quilt

Note, the fabric and batting for this project and the Accuquilt Go! fabric cutting system were given to me as part of the Island Batik ambassador program.

The Island Batik challenge for this month is a joint challenge with industry partner Accuquilt. Accuquilt sent the Ready, Set, Go! ultimate fabric cutting system to each of the ambassadors and our challenge for this month was to use it to make a baby quilt. The Go! fabric cutting system comes with 8 dies and a book with tons of inspiration. The hardest part was choosing which blocks I wanted to use, lol.
Island Batik baby quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Once I chose my blocks, I picked through the remains of my Blossom fabrics. This is now my third quilt with the Blossom line (Sparkler and one I still can't share were the first two) and though I have some left, it's not much. That makes me sad because I love, love, love the colours and prints in this line! The Island Batik solid grey is the perfect choice for the background.

With the kids I babysit, I sometimes have days where it's only me and the 3 year old, Silas. I figured he'd have a blast rolling the fabric through the Go! so I brought it out one afternoon. I was right! He loved it 😊 I sent his mom pictures with the message, "He's having so much fun he doesn't realize it's child labour, lol!" She responded with "FYI, he loves vacuuming, too 😉"
This picture is shared with permission from his mom.
In no time at all we had all the pieces cut for the quilt. I didn't have enough of either of the teal fabrics, so I used them both. They're close enough to work together, but different enough that it adds a little extra interest for anyone who looks carefully.
Island Batik fabric and Accuquilt Go! | DevotedQuilter.com
Here are all those pieces, sewn together 😊 I really like the diagonal movement in this design.
Baby quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I chose to use two different blocks. Clay's Choice, because I love a good pinwheel block.
Clay's Choice quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
And a Double Four Patch because I loved the movement and the way it connected with the cornerstones of the Clay's Choice blocks.
Double Four Patch quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
I added 2" finished sashing, with teal cornerstones to continue the design. Can you see the difference between the two teal fabrics in this picture?
Swirl hooks free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.com
I basted with Hobb's 100% cotton batting and then I tried to plan some custom quilting, but between the swirls in the pink fabric and the pinwheels in the Clay's Choice blocks, this quilt was practically begging for some swirl hook quilting. Who am I to argue with the quilt? I used Aurifil 2600 and reminded myself to quilt big. I think I'm getting better at it, so I was very amused when I posted a picture on IG and the first comment was someone asking if they have to be so small and close together! Ha!

I backed the quilt with solid white and I love the texture from the quilting. And yes, there are definitely some small swirls in there, but I had to fill those small spaces somehow. Right?
Swirl hook free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.com
Silas and I have since used the Accuquilt two other afternoons to cut up scraps for future projects. He loves that it's something only he gets to do, since he's the oldest. I love that we're slowly taming the scraps, lol 😊
Baby quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
This was such a fun quilt to make! Have I mentioned how much I enjoy being an Island Batik ambassador and getting to play with these beautiful fabrics?

April 22, 2019

Good From the Bad

Devotion for the Week...

Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." It's a wonderful verse that always helps me remember that God is in control and that His purpose for my life will prevail. Not only for my life, but for your life and even for the world as a whole. He is in control.

Even so, there are plenty of situations that make me wonder how God could possibly use them to bring about something good. On the other hand, I've definitely heard about wonderful things coming from awful situations, like the story of a soldier Aiden told me recently: the soldier stepped on a landmine and lost both of his legs, which is awful. But in the course of his recovery he met a nurse and she eventually became his wife, which is wonderful.

While I was thinking about the different people in the Easter story these past few weeks, I kept coming back to this verse. There's Pilate, who ignored what he knew was right in order to keep the crowd happy, the chief priests, who were so worried about protecting their own position in society that they were willing to kill a man they knew was innocent, and Judas, who betrayed Jesus for his own gain. Their actions ranged from self-serving to downright evil, but God used those actions to bring about the greatest good in all of history.

I admit it's hard to wrap my mind around how God uses our sinful actions to bring about His plans, but that's exactly how He works. It's not that He's wanting us to sin, but He's not surprised by it, either. He knows that we will sin and He makes use of our sinful actions to further His own purposes for the world.

In the case of the Easter story, men were more than willing to sin to serve their own purposes. Little did they know they were also serving God's purposes at the same time.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.com
Of course, no one could have imagined what God could do with a man they worked so hard to kill. No one saw the resurrection coming. Let that give us hope when we're in the midst of bad situations and we can't see how God could ever use it to bring about anything good. We don't need to know how He's going to do it, we simply trust that He will.

April 15, 2019

Medallion Magic QAL - Part 4

It's time for the next installment of the Medallion Magic QAL! I love seeing my quilt grow now that we've started sewing 😊 If you haven't started yet, there's still time to join in and I'd love to see your Medallion Magic quilt, too.
Medallion Magic QAL - 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! Here's the schedule of events:

January 15th - Gather fabrics and pattern
February 15th - Cutting
March 15th - Center star
April 15th - Borders 1 and 2 - today!
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.

I know that adding two (or even three) borders in one month sounds like a lot, but one of my favourite things about this medallion quilt design is that 4 of the 7 borders are just plain fabric, which gives the pieced borders room to breathe. I've always found most medallion quilts are so busy it's hard to focus on anything and I intentionally designed Medallion Magic to allow the pieced borders to shine.

Here's my original Medallion Magic, made in Northcott fabrics:
Medallion Magic quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
And here is how my new Island Batik version looks with borders 1 and 2 added. I love how bright and airy it feels with the light background!
Medallion Magic quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
These strip blocks come together quickly thanks to the magic of strip piecing 😊 Isn't it great when we can use simple strategies to make blocks that look like they took a long time to make?

I love the springtime feel of these greens and purples, all from the Paisley Park line, especially now that we're in the mud stage of spring here in Newfoundland. My tulips have started coming up, though, so I'm looking forward to seeing colours that are more exciting than brown sometime in the future.
Medallion Magic quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I've always loved pinwheel blocks and this double pinwheel is no exception. These corner blocks have quite a few small pieces, so an accurate ¼" seam allowance is really important.
Medallion Magic quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Andrea, of 3rd Story Workshop, recently shared a great explanation of how to check and fix your seam allowance so check that out if you're not sure about yours. I may still be trying to zero in on the perfect ¼" with my new Janome 6700 (which I keep meaning to write a post about, but it hasn't happened yet). I naively assumed that using the ¼" foot that came with the machine would give me a perfect seam allowance, but it was off by quite a bit. We won't talk about how many things I sewed before I realized that...We also won't talk about what a beginner level mistake that was. I should definitely have known better.

That's it for this month. I'm looking forward to seeing your first couple of borders!

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Judas

Devotion for the Week...

Over the past two weeks, we've looked at Pilate and the chief priests and their parts in the Easter story. Today I want to look at Judas' betrayal of Jesus.

"Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus" (Matthew 26:14-16).

The Bible doesn't tell us anything about why Judas betrayed Him, though people have speculated that Judas was looking for a king who would overthrow the Romans, who had conquered Israel. When it became apparent that Jesus wasn't going to do that, Judas betrayed him. Whatever his reason, I think it's interesting to note that it was Judas who approached the chief priests, not them coming to ask him to betray Jesus. Judas took the initiative to get rid of Jesus and even to make a profit from doing it.

When the time came, Judas brought "a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs...sent by the leading priests and elders of the people" (v. 47) to arrest Jesus in Gethsemane and "had given them a prearranged signal: 'You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.' So Judas came straight to Jesus. 'Greetings, Rabbi!' he exclaimed and gave him the kiss" (vv.48,49).

The next morning, "When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. 'I have sinned,' he declared, 'for I have betrayed an innocent man.'...Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself" (Matthew 27:3-5).

What I can't help but wonder is what did he think was going to happen? He hanged himself upon realizing that Jesus was going to die, so obviously that wasn't his intention, but what did he intend? Was he aiming to have Jesus discredited, so people would stop following Him? Did he hope Jesus would be arrested and put in prison? Did he never really think about what would happen to Jesus, instead only focusing on what he stood to gain by turning Jesus in to the chief priests? We don't know what he expected to have happen, but when he realized that Jesus was going to die, he was so crushed by his guilt that he committed suicide.

I remember once hearing someone lament that because he committed suicide, Judas never got to experience Jesus' forgiveness. It was the first time I ever thought about how Jesus would have reacted to meeting Judas again after His resurrection, had Judas still been alive. Can you picture Judas, trying to make himself invisible, so Jesus wouldn't notice him? Or maybe falling on his knees, apologizing over and over for all the pain his actions caused, cringing from the anger he expected? Never in a million years would he have expected the love and forgiveness we know Jesus would have given him.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.com
No matter how big our sins are, God's grace is always big enough to cover them. Even Judas' betrayal would have disappeared under the covering of His grace and love. That goes for all of our sins, too.

April 11, 2019

First Responder Quilts Delivered!

For anyone who doesn't know the story behind these quilts, they're the result of the generosity of hundreds of quilters who answered my call for blocks two years ago after a senior's home across the road from me burned down. All of the residents got out safely, but they lost everything, so I asked for help to make them quilts. Here's the original call for blocks, plus the quilts for the residents and the employees. And pictures of some of the residents with their quilts are here and here.

I am so excited to finally be able to say these quilts have all been delivered! On April 2 I took the first responder quilts to the fire hall to meet with the firefighters, paramedics and RCMP who could be there and give them their quilts. Here's the group shot with all three groups. I think I should have had a stool, lol! At 5'2" I've never thought of myself as tall, but I look ridiculously short in this picture 😏
One person didn't want his face shared publicly, which is why he's covered.
And here are the individual groups. First, the RCMP. One member has moved away since the fire, so his quilt will be mailed to him.
The paramedics. The two on the ends were working and arrived just in time to receive their quilts and be part of this picture, but they weren't in the big group picture above.
And here are the firefighters. Quite a few weren't able to make it that night, but I left their quilts with the fire chief and he'll give them out. Also, you might notice that two of the guys in the paramedics picture are also here in the firefighters picture. Our firefighters are all volunteers, with regular jobs as well and two of them serve the community as both firefighters and paramedics.
And now on to the quilts! There are 31, so be prepared for quilt overload, lol. Just a couple of notes first - I would have loved beautiful, outdoor pictures of these, but the weather and work schedules wouldn't cooperate, plus with 31 quilts it was pretty much just a matter of Zach and Michelle holding them up and me snapping the pictures quickly. And second, any quilts that look different or that are perfectly coordinated rather than scrappy were donated as either whole tops or even as finished quilts.

I'd love to know if you spot a block you made!
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Quilts for first responders | DevotedQuilter.com
Two years ago, I wanted to make 21 quilts for the residents. Because of the incredible generosity and support of this amazing community, we made 21 for the residents, 10 for the employees, 31 for the first responders and we sent another 21 quilt tops to help make quilts for people affected by hurricane Harvey. That's a total of 83 quilts/quilt tops! I've said it before, but it bears repeating - quilters are wonderful people!

I still have some backing fabric and binding left over, plus a small bag of blocks. All of that will be passed on to another quilter here in town who does a lot of charity sewing, especially for our province's children's hospital. I feel like that's the best way to honour the intent with which it was given to me.

I can never thank you enough for jumping in with such enthusiasm and helping me to bless so many people in my community 😊

I'm linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday, TGIFF, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop and Beauties Pageant
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