July 11, 2019

New Life in Make Modern

I have another quilt in the newest issue of Make Modern magazine, which is now available. Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy working with the ladies at Make Modern? All three of them (Kristy, Lara and Jane) are wonderful 😊 I love that they keep including my quilts in their beautiful magazine.
New Life quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
My quilt in this issue is New Life, so called because it gives new life to old jeans 😊 It's not very often I'm trendy, but upcycling old clothes is very on trend right now and I just happen to have a whole closet full of old jeans.
New Life quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I also have an overabundance of scraps of quilting fabric and New Life makes good use of them, too. I used a little bit of everything in this quilt - fabrics from Northcott (including the solid white background), Island Batik, Me + You, plus plenty of others I've had since before I started paying attention to who made which fabrics.
New Life quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
It doesn't actually take many pairs of jeans to cut out all of the pieces, but I wanted lots of variety in the colour of the denim, so I used a lot. Plus, some were from when my boys were really little, with the knees out, which meant I didn't get many pieces from those pairs. It felt great to use the denim for something, rather than just throwing out those unwearable jeans.

I cut out the applique pieces with my new Midnight Edition tailor's shears from LDH Scissors. These scissors are gorgeous and *so* sharp!
New Life quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Just watch how easily they cut right through the seam on a pair of jeans. My old scissors couldn't cut through that seam at all.
I used Warm and Natural batting and backed the quilt with the same solid white Northcott. The quilting shows up really well in person, but it was soooo hard to photograph! It didn't help that the sun was going down so shadows were unavoidable.
New Life quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I didn't stitch around the applique pieces until it was time to quilt them. With hundreds of pieces, stitching around them only once made this much faster to finish. I considered using fusible web to attach the flower pieces, but I didn't want the extra stiffness that gives a quilt, especially since the denim is already thicker than quilting cotton and I wanted the quilt to stay as soft as possible. Instead, I just glued them in place using a washable glue stick and hoped they'd stay in place until I could quilt them, which they did (mostly). I did have to re-glue a piece here and there, but it wasn't bad at all. And the quilt is wonderfully soft!

I used Aurifil thread in three colours to quilt the flowers - 2692 for the black flower centers and the darker petals, 2600 for the lighter petals and 2780 for the in-between ones. I quilted just inside each of the applique shapes, with the intention that the denim will fray over time and soften those edges. You can already see that the edges frayed even as I was working on the quilt.
New Life quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
 I quilted quick dot to dot continuous curves using 2600 in the triangles. Then I quilted the background with 2024 and a meandering loop and flower design that was so much fun to stitch.

This brick retaining wall has become a favourite place for me to take pictures. You can see it in my Dresden placemats, Churn baby quilt and Blowing in the Wind posts. Good thing the owners of the property don't mind me draping quilts over their wall!
New Life quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I finished putting the binding on right after supper a couple of days before the quilt was due to Make Modern, and right before a forecasted stretch of bad weather. I immediately called my friend, Michelle, to see if she was available to help with the photography (like, right now!) and enlisted Zach to help, too. We were out the door less than half an hour after the last stitch went into the binding, lol. Michelle's son came along, too, so the two boys held the quilt while I took pictures and Michelle gave directions. It worked out really well and we were able to get these pictures before the sun got too low.
New Life quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
You can get Make Modern, issue 29 here. Or, sign up for a subscription, either for 6 months or 12 months, and I am sure you won't regret it. And, if you'd like to see everything Make Modern has ever published, you can get an All Access Subscription, which gives you access to all of the previous 28 issues with a 12 month subscription going forward.

I love a good scrappy quilt and New Life is definitely that. Do you have a closet full of old jeans you could turn into a quilt?

I'm linking with TGIFF, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop and Beauties Pageant.

July 10, 2019

Bloomers in Pre-Cut Patchwork magazine

I made this quilt back in December, so I'm excited to finally get to share it with you! This is Bloomers, a cute little 12" square mini that was so much fun to make. It's in the July/August issue of Pre-Cut Patchwork, which is now available.
Bloomers mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
This was the first quilt I made with Island Batik's Blossom line. I've since made two more, so you know I love the colours and prints of this line. The other quilts I've made are Sparkler and Blowing in the Wind.

I've always loved raw edge applique, especially when it's flowers. I did a zig zag stitch around each flower and flower center using Aurifil thread in colours that were as close to matching as I could get with what I had. I used 4030 on the purple, 2530 on the pink and 5006 on the teals.
Bloomers mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Just FYI, basting a 12" mini quilt takes almost no time at all! I used Warm and Natural batting and backed it with the same Island Batik cream that I used for the background. Then it was time for the quilting and when it's a 12" mini, I don't even try to make myself quilt bigger. I just embrace my love for tiny quilting and go to town with it. After all, even tiny quilting doesn't take long when the whole quilt is only 12" 😊 I started with a quick swirl in each flower center, then a row of stitching around the center and inside each flower petal, all in the same matching colours I used for the zig zag stitching.
Bloomers mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I switched to 2311 and stitched around the perimeter of the flowers and then tried to recreate the swirly-vine type design that is on a couple of the prints, though apparently I didn't take a good close up picture of it.

I do have pictures of the back, though, and I love how the quilting looks on the back. I think I say that every time, but it's always true 😊
Bloomers mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Since it's only the quilting that shows on the back, the flowers feel more informal and relaxed to me.
Bloomers mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Bloomers mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I've said before that I have a hard time naming my quilts. I sent this one in with the name Flower Ring. Not very imaginative, I know. However, I do like it better than Bloomers, which is how it has been named in the magazine. I don't know about you, but I can remember as a kid hearing women's underwear referred to as bloomers, so that was immediately what I thought of when I saw the layout with the quilt name 😆
Bloomers mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
You can find this issue of Pre-Cut Patchwork on magazine stands now and when you look through it, keep an eye out for the two other quilts in the issue made with Island Batik fabrics, one in gorgeous black and white and the other a fun riot of colour.

My mini is currently on its way back to me and I'm looking forward to seeing it again soon.

July 02, 2019

2019 Mid-Year Goal Review

I can't believe we're more than halfway through 2019! In fact, I almost missed the opportunity to do a mid-year review because it didn't even occur to me until today that it was time for it. Let's do a quick check up on where I am with my goals for the year, shall we?

1. Finish the first responder quilts!!

Check, check and double check! Oh, it feels good to be able to say this one is done 😊 You can read all about the big finish here.
first responder quilts | DevotedQuilter.com
2. Participate in the OMG link ups to finish up some WIPs.

Hmmm, well, I started out strong on this one. I linked for the first few months of the year, but then I lost the momentum. That being said, I've mostly been working on deadline quilts the last few months, so that hasn't left a lot of room for those WIPs. Maybe I'll get back to them??

3. Host a QAL 😃

Check! The Medallion Magic QAL is still ongoing and I'd love to have you join in! Here's my Island Batik version made during the QAL. I haven't started quilting it yet, or decided how I'm going to quilt it, but I'm hoping inspiration strikes soon.
Medallion Magic quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
4. Have a table at our local spring craft fair.

Well, I did this one, but it certainly wasn't a rousing success. I sold two patterns during the whole craft fair. Whomp, whomp, whomp. I am undecided about whether I'll try again in a larger craft fair. I've also reached out about possibly having a table at a quilt show, but I don't know if/when that will happen.

5. Get organized!

I think I'll declare this one 'sort of'. I have started using a bulletin board to keep myself on top of things and I do find it helps.
quilting organization | DevotedQuilter.com
I've found space for my patterns and the plastic bags for them, so that's good for now...though as I add more patterns I'll need a larger space. The fabric, notions and tools, on the other hand, are only marginally more organized than they were before the year began. I'm trying to work on decluttering the house over our summer break, so hopefully that will make it possible for me to see options other than the current "shoved wherever I can find room" arrangement. It's still hard to convince myself to work on decluttering when I could be sewing, though.

That's how the year is going for me so far. How about you? Did you set goals for the year? If you did, how are you doing so far?

July 01, 2019

July Monthly Colour Challenge Block

Though I haven't been making all of the monthly blocks for the Monthly Colour Challenge hosted by Jen of Patterns by Jen, I did love making this aqua block for July 😊 Visit Jen's blog to get the directions for the block, and to find links to the other monthly blocks.
July monthly colour challenge block | DevotedQuilter.com
These are both Island Batik fabrics and I love how they have a similar shape to the print, though it's not quite the same. I also love the subtle colour of the background block. It's aqua, but just barely.
July monthly colour challenge block | DevotedQuilter.com
You can see two other versions of this fun, aqua block by visiting Bear Paw Stitch and Design and The Geeky Bobbin.

I have big plans for this little 12" block, but I still haven't made it any farther than this picture I shared last week...
quilty works in progress | DevotedQuilter.com
Hopefully now that summer vacation has begun (yippee!!), I'll have more time to sew and actually get some things finished. We'll see...it's also possible the summer lull will render me even less productive than I am during the school year. I hope that's not the case, though, as I have a lot of really fun things I want to be working on!

On another note, I started my summer vacation by having a cup of tea in this new mug, given to me as an end of year gift by one of my child care families. I think this might be my new favourite mug 😊
mug for quilters | DevotedQuilter.com

June 30, 2019

Blowing in the Wind Pattern Release

I'm happy to release my Blowing in the Wind pattern today! And I want to say a special thank you to Juanita, who suggested the name when I couldn't come up with anything 😊 Coming up with quilt designs is easy, naming them is hard.

Blowing in the Wind has fun, diagonal movement and a smattering of pinwheel stars. The pattern includes the baby quilt size shown along with throw and queen size instructions.
Blowing in the Wind quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
Whether you need a quilt for a baby shower gift, a new quilt for snuggling with a good book or a new bed quilt, this pattern has you covered! Made with traditional piecing methods, the pattern is suitable for confident beginner quilters.

I love the teals and purples from the Blossom line of Island Batik fabrics, especially when paired with the IB solid grey. I think a scrappy version would be fun, too. And a blue version, but then I think every quilt should be made in blue 😉 What colours would you use to make Blowing in the Wind?

Blowing in the Wind is available for the introductory price from now through July 8th, so get your copy today!

Click here to buy Blowing in the Wind

June 24, 2019

WIPs This Week

I'm in the middle of a few different projects again this week, so I thought I'd share a bit about each of them.

First up, my continuing adventures with garment sewing with knits. Last week I made a knee length version of this Summer Basics dress from Love Notions and now I'm ready to make the maxi length version out of this lovely striped jersey knit. I'll blog about both dresses when this one is finished and I can get good pictures. For now, I'll say that Love Notions patterns are well written, this dress comes together very quickly and it is soooo comfortable.
works in progress | DevotedQuilter.com
This is a two-fer project 😊 The block is the Monthly Colour Challenge block for July, which I'm also going to use as the base of my July Island Batik ambassador project. This is a sneak peek, but you'll get to see the block itself on July 1st. After that, who knows when I'll be finished the ambassador project. Hopefully it won't be too late into the month.
works in progress | DevotedQuilter.com
This quilt is due to Make Modern the middle of next month and I'm making good progress on it so far. Here's a bunch of units ready to be pressed and then assembled into the next batch of finished blocks. It's a fun, scrappy project that I'm really enjoying working on (well, except for the trimming of the HSTs) and that I can't wait to share.
works in progress | DevotedQuilter.com
And I've been doing my pattern writing, too. I have one pattern finished and ready to be released and the file sent to the printer. That's another blog post that needs to be written soon, lol. I'm also working on updating one of my old patterns to get that ready for printing. Can I just say that revisiting an old pattern has been a great way to see how far I've come with my pattern writing? Here's a shot of the scribbling that takes place as I'm working 😊 The finished version will be much more coherent, I promise!
works in progress | DevotedQuilter.com
I think that's it, though there are plenty of other projects taking up space in my head, clamoring for their turn 😊 What are you working on this week?

June 19, 2019

Trying Reverse Applique - Island Batik June Challenge

Note, the fabric and batting for this project were given to me by Island Batik and their industry partners as part of the Island Batik ambassador program.

This month the Island Batik ambassador challenge is to try something new. As soon as I saw the list of challenges for the year, I decided that I'd do reverse applique this month, with bright colours behind black and probably with a word cut out. I thought maybe I'd use a word like create or dream.

I can remember as a kid I'd colour with bright coloured crayons all over my paper, then cover over it with black crayon and then scratch away the black to reveal the bright colours underneath. I also seem to remember being banished outside to do this after Mom got tired of all the black crayon shavings all over the house, lol. I planned my challenge quilt in an attempt to re-create the scratch art in fabric form.
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
A few years ago, when I started running, I read about a woman who loved running because it allowed her to realize she can do hard things. That resonated with me because I had been feeling the same thing, but hadn't yet put it into words. It's a very powerful feeling to set out for a hard run and actually accomplish it (even if you felt like you might die in the middle of it, lol).

Since then, I've reminded myself more than once on a run that I can do hard things and I've tried to put it into practice when it comes to growing my quilt design business, too. I'm not always successful, though, and many times I've put off things I thought would be hard. Usually, when I do finally tackle the hard things, I find they're not nearly as hard as I thought they would be. When Laura, at Slice of Pi Quilts, made a "LET'S DO THIS" mini quilt, it inspired me to use "I can do hard things" on my reverse applique quilt. Over the months since then, though, I realized that I didn't really need the reminder that I can do the hard things so much as the push to DO them.
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I used Island Batik's solid black as my top layer. It's a rich, deep black, perfect for showing off the bright colours of the Ditty line that I used for my under layer. I have a 2 ½" strip pack of the Ditty line, but that seemed like it would be too wide so I cut the strips in half along the length to give me 1 ¼" strips. Much better. This also worked out because I was planning to make two matching quilts so I could give one to Laura to go with her mini. Now one strip would be enough for both of my mini quilts.

I sewed the strips together into two strip sets that were big enough for the words. I used the same fabrics, but I varied the order so they wouldn't be completely identical. I added black at the top and bottom since I didn't want to waste any of my pretty colours where they wouldn't be seen.
reverse applique strip set | DevotedQuilter.com
I printed out my words and traced them onto HeatnBond Lite, which I fused to the black fabric. I thought about trying to cut out the letters with scissors, but that seemed a bit too fiddly. Paul had this utility knife in the workshop and it worked well for cutting everything out. I also (very briefly) thought about turning under the edges for a finished edge, but that was way, way too fiddly with all of the somewhat intricate letters, so I decided to leave all of the edges raw. The centers of the D's, the O, the A and the R are all appliqued in place. I added the paisley shapes to the negative space to show off some more of the gorgeous fabrics, especially since some of the strips don't show because they're positioned between the lines of letters.
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
 While I was cutting out the letters, Nathan sat at the table watching me for a while. Then he said, "But what if the hard thing is the wrong thing to do and the easy thing would be the right thing?" He was taking my phrase to mean that whenever you have two choices, you should always choose the harder one, even if it's not actually the better choice. Isn't it funny how kids interpret things sometimes?

I loved how it looked when I laid it on top of the coloured strips!
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I used Hobb's black batting, which was also something new for me. I was worried it would dull the bright colours, but it doesn't at all, and with black batting there are no white fluffy bits all over the solid black fabric! That might be a small thing, but it's also a wonderful thing. I've been known to use tape to get all those white fluffy bits of batting off of black quilts before and it was nice to not have them at all. I'll definitely be wanting black batting for all of my black quilts from now on 😊
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I used Aurifil 2692, black, for all of the quilting. First I went around each letter and paisley shape, right at the edge to secure everything down and then again about ⅛" away. Emphasis on the "about" since it's not at all consistent, but it's close enough.
micro stippling fmq | DevotedQuilter.com
I really wanted the reverse applique to be the star, so I went with micro stippling for the whole background. When the quilt is only about 12" x 13", I don't worry about telling myself to quilt big, lol, and I can just embrace my love for tiny quilting. And just look how it sparkles when you hold it up in front of a bright window 😊
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Isn't the back gorgeous (if I do say so myself)? Island Batik solid black and Aurifil 2692 again and I love how the letters stand out. I used squares folded in half diagonally to make hanging triangles in the top corners and stitched my label in one bottom corner.
free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.com
free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.com
free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.com
To finish the mini quilts, I chose to use another new-to-me skill - flange binding, which I first tried just a couple of weeks ago. I chose purple for one and teal for the other. Aurifil 5006 to stitch down the teal one and 2600 for the purple, since I don't have a pale purple Aurifil. The 2600 blends in beautifully, though.
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
reverse applique mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I had a lot of fun making these two minis! Laura's is on its way to her now and mine is going to hang in my laundry room on my mini quilt wall where it can remind me to tackle even the things that seem like they might be hard.

What phrase would you put on a texty quilt?

I'm linking this week with Needle and Thread ThursdayPut Your Foot Down, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop and TGIFF

June 15, 2019

Medallion Magic QAL Part 6

It's time for another installment of the Medallion Magic QAL 😊 This month we're adding the last borders to our quilt tops, meaning you'll soon have finished quilt tops!!
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
June 15th - Borders 5, 6 and 7 - we're here 😊
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 | Devoted Quilter.com
Remember last month I was late for my own QAL? Well, not this month! I have my Island Batik Medallion Magic finished and I love, love, love it!
Medallion Magic quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
These box blocks come together quickly, especially since we cut all the pieces back in February. I know I've said it before, but aren't these Paisley Park fabrics from Island Batik gorgeous? The rich purple is still my favourite.
Medallion Magic quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Medallion Magic quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Medallion Magic quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I'm playing with the possibility of making a whole quilt (or two) with these blocks. They're so much fun to make and they're great for showing off pretty fabric when they're paired with a neutral background.

I really like how the borders look together in this picture 😊 It has been a lot of fun remaking one of my favourite quilts.
Medallion Magic quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Now I just have to figure out how I'm going to quilt this one. Whenever I think about it, all I can picture is how I quilted the first Medallion Magic, and I'd like this one to be different. I'm hoping new ideas will come to me once I get it basted. That will be one of my tasks once summer vacation starts at the end of the month.

If you haven't started your Medallion Magic quilt yet, there's still time to finish a quilt top or even the whole quilt before the finish party opens on August 15th. There are some wonderful prizes to be won from some great sponsors, too. You can see all of the available prizes here. Click here to get your pattern. I hope you'll join us!

There's no link up this month. The finish link up will start on August 15th and will stay open until August 31st. Quilt tops and finished quilts will be eligible for the prizes at that time 😊 Thanks for quilting along with me!

June 10, 2019

A Devotion Break

I've been thinking for a couple of months now that I'd like to take a break from writing weekly devotions, mostly because it's feeling harder and harder to find something to write each week. I've decided to take the summer off and I plan to return with new weekly devotions again in September.
Time for a break | DevotedQuilter.com
I've hesitated to take a break from the devotions in the past because I worry that, once I stop writing them weekly, I'll find it impossible to get back into the habit. I'm hoping that by setting an end to my devotion writing break, I'll be able to jump right back in once the summer is over.

I'll still be here sharing my quilting (and garment sewing - there's new fabric on its way for a couple of dresses I'm really excited about making), so it's not a complete blogging break. There are lots of great quilts in the works that I can't wait to share 😊

In the meantime, I plan to read my Bible more often without worrying about how I could turn what I'm reading into a possible devotion. I hope that will allow me to return with plenty of new thoughts and insights in the fall.

June 06, 2019

A Small, Practical Finish

Welcome to TGIFF! There's no better way to end the week than by celebrating our finishes 😊

I have a small, practical finish to share this week. Back in December I made two sets of Christmas fabric napkins, one for a gift and one for us. Right up until about the middle of May we were still using those Christmas napkins, reindeer and all, lol. It was definitely time to make some non-holiday ones. I've had them made and in use for a couple of weeks, but I'm only just getting around to blogging about them.

When I was trying to decide what size to cut the Christmas napkins, I took one of my precut 10" squares and pretended to wipe my hands to see if that would be big enough. It was, so that was the size I cut out of my yardage. This time around I made it even easier on myself and just used precut 10" squares.
fabric napkins | DevotedQuilter.com
These are all Island Batik fabrics. The brights on the sides were in the stack of Paisley Dot brights that I used for my March challenge. I took all of the blues out of that stack because I was using other blue fabrics and I didn't want the pinwheels to blend in. I've had those squares set aside for napkins ever since 😏 The other squares are from the Victoria and Albert line.

Most tutorials for making fabric napkins tell you to fold over the edges and press them before stitching to give you a nicely finished hem. I think that looks beautiful. I also think that if I had to fold over and press all four edges of 25 napkins (that's 100 edges!), then they'd never get made. People always say I must have "some patience" to make the quilts I do, but that patience obviously has a limit.

Instead, I used the overedge foot on my machine, which makes it so easy to get a nice zig zag finish right at the edge of the fabric. It's not as fancy looking as the folded hem would be, but it has held up well on the first set of napkins and it's so much faster. I used Aurifil 2311 for all of the stitching. It doesn't match any of the colours, but it's a perfect creamy colour and it works with everything. And again, using just one thread meant I could stitch one napkin after the other without stopping, which meant it was faster.
fabric napkins | DevotedQuilter.com
I made 15 napkins in December which was almost enough for our family of five. This time I made 25, mostly because the napkins tend to get stuck in the laundry room for an extended period of time and that would sometimes leave us with no napkins in the kitchen. It's not that they're not washed and dried, but that the mountain of clean laundy doesn't get folded and put away nearly as quickly as it should. With ten more napkins I'm hoping that means there are always enough in the kitchen ready for use because, let's be honest, I'm not likely to suddenly get better at folding the laundry promptly. Anyone else out there with a mental block against folding the laundry or is it just me?

I love using fabric napkins. They're so much prettier than the disposable paper ones I had been buying for years, plus we're now not buying and throwing out all of those napkins. I'm trying to take as many baby steps towards reducing our waste as I can and this one is so easy.

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