January 31, 2019

Constellation TGIFF

Hello and welcome to TGIFF! It's time to do our happy dances to celebrate whatever we've been able to finish this week. We all love to start new things, but there's something so wonderful about a finish, isn't there?

If this is your first time here, please consider signing up for my monthly Bulletin, which goes out on the 16th of each month with some updates from here plus a recipe and some fun things to make. And have you seen my Medallion Magic QAL? It's only just beginning and I'd love to have you join in and quilt along with me!

This week I finished my Constellation pullover and it is so wonderfully comfortable. I won't be winning any modeling awards and my 16 year old son won't be winning any photography awards, but we can only work with what we've got, right? 😄
Constellation pullover | DevotedQuilter.com
Constellation pullover | DevotedQuilter.com
 The Constellation Hoodie is by Tami of Love Notions. It's a well written pattern, with several variations, plus there are tutorials for a few more that were shared during a SAL last week on Facebook. There's also a men's version and a kid's version, so you could easily outfit the whole family. She has a huge FB group that is wonderfully responsive and encouraging, which was a nice bonus as it's great to be able to ask questions of people who have already made the pattern. It also serves her well in that now that I keep seeing people making her other patterns I'm more and more tempted to buy those too, lol.
I chose to make the collared version, rather than the hooded version. I've never really been a fan of hoods on my sweatshirts, so it's nice to have the option to leave that off. I went with the curved hem rather than the banded hem this time, but I could easily see me making the banded hem version sometime. I seriously doubt this will be my last Constellation!

I used a french terry fabric and when I ordered it from L'oiseau Fabrics, I had no clue what to expect. That has been one of the biggest hurdles for me when it comes to sewing more garments and especially knit garments. I just have no idea what different fabrics will feel like or how heavy they'll be. The french terry is a bit lighter than I was expecting, but that works since I'm usually the last person in the room to be cold and a lighter sweater will be just right most of the time.
Constellation pullover | DevotedQuilter.com
I love the contrasting fabrics, but next time I might choose not to have the contrasting fabric on the pocket. I think it might be better if the contrasting fabric were on the bodice. I also love the bright pink zipper!
Constellation pullover | DevotedQuilter.com
This was my first time putting in a sleeve and putting a cuff on a sleeve and I am so pleased with how they turned out! I *may* have had to redo the first one of both because I managed to sew them on inside out, but I got it right in the end, lol.
Constellation pullover | DevotedQuilter.com
The last thing I did was the hem, for which I used a twin needle for the first time ever. However, I didn't really think it through and the nice twin lines of stitching ended up on the inside while the "bottom" zigzag line is on the outside. Oops! At that point, I had used the seam ripper enough times that I just shrugged and decided it would be a design element. I'll get it right on the next garment!
Constellation pullover | DevotedQuilter.com
Unfortunately, within hours of finishing it, I managed to flick brown candle wax onto it 😟 I removed the wax easily enough by ironing the spots with paper towel over them to absorb it, but the colour remained. I sprayed it with Shout and washed it, but they're still there. You may have noticed them in the previous pictures. They're pretty conspicuous.
Constellation pullover | DevotedQuilter.com
I asked for suggestions for removing them on Instagram and received quite a few. I also asked my mother, who suggested peroxide and dish soap. I looked online for how much of each to use and found this recipe, which is what I'm trying first. Fingers crossed that I can get the stains out because it's not wearable as it is, except around the house.

So that's what I've finished this week! What have you finished? Link up below and be sure to visit a few of the other links as well to share in the celebrating.

Inlinkz Link Party

January 30, 2019

January One Monthly Goal Complete

I'm coming in under the wire, but last night I managed to finish the quilting that I set as my One Monthly Goal, hosted by Patty at Elm Street Quilts 😊 I had set the goal with two parts: to finish the quilting on at least one more first responder quilt and to get a count of how many quilts I have on hand and how many quilts still need to be finished in order to finally give the quilts to our town's first responders. (For those who don't know/don't remember, all of the blocks for these quilts were donated in a HUGE wave of support after a senior citizen's home across the road from us burned down almost two years ago.)

Here's the most recently quilted, but not yet bound, quilt. I quilted it with my go-to loopy design in Aurifil 2600.
First responder charity quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Then today I pulled out all the stacked quilts and attached a slip of paper with the name of one of the first responders to each one. Here they are all together. Don't they look fabulous stacked up like this?
First responder charity quilts | DevotedQuilter.com
This stack contains 26 finished quilts and 2 that are quilted, but not yet bound. There are another 2 quilts with a longarmer in town who is going to quilt them for me, for a total of 30. At the time of the fire, we had 31 first responders. 31! That means only 1 more quilt to go!! And I have the top and backing pieced for it, it just needs to be quilted 😊

When I wrote my One Monthly Goal post back at the beginning of the month, I was thinking that I'd also make quilts for the new RCMP and fire fighters, but when I messaged the fire chief about that he said that, while he appreciates it, it isn't necessary to include the new people. And since including them would mean piecing and quilting another 6 quilts, which would take me months since I'd have to fit it in around all of my other obligations, I'm inclined to agree with him.

I am excited to be almost finished this project! It has been such a wonderful project and it was amazing to experience firsthand the generosity of this wonderful quilting community, but it will be nice to be finished and to cross it off my to-do list, finally. Giving the quilts to the first responders will also free up a bit of space in our house, lol.

I have a couple of other things I need to finish before I can quilt that last quilt, but you can be sure I will be getting to it as soon as I can 😊

January 28, 2019

A Good Name

Devotion for the Week...

A few years ago I was in a store with another person when we ran into an acquaintance. The person I was with asked about the other woman's kids and she said that one of them was having trouble with some of the girls in her class. "Well," she said, "It's really only one girl. Everyone else just follows her."

The person I was with, who also knew the class, said, "Let me guess," and said a name, which the mom confirmed was the right girl.

That conversation has stuck with me all this time because it made me sad that this young girl had already developed such a negative reputation that her name was the first to come to mind.

Proverbs 22:1 says, "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." Obviously, a good name isn't referring to how much we like the names we were given at birth, or how melodious they sound. It refers to how other people think of us, our reputations, how we are known by those who interact with us and by those who have only heard about us from others.

What sort of person would people have to be talking about for our names to be the first to come to mind?

None of us are perfect and we've all said or done things we regretted, but what is our overall reputation? This matters, not only for our own benefit and our own good name, but also for the benefit of the gospel.

As Christians, we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), which means that our names in our communities have an impact on His name in the community, too. How others view us because of our actions and our words will impact how they view Jesus. Isn't that a sobering thought?

In our interactions with others, do they see His characteristics? Do they see His love, His compassion, His mercy and kindness, His patience and grace in the things we say and do? Or do they see our selfishness, our anger and our impatience and then equate that with the name of Jesus, whom we claim to serve?
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.com
We bear Christ's name along with our own. Whatever our reputations may be, those who know we are Christians will link our names with His. Does that help His reputation in our communities or hinder it?

January 23, 2019

Getaway Blog Hop - Sparkler

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

Welcome to my stop on the Island Batik Getaway Blog Hop! For this blog hop each of the ambassadors were given a secret bundle of fabric in our 2nd box of goodies. Mine was the gorgeous Blossom line.
Island Batik Blossom fabrics | DevotedQuilter.com
Just look at those pinks, purples and teals! The colours feel like what I imagine being on a Caribbean island would feel like, with the beautiful ocean and the vibrant flowers all around. Working with these fabrics was quite the getaway for me, considering my photoshoot for this blog post required snowshoes 😊
Sparkler quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
To allow these beautiful colours and prints to shine, I combined them with Island Batik's solid grey and a white print from the Foundations line called Rice to create a quilt my friend Michelle named Sparkler.
Sparkler quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
The darker grey on the right hand side is from me laying the quilt in the snow for that snowshoe picture. The snow soaked through immediately and left some damp spots.
Here are some closeups of the pieced sparklers and the pretty prints they're made of. Do you see the subtle grey sparklers that form as a secondary pattern when the blocks are joined together?
Sparkler quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Sparkler quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Sparkler quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
 I'm terrible at naming my quilts so I was very happy when Michelle said the blocks reminded her of sparklers. That not only named the quilt, but also gave me the quilting motif. I had a blast quilting these meandering sparkler bursts all over the quilt in Aurifil 2600. When I posted asking if the quilted bursts looked like sparklers, one fellow ambassador pointed out that the meandering trails look like the lines left behind when we wave the sparklers around while writing our names in the air. I hadn't thought of that, but he's absolutely right!
Sparkler quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
The pattern for Sparkler is in the works and I'm hoping to soon have it available. What colours would you use to make your own version? I'm already wanting to make another version where the secondary sparklers are more obvious, just to see how that changes the look of the design.

Edited February 13 to say the pattern is now available! You can get it from either my Payhip or Etsy shops 😊
Sparkler quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
 I love this picture that looks like the quilt is just floating in the woods. 😊
Sparkler quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Karen, of Sew Karen-ly Created, was also given the Blossom line to work with and she's sharing her quilt today, too.
Sparkler quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
The Getaway blog hop is a month long extravaganza with sooo many beautiful quilts and fabrics to check out, not to mention giveaways to be won. There's a giveaway on the Island Batik blog, plus lots of the ambassadors are hosting giveaways as well.

For my giveaway, one winner can choose 2 of my PDF patterns. To enter, comment on this post and tell me what getaway you're dreaming of right now. The winner will be chosen by random number generator on February 2nd, after the Getaway blog hop is finished. As for me, I'm dreaming of a staycation with no responsibilities so I can spend hours and hours sewing 😊

Just one thing before I send you on your way...have you seen my Medallion Magic QAL? We're gathering our pattern and fabrics this month, so there's plenty of time to join in and we'd love to have you!

Now here's the full list of ambassadors for the Getaway blog hop. I know there are a lot, but the quilts are all so beautiful I recommend you check them all out!

Edited February 4th - The winner of the 2 PDF pattern is comment #36 - Rosalind Gutierrez. Congratulations, Rosalind!

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
Whether you're going for a getaway or hanging out at home, I hope you are enjoying your day!

January 21, 2019

Doing Good

Devotion for the Week...

There is a verse that I remember first reading years ago that kind of stopped me in my tracks at the time and still pops into my mind regularly as a check for my actions. It's a very simple verse, but trying to live by it is not always easy.

"If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them" (James 4:17).

Doesn't that make you stop and think? I find it interesting that the verse makes no mention of the sinful things we shouldn't be doing, but instead James flips it around and says that not doing the good things we know we should be doing is also sinful.

I don't know about you, but there are plenty of times I feel like I should be saying something encouraging or helping someone in someway and I hesitate. Maybe because I don't quite know what to say or because it would be inconvenient or I feel like I don't have the time for it. Whatever the excuse might be, this verse tells me that my not doing that thing I felt I should do was a sin.

Lately the verse has been rattling around in my brain a lot because I've been considering how much plastic we use in our house and how to get away from it. It's a bit overwhelming! Plastic is everywhere and for most of the products, especially packaging, I can't seem to see my way out of using it. Sometimes I'm not thinking and I pull out the plastic wrap for leftovers and then this verse pops into my head and I feel like it would be a sin for me to cover that food with plastic wrap when I could look for a reusable container instead.

Now, please don't think that I'm saying using plastic wrap (or plastics in general) is sinful! I'm just saying that because I've been reading about the effect of plastic on our environment I feel that the good I ought to be doing is finding other alternatives for my own use.

That's the second interesting thing about this verse. It's specific to each person and what they feel is the good they ought to be doing. There's a lady in our church who does a lot of work for the pro-life movement. I think this verse means it would be sinful for her to stop doing that because she believes it is the good thing she ought to be doing. I, on the other hand, don't feel called to fight that fight, so it is not sinful for me to be less engaged with it.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.com
There are so many ways to do good in this world that it would be impossible for any one person to do all of them, but just think how much better the world would be if we all did the good things that we feel we should be doing.

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! 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
August 15th - Finish party link up opens

Time to get started!

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!