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.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

June 05, 2019

Another New (Very Old) Toy

A couple of weeks ago, one of the youth leaders at our church said her father had an old sewing machine in his shed. Would I want it? Why yes, of course I would! So this beauty has found her way to me 😊
vintage singer sewing machine | DevotedQuilter.com
I googled her serial number, which tells me she was made in 1894, making her 124 years old. Does that thrill you as much as it does me? I think it's wonderful to own a machine that women used to make their family's clothes and quilts so long ago. I wish I could know the machine's history. How many women have owned and used it? Did young girls learn to sew their first projects on it? Did it ever sew a wedding dress? Baby clothes?

This is my second Singer treadle machine and, strangely enough, they both have the Sphinx decals. You can read about my first one here.
vintage singer sewing machine | DevotedQuilter.com
I've read before that people don't set out to become collectors of vintage machines, but that it happens gradually anyway. It's almost like there's a gossip network among the old, neglected machines, telling of safe havens. Can't you hear their whispers? "I heard about this lady who takes machines like us in and fixes them up so they're clean." "I hear she even says she wants to get them sewing again!"
vintage singer sewing machine | DevotedQuilter.com
This poor machine has had some knocks and bumps in her 124 years. The decals on the machine bed are in rough shape and the black enamel coating is chipped and missing in places. It's going to be hard to clean it without causing more damage. She doesn't seem to be missing any parts, though, except for the cabinet with the treadle foot pedal. I'll need to replace those eventually if I want to be able to sew on her.
vintage singer sewing machine | DevotedQuilter.com
Boy, oh boy, is she dirty! It's going to take some serious work to get her clean again. I took off the end plate and this is what it looks like inside (thankfully everything is of the inanimate variety and nothing scurried away as I removed the plate, lol).
vintage singer sewing machine | DevotedQuilter.com
I wish I had thought to take a picture of this piece before I started cleaning it. Do you see the gross brown at the top, just above the hole? That's what the whole thing looked like before I tried cleaning it with baking soda and water. Yuck, right?
vintage singer sewing machine | DevotedQuilter.com
The baking soda and water helped a lot, but then I read that chrome cleaner used on vintage motorcycles is the ideal cleaner for the chrome on these machines so I messaged my Dad, who has vintage motorcycles. He told me I need Autosol. I picked some up over the weekend and it works so well. Here's what it looks like after I used the Autosol and a toothbrush. There's still some grime in some of the corners of the design, so it needs a bit more work, but what a difference.
vintage singer sewing machine | DevotedQuilter.com
The serial number was so dirty it was hard to read, but the Autosol made it nice and shiny again. I definitely recommend it if you have a dirty vintage machine you want to get cleaned up.
vintage singer sewing machine | DevotedQuilter.com
I think this one will keep me occupied over the summer as I get her sparkling again. For now, she's hanging out on the kitchen counter so I can pick away at the cleaning, but she'll have a spot of honour in the living room once I'm done.

Do you have any vintage machines? If you do, did you intentionally start collecting them or did they find their way to you after you became known as a safe haven for old machines?

June 03, 2019

Cheating on the Program

Devotion for the Week...

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Paul and I are using a training program for the Tely10, a 10 mile (16 km) running race in July. That week I was thinking about some of the really short, easy runs the program had set for me. These last couple of weeks, I've had longer and harder runs, which has felt great.

One afternoon I was running 30 second intervals, alternating between slow and really fast, with my watch beeping at me to tell me when to change speeds. I was a little amused at myself for obeying the beeping watch and I thought about how absurd that might seem to a non-runner. That started me thinking about how no one would ever know if I was obeying the watch or not. For the record, I'm really enjoying the training and not at all tempted to not obey the watch, but if I were tempted I could ignore it. I could go out for a run, spend the allotted time out jogging slowly, so people would see that I'm running regularly, without actually working to improve my endurance and speed. No one would really know, at least for a while.

And that led me to think about salvation.

There are plenty of people who think that being "good" will get them into heaven, but the Bible tells us "everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard" (Romans 3:23). None of us can avoid sin completely, no matter how good we try to be. Sin separates us from God, making it impossible for us to spend eternity with Him in heaven, and there's nothing we can do to rescue ourselves from it.

Thankfully, God knows this and provided a way to restore our relationship with Him. Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. When we believe in Him as our Savior, then our relationship with God is restored and we can know that we will spend eternity with Him. "If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). It really is that simple.

That doesn't mean people don't try to cheat on the program, though. Some think that if they just go to church they can continue to live the way they want, without ever really believing. They keep up the appearance of being a believer, without the actual believing part.

Maybe it's because their parents raised them in the church, but they never got around to making the faith their own. Or maybe their spouse is a believer and they go to church to keep the peace or so their friends will think they believe, too. Or maybe they want to be seen to be a "good person" and part of that picture includes attending church. Whatever the reason, if they don't truly believe in their heart that Jesus died and rose again, they're cheating on the program.

They're going through the motions and making it look like they're following the program, but they're not. In the end, though, cheating on the program. Just like I won't be able to run the Tely10 if I don't do my training, so people won't have their sins forgiven and their relationship with God restored if they don't believe in Jesus.
Have you declared that Jesus is Lord? | DevotedQuilter.com
Have you declared that Jesus is Lord and believed in your heart that God raised Him from the dead? If so, YAY, your sins are forgiven! If not, there's no better time to accept Jesus as Savior.