February 27, 2020

Formal Garden in Playroom Fabrics

Welcome to my stop on Mister Domestic's Playroom project party! It's going to be a fabulous 5 weeks of projects made with these adorable fabrics and I'm happy to be part of the kick-off week. The projects already shared have been great!

This fun fabric line felt like it was practically begging to be made into a baby quilt, so that's exactly what I did. This is my Formal Garden pattern, which is almost ready for release. Consider this a little preview, lol.

Edited - the pattern is now available! Get the PDF Formal Garden pattern from my Etsy shop now. Use the code '7YEARS' to get 25% off any of my print or PDF patterns through March 20th, 2020.
Formal Garden baby quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I used the alternate layout option included in the pattern for my Playroom quilt and I love how it changes the look of the design a bit. Here's a shot of the full quilt, taken indoors because this one is too small for my boys to hide behind and it just wouldn't stay put anywhere I tried to put it outside.
Formal Garden baby quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Which Playroom fabric is your favourite? I love the handprints...and the teal with scattered little shapes...and the flowers. It's such a pretty collection!
Formal Garden baby quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
I used Art Gallery's solid in Creme de la Creme for the background and backing. This was my first time using Art Gallery's solids and I loved that they have the colour name printed on the selvedge. That completely eliminates the guess work when you pull a solid from your stash and have to figure out what brand and colour it is. Genius!

One of my goals for 2020 is to make more small quilts to use up some of the smaller pieces of batting I have on hand, without needing to piece them together. This 41" x 43" quilt fits the bill perfectly. The piece of Warm and Natural batting I used wasn't really small enough to be called a scrap, but it was leftover from cutting up a king size batting to use for a throw size quilt at some point. I love turning leftover pieces into a finished quilt!

While I was piecing the top I thought I would use a cream coloured thread to match the background for the quilting, but when the quilt was basted, I decided to audition a few threads before I started quilting. I'm so glad I did because I love how the Aurifil 5005 looks! It doesn't blend, but it's a subtle enough colour that it doesn't take away from the fabrics, either.

I took inspiration from the trees with heart leaves and quilted a loop and heart all over design. I loved drawing hearts as a kid, so it was a lot of fun to quilt all of these hearts.
Formal Garden baby quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
Of course, with a solid fabric for the back, the quilting shows up nicely. Apparently I forgot to get a good picture of the back, though, so you'll have to trust me on that. Here's a shot with a little corner of the back showing.
Formal Garden baby quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
I had fun taking pictures in the woods (on my snowshoes, lol). Just notice how high off the log the quilt actually is...that's all snow! I am one of those rare people who love snow and I love being able to see just how much we have on the ground.
Formal Garden baby quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
There are two simple forts in the woods behind our house. One was built a year or two ago by a few neighbourhood kids and the other was already there when we bought the house so I don't know who built it. It seemed only right to drape a quilt made with Playroom fabric over an outdoor playroom.
Formal Garden baby quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Formal Garden baby quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Thank you to Art Gallery and Mister Domestic for providing the fabrics for this quilt for the project party. Now, if only every pregnant woman I know weren't having boys lately...I'll just have to stash this one for the next girl to be born among my friends or family.
Formal Garden baby quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Thank you for visiting! Be sure to check out the full schedule for the project party. You don't want to miss any of the projects. Mister Domestic is hosting giveaways each week of the party, too, so be sure to follow him on IG.
Edited - Get the pattern now in my Etsy shop! Don't forget to use the code '7YEARS' to get 25 % all patterns through March 20, 2020.

I'd love it if you'd pin this image to help other quilters find me and my patterns. Small businesses like mine love help with marketing!
Formal Garden baby quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
What would you make with Playroom fabrics?

I'm linking up with NTT, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop, Finished (or Not) Friday, TGIFF and the Beauties Pageant.

February 24, 2020

Three Days

Devotion for the Week...

Three days isn't a very long time, is it? Our memories are pretty good over a time span of three days, especially for significant events. As I'm writing this on Sunday evening, three days ago was Thursday, when I was super tired after several poor nights' sleep in a row, I went to Nathan's basketball game immediately after work and I had a meeting after a late supper. It's pretty simple to remember.

Since we're agreed that it's not hard to remember the events of three days ago, just hold that in your mind for a moment as you read these verses:

"Then Moses led the people of Israel away from the Red Sea, and they moved out into the desert of Shur. They traveled in this desert for three days without finding any water.  When they came to the oasis of Marah, the water was too bitter to drink. So they called the place Marah (which means “bitter”). Then the people complained and turned against Moses. 'What are we going to drink?' they demanded." (Exodus 15:22-24).

Three days. That's all it took for the people to turn against Moses, which is really turning against God since Moses was only doing what God told him to do. Now, I grant you that three days of wandering in the desert without water would be stressful, especially when they finally come to an oasis only to discover the water is undrinkable. However, this was only three days after they had strolled along on the floor of the Red Sea with walls of water looming large on either side of them. You would think that experience would be firmly lodged in their memory, right along with a firm conviction that if God could do that, then surely He could provide them with water to drink.

It's easy for me to sit in my nice, cozy chair tonight, sipping my tea and condemning the Israelites for how quickly they forgot God's ability to provide for them. Unfortunately, the truth is that I can be just as quick to forget. I can be just as quick to doubt that God will provide for me and I can be just as quick to start complaining. It's easy to pass judgement on others and not so easy to admit that I'm liable to make the same mistakes. Are you like that, too?
We can trust God to provide for us | DevotedQuilter.com
Background quilt is a sneak peek of Formal Garden, coming soon 😊
The challenge for us, then, is to notice when we're acting like the Israelites in the desert. When we start complaining about what we don't have, let's pause for a moment and look back to see if God has provided for us in the past. Of course He has! So, since He has provided for us in the past, let's remember that we can trust Him to provide for us now.

February 17, 2020

Toddler Explanations

Devotion for the Week...

Silas, the four year old I look after, has made an appearance here before, when he helped me cut the pieces for a quilt. Well, last week his older sister was in the hospital with pneumonia; she is home now and getting better, thankfully, but on Wednesday Silas decided to explain to Paul why she was in the hospital. He stood holding his throat with both hands and said, "She has something in her throat and it's vibratating and that's making her really sick." Hmmmm, somehow I don't think he quite understands pneumonia, lol.

The next day he explained allergy medication to me. He told me that he's allergic to cats and dogs, which is true, and that Nana has a cat and that makes his eyes really itchy (he was staying with his grandparents while his parents were at the hospital). He has to take A LOT of pills, he told me, so I asked if the pills help. "Yeah," he said, "They make all the germs come back up out of my mouth and then they don't make my eyes itch anymore."

Toddler explanations are wonderful! They piece things together as best they can, but they don't quite get it right and the results can be hilarious. The best part is that they're presented with such seriousness because the kids honestly believe that what they're saying is right.

Peter wrote, "If someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it" (1 Peter 3:15). Hopefully our explanation of our hope will hold more truth than the average toddler explanation!

What is our hope?

Our hope is that our sins are forgiven because Jesus paid the price for them on the cross and that through faith in Him, we have eternal life with God. We are all sinners, but God offers salvation to everyone, not because of anything we have done but because of His love and grace. We don't need to earn it, we only need to accept it.
Our hope is that our sins are forgiven because of Jesus | DevotedQuilter.com
Background quilt is Burst (which is still only a top, lol)
That's it, short and sweet. And no vibratating involved, lol.

February 14, 2020

A Hint of Pink

Happy Valentine's Day! We really don't make a big deal of Valentine's Day (it was lunch time before Paul and I even thought to say it to each other, lol), but I did think it would be fun to incorporate a little extra pink into my day 😊

I started by stitching this pink EPP star to its background. It has been folded up in my sew together bag, just waiting its turn, for months, so it feels good to have it finally added to the stitched pile.
EPP star applique | DevotedQuilter.com
Then I made sugar cookie bars with the kids I babysit, with pink icing, of course. These cookie treats are about my only Valentine's Day tradition. They're so good and so much easier than cutting out and icing individual cookies.
sugar cookie bars (and quilt!) | DevotedQuilter.com
That quilt in the background? Nathan saw me working on it the other day and asked if it was a Valentine's quilt. It's not, but it certainly fits the theme 😊 Here's a close-up of the heart free motion quilting. That was really fun and relaxing to stitch.
Free motion quilted hearts | DevotedQuilter.com
I'll be sharing this sweet baby quilt as part of a project party celebrating Mathew, aka Mister Domestic's new fabric line, Playroom, so I can't share it just yet. My day is February 27th 😊 My plan is to have the pattern ready then, too, so I guess I should get moving with the pattern writing process, lol.

Here's where the quilt sits now, just waiting for its binding to be finished. I had hoped to get it done last night, but ended up finishing my book instead. What can I say? I love my books, too! It was The Cruel Prince, if you're wondering, and it was really good.
quilt binding | DevotedQuilter.com
Do you have any big Valentine's traditions? Aside from the sugar cookie bars, the only other thing we do that might qualify as a Valentine's tradition is buying chocolates the day after, when they've been reduced to 50% off, hehe.

February 10, 2020

Clothing Ourselves

Devotion for the Week...

Working with toddlers as I do, I often see them struggling to put on some article of clothing. Usually it's socks, since they all love to pull their socks off and then put them back on, but sometimes it's a sweater, boots, snowpants, hats or mittens. Whatever it is, at a year old they usually don't have the coordination and fine motor skills to actually get the article of clothing on without help. By two they can put on their socks most of the time and by three or four they can probably manage all of it. Learning to dress yourself is quite a process!

Last week I was reading in Colossians and I came to this: "Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony" (Colossians 3:12-14). What struck me most was the phrase 'clothe yourselves,' which immediately made me think that these things Paul is telling us to put on are not natural for us. Clothes, after all, aren't a part of us naturally. We add them to our bodies in the same way that he is telling us to add mercy, kindness, humility, etc. to our character.

Naturally speaking, we are full of selfishness. Just hang out with a group of toddlers for any length of time and you will see that selfishness on full display as they snatch toys from each other or push each other over in their desire to get to something they want. There is very little concern for others naturally present in us. We have to learn those traits.

Where can we get these traits, then? Well, consider how similar the list of traits we are to clothe ourselves with is to the list of the fruit of the Spirit: "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!" (Galatians 5:22, 23). Paul, in Colossians, is telling us to clothe ourselves with traits that come from the Holy Spirit living within us.

Just like toddlers learning to dress themselves, learning to clothe ourselves with these traits is quite a process. There will be times we fail to put on the covering of love before we speak, resulting in us saying things that are mean or hurtful. There will be times we're unable to get the covering of patience on when we need it and we'll be impatient with someone or with a situation. That's okay. It's all part of the process of learning how to clothe ourselves with these godly traits. Thankfully, the more we practice relying on the Spirit within us rather than on our own nature, the better we will get at putting on love, patience, kindness and the rest.
Let's practice clothing ourselves with godly character | DevotedQuilter.com
Background quilt is Pinwheel Garden
Unlike toddlers learning to dress themselves, our goal is not to become independent. We will always need Him to help us clothe ourselves with godly character. Instead, our goal is to walk so closely with Him that we automatically put on these traits daily. Galatians 5:16 says, "So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves."

Let's practice clothing ourselves with godly character!

February 09, 2020

January TNB Blocks

The True North Bee had two queens during January and they requested very different blocks. First, Lee asked for scrappy HSTs with colour on one side and cream or white on the other. I love making HSTs, so I was happy to make these 😊
Scrappy HSTs | DevotedQuilter.com
Then Susanne asked for Hunter's Star blocks made with blue and orange, with the lights ranging from cream to tan. I've always wanted to make Hunter's Star blocks, but hadn't for some reason. This was just the push I needed to try them. Susanne sent us the link to this tutorial for the construction of the blocks.

It took three tries to sew the first diamond to the parallelogram, but once I figured out how to line them up, the rest went smoothly. The block is cool on its own,...
Hunter's star quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
Hunter's star quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
 But the real magic happens when you put the blocks together.
Hunter's star quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
Now it's on to the February blocks - scrappy hearts for Conni. Time to dig through my pastel fabrics and hope I have enough variety 😊

February 03, 2020

Temperature Quilt - January

We're one month into 2020 and I've managed to stay on track for my temperature quilt. Yay!! I really wasn't sure how this would go, so I'm happy to be 1/12 of the way through the year and still on track 😊 On the other hand, it's hard to believe a month has gone by already.

Here's how it looks now.
temperature quilt progress | DevotedQuilter.com
For the record, it's hard to photograph a quilt row that is 1 ½" x 30 ½". Do you like the zipper pull on my sew together bag? My friend Michelle made that for me and it's the perfect colours to coordinate with my bag and with my temperature quilt 😊

So far I have used 5 fabrics to represent temperatures from 0 C and -12 C. I get strangely excited when I get to add a new fabric for the first time and now I'm curious about how far into the year we'll be before I add one to represent a temperature above 0.

I'm stitching the outline of each month's initial with 12 wt Aurifil in 2784. I like how they're obviously different without really standing out too much, if that makes sense. I haven't decided yet if I'll change thread colour as we get further into the year and the temperatures warm up, meaning the fabrics will transition to purples and pinks. I'll decide that when it's time to stitch those blocks.

What have you been stitching so far this year?

What's His Name?

Devotion for the Week.

Friends of ours shared the news that they were expecting a baby boy, but they didn't share what they planned to name him. When I saw on FB that the little guy had been born, I went around the house showing everyone the picture of baby Graham 😊 Zachary wasn't around when I did that, so he came into the kitchen later and said, "Did the Kirby's have their baby and did they name him Giovanni?" I just laughed. I mean, where did he come up with Giovanni?

Graham's dad, John, is also Zach's basketball coach and apparently the team had a running joke that the baby would be named Giovanni, which John had just played along with. In the player's group chat, John had posted "still waiting for Giovanni to arrive" and then later, "Giovanni is here." Zach still calls him Giovanni half the time, lol.

When a baby is born, one of the first questions we ask is "what is his/her name?" It's one of the most basic bits of information about any person. Parents-to-be consider names carefully, sometimes agonizing over that decision for the whole pregnancy. Paul had a name picked out for a daughter years before we ever even met...and then we had three boys, lol.

In the Bible, Hagar is the only person recorded to give God a name. Hagar was a slave to Sarai and Abram. When Sarai couldn't conceive, she gave Hagar to Abram, so Hagar would conceive a child who would then belong to Sarai. Understand, as a slave, Hagar had no say in this decision. Then, after Hagar conceives, "she began to treat her mistress, Sarai, with contempt" (Genesis 16:4), which prompted Sarai to treat "Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away" (v. 6).

Hagar meets God in the wilderness, where He tells her to return to her mistress, but He also tells her the future that is in store for the son she carries. In response, she says, "You are the God who sees me" (v. 13). Doesn't that just fit so nicely with last week's devotion? That was totally unplanned, but I do love the emphasis 😊

Even when we're in situations we would never choose or situations that are completely beyond our control, God still sees us. He knows where we are, He cares about us and He is working for our good. 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."
He is the God who sees us | DevotedQuilter.com
Background quilt is my Night Sky pattern in Catch and Release fabric
I don't know what situations you are facing today. None of us can know what situations we will face tomorrow. Whatever they may be, though, we can take comfort along with Hagar in the fact that He is the God who sees us.

February 01, 2020

Inventory Quilt Project Sew Along

Have you heard of the Inventory Quilt Project being hosted by Just Wanna Quilt? The idea is to use one piece of each fabric in your stash (inventory, get it?) to make a quilt to capture your stash all in one quilt. You can narrow the scope of the inventory as much as you want - only using fabrics in one colour, for example.
I'm excited to be one of the featured designers for the sew along! I'll be making a new version of my Churn pattern 😊 Here's the original Churn quilt, made in 2017 for the 2018 Quilter's Planner.
Churn quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
I can't decide what colours I want to use for this version. I definitely have enough blue fabrics to use each fabric only once, but I've already made one blue version, in the baby quilt size. Of course, the Pantone colour of the year is Classic Blue, so that might be just the excuse I need to make another blue quilt 😊
Churn quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
I probably have enough green fabrics, too, but I don't know that I want a quilt that would be that green. I'm going to have to think about this a bit more, and probably take a good long look at my stash.

If you want to take part in the Inventory Quilt project sew along, there's a Facebook group you can join and you can also use the hashtag #inventoryquilt.

If you want to use Churn for your inventory quilt, pick up the PDF pattern or the printed pattern, whichever you prefer. My Scraps Squared pattern would also be a fun option for an inventory quilt (I considered using it myself, actually!).

Will you be sewing along? If so, will you do every single fabric in your stash, or every fabric in a single colour, or some other variation?