May 25, 2020


Devotion for the Week...

This past Friday was Aiden's graduation day. It did not look anything like what we have always expected it to be. Schools are still closed and gatherings of more than 10 people are banned, so there was no in-person graduation ceremony. Family who were supposed to come to celebrate with us had to stay home.

It wasn't all bad, though. Local businesses stepped up to mark the day, with several offering gifts to the graduating students, and people decorated their homes with balloons and messages of congratulations. The parents of the grads arranged a time to meet up and drive in a parade of sorts around town and the grads worked together to create a video of them wearing their suits and dresses. There were no graduation caps for them to wear, but one of the other grad's moms arranged for someone to make them all masks.
Aiden's graduation pictures |
We used our tripod and the timer on Paul's phone to get some family pictures. Mom was supposed to have been our photographer for the day and I'm sure her pictures would have been better, but we did okay 😊 (BTW, those little flecks of white are teeny little hailstones or snowflakes or was cold, but not cold enough for it to be snow, but it felt more like snow than hail, so who knows?)
Aiden's graduation pictures |
Aiden's graduation pictures |
I made my dress! It's the Tessa sheath dress from Love Notions (affiliate link)😊
Aiden's graduation pictures |
 The teachers who had been working with the students to plan the graduation ceremony switched gears and created a "virtual grad" with all the speeches recorded on video and put in Google Classroom so we could watch them. It was nicely done and as close to the real thing as we could get. Even though it wasn't 'right' it felt good to be able to celebrate Aiden's accomplishment as a high school graduate.

For some reason, thinking about celebrating the graduation kept bringing to mind Miriam's celebration after the Israelites crossed the Red Sea. Here's a super condensed version of the story: The people had been slaves in Egypt, then the Lord had rescued them, but Pharaoh changed his mind and chased them to get them back. God parted the waters of the Red Sea so the Israelites could cross on dry land to get away from Pharaoh, and when Pharaoh and his chariots tried to cross God let the waters return to normal, drowning them.

"Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine and led all the women as they played their tambourines and danced. And Miriam sang this song:

'Sing to the Lord,
    for he has triumphed gloriously;
he has hurled both horse and rider
    into the sea'" (Exodus 15:20, 21).

The Israelites had thought they were goners, that they were caught between the uncrossable Red Sea and Pharaoh with his chariots, but God intervened and saved them. I love how the movie Prince of Egypt shows them crossing on a narrow strip of bare sand between two massive walls of water, with fish and whales swimming in the water next to them.
Sometimes you just have to celebrate |
Background quilt is New Life
I feel like Miriam just couldn't hold back after she realized that God had saved them and they were really, truly free. The music and dancing burst out of her in celebration and she had to let it all out.

Sometimes you just have to celebrate! Things don't look quite like we thought they would, but there are still things worth celebrating. The celebrations probably won't look quite the same, either, but that doesn't mean we should hold back. What have you found to celebrate lately?

May 18, 2020

Stronger Together

Devotion for the Week...

I pre-wash almost all of my fabric. The only exception is pre-cuts smaller than a fat quarter since the distortion that occurs in washing and drying makes those small pieces unusable. A few days ago I washed a bundle of fat quarters I was given and, when I opened the washer to put them in the dryer, I found a terrible mess. The fabrics had all frayed around the edges and the resulting strings had tangled together. Ugh.

As I untangled the pieces of fabric from each other and ripped the bunches of strings off, there were places where it was only a string or two and they snapped easily. In other spots there were many strings and they just would not rip. I had to get the scissors, eventually, in order to cut the last few bunches of strings. As I did so, I thought, "A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." That, of course, is part of a famous verse from Ecclesiastes. The whole passage says:

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down,
 one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

We were made for community and we need support from other people to thrive. These past few months have made that especially clear. Most of us really feel the lack of social interaction. Though we can video chat, text or call each other, it's just not the same as being in the same room as someone. I have felt special sympathy for people who have lost friends or loved ones during the quarantine and who couldn't have the usual time to sit together, hug and grieve.

The phrase 'all in this together' is everywhere these days and for good reason. Though everyone is experiencing the pandemic a little differently because of different health, financial or family circumstances, we are all in the same fight against the spread of this virus. We will get through it most successfully if we help each other as much as possible, even if that help has to come from a distance.
The more we lean in to our relationships, the stronger we will be |
Background quilt (top) is my Burst quilt - pattern coming soon!
Who do we have that we can rely on? And who can rely on us? Is there anything we can do right now to strengthen those relationships? The more we lean in to our relationships, the stronger we will be. That was true in King Solomon's day and it's just as true today.

May 17, 2020

Foundation Piecing with Freezer Paper Workshop

I am excited to announce that I'll be teaching another free live workshop in a few weeks! Yay! I love the precision of foundation piecing, but I've always hated tearing out all the bits of paper at the end. Foundation piecing with freezer paper, on the other hand, is like magic! All the precision, but none of the hassle of ripping out the paper 😊
Foundation piecing with freezer paper workshop |
The Foundation Piecing with Freezer Paper workshop will take place in a private FB group on Saturday, June 6th at 1 pm ET. No worries if you can't make it during the live workshop, though. I'll make the replay available in the group so you can watch it anytime. I hope you'll join me!

Sign up for the workshop

May 12, 2020

My Finished Churn Inventory Quilt

My Churn inventory quilt has been finished for a couple of weeks, but it has finally been photographed and gifted 😊
Churn quilt pattern |
I made this quilt as part of the Inventory Quilt Project, hosted by Just Wanna Quilt, and I used one piece of each of my blue and teal fabrics, except for a few novelty prints that I chose to leave out. The HSTs are made using the two at a time method, so each HST has a twin, but they started out as only one piece cut from each fabric.

I also made this as my Hands 2 Help comfort quilt challenge quilt. Sarah has been running this challenge for a long time and every year there are more quilts donated to great charities. Quilters really are amazing people! This year the Hands 2 Help challenge included something a little different - the Caregivers Quilt Initiative, started by Sue Daurio. The idea is for people to honour a caregiver they know in their own community by giving them a quilt.

As soon as I read about this initiative, I thought of Marie, who cares for her adult daughter, Deanne. Deanne has Down's Syndrome and over the past few years there have been extra challenges with her physical and mental health. I asked another of Marie's daughters about her favourite colour (it's blue) and then got to making her quilt. You can read more about the quilt top in this post.

I used a Northcott print called Canvas on the back. It's not quite a solid, but the quilting still shows up beautifully. I quilted this heart and loop meander design, which is quickly becoming a favourite. I used Aurifil 4140 in 50 wt for the quilting and the batting is Warm and Natural. I had expected to need to piece a batting, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a perfectly sized piece in my off-cuts, probably from the last time I opened a king-size batting.
heart free motion quilting |
For the binding, I debated using either pink or yellow, to highlight those sections of the quilt, or maybe one of the blues. Then I looked into my scrap binding bag and found enough pieces of blues and teals to make a scrappy binding and I was sold. After all, half the work of making the binding was already done! I especially love the white piece with blue and yellow flowers.
quilt binding |
I was so excited about getting the binding put on and having the quilt finished that I completely forgot to put my label on. Oops! A few minutes of hand stitching fixed that, though. I really love my LDH Scissors, by the way 😊
quilt label |
I won my labels in a giveaway on Kelly's blog (My Quilt Infatuation) years and years ago...actually, I just took a minute and searched on her blog and discovered that I won them in August 2015 😮 There were 1000 labels on the roll when I got it from Finer Ribbon and despite 5 years of steady quilt making, it hardly looks used! I won't be running out anytime soon, that's for sure.

Thanks to Sarah and Sue, for introducing me to the Caregivers Quilt Initiative! I had a lot of fun making this quilt specifically for Marie. It was wonderful to get to surprise her with a special quilt.

If you want to make your own version of Churn, you can get the pattern in my Etsy shop. I have it in both PDF and print versions. Both include a baby quilt size option, along with the throw size shown here.

Here's one last shot of the quilt, with one of my quilt holders peeking around the edge. He started to get a bit impatient with the wind that kept picking up the corners of the quilt and with his mother who was taking too long to get the pictures, lol 💗
Churn quilt pattern |

May 11, 2020

Not Taking Advantage

Devotion for the Week...

I'm usually the first one up in the mornings on weekdays. Now that we're off, Nathan is often up before me, but he heads down to the family room to play on the Playstation as soon as he's up. That means I usually have breakfast by myself. A little over a year ago, I decided to start reading my Bible while I have breakfast, rather than scrolling mindlessly on my phone. I read the whole New Testament, and now I'm working my way through the Old. Some parts of the Old Testament are just hard to read, though. I'm thinking Leviticus and Numbers, especially. I'm currently almost finished Leviticus, which means I still have Numbers to look forward to, lol.

If you've never read Leviticus, the book records many (many!) laws and regulations that God gave His people, the Isrealites. One such regulation was The Year of Jubilee, which was to happen every 50 years and included canceling all debts and the return of family property to the original owners. Selling any family property required setting a price that took into account the number of years remaining until the next Year of Jubilee, when the land would be returned to the family. "The more years until the next jubilee, the higher the price; the fewer years, the lower the price. After all, the person selling the land is actually selling you a certain number of harvests" (Leviticus 25:16). Obviously, there would still have been a lot of leeway to set the price based on the desirability of the land in question, but the number of years remaining would also affect the price.

It was the next verse that really got my attention, though. "Show your fear of God by not taking advantage of each other" (v. 17). It made me think of companies today that take advantage of their employees by paying them the lowest wage possible, even when the company is making big money every year, or by offering mostly part-time positions, which don't require giving employees benefits. It seems that our culture is entrenched in the idea of getting as much as you can without considering what that will do to the people around you. That is definitely not the way God would have us do business, though.

I was also intrigued by the thought that not taking advantage of others wasn't just presented as being the right thing to do, but also as a measure of your fear of God. Taking advantage of others, then, would indicate the absence of fear of God. Remember, too, that the phrase 'fear of God' does not mean being afraid of God, but feeling an appropriate respect for Him.

Of course, this doesn't only apply to buying and selling things, and it wasn't only relevant in the Old Testament times. The New Testament includes this verse: "Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too" (Philippians 2:4). Taking an interest in others seems like it would have to start with a desire to not take advantage of anyone.
Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too |
Background quilt is Hollow Jewels
I don't know about you, but I'm not selling family property and I don't have any employees. Even so, there are plenty of interactions with other people where we could choose to take advantage of someone, either in big or small ways. Choosing not to do so is just one way we can demonstrate our fear of God.

May 09, 2020

Between the Stars in Make Modern

I have a fun quilt to share with you today! Between the Stars in is issue 34 of Make Modern magazine, which is now available.
Between the Stars quilt pattern |
I love, love, love star blocks and designing quilts with stars always makes me happy 😊
Between the Stars quilt pattern |
I also love scrappy quilts, so a scrappy star quilt with a scrappy binding is right up my alley! When I was putting the binding on, I noticed I was about to start with the red section of the binding next to the red star, so I started in a different spot. It wasn't until the binding was completely finished that I realized the green section was right next to the green star. Oops! At that point, though, I wasn't going back to fix it.
Between the Stars quilt pattern |
I raided my scrap pile for the stars and the grey bars. Only the light grey background was yardage (it's Kona Shadow) and even that was left over from something else. I had to make a change to the design partway through, since the background fabric was also supposed to be the middle grey bar, where the medium grey is, but I realized after cutting all the pieces for the stars that I wouldn't have enough to cut those strips, too. That's what I get for not checking to see how much I actually had before I started cutting. Back into the stash I went to see what I had that would work there and I ended up really liking the look with the medium grey.
Between the Stars quilt pattern |
Between the Stars is a great baby size quilt, finishing at 36" x 48". That also makes it a great size to go all-in with dense free motion quilting. I used Northcott's solid white on the back, so the quilting really shows up well.
Between the Stars quilt pattern |
I used Aurifil 50 wt for all of the quilting (and piecing), matching the thread colours to the fabric. In the white parts of the stars, I quilted continuous curves that spiraled in towards the middle. In the coloured parts of the stars I did an elongated spiral kind of design. Both designs were chosen in part because I could outline the shape and quilt the design in the middle, then move on to the next piece without needing to stop and start again.
Between the Stars quilt pattern |
The light grey background got a tiny stipple, while the medium grey got back and forth lines and the darkest grey got wishbones. I can't really explain why, but I love quilting wishbones. There's just something soothing about the motion to quilt them. Do you have a favourite design like that?
Between the Stars quilt pattern |
I found it really hard to get a full picture of the front of the quilt. Mostly because it's not big enough for one of my boys to hide behind, since they're well past the 48" height, but also because my quilt draping skills are not very good. I try, but it's not quite there yet. This shot isn't bad, but the background could definitely be better. Taking pictures when there's still snow, like back in March when I took these, is an extra challenge since the nearby beaches with their many rocks and beautiful water backgrounds aren't useable.
Between the Stars quilt pattern |
Make Modern's issue 34 is packed with fabulous patterns, as always. Click to buy the issue or you can get a subscription for 6 months or 12 months. You can also choose the All Access subscription, which gives you access to all 34 issues Make Modern has would you decide which issue to read first??? 😄 Those are all affiliate links, which means that if you click a link and make a purchase, I'll receive a small commission, but it does not change the price you pay. I'm a huge fan of Make Modern, with my own subscription, so I'm confident you'll love it, too.

I have another design finished in EQ8 that features this star that I'm anxious to make, so you'll be seeing it again sometime. Hopefully it won't take me too long to get to it...My to-make list is longer than my arm!
Between the Stars quilt pattern |
Pick up your copy of Make Modern issue 34 to get the Between the Stars pattern, then sit and enjoy it with a cup of tea or coffee this weekend. That's what I intend to do with mine 😊

May 05, 2020

Designer Tips and Tutorials Video Series

Did you enjoy the Designer Virtual Trunk Show series on Facebook a few weeks ago? I know I did! Today there's a new series starting and over 50 designers will be sharing short tips and tutorials videos. It's going to be so much fun!
This time around we'll be going live to share our tips and tutorials on Facebook from 12 - 8 pm ET, PLUS we'll then go live on Instagram! So whether you prefer FB or IG, you'll be able to catch the videos live or watch the replays after. You can also join this FB group, where the designers will share the links to their replays, so it will be easy to find them all.

I'll be going live today at 6 pm ET on Facebook, then at 6:30 ET on Instagram. Follow me on FB and IG so you don't miss it 😊

One of the things I love most about quilting is that there's always something more to learn, so I'm excited to see what everyone will be sharing during this series. Here's the full schedule:

Facebook Schedule:

May 5
May 5 12pm ET Cherry Guidry - launch
May 5 12:30pm ET Janellea Macbeth
May 5 1pm ET Jen Frost
May 5 2pm ET Teresa Weaver
May 5 2:30pm ET Jo Westfoot
May 5 3pm ET Becca Fenstermaker
May 5 4pm ET Michelle Renee Hiatt
May 5 4:30pm ET Margaret Willingham
May 5 5pm ET Marlene Oddie
May 5 5:30pm ET Annie Unrein
May 5 6pm ET Leanne Parsons
May 5 7pm ET Jennifer Fulton
May 5 7:30pm ET Reed Johnson
May 5 8pm ET Tammy Silvers - launch
May 6
May 6 12pm ET Sue Pelland
May 6 1pm ET Annette Ornelas
May 6 2pm ET Kate Colleran
May 6 3pm ET Melissa Marginet
May 6 4pm ET Jackie Kunkel
May 6 5pm ET
May 6  5:30pm ET Melissa Merriman Harr
May 6 6pm ET Laura Piland <----That's me!!
May 6 7pm ET Terri Vanden Bosch
May 6 7:30pm ET Swan Sheridan
May 6 8pm ET Annie Smith

May 7
May 8 12pm ET Becky Campbell
May 8 1pm ET Tina Dillard 9
May 8 2pm ET Beth Helfter
May 8 3pm ET Sherri Noel
May 8 4pm ET Kathleen McCormick
May 8 5pm ET On Williams Street
May 8 6pm ET Andi Stanfield
May 8 7pm ET Nancy Scott
May 8 8pm ET Lisa Ruble
May 9
May 9 12pm ET Sherry Shish
May 9 1pm ET Cristina De Miranda
May 9 2pm ET Toni Smith
May 9 3pm ET Alison Stothard
May 9 4pm ET Bobbie Gentili
May 9 5pm ET Ebony Love
May 9 6pm ET Carolina Moore
May 9 7pm ET Kathryn LeBlanc
May 9 8pm ET Tammy Silvers - wrap up presentation

Instagram Schedule:
May 5
May 5 12:30pm ET IG Cherry Guidry – launch
May 5 1:00pm ET   Janellea Macbeth
May 5 1:30pm ET IG   Jen Frost          
May 5 3:00pm ET        Jo Westfoot
May 5   3:30pm ET IG Becca Fenstermaker
May 5   4:30pm ET IG Michelle Renee Hiatt
May 5 5pmET              Margaret Willingham         
May 5   5:30pm ET IG Marlene Oddie
May 5 6:00pmET         Annie Unrein
May 5   6:30pm ET IG Leanne Parsons 
May 5   7:30pm ET IG Jennifer Fulton
May 5   8:00pm ET IG  Reed Johnson
May 5    8:30pm ET IG Tammy Silvers - launch
May 6
May 6 12:30pm ET IG Sue Pelland       
May 6  1:30pm ET IG  Annette Ornelas
May 6   2:30pm ET IG Kate Colleran
May 6   3:30pm ET IG Melissa Marginet
May 6   4:30pm ET IG Jackie Kunkel
May 6   5:30pm ET IG 
May 6    6:00pm ET IG Melissa Merriman Harr
May 6   6:30pm ET IG Laura Piland
May 6   7:30pm ET IG Terri Vanden Bosch
May 6 8:00pm ET        Swan Sheridan
May 6    8:30pm ET IG Annie Smith
May 7
May 7 12:30pm ET IG Lynn Kane
May 7  1:30pm ET IG  Cristy Fincher
May 7   2:30pm ET IG Debbie Wendt
May 7   3:30pm ET IG Shelley Cavanna   
May 7   4:30pm ET IG Monique Kleinhans
May 7   5:30pm ET IG Heidi Pridemore
May 7   7:30pm ET IG Simone Fisher
May 7   8:30pm ET IG Nicole Moore
May 8      
May 8 12:30pm ET IG Becky Campbell
May 8  1:30pm ET IG  Tina Dillard
May 8   2:30pm ET IG Beth Helfter
May 8   3:30pm ET IG Sherri Noel
May 8   4:30pm ET IG Kathleen McCormick
May 8   5:30pm ET IG On Williams Street
May 8  6:30pm ET IG  Andi Stanfield
May 8   7:30pm ET IG Nancy Scott
May 8    8:30pm ET IG Lisa Ruble
May 9
May 9 12:30pm ET IG Sherry Shish
May 9  1:30pm ET IG  Cristina De Miranda
May 9   2:30pm ET IG Toni Smith
May 9   3:30pm ET IG Alison Stothard
May 9   4:30pm ET IG Bobbie Gentili
May 9   5:30pm ET IG Ebony Love
May 9  6:30pm ET IG  Carolina Moore
May 9   7:30pm ET IG Kathryn LeBlanc
May 9   8:30pm ET IG Tammy Silvers- wrap up presentation