October 29, 2020

Jesse Tree QAL - First Blocks

Do you know Jen Frost of Faith and Fabric? If not, you should! She's hosting a Jesse Tree QAL that started this week. Every week for 5 weeks there will be 5 new blocks that represent our salvation story 😊 Then, starting November 29th she'll be sharing a devotion each morning until Christmas. Doesn't that sound like a great way to get ready to celebrate Christmas??

Since this is the first week of the quilt along, the first 5 blocks have been released. For now, at least, I'm all caught up. We'll see how long that lasts, lol. Along with making the blocks, I've enjoyed reading about Jen's story behind each of the block designs.

The Jesse Tree blocks are all paper pieced, so I'm using freezer paper to make mine. No more ripping out little bits of paper at the end! If you want to learn this paper piecing magic, I'll be teaching a virtual workshop with Watergirl Quilt Co on November 28th. You can sign up here.

The first block represents Creation. I actually missed one small green piece, but by the time I realized it I was too far along to bother going back to fix it. Jen designed the Creation block to show Pangaea - the way the land looked before the continents drifted apart.
Jesse Tree quilt blocks | DevotedQuilter.com
Block 2 is an apple to represent the Fall. Fun fact, though we always associate an apple with the fruit Eve and then Adam ate, the Bible doesn't actually tell us what it was.
Jesse Tree quilt blocks | DevotedQuilter.com
Block 3 is the Tower of Babel. I had to make some adjustments to the cloud after a piece I sewed on didn't actually cover the space it was supposed to and I didn't realize that until I had sewn on a couple of other pieces. Rather than ripping out seams, I changed an angle so everything was covered. Good things clouds don't have to be perfectly shaped! It was fun using this floral green and imagining the tower being built surrounded by a field of wildflowers.
Jesse Tree quilt blocks | DevotedQuilter.com
Block 4 is Noah's Ark, along with the rainbow. The rainbow makes it such a happy looking block, doesn't it?
Jesse Tree quilt blocks | DevotedQuilter.com
Block 5 represents God's promise that Abraham's descendants would number as many as the stars in the sky. I was super happy to be using freezer paper on this block. That's a lot of tiny pieces of paper I would have had to rip out otherwise! The block is actually square, but the many diagonal seams don't want to lay flat at all, so it doesn't look square unless I'm smoothing it out flat.
Jesse Tree quilt blocks | DevotedQuilter.com
I haven't fully decided how I'll finish these blocks, but I do know I want to do something other than making a full quilt out of them. I'm considering finishing each block separately, so they could be hung on a line with clothespins. This really appeals to me, since a Jesse Tree is meant to be a story a day leading to Christmas. This way you could add one block to the display each day.

For now, that's 5 of 25 blocks done 😊 I've been having a lot of fun raiding my scraps for the blocks so far. Will you be joining in the quilt along

October 26, 2020

Time Change

 Devotion for the Week...

Next weekend the clocks will go back an hour. I've always been mildly entertained by the fact that we collectively agree that what was 2:00 am should revert to being 1:00 once a year, while collectively agreeing to move it forward in the spring. Time feels like a permanent force, marching steadily forward no matter how much we might want it to stop so we can preserve precious moments or avoid those that are painful, but inevitable. No matter how permanent time feels, though, next Sunday morning when I get up I will go through the house, changing the time on all of our clocks so that they match up to the new reality.

Time is really nothing but a human construct. At some point in our history we needed a way to divide the days into smaller increments and so the hour was born. Now it is so ingrained in us that we do almost everything according to what numbers the hands on the clock are pointing at.

God doesn't follow a clock. He's not confined to time at all, so not only are hours irrelevant to Him, so are days, weeks, months and years. Peter wrote, "But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day" (2 Peter 3:8). How we measure time has no meaning to the One who lives in eternity.

We might be waiting for Him to do something and we want it now, or at least at the specific time of our choosing. God, on the other hand, is waiting for His perfect time. In the New Living Translation, which I usually use, Galatians 4:4 says, "But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law." In the King James Version, that same verse is rendered, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law." The fulness of the time means 'within the appropriate or destined time.' Who determined the right time, the appropriate or destined time? God, of course. Only He could know when it was the right time to send our Savior, just like only He can know when it's the right time to answer our desperate prayers today.
God's time is always the right time | DevotedQuilter.com
Background quilt is Formal Garden
It's not easy to wait, I know. It's not fun, either. But God doesn't make us wait out of maliciousness or because He thinks it's fun to watch us be sad or hurt or anxious. He does things on His schedule because only He can know when the fulness of the time has come. His time is always the right time.

October 21, 2020

Hand Stitching Projects X 4

I've started another hand stitching project 😊 Did I need another hand stitching project, considering the three I already had on the go? No, I did not! That didn't stop me, though!

Sam of Hunter's Design Studio put out a new line of embroidery patterns, including one using her Respect the Power Tool graphic, which I love. A while back she was selling hoodies with the same graphic on them and I really wanted one. If I remember correctly, they were $45, which seemed reasonable, but then I had to add international shipping and take into account the dismal Canadian-American exchange rate and by then the hoodie would have been over $100. Not quite so reasonable. As soon as I saw this new embroidery pattern, I knew I had to buy it and stitch it right away.
Respect the Power Tool embroidery | DevotedQuilter.com
Jenny of Elefantz, adds bits of applique to her embroideries and they are all so, so beautiful. I decided to add a little applique to mine, too. I printed out the pattern at 150% to make the appliques a little more manageable and even still the scrap of teal Island Batik I used for the spool of thread is teeny tiny. I used a mottled black from Northcott for the sewing machine and another Island Batik fabric for the background.

This is where I am so far. I'm using Aurifil 12 wt for the stitching and I've started with 2930 to outline the sewing machine. It's pretty close to the gold details on my Singer treadle machines, which is what the shape Sam has drawn makes me think of.
Respect the Power Tool embroidery | DevotedQuilter.com
My very first quilt featured fusible applique with blanket stitching done by hand, so it's fun to be doing that again. I love how stitching around the edge of an applique shape makes it look so different.
Respect the Power Tool embroidery | DevotedQuilter.com
As for my other hand stitching projects, this seems like a good time for a little update.

We were out of town on Saturday for Zach's softball. I'm not sure how many sporting events there will be this school year as right now they're only allowing outdoor sports to have games between schools. The few indoor sports that will soon be starting are only allowed to have practices. But I digress. Between Zach's games, I pulled this star out of my Sew Together bag, where it has been folded for months, if not more than a year, pinned to its background and waiting to be stitched. Those fold lines did not want to flatten out!
EPP star | DevotedQuilter.com
Now it is finally stitched. It looks a lot better after a good press, too 😊
EPP star | DevotedQuilter.com
I still have another one in the bag, waiting to be stitched and it has been so long since I worked on these that I can't even remember how many I have finished or how many are left to go.

I also worked on my Hexie Rainbow quilt on Saturday. I now have all of the hexies for the second round of blue stitched together into rows and ready to be stitched to the main piece. I keep saying it will soon be too big to work on while we're driving, but I keep taking it and working on it, so I haven't reached that point yet.
EPP hexie rainbow progress | DevotedQuilter.com
When I started this, I planned to have the rainbow off center, like this. But now I'm thinking that I might prefer to have it centered. That would mean completing the purple rounds and shifting some rows of black from the right to the left and from the bottom to the top. It wouldn't make any difference to the total number of hexies in the quilt.
Hexie Rainbow plan | DevotedQuilter.com
And lastly, my 2020 temperature quilt. I discovered I left out May 29th, which meant a bit of time with my seam ripper to open up the space to add it in, right above the safety pin in the picture. I have the May 29th block made, it just needs to be stitched in place and then I need to sew the rows back together. I have the rows finished up to August 17th. Yup, that's means I'm more than two months behind, again. It's a good thing there's not much of 2020 left for me to get even farther behind, lol.
2020 temperature quilt fix in progress | DevotedQuilter.com
Well, that should keep me busy, especially since that's not even considering the things I want to make that actually use my sewing machine (and there are plenty of those, too!) πŸ˜„

October 19, 2020

In Whose Strength?

 Devotion for the Week...

I love reading fantasy stories. They're usually about the battle between good and evil and most of the heroes insist they are not heroes at all, not leaders or people who should be in charge of anything. They're just doing what needs to be done, just doing their job. Of course, fiction being fiction, they are also perfectly suited for the things that need to be done. They are the heroes, after all, no matter how often they insist they are not.

My guess is that most real life heroes would probably insist they're not heroes, too. They're just doing what needs to be done, serving or saving the people around them. They probably would never have thought they had the strength (mental, physical, emotional) to do what they did, but when the moment came, they stepped up.

The Bible has several stories of people who didn't think they had the strength for what God called them to do. There was Moses, who insisted he couldn't lead the people until God relented and gave him Aaron as an assistant. There was Solomon, who asked God for wisdom because he didn't trust that his own judgement would be enough to lead the country well. In between them was Gideon, who described himself as "the least in my entire family!" (Judges 6:15).

To set the scene, the Israelites were being severely oppressed by the Midianites. In fact, the Bible says they were "reduced to starvation" (v. 6). Then one day the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, who "was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites" (v. 11). I have to admit that I have no idea what a winepress looked like, but Gideon really was hiding in there, since threshing wheat would normally have been done out in the open, not at the bottom of a winepress. 

So, Gideon is hiding out at the bottom of the winepress, threshing his wheat, when the angel of the Lord shows up and says, "Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!" (v. 12). Usually when someone says 'The Lord is with you' they mean that God is on your side or He will give you strength. In this case, it was literal - God was right there at the bottom of the winepress with Gideon, but Gideon didn't really get it. He questioned the man he saw, asking why they were having such trouble with the Midianites, if God was really with them. "Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!" (v. 14).

It's at that point that Gideon scoffs at the idea. There's no way he has the strength needed to rescue Israel, since as I already said, he reckons he's essentially a nobody. Did you catch what God said, though? Go with the strength you have. However little strength that might be, it would be enough. Why? Because I am sending you!

God has plenty of strength to share | DevotedQuilter.com
Background quilt is Between the Stars

Are you being asked to do something and you don't feel you have the strength to do it? That's okay. It's not the strength of your strength that matters; it's the strength of His strength that is the deciding factor. In fact, our weaknesses are more help than hindrance. God told Paul, "My power works best in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). 

We may feel like we don't have the strength for what needs to be done. We're probably right. It still doesn't matter, because God has plenty of strength to share.

October 13, 2020

A Bloom Finish

Do you remember the Bloom block I shared last month as part of the It's a Garden Party row along? Well, now it's a finished wall hanging/table topper.

Bloom quilt | DevotedQuilter.com

I used a scrap of Warm and Natural batting (yay for using up another scrap piece!) and backed the quilt with the same Northcott solid yellow I used for the flower center. Then I couldn't delay deciding how to quilt it any longer πŸ˜„ Anyone else have trouble figuring out how you want to quilt just about everything lately?

I started by outlining each of the flower petals, using Aurifil 2210. Then I sat and stared at the quilt for a while, trying to decide how to quilt inside the petals. Nothing felt right, so finally I decided to leave it for later and do the flower center.

I decided to echo quilt the curve of the edge of the flower center and work my way in, just going from side to side with that same curve, using Aurifil 2135. I quilted most of the circle like that, but it was wobbly and uneven and at that point, it just looked weird.

Bloom quilt | DevotedQuilter.com

I (briefly) considered ripping out all that quilting, but that didn't appeal at all. The only other option, then, was to quilt something that would obliterate the lines. I decided to scribble all over it, drawing tiny overlapping circles. Each circle overlapped all of the others near it, creating an amazing texture and all kinds of different shapes, while completely obscuring the previously quilted lines. It was really fun to quilt since it didn't matter at all how nicely the circles were shaped. 

Bloom quilt free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.com
Bloom quilt free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.com

Bloom quilt free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.com
Once the flower center was quilted, I stared at the petals for a while again, but there still wasn't any inspiration, so I moved on to the background, echo quilting around each flower petal. Yvonne, of Quilting Jetgirl, recently quilted a stipple with loops to represent the pollinators in her Pistils and Pollen quilt, which seemed like the perfect quilting plan for this oversized flower block. Of course, me being me, I had to quilt it really, really small.

I only quilted a few square inches before I realized that it was impossible to see the Aurifil 2780 on the gorgeous Northcott fabric. The colour match was too perfect. I tried setting up a light so it was coming across the bed of my machine, so it would cast shadows and I could tell where I had already quilted, but that wasn't much better. So I decided to flip the quilt over, put new pins next to all the ones that were already there, then remove the pins on the front, so I could quilt from the back. That royal blue thread shows up A LOT better on the yellow backing!

Bloom quilt | DevotedQuilter.com

The way I shape my stipple quilting, individual lines often remind me of the shape of coastlines, with bits jutting out into the water. These are the things I notice while quilting the same shapes over and over and over.

Bloom quilt free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.com

You can't really see the background quilting from the front, but the texture shows up if you're close enough or looking from the side.

By the time I was half finished quilting the background, I had decided that I would leave the flower petals unquilted. You're supposed to quilt the entire quilt with even density, but I really like how the flower petals have more dimension than the rest of the quilt. The flower petals are all made with Island Batik fabrics.

Bloom quilt | DevotedQuilter.com

I had enough of the yellow to bind the quilt, but I really didn't want to frame the whole quilt with that bright yellow. I didn't want anything else to frame the whole thing, either, so it was time to learn how to do a faced binding. I found this tutorial from Papper, Sax, Sten which made it super easy. I love that there's nothing showing on the front at all.

It has been a long time since I hand stitched a binding. I used to do all of my bindings by hand, but then I tried machine binding on a set of placemats and I've never looked back. The observant among you may notice that there's about one quarter of the facing not actually stitched down in this picture. That's because the day got away from me and in order to get pictures before the daylight completely disappeared (I had already put it off a little too long), I had to make do with the binding not quite finished. The plan is to finish it after I finish this post, so that by the time you actually read this the quilt will be completely done. You'll just have to trust me, lol.

Bloom quilt | DevotedQuilter.com

As per my usual, I added one of my labels to a back corner, not realizing that it would completely disappear when the facing was turned to the back. Oops! It's still there, lol, stitched in under the corner. I'll stitch another one to the facing, where it can actually be seen.

Bloom quilt | DevotedQuilter.com

I would just like to say that I am equal parts amused and frustrated by how the yellow looks different in every single picture in this post, depending on when/where it was taken. Getting colours to look true to reality is not my strong suit! In reality, the yellow is somewhere between the last two pictures. Not quite as neon as the last one, not quite as mellow as the one before. I may be getting better with my pictures, but there's definitely still room to improve.

Don't forget to download the Bloom pattern, if you'd like to make one, too. If you do, I'd love to see it!
I want to thank Marian for organizing the It's a Garden Party row along and today's Show and Tell day for designers to share what they made with the block or row that they designed. There are a few others participating in Show and Tell day so you can go check out their creations, too.

Blue Heron Quilting
The Devoted Quilter
Kissed Quilts
Daughters of Dorinda
Kathleen McMusing
Ms P Designs USA
Clever Chameleon
Miss Loreen’s Schoolhouse
Barbara Dieges
Renee’s Quilting Addiction
Words & Stitches
Seams To Be Sew

I'm linking up with NTT

October 12, 2020

Think it Through

 Devotion for the Week...

The Backyardigans is one of my favourite kids shows (and I've watched A LOT of kids shows over the years, lol). In The Backyardigans five kids (a moose, a penguin, a hippo, a kangaroo and Uniqua, who is a made up animal) share a backyard and each episode is the story of one of their imaginary adventures. They're great fun and, as a bonus, they feature catchy music 😊 During the course of the adventure, they sometimes encounter trouble that makes Pablo, the penguin, start to panic and he runs around in circles babbling about the problem while the others repeat his name, trying to get his attention. When he finally hears them, they point out the reality of the situation and deal with whatever is going on.

Pablo's moment of panic and the others calming him down was exactly what came to mind a few days ago when I read the story of Samson's parents in Judges 13. One day Manoah's wife (poor woman doesn't even get a name) got a visit from the angel of the Lord, who gave her this message: "Even though you have been unable to have children, you will soon become pregnant and give birth to a son. So be careful; you must not drink wine or any other alcoholic drink nor eat any forbidden food. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and his hair must never be cut. For he will be dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. He will begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines" (vv.3-5). She ran to tell Manoah about the 'man of God', and Manoah prayed that he would come back to give them more instructions about raising this child. The angel appeared again. They spoke with him, then offered a sacrifice to the Lord. "And as Manoah and his wife watched, the Lord did an amazing thing. As the flames from the altar shot up toward the sky, the angel of the Lord ascended in the fire. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell with their faces to the ground. The angel did not appear again to Manoah and his wife. Manoah finally realized it was the angel of the Lord, and he said to his wife, “We will certainly die, for we have seen God!" (vv. 19-22).

I can almost see Manoah running in circles, flapping his arms in panic, Pablo style. I can also see his wife standing there calmly, watching him and saying, "Manoah...Manoah...MANOAH!" When she finally gets him to calm down enough to listen, she says, "If the Lord were going to kill us, he wouldn’t have accepted our burnt offering and grain offering. He wouldn’t have appeared to us and told us this wonderful thing and done these miracles" (v. 23). It's like she's saying, 'Think it through, Manoah. Let's look at the facts here."

In those moments when we're prone to panic, it's helpful to take a step back and look at the facts. Maybe the problem isn't quite as dire as we originally thought. Or, while there may be a big problem to deal with, we may also have more resources to help us tackle it than we realized. 

Whatever situations we face (and 2020 has certainly presented more than a few difficult ones), there are a few facts that we can use to calm the panic.

"For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

"And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).

"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" (Romans 8:28).

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

We're not alone, no matter what we go through | DevotedQuilter.com
Background quilt is Windows

As Jesus said in that last verse, we will have trouble in this world. That's just a part of life and there's no way to avoid it. Running in circles in panic doesn't help, though. It can be hard to think problems through, whether we've been broadsided by a diagnosis or a global pandemic or whatever the case may be, but looking at the facts just might reveal the way to deal with it all. If nothing else, it will remind us that we're not alone, no matter what we go through. "God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you" (Hebrews 13:6).

October 08, 2020

Between the Stars Pattern Release

Today I'm releasing two patterns at the same time! Windows is my 8th pattern release for the year and Between the Stars is my 9th. Only one more to go to reach my goal of 10 patterns released during 2020! Go to this post to read all about Windows.
Between the Stars quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
To celebrate the dual release, I'm having a 'Buy 2 or more and save 20%' sale. It's the perfect excuse to buy both of the new patterns, but it also works on any of my older patterns. Head over to my Etsy shop to shop the sale 😊 There's no coupon code needed and the sale is valid through Tuesday, October 13th.

Between the Stars is a modern star design, perfect for your favourite fat quarters or scraps. It was first published in Make Modern magazine earlier this year and has now been expanded to include throw and queen size options, along with the baby quilt size shown here. It also includes instructions to make a set of 4 placemats. Placemats make a great gift (Christmas is coming!) and they're super quick, too.
Between the Stars quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
Stars are such a classic quilt block and this design puts bold stripes between the stars to create a fun quilt.

While I love a good scrappy quilt, not everyone shares that love. I couldn't resist creating a blue, yellow and orange mockup of Between the Stars that isn't scrappy. It feels like summer, doesn't it?
Between the Stars quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
Between the Stars is available in your choice of a PDF or printed version. The printed pattern is a pre-order now and will ship as soon as they arrive from the printer. That will hopefully be by the end of next week. Whenever they arrive, they'll ship out to you right away, with free shipping anywhere. The PDF pattern is ready for immediate download, of course 😊

Don't forget about the dual release pattern sale - buy 2 or more patterns and save 20% now through Tuesday, October 13th. You can start your shopping with Between the Stars in either PDF or the printed version.

Would you pin this image for me? The more times it is pinned, the more quilters will be able to find my patterns. Thank you!
Between the Stars quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com

Windows Pattern Release

Today I'm releasing two patterns at the same time! Windows is my 8th pattern release for the year and Between the Stars is my 9th. Only one more to go to reach my goal of 10 patterns released during 2020! Go to this post to read all about Between the Stars.
Windows quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
To celebrate the dual release, I'm having a 'Buy 2 or more and save 20%' sale. It's the perfect excuse to buy both of the new patterns, but it also works on any of my older patterns. Head over to my Etsy shop to shop the sale 😊 There's no coupon code needed and the sale is valid through Tuesday, October 13th.

Windows is a fun modern design with a bit of curved piecing, perfect if you want to dip your toes into it, but aren't really confident of your skills yet. I have a tutorial to walk you through how I tackle those curves, too. Of course, Windows is perfect if you are confident of your curved piecing, too! 
Windows quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
Do you make the same pattern multiple times? I know I'm more likely to make a quilt again if I can make a different size, which is part of why I try to always include multiple size options in my patterns. The Windows pattern includes the throw size shown here, plus baby quilt and queen size instructions. 

I think Windows look great in this Golden Aster fabric line from Riley Blake, but I also think it would be fun if each of the windows were done in different fabrics, as if they each had a different view. Scrappy quilts are always so much fun, right?

Here's a mockup of a scrappy blue and teal version with a whisper grey background.
Windows quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
Windows is available as either a PDF or a printed pattern (with free shipping as always 😊). The printed patterns are a pre-order right now and will be here hopefully at the end of next week. They'll ship out as soon as they arrive. The PDF is available for immediate download, of course.

Don't forget about the dual release pattern sale - buy 2 or more patterns and save 20% now through Tuesday, October 13th. Start with the Windows pattern in either PDF or the printed version πŸ˜‰

Whether you're in the market for new quilt patterns or not, I'd love it if you'd pin this image to Pinterest to help other quilters find my patterns. Thank you so much for your support!

After you've pinned it, check out the pattern release post for Between the Stars.
Windows quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com

October 06, 2020

Family Ring - Quilt Block Mania

It's time for Quilt Block Mania again! This month the theme is family πŸ’—

I remember one year I desperately wanted a daughter's pride ring for Christmas. That's a ring that has your birthstone along with your parents' birthstones and I really, really wanted one. When we got up on Christmas morning, right at the front of the tree was a wrapped ring box and you can be sure that was the first present I opened. Inside was a bubble gum machine ring! I can't remember how many other bubble gum machine rings I opened before I actually found my daughter's pride ring, but I think there were 3 or 4 πŸ˜‚

Thinking about that ring led me to design my Family Ring block. It's another machine appliqued block, which seems to be a theme with my Quilt Block Mania blocks (see Starfish Dance and the basketball block). The pattern is available as a free download here
Family Ring quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
There are 5 of us in our family, so I used 5 hearts in the ring and chose fabrics to represent our birthstones. Of course, I chose Aurifil threads to match each colour, too! The background is from Island Batik and it's one of my favourite neutrals of all time.
Family Ring quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
Zachary's birthday is in February, so his birthstone is amethyst. I'm not sure where this batik fabric is from, but I know it's not an Island Batik one. I used Aurifil 4225 for this one.
Family Ring quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
Nathan's birthday is in March, so his birthstone is aquamarine. This is still my favourite Island Batik fabric. I'll be sad when it's all gone, but I still have a bit left for now. I used Aurifil 5005 on this one.
Family Ring quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
Aiden's birthday is in May, so his birthstone is emerald. I've had this Fairy Frost fabric forever, from a bundle Paul bought me years and years ago. There are only a few small pieces left of a few colours now. Aurifil 2890 is a slightly more mossy green than the fabric, but it still worked. My green Aurifil selection is pretty small still.
Family Ring quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
Paul's birthday is in June, so his birthstone is alexandrite. This one caused more than a little confusion, lol. Apparently alexandrite is different colours in different lighting. Who ever heard of that?? It looks blue-green in natural light and in incandescent light or candle light it looks red or pink. So crazy! I chose to go with the blue-green and used this fabric from Mister Domestic's Playroom line. I used Aurifil 5005 on this one, too.
Family Ring quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
And the last birthday each year is mine, in July. My birthstone is ruby. This is another Island Batik fabric that I love. I'm happy to still have quite a bit of it left. I used Aurifil 2770 for this heart and for the solid red heart in the center.
Family Ring quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
I love how stitching around applique shapes makes them look so much nicer. Here's unstitched...
Family Ring quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
and stitched. I stitched around each heart just the same as I would if I were free motion quilting, just with no batting or backing. I guess that makes it free motion embroidery instead of quilting.
Family Ring quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
What about if your family isn't 5 people? No problem! If it's fewer than 5, you could choose a neutral fabric for the other hearts. If you have more than 5 people, you could shrink the heart template a bit so you could make a ring with the right number of hearts.
It would also be cute to replace the small heart in the center with your family's initial in your favourite font.

Don't forget to download your free Family Ring pattern. Then go check out all of the other fun family themed blocks being shared as part of Quilt Block Mania 😊

Warming by the Fire
Paper Chain Family at Slice of Pi Quilts
Family is Love
Family Quote Pineapple Block by Blockofthemodotcom
Family Pumpkin Pickin' Day
Family Crest at Always Expect Moore
Old Rocking Chair at Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Love@Home at Stash Bandit
Sisterhood by Michelle Renee Hiatt
Glimpse of Home at Scrapdash
We Are Family by Heidi Pridemore
Family Trees at Pretty Piney Quilts
Family is the Heart of Home by QuiltFabrication
Gathering by Blue Bear Quilts
Sister's Choice at Perkins Dry Goods
Every Family Has One at Patti's Patchwork
Orange Blossom Quilt
Wonky Nesting Hearts
Family Photo Block
Celtic Trinity Knot by AppliquΓ©s Quilts and More
Family Ring at Devoted Quilter
Tartan Block at True Blue Quilts
Flying Geese Family by Tacy Gray
Family Heart by Amarar Cracions

October 05, 2020

But It Makes No Sense!

 Devotion for the Week...

My father-in-law is a retired pastor. Fifteen or so years ago, there was a woman in his congregation who had cancer so pervasive she said she was "maggoty with it" (not sure if that was her doctor's words or her own interpretation). She felt that she needed a small group of believers to come to her home and take communion with her for 21 days, as a complement to the medical treatments she was receiving, so my in-laws and a few others joined her in that act of faith. I don't know how long after that her cancer was gone, but I do know that she's still alive and healthy today. I've heard her share that testimony quite a few times, always putting emphasis on how much she appreciated those who joined her and the importance she feels those 21 days had.

Taking communion makes no sense as a cancer treatment, right? Those little cups of juice and wafers have no impact on the growth of cancer cells. But obedience to God can have a big impact on whatever difficulty we face.

Take the Israelites marching around the walls of Jericho. On what planet does marching around a city, blowing trumpets and shouting make the city walls fall down? Logically speaking, none! But in Joshua 6, that's exactly what happened. God told Joshua that this was the battle plan, Joshua and the people obeyed and the walls fell down. It makes no sense, but it worked.

There's Naaman, too (see the whole story in 2 Kings 5:1-19). Naaman was the commander of the Aramean army and he had leprosy. An Israelite slave girl in his household recommended he go to the prophet Elisha, so he did and when he got to Elisha's door, "Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy" (v. 10). This made no sense to Namaan whatsoever, and having it delivered by a messenger just added to the insult, "so Naaman turned and went away in a rage" (v. 12). Fortunately for Naaman, some of his officers suggested that since he had been told to do such a simple thing, he might as well give it a try. He did and it worked.

Obedience to God can have a big impact on whatever difficulty we face | DevotedQuilter.com
Background quilt is Intersections

And then there's Jesus. How does it make sense that one person can take on the sins of the entire world and that believing in Him can make us righteous before God? Well, again, logically speaking, it doesn't. But God doesn't always work through human logic, does he? Paul wrote, "The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18). 

God's way doesn't always make sense to us, but that doesn't matter. What matters is whether or not we do things His way, even when we don't understand.

October 01, 2020

TGIFF - A New Slim Fit Raglan

 Welcome to Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday!! It's always fun to celebrate our finishes together 😊

I had intended to share my mini version of my Burst quilt today. You can see the top here. I got the yellow and orange burst units quilted quickly, but then I decided to do flow quilting in the background. It will look amazing...but it will take way more time than I had available to have it ready for this post, lol. I guess it will be a finish for next week.

Flow quilting | DevotedQuilter.com
Good thing I had a backup finish I could share for today! When I cut out the pieces for the Wee Lap Tees, I also cut the pieces for another Slim Fit Raglan for me. The pattern is from Patterns for Pirates.
Blue slim fit raglan | DevotedQuilter.com
These fabrics are both french terry, which is nice and soft and cozy feeling. I bought them to make my Constellation pullover last year and I just barely had enough to get a raglan out of what was left over. Once a scrap lover, always a scrap lover, whether quilting or garment sewing 😊

I had to add a seam up the back because I didn't have enough length to cut both the front and back on the fold. I decided to topstitch that seam, to help it lie flat. I was hoping that I wouldn't feel the seam down my back while wearing it and I'm happy to say I don't notice it at all.
blue slim fit raglan | DevotedQuilter.com
This is the neatest looking neckband I've sewn yet. It lies nice and flat when I'm wearing it, with no ripples. Yay for seeing improvements in skills!
blue slim fit raglan | DevotedQuilter.com
That's my finish, what's yours? Link up below so we can see and celebrate with you 😊 Be sure to visit some of the other links, too, to congratulate them on their finishes. As of this writing, next week's TGIFF party is still in need of a host. If you're interested, you can sign up here.

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