November 30, 2020

Advent 2020 - Christmas Music

 Devotion for the Week...

It's the first week of Advent! Is your tree up yet? Ours isn't, that will be our task next weekend, but I have been listening to lots of Christmas music 😊

This year for our Advent devotions, I'm going to look at four of our Christmas traditions and their origins in the Bible. Today I'm starting with all that Christmas music I've been enjoying. It's usually one of the first signs of Christmas approaching, but in the biblical accounts of Jesus' birth there are no mentions of anyone singing or playing any music. We almost always associate the host of angels who visited the shepherds with singing, but that's not what Luke records. "Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased'" (Luke 2:13-14).

But just because there's no biblical record of music around Jesus' birth doesn't mean we shouldn't have music to celebrate it today! There are plenty of times in the Bible that we are told to sing. These are just a few examples:

Ephesians 5:18-19: "be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts." 

Psalm 100:1-2 says, "Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy." 

Psalm 147:1 says, "Praise the Lord! How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting."

And Psalm 95:1-2 says, "Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him." That's in the New Living Translation, which is what I usually use. In the King James Version, though, those verses say, "O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms." That is very appropriate for me since my singing is definitely more on the level of joyful noise than actual music!

Jesus coming to earth as a baby, the beginning of salvation for everyone who believes, is an event more than worthy of the many, many songs that have been written in celebration. As Psalm 147 says, it is fitting that we sing songs of praise about His birth.
The whole world sings Christmas songs |
I once heard a preacher point out that Christmas is the one time of the year when the whole world is signing the songs of the church. Isn't that wonderful? I wonder how many people have first heard the message about Jesus in a song about His birth or how many have found themselves drawn to Him when they heard those familiar songs again and it reached a place in their hurting hearts. Only at Christmas are songs about Him broadcast in stores and restaurants, in concerts on TV and just about everywhere else a person can go.

This Advent season, I'll be making my joyful noise to Him. There's plenty of Christmas music to sing along with, after all, and He doesn't mind that I can't sing worth beans 😊

What are your favourite Christmas songs? Mary's Boy Child, by Boney M, has been my favourite ever since I was a little girl.

November 26, 2020

Sneak Peeks

Being a quilt blogger is hard when you've signed up for a bunch of fun things that mean you're sewing, but you can't share it yet! I have three projects coming up the first week of December, so I thought I'd share some sneak peeks today.

Quilt Block Mania is coming next Tuesday and I have a fabulous scrappy block to share. I love it so much I made four blocks instead of the one that is required. I'm not sure if I'll have time to get it quilted before Tuesday, but I'd really like to.
Scrappy star project to come |
I've started working on the annual cross stitch ornaments for my boys. I'm only making two this year, since it was always my plan to only go until they finished high school. I'm trying only stitching from the front, like this, and it seems like it's a bit faster, especially where there are blocks of the same colour. 
cross stitch |
The Love and Kisses blog hop starts soon and my day to share is on the 6th. I'll be sharing a new version of my Bloom block and it looks so completely different in the colours of the Love and Kisses fabric line! The background is solid this time, which means the swirl hook quilting shows up soooo well 😍
swirl hook fmq |
Are you wanting to learn free motion quilting? I just learned about the Intro to FMQ mini course, which would be a great way to get started. Full disclosure, I'm an affiliate for HollyAnne's courses, which means I earn a commission if you purchase the course after clicking my link. I haven't taken Intro to FMQ, but I'm all about enabling you to learn fmq because it's so much fun 😊

Another blog tour I'm working on is the Designer Knits tour for Riley Blake. I'll be sharing three new garment makes, one from a Love Notions pattern and the others from Sinclair Patterns, from these fabrics, plus a solid grey that is already stitched up.
knit fabric |
I can share this Harper cardigan I made as a test, before making the version for the blog hop. I bought this sweater knit last year to make a different cardigan, but when it arrived I discovered it wasn't as wide as most garment fabric, so there wasn't enough. Lesson learned - check the fabric width before ordering! The Harper (a free pattern from Sinclair) has different length options, though, so I could just barely squeak out a cropped version.
Cropped Harper cardigan |
Because I was so focused on fitting all the pieces on the fabric I had, I wasn't paying attention when I cut the sleeves and I forgot to flip the pattern piece over for the second one. That meant I had two right sleeves (or two left, I'm not sure)...whomp, whomp...and no extra fabric to cut a replacement. After staring at it for a while, I figured I might as well keep going so I'd at least be able to tell how well the cardigan fit, even if one of the sleeves was weird. Luckily for me, the shape of the sleeves isn't all that different from the front to the back, so it isn't weird at all! I love wearing it and I'm so glad I didn't just give up when I realized my mistake.

Aside from all the sewing I've been doing, I'm also thinking a lot about next year and what goals I want to set. I've been designing more quilts, too. I've added at least two to my to-make list the past week or so, which explains why that list never gets any shorter 😊

How many things are you working on right now? And how many are you dreaming about??

November 23, 2020

Crowd Noise

 Devotion for the Week...

Have you ever been in a group of people where everyone is talking, sharing their ideas or telling their stories and you have something to say but it's impossible to get a word in edgewise? It's so frustrating, isn't it? Especially if you're more prone to being quiet and letting others speak rather than pushing yourself to the forefront. It's hard to feel like your voice and your contribution matter when everyone is always speaking over you.

Now, just think about how many people are praying at any given moment. It's a mind-boggling number, right? And yet God can hear us. All at the same time. We're never told to wait in line, to take turns, to worry about whether or not someone else is already talking to Him.

Here are a few verses to consider:

"In those days when you pray, I will listen" (Jeremiah 29:12)

"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

"And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for" (1 John 5:14-15)

"Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere" (Ephesians 6:18).

Major League Baseball had crowd noise piped in during their games this year, to make up for the fact that there were no actual fans there. When you read the phrase 'crowd noise,' you can imagine the sound, can't you? It's that constant buzz created by the chatter of thousands of people. Now imagine the crowd noise created by the millions of people being persistent in their prayers right now as you read this. Imagine trying to get a word in edgewise in that conversation!

I don't understand how it's possible, but God doesn't hear crowd noise. He can be fully present in every conversation at all times or He would have told us to use some kind of schedule or mediator so we could be sure He was paying attention when we were talking to Him. Instead, He tells us to pray at all times and on every occasion and He assures us that He hears us whenever we pray. 
Our prayers aren't just crowd noise to God |
Background quilt is Windows

I find it reassuring to know our prayers aren't just crowd noise to God!

November 20, 2020

Flower Path Pattern Release

I'm always excited when it's pattern release day, but this one is doubly exciting 😊 Flower Path is my 10th pattern release for 2020, which means I have met my biggest goal for the year! Happy dance, happy dance!

Flower Path was originally published in Make Modern last year and the pattern is now expanded to include a 48" square baby quilt size along with the 60" x 68" size shown here.
Flower Path quilt pattern |
I love playing with orange peel shapes. They're so bold, especially in bright colours like this red and yellow, but they're also really simple to cut out and to stitch around. That makes them great if you're not quite comfortable with machine applique yet. And if you are comfortable, they make for a quick sew 😊

I made my Flower Path quilt using Foundations fabrics from Island Batik. The red and yellow are incredibly vibrant against the mottled dark blue, which is called Storm and is in my top 3 favourite Island Batik fabrics, for sure.

All of the piecing and quilting is done with Aurifil 50 wt thread, of course, and there's Warm and Natural batting inside. Together they make for a soft and cozy quilt. When Zach had soccer games on a chilly Saturday morning last month, this was one of the quilts we took to wrap up in. A friend said it was too pretty to be out at the soccer field and I just laughed. They can all go in the washer, I told her 😊 I love using my quilts whenever we can!
Flower Path quilt pattern |
To celebrate the pattern release, Flower Path will be available at its introductory price now through November 28th. Printed patterns are a pre order and will ship once they arrive from the printer. PDF patterns are available for download immediately after purchase, of course.

Buy Flower Path - PDF

PRE ORDER Flower Path - printed (free shipping)

Thank you for your support of my pattern business this year  - for buying patterns, writing reviews in my Etsy shop, commenting here or on social media posts and for pinning images to help spread the word to other quilters who don't know about Devoted Quilter patterns yet. I appreciate you so much!
Flower Path quilt pattern |

November 16, 2020


 Devotion for the Week...

There have been so many thought provoking and moving social media posts and graphics since Kamala Harris became the VP-elect of the US. One, which I can't find now, had thumbnail headshots of all the former VPs, with a full body picture of Harris on the right side. Three of the former VPs were circled in different colours and the caption at the bottom said "Until the red circle, she would have been a slave girl. Until the blue circle, she couldn't vote. Until the green circle, she would have attended a segregated school." For all of those years, she would have been discounted immediately, and not only from discussions of who could be vice president.

Discount, in this sense, means "regard (a possibility, fact, or person) as being unworthy of consideration because it lacks credibility," according to Oxford Languages. It's dismissing a person without giving any thought to their abilities or intelligence, because obviously there can't be any of either because they are ____. You can fill in the blank with any number of possibilities that people use as an excuse to dismiss others, whether it's their skin colour, their gender, their age or their education.

Discounting people is nothing new. I stumbled upon an example of it in the Bible this past week. In 1 Samuel 16 we read, "Now the Lord said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king" (v. 1). Samuel did as God commanded and had Jesse bring his sons to him, but when Samuel considered each of Jesse's boys, God said he was not the one He had chosen (vv. 6-10). Can you imagine Samuel's confusion as he looks at Jesse's sons standing in front of him, all of whom God has rejected...after God told him specifically that He had chosen one of Jesse's sons?

Then Samuel turns to Jesse. I picture Samuel with his brows drawn together and his head cocked to the side, his face the very picture of "I don't understand what's going on here, but..." as he said, "Are these all the sons you have?" (v. 11).

To which Jesse replied, "There is still the youngest...But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats" (v. 11). Samuel told him to send for David and when he arrived, God said, "This is the one; anoint him" (v. 12).

Was it his age that made Jesse discount David? Or was it not worth the bother to bring him home from where he was watching the sheep? We don't know, but for whatever reason, Jesse didn't even consider that David might have been the son God had chosen to be king.

Have you ever been discounted by someone? Maybe a teacher or a coach or even a parent didn't consider you worthy of some job or task. Or maybe someone you wanted to be friends with dismissed you without even getting to know you.

Of course, it's not only other people who discount us. Sometimes we discount ourselves, thinking, "I could never do that," whatever that might be. 

What we can learn from the story of David's anointing to be king is that God doesn't discount us. He knows what we are capable of, even when others don't think we're capable of anything. He knows who we can be, even when we're convinced we'll never be anything more than we are right now. When Jesse presented his first son, God told Samuel, "Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (v. 7). God doesn't worry about whether people think we're too young, or that a woman can't do the job or that a person of colour can't possibly be qualified. He knows that none of that outward stuff matters at all.
God sees our possibilities |
Background quilt is Blowing in the Wind
God sees our possibilities and counts us in for all the things we could do because of who He made us to be.

November 14, 2020

UFOvember - It's in the Bag!

How many UFOs do you have? I'm too scared to count, so we'll just say...A LOT 😄 Bobbie, of Geeky Bobbin, is hosting UFOvember to inspire us to take control of those unfinished objects and maybe even turn some of them into finished objects. Rather than counting my UFOs, I decided to tackle one of them and get it completely finished. I planned first to finish the two guitar quilts, but I really, really don't want to piece the battings for them, so I ordered batting instead and it didn't arrive in time for this challenge. I had another UFO on my list of 2020 goals, though, so I pulled that out to finish.

I started my Quilter's Planner Bag in the summer of 2018, when the pattern designed by Amy Barickman was in the Quilter's Planner magazine. To really personalize it, I decided to go crazy with free motion quilting on the front and back panels. I got the front one finished pretty quickly, but then the back got set aside so I could work on something with a deadline and then it just never got picked up again. I'd see it sitting in my cupboard now and then, but there was always something else to work on, until Bobbie's challenge gave me a deadline for finishing the bag. It's amazing how motivating a deadline can be!
Quilter's Planner bag |
The outside of the bag is my favourite Northcott blue solid and I quilted it with Aurifil 4140. Luckily I had a partial spool of it, so I didn't have to change colours since nowhere local to me carries Aurifil and I wouldn't have had time to order it once I decided this would be the UFO I'd finish. I used Hobb's Thermore batting. It's super thin, so it didn't add much to the bag, but it did give it some structure and added definition to the quilting.

The front of the bag is done with flow quilting, using some of my favourite motifs, shown above. I thought about doing the same for the back, but wanted to try something different, so I divided the panel into sections. Then I quilted each section with a different motif. 
Quilter's Planner bag |
I realized partway through quilting the third section that the front panel and the first two sections of the back were quilted on my Kenmore machine, before I bought the Janome 6700 I'm using now. That means I have two projects that were partly quilted on both machines - this one and my Multiplication quilt, which I was working on when I bought the Janome.

For the sides, the bottom and the strap, I put all the pieces side by side on a piece of the Thermore and quilted them with quick back and forth lines.
Quilter's Planner bag |
I used a grey and blue Moda Grunge fabric for the lining. The lining has interfacing on the back, to give the bag more structure. I didn't have any interfacing, except the dozens of orange peel shapes I cut out back when I made my Divided quilt. I had thought I'd use the interfacing method to make the orange peels, until I realized that the white interfacing would show at the edges. Since the fabrics for the orange peels were all dark, I really didn't want that. I didn't want to throw out the interfacing, either, so it has been sitting ever since, just waiting to be used. I've used a few pieces for other projects, but this was definitely the most I used all at once. Thanks to the combination of Thermore batting and the interfacing, the bag feels nice and sturdy.

It has pockets, too! There's a large pocket and a small one.
Quilter's Planner bag |
Thanks, Bobbie, for the push to get this UFO moved into the finished category 😊 It's so much easier to use now than it was when it was stuck in a cupboard in pieces!

There's plenty of other inspiration coming all month long. Check out what these quilters are doing about their UFO situations:

  • November 1 - Bobbie Gentili -
  • November 2 - Becca Fenstermaker -
  • November 3 - Joanne Kerton -
  • November 4 - Sue Griffiths -
  • November 5 - Ashli Montgomery -
  • November 6 - Anne Boundy -
  • November 7 - Sarah Ruiz -
  • November 8 - Teresa Weaver -
  • November 9 - Karen Brown -
  • November 10 - Bobbi Bridgeman -
  • November 11 - Raylee Bielenberg -
  • November 12 - Althea Gyde -
  • November 13 - Kenzy Hogan -
  • November 14 - Leanne Parsons -
  • November 15 - Jessica Caldwell -
  • November 16 - Laureen Smith -
  • November 17 - Karen Kehl -
  • November 18 - Stacey H -
  • November 19 - Cinzia White -
  • November 20 - Laura Piland -
  • November 21 - Rachel M -
  • November 22 - Kathryn LeBlanc -
  • November 23 - Judit Hajdu -
  • November 24 - Lyra McCabe -
  • November 25 - Jill Therriault -
  • November 26 - Cristina De Miranda -
  • November 27 - Kate Starcher -
  • November 28 - Valerie Prideaux -
  • November 29 - Kim Mastromartino -
  • November 30 - Natalia Knowlton -
  • November 10, 2020

    DIY Pressing Board Tutorial

    I taught my Paper Piecing with Freezer Paper workshop on Saturday with the Common Thread quilt guild in Ottawa, Ontario. It's so much fun to teach online from my living room! I've wanted to teach for years, but traveling isn't a great option for me because it takes so long to get anywhere from Newfoundland, plus I work a day job that makes it hard to travel often. But teaching from home is totally doable!

    The morning of the workshop, I decided to make myself a pressing board to use so I wouldn't have to keep swinging the camera from the ironing board to my cutting mat. I could put the pressing board on top of the cutting mat when I needed it, then take it away when it was time to cut. I'm happy to say it worked really well 😊 
    DIY pressing board tutorial |
    I'm even happier to say, I remembered to take pictures as I made my pressing board so I could share a tutorial!

    To make a pressing board, you'll need:
    • a board of some sort. I used an old cupboard door that was already cut into a 15 ½" square. It's about 1" thick, but you could certainly use something a bit thinner. The board can be whatever size you want, just make sure it's big enough for you to comfortably press your pieces on.
    • a staple gun with staples. Make sure your staples are not longer than your board is thick. You don't want the ends of the staples to poke through the front of the pressing board.
    • 100% cotton fabric for the top layer of the pressing board. This is what you will see, so choose something you will love looking at! Since I was planning to use mine for online teaching, I chose a solid grey so the pressing surface won't be distracting. 
    • two layers of 100% cotton batting
    • scissors for cutting the fabric and batting to size
    Start by laying your fabric out wrong side up and placing your board centered on top of the fabric. Cut all around, leaving at least 2" on all sides. As you can see, I just rough cut this with the scissors. It doesn't need to look pretty.
    DIY pressing board tutorial |
    Cut the two layers of batting a little bigger than the board all around, but smaller than the fabric. You want to be sure the batting will wrap around to the back of the board. I was using batting scraps and one was a little smaller than the other, though still big enough to just wrap around to the back, so I put that one on top. That way it will be inside the larger piece when they're wrapped around. 
    DIY pressing board tutorial |
    One at a time, wrap the corners of the batting to the back and staple it down. You want to pull it nice and tight so the top of the pressing board will be smooth.
    DIY pressing board tutorial |
    Next, wrap one side around and staple in the center, then near each end. Repeat with the opposite side, pulling the batting nice and tight again.
    DIY pressing board tutorial |
    Repeat with the remaining two sides.
    DIY pressing board tutorial |
    Now it's time to wrap the fabric around. I folded the raw edge under as I worked so the fabric wouldn't fray over time. Wrap and staple two opposite sides.
    DIY pressing board tutorial |
    On the third side, staple the center first.
    DIY pressing board tutorial |
    To do the corners, I folded in the excess fabric towards the middle, then wrapped up the side and stapled. I was trying to get it as neat looking as possible. If you look closely, you can see that my staples weren't quite sunk all the way into my board (maybe the board was too dense?). After the workshop was over, I had my husband hammer them down all the way.
    DIY pressing board tutorial |
    Repeat with the other corner on the third side, then do the fourth side the same way. And that's all there is to it 😊 Enjoy your new pressing board!
    DIY pressing board tutorial |
    I'm looking forward to using mine again when I teach the freezer paper workshop next at the end of the month with Watergirl Quilt Co 😊 There are still a couple of spots left for that workshop, if you're interested. You can register here.

    Be sure to pin this image so you can find it later!
    DIY pressing board tutorial |

    November 09, 2020

    Support Matters

     Devotion for the Week...

    If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that the people in the lowest paid jobs in our society are some of the most essential. The majority of the people who work in our grocery stores, in restaurants and in warehouses shipping packages are almost always paid the bare minimum wage and yet we've discovered that we really can't function as a society without them. There's definitely something wrong with that! Unfortunately, with our collective obsession with paying the least amount possible for everything, it's going to be hard to fix the imbalance. Can you imagine what the world would look like if people were paid according to the importance of the work they do?

    The system God uses to determine rewards looks markedly different from ours. Just look at this passage from Matthew 10 - "If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs. And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded" ( vv. 41, 42).

    Most people would say prophets deserves a big reward for the work they do. They speak for God, after all. But in this passage Jesus says that anyone who receives the prophet will be given the same reward as the prophet. When He says receive He means to offer care and hospitality, to help to sustain the prophet or to offer practical help to the prophet in any way. Verse 42 really emphasizes the fact that this doesn't require huge, sacrificial acts of service as Jesus says giving even a cup of cold water is sufficient.
    Even a cup of cold water matters |
    Background quilt is Level Up

    We often look at the people doing the more visible kinds of ministry (pastors, teachers, musicians, authors, missionaries) and think they're doing the most important things. These verses tell a different story. These verses say that the support we give to our pastors, etc. is just as important. Though we may not think what we do matters, God says it does. A cup of cold water isn't much, after all, but God sees it as being worthy of reward.

    November 03, 2020

    Ticker Tape Tree - Quilt Block Mania

     It's time for Quilt Block Mania again! This month the theme is Winter Celebrations, which seems appropriate since we've already had our first snowfall here in Newfoundland. It wasn't much, but as Zachary said to me, "The first snowfall means the second snowfall is coming...and then the third...and the fourth..." 😄 I'm the odd one out in my family since I really enjoy winter and I'm already looking forward to having enough snow to go snowshoeing.

    For my block this month, I wanted to design a tree that could be used for Christmas, but that could also be used anytime you need a tree block. I've also been wanting to play with the ticker tape technique for a while, so I decided to combine the two. Here's my Ticker Tape Tree. In my quest to both not create more unfinished projects and to make more small quilts, I decided to finish my Ticker Tape Tree block into a mini quilt. Sound familiar? I did the same thing with my Starfish Dance block back in July.
    Ticker Tape Tree quilt block |
    The ticker tape technique was so much fun and it's a great way to use up small scraps. You know I'm all about using up those little bitty scraps! Once I had my tree pieced, it was time to start filling the shape with green scraps, which was like creating a scrappy puzzle. I started by cutting a few pieces and arranging them on the tree. I stuck with shapes with straight sides, so squares, rectangles and triangles and placed them so there was just a smidge of space between them. I cut everything freehand with my LDH scissors (which I love, btw).
    Ticker Tape Tree quilt block |
    Then I just kept filling in the gaps. You might notice in this picture that I took out the floral print. I found the pinks were distracting and liked the block better without them.
    Ticker Tape Tree quilt block |
    Finally, I had the tree shape filled. Some of those pieces are really tiny!
    Ticker Tape Tree quilt block |
    Once I was happy with the arrangement I used a washable glue stick to glue each piece to the background, one at a time. Then I left it to dry (aka, spent the afternoon getting groceries, doing chores, etc.).

    The next step is to stitch around each shape, close to the edge. I decided to combine the edge stitching and the quilting into one step, rather than stitching around it twice. So, I grabbed a scrap of Warm and Natural batting (yay for using more scrap batting!) and a solid green for the backing, then basted my little mini quilt. I love how fast basting goes when it's only a 12" square! Then I used my free motion foot to stitch around each shape twice with Aurifil 2890.
    Ticker Tape Tree quilt block |
    Stitching so close to the edge does make the fabric fray a little, but I just trim off the larger threads and don't worry about the rest. I like the frayed edge look, anyway.

    Once all the shapes were stitched down, I stitched just inside the tree shape, then switched to Aurifil 2311and stitched a small stipple in the background. Then I used 2360 to quilt a few straight lines in the tree trunk. I think it took longer to thread the machine with the new thread colour than it did to stitch the trunk!
    Ticker Tape Tree quilt block |
    Lastly, I echo stitched in the red border to create a frame, using 2260. Of course, that shows up much better on the back. I love how quilting looks on a solid backing fabric!
    Ticker Tape Tree quilt block |
    I had hoped to have my mini quilt completely finished in time for today's Quilt Block Mania reveal, but I ran out of time and didn't get the binding done. I plan to bind it in the same red I used for the border. I already know where I want to hang this mini for Christmas, so it definitely won't be joining the UFO pile 😊

    Speaking of UFOs, Bobbie of Geeky Bobbin is hosting UFOvember, a month long blog hop/social media party to help motivate and inspire us to whittle down the UFO list. Let's get some projects across the finish line!

    Edited to say, I finished my mini quilt!
    Ticker Tape Tree quilt block |
    Ticker Tape Tree quilt block |
    You can pin this image for later. Pinning it also helps other quilters find me and my patterns. Thank you!
    There are plenty of other Winter Celebrations blocks being shared today for Quilt Block Mania. 
    Here are the links to the other designers and their blocks:

    Christmas Wreath by Slice of Pi Quilts
    Baby Sue's First Christmas
    Celebrate by Inquiring Quilter
    Gifts at Always Expect Moore
    Snowflakes by Blockofthemodotcom
    Gifts of Friendship
    Fireworks at duck creek mountain quilting
    Wreath & Chain at Stash Bandit
    Christmas Star by Michelle Renee Hiatt
    Adirondack Mountain Quilt Block
    A Present from Penny
    Candlelighting at Pretty Piney Quilts
    Poinsettia from QuiltFabrication
    Harbor Holidays at Blue Bear Quilts
    Christmas Cracker at Perkins Dry Goods
    Sparkling Spruce at Patti's Patchwork
    Jingle All the Way at Orange Blossom Quilt
    Snowflakes & Candy Cane Trees at Quilt Moments
    Tower of Gifts by Oh Kaye Quilting
    Winter Memories by Carolyn Burgess
    Holiday Block by Seams to Be Sew
    Ticker Tape Tree at Devoted Quilter
    Evergreen by True Blue Quilts
    Merry and Bright at Around the Bobbin
    Ski Vacation

    Thanks for stopping by and happy quilting!

    November 02, 2020

    The Establishment

     Devotion for the Week...

    There's a lot of talk these days about privilege. Privilege, as it's meant in this context, is the advantage given to a person in society because of things outside their control. It has nothing to do with their achievements, skills or personality. We don't earn privilege, it's simply granted to us because we fit into certain categories. I used to think privilege meant the same as being rich, but wealth is only one kind of privilege, albeit a very noticeable one. 

    The type of privilege most talked about these days, of course, is white privilege. White privilege is hard for white people to see because it just feels normal and we think that everyone experiences life the way we do. It was a shock to me to read an essay written by a black man who won't go for a run in his neighborhood without his wife and who won't walk his large dog in his neighborhood without his daughter. His wife and daughter, he said, lend him respectability and make it so he is not perceived as a threat by people who see him running or with a big dog. My husband, my father, my brother and my sons will never have to consider whether or not they might be perceived as a threat while walking or running down the road. It was also shocking to me to read about black parents needing to teach their children how to act around police so they don't appear threatening. I was taught that the police would always help me if I need them, not that I had to be cautious of my demeanor around them.

    Privilege is nothing new, of course. It has existed for as long as people have been separating themselves into different groups. Once a group has some advantage over another group, it will fight hard to keep whatever privilege it has. We see that today as people try to deny that white privilege is a real thing and we can see it in the Bible as the religious leaders fought against Jesus' teachings.

    The Pharisees are said to have "dearly loved their money" (Luke 16:14) and "loved human praise more than the praise of God" (John 12:43). They were the establishment and they felt threatened by Jesus, especially by His popularity with the people. They were also offended by His teachings, as His disciples pointed out in Matthew 15:12.

    Jesus openly accused them of being hypocrites (see Matthew 23) and told His disciples to "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees" (Matthew 16:6), which the disciples eventually understood to mean "the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees" (v. 12). With teachings like that, He threatened their special position in society and eventually "the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus" (Mark 3:6). 

    The question for us to consider is: is there someone, either a person or a group, who makes us angry/defensive/offended because they're doing things differently? If the answer is yes, it would be a good idea to take time to consider why we're so upset. Is it because what they're doing is genuinely harmful in some way? Or is it because we are part of the establishment in this situation and they're threatening our position?
    The Pharisees are more cautionary tale than role models |
    Background quilt is Between the Stars
    The Pharisees are more cautionary tale than role model. If we find ourselves threatened by someone who is new and different, maybe we should try being open to change rather than fighting to maintain the status quo.