April 14, 2021

Flower Box and Mix it Up Pattern Re-release

I love making mini quilts! They're like candy - quick and sweet and you can't do just one! They make a great change of pace when you've been working on a lot of big or complicated quilts and you just need a quick finish.

I'm excited to re-release two mini quilt patterns today. They've been updated to have the same format as my other patterns and they've undergone technical editing by Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl to check all the math and instructions. Together, those things mean I can now offer Flower Box and Mix It Up as both PDFs and printed patterns 😊 You can find them both in my Etsy shop. The special re-release price is available through Monday, April 20th.
Flower Box and Mix It Up mini quilts | DevotedQuilter.com
I really love both of these patterns, so I'm pleased to finally be able to offer them in printed form. It would be super helpful if you'd ask your local quilt shop to carry them!

Flower Box uses traditional piecing and machine applique and finishes at 24" square. It's a scrap friendly pattern, too! You can stitch up a swirly flower garden for your wall or table super quick.
Flower Box mini quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
The background around the flowers makes a great space for fun quilting. It would look equally great with stippling, too.
Flower Box mini quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
Flower Box mini quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
The applique shapes really pop with the background heavily quilted. The swirly flower was inspired by one I saw embroidered on a Bible cover years ago.
Flower Box mini quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
Flower Box was actually my first published pattern, in Make Modern magazine back in 2015. It will always have a special place in my heart! You can get the newly updated Flower Box pattern as a PDF or preorder the printed pattern. I offer free shipping on printed patterns and they'll ship to you as soon as they arrive from the printer.
Flower Box mini quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
Mix It Up is my fabric take on the fun of mixing paint colours to create a new colour. I love a good machine applique orange peel design! Mix It Up finishes at 36" square.
Mix it Up mini quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
I chose the classic blue + yellow=green for the sample quilt. What colours would you mix up? I've always wanted to do red+white=pink or black+white=grey or maybe blue+green=teal...There are so many options! I'd like to make a print version, too, instead of all solids.
Mix It Up mini quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
The background of Mix It Up is another great space for fun quilting and I chose matchstick lines after echo quilting around all of the orange peels.
Mix It Up mini quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
Just like with Flower Box, you can get the newly updated Mix It Up pattern as a PDF or preorder the printed pattern. The printed patterns will ship to you as soon as they arrive from the printer, with free shipping anywhere in the world.
Mix It Up mini quilt pattern | DevotedQuilter.com
Head over to my Etsy shop to pick up these patterns, just in time for a little fun weekend stitching. Be quick, though - the re-release price is only available through Monday. Get yours before the price goes up on Tuesday morning 😊

Do you love making mini quilts too?


April 12, 2021

The Only Right Way

 Devotion for the Week...

When I first learned how to properly put a binding on a quilt, it was sewn to the front by machine, then stitched to the back by hand. This, I believed, was the only right way to bind a quilt. When I taught some friends to quilt, I insisted they had to finish the binding by hand, even though one of them positively hated hand stitching. It wasn't until I had been quilting for over 15 years that I decided to try finishing the binding on my machine, for a set of placemats, and then I was converted. It's so much faster! And it looks just as good, especially with practice.

I should have known better than to insist there was only one right way to bind a quilt, since I had also at one time thought that quilting by hand was the only right way and machine quilting was cheating. Of course, then I tried machine quilting and fell in love with it, which quickly changed my tune! I have since learned to pray, "Lord, save me from ever again thinking my way is the only right way to do anything."

It seems Paul had encountered some Romans who felt their way of serving God was the only right way and he wanted to set them straight. "Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them...In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God" (Romans 14:1-3, 5-6).

It's all too easy to get caught in the trap of thinking our way is the only right way, isn't it? In some cases, this is true...we can't please God if we're lying to people all day long...but in most cases there are multiple right answers. Church service on Saturday night and sports on Sunday? That works. Sunday morning service, then off to work for the rest of the day? That works, too. Church every other week, and working the other week? That's good, too. None of those options is more spiritual than the others. None of them is more right than the other.

This applies to so many things! I once heard a pastor say he would ask a man to leave if he were wearing a baseball hat in church. Why? Does wearing a hat mean he doesn't love God? I realize the convention is that men remove their hats in church, but is it worth kicking him out over? To me, that feels very much like "my way is the only right way."

Notice that the things Paul gives as examples aren't the basics of theology. Those are non-negotiable. Paul isn't saying we can create our own theology. Instead, he's saying that we take what we know of God, which we learn from the Bible, and apply it to the decisions we make about how to live our lives and how to best serve Him. Ultimately, this is about how we serve Him, not about serving ourselves and our own convenience.
Is what I'm doing acceptable to God? | DevotedQuilter.com
As the test of whether or not what we are doing is right, Paul says in verse 5, "You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable." It's important to note that doesn't mean we should be fully convinced it's the easiest thing or that we just do what we want without considering God's view of it. Paul means we should be fully convinced that what we're doing is acceptable to God. If we are so convinced, then we can carry on. And then, when we encounter others who are also fully convinced that what they do is acceptable to God - even if we disagree - we allow them to carry on as well.

April 08, 2021

TGIFF - Respect the Power Tool

Welcome to Thank Goodness it's Finally Finished! For me this week, it's more a case of thank goodness it's finally photographed and blogged, since I actually finished this months ago, but the same feeling applies 😊

When Sam Hunter released her line of embroidery patterns, I was thrilled to see she had included her "Respect the Power Tool" graphic and bought it almost immediately, even though I really didn't need another hand stitching project. That didn't stop me from starting it right away, either, with the pattern increased to 150%.
Respect the Power Tool embroidery | DevotedQuilter.com
I love Jenny of Elefanz and her beautiful embroidery projects, which often feature tiny applique elements. With that inspiration in mind, I cut the sewing machine and the tiny spool of thread out of scraps of fabric. The mottled black fabric and the gold thread for the sewing machine were chosen to mimic my two Singer treadle machines.
Respect the Power Tool embroidery | DevotedQuilter.com
I used Aurifil 12 wt for all of the stitching. I chose orange for the thread spool as a nod to both Aurifil, for their orange 50 wt spools, and to Sam Hunter, since she's vocal about her love for orange. 
Respect the Power Tool embroidery | DevotedQuilter.com
I picked up a black 8x10 frame from the dollar store and I love how the embroidery looks framed! It hangs in our kitchen, right by the hutch where I keep my sewing machine 😊
Respect the Power Tool embroidery | DevotedQuilter.com
Side note, we were out of town yesterday, which meant about 4 hours total driving. I realized shortly after we left that, while I had my temperature quilt pieces to work on and my sew together bag that holds my hand stitching essentials, there were some essentials missing from the bag. Most notably, my scissors were sitting on the table by the chair in the living room, so I had no way to cut thread 😞 A stop at a fabric shop was already included in the day's plan and I figured I'd buy a cheap pair of scissors so I could at least stitch on the way home. I was thrilled to find these LDH thread snips at the fabric shop and snapped them up right away. Not only are they wonderful to use, they look great as a photography prop, too!

I have big plans to use Sam's graphic again, this time in a way I can wear an d proclaim my love of sewing everywhere I go. There are just so many projects lined up in head, I'm not sure when I'll actually get to it!

That's my finish, so now it's your turn! What have you finished recently (or at least found time to share recently, lol)? I'm looking forward to seeing and celebrating your finishes with you! As a reminder, much as we all love to see WIPs, this linky party is intended for finished projects.


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

April 06, 2021

Rain Will Make the Flowers Grow - Quilt Block Mania

It's Quilt Block Mania day again! This month the theme is Rain and I have to admit that it took me quite a while to come up with an idea for a block. In the end, though, I'm thrilled with this fun block 😊
Rain will make the flowers grow quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
When I first designed it, I thought I would embroider the letters, but then I remembered the crayon technique that I used in this mini quilt. You can find the full tutorial in that post, if you've never tried colouring your quilts with crayons.
Rain will make the flowers grow quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
After the wax is removed, the letters have a soft look.
Rain will make the flowers grow quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
Once the letters were finished, I dug through my scraps to choose colours for the flowers and a few different blues for the raindrops, then fused everything in place using Heat n Bond Lite. This is one of the reasons I keep even itty-bitty scraps, lol.
Rain will make the flowers grow quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
Rain will make the flowers grow quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
All while I was cutting the pieces, I debated if I would stitch around the flowers right away or leave it to be done with the quilting. As you can see, leaving it to be done with the quilting won, so my flowers are unstitched for now. I often do this with applique because only stitching around them once saves time compared with stitching them down and then quilting them separately. I may have infinite patience for quilting, but I don't have infinite time! Case in point, I haven't had time to quilt this yet, but I'm hoping to get it done soon. We have a space in our kitchen that fits a 12" mini quilt perfectly and this would look great hung there for the rest of the spring.
Rain will make the flowers grow quilt block | DevotedQuilter.com
If you want to make your own Rain Will Make the Flowers Grow block (or mini quilt!), you can get the free pattern download by entering your email address here. Doing so will also subscribe you to The Bulletin, which I send out twice a month. I hope you'll enjoy reading it!


As always, there's an abundance of blocks from the Quilt Block Mania designers, so hop around and gather them all up. You can also join the QBM FB group.

Rainbow of raindrops by Carolina Moore
Raindrops by Perkins Dry Goods
Rainy Day Walk Home by The Quilted Diary
Raindrop by Blockofthemodotcom
I Love Rainy Days by Heidi Pridemore
Petrichor by Althea Gyde
Gray Skies are Gonna Clear Up by Blue Bear Quilts
Rain from Heaven by Faith and Fabric
Umbrella and Gumboots by Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
April Showers by QuiltFabrication
Pouring Rain by Patti's Patchwork
Spring Crocus by PhoebeMoon Designs
Playing in the Rain by Puppy Girl Designs
Rainy Day by Studio R Quilts
Rain Showers by Slice of Pi Quilts
Rain by Oh Kaye Quilting
Doves in the rain by Sara Flynn
April Showers by Inquiring Quilter
Rain Will Make the Flowers Grow by Devoted Quilter
I've Got Sunshine on a Rainy Day
Let it Rain
Splish-Splash by Pretty Piney Quilts
April Showers by Cotton Street Commons
Rain on the Window

April 05, 2021

They Thought They Won

 Devotion for the Week...

I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend! It is so good to celebrate the fact that Jesus is risen 😊 I don't mind the abundant chocolate, either, lol. #irunforchocolate

I spent a good portion of last week thinking about the disciples and how they must have felt between the crucifixion and the resurrection. We have the advantage of living post-resurrection. We know the full story, but they didn't. They must have felt like their world had ended at the hands of evil men who would never pay for their crimes. 

Just think about the religious leaders who condemned Jesus and incited the crowd to demand His crucifixion. They were the most respected men in the community, supposedly the most godly, but they were willing to "find witnesses who would lie about Jesus, so they could put him to death" (Matthew 26:59). When they took Jesus to Pilate, they "didn’t go inside because it would defile them, and they wouldn’t be allowed to celebrate the Passover" (John 18:28), but they had no problem with taking an innocent man to be condemned.

They succeeded, of course. Jesus was crucified and the religious leaders thought they had won. Their position as most respected in the community was intact, along with all the power and authority that gave them.

Even more so, Satan thought he had won. He thought he had destroyed God's entire plan to save humanity. How he must have celebrated when Jesus breathed His last breath on that cross.

Ah, but that wasn't the end of the story, was it? I love Phil Wickham's Living Hope, especially the verse that says: 

Then came the morning that sealed the promise
Your buried body began to breathe
Out of the silence, the roaring lion
Declared the grave has no claim on me

Satan thought he had won, but he had never been so wrong. Can you imagine the dread that replaced his jubilant celebration when Jesus began to breathe again? When Jesus' heart began to beat again? When Jesus rose from that grave and eventually ascended back into heaven? 

When the women went to anoint Jesus' body, they were met by an angel who told them, "He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen" (Matthew 28:6). That was the first inkling they had that maybe evil hadn't won after all.
it may look like evil is winning right now, but God will have the final say | DevotedQuilter.com
Today, as I said, we have the advantage of living post-resurrection, but there are still times when it feels like evil people are winning. Psalm 73 addresses this and Asaph, the author concludes, 

"So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper.
    But what a difficult task it is!
Then I went into your sanctuary, O God,
    and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.
Truly, you put them on a slippery path
    and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.
In an instant they are destroyed,
    completely swept away by terrors" (vv. 16-19).

Just as it was with the crucifixion, it may look like evil is winning right now, but God will have the final say. 

April 02, 2021

Spring Clean Your Studio

Welcome to my stop on the Spring Clean Your Studio blog hop, hosted by Cheryl of Muppin.com! I feel like this blog hop is part motivation to clean/organize and part voyeurism since we get a peek into so many beautiful sewing rooms 😊
I am a member of team sews-at-the-kitchen-table, which means I don't have one of those beautiful rooms to share. What I do have is sewing stuff stashed here and there all around the house, so the last few years I've been trying to get more organized. I'm hoping that by the time I can have a real sewing room I'll have all the systems in place so the mess never gets out of hand. A girl can dream, right??

Last year for the Spring Clean Your Studio blog hop, I dealt with my fabric storage. I'm so happy to report that I have maintained the new, organized drawers for the whole year! Then, in November, I sorted my scraps by colour and I have them all in shoeboxes. It's not Pinterest worthy, but it works. Both of those projects have made it so much easier to find what I need for new projects. I also find it easier to put stuff away, though that doesn't always happen as quickly as it should. It's a work in progress.

There are still plenty of other pockets of stuff that need to be dealt with, so for today I tackled the stuff in the kitchen. This cupboard is next to the table. It's great to be able to keep current projects close to where I sew, but the mess was a bit much.
Sewing organization | DevotedQuilter.com
And, since the cupboard was such a mess, I often just stuck stuff on top of it rather than wedging it into the mess. Remember, this is right in our kitchen, so the mess isn't exactly hidden away. Some of the stuff on the counter isn't sewing related, but once it's a messy horizontal surface, everyone finds it's just easier to keep adding stuff to the pile.
Sewing organization | DevotedQuilter.com
I have realized that 'divide and conquer' is a key organization tactic. Having a large open space to stash stuff just invites mess. There's a reason all those home organization posts are full of bins and baskets! I bought three pretty bins for current projects. Two of them are holding my Spring Meadow quilts at the moment, the smaller one has the applique version and the larger one has the embroidery version. I really like being able to pull out the bin and have everything I need for the quilt.
Sewing organization | DevotedQuilter.com

Sewing organization | DevotedQuilter.com
The third bin has an assortment of projects that I haven't worked on in a while, but that I hope to get back to soon.
Sewing organization | DevotedQuilter.com
That was the end of my bin buying, though. While I admire shelves that are full of perfectly coordinated bins, the truth is I can't be bothered to spend that much on organization. I'd rather just use what I already have. That's why my thread is in cookie containers - one for Aurifil and another for an assortment of old threads and the Gutermann that I use for garment sewing. There's another cookie container holding fabric for a quilt-to-be. Eating the cookies to make the containers available for storage was a sacrifice the whole family was willing to make!
Sewing organization | DevotedQuilter.com
Then there are the cardboard boxes that have fabric for future projects and another box that has zip top bags of leftover binding pieces, orphan blocks, different elastics, my quilt labels, etc. With the bags all corralled in one box, at least they're much neater than when they were loose.

This is what the inside of the cupboard looks like now. It still wouldn't win any awards for beauty, but it's a lot more functional than it was. 
Sewing organization | DevotedQuilter.com
And here's the top of the cupboard. You can see the vintage Singer! The two bags behind it are for masks. I'd love to keep them somewhere else, but if I want others to put their dirty mask in a bag, it better be somewhere convenient, lol. The papers on the left are the pattern pieces for my Lotte hoodie, which I plan to make over the Easter break. Today is the first of 10 days off and I have so many plans! We'll see how many of them actually materialize 😊
Sewing organization | DevotedQuilter.com
Now the challenge will be to keep it looking like this! I make no guarantees, but I'm going to try!

There are still plenty of categories of stuff that I don't know how/where to organize. The two biggest and most challenging are garment fabric and garment pattern pieces. I have more work to do, for sure, but it's better than it was before 😊

Cheryl has gathered a bevy of others to share their studio clean ups. If you're in need of motivation or inspiration, or you just want to peek into your sewing friends' studios, hop around to visit them all.