April 30, 2022

Add Grace Quilt Top - the Solid Version

I didn't manage to finish my second Add Grace top during the QAL, but I did finish it a few days after it ended. And then I didn't take pictures of it. It just sat and waited, looking at me reproachfully, while I avoided taking the pictures. I've finally broken through the photography block and taken some pictures, though, so I can finally share my all-solid Add Grace top.
Add Grace quilt top | DevotedQuilter.com
All of the fabrics in this top are Andover Century Solids and I think the Raspberry (the top left plus block) is my favourite. I love designing quilts with lots of negative space so all of the blocks have breathing room.
Add Grace quilt top | DevotedQuilter.com
This angular border around the center plus blocks might look complicated, but it's not. Parts of it are in two different sets of blocks and then they come together to create the border. I wasn't sure the Cottonball border would have enough contrast with the Oyster background, but it actually works really well.
Add Grace quilt top | DevotedQuilter.com
I love Friendship Star blocks! You'll also find them in my Friendship Galaxy and Reach for the Stars  patterns, both of which are perfect for making scrappy Friendship Stars. It was fun to make them spin in different directions for this quilt.
Add Grace quilt top | DevotedQuilter.com
The flying geese borders are fun, too, and come together pretty quickly.
Add Grace quilt top | DevotedQuilter.com
Because of other projects with looming deadlines, both of my Add Grace tops are going into the To Be Quilted pile for now, but hopefully not for long. When I have the time, which one should I finish first and use for the cover quilt on the pattern? On the left is the Century Solid version and on the right is my first one, which uses Spectrastic and Pietra fabrics, also from Andover. It's kind of fun to see them side by side like this!
Add Grace quilt top | DevotedQuilter.com

April 25, 2022


Devotion for the Week...

I've been dealing with a bout of tendonitis in my ankle and foot for almost a week now, which has meant no going out for walks. Considering we were on our spring break and we had fairly decent weather, it has been hard to stay in the house and off my feet. Thankfully, the tendonitis is getting better and I hope to be back to normal before long.

Whether it's injury or something else that keeps us from the things we're used to doing, it's hard being sidelined. I've missed my walks a lot! Oddly enough, the apostle Paul had experience with being sidelined. Sometime after his conversion on the road to Damascus, Saul (he hadn't yet had his name changed to Paul) traveled to Jerusalem and met the other apostles. He "stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. He debated with some Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to murder him." (Acts 9:28-29). Yikes! That must have been some debate! "When the believers heard about this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus, his hometown" (v. 30). 

That doesn't sound so bad, right? Someone was trying to kill him, so the other believers helped him get away and go to Tarsus, where he grew up. But then Saul stayed in Tarsus for years before Barnabas eventually came to ask him to come teach and preach in Antioch. How many years he spent is Tarsus isn't known and I saw scholars estimating as little as four or maybe even more than ten.

What Paul did during those years isn't known. He was probably living with his family and working in the family tent-making business. I imagine there was a lot of time spent in prayer and a lot of time learning the things that would later form the basis of his teachings. 

Did Paul long to be back in Jerusalem, teaching and debating? We don't know. Judging by his passion for teaching people about Jesus that shows up during his later missionary journeys and his letters, I would guess that he did. Whether he resented the waiting or not, though, Paul stayed there in Tarsus until God sent someone to call him to the next stage of the work God had for him. When Barnabas arrived, Paul went with him back to Antioch and "Both of them stayed there with the church for a full year, teaching large crowds of people. (It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians.)" (Acts 11:26). Paul's time on the sidelines was over and he was ready to jump right into the work God had for him to do next.
In  times of waiting, it's important to stay ready for whatever God has for us next | DevotedQuilter.com
None of us like being sidelined, moved out of what we were doing and set aside for a while. It might be a case of being moved somewhere for our own good, like Paul was. Or of needing to wait a while for the timing to be right for the next thing. Or maybe we have to heal in some way before we can move forward. Whatever the case may be, being sidelined doesn't mean being out of the game altogether. In  times of waiting, it's important to stay ready for whatever God has for us next.

April 18, 2022

A Good Comparison to Make

I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend. He is risen!

Devotion for the Week...

I'm sure you've heard the saying, 'comparison is the thief of joy.' We've all experienced the truth of it, at one time or another, when someone's vacation pictures made us resent our regular week of work, or someone else's success made us feel less-than because our own achievements didn't seem to measure up. It's a horrible feeling, isn't it? Especially considering we may have been feeling perfectly content with our lives just moments earlier, until comparing ourselves with someone else took the shine off what we have. Comparing our ordinary days with someone else's highlight reel will never bring us joy.

There is one kind of comparison that is helpful, though. I'm currently reading a couple of stanzas of Psalm 119 each day and two verses of the first stanza really stood out. "Oh, that my actions would consistently / reflect your decrees! / Then I will not be ashamed / when I compare my life with your commands" (Psalm 119:5-6). Comparing ourselves to someone else is pointless. Comparing ourselves to God's standard and His desire for our lives? That's extremely valuable. 

How do we measure up against His command to love one another (John 13:34-35)? Or His command to forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32)? What about the greatest commandment - to love Him with everything we have (Matthew 22:36-40)?

Of course, in order for our actions to consistently reflect His decrees, we have to know what those decrees are. So how are we doing with reading and studying His word, to learn how He wants us to live? After all, Psalm 119:106 reminds us that His "word is a lamp to guide [our] feet and a light for [our] path." 
How do we measure up against His commands | DevotedQuilter.com
This isn't a comparison we make to beat ourselves up when we fall short (because we know we will fall short sometimes). When that happens, we confess and seek forgiveness, then aim to do better in the future. I love the honesty at the end of that first stanza of Psalm 119, which says, "As I learn your righteous regulations, / I will thank you by living as I should! / I will obey your decrees. Please don’t give up on me!" (vv. 7-8).

We know that God won't give up on us. In Philippians 1:6 Paul assures us "I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." 

April 14, 2022

TGIFF - Formal Garden Baby Quilt

It's time for Thank Goodness It's Finally Finished (TGIFF), a linky party to celebrate those projects that have moved out of the WIP pile and into the finished pile. Today I'm sharing a fun Formal Garden baby quilt made using Sunshine and Dewdrops fabrics, by Sandy Gervais for Riley Blake. The Formal Garden pattern is available in my shop as a PDF or a printed pattern (with free shipping).
Formal Garden baby quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I was so excited when this shed at the town marina caught my eye a few days before I finished this quilt. I just knew that brilliant yellow would set off the yellows and blues perfectly! The quilt really didn't want to stay stuck to the rough boards, though, so I didn't take as many pictures as I would have if it had cooperated better. 

I love this print that reminds me of knitted stitches. I would love to take up knitting, but I keep reminding myself that I already don't have time to make all the things I want to make, so I don't need to add a whole new hobby!
Formal Garden baby quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
The Formal Garden pattern includes notes to help you keep directional fabrics properly aligned, which would have been really helpful had I slowed down enough to even notice that this print was directional before I cut it. It wasn't until I was putting the blocks together that I noticed what I had done. The funniest part is that, when the fabrics first arrived, I did check the print at the left in that picture to be sure it wasn't directional before I cut it (it's not, for the record), I just didn't look closely enough at the one that actually is directional. It definitely wasn't my brightest quilting moment, but I'm hoping that whatever child eventually owns this quilt won't mind too much.

The hand-drawn look of the scattered flowers on some of the prints made it easy to choose a quilting design. This loopy flower meander is one of my favourites to stitch and my flowers usually have 5 or 6 petals. I find I like the look of the flowers with 5 petals more, but the 6 petal ones were easier to stitch so there are a lot more of them. I chose the yellow Aurifil (1135) after debating between that and a couple of blues and greys. I really like the contrast of the yellow on the grey sashing.
Formal Garden baby quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I have quite a collection of baby quilts these days. For a while I thought maybe I'd list them in my Etsy shop, but I finally admitted to myself that I really have no interest in doing that, so I asked in a Newfoundland quilters FB group where people donate baby quilts in the province. I got a couple of great suggestions and they're both in the city where Aiden is going to school, so I'll take the quilts with me when we go to bring all of his stuff home in July. Unfortunately for us, we won't be bringing him home then as he will be heading out to sea for the start of a 14 month work term. Exciting for him...a little nervous-making for us, but such is parenting.
Formal Garden baby quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I used Riley Blake's Confetti Cotton solid in Iron for the sashing, binding and backing of this one. I love the drama a dark background adds.
Formal Garden baby quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Head to my pattern shop to get your Formal Garden pattern to make your own baby, throw or queen size quilt.
Formal Garden baby quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
And now it's your turn! What have you finished this week? Link it up below so we can celebrate with you!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

April 11, 2022

Strength From the Crowd

Yesterday was Palm Sunday, a commemoration of the day Jesus entered Jerusalem to the cheers and adoration of the crowd. I imagine there were people who heard the commotion and ran to find out what was going on, then joined in the celebration themselves. It must have been like a modern day parade.

“Many in the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others spread leafy branches they had cut in the fields. Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,

‘Praise God!
    Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David!
    Praise God in highest heaven!’” (Mark 11:8-10)

Up to this moment, He had drawn crowds when He taught, but there had been nothing like this. This crowd recognized Him as worthy of praise and honour and they bestowed both on Him lavishly. 
I’ve always wondered what Jesus thought as He rode that donkey into town, with the crowd shouting around Him. Did He know how quickly they would turn against Him? Did their cheers and praise at that moment help to strengthen Him for what would come at the end of the week?
Jesus knew what He was going to face in Jerusalem | DevotedQuilter.com
He knew what He was going to Jerusalem to face; He had already told His disciples that He was going to die. He knew...and He went anyway. He went because He knew it was the only way to save the people cheering for Him along the sides of the road that day, and the ones who would call for His crucifixion later in the week. Amazingly, He was just as willing to save the latter group as He was to save the former.

April 04, 2022

Ready to Get to Work

Devotion for the Week...

I was sick all last week, starting out with absolute exhaustion Friday and Saturday, so that I actually spent most of Saturday asleep. Sunday I started being able to stay awake for long stretches, but I still had no energy. As the week went on, I was able to do a little more each day, though still always in short sessions before I had to rest again. I was amused to find myself feeling extremely happy Friday morning because I was doing laundry which, while not as onerous as cleaning bathrooms, isn't something I particularly enjoy. It just felt so good to be doing my normal chores that I didn't really care what I had to do. That reminded me of a devotion I wrote back in 2016, so I'm sharing that here again today 😊


Over the past couple of years, I've had a handful of times when I was sick over the weekend. Usually my weekends are jam-packed with things I need to do (house cleaning, groceries, etc.) and things I want to do (sewing, usually!), but on those weekends I've been sick I end up just sitting in a chair and accomplishing nothing. It drives me crazy! I feel like I have this huge list of things I should be or want to be doing and I can't do any of it. It feels like such a huge waste of time.

There's a brief story in the gospels about Jesus healing Peter's mother-in-law...well, at this point Peter was still called Simon, so that's what he's called in these verses, but I'll be referring to him as Peter. Luke records it this way: "Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them" (Luke 4:38-39). 

That last sentence used to annoy me a bit. It felt like they only want her healed so she could get them something to eat. Isn't it funny how our minds interpret things, sometimes? Now that I'm older, I read that last sentence through the lens of those sick, unproductive weekends.

This poor woman had been sick with a high fever for who knows how long. She was stuck in bed, unable to do anything. Like me, she probably had a list in her head of things that needed to be done to keep her household running smoothly, and it was likely a lot longer than mine since she didn't have all the modern conveniences that I have. When I finally get over a cold, the last thing I want to do is just sit and relax. There is stuff that needs to be done and I can't wait to get at it. I imagine Peter's mother-in-law felt the same way as she got out of that bed.

Of course, when she was healed of her fever, she had company. What's the first thing we do when we have company? Offer food and a drink, right? That's exactly what she did, and I think she was relieved to be finally well enough to serve Jesus and her other visitors. She had been set free of the fever to finally get stuff done again!

So what about us? Whether or not we have been physically sick lately, we were all spiritually sick at one point and Jesus healed us by offering us forgiveness of our sins. By faith in Jesus, we have been healed and set free from sin. I think that, like Peter's mother-in-law, the best response to that healing is to get to work and serve Jesus.

Which begs the question, how do we serve Jesus? Is it only when we're doing church things? I don't think that's right at all. God made each one of us differently, with different talents and abilities. Read 1 Corinthians 12, where Paul compares the church to a body, where every part is needed because all of the parts are different. Not all of us can be preachers. Not all of us can be musicians (which you would know for sure if you ever heard me sing!). And not all of us can be children's church teachers. Some people are excellent business people, or good cooks, or good quilters! God can use all of those skills if we decide in our hearts that we are working for Him. 

Colossians 3:17 says, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." 'Whatever'. That's a big word, isn't it? It means everything we do can be done in service to God, if we have the right attitude while we're doing it. And the right attitude is even described in the verse for us...'giving thanks to God the Father through him (Jesus)'. So, because of what Jesus has done for us (offering us spiritual healing and forgiveness of our sins), we are to be thankful to God, and we show that thankfulness by serving Him with everything that we do.

We can serve  Jesus with  everything we do | DevotedQuilter.com

We have been set free to serve Him, just as Peter's mother-in-law was. She served him with food and drink. We serve him with everything we do.