April 17, 2024

Curves Jubilee

I'm excited that today I can share a collaboration I've been working on behind the scenes - introducing the Curves Jubilee pattern bundle! Curves Jubilee is a limited time collection of 12 modern quilt patterns featuring curved piecing for $23.99 USD. That's only $2 per pattern! This special collection is only available through Sunday, April 21st, so be sure to purchase yours today.
Curves Jubilee quilt pattern bundle | DevotedQuilter.com

Want to see all the patterns that are included? Of course you do! Curves Jubilee includes Birds of a Feather, by Jody Groenendyk of Gingerberry Quilts,
Celestial by Amber Elliot of Alderwood Studio,
Circus Ring by Erin Nichole of Mija Handmade,

Lanterne Rouge by Daisy Aschehoug of Warm Folk,
Flutter by Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs,
Garden Peony by Yvonne Fuchs of Quilting Jetgirl,
Gingham Glitz by Holly Clarke of Holly Clarke Design,
Lunar Eclipse by Shannon Fraser of Shannon Fraser Designs,
Where Flowers Bloom by Megan Collins of Megan Collins Quilt Designs,
Topsy-Turvy by Heather Black of Quiltachusetts,

Moon Lights by Sarah Ruiz,
and Illusion, by yours truly 😊
Isn't that an amazing group of quilt patterns? I'm particularly excited about Circus Ring, and may have already printed the templates and started cutting up scraps to make it myself 😊

If you bought all 12 patterns individually, it would cost over $155 USD, so the Curves Jubilee bundle saves you a bundle! Remember, this specially curated bundle is only available through Sunday, April 21, so don't let it slip away.

April 15, 2024

In Awe

Devotion for the week...

Did you watch the eclipse last Monday, either in person or online? We drove about 90 minutes to get into the path of totality and it was so worth it! I had never experienced a total eclipse before, and it was such an amazing experience there aren't words to describe it. We wore eclipse glasses to watch as the moon traveled across the sun. The glasses are 10,000 times darker than sunglasses and with them on we could see nothing except the sun. Nothing! Then, at totality, when I took the glasses down and looked at the sun completely covered by the moon, with the corona shining around it, I teared up to the point I almost couldn't talk, though I did manage to choke out, "That is soooo cool!" Everyone around us was saying some version of the same thing, or just saying, "Wow!" I am so glad I got to experience it in person.

On Wednesday during my morning devotions, I read part of Psalm 65, including verse 8, which says, "Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders." Immediately I thought of the eclipse. Awe is exactly the right word for what I experienced for the minute and a half of totality, and still feel whenever I think about it.

I'm certainly not alone in that feeling. I saw so many social media posts from others in the path of totality who were amazed by what they saw. During the eclipse, people all over the world stood in awe of His wonders. Whether they were in the path of totality or watching it streamed online, whether they acknowledge God as their Creator or not, they stared at the sun as it was eclipsed by the moon and they were in awe.
During the eclipse, people all over the world stood in awe of His wonders | DevotedQuilter.com
Some of them saw only the science, not the Creator who set the paths of the sun, the moon, and the earth in place to bring them together for that moment. Some of them saw only a beautiful natural event, not the One who designed all of nature. That they didn't see Him doesn't change that He was the cause of their awe.

Psalm 19:1-4 says, "The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world." Last Monday the heavens shouted about His glory to anyone willing to listen.

April 08, 2024

Like A Tree

Devotion for the week...

On Good Friday we had a lot of rain, then in the evening it changed to freezing rain. Saturday morning it warmed up again, so that it was about 8℃ (46℉) when I went for a walk around 10:30. When I stepped out the door I was confused because it sounded like it was raining, but it wasn't. As I walked, I realized the sound was ice falling continuously off the trees. The trees were all completely coated in ice from the freezing rain, but the warmer temperature was causing the ice to melt enough to fall off in chunks, which would then knock off other chunks from lower branches as it fell. Listening to it had me smiling the whole walk!

Along the way, I saw this birch tree bent way over by the weight of the ice. It always amazes me that trees can bend like that. If I hold a piece of birch wood in my hands, there's no way I can bend it even a little; it feels solid and unyielding. Under strong winds or the weight of ice or snow, though, it can bend dramatically so it doesn't break.
Birch tree bent under weight of ice | DevotedQuilter.com
For the rest of my walk, the words 'like trees planted by the water' kept running through my mind, so I had to look up the verse. Jeremiah wrote:

"But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
    and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
    with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
    or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
    and they never stop producing fruit" (Jeremiah 17:7-8).

The verse doesn't say anything about trees bending to survive under the weight of ice without breaking, probably because that wasn't part of Jeremiah's climate. It does reference trees that can withstand harsh conditions because they're deeply rooted in the life-giving water of the river. Whether the harsh conditions are heat and drought, or wind and freezing rain, trees have to be rooted in good soil in order to survive.

So who does Jeremiah say is like a tree planted by the river, able to survive those harsh conditions? It's not the wealthy, or the healthiest people, or the best looking ones. It's not the ones with the best jobs, or the closest families, or the most degrees. A lot of people put their trust in those things, but those things don't sustain us when trouble comes. Instead, Jeremiah says it is people who trust in the Lord, and who have put their hope and confidence in Him that can withstand hard times. 
When we put our trust in Him, our spiritual roots go down into good soil | DevotedQuilter.com
When we put our trust in Him, our spiritual roots go down into good soil that can sustain us through long months of drought...or nights of freezing rain, depending on your climate.

April 04, 2024

TGIFF - These Three, the QAL Version

Welcome to this week's Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday! I have a finished These Three quilt top to share today 😊 This is my second These Three quilt, which I made during the Moments with Jesus QAL, which finished up on Saturday. You'll have to excuse the indoor pictures. I finished the quilt top after dark the evening before we headed out of town, so there was no chance to even try for outdoor ones.
These Three quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
I made this one with gorgeous Phosphor Electric fabrics, by Libs Elliott for Andover Fabrics. I love those bright colours!
Spinning Star block | DevotedQuilter.com
My lines in my Corner Star blocks didn't turn out perfectly, but I decided they were close enough.
Corner Star block | DevotedQuilter.com
I love the applique blocks most. The quilt, and its name, are based on 1 Corinthians 13:13, which says, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
These Three quilt | DevotedQuilter.com

These Three quilt | DevotedQuilter.com

These Three quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Want to see the difference the choice of stitching can make for applique? Here's the same flower shape with three different looks. For this version of These Three, I used a zig zag stitch in a matching Aurifil thread.
Applique flower with zig zag stitching | DevotedQuilter.com
For my first These Three, I stitched around using my free motion foot, stitching around twice with matching thread.
Applique flower with free motion embroidery | DevotedQuilter.com
I used the same flower shape for my Daisy Chain banner. For those flowers, I also stitched around with my free motion foot, and stitched around twice, but this time I used black thread. I also stitched right in to the flower center, to define the flower petals, rather than only going around the outside edge. Isn't it amazing how different the flowers look depending on thread and stitch choice?
Applique flower with black stitched detail | DevotedQuilter.com
Now I have two These Three quilt tops ready to be quilted. If only I knew how I want to quilt them!
Applique flower | DevotedQuilter.com
That's my finish for the week 😊 What have you finished recently? Link it below, then be sure to visit some of the other links to celebrate their finishes, too.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

April 01, 2024

They Were Looking In The Wrong Place

Devotion for the week...

We've all had moments when we're looking for something.

We know exactly where we left it, exactly where it should be, except it's not there.

Well, early one morning Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them (Luke 24:10) were having one of those moments.

Jesus had died and been buried in a tomb. The women had come to the tomb early on this morning to prepare his body for a proper burial, but when they looked into the tomb they found it empty. Then, "as they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes." (v. 4)

Can you picture the women standing around at the entrance to the tomb, 'puzzled'?

"Are you sure this is the right tomb?"

"I'm sure it is...at least, I think it is."

"Then where is his body?"

"This can't be the right tomb. Maybe it was that one over there."

Then the angels spoke. "Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!" (vv. 5-6)

They were looking in the wrong place! Not the wrong tomb - the wrong place altogether. They thought Jesus' body would be in the tomb, because that was where it was put, and dead bodies don't move themselves from place to place. But Jesus' body wasn't in the tomb, among the dead, because He was no longer dead.

Many people are still looking in the wrong places. Some look to good behavior or good deeds to earn them a place in heaven. They hope that when the judgement day comes, God will declare them 'good enough' because they have donated enough money, served others enough, volunteered enough, loved well enough...Unfortunately, 'good enough' will never be good enough.

While talking about the day of judgement, and those who will not enter heaven, Jesus said, "And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life" (Matthew 25:46).

Heaven is reserved for those who are righteous, which according to my dictionary means 'morally right.' I don't know about you, but no matter how good I try to be, I don't think my 'good enough' will equal God's 'morally right.' If you have ever told a lie or gossiped, you are not righteous, which means you are not good enough for heaven. Neither am I. By ourselves, by our own goodness, none of us would see heaven.

That's why I find this passage from Romans absolutely amazing: "But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins." (Romans 3:21-24)

Did you see the amazing part? We have a way to be made right with God, given freely through faith in Jesus to everyone who believes.

It doesn't matter, Paul says, which sins you have committed. There is no difference - all of us have sinned in one way or another, so we all fall short. But through faith in Jesus, anyone can receive righteousness from God.
Jesus is alive! | DevotedQuilter.com
This is the heart of Easter. Jesus died and He was buried. But when the women went looking for His body, He wasn't there. They were looking in the wrong place. He was, and is, alive! And because He is alive, he offers each and every one of us His righteousness, if only we would believe.

That's the only place we need look for our salvation and the only way into an eternity in heaven with Him.

March 29, 2024

My First Quilt with Sarah Goer

It's the last Friday of the month, which means it's time for another My First Quilt interview! Today Sarah Goer is sharing the story of her first quilt with us. Sarah is a quilter, artist, and teacher who helps quilters learn improv piecing skills.
My First Quilt with Sarah Goer | DevotedQuilter.com
You can connect with Sarah at her website, on Instagram, and on Facebook.

And now, here is Sarah's first quilt! Isn't it pretty? I may have laughed when I first saw it, though, because the colours are not at all what I would expect to see from Sarah (and you'll learn why below) πŸ˜„
My First Quilt with Sarah Goer | DevotedQuilter.com

What year did you make your first quilt? What prompted you to make it?

2002. Post-college we had two family friends who were avid quilters. I was drawn in to the geometry and color of quilting.

What techniques were used in that first quilt? Did you quilt it yourself?

My first quilt had four 9-patch blocks set on point. I quilted it myself with stitch in the ditch straight line quilting. I'm pretty sure I didn't even have a walking foot yet then.
My First Quilt with Sarah Goer | DevotedQuilter.com

Who taught you to make the quilt?

I already knew how to sew and I borrowed books from a family friend quilter to learn how to make a quilt. The patterns I used for my first two quilts were out of the book Quilting for Dummies. For years I was convinced that the pattern was incorrect on my first quilt and that's why I lost all my points, but I eventually realized it was probably because my 1/4" seam allowance wasn't super accurate.
My First Quilt with Sarah Goer | DevotedQuilter.com

Are the colours you chose for your first quilt ones you would still choose today?

Oh no! I think I was using a lot of fabric that my mother had on hand, so my first couple quilts were much more her colors - dusty rose and country blue. My first project featured a large print floral background in those colors and I chose solid or near solids for the rest of the fabrics.
My First Quilt with Sarah Goer | DevotedQuilter.com

Did you fall in love with quilting right away? Or was there a gap between making the first quilt and the next one?

Right away. I started my second quilt before I finished the first one. That began a long chain of having multiple projects in the works at once.

Where is the quilt now?

I gave my first quilt to my mother. It is a small table topper that matched her aesthetic. That quilt is back in my possession now. In a closet. Because it really does not match my aesthetic.

Is there anything you wish you could go back and tell yourself as you made that first quilt?

I guess since I was striving for precision, I could give my past self some tips on that front. And I had no idea at the time that quilting would be a lifelong passion and eventually a business for me.

Anything else you want to share about your first quilt?

It was the first quilt I started, but the second quilt I finished. I've included a picture of my "second" quilt as well since it was officially the first quilt I finished.
My First Quilt with Sarah Goer | DevotedQuilter.com

Thanks for sharing your first quilts with us, Sarah! I loved seeing how you got started quilting ❤

March 25, 2024

What Is Our Default?

Devotion for the week...

One day last week, I read 1 John 3:17, which says, "If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?" There's so much to think about in that one sentence!

John creates a kind of hypothetical person for us to imagine. John doesn't say this person is wealthy, but that they have enough money to live well. I take that to mean a person who isn't just barely scraping by; it's someone who can pay the bills and put food on the table. They may not have enough to go on fancy vacations, or be always shopping for new clothes, but they have the resources to meet their needs. By that definition, most of us likely have enough money to live well. Is that how we feel about our financial situation?

Then this person sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion. There might be a lot of reasons why one person might not reach out to help another. Maybe they don't feel like they have enough to be able to share (entirely possible if they're only just paying their own bills), maybe they don't feel the other person is deserving (why aren't they working?), or maybe they're focused on trying to reach some goal of their own and giving to someone else would set them back (saving for a big purchase, for example). Whatever the reason, John's hypothetical person sees the need, but chooses not to help meet that need.

If you're like me, you've seen needs you didn't try to meet because of those reasons I mentioned and more. Sometimes we end up feeling like we can't possibly meet all the needs around us, so we block them out. 

Then John asks a question - how can God's love be in that person? Ouch! That really packs a punch, doesn't it?

John follows his question with an exhortation: "Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions" (v. 18).
Is our default position one of reaching out to help others | DevotedQuilter.com
I don't think John was saying that not meeting every need around us means that God's love isn't in us. I think he was trying to prompt us to think about how we live, and how we see the needs of others. Is our default position one of reaching out to help others, or one of hoarding and saving for ourselves? And if we don't reach out to help by default, how could we change that, to make our actions reflect the love of God?

March 21, 2024

TGIFF - Pattern Cover Redesign

Welcome to this week's TGIFF party! Today I have a different finish to share, one that involved time at my computer rather than my sewing machine, but it is quilt related.

In November 2018, I released Love Birds and Churn as my first printed patterns. At the time, I really liked how the covers looked, but over the past year or two, I've been wanting to redesign them. Unfortunately, I wasn't sure how I wanted them to look. I also knew I wanted to update my logo first, so I could add the logo to the cover, but I wasn't sure how I wanted that to look either. That meant that for a long time, nothing got done.

Then last month I finally updated my logo, so it was time to tackle the pattern covers! For reference, here's how my patterns look now.
Scrappy Playground quilt pattern cover | DevotedQuilter.com
And here's how they'll look going forward. I love that it looks more sleek and modern than my existing covers do.
Illusion quilt pattern cover | DevotedQuilter.com
I create my patterns in Microsoft Publisher, and one day last week I noticed there's a place to click to open up a menu of "page parts." When I clicked on it, I found all kinds of already created things that could be added to a document, including the header I ended up using for the pattern title. I had to tweak it a little, removing some parts I didn't need, but I love the blocks of colour, which I can change to match each cover quilt. Finding that menu of 'page parts' gave me exactly the starting point I needed to get moving. 

I'm working now on getting my three most recent patterns ready to send to the printer (Illusion, Merry Mini, and Hot and Cold). Those three quilts feature very different colour palettes, so I'm looking forward to seeing them all printed together. Case in point, here's how the redesigned cover looks for Hot and Cold. I love how they're the same, but different.
Hot and Cold quilt pattern cover | DevotedQuilter.com
By the way, these patterns are all available in my shop along with a whole lot more πŸ˜‰

Once these three are sent to the printer, I need to work on updating the existing pattern covers, too. This kind of feels like an "If you give a mouse a cookie" moment...If you update your logo, it'll be time to update your pattern covers. And if you update your pattern covers, you'll need to print new covers for your existing patterns. With 30 patterns already available in print, it'll take a little while to get them all switched over.

In the meantime, I'm celebrating having the cover redesign finalized. What finish are you celebrating this week? Link it up below, then visit some of the other links to celebrate their finishes, too.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

March 19, 2024

How To Make A Daisy Chain Banner

I take the childcare littles to the library every week or two, and a few weeks ago the 3 year old picked out Bear Wants More, by Karma Wilson. It's a cute little book, with adorable illustrations by Jane Chapman. In a few of the illustrations, there's a daisy chain strung along the wall of Bear's den that I kept staring at.
Illustration from Bear Wants More, by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
A couple of times I found myself opening the book just to look at the daisy chain again, and thinking about how I could make one for myself. Then, while making the Hope block for the Moments with Jesus QAL, I realized that one of the applique flower templates would work for a daisy chain, too.

I made a test flower, which I loved so much I immediately dove in to making enough flowers to string up in the sewing room. Now this colourful daisy chain makes me ridiculously happy every time I set foot in the sewing room, or even just glance in from the hallway.
Daisy Chain banner tutorial | DevotedQuilter.com
Taking pictures of the whole side of a room is hard! How do home dΓ©cor bloggers make their pictures look so nice?
Daisy Chain banner tutorial | DevotedQuilter.com

Daisy Chain banner tutorial | DevotedQuilter.com
As I made my daisy chain banner, I took pictures of my process so I could share a tutorial with you. While I adore mine in my sewing room, I picture it in little girl bedrooms or playrooms, too.

What you'll need

  • A flower template. Enter your email address below to get the link to download mine or draw your own.

  • Scraps of fabric in your chosen colours for the flowers. I used pink, purple, and teal. For my template, the scraps need to be about 4 1/2" square.
  • Scraps for the flower centers. I used yellows for mine, and for my template, these scraps need to be about 1" square
  • White fabric
  • Fusible adhesive like Heat N Bond (what I used) or Lite Steam A Seam 2
  • Thread to match your fabrics or to contrast with them. I chose black so the stitching would stand out on all the fabrics.
  • Ribbon - mine is 1/8" wide
  • Glue - I used a glue stick

Make your flowers

How many flowers you'll need will depend on how long you want the chain to be and how closely you position your flowers. I used 31 flowers to cover about 17' of wall, but I used more than 17' of ribbon to allow for the draping. I didn't think to measure how long the ribbon actually was before putting it up on the wall.

Trace your flowers and flower centers onto the paper side of your fusible adhesive, nesting them close together. Cut them out roughly.
Daisy Chain banner tutorial | DevotedQuilter.com
Following the manufacturer's instructions, fuse the flowers and flower centers to the back of your chosen fabrics.
Daisy Chain banner tutorial | DevotedQuilter.com
Here my new sewing room mascot is showing why I keep scraps as small as 1" square. Sometimes they're the perfect size for a flower center! Side note, this guy is still in need of a name...any suggestions?
Sewing room mascot | DevotedQuilter.com
He's a blue, sparkly dragon! How could I resist?
 Cut out the flowers and flower centers directly on the lines.
Daisy Chain banner tutorial | DevotedQuilter.com
Position the flowers with the adhesive side down on the white fabric. I nested them pretty closely to conserve fabric, while leaving a little bit of space around each one so I could cut them out with margin of white. Position the flower centers in the center of each flower. Again following the manufacturer's instructions, fuse the flowers to the white fabric.
Daisy Chain banner tutorial | DevotedQuilter.com
Stitch around the flowers and flower centers, just inside the edge. Do this before you cut the flowers apart, to make it easier to handle them. I used my free motion foot so I wouldn't have to turn the appliques as I stitched, but you can use a straight stitch if you prefer. If you're using a straight stitch, I recommend reducing the stitch length a bit, stitching slowly, and stopping often with the needle down to turn the flowers slightly to get smooth curves.
Daisy Chain banner tutorial | DevotedQuilter.com
I stitched around each flower and flower center twice, purposely not trying to travel over the first stitched line perfectly as I went around the second time. I find when I only stitch around once all the wobbles are super noticeable, especially when I'm using such a high contrast thread colour. Stitching around a second time adds more wobbles, which somehow makes it all look intentional and gives it a charming sketched quality.
Daisy Chain banner tutorial | DevotedQuilter.com

Daisy Chain banner tutorial | DevotedQuilter.com
I'm always amazed how different applique looks before and after stitching!
Daisy Chain banner tutorial | DevotedQuilter.com
After you've stitched around all the flowers, cut them apart, leaving about 1/8" of white fabric all the way around. I love how they look a bit like stickers!
Daisy Chain banner tutorial | DevotedQuilter.com
After I made a bunch of flowers, I laid them out on the floor in a rough approximation of how I wanted them to look on the wall, so I could see how many more I needed to make. That also allowed me to get a feel for the balance of colours, and made me even more excited to get it finished and up on the wall.

Once all my flowers were finished, I clipped them to the ribbon and then taped the ribbon to the wall to check the fit.
Daisy Chain banner tutorial | DevotedQuilter.com
Once I was happy with the positions, I glued the ribbon to the backs of the flowers. I only glued approximately the width of the flower center, not all the way across the flower.
Daisy Chain banner tutorial | DevotedQuilter.com
I wasn't sure a glue stick would be strong enough, but it was all I had and I was too impatient to wait until I could buy something different. After the first couple dried, I did shake them a little to be sure they would hold through the manipulation required to get them on the wall. They've been up for a few days now, and none of the flowers have fallen, so I guess they're good. I also don't expect them to be handled much (if at all) now that they're in place.
Daisy Chain banner tutorial | DevotedQuilter.com
I had my husband help me put them on the wall. Before we started, I stacked all the flowers neatly so they were easier to handle. I stood on the floor holding the stack of flowers while he stood on a stool to reach near the ceiling, and I stayed close to him so there were only a few flowers dangling at any given time. That way they weren't getting caught on anything or tangled around each other.

He used a thumbtack to poke a hole in the drywall, then used a short sewing pin to hold the ribbon. I could have just used the thumbtacks to hold it up, but I didn't have white ones and they're quite a bit larger than the heads of the pins we used, so the pins are less noticeable. 

And that's it! Once the daisy chain is up on the wall, you may find yourself tempted to stand and grin at it, or at least that's what I did! 
Daisy Chain banner tutorial | DevotedQuilter.com

Linking up with Quilting Jetgirl's Favorite Finish