April 29, 2024

It Never Gets Old

Devotion for the week...

I've been writing these weekly devotions for 11 years now. Over the past few years, I've also added devotions for the annual Easter QAL and Devotional Journeys, and monthly devotions for Stash Artists members. That's a lot of devotions! Every now and then I get an email from a reader saying a particular devotion encouraged or challenged her. It amazes me that God uses my words to speak into another person's life that way. 

I spent a lot of years learning how to write well, but I know it's not my skill that impacts you as you read these devotions. It's His Word, His story, and His influence speaking through my words that makes a difference to you. Knowing that He works in and through what I write never gets old, which is why I still love every single email I receive about the devotions. 

Last week I read the story of Peter and John healing a man on their way into the Temple: "Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money.

Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, "Look at us!" The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, "I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!"

Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them" (Acts 3:1-8).

Talk about God working through a person! Can you imagine how Peter must have felt as God worked through his words and his outstretched hand to heal this man? I wonder if that feeling ever went away, through all the years Peter worked such astounding miracles in Jesus' name. I hope it didn't, and Peter always felt a sense of wonder as God worked through him.
How has God worked through you | DevotedQuilter.com

How has God worked through you? Isn't it an amazing feeling when you realize He has used your efforts to impact another person in some way?

April 26, 2024

My First Quilt with Jody Groenendyk

It's time for another My First Quilt interview! Today Jody of Gingerberry Quilts is sharing her first quilt with us. By day, Jody is a scientist, diving deep into the world of biochemistry, but by night, she unleashes her creativity as a passionate quilter. She loves to design quilt patterns and help customers finish their quilts with her longarm!
My First Quilt with Jody Groenendyk | DevotedQuilter.com
You can connect with Jody at her website and on Instagram.

And now, here's Jody's first quilt 😊 You know I love those blues!
My First Quilt with Jody Groenendyk | DevotedQuilter.com

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

2019, My daughter went through a tragic death of her boyfriend and we all struggled to cope. Quilting was what I turned to. I made a quilt for my daughter.

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

It was a simple HST quilt but I didn't have a rotary cutter or mat and I didn't know how to finish the binding. 
My First Quilt with Jody Groenendyk | DevotedQuilter.com

Who taught you to make the quilt?

My grandmother taught me to sew when I was a kid.

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

No. The first quilt was mostly blue but I now quilt with every colour.

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

I fell in love right away. I made quilts for everyone I knew and then started donating quilts to a local charity,  Blankets of Love for Mental Health. I am now on the board for the charity. 
My First Quilt with Jody Groenendyk | DevotedQuilter.com

Where is the quilt now?

In my spare bedroom. My daughter moved out and left it in her room.

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

A seam allowance of 1/4 inch is important.

Anything else you want to share about your first quilt?

Quilting is therapeutic!

Thank you for sharing your first quilt with us, Jody! I'm glad quilting helped you cope with a terrible situation, and that you fell in love with it along the way ❤

April 22, 2024


Devotion for the week...

A few weeks ago I started wearing custom orthotics in my shoes to correct a few issues and, since I spend most of my time at home, I was told I'd get the most benefit from them if I wear them around the house, too. I have never worn even slippers in the house, so it felt really weird to be tromping around the kitchen in a pair of sneakers. It also felt weird to be an inch or so taller compared to the table and the counters, because of the extra height from the shoes. Weird or not, I've been doing my best to wear them consistently. 

The other day I got up from reading to start making supper and didn't put the shoes on right away, and I within a few minutes I realized that it felt a little bit odd to not wear them 🤣 That just goes to show we can get used to changes pretty quickly!

Thinking about that made me remember Psalm 1:1, which says, "Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers." That may seem like an odd connection, but to me, this verse is a reminder to pay attention to who we're spending time with, and the influence they have on us. Even if we're spending our time with the same people we always have, there could be changes that we've simple gotten used to and don't notice anymore. Those changes could be in them, in how we interact, in the things we choose to do, or how we talk about other people (or ourselves) when we're together.
Whatever changes occur in the people we spend time could end up influencing us in turn | DevotedQuilter.com
Those changes could be positive ones (adopting a healthier lifestyle) or they could be negative (a new tendency to gossip or to put people down). Whatever changes occur in the people we spend time could end up influencing us in turn. That's great if our friends or family are making positive changes! If we're not paying attention, though, we could look up one day and be surprised to find ourselves 'joining in with mockers' because we've adjusted to negative changes without even realizing it.

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.