October 18, 2017

Quilt Tops for Harvey

As I've said before, the response to my request for blocks to make quilts for the residents of the senior's home that burned down in April was incredibly generous. It was beyond anything I ever thought possible 😊

It was so incredible, in fact, that even after accounting for the residents of the home, the employees and all of our town's first responders, I still had way more quilt tops than I needed. 21 more! So, rather than holding on to them, taking months to finish them all and then trying to figure out who around here might possibly need a quilt, I decided to send them where I know they will be put to good use.
Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
All ready for their photo shoot 😊 A huge thank you to Aiden and Zachary for holding up all 21 quilts so I could take the pictures!
Mel, (mel_is_a_swapaholic on IG), is organizing an effort to make quilts for those affected by hurricane Harvey. It's such a joy to send these 21 quilt tops on to her and I know they'll bring a bit of cheer to their recipients. 

Please know that these blocks were not chosen to be sent on because they're in any way less than the blocks that I've chosen to keep. In fact, some of these are so gorgeous I wish I had a piece of the fabric they were made from 😊 It's simply a matter of numbers and wanting to make the best use possible of all of these beautiful blocks.

Now, let's admire some pretty quilt tops, shall we?
Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
This top was donated already pieced, though it's a little smaller than we've been making from the donated blocks. It was so pretty, though, that I didn't want to mess it up by adding unrelated blocks. It will be perfect for someone just as it is!

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
The lady who sewed these blocks together wanted to do something a little different with them, so she raided her stash for some coordinating reds and created a whole different layout.  

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

Quilt tops for harvey | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

So, did you see any of your blocks in these quilt tops?

October 16, 2017

All of Us

Devotion for the Week...

I'm sure you've noticed that it takes a lot of work to keep a household running. First, there's the necessity of having a paying job to provide an income. Then there's the meal preparation, house cleaning, yard work, laundry, bill paying and grocery shopping. In our house we have the added task of stacking our firewood each year when it is delivered, then the job of bringing it inside throughout the winter to be used in the furnace.

The idea of any one person doing all of that work is crazy. It simply wouldn't be possible. Even in times where men did nothing in the house, they generally were the ones to provide the income, so there was a sharing of the work.

All of us who are a part of the household should be helping with the work of running the household. Obviously, not everyone will do the same work (Nathan, who is 9, doesn't have a job to help pay the bills, for example), but everyone should be doing something.

One of the jobs our boys help with is the stacking and bringing in of the firewood. When people comment about how good it is that the boys help with the wood, I laugh and say that they like to be warm just as much as we do, so it's only right they help.

There's a lot of work involved in building up God's church too, and it's only right that all of us who are a part of it should be doing our portion of that work. In fact, Paul wrote that everyone doing their share is actually crucial to the maturity of the church.

Note here that I am not writing about the particular church that we attend on Sundays, either the building or the congregation that meets there. I'm referring to the whole family of God, all of those around the world who believe in Jesus as Savior.

Ephesians 4:11-13 says: "So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ."

There is so much in these three verses! First of all, notice that the leaders of the church (the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) are given to the church to equip everyone else for works of service. The clergy are not the only ones who are to be serving the church and the community. We're all supposed to be doing it.

If we are all doing our part, whatever that may be, then just look at all that will come from our combined efforts: the body of Christ, the church, will be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and we will become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Building up the church can be taken here to mean both increasing the number of those who are members of the church and the spiritual growth of all believers. Isn't it interesting that this building up of the church will continue until we all reach unity in the faith?

We will also have unity in the knowledge of the Son of God, which I think goes hand in hand with unity in the faith, since it means that we will all agree on everything pertaining to the Son of God.

On top of that, or maybe because of it, we will be mature in the faith, no longer weak or immature.

Now attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ is a little hard to understand, but basically it means that we will become Christ-like. We will exhibit the character of Jesus in our everyday lives because of our spiritual growth and maturity.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com #christian #christianliving #devotion #church
Don't you want all of that? I know I do. Which means we must be seeking ways to serve others according to the gifts God has given us. What I do and what you do may be different, but that doesn't change the fact that we should be using the gifts God has given us to reach people for Him and to encourage spiritual growth.

It's up to all of us to pitch in and use our spiritual gifts to build up the church.

October 14, 2017

FMQ Doesn't Have to Be Perfect

A couple of days ago, I shared a picture of my current (secret for now) quilting project with a friend. She took one look at all of those straight lines and said, "I'd never be able to do that, unless I used a ruler."
Square meander free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com #freemotionquilting #fmq #quilting
We tend to think our quilting has to be perfect in order to look good, but it doesn't! There are a bazillion lines in this quilt and when you stand back they all look perfect, but I can guarantee you that they're not 😊

I am aiming for the lines to be horizontal or vertical, but there are plenty of slightly diagonal lines that have crept in. And even though I know there are a lot of them, I really had to search to find some for this picture.
Square meander free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com #freemotionquilting #fmq #quilting
Generally, quilting lines should be a consistent distance apart, but these ones definitely aren't! Every now and then as I'm quilting, I remind myself that I'm trying to quilt farther apart, so I make a conscious effort to space them out more. It doesn't take long, though, for my 'tiny quilting' habit to take over and the lines grow closer and closer together.
Square meander free motion quilting | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com #freemotionquilting #fmq #quilting
The great thing is, no one will ever know! There's enough consistency in the variations that it all looks like I meant for it to happen. And as a bonus, it is creating absolutely wonderful texture 😊

When we're quilting, we have our noses so close to the work that we see every little imperfection as if it were lit with neon lights. No one else will ever look that closely! Even other quilters who might know what to look for are never that critical of anyone else's work.

Don't let the fear of the imperfect hold you back from trying a new design, or from trying free motion quilting altogether. Even Angela Walters, one of the free motion quilting queens, says that "Finished is better than perfect" and "Close enough is good enough"!

Do you embrace the imperfect in your quilting?

October 09, 2017

Forgetting

Devotion for the Week...

Have you ever done something, walked away, and then had to come back to check to see if you did it immediately because you completely forgot? My husband is bad for this when it comes to locking a door.

I find myself doing it with the step counting on my watch. I'll check how many steps I have, flick back to the time screen and then a moment later I'm checking again because I can't remember what it said. I know I just checked, but I have no memory of the number even though I just read it!

When I found myself doing this last week, I thought of these verses: "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do" (James 1:22-25).

Immediately forgets what he looks like...or immediately forgets what her watch says. Same thing, right? In either example, it's a matter of looking at something, walking away and forgetting what you saw. James compares that to someone who reads the Bible, but doesn't follow through on what they read by putting it into practice.

Reading the Bible does us no good if it never goes farther than that. We have to use what we read to change how we live our lives. Sometimes that change will be internal, in what we believe about God or about ourselves. For example, if a person has always believed that God is harsh and judgmental, just waiting for us to screw up so He can punish us, then reading 1 John 1:9 should change that perception. After all, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" doesn't sound harsh at all. But reading the truth about God doesn't change us unless we choose to believe it, and then choose to remind ourselves of it when the old beliefs try to reassert themselves.

Sometimes the changes will be external, revealing themselves in the way we act. "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity" (Colossians 3:12-14). Compassion, kindess, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, love. Reading about them, even nodding our heads in agreement as we read, isn't enough. We must act on what we have read and choose to incorporate those qualities into our everyday situations.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com #christian #devotion #christianliving
Don't forget, James tells us there are two parts to this equation - the reading intently and then the acting upon what we have read. Acting on what we have read is not possible if we never read the Bible, and reading the Bible alone is not enough. We must take what we've read and act on it.

October 04, 2017

WIPs This Week

It seems like I have a bunch of projects on the go right now, and none of them very close to a finish 😊
Here's a little round-up of what's moving on and off my kitchen table (since I don't have a sewing room, lol).

1. My Make Modern project.

This is a great scrap quilt I'm working on for issue 20 of Make Modern magazine (affiliate link). I'm quilting it now and did you see my little snafu with the quilting I chose? Oops! At least I like the square meander, so I'll still be happy with the quilting because you can be sure I wasn't going to rip out all that quilting.
Square meander quilting | DevotedQuilter.blogspot,com #fmq #quilting #freemotionquilting

Square meander quilting | DevotedQuilter.blogspot,com #fmq #quilting #freemotionquilting

2. My Hexie Rainbow.

This was one of my designs for the first 30 quilt designs challenge, with Rachel of Stitched in Color. I tried resisting starting it, especially since I already had my Scattered Stars epp quilt started, but the resistance didn't last long. I had been picking away at it slowly and I had the red double round finished along with some hexies basted in other colours. There's a challenge on IG now called 100 hexies 100 days and the idea is to baste at least 1 hexie each day for (you guessed it) 100 days. We're past the halfway point of the challenge already and most days I baste more than 1, so I've done 247 as part of the challenge. My little tin is getting full!
Basted epp hexies | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com #epp #englishpaperpiecing
Along with basting the hexies, I have done a bit of sewing them together. I've started working on the orange double round now. I have all of the hexies basted for this round, so it's just a matter of taking the time to sew them together. I'm really loving how this looks so far!
Hexie rainbow quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com

3. Quilts for seniors/charity quilts

I hardly know what to call these now that the quilts for the residents have been delivered 😊 I have an official count of how many I need for the employees (10) and our town's first responders (31), so I'm working on getting those ready. There are 18 finished now, and 3 more that just need binding. I'll present the quilts to the employees once I have 10 feminine quilts finished, since all of the employees are women. Most of our first responders are men and I'm hoping to have enough masculine/neutral quilts that none of them end up with super-flowery quilts.
Charity quilt | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
And since I know I only need 41 quilts, I've decided to pass on all of the tops I don't need for this project. Melinda (@mel_is_a_swapaholic on IG) is organizing a project to make quilts for those affected by hurricane Harvey, so I'll be sending all of the extra quilt tops to her. I still have a couple of tops to piece so I don't have a total count of how many I'll be sending her, but there will be 12+. I hope everyone who donated to this project agrees with this plan. It makes more sense to me to send the quilts where they are needed rather than me trying to figure out who I could give them to. Of course, I'll be sure to share pictures before I mail them out so you can admire how beautifully they all turned out 😊


So that's what's on the go for me. Plus there are a bunch of projects swirling around in my head, or partially finished and abandoned (for now), but still calling my name. Why aren't there more hours in the day? I can tell you one thing for sure - I'll never be bored!

What are you working on these days?
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