September 20, 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Rainbow Ripple

For my second entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy at Amy's Creative Side, I've chosen to enter Rainbow Ripple in the ROYGBIV Quilts category.
Rainbow Ripple Quilt |

I love how the rainbow bright colours pop against the black strips between them.
Rainbow Ripple Quilt |
 I quilted feathers in all the coloured strips and wishbones in the black strips.
Rainbow Ripple Quilt |
Rainbow Ripples measures 44" x 44" and there are no points to match up anywhere in the whole quilt! Easy, right? The pattern is available in my Payhip and Etsy stores.

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check out some of the many, many quilts in the Blogger's Quilt Festival. There's sure to be a lot of eye candy and inspiration!

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Denim Hexies

It's time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival again, with our host Amy of Amy's Creative Side. This year, I've chosen to enter my Denim Hexies quilt in the Home Machine Quilted category.
Denim Hexies quilt |
I had so much fun making this quilt. First there was the experiment...would it be possible to do EPP with denim? Obviously, it was, and I love the denim hexie flowers. Then came the quilting.

With all that white fabric around the flowers, it was the perfect canvas for lots of fun flow quilting. I chose the gold thread to coordinate with the flower centers and so the flow quilting would stand out from the background. It was fun to watch the background transform.
Beginning of flow quilting |
The flower centers all have shapes chosen from Angela Walters' book Shape by Shape Quilting.
Hexie fmq |
The backing fabric is too busy for all the individual shapes of the flow quilting to show up, but I do like how the gold thread looks against the blue and white. I love how the flowers puff up too.
Denim hexies quilt back |
Thanks for stopping by! There are always many, many gorgeous quilts shared during the Blogger's Quilt Festival, so be sure to pop over there and check them out :)

September 19, 2016

Listening and Hearing

Devotion for the Week...

Last Sunday my pastor shared a message on prayer in which he said, almost as an aside, "There's a real difference between hearing and listening, isn't there?"

I immediately thought of an article I read a few years ago, about a woman who had cochlear implant surgery as an adult. I certainly don't understand the science of it, but cochlear implants allow people who are deaf (or almost deaf) to hear. I know two kids who have cochlears, but their surgeries were done when they were babies, so they won't remember a time when they couldn't hear. This woman does, though.

I don't remember many details about the article, like the woman's name or even what magazine it was in, but I do remember being fascinated by her experience. She found that for months after the surgery she would hear a noise and jump up, startled by the sound, only to realize it was the fridge or a plane overhead or some other 'background' noise that hearing people had learned to tune out a long time ago. She had to learn to tune out the background sounds too.

How many sounds do we hear each day, without really listening to them? There's not only the fridge and planes overhead, but also traffic going by, dogs barking, neighborhood kids playing outside, clocks ticking, wind through trees...The list goes on and on. We hear all of those things, but we aren't always aware that we're hearing them because they aren't sounds that matter at that moment.

Every September I go away for a weekend with my mother-in-law and my two sisters-in-law for a women's retreat. For meals we have to stand in line and it is noisy! Whenever one of us wants to say something, the other three of us have to lean in to listen or we'd never hear the words over the constant hum of other voices.

Well, last week, when Pastor Greg said there's a big difference between hearing and listening, he was speaking about Jeremiah 29:12, "Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you." He listens to our prayers. He doesn't just hear them as background noise, without paying attention to what we say. He is leaning towards us, paying close attention, listening.
Weekly devotions |

God is actively paying attention to our concerns, our thoughts and our praise. He doesn't tune us out. He doesn't only pay attention when nothing is distracting Him, or when He's not listening to someone more interesting. Each and every one of us, whenever we pause for a moment (or an hour) to talk to God about whatever is on our minds, He focuses on us and takes in everything we have to say.

Just think about that this week. God listens to us.

September 15, 2016

New Pattern?

I'm contemplating my next piecing project and I want it to be a free pattern that I will offer to subscribers to The Bulletin. (Are you a subscriber? Every month, on the 16th, I send out The Bulletin, which includes news from this blog, links to some fun things to make and a favourite recipe. If you'd like to subscribe, just click here and fill out the quick form.)

My problem is, I can't decide which pattern to make! So I figured I'd ask for help :) With both designs I'd be offering size options, so I won't give any size details here.

The first design is Bubbles. This would involve inset circles, like my free Porthole block, along with some machine applique.
Bubbles quilt design |
The second design is Strippy Pinwheels. This one would make for a fun scrappy quilt and would maybe be a little more beginner friendly.
Strippy Pinwheels quilt design |
So, what are your thoughts? Would you be more interested in making one or the other? Cast your vote in the comments!

You don't have to be a subscriber to The Bulletin to share your opinion, but feel free to sign up if you want!

September 13, 2016

Porthole Quilt Block

Welcome to my stop on the Cloud9 New Block blog hop! If this is your first time here, I hope you like what you see :)

I want to say a huge thank you to Cloud9 Fabric for so generously donating the fabric for everyone participating in this hop. Aren't the colours beautiful?
Cloud9 New Block fabrics |
Another huge thank you goes to our hosts Yvonne, Cheryl and Stephanie. I can only imagine all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into organizing a blog hop with so many participants. Great job, ladies!

And now...Let me introduce Porthole!
Porthole Quilt Block |

I set out to design a block that would create a secondary pattern with my earlier block, Stained Glass Star, so I knew I wanted a strip going across the corners. But what could I put in the middle? I don't remember what made me think of the circle (porthole!), but I really love it. The funny thing is, the strips going across the corners in this block don't match up with the corner strips in Stained Glass Star, so the two blocks don't really work together after all. I guess that's a project for another day ;)

Here is what Porthole would look like when made into a quilt. I love the secondary patterns created by the strips across the corners of the block! Those framed hourglass blocks would be fun to quilt...maybe with some dot-to-dot designs or by filling each of the triangles with feathers...lots of possibilities there.
Porthole quilt |
Those circles are not applique. They're inset circles, but before you click over to someone else's blog because there's no way you're ever going to even attempt inset circles, let me assure you they're easy!

Really! In fact, I had never sewn inset circles before I designed this block, so I had to learn it myself. I seem to like to just jump into stuff I've never done before :) You can read about Noodles if you'd like to see a previous example.

Want to see my first-ever inset circles? Here they are, as proof that even a first attempt can look good because these are waaaaaay easier than their reputation would suggest. This was my practice block, before I cut into the Cloud9 fabrics.
Inset circles |
Let's get to the tutorial. Let me warn you, though, there are a lot of pictures with this one :)


*3 fat quarters in coordinating colours
*Freezer paper
*Washable glue stick
*Some method of drawing 6" and 9" circle templates. If you have a compass in the house, then this will be fairly easy. If not, then you can do like I did and raid the cupboard. I found plates that were almost exactly 6" and 9", so I traced around those.



From pink #1 - 2 squares 7 1/2" x 7 1/2"

From pink #2 - 2 squares 7 1/2" x 7 1/2"

From blue - 1 square 10 1/2" x 10 1/2"
                    4 strips 1 1/2" x 9"
Porthole quilt block cutting instructions |


Sewing the First Inset Circle

To start off, join the 4 pink squares as shown to make a 4 patch unit. Press these seams open. That will make the seams less bulky to work with when you're sewing the circles.

Porthole quilt block 4 patch |
Trace your 9" circle onto the non-waxy side of the freezer paper. Cut out the center, leaving a wide border around the circle. Fold the circle in half, matching up the edges of the circle, not the border, and crease. Open it up and fold it in half the other way and crease again. Make little pencil marks at the edge of the circle where the creases are, to make them easier to see.

Line up your freezer paper circle on the BACK of your 4 patch unit, with the waxy side down. Match each of those little pencil marks with a seam line to ensure that your circle is centered. Iron with a dry iron to stick the freezer paper to your fabric.
Inset circle tutorial |

Inset circle tutorial |
Cut out the circle of fabric, leaving about 1/2" inside the freezer paper. ***Don't cut the middle of the fabric*** We'll be putting that back in later, so just snip into the fabric about 1/2" from the freezer paper and carefully cut around.
Inset circle tutorial |
Porthole Quilt Block tutorial |
See, here's my middle piece, perfectly intact!
Make little snips into that 1/2" of fabric you left inside the freezer paper, stopping about 1/8" away from the edge.
Inset circle tutorial |
Iron all those tabs back over the freezer paper. I thought this step would be really tedious, but it wasn't at all.
Inset circle tutorial |
 Put a little glue on each of those tabs.
Inset circle tutorial |
Position the blue 10" square over the tabs, right side down if you're not working with solids. I found some of those tabs would sometimes get flipped over, so make sure you check from the front to make sure they're all flipped back out of sight. Press with a dry iron to set the glue.
Inset circle tutorial |
 See how they're nicely attached to the blue fabric? Now peel away the freezer paper.
Inset circle tutorial |
Turn the unit over, so the blue fabric is on the bottom. Pull back gently on the pink fabric to reveal the crease made when you ironed the tabs back over the freezer paper. That is now your stitching line. Stitch all the way around the circle, right on the line. I found it helpful to reduce my stitch length slightly and to stitch somewhat slowly.
Inset circle tutorial |
 Inset circle tutorial |
Check to make sure you're happy with everything. If you are, then trim the seam allowance to 1/4" (I just eyeballed it) and then give the unit a good pressing.
Inset circle tutorial |
You've just sewn an inset circle! Told you it was easy! Now we're going to do it again :)

Sewing the Second Inset Circle

Trace your 6" circle onto the non-waxy side of the freezer paper and cut it out, leaving a wide margin around the circle. Like before, fold the circle in half and crease, then open it and fold the other way and crease again. This time, mark the outside border of the creases. This will help with centering the circle.

Position the freezer paper on the BACK of your unit with the waxy side down, matching the creases with the seam lines. Iron with a dry iron to stick it to the fabric.
Inset circle tutorial |
 Inset circle tutorial |
Cut out the middle of the circle, leaving 1/2" inside the freezer paper. Clip the seam allowance, stopping about 1/8" from the freezer paper.
Inset circle tutorial |
 Press those tabs back over the freezer paper. Apply glue to all of the tabs.
Inset circle tutorial |
Use the piece you cut out when making the first inset circle. Position it over the tabs, rotating it so the colours alternate (ie. the dark pink in the center is paired with the light pink on the outside). I used a small ruler to check that the seam lines were aligned.

Check from the front to make none of the tabs are flipped out of place. Press with a dry iron to set the glue.
Remove the freezer paper and stitch on the crease just as you did for the first inset circle. Trim the seam allowance to 1/4" and the press the block.

Now you have two inset circles under your belt!
Porthole quilt block tutorial |

Adding the Corner Strips

Trim the block to 13". I found the easiest way to do this was to line up the center seams with lines on my cutting mat and then count 6 1/2" to each side and trim off the excess.

Now line up one corner with lines on the mat. Measure 5 1/2" from the corner on the top and side. Line up your ruler with the marks and cut off the corner. Set it aside for later. Repeat for the remaining three corners.
Porthole quilt block tutorial |
 Porthole quilt block tutorial |
Position the blue 1 1/2" x 9" strip along the cut edge. Some will extend past both sides. Stitch in place. Repeat for the remaining corners. Press open.
Porthole quilt block tutorial |
 Porthole quilt block tutorial |
Now it's time to sew the corners back on. Press the block in half and crease lightly. Open and fold it in half the other way and crease again.

Alternating colours once again (so the triangle you sew on each corner should match the fabric in the middle circle), position the long edge of one triangle on the blue strip, matching the point of the triangle with the crease mark. Pin and stitch in place. Repeat for the remaining corners. Press open.
Porthole quilt block tutorial |
 Porthole quilt block tutorial |
 This is what it should look like now.
Porthole quilt block tutorial |
Trim your block to 12 1/2" square and you're done!
Porthole quilt block |

If you make a porthole block (or quilt!), I'd love to see it! Tag me on Instagram (@devotedquilter), leave a link to a blog post in the comments below or even just email a picture to devotedquilter at gmail dot com.

There are a lot more beautiful new blocks being shared during this hop, so be sure to visit today's other hoppers.

Host: Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs

Thanks for stopping by! If you liked this block, sign up for my monthly newsletter, The Bulletin. On the 16th of each month I share news from here along with a round-up of great things to make.
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