December 11, 2017

Last Minute Christmas Projects - Packages for Kids

Welcome to my stop on the Last Minute Christmas Projects blog hop, hosted by Jen of Faith and Fabric! If this is your first time here, then an extra big welcome to you 😊 If you're interested, I'd love to have you sign up for The Bulletin, my monthly newsletter. When you do, you'll also receive a copy of my Wind Farm quilt pattern, available exclusively to subscribers.

I have a different sort of project to share today. It's something my mom used to do for my younger cousins and I've been doing it for a few years for some of the little kids I babysit. We just call them packages, for lack of a better name. It's not a sewing project, though I like to include handmade things in them.

You know when you want to give a gift, and it has to be small (money-wise), but you still want it to make an impact? These packages are the perfect answer.

It's not so much the gift itself that makes the big impact, though. It's the delivery!

The packages are a bunch of small gifts and the idea is that the kids open them, one at a time, over the days leading up to Christmas. Mom used to do 7 days of gifts and I do 5 days, starting on December 20th. You know those days when the kids are practically dying to know what Santa is bringing them and they just want to open ALL THE THINGS? That's when they're allowed to open the packages.

Genius, right?

I've heard from the moms of kids I've given these packages to that they were up, asking if they could open "Leanne's present" at 6 in the morning, then spent the next hour making puppets from the kit they opened. I love it! Sure, the moms might not like it so much at 6 in the morning 😀, but the kids sure enjoyed what I gave them, more than they would have if they opened the same gifts on Christmas morning along with everything else.

I usually aim for a lot of the gifts to be things to do, like art supplies, craft kits or colouring books. I also like to include something handmade, like this play alphabet or this bean bag toss game.

Here's what the kids will be getting this year:

Day 1 - homemade playdough. I use this recipe to make my playdough and it is so, so soft. It also lasts for months when stored in a zip-top plastic bag. I think I've included play dough every year I've given the packages.

Day 2 - watercolour paints and brushes.
Packages for Kids |
Day 3 - the personalized placemats I've been working on, along with a little treat to enjoy so they can use the placemats right away.
Packages for Kids |
Day 4 - stickers, paper and glitter glue.
Packages for Kids |
Day 5 - refrigerated cookie dough. This last gift is always the same, and I make sure to explain to the moms that the gift marked 'day 5' needs to go in the fridge right away until it's time to open it. I've thought about making jars of cookie ingredients, but that seems like I'd be giving the moms more work. This way they only have to heat the oven and scoop the dough onto the pan. Keep it simple for Christmas Eve, right?
Packages for Kids |
Just as a note, I don't do packages for kids younger than 3, unless they're the younger sibling in a family already getting a package. The younger kids just don't have that same anticipation about Christmas yet and they don't get that opening a present early is extra special. Likewise, I find kids tend to outgrow my packages, but that's only because of the gifts I choose. You could certainly choose 'older' gifts and keep the fun going as the kids get older if you wanted.

Technically, this isn't a last minute gift, since you have to be thinking ahead enough to have it ready a few days before Christmas, but it doesn't take much work. Most of the gifts are from the dollar store, or they're things I make myself, so there's not a lot of running around to do to get it all ready. Plus it's so much fun to hear about how excited the kids were to open each day's gift and how much fun they had using it.

There are lots of other last minute gifts being shared in the hop, so be sure to check them all out!

Thanks to Jen for hosting the hop and to everyone participating! It's always fun to see what everyone comes up with to fit a theme 😊

So, are there kids on your list who would enjoy getting to open some presents early? Packages are definitely the answer!

Advent 2017 - Peace

Devotion for the Week...

It's the second week of Advent! Last week, for the start of Advent, we looked at hope. This week we're looking at the peace Jesus provides.

I've read a lot of references lately to something known as "imposter syndrome." Have you heard of it? Basically, it's the feeling that you don't actually know what you're doing in your work, accompanied by a fear of being exposed as a fraud. What I find interesting is that everyone seems to have it, to some degree, even people who are wildly successful in their fields.

Imposter syndrome often manifests itself as that little voice in your head that says, "You're not good enough." There are lots of variations of what the voice actually says, but they all boil down to the same thing - you're not good enough. And with that thought comes the fear that people would laugh at you or turn against you if they knew the truth about you.

We Christians have our own, slightly different, version of imposter syndrome. Instead of feeling like we're not good enough in our work, Christians may feel inadequate because of our sins.

Whether it is sin that happened before we accepted Jesus as Savior, or sin that happened after, those memories stick in our minds and play over and over, reminding us of how we do not measure up to God's standard of perfection.

Those thoughts rob us of the peace Jesus promised us. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27).

If our minds are constantly focused on the things we've done wrong, even after we've asked for forgiveness for those things, then we have no peace in our own minds. If that is you, look at this:

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:1,2).

No condemnation! None. God is not sitting in Heaven, shaking His finger in anger at us for the things we have done in the past. In fact, once we have asked for forgiveness, those sins are gone and He does not ever hold them against us again. Isn't that an amazing thought?

Jesus came to earth as the baby we celebrate at Christmas so that we could escape the condemnation of sin. Because He came, and because He died for our sins, we are no longer condemned by God for the sins we have committed.
Advent devotions |
That fact is the perfect shut-down for the voice that tries to rob us of our peace by reminding us of our sin. We do not stand condemned. Because of Jesus, we are set free. What peace that will bring to our minds!

December 07, 2017

TGIFF - Personalized Placemats

Welcome to TGIFF! If this is your first time here, I hope you like what you see 😊 If you do, I'd love to have you sign up for The Bulletin, my monthly newsletter. Each month, on the 16th, I share some of the news from here on the blog, a family favourite recipe and a fun themed round-up of things to make. When you sign up, you'll also receive a copy of my Wind Farm quilt pattern, available exclusively to subscribers.

'Tis the season for secret sewing, but thankfully some of my recipients are much too young to be snooping around a quilting blog looking for hints about their gifts, lol. I decided to make personalized placemats for the kids I babysit and a few other kids on my list. All told, I'm making 8 placemats. The plan had been to have all 8 finished for today, but that didn't happen. Instead, I have 2 finished, 2 basted and ready for quilting and 4 more waiting to be basted. Slow and steady wins the Christmas race, right?
Personalized recycled denim placemats |
I made the tops of the placemats using recycled denim. I have a closet full of old jeans and I love finding ways to use them. It's like free fabric! Plus, my denim log cabin placemats have seen heavy use for almost 2 years and they still look almost pristine, so I'm sure the denim can stand up to toddler/preschooler/school age kid messy eating and still look good for awhile.
Personalized recycled denim placemats |
I made the tops the same way I made these denim cushion covers, using an old sheet cut to 12" x 18" as the foundation layer. The sheet was a little flimsier than the fabric I used before, so it wasn't a great foundation layer. It was hard to keep the sheet straight, and some of the denim strips ended up being a little bunchy in places. That will definitely be something to consider next time I'm looking to use old fabric as a foundation.
Personalized recycled denim placemats |
Once the backgrounds were pieced and trimmed, it was time for the personalization. I printed the first initial of each of their names in a nice font, really big, so it filled about half of a sheet of paper, turned landscape. Then I just cut the letters out and pinned the paper to the fabric and cut around them. A little washable glue stick and a quick zigzag stitch and the letters were attached.
Personalized recycled denim placemats |
This K one was the first one I quilted. I used the swirl hook design, but I don't think I'll use that again. First off, it took twice as long as the loopy design and it didn't quilt as nicely on the denim. Partly that's because of the bunchy spots from the foundation being flimsy and partly it's because the denim is just so thick in places that it was hard to stitch smoothly.
Personalized recycled denim placemats |

Personalized recycled denim placemats |
The echoed loop design went much faster and created fewer ripples.
Personalized recycled denim placemats |

Personalized recycled denim placemats |
Each placemat is made using that kid's favourite colour, for both the initial and the binding. I really love how this pink (Kona punch, I think) really pops against the blue and black of the denim.

So, that's 2 down and 6 more to go!

Now it's your turn. Link up your finishes and tour around to celebrate some others finishes. It's more fun when we celebrate together, right?

December 04, 2017

Advent 2017 - Hope

Devotion for the Week...

It's Advent season again! Like so many others, I love this time of year. I love the decorations, the tree, the food and the music. More than anything, though, I love the reason we celebrate.

"For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).

Jesus came as a baby, born into this world to bring hope to a people who were completely hopeless. I'm not talking about the Jewish people, though they were hopeless under Roman rule at the time. I'm talking about the entire human race.

We are, after all, one people. Though we've divided ourselves according to religious and national differences, we are really only one people and Jesus came to rescue us all.

I've been thinking about it like this: one of the little girls I babysit is named Edie. She's 18 months old and she loves to sit at my kitchen table and play. Sometimes, she wants to play with our Little People barn or one of our big Tonka trucks, but they're too big for her to get onto the table herself. She picks it up and tries to get it that high, but she can't do it, and by that point she's in such an awkward position that she can't put it down either.

That's when she starts calling out for me. "Help, help, help, help," she'll yell over and over until I come and take the toy from her and set it on the table.

We were like Edie. We had a burden too heavy for us to lift and impossible to put down. That burden, of course, was sin. Romans 3:23 says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." All. There is no one who can say they have never sinned, except Jesus. That's what makes it possible for Him to remove that burden of sin from us and set us free. Verse 24 goes on to say, "and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

That is the hope that came to us as a people when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. That is the hope still offered to so many who are struggling in their sin, not knowing or not willing to accept that Jesus came to take their burden.
Advent 2017 - Hope |
Without Jesus the entire human race was hopeless, without a way to escape from sin. But with Jesus? What hope we have!

November 29, 2017

QuiltCon Submission Quilts

I decided to submit two quilts for QuiltCon this year, for the first time. Actually, I had to join the MQG to even be able to submit, lol. I'm not sure why I had never joined before, but now I finally have 😊

The quilts I've submitted are Pinwheel Whirl and Medallion Magic. They're both entered in the piecing category.
Pinwheel Whirl quilt |

Medallion Magic quilt |
While I'm hoping they get in, obviously, I'm also keeping my expectations realistic considering all of the amazing quilts that have been rejected in years past. If nothing else, I'm now a member of the MQG and can take advantage of the webinars and other resources they have available. Are there any MQG webinars you especially recommend?

On another note, have you purchased the Handmade with Love bundle yet? If not, you can read more about it here, or see everything that is included and pick up your copy. The free Craftsy class is still available until the end of Thursday, November 30th and the whole bundle is available until Monday, December 4th.

Have you ever submitted a quilt to QuiltCon?

November 27, 2017

Handmade With Love Bundle

The people at Ultimate Bundles have created an awesome crafting bundle that I know you're not going to want to miss. There are patterns galore in quilting, sewing, knitting, embroidery and more.
The quilting section includes patterns by Alison Glass, Yvonne Fuchs, of Quilting Jet Girl, and Alyce Blyth, of Blossom Heart Quilts. The sewing section includes a softie pattern by Abby Glassenberg, of While She Naps.

The bundle has over 200 patterns! All of the patterns are digital downloads, so there's no waiting for things to arrive in the mail. You can buy your bundle and be making something new as quickly as you can gather the fabric (or yarn) from your stash. Click here to see everything that is included.

Now, if you're anything like me, you're thinking, "Well, I'll never use all of them, especially since I don't knit." But even if you never use most of the patterns, the ones you do use will more than justify the price of the bundle, which is only $29.97 😊

But there's more.

The bundle also includes a 6 month subscription to Make Modern magazine (and you know I love Make Modern!). That alone is worth the price of the whole bundle.

But there's still more!

The bundle is available until Monday, December 4th, but if you buy yours by Thursday, November 30th, you also get a free Craftsy class (and I love Craftsy too). Again, that by itself is worth the price of the bundle.

I told you it's an awesome bundle! And yes, I realize I've used way too many exclamation points in this post, but sometimes they're justified 😊

Get your bundle now

Remember, the bundle is only available for 1 week, and the free Craftsy class is only available through Thursday, so pick up your copy now.

** This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on the link and then make a purchase, I will receive a commission. This does not affect the price you pay.

Thanks to Who?

Devotion for the Week...

Over the past 15 years, I've spent a lot of time around little kids. Because of that, there are some phrases that I have heard and said more times than I could ever count. One of the most common is: "What do you say?"

Sometimes the children need to add 'please' to a request and, just as often, they need to say 'thank you' after being given something. As parents, we also direct the kids to say 'please' or 'thank you' to the right person, namely the person they were asking or who had given them something.

With that in mind, I found it interesting to read recently in 2 Corinthians 9:11, "You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God."

The part that stood out to me as I read was the idea that any generosity from us is meant to result in thanks to God, not to us.

This makes sense, of course, because it is due to God's generosity to us that we have anything to give in the first place. Whether we are being generous with our time or our money doesn't matter, as it is God who provides us with both.

In fact, according to this verse, we are enriched so that we can be generous, not necessarily for our own benefit. If we can look at our lives and say that we have been enriched in any way, can we also say that we have been generous with what we've been given?

Jesus also spoke about the good we do and the response it should bring. He said, "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). Whatever we do, we are not to be seeking to glorify or bring praise to ourselves. We are to be seeking to glorify and bring praise to Him.

That can be hard sometimes, because we like to be noticed for the good we do and we like to have people think well of us. There's nothing wrong with being thanked, or with being known as good and generous people. But that shouldn't be our goal. Our goal should always be to bring honour and glory to Him.
Weekly devotions on Christian living |
The best way to do that is probably to remember to thank God ourselves, often and openly. To remember that He is the source of all generosity. So when He uses other people to meet (or exceed!) our needs, we need to remember to give thanks to Him as well as to them.

November 23, 2017

Black Friday Pattern Sale!

Do you need a new mini quilt pattern (or two) to help you get all your Christmas gifts made in time?

Or are you looking to make something special for yourself?

Either way, I've got you covered! The Devoted Quilter Black Friday pattern sale is on now!

Devoted Quilter Black Friday Pattern Sale |

From now until Tuesday morning, all patterns in my Payhip shop are 25% off. I've reduced the prices listed in the shop, so no coupon code is needed. Anyone else ever forget to use a coupon code during a sale? No? Just me? Well, this way there's no chance you'll forget and miss out on the savings 😊

Don't wait, though. When I wake up Tuesday morning, I'll change the listings back to full price.

Get your patterns now

November 21, 2017

100 Days of Hexies

Today is the last day of the 100 hexies 100 days challenge on Instagram! It's hard to believe 100 days have passed already 😊 Of course, when we started, it was August so temperatures are a little different now...

Over the course of the challenge I made 429 hexies, so that's a dent made in what I need for my Hexie Rainbow quilt. Actually, it's more than 1/4 of the 1661 hexies I'll need for that quilt. Progress, right?

There were challenges each week. Since I was working towards my Hexie Rainbow quilt, I didn't want a lot of novelty prints (unless they fit my colour needs), so my participation in the challenges usually meant adding something that fit the theme to the picture.

Here are some of the hexies I basted, in no particular order:

This collage is from the "my favourite things" week and shows my love for wildflowers.
EPP hexagons |
Though this looks like it probably belonged in "flowers" week, it was actually from "dots and stripes." The orchid is still blooming, too!
EPP hexagons |

EPP hexagons |

EPP hexagons |

EPP hexagons |

EPP hexagons |

EPP hexagons |
 And today's hexies...
EPP hexagons |
I have to admit that over the last week or so I've been a bit tired of hexies and thinking it will be nice to get a break. On the other hand, it was fun to see how only a few minutes each day added up to a lot of hexies in the end.

I think I missed 4 or 5 days throughout the challenge, so I'm pretty proud of having kept up with it and I can see why 100 day challenges are popular. It's long enough to feel like you've accomplished something, without being too intimidating to even start. Maran, our host for the challenge, is already planning next year's version and I would imagine I'll be jumping on board again. In fact, I'll probably still be working on the same quilt!

Have you ever taken part in a 100 day challenge? How did it go?

November 20, 2017

Ears to Hear

Devotion for the Week...

One of the kids I used to babysit was born almost completely deaf. When he was a year old he had cochlear implant surgery and his cochlears allow him to hear. It really is amazing what medical science can do!

The device hooks over his ear and there is a small disk that attaches to his head, just behind his ear. The disk is magnetic and connects to a magnet placed inside his skin. I don't really understand how they work, so you'll have to forgive my lack of technical knowledge here. What I do know is that the disk has to be connected to his head or he can't hear anything. Even though the device is in place and the lights are blinking to say the batteries are good, if the disk is knocked off, he hears nothing.

Jesus often said, "Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear." Sometimes it was at the end of a parable, as in Mark 4:9. Sometimes it was when He was teaching, as in Luke 14:35.

In Revelation, He said "Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches" at the end of each of the letters to the churches in chapters 2 and 3.

I remember once when I read it with the boys when they were younger and one of them asked what Jesus meant. We all have ears, he was thinking. And he's right, of course. We all have ears and the people in Jesus' day all had ears too.

But I think what Jesus meant was that some of us have had that little disk knocked off, spiritually speaking. Our ears are working and taking in the words that are being said, but the message isn't being transmitted to our minds and hearts. We hear nothing, spiritually, despite having heard the words.
Devotions on Christian living |
Think about it this way...when Nathan starts talking to me, but before he's finished Zachary is calling to me from another room, it's really hard for me to focus on what Nathan is saying. The distraction takes my focus off what I was hearing first.

God is always saying something to us, whether it's through the Bible, a sermon, a devotion we read, something we hear from a friend or in a song, or something we read. There will be a phrase or a thought that keeps swirling around in our heads, calling for us to ponder it and see how it should be applied in our lives.

But life is full of distractions. There are gadgets and to-do lists and situations that pull our attention away from what God is trying to say to us. If we're not careful, all of those distractions will knock the spiritual disk off and the swirling messages will be silenced.

We have to choose to keep the disk connected so we truly hear those messages. We have to choose to focus on the spiritual even though the physical is so loud and distracting.

Then, when we are paying attention, that's when we have ears to hear what God is saying to us.

November 18, 2017

Ultimate Bundles Giveaway

Just a quick note today, to let you know that the people at Ultimate Bundles have a great giveaway going on right now to help fuel your crafting addiction! You could win a Cricut Maker machine or a Brother embroidery and sewing machine or one of 18 other great prizes.

And it's open to international winners! So often, these big giveaways are only for those in the US, but not this time 😊

Head on over to the Ultimate Bundles site to enter before November 26th. There's no purchase necessary and it only takes a few seconds to enter.

*Note - This post contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click the link and then make a purchase, I may receive a commission. This does not affect the price you pay.

November 13, 2017

Reference Letter

Devotion for the Week...

As a senior high teacher, my husband Paul is often asked to write reference letters for his students. When I asked him once if he's ever asked by a student he doesn't feel he can write a positive reference for, he said he has been and he always tells them that he'll write it, but he'll be honest. Generally, though, the ones he wouldn't be able to write a positive letter about don't ask him for one.

I'm not sure how long job/school related reference letters have been around, but I can remember reading in 18th century books about 'letters of introduction.' These letters were written by people of influence and given to someone who was traveling, to allow them to gain access to people of influence where they were going, based on the introduction in the letter. It was essentially a social reference letter, I guess.

There is a man mentioned in the Bible named Demetrius, about whom we know almost nothing. What I find interesting, though, is that the brief mention of him sounds remarkably like either a reference letter or a letter of introduction. "Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone—and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true" (3 John 1:12).

That's all that is said about him. We're not told why John mentioned Demetrius to Gaius (the recipient of the letter that is 3 John), or what Demetrius has done to deserve this positive reference. While studying about this verse, I read speculation that maybe Gaius already knew Demetrius, so this was simply an update about him, or maybe Demetrius was the one carrying the letter from Paul to Gaius. There was even mention that perhaps this is the same Demetrius who riled up the artisans in Ephesus against Paul (in Acts).

Whoever Demetrius was, just look at what John has to say about him:

He was well spoken of by everyone. Sounds like he could have asked anyone in town for a reference letter, doesn't it? Now, sometimes, being spoken well of by everyone means you're trying too hard to appease everyone and not holding firm to any convictions. A person like that will do anything to keep people happy and thinking well of them. That doesn't appear to be the case with Demetrius though.

Even the truth itself could speak well of him. This speaks to Demetrius' willingness to hold firm to his convictions as a Christian. He wasn't the type to just go along with anything in an effort to make people happy. But when he disagreed with something or someone, he likely did so with compassion and kindness, rather than judgement and condemnation.

John knew Demetrius personally, and shared the general good opinion of him. It is one thing to have the general good opinion of 'everyone', and quite another to have the good opinion of one specific person who knows you personally. When John says to Gaius, "and you know that our testimony is true", I take that to mean that Gaius would know that John doesn't just hand out these sorts of references lightly. John was speaking from personal experience with Demetrius and that experience had left John with reasons to give Demetrius a positive reference.

Would we be able to receive such a reference letter?
Weekly devotions on Christian living |
Do we have the good opinion of everyone around us? Or are there people who could rightly say we are difficult, judgemental, condescending or negative? Are there those who would claim we think we are 'better than them' in some way? It's not that we should be seeking to make everyone like us all the time, but that they should not be able to speak negatively about our character.

Would the truth be able to speak well of us? Do we live out what we believe no matter who is around? Or do we go along with things we believe are wrong in the interest of having people's approval? Do we sometimes act like it is more important to have the approval of people than to have the approval of God?

And lastly, what about the people who know us the best, the ones we live with or work closely with? They're often the ones who see the worst of us, aren't they? Would they be able to say that they too speak well of us?

Who we are in daily interactions with the people around us affects not only how they see us, but also how they see the Gospel we say be believe. What kind of reference letter would they give us?

November 09, 2017

HST Making

I've been working with gorgeous batiks from RJR Fabrics and I absolutely love the colours! Here they are all washed and dried, ready to be used. My favourites are the deepest purple and the deepest blue. Oh, and the lightest purple...they're all so pretty it's hard to choose 😊
Fabric from RJR Fabrics |
The batiks are destined to be a baby quilt for Paul's nephew's new baby, who arrived on Sunday morning, almost 6 weeks early. I had everything all scheduled out so I could have the quilt made well ahead of her due date, but her early arrival means her quilt will now be late, lol. All is well with baby Riley, though, so I'm not too concerned about a late quilt.

Over the past couple of days, I have cut the batiks and paired them with a solid that seems to be somewhere between grey and green. Sometimes it looks like one, other times the other. I thought I was ordering a light grey, but thankfully this greenish grey works too. That's the trouble with ordering through a computer screen, I guess. Have you ever had that problem when ordering fabrics online?
Making half-square triangles |
Chain piecing is so pretty!
Making half-square triangles |
I trim my HSTs before pressing them open. I line up the seam on the 45° line on my cutting mat and then trim on the lines that match the unfinished size I want the HST to be. I should have taken a picture, but I didn't think of that.
Making half-square triangles |
All trimmed and ready to go 😊 If you're thinking two of these things don't look like the others, that's because I'm making leader/ender HSTs as I piece the baby quilt.
Making half-square triangles |
That's what I'm up to these days 😊 What are you working on? And what beautiful colours are you using?

November 06, 2017

Ask for It!

Devotion for the Week...

A group of us moms were talking a little while ago, telling stories about our kids, and somehow we got to talking about what they've asked for for Christmas over the years.

I told the story about the year the only thing Zachary told Santa he wanted was a purple balloon. Not sure why, but that was all he wanted 😊 And what did we completely forget about until after the stores were all closed on Christmas Eve? Yep. I frantically called my friends, hoping someone had a stash of balloons left over from a birthday party or something! Michelle said she had a balloon she thought was purple, but it was hard to tell for sure without actually blowing it up. I picked it up and into Zach's stocking it went. Whew, crisis averted. Of course, when morning came and we blew up the balloon, it was blue. Ooops! He was a little disappointed, but all the other goodies under the tree seemed to make up for it.

Deanne told the story about her daughter Rebecca, who decided one year that what she told Santa she wanted was a secret. She wouldn't tell her parents! Deanne finally managed to convince Rebecca to tell her, if she promised not to tell Daddy.

When it comes to gifts, asking for what we want can be helpful. When it comes to prayer, asking for what we want is crucial.  Jesus said, "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened" (Luke 11:9, 10).

Ask. Seek. Knock.

Those are all active words. Not 'sitting around, waiting for things to fall into your lap' words.

God wants us to tell Him what we want. Yes, He knows it all already: "Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely" (Psaml 139:4). For some reason, though, God wants us to come to Him and tell Him what we want. Maybe it's just a means of opening communication between us. Maybe it's to help us evaluate the things we want. Maybe it's to help us remember that everything we have comes from Him.

Whatever the reason, God tells us to ask. James even goes so far as to write, "You do not have because you do not ask God" (James 4:2). It makes me wonder how much God wants to do in us, through us and for us, but He doesn't because we never ask for it.

Of course, asking for what we want doesn't guarantee we're going to get everything we ask for. James goes on to say, "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures" (v. 3). Not everything we ask for is good for us, or part of what God wants for us. And we're not always asking with the right motives, as James points out.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | #prayer #christianliving #devotion #christian
Yet, we are told to ask anyway. To come to God and tell Him what we want. Big things and little things, for us and for others; it doesn't matter. Whatever we want, He wants us to ask for it.

November 01, 2017

Medallion Magic in Modern Patchwork

My Medallion Magic quilt is in the November/December issue of Modern Patchwork! All of the fabrics for this quilt were generously provided by Northcott Fabrics. They are all solids except for the gorgeous brown background fabric, which is from the Naturescapes line.
Medallion Magic Quilt |
I have always loved the idea of medallion quilts, but I find most of them to be a little too busy, with no space between the rounds to allow each one to really shine. In Medallion Magic each round of blocks is followed by a solid round to separate the blocks and give the design a bit of breathing space.

I also wanted the medallion design to be rectangular rather than square since I know that some quilters prefer rectangular quilts (Jasmine, I was thinking of you with this one 😊). I added one row of these quick and simple box blocks to the top and bottom to create the rectangle. The quilt finishes at 62" x 70".
Medallion Magic Quilt |
I had so much fun with the quilting! Each of the elements in the blocks got some custom quilting and then I filled the background with the swirl hook design.
Medallion Magic Quilt |
Medallion Magic Quilt |
 Medallion Magic Quilt |
As usual, I matched my quilting threads to the colours on the front. I used Aurifil 1130, 4140 and 1231. With a solid green for the backing, the quilting stands out beautifully on the back 😊
Medallion Magic Quilt |
Medallion Magic Quilt |
Medallion Magic Quilt |
 Medallion Magic Quilt |
This is another of my designs from the 30 Quilt Design IG challenge with Rachel at Stitched in Color. I have another one almost finished and two more waiting somewhat impatiently in the queue. Why, oh why aren't there more hours in the day?

Do you like medallion quilts? What elements do you look for when you're considering a medallion or sampler quilt?

October 30, 2017


Devotion for the Week...

Affiliate marketing is a buzzword in the blogging business world, where people are seeking to make money through their blogs. It is less evident in the quilt blogging world, but it does exist.

For example, I am an affiliate for Craftsy, Make Modern and the Quilter's Planner (all affiliate links 😉) Affiliate marketing works because if I refer someone and they make a purchase, the company gets a sale and I get a small commission from that sale, without it costing the buyer anything extra. Affiliates help to promote a product by telling their audience about it and, in exchange, they share in the financial success of that product. It is called affiliate marketing because we are affiliating ourselves with the product we are promoting.

Of course, if you're buying something because I've recommended it, you would expect that I like that thing, right? And for Craftsy, Make Modern and the Quilter's Planner, you'd be absolutely right. Craftsy classes are the way I learned free motion quilting, Make Modern is a fabulous quilting magazine (and not only because they've published my designs, lol) and I've used and loved the Quilter's Planner since it first became available for 2016 and my 2018 edition should be arriving any day now. I am happy to have my name affiliated with those products.

In Bible times, religious teachers would travel from place to place, staying with local believers. Writing to a woman in the church, the apostle John wrote, "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work" (2 John 11).

Anyone who welcomed a teacher into their home would have been helping to promote that teacher's message by helping to make it possible for him to stay in that town and teach. They were affiliating themselves with that teacher. John is saying that, by helping to promote that teacher's message, you share in the work with them. If they were teaching the truth about God, then you would share in the reward for that work. But if they were teaching falsely about God, you would also share in that.

Times have changed! With modern publishing and technology, there's no shortage of ways for people to share their insights about God without needing to travel around. Likewise, there are a lot of ways for us to promote the teachers we like without needing to have them as guests in our home. We can promote them by giving their book to a friend, sharing their posts on Facebook or Instagram, linking to them on our own blog, sharing their best quotes, telling everyone we know about their TV show/podcast/book/FB page/however they share their work.

What hasn't changed is the need for discernment. The need to pay close attention to what people are teaching and think for ourselves about whether or not that teaching lines up with the Bible. If it does, great! We can promote and share that teacher's work as much as we want, confident that we are sharing something good.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | #christianliving #christian #devotion #bible
But if it doesn't line up with what the Bible says about God? Then it is, as John calls it, wicked work, and we shouldn't be affiliating ourselves with it. Because the simple fact it, if it doesn't line up with the Bible, it's not the truth.

October 27, 2017

More Quilt Delivery Pictures!

Some of the quilts were delayed in being delivered to the residents due to circumstances, but they have all been delivered now. That means I have a few more pictures to share 😊

Before I share the pictures, though, I have a little story to share too. One of the moms I babysit for is the granddaughter of two of the residents. Her name is Renee. Her grandmother died before we could deliver her quilt, but when her grandfather's quilt was delivered, Renee sent me a very excited message to say how much he loved the quilt. Not long after, he was placed in palliative care and Renee went to visit him with her 1 year old daughter, Ruby. He had his quilt over him in his hospital bed and little Ruby was fascinated by the dogs in some of the quilt blocks, so he told Renee he wanted Ruby to have his quilt after he was gone. When he died a few days later, Renee brought the quilt home for Ruby. While he didn't get to enjoy his quilt for long, I love knowing that it was a way for him to connect with his great-granddaughter, and that now Renee and Ruby have the quilt to remind them of that connection between them. 😊

And now, on to the pictures!
Charity quilts |

Charity quilts |

Charity quilts |

Charity quilts |
I've heard reports from various people connected to the residents about how much they love their quilts, which makes me so happy! It's fantastic to know that we have brought joy to others, isn't it?

Again, thank you a million times over to everyone who helped in any way with this gift project! There will be more pictures coming soon 😊
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