Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Not afraid of storms - a new free pattern to inspire...


If I were to change anything about Louisa May Alcott's statement from the book Little Women, it would be this - "I'm not afraid of storms, because Jesus can calm the waves." And I really mean that.

But sometimes a quote in its original form inspires us, nonetheless! And I believe this is one such quote. 

Haven't we all been tossed around in various storms these past two years? What stirs me about this quote is the truth for us today - if we would take our eyes off the storm, and focus our thoughts on steering the ship of life we are on instead, we'll get through to the shore.

Remember when Peter was walking on the water after Jesus beckoned him to come?
All was going well, despite the raging storm around him...until he took his eyes off Jesus and focused once again on the storm. 

He was SO close to Jesus when he did this, that the Lord only had to reach out His hand to save Peter from drowning. How close do we get to Jesus during the storms of life, and then turn our eyes from Him to the troubles instead, only to fall under the waves and have the tempest turn our faith to fear?
Praise God, when we are floundering in the storm, we only need shout, "Lord, save me!" and He will reach out His hand and pull us to safety.

I stitched this design twice for you. The first version was after receiving a bundle of Tilda's new "Cotton Beach" fabrics from the Australian Tilda supplier, Two Green Zebras. You can see below that I completed the applique design as a cushion...

My daughter Blossom absolutely loved it and asked if I would gift it to Charlie for his cot...and of course I was thrilled to do so.

The Cotton Beach fabrics perfectly added that stormy effect I was after for the waves.
The cushion was finished with simple borders, though I fussy cut the second border to highlight the shells.

Cotton Beach is available from quilt shops on February 1st.

After passing along the cushion to Charlie, I decided to stitch a smaller version of the same design, but this time I changed the font for a more stormy one because I wasn't using as much applique and therefore not as many waves.

This time I used the Seamstress fabrics from Laundry Basket Quilts. I'd purchased a pack of five fat quarters from Mulberry Hill Quilts down in NSW, and when they arrived they were even lovelier than the photo.

This smaller second version of Not Afraid of Storms is destined to be displayed in a frame, probably with a fabric border chosen from the remaining Seamstress fabrics.

I've included both versions of the applique/stitchery design in your free pattern download. Display them any way you like, and if you're so inclined please tag me on Instagram so I can see. You will inspire me!
or #jennyofelefantzdesigns

Use the link below to download the double pattern.

Recently my husband and I went for a walk along the beach, just north of us. There had been a storm and very rough seas a few days earlier and much of the dune was washed away, and trees had been uprooted...

The shoreline was very different from when we'd visited a few weeks earlier, but as was my habit, I collected shells for Cully May and Rafaella. 

When the visit us, I have a large bowl of shells on one of the bookcases, and since they were toddlers they have asked for the bowl to be lifted down so they can ooh and aah over the growing collection. Often they ask to take one shell home with them, and I always say yes. Lately Rafaella tries just a little harder after I say yes to one - 

"Nana, can I take two shells?"

"No, Raf, just the one."

"Can I take three shells?"

"No Raf...just the one."

"Oh...." she sighs, and spends the next ten minutes choosing just the right 'one shell'.

So collecting from the beach that very early Sunday morning, my intention was to give all the new shells to the girls to keep at their own house. Needless to say, they were thrilled!

Today it's raining off and on and the garden is being watered from heaven (thank you Lord!), so I had a little extra free time to myself. I decided to choose some prints from my recently reduced sewing room supplies (very reduced) and begin Sherri McConnell's 2022 free block of the month. 

I think I'll be making the 6" blocks (she offers 6" and 12" in her pattern) and using small scraps of fabric. 

I've chosen these ones for block 1, though that may change...

I really should check if I have enough of those colours in more prints before I prime my rotary cutter. And of course, where will this project end up? I do not know yet, so perhaps that's another consideration when it comes to colour choice. I really need a long narrow runner for the top of the extra kitchen shelving I showed you HERE. Perhaps I'll make one with a lot of these first blocks, end to end, and another single block for the actual BOM.

What are you making at the moment?

It's Australia Day tomorrow and hubby has the day off work. He'll probably catch up on more of the garden chores, and I must sew new curtains for the cubby house - I have promised Cully May and Rafaella that they will be up when they visit here on Thursday. 

I have Chicken Cacciatore ready to go in the Instant Pot (oh how I love that machine!) tonight, and ingredients for another Korean inspired Nourish Bowl (the sauce was incredible) like the one I made on Sunday, that we can have for lunch tomorrow. 

Hope you have a wonderful day or evening wherever you are, and that you remember to keep your beautiful eyes focused on Jesus, no matter how fierce or unpredictable the storm may be.

big hugs


Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
Thanks for sharing this storms of life beautiful pattern !
New Tilda looks great ! I'll be ordering from my local quilt shop in Putten :)
I'll make the cushion when the new Tulda comes in :) A fun February project :)
Love a churn dash block !
Looking forward to seeing your new quilt blocks grow :)
take care,

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,

I've just been checkin out The quilting life block of the month. Fun ! Thanks for the tip :) I'll be sewing along !

Little Quiltsong said...

Such a cute pillow for Charlie - and looking forward to your finish of the other one. Yes - when God is steering our ship, we have no worries - He directs our Paths. Your shells remind me of our children collecting stones and shells at the beach - and to this day, I haven't the heart to throw them out. They sit in their glass or plastic containers on their photo album shelves. Our children love their Instant Pots too. Enjoy the refreshing rain, Jennifer!

diana said...


Lin said...

What a beautiful design Jennifer - and lovely words, the original and yours. I can never resist picking up shells - I think it comes from receiving a box full from a friend of my grandparents when I was small. xx

Winifred said...

Thank you so much for that gorgeous pattern, it's beautiful.

When we lived beside the sea I always picked up pebbles and shells. I still have a big glass vase full of them on the side of the bath and my granddaughter Lauren is 17 and is still picking up shells and pebbles on beach visits. I imagine Charlie will soon be doing the same along with the girls!

Lorrie said...

Thank you for your generosity in sharing your lovely patterns with us. I'm about ready to begin a Storm at Sea quilt, and the cushion pattern would be a wonderful accompaniment to it, made in the blue and green scraps I'll have leftover. I'm so thankful that Jesus is with us in the storms of life.

Guida said...

Such a timely reminder thank you Jennifer, I was getting down thinking of all the sad things happening at the moment and your post has reminded me to hope and pray, thanks again. Thank you also for the lovely pattern.

Tammy said...

Thank you for the lovely design.. Love the new Tilda fabrics you used. I can't wait to see your quilt blocks you will be doing for the BOM, How exciting....I know the girls really loved the shells you give them. As they are treasures for sure.

Sherry said...

Thank you, Jennifer for the Storms Of Life pattern. The fabrics you chose were so beautiful. Hope I can find some of them here in the US. This quote was a good reminder to let Jesus guide us through the storm. I also love collecting shells on the beach.

Christine M said...

I love both versions of your Storms of Life. It's hard to pick which I like best! xx

Martha MCH said...

Thank you, Jenny for this Storms pattern. Oh, how it resonates with these times.
I have a question. Do you hand stitch or machine stitch around the sails? All of your stitching is so beautiful and meticulous. Thank you again.

Sharon Aurora said...

I read Little Women to all of my kids. There is so much wisdom in that book. That was one of the quotes I used on the Little Women quilt I am designing and making for my oldest daughter.

I can relate to little Rafaella's dilemma. Being fascinated with all the pretty shells, it is hard for her to choose just one.

Julie said...

I love both the versions of the Storms pattern Jennifer but I think I would love to stitch it & frame it as you are. Those Laundry basket fabrics are mouth watering. I think I would like to put the frame in a place where I look at it often. The photos along the beach are just wonderful - look at that blue sky after the storm. Hope your week is going well dear friend. xx

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Hi Martha,
All my stitchery is done by hand. :-)

Martha MCH said...

Just beautiful.

Sharm said...

Lots of things keeping you busy there ......... for a moment with one of those beach photos with the tree down I was busy having a closer look as I thought one of the roots was a snake you had happened upon!!! I guess what you do with your block of the month will also take into consideration any changes that might be happening re room changes (you mentioned in one of your posts earlier about needing to get more room in the house & I figured that involves furniture changes lol). I have so many projects on the go and already planned I'm not sure I can add too many more lol Speaking of curtains - they are on my list, not cubby house but a good number of rooms in the house - currently using your walk the room sheets to help with the planning on that one! Have a great day, Big Hugs to you my sister in Christ xo

Odette said...

Thnak you for the wonderful storm pattern. I would like to put in a quilt for my grand nephews. I'm fairly n ew at quilting and find your ideas inspirational. BTW I also enjoy my instant pot.

KingsailK said...

Thanks Jennifer, so lovely and cheerful as always, much appreciated XxMary-Lou

Anonymous said...

Oh that is so good. And it truly is how I feel. Thank you for sharing.