Happy Belated Birthday, Pat Sloan!

>> Monday, November 28, 2016

It's been another wonderful year of quilting and this past weekend was Pat Sloan's birthday. Pat has brought a lot of JOY to my quilting experience. The friends, the challenges, and her happy fabrics, but especially her enthusiasm and quilt designs :) Here are some of the things I made this year thanks to Pat!

My Secret Garden designed by Pat Sloan

This past year Pat designed and shared this free block of the month with FreeQuiltPatterns. The quilt is called My Secret Garden and I used several loved and special fabrics for my version.

splendid sampler blocks

Pat started The Splendid Sampler this year with Jane Davidson and over 80 other designers!
I have not kept up with the blocks as they come out, but I'm still having fun:)

Here's my first blog post about the project where you can see the fabrics I'm using.

birthday blocks

I have several online quilting friends that share a love of all things Pat Sloan. This year some of us exchanged blocks for our birthdays. Here is a collage showing some of the blocks I sent - two are not posted here as the birthdays are still happening! Sometimes I used Pat's fabrics and other times I used blocks she designed - like the snowman:) The blue star above is from one of this year's Aurifil designers Christa Watson - another project that Pat co-ordinates!

my scrappy bento box birthday blocks

My scrappy bento box blocks were my birthday blocks. I decided since my last post to put the purple border on the inside:) 

joyful brellies QM 100 vol. 13

I used Pat's fabrics for my block in the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks volume 13 that came out in the spring!

Pat Sloan Teach me to Machine Quilt

I recently got Pat's newest  book too - Teach Me to Machine Quilt! She has a challenge going on right now practicing machine quilting on panels. 

Pat Sloan is an inspiration and a true quilter herself. You can find her online almost everywhere! Start at her blog and enjoy her passion for the wonderful world of quilting. You can even listen to her very own radio show :)

Happy Belated Birthday Pat!

With JOY,

Sarah V.


The Start of my Birthday Block Christmas Quilt

>> Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A quick thank you to everyone who participated in the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Tour giveaway! I've contacted my winners by email - Congratulations! :)

Christmas is coming and my birthday is almost here - again! This year I participated in a block exchange with some of my bestest quilting friends. You can read this post when my blocks first arrived to me back in February. 

I decided to add this large panel block and frame it with my birthday blocks. I needed to add a border around the panel block so I could fit three scrappy bento box blocks down each side. 

Only after all the math and cutting did I realize I needed to add more width too! 
That's where the purple fabric comes in :)

Back to the design board. So here are the options I'm entertaining. This first photo shows the purple side borders on the outside. It will only go on the sides as I don't need to add any more length to the middle. I have a bit of the light print I'm adding as the first border, but not enough to cut wider borders - and I really don't want to add on a really skinny bit to make it wider. So.

Option 2. This option came about while I was moving the purple strips from the outside to the inside. What about one each way? I kind of like how this makes the panel look like a window scene.

Option 3 with the purple borders on the inside. This option makes it look like the purple was planned and that the light border is the right size. It doesn't give much visual separation between the side blocks and in this arrangement the scrappy blocks blend into the border. I would have to try turning my blocks to see if I could avoid the light sides of the blocks touching the border to please my eye.

Which option do you like better?

I'm supply teaching this week but did get the chance to cut some more stash and sew together two more scrappy bento box blocks. I'm using this tutorial.

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 14 Blog Tour - Modern Oak Leaf

>> Friday, November 18, 2016

Welcome to my stop on the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Tour for Volume 14!

volume 14 quiltmaker's 100 blocks blog tour

The tour has been happening all this past week - please visit the Quiltmaker's blog to find links to the blogs on the tour. Some may still have their giveaways open too!

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Tour

I hope you will spend some time visiting my blog. I've been sharing online since 2009 and participated in the Quiltmaker's 100 blocks twice before.

I have several tutorials for projects that are perfect for gift giving - or any time of year, really!

Sew Joy Creations' Tutorials page

I also have patterns available on Craftsy that might interest you;)

Sew Joy Creations' on Craftsy

On with the tour!

modern oak leaf block in vol 14 Quiltmaker's 100 blocks

I called my block, "Modern Oak Leaf". It's a very simple, large applique leaf that is actually based on a real leaf!

large oak leaf

I picked up this large leaf on a walk last fall. I really wanted to create something with it. Originally I traced the block onto an 81/2 x 11" piece of paper and made plans to use it as a quilting motif in my Harvest Joy Sampler. But then I got distracted with other quilts and never finished putting my quilt top together to get to the quilting. 

So I decided to use it as an applique instead and submit it to Quiltmaker! I did make some artistic changes to make the leaf easier to translate to fabric. I made it symmetrical by only drawing one side of the actual leaf and placing it on folded fabric to create my applique. Putting it on an angle in the block meant that I could keep it "actual size" then I repeated a basic patchwork design in two corners to add some visual interest and opportunities for the block in repeat.

I made a couple of virtual examples to share with you:

modern oak leaf lap quilt pattern by sarah vanderburgh

Here is a lap top quilt made with 6 rows of 4 blocks each. It would be approximately 48 x 72 inches long finished.  My modern version of an oak leaf applique quilt is created using a solid background colour and one colour for the patchwork and another for the leaves. The blocks are simply rotated to create the look above.

modern oak leaf bedrunner

This scrappy version of the block creates a bedrunner approximately 72 inches long and 24 inches wide. The scrappiness is controlled a bit by using the  same background colour for all of the blocks and one colour again for the leaves. Don't look too closely at my "scrappiness" as it isn't really - I needed to move more of the blocks around, but you get the idea! 

Now for the Giveaway!

Quiltmaker is giving away one copy of the magazine.

 Enter to win by leaving a comment here on the blog
 - I must be able to reach you by email so please
 leave one in your comment if you *think* you're a no-reply blogger. 

The giveaway will be open until Tuesday November 22 around 8 p.m. EST.

There's a Second Subscriber Giveaway too!

I will give away one copy of the magazine
AND 2 of my patterns to a lucky newsletter subscriber!
 {please note my patterns are downloads only}
If you are already subscribed then you are already entered to win! 
I will let the winner know through email on the night of Tues. Nov. 22 as well. 
Winner will get to choose two of my current patterns listed in my Craftsy pattern store.

Good luck and thanks for visiting! Be sure to visit Quiltmaker's blog for a list of the rest of today's bloggers.

With Joy,

Sarah V.


My Secret Garden - It's only a top!

>> Saturday, November 12, 2016

"It's only a top" was the remark my quilt holder made as we stepped outside to take photos today.
Good thing he was already holding the quilt top! 

bom my secret garden designed by pat sloan

The border makes me smile. It works so well with the rest of the fabrics I used- probably because it's another print from Tula Pink! The inner border fabric is only in that border and the outside nine patches that are hard to see in this photo thanks to the windy fall day we're having here.

windy photo shoot day

The nine patch corners are impossible to see in this photo too! Pat Sloan went light with her border fabric colour and I tried to do the same. My original plan was to use a dark blue/indigo print. I really like how the light border 'lifts' the quilt blocks into view.

almost a queen size quilt

I took photos of the quilt top laid out on my queen size bed. I like how the inner border lays at the edge of the top of the mattress. This picture already suggests that the top doesn't have much drop on the queen size bed. Here's another look:

different lengths of different quilts

This photo gives a peek at a corner nine patch block. It also shows how much larger my Halloween 1904 quilt is than this one. I'm okay with that - my original intention was for the My Secret Garden quilt to be a lap quilt for me and it's more than big enough for that!

I finished in time to add my quilt to Pat's challenge. You can see all the different garden quilts at this link - it's always enjoyable to see what other quilters have created.

Now onto Christmas making?!

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Meanwhile back in the studio - November catch up

>> Wednesday, November 9, 2016

November is flying by! Here's a quick look at what's new around here and waiting for my attention.

Pat Sloan's new book and my practice panel

The panel I bought at the Fibre Festival last month is perfect for Pat Sloan's latest challenge - machine quilting! Her new book arrived and now I need to make time to try it.

new Quiltmaker 100 blocks blog tour starts Nov 14

More new fabric (shhhh!) and a new magazine. Yes, I'm a contributor again!

next blog tour for QM 100 blocks starts Nov. 14

My day is NEXT Friday! I'll be sure to remind you to visit Quiltmaker and the blogs they feature each day for your chance to win some fun giveaways.

mini design board great for laying out block pieces

That beautiful green fabric {basic mixologie by Studio M for moda} didn't stay long in my stash! I'm using it in my border for my Secret Garden quilt - another Pat Sloan challenge that has a deadline for this weekend IF I want to win a prize (yes, please, Pat!)

cats in the sewing room basket

I've been supply teaching a lot (yay!) and when that happens I find it really hard to stay on top of projects in my studio. I'm trying to resolve that, working on a little step at a time instead of trying to finish something or not even start. Can you relate? My cats are looking forward to a little more cuddle time in my space too - they only do this when I'm around to see it (I think!) ;)

pfaff passport 3.0

The next PFAFF machine I'm reviewing arrived! It's a sweet little work pony :) It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the other machines I've tried, but it purrs along with patchwork.

Those nine patch blocks I mentioned? They were sitting ready and waiting so that this morning - when we actually were ready to leave early for a change - I had time to sew them into rows! And it went speedy quick with my little PFAFF pony!

 I'll let you know when I review it over at QUILTsocial next month ;)

What do you like to know about sewing machines? Leave me a comment and maybe I can work an answer into my review!

With Joy,

Sarah V.

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This blog exists to share my quiltmaking and joy of colour to inspire others to find their joy.

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