Harvest JOY Trimming Tip and a Group Too!

>> Thursday, September 3, 2015


The weather is still dreary here - great for sewing and decluttering! 

Here's another tip for you as you work at trimming your Pumpkin Patch Blocks

 - remember you can find links to all the blocks on the Harvest JOY Quilt Along page here





Neat, eh? I do this with my Creative Grid 6 1/2 square ruler. 




I think I have at least one more Pumpkin Patch block to make with this blue background. Yes I'm planning a big quilt with these blocks for next fall. 
See the pink arrow in the photo?


I was playing with this gorgeous text fabric from Tim Holtz's Elements and discovered pink and lavender in the selvage! That made me really curious and excited to play with this fabric to see what I could make play with it! Needless to say I am slightly distracted by this project!





The next block for the Harvest JOY Quilt Along is Stars and Basket. I'm working on getting that star applique piece to scan and print at the right size today. I did find out last night that my new computer and my old printer/scanner can *see* each other - which was more than I could say about the computers I was using last year!




AND thanks to those quilting along with me I found out you cannot post photos to my facebook page. So I created a GROUP! Click on over and join us so you can share photos of your progress with us too.

Sew Joy Creations Quilt GROUP on Facebook



With Joy,

Sarah V

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Vacation Time Blocks for August Done on Time!

>> Monday, August 31, 2015


It's almost here! The end of summer. The weather is weird outside my house today. It looks overcast but feels - weird. Like it can't decide what it wants to do {kinda like how I feel today!}

This month for the Vacation Time block of the month that Pat Sloan is hosting {free through FreeQuiltPatterns.Info}, Pat gave us a border to do. Lots of half square triangles to make and then join together to make four borders.

I started them early as a leader and ender project - doing one or two as I sewed pieces for other blocks together. Last week I realized that this project needed to BECOME a project or it wasn't going to get done this month!

We've been repainting our decks and adirondack chairs this month too. This photo shows one chair which is almost done {there's some underneath parts that will just have to get painted to because I can see them when I walk by from the road} and the first border of Taffy blocks sewn together.


The second chair still needs its second coat, but all the Taffy block borders are done!!
{and I felt good knowing that finally washing the kitchen floor was worth it - hehe}





These are the rest of my Vacation Time blocks laid out according to Pat's plan. I might change them around a bit before I sew it together as there's too much green in that top left corner!! Plus I changed up the colour placement in one of the bottom blocks and now they really look alike:)

One more large block to go which is supposed to go in the top right corner. Then Pat's layout shows little fillers to go in between and a border to go around the outside.


For now the blocks and borders all fit neatly into this scrapbook paper plastic box that we picked up for 25 cents at a stash sale last year - it was full of colourful paper too!


It doesn't click perfectly to close it up but it does fit perfectly in my shelving unit. In between all the shelves of dream boards and dream board making supplies {which are old magazines I pick up at the library for 10 cents each!}

You can see more Taffy block borders at Pat Sloan's linkup.



I'm working on lots of things right now. My next pattern will be a placemat pattern using these fallish Florence fabrics from Denyse Schmidt; the background fabric is from Pat Sloan's Sweet Life line.


Happy to have this last week of summer to sew! How about you?



Thanks for sharing in my Quilting Joy today.

Sarah V



p.s. Do you get my blog posts delivered to your email? I've done some behind the scenes changes and now the posts will get delivered weekly on Wednesdays. If you don't like this, let me know! You can leave a comment on this post or contact me. I'm hoping to make your time with me inspiring - help me make it that way, okay? Thanks!



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Process Tip: Keeping Track of Pieces When Cutting

>> Thursday, August 27, 2015


It's the day after the block directions for the Pumpkin Patch went "live" which means you might already be into your stash getting ready to cut - or perusing your stash in your daydreams while you do other things:)

{get your Pumpkin Patch block directions here}


The wall hanging will require 5 of the pumpkin patch blocks and you might be cutting from several different background fabrics to make them - I did!

Here is how I kept track of what I needed:


I start with a sticky note {top left} that lists all the different number of pieces and sizes of each. Then as I start to get some of each size cut, I make an individual note for each pile.



The individual note marks off on the right side the total number needed.
Then I start cutting and write down how many I cut.





When I cut from another background fabric, I write down the new number of cut pieces.



I've used this method in the past when I had a lot of cutting to do and didn't do it all in one sitting. Keeping track is a lot easier than recounting that cut pile over and over again!



Hope that helps you enjoy the process!


Sarah V

p.s. I'd love to see your progress! 
Share a link or photo in the comments or at my facebook page with hashtag #sewharvestjoy

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Harvest JOY First Block - Pumpkin Patch

>> Wednesday, August 26, 2015



It's time to start making! 



I picked the Pumpkin Patch block to start with because it was the one that inspired me to start this whole thing!! I think there's lots of ways you can use this block to bring a little bit of fall into your quilting, whether it's one block for a pillow, three blocks for a runner, or using them in a wall hanging like the one I plan to help you create. 




I made another block to do the step by step photos for the instructions I'm sharing today. See, I can't get enough of this block! In this one I used one background, one dark for the 'leaves', one orange for the pumpkins and one green for the stems. I'm hoping you have enough courage and stash to play with your fabrics and mix it up a bit if you want to. 

I didn't give you much guidance about choosing fabrics - I guess I assume a lot :) For the backgrounds you want them all to look similar when you glance at the quilt. You can do this by auditioning fabrics and making sure that none of them 'pop out' at you more than another. You'll notice in my wall hanging photo above some of the background fabric in the middle block pops out. I decided to put it in the middle since your eye was going to find it first anyway - it might as well focus on the middle of the design!

Another important thing about background fabrics (probably in all the fabric choices in this quilt, actually) is that you don't want to pick something that has an obvious direction to it. Stripes will give you problems if you want them all to be going the same way. You can do it, and it would look good, but it's a bit more work at the cutting and sewing stage. 

For the pumpkins you probably want a small all-over print so it looks like a single shape and the print on the fabric doesn't overtake the shape of the pumpkin. 

Of course there are ALWAYS exceptions.
 PLAY. 
If it makes you smile, go with it!



I want to thank everyone who gave me feedback about what  you like to look at in a pattern. Most said photos using the fabrics in the cover photo - the reason I made another block!! Some prefer diagrams so they can keep track of their own fabric choices when constructing the block. So true!

For the block instructions you will find colour photos AND some diagrams. I included a diagram for each unit in the block and a diagram of the full block on the last page of instructions. You can write on it, colour it in, and whatever else you want to do with the block. I hope this is a helpful solution for all.



One more thing. You will notice a materials list for making 5 blocks so that you can use them to make the wall hanging pictured. There is also a material list for making only one block. I hope that helps you make what you want!


Click to download pdf for Harvest JOY Pumpkin Patch Block here


Please let me know if you like how the instructions are laid out to help me make the next block even better:)

And share your progress! Leave photos in the comments, email me or share them on facebook. Remember #sewharvestjoy


With Joy,

Sarah V

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Pattern Preferences - Photos or Diagrams?

>> Monday, August 24, 2015



After spending my day making another pumpkin patch block to go with my written directions, I was left wondering - does it matter to YOU?

When you're following a pattern to make a quilt,
do you prefer to have photos
that use the same colours as the quilt on the cover?


Or do you prefer well labelled diagrams?

I have a feeling I'm overthinking this - or that I'm picking my preference based on being the maker of the pattern instead of the maker of the quilt!

Please let me know in the comments if it matters to you - photos or diagrams.


With Joy,

Sarah V

p.s. your feedback will help me figure out if I'm making another copy of the directions before I release them on Wednesday! Stay tuned :)

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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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