Quilt Along for Churn Baby Churn baby quilt

>> Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I'm making a baby quilt for my son's teacher with my Churn, Baby, Churn baby quilt pattern. This is my first quilt along post for the project - and you're invited to join me!

Churn, Baby, Churn quilt pattern by Sarah Vanderburgh of sewjoycreations

The pattern uses a 10 inch squares pack - or layer cake - to make the churn dashes and backgrounds - no other fabric yardage needed for the front! I get discouraged by patterns that are designed to use with precuts but then need me to add yardage. So this was a personal design challenge and I like the results. The scrappy effect of using two different fabrics behind each churn dash leaves lots of potential for playing with the colours in a fabric line. 

Fabrics cut and stored in their own bin makes it easier to have several projects on the go at once

This is the second year my son has had this teacher - and it will be her third boy. When my son came home with the news I knew I finally had a happy reason to cut into my Uppercase fabric fat quarter bundle :)

Because the pattern is written for 10 inch squares - and then cutting those squares into 5 inch squares - I decided to cut my fabrics so my making would look like what you would make if you followed the pattern. Of course, you could also cut up a fat quarter bundle like I did to make this quilt. 

Now the fun part: deciding which fabrics will be the churn dashes!

I went through and took photos of three different options to show you how versatile the pattern is and also, the kind of fabric line that will make your Churn, Baby, Churn baby quilt happy too. I'm sure you've noticed that some fabric collections have lots of variety when it comes to colours, and others have very few different ones. The results will show in your quilt. Take a look at these examples and see which one you like more than the others. (None are wrong or right - just notice what you like!)

light fabrics chosen for main block design

From my Uppercase fabrics I chose 12 different ones that read as light. They're not in any particular order here - meaning I might move them around in the quilt - but these would be my choices if I was making 12 light churn dashes.

Fabrics sorted with light churn dash fabric and two background fabrics

Here are the 12 light churn dash fabrics paired with two background fabrics each. 

I would chose light churn dashes if I was hanging this quilt - it gives a more subtle look to the quilt and would be easy on the eyes for a long period of time.
At least that's what I think ;)

twelve dark fabrics selected for churn dashes

Here are my choices for twelve dark churn dashes. The number fabric is not part of the Uppercase line - but definitely inspired me to make this quilt for my son's teacher. She has done a great job nurturing his love of mathematics and I think this is a fun way to say thank you.

pairs of background fabrics with dark churn fabrics

Here are my quick choices for backgrounds for the dark churns. I think this one would be very graphic and visually striking. I think the dark churn dashes would almost vibrate against some of these background pair choices I made! 

twelve bright churn dash fabric picks

Then I had to go bright! If this quilt was for ME, I think I would choose to make my churn dashes with these bright prints. I hesitate to call it a feminine palette because I don't think that's how they end up looking when you add the dark backgrounds. Take a look:

bright churns paired up with background fabrics

See? Again it's a very dynamic, graphic effect. This one might feel busier than the dark churn dash one because of the bright fabrics vying for your eye on top of the backgrounds that are a mix of light, dark, and bright. Definitely a fun mix!

Which one do you like best?

Remember, fabrics make a quilt, but your fabric choices make it YOUR quilt!

If you're quilting along - yay! - take some time to play with your fabric and decide on which ones will be the churn dashes, then the backgrounds. 

In the next quilt along post I'll show you what I actually chose for my churn dash fabrics. You can read in to that and know that I don't have any churns made yet. But that's okay - I love this part at the beginning of making a quilt.

 Thinking about who the quilt is for, 
what fabrics to use,
 what the quilt is celebrating/commemorating,
 and how I want the recipient to feel is
 probably my favourite part of the process.

 My next favourite part is seeing the fabric choices coming together in the right pattern!

Stay tuned, and keep quilting with Joy,

Sarah V.


Patchwork Olympics extended quilt top

>> Sunday, September 18, 2016

Four Patch work pattern by Temecula Quilt Co

My Four Patch Work, a Patchwork Olympics pattern by Temecula Quilt Co. is finally a completed top. 

four patch work on back fence pattern by temecula quilt co

I added one more row to make the quilt long enough to enjoy as a lap quilt. Although I'm seriously considering hanging this one in my bedroom.

making two piece units with scraps and a strip

Making the last two blocks of one inch squares felt overwhelming - I almost quit. Then I started thinking about how to make piecing all the little units easier. I had almost no small light colour scraps left to use so I ended up cutting strips of fabric. Then I sewed the dark and medium squares to each strip. It was easy to then press to the dark seam and cut the units apart at 1 1/2" intervals. It was still alot of piecing, but it felt like it went quicker!

four patch work with extra row added at bottom

Now I'm really glad I kept going! I love the added length. This quilt reminds me so much of the quilt I have from my great grandmother. Simple patchwork can hold so many memories! I'm looking forward to finding the *right* backing fabric and putting this one on the list to quilt next year.

Speaking of Temecula Quilt Co. - There's a new magazine being put out by the family behind Primitive Quilts called Quilts We Love. The premiere issue features a quilt by Temecula Quilt Co. on the cover - I love the green! I think they are going to be putting together kits too ;)

Do you have a favourite place to look for quilt inspiration? A magazine, a blog, pinterest? Share in the comments below and let's create an inspiration list together:)

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Quilting Fun on Fortune Cookie Day!

>> Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Happy Fortune Cookie Day !?! I guess there's a day for almost everything now. And us quilters have probably made something for most of them too! :)

If you happen to enjoy feeling lucky, and creating your own luck, why not take some time today to make your own fabric fortune cookie or my Lucky Monkey Tail mug rug that I created to ring in the Lunar New Year over at QUILTsocial.com.

lucky monkey tail mug rug tutorial at quiltsocial.com

****note: you only need a fat eighth of gold fabric - not 8 fat quarters! (oops)

You can find the post on how to piece the mug rug here.

See how I quilted it here.

Here's the link that I (mostly) followed to make my own fabric fortune cookie from Mollie Makes.

uppercase fabric fat quarters

I'm going to start cutting into my fat quarter bundle of Uppercase fabric to make a Churn, Baby, Churn baby quilt. Lucky me - and lucky baby!

Churn, Baby, Churn baby quilt pattern by Sew JOY Creations

Wanna quilt along with me? Purchase your own copy of my Churn, Baby, Churn pattern and join along in the fun - you can always have a baby quilt on hand to gift :)

I'll be sharing how I choose my fabrics based on their prints and colors so you can just follow along and enjoy my process too. The pattern uses a layer cake pack - and actually uses only 36 of the 10 inch squares. I will be cutting a strip from each fat quarter and deciding on a few to double up on. I will be adding this number print to the mix as well - it fits in nicely, don't you think?

First up, ironing!

Wishing you luck and Joy today,

Sarah V.


My secret to quilt finishes - lists!

>> Saturday, September 10, 2016

Manage your Focus, not your Time

 This quote from Robin Sharma scrolled by in my facebook feed recently. Needless to say it worked! I stopped scrolling and got behind my sewing machine instead. This post will share a few of the tools (read - lists!) I use to keep me focused and quilting!

Fall feels like a new beginning for me, a time to take a big breath of fresh, crisp air and figure out what I still want to accomplish before the New Year. This can be overwhelming - there are always so many things! Trying to squeeze them all in means I don't really enjoy any of it. With everyone else's schedule filling up too (my daughter started Gr. 11, my son Gr. 4, and a husband a new job!), finding the time is also tricky.

Visual Project List board

 For a couple of years now I have been using a Visual Project list board to help me stay focused on the quilt projects I want to do.  I go over in a bit of detail how I use it  in this blog post to keep myself from joining too many new quilt alongs or block of the months or any other of the kazillion new quilty things that pop up - especially this time of year.

Here's a photo of what my current VP list board looks like:

Visual Project list board is a mini quilt

I'm using the crazy patch potholder I made over at QUILTsocial as my current board. I like to switch it up as a different mini quilt to keep me inspired and looking at it;)
Right now my board has very few items on it - which is good because I'm just starting to plan my quilting for Fall.

One Quilt a Month

In addition to this board, I've added a QUILT Focus list this year. It's been working out really well. I wrote down each month of the year on a small piece of paper I keep by my computer, and picked ONE quilt that I wanted to complete that month. There are several groups out there doing this as an accountability exercise - some are really fun where you number your UFOs to work on and whichever number gets picked for the month is the project you work on. Fun, right! For me I chose mostly seasonal quilts or special occasion quilts so I needed a bit more control of when they would be worked on and finished.

The results - I have finished quilts this year!

Halloween 1904 designed by Blackbird Designs

 I finished my Halloween 1904,

Churn, Baby, Churn by sewjoycreations.com

 created and finished my Churn, Baby, Churn Baby quilt,

Northcott Gradations Brights quilt

 created and finished Wish Upon a Star for Spring quilt using Northcott Fabrics for QUILTsocial,

Trains at Night quilt from kit

quilt designed for my anniversary

I figured out what I wanted to do with the cottage blocks
 for my anniversary quilt and got the top completed in time too!

All this while supply teaching and working on some more of my own designs, plus keeping up with the projects on my VP list! Notice that it's September and I don't have 8 finished quilts; I started with February and left one month open to give myself some breathing room on a deadline quilt and I'm glad I did. I had some health issues in April and was able to recuperate without feeling stressed about my quilting. So 5 quilts in 6 months - not including some behind the scenes (aka secret sewing) quilts too;)

progress on Four Patch Work from Temecula Quilt Co

With the help of the Visual Project list board and the One Quilt a Month list I've kept on track with two great benefits - completed quilts and wiggle room to join in on a few projects as they popped up - like Temecula Quilt Company's Four Patch Work during the Olympics.

 Perhaps the greatest benefit is knowing what to work on when I have time to quilt.

Are you feeling overwhelmed with quilting projects? Share in the comments and let's see if we can help each other ENJOY the process:)

With Joy,

Sarah V.

p.s. here's the link for my newsletter signup again. Try out the Visual Project list board and see if it helps you focus too.


My Secret Garden in September

>> Wednesday, September 7, 2016

chutes trail reflection

We spent the last weekend before school started at Chutes Provincial Park. The weather was perfect and resulted in some wonderful photos and no mosquito bites!

trees in chutes provincial park

The trees. The sky. It was a great idea to be in nature and connect and get grounded before the whirlwind of school catches us in its grasp. 

my secret garden before beginning of sept block

Beginning of September means another My Secret Garden block release by Pat Sloan. I had this idea of using up some of my Tula Pink true colors 2 1/2" strips for the sashing last month. I got some out to see what it looked like. The plan would be to use the coral/pink as the cornerstones, but I don't have much of it left!

sept my secret garden block

I finished the September block. Love the suggestion of shoefly blocks in the corners. A bonus block was released too - I still have to make that one;)

blocks including sept

I have enough of the orange/pink strip to go all the way across the top and another purple print that I can use across the bottom. Without putting in cornerstones across the top and bottom I have enough of the corals to use as cornerstones, but probably won't add any to the last two blocks. We'll see what happens!

Looking forward to having this one finished soon - next month the last block will be revealed. Trying to resist joining (too many) new things as I have a lot of my own designs waiting to be made ;)

What are you working on this week?

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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