A Week of Stitched PFAFF projects

>> Sunday, November 3, 2019

Last week was my turn again over at QUILTsocial. If you haven't checked it out lately, you should! There have been some great projects recently. Just in time for gift making season.

PFAFF sewing machine quilt expression 720

I'm still enjoying every stitch with this PFAFF machine! It's the quilt expression 720 and it makes coming up with new projects pretty fun. I focussed on using the different stitches to make some add on gifts -little extras that are homemade but don't take up a lot of time to make.

decorative stitch fishy mug rug

I used the Stitch Creator feature to edit the fish stitch and then used it to make this fun mug rug. Add a mug and sweets and you have a simple, personal gift.

neutral stitches decorative stitched coaster

The floating stitches are one of my favorite groups of stitches on this machine. I had to use some to make a gift. The trend of tone on tone stitching is something I wanted to try and so I used some floating stitches to create the base of this coaster. Then I added several more of the decorative stitches to fill in the coaster. This would be sweet to gift with some specialty hot chocolate and maybe some thread or yarn for a fibre-loving friend.

mini machine stitched ornament quilt expression 720

This one was fun! There are some really neat sewing related stitches on this machine. I decided to try out making a mini ornament with the sewing machine stitch in the middle and then I used one of the built in cross stitch stitches to make a little nine patch grid. Some red ric rac to match and it's ready :)
I made a Halloween one too - go check out the post and see the cute stitch I used for that one here.

bookmark stacked stitches mushroom bookmark

Next I used a pair of stacked stitches to make a bookmark. Mushrooms! Another simple add on gift that just adds that personal touch. 

stitched gift tag dated tag quilt expression 720

And last but not least, this mini dated gift tag. I love this poinsettia stitch and wanted to feature it in a small project. Adding the date makes this a versatile gift tag that could be used as an ornament too. I put it around a wine bottle for my photo op - a nice handmade touch to a hostess gift.

If you visit the linked words you will find the post with my tutorials for these add on gifts.  Leave me comments over on the QUILTsocial posts to let me know which ones you like!

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Winter Fun Sewalong with Pat Sloan

>> Friday, October 25, 2019

It's already four weeks into the Winter Fun sewalong with Pat Sloan so it's definitely time I post some photos of my blocks!

winter fun sewalong quilt blocks pat sloan

I'm having fun using up a layer cake of Nordic Stitches that I couldn't resist buying several years ago now. The fabric is winter themed with knitting stitch patterns, deers and hearts. With the various shades of blue I thought this would be a good fit for a winter quilt that I could use on the couch long after Christmas and into the late winter.

block 1 winter fun pat sloan

Many of the fabrics are directional which adds a little challenge to the project. Every opportunity I get to use a directional fabric I take so that they don't end up as my last choices. Pat designed the blocks using a fat quarter bundle but also told us that we could use a layer cake. Here I needed to use two 10" squares to get the dark blue pieces but I was okay with that. I separated my doubles before I started choosing fabrics so that I would only use them when required. 

block 3 winter fun pat sloan

In block 3 I used a directional print for the corner square and rectangle - they are both cut from the same square. You can also see that there are several shades of blue - light, medium and dark - included in this line. I used the red as the dark fabric in this block and will put red in a few more of the blocks as a focus print. I am almost decided on using a solid red as one of my border prints as I do have some in my stash.

This week's sewalong post was the quilt layout and instructions for cutting sashing and borders. I have to do a bit of shopping or decide on a different layout than the one provided as I only bought one additional yard of a print in this line. 

You can join the sewalong through Pat's I Love to Make quilts page. Or just visit to see the link up posts and view the blocks other quilters have made in all kinds of fabrics. Either way it's a fun way to enjoy winter :)

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Feature Pattern: Free 9s a Charm Placemat Pattern

>> Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Time to celebrate fall and all the holiday hosting to come! This pattern was actually created as a free pattern to celebrate 300 blog posts - now I'm over 900!

free pattern placemat pattern charm pack friendly pattern

This month's Feature Pattern is the 9's a Charm placemat pattern and it's charm pack friendly. Add a little yardage for the borders and you get four large placemats for your dining pleasure :)

I've used this pattern several times and recently found a beautiful winter charm pack that I had to make into placemats!

Winter Manor charm squares

The line Winter Manor by Holly Taylor is full of traditional rich colors with a variety of prints and tone on tones. Each placemat uses 9 charm squares.

Winter Manor charm square prints

There are several doubles in this charm pack which is good for this pattern. I like to use two of the same print for the pocket so that it doesn't distract from the placemat top.

Winter Manor allover print in 5 colorways

This soft allover print is on all of the colorways and will definitely make it in to a few of the placemats. You only need 36 charms so I might save one of these to use in a potholder.

Winter Manor plaids

Then there is this very manor like plaid to play with too. I can see these being cut in half to use on the left side of the placemat. They are really bold and need some visual space around them like one or two of the tone on tone prints.

Winter Manor 9s a charm placemat

Here's my first one. I have an old green linen looking print in my stash that I'm using for the borders. It's a different green than in the Winter Manor collection but it is a traditional shade of green so it works.

gold paisley print

I'm going to use this bold and gold paisley fabric that my sister just gifted me with for the backing! Again a bit traditional in its coloring, and it will give me a fun reverse side for the placemats. 


Sarah V.


October Guild Lottery Block: Circle of Friends

>> Monday, October 21, 2019

My quilt guild meetings have started for another year.  The first lottery block was assigned to bring to this month's meeting and it's a modern one - Circle of Friends.

circle of friends quilt block

The colors are to be on the masculine side with a beige background. We did a bear paw block in these colors last year and really liked how they looked together. One of the blocks will go to the lottery and the other is donated to make a charity quilt by our guild's Quilters Who Care program.

circle of friends blocks different colorways

The block doesn't have any half square triangles so the pieces required are all less than 3" except for the middle square. Thinking about this while constructing my blocks I realized that I could make one using a 5" square and sccraps from a jelly roll, specifically from my Splendid Sampler fabrics.

Here's a post showing the last time I worked on this project - 2017?!

circle of friends block

I knew I could probably fussy a 5" square for the center and I was thrilled to find a cute cabin in the woods. Then it was a matter of going through the jelly roll strips to find a few more scenes, including a not centered loon sign, for the circle of squares as well as the background fabric.

We were given handwritten directions to make our blocks, but I found this tutorial from a modern quilt guild in case you want to give one a try. I did need to square up the units before assembling the block to get it to come out to 12 1/2" unfinished.

Someone will win some pretty cool blocks this month!
Does your guild have a block lottery?

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Endings and Beginnings keep me focussed

>> Saturday, October 5, 2019

It's a new month! The Quilter's Meet and Greet is complete for another year. Benita has her round up post announcing the winner of the grand prize on her blog. Visit her and you'll still find the links to all of the blogs in case you didn't get to all of them - I know I only got to about half! Plus she is already planning for next year so if you'd like to take part next year, click over and get in touch with her.

panel quilt pieced block borders

I'm also finished my thank you quilt that I made with a panel. My first panel quilt! I enjoyed this challenge and just might make another since I do have a small stash of panels. (don't we all?!) To get a photo fo the quilt by itself 

My husband really likes this quilt and has even said out loud he's not sure about giving it away. I think he's starting to understand how I feel about all of my quilts - it's hard to let go. But I also know that when I start making something with the intention of giving it away that I keep myself from getting overly attached - I try to focus on how much the recipient will like it and not if I do. Still. This one is pretty nice!

 Liberated churn dash quilt

What else am I finishing? Writing patterns has become a focus for me lately. I'm thrilled to tell you that two of my patterns are now on Quiltwoman's site

 churn baby churn

They are both available as e-patterns and as print patterns. If you've been waiting to get one of my patterns as a print copy - visit Quiltwoman and get them there.

I have two more patterns being tested right now and a list of more waiting for me! 

Would you like to be a Sew Joy pattern tester? You can send me an email and I'll add you to my list of testers. CLICK here to email me.

A few beginnings to share too! I resisted joining any sewalongs in September but decided to join Pat Sloan's newest Wednesday fun block. I love following Pat because she is so enthusiastic and has easy to do projects that a pieced and happy!

pat sloan sewalong winter fun

This one is only nine blocks and will be done before Christmas. I decided to jump in when I found out that a layer cake would make the blocks. I bought a layer cake of Nordic Stitches (last year?) and think this will be a perfect quilt for it - with a winter theme quilt and some hearts in this line the quilt will work nicely on the couch for the first few months of the year.
sunbonnet sue block vintage fabric embroidery

At my first guild meeting of the year I picked up some irresistible hand embroidered Sun Bonnet Sue blocks. I have an idea for them - lots actually! One is to make each one a mini quilt so that I can rotate them each month in my room. Another is to make a quilt with them, but I'm concerned about the fabrics and ruining them in the wash. Stay tuned as I'm sure they won't stay stacked in my closet for very long ;)

design wall churn dash blocks

I also started to get ready for a class teaching my liberated churn dash block. The class got rescheduled until the new year, but I have most of the writing done. On my design wall right now is my sample green churn and a traditional blue churn to show the difference, also a purple churn that I made before thinking about what size I wanted the sample to be. These blocks will get tucked away for a bit but I'm looking forward to more liberated piecing next year.

half square triangle blocks halloween colors

I've also started working on the blocks for a block of the month that I designed. I get a little bit excited every time I get a chance to move this project a little bit more ahead! I'm going to take this project to work on at my guild's sew day today :)

It's fun to do a post like this once in a while. Reflecting on what you've done and being excited about what's next is one way to stay focussed on what you really want to be spending your quilting time on. Make sure whatever it is, it brings you JOY!

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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