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.


Feature Pattern: Churn Baby Churn

>> Monday, September 30, 2019

This month's feature pattern is Churn, Baby, Churn

baby quilt pattern layer cake quilt churn dash quilt

This quilt pattern makes a baby size quilt using only a layer cake - no extra yardage required!

back of quilt two patch cross

There are leftovers to use on the back or to use in another project.
This backing for this one was designed for my son's teacher as a baby gift - he goes to a Catholic school.

churn dash baby quilt bright color quilt

Each block looks different even though they are all churn dashes because of the way it is pieced using different fabrics for each block.

twin size churn dash quilt churn baby churn sewjoycreations pattern

I love this design so much that I went bigger and decided to get yardage to make a twin size quilt for my daughter's friend for her highschool graduation.

churn baby churn tula pink fabrics sewjoycreations pattern

Then I played again and made my brother one by cutting up fat quarters. You can read my post about cutting fat quarters into 10" squares here.

How to make your own 10" squares

I included the cutting instructions in this pattern to make it easy for you to upsize the quilt. Or you can find a layer cake and make the baby size one.

As the feature pattern this pattern is on sale for $6 until October 1. Then it will increase to $10.

You still have time to make one - or two - of these quilts for the gift giving season!


Sarah V.

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Planning Projects with Leftovers in Mind

>> Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Do you like to work on patchwork projects that are different sizes? I do!
Do you have projects waiting for fabric and can't just go buy the whole store?! I do!
Then you might enjoy this post :) If not, you might still be curious about how I find fabric for projects and keep myself somewhat organized and making the best use of the fabrics that are already waiting to be used in my stash.

To make the best use of my fabrics on hand, I plan to work on projects starting with the one that requires the largest pieces first. It's kind of like planning a big meal for Sunday dinner planning to use the leftovers in other meals. For example I have a project that I really want to work on that has blocks that are less than 3" in size - that project has to wait until I 'make' the pieces for it!

Now this isn't for everyone and it doesn't work all of the time - sometimes the project with small pieces has a deadline and needs to get pieced first. But when it's a project that I'm working on for me or I have a lot of time, then I like to start with the biggest and work my way towards the smaller one.

Here's an example of a project that's waiting for leftovers: 

I've been working on this project for several years. It started when I made donation blocks trying out the slab block design from Cheryl Arkison. She was right - it's hard to make just one! I started to make them keeping one fabric consistent in each block - it's full of trivia questions about Canada. 

slab patchwork block modern scrap block

Then I gave myself another design restriction to make a block using just greens and tan or just blues and tan. When I sort my leftovers after making a couple of projects, I set aside the blues, tans, and greens into a storage box for this project.

plastic project bin organizing quilt projects

Now this project is slowly moving to the front of  the line as I think I will make a quilt to give as a thank you gift. I have been working on another thank you quilt that has lots of blues and greens in it so I have been making the fabrics to use in this quilt while I make the first one. I should be able to make several more blocks now!

slab blocks scrap piecing modern patchwork

I do have a few other projects that are waiting for their fabrics.

scrappy 9 churn dash block scrap patchwork

These pieced scrappy 9 churn dash blocks require small pieces too. I kept my white and neutral off cuts from my Canada 150 quilt and they are now designated to be used in this project. I have a tutorial for this block too!

Scrappy 9 churn dash block tutorial

Notice that both of these projects require the same color fabrics - this means I know that I can pick up an extra fat quarter or two in these colors and they will quickly get put into rotation. 

The neutrals and reds might also get set aside and used in this project that I've been resisting - so far! Have you seen these cute little churn dashes?!

That's another bonus with planning your projects - you start to think through the possibilities of the fabrics you purchase. Instead of buying something for a specific project, you might start buying fabrics that could work in multiple projects. This results in different kinds of fabrics being added to your stash which brings possibilities for new directions and projects.

I never even used to BUY red fabric!!

I tend to work for a while on several projects in the same colors but they are different sizes and themes. This keeps me interested and the scrap pile low. When a project gets finished, I decide whether to focus on finishing another one of the projects in this group or to start another one with different colors and start down the path of picking new fabrics for new projects!

Let me know what you think? Do you plan ahead to make leftovers for other projects? Or do you just make one happy scrap quilt? Leave a comment to share with other quilters:)

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Using a panel to create a Thank You Quilt

>> Tuesday, September 10, 2019

I'm sure I'm not the only quilter who has a list in her head about the quilts she wants/needs to make for others. When we moved last year the ongoing joke was that my quilting room needed to be much bigger as it seemed to be the location for the majority of the boxes being unloaded and moved into the house. Hmmmm. In the end the talk amongst my husband's friends (the movers) was that it would seem like they each deserved a quilt!

studio e wildlife panel

Thinking about making a quilt for three different men made has kept my brain busy. When I walked into my local quilt shop last month and saw this panel I knew it was perfect for one of those quilts!
This panel is called, Woodland Wonders, by Studio E. It reminds me of the decorative rugs from the 70s that people would put on the wall - especially the green/blue tinged sky. I bought the panel and put it up on my design wall so I could look at the color palette and think some more.
Then I started pulling from my stash.

panel with coping strip

I found a Banyan batik blue that has flecks of green in it. The blue does a good job of framing the scene bringing out the blues in the panel and complementing the other colours. I also found a meter of grey fabric and decided it would work well as a background colour.

My next idea came about because most of my stash fabrics that I found to go with the colours in the panel were small - less than a fat quarter and most just strips and bits. That led me to think about making small blocks with a mix of colours. 

4 inch scrap block mini pinwheel quilt block
I love this little block! I like how it let me use up really small pieces of fabric and how I had to get creative and add more sections to the block to use the fabrics I had.

prepping fabric for small blocks

The photo above shows how I had to stop myself from making the blocks before I planned more of the quilt. It didn't make sense to cut small pieces before I had all of my larger pieces. I decided at this point that I would make the small framed pinwheels and set them on point around the panel using the grey fabric and then make larger pinwheel blocks to go around next.

I cut the bigger pieces from my stash into 3 1/2" squares and then I had more of a variety of scraps to create the mini pinwheels. 

panel quilt on point border

Here's some progress! You can see that I changed my mind about making all the blocks in the first border framed mini pinwheels. To be honest, I thought that was a lot of work and would actually take away from the panel. I played a bit more with that blue Banyan batik and set the blocks between blue and grey setting triangles and put just a plain square of fabric in between some of them.

Back to it!

Remember the Online Quilters Meet and Greet is still happening! Lots of quilters have visited here (waving hi!) and you can keep visiting and entering the giveaway all month.

 Online Quilters Meet and Greet 2019

Click on the image above to go visiting :)

You can enter the giveaway once from each of the blogs you visit - and it's a treat filled giveaway! Enjoy!

With Joy,

Sarah V.

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Quilters Meet and Greet

>> Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Welcome! Today's the day!

Click on the image above to be taken to the long list of quilters to meet:)

I'm so happy Benita reached out to include me in this year's meet and greet. I've been blogging for ten years this year and know that blogging has been a big part of my development as a quilter.

You can read more about my story here

Feel free to look around as I have tutorials and patterns too :)

liberated churn dash quilt

One of my more successful patterns was created from a quilt bee that I joined online. My beemates followed my tutorial to create liberated churn dash blocks and then I made the BIG blocks and put the quilt together. 

eat with joy placemat sewjoycreations

I also relied on the friendship of other bloggers to promote my Eat with JOY placemats. You can still visit our Placemat Party by starting here! Blogging has helped me meet quilters from around the world and to be inspired by people I will only ever meet online.

And sometimes we do meet! I've been quilting with an online group of friends for years now and even got to meet up with one and have her quilt one of my quilts! Quilters are the best :)

PFAFF quilt expression 720 quilted banner project

Now I even blogger for others! I've been fortunate to make connections with all kinds of people because of my blogging. I am currently creating projects over at QUILTsocial using the PFAFF quilt expression 720. Lucky me!

You can see my latest project, a quilted banner, here.

The online world has changed a lot since I started blogging, but the desire to connect with another quilter's story remains and blogs still fill that need. I hope that if you have a blog you'll share it in the comments so I can come and visit you!

Enter the Giveaway!

Thanks again to Benita, there's a Great Grand Prize for visiting the blogs on this tour! 
Head over to Victoriana Quilt Designs enter or 
click on the image above to be taken to the page to enter.

Good Luck!

Thanks for visiting,

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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