January Monthly Color Challenge

>> Saturday, January 11, 2020

Are you ready for some color?! While a winter storm is starting outside today, I thought I would share my January block.

2020 monthly color challenge button

Patterns by Jen designed and put together a fabulous way to use up stash and create with color all year long. 

Visit this post to find out how it works - 2020 Monthly Color Challenge announcement

To start the year off bright, January's color is yellow!


january monthly color challenge block 2020 patterns by jen


As you can see, I used a dark yellow and light yellow. This year Jen is giving cutting directions to make all of the block backgrounds white or black. If you join her Facebook group, you will see that several quilters are also doing variations on the theme! 

Quilt and Learn with Patterns by Jen Facebook group

I am going to do my blocks in her original format of using the color of the month for both the feature fabric and the background.

You can find the block instructions on Jen's blog - Patterns by Jen - the pattern link is at the bottom of the post

January 2020 Monthly Color Challenge

Each month's block is FREE until the end of that month, then it will be available to purchase.

There are also several bloggers each month sharing tips - the main January post will take you to their blogs. Please visit and see all of the bloggers who are working together to bring this challenge to you.

There will be a link up post near the end of the month. Link up with your block to win prizes from the sponsors that Jen has put together. The prizes are quarterly, so you will have 3 chances this quarter to enter to win. I'll remind you ;)

With Joy,

Sarah V.




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Starting 2020 with some stash projects

>> Friday, January 10, 2020

I have been busy quilting my way through the weird wintery weather here in Northern Ontario. My first guild sew day of the year brought one project forward.


on ringo lake bonnie hunter mystery quilt


My On Ringo Lake quilt now has blocks! I was so excited, and surprised by the rush of joy I experienced when I finally sewed together a block for this quilt. This was Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt in 2017. I am only working on this right now at my guild sew days. I got 7 blocks sewed together with only 43 to go! LOL! 

On Ringo Lake pattern is now available in Bonnie's store - see more versions in this post.

There's always next month, but next month I may want to keep working on the stash project I'm going to start at my guild Fun Day. 


We are going to be making Pat Sloan's O My Stars quilts. I have been busy cutting 5" squares from my stash and was surprised to find that I could cut from 147 undesignated (AKA stash) fabrics! Who knew!


oh my stars fabric


I did buy a fabric for the stars as they will touch the other fabrics and I wanted to make sure to use a fabric I didn't already have; I will be using some other yardage for borders that I had in my stash. I still have some more precutting to do for this before next month, but I'm happy with where I'm at. I have all my squares cut, pattern bought and printed and all of the yardage put together in one labelled container.

I'm slowly coming to realize that 2020 is going to be a year of using up my stash. Partly because I want to start buying more fabric and want to use up some fabric before I do. And also because so many of these fabrics have been loved for years and waiting patiently to be used! It's time!



scrappy bear paw block

So in honor of using up scraps, I found another project and jumped right in! Darlene is making several blocks over the course of the year, but is starting with 10" scrappy bear paw blocks. I couldn't resist!

Here's a link to her facebook page with the instructions

I had some leftove 2 1/2" squares already tucked away together so I started with them. I am looking forward to making one of these blocks each week. (Guess I better get started on THIS week's!)

Time flies when you're planning quilting projects! I have another in progress scrap quilt that I'll share as soon as I take another progress photo.

Is this a year of stash busting for you too? Or maybe just using up scraps?

Tell me what your quilting goals are for 2020 in the comments - maybe we can keep each other on track :)

With Joy,

Sarah V.

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First Quilt Top of 2020 - Winter Fun

>> Sunday, January 5, 2020

I have my first quilt top of 2020!

winter fun pat sloan free quilt pattern

I finished my Winter Fun quilt top, blocks designed by Pat Sloan. Her Winter Fun sew along was for only the first 3 rows of blocks. Her setting was different and I decided to make my quilt top larger so I added 2 of the blocks from her "Out of this World" block of the month - and a churn dash ;) 

I made all of the blocks with a layer cake (10 inch squares of one fabric line) and yardage for the sashing and border. I was even able to fussy cut the sashing to make all the deer leaping with some even leaping back across the quilt!

I have a bit of fabric leftover and may make a pillow cover to with this quilt. Plus I'm thinking about using the bits of leftovers to make a stocking.

Looking forward to many more finishes this year!

With Joy,

Sarah V.

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Happy New Year 2020

>> Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year! I am enjoying my holiday break right now and looking ahead to quilting projects for this coming year. Of course as a quilter I have looking back to do too - several UFOs and unquilted tops are part of my plan to complete this year. Maybe you too?

stitched bowtie table runner and napkin ring


I made this bowtie table topper for my QUILTsocial posts over the Christmas week. And I made napkin rings and made buttonholes for the first time! It was a lot of fun. You can find the tutorials for both projects over at QUILTsocial. Start here.

Quilters can make buttonholes too

Bowtie runner post 1

Bowtie runner post 2

Bowtie runner post 3


new years selfie sarah v


I'm also participating in my New Year's tradition of sewing with my online group of friends. We have an online luau and all quilt and chat for several days. It's a time when we all make an effort to be online at the same time in our group and catch up, sew and enjoy a few good laughs and photos too!


winter sloan pat sloan free pattern

I'm working on putting the sashing and borders on my Winter Fun quilt. I added a few more blocks and am doing a different setting. I started webbing it together last night and hope to have a finish some time today, even with parade watching thrown in.

applique letters bright fabric word of the year


Plus I decided to make a mini quilt for my sewing room of my word for the year. This year I chose BELIEVE. I'm using Pat Sloan's free alphabet letters (you can find them on her free pattern page) and cut out my backing last night. I hope to get this finished today or tomorrow too. Not finishing is something I want to work on this year. 

Of course, sometimes I'm just trying something out and don't plan to make it into something and this is something I need to keep doing - playing is definitely part of my 2020 plans!


2020 monthly color challenge logo

If you need another way to  play with your stash this year, Jen from Patterns by Jen has started this year's Monthly Color Challenge. Click to go visit this post to see this month's color and to visit the bloggers participating this month. I'll share my block next week.

January 2020 Monthly Color Challenge

If you're still reading, Happy New Year again! I know it's not all happy all the time. I'm glad you're here. You are enough. 


With Joy,

Sarah V.



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Quilts for Christmas

>> Monday, December 30, 2019

This Christmas season I was able to gift 3 finished quilts - a record for me! I owe it to my local quilt shop owner who quilted two of them for me. 



monterrey medallions quilt atkinson designs

First up, the Monterrey Medallions quilt was finally officially given to my daughter. Now I just have to mail it to her as it didn't fit in her luggage!



quilt from a panel

I'm really happy with how this one turned out. I designed it based on the panel I got at my local quilt shop. The owner quilted it for me too! She did a great job going around the animals. Most of the fabrics were from my stash. I did buy the grunge green and some of the Northcott Stonehenge dark blues.


stonehenge wideback
After I saw another quilter use this fabric for a backing, I knew it was the right one for this quilt! It's a beautiful wideback from Northcott.




guild mystery quilt

This is the only quilt that I quilted - after it was sitting around for a year! It was the mystery quilt at my quilt guild the year I joined - 2016? I gifted it to my dad for his retirement this month. It has some of my favorite fabrics in it.


quilt holder

And this post wouldn't be possible in many ways without the support of this man, Mr. Sew Joy! He is always encouraging and willing to hold up my finished quilts. I plan to keep him busy next year too ;)



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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