Joy from January - tracking progress

>> Friday, February 9, 2018

January was a full month of quilting! I looked back at my goal setting post and here's what I accomplished:

civil war fabrics on point blocks roosting round robin

Caught up on my Civil War quilt guild roosting round robin - this round was the star.

modern row quilt guild roosting round robin

I finished my log cabin row on my modern guild roosting robin. I made quarter log cabin blocks and included some of the row-by-row license plates that I purchased because they match my colours!

white wonky star modern quilt block

For my star row I'm making wonky star blocks. I have one done and need to make 3 more. I'm still not sure if they will go on the ends of my previous rows to make the quilt wider or in their own row.

free block with signup to TQPM newsletter

I designed and donated a quilt block for The Quilt Pattern Magazine newsletter.
If you signed up before the end of  January, you would have received the February newsletter and a link to the block instructions.
You can still sign up for the newsletter and have access to the pattern next month.

Click here to subscribe to receive TQPM newsletter. There will be a new free block from another designer next month :)

quilting on pfaff machine jolly christmas quilt

I am not finished quilting my Jolly Christmas quilt. I must admit I find it hard to stay focussed on quilting a quilt! But I will get back to it - promise! My goal is to actually finish some quilts this year - and not have any Works in Progress (but finished tops are okay too!)

I did end up with some time to play - or rather - snuck in some other projects!

curling rocks table runner

I made myself a Curling Rocks Runner! I'm really happy I did :)

guild mystery quilt

I also found the time to piece my guild mystery quilt from last year. I had stopped at trimming the triangle units and worked on piecing the units, assembling the blocks, rows, and borders.
I want to quilt this REALLY soon and give it to someone special.

Whew! What a month! I had so much fun getting things made this month. I went to a guild fun day and have another almost finished top too - but that was in February so I'll share it soon ;)

With Joy,

Sarah V.


How to make a 12" finished quilt block COMPLETELY out of 2 1/2" strips!

>> Wednesday, February 7, 2018

I could have also called this post, "how I hacked a block made by Jennie Doan", but that might not have sounded as exciting:)

12 inch sweet star block

I followed this video by Jennie - except for the measurements.

Missouri Quilt Co star block video

I needed a star block for my Guild mystery challenge. I'm using two background colours and a package of 2 1/2" strips. I didn't want to have to start with pieces larger than 2 1/2" if I could help it AND I wanted the block to end up 12" finished.

Jennie's star uses jelly roll strips (2 1/2" wide strips) to make the start points, but not the background. Her block finishes at 11". 

So I played!

I used both of my background fabrics cut into 2 1/2" squares to make my background corners 4 1/2" unfinished.

Then I realized in time that my star strips would need to be longer - instead of 4" and 6", I cut mine 4 1/2" and 6 1/2".

The result is what I wanted! You can see I played with alternating my background colours to make 4 patches and tried to get the pattern to continue through the stars. If I was going to make another, I would make all of the star point squares of the same fabric!

12 inch blocks on point with 2.5 inch strips for sashing

I'm very happy with my hack and how the star block looks with the rest of my blocks.

Have you hacked a pattern?

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Discover The Quilt Pattern Magazine's newsletter and receive my free block

>> Monday, January 29, 2018

I designed this Pockets of Love pillow for The Quilt Pattern Magazine several years ago. They came to me looking for a selvage pattern - cool, eh?!

Pocket of Love pattern

star quilt block

I decided to reach out to them and donate a new block I designed over the holidays to include in their newsletter. I thought it might help some more quilters find my designs and enjoy what I do. :)

In addition to being able to sign up for the newsletter to get the block, The Quilt Pattern Magazine is also offering my followers a special rate to subscribe to their magazine.

No affiliation for me - simply a gift to you! They are an online magazine full of tested quilt patterns and have a very active online community - a chat room for quilters that's not on facebook.

I invite you to check out the subscription special here -

Special Subscription to The QUILT PATTERN MAGAZINE

use secret code - JOY

Remember to sign up for their newsletter to get the free block instructions BEFORE the end of January!  Sign up now and enjoy the block next month :)

With JOY,

Sarah V.


Catching up on my Civil Roosting Round Robin blocks

>> Monday, January 15, 2018

With the holiday season over, my quilt guild's first meeting of the new year is quickly approaching. Time for me to catch up on some projects that will be due!

First up, my Roosting Round Robin that I'm doing two of - this one is my civil war fabrics one.
I did an initial post on the fabrics and my first block here.

This time I had two blocks to do.

The first round after the starting block was to use triangles.
I decided to try one of the blocks in the latest Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks magazine.

Here's the block:

quiltmakers 100 blocks block 1565 marilyn foreman quilt moments

This block is named, "Flying 'Round" by Marilyn Foreman of {block 1565 of Quiltmaker's 100 blocks vol.16.)

qm 100 blocks vol 16 flying round by marilyn foreman

I used my blue background quilt and one of the white prints to make the spinning pinwheel stand out. I liked this block because it let me make good use of my 2 1/2" strips.

Block 2 needed to be a log cabin. Again I wanted to use my 2 1/2" strips effectively and use lots of them!

log cabin traditional block 2 1/2" strips

I simply started with a red 2 1/2" square and added to it with 2 1/2" strips. I stopped when it measured 12 1/2" - can't get much simpler than that!

Then I spent a little time playing with setting ideas. As a member of the planning committee I know what the next rounds will be (shhhh!) I think setting everything on point will work out nicely!

on point setting sashing between 12 inch blocks

Next up, to work on the modern mystery!

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Planning for Play time! Quilting Goals for January 2018

>> Saturday, January 13, 2018

 How are you doing with your quilting goals for the year? I *think* I'm finally catching on to this planning thing! Actually, I think I'm finally reaping the rewards of all the planning I've done in the past.

You've heard the 'work smarter, not harder' motto I'm sure, but I'm realizing it fits my needs when it comes to realistic planning for what I can get done in my quilting time. I have small, doable monthly goals. Not one loooooong list of wishful thinking, but little bits I can focus on a month at at time.

The results?
I am well on my way to reaching my January goals!
These include:

  • catching up on two guild mystery quilts - 1 done

  • completing two block lottery blocks for my guild - done
2 - 14" bear paw blocks
  • designing, writing pattern for a block - sent one off to a magazine, still 1 to do
  • quiltiing my Jolly Christmas quilt - started!
quilting jolly christmas quilt pfaff sewing machine

  • prepping for next month's quilt guild mystery (my turn to present) - 1 done
MORE than being well on my way to reaching my goals, I have confidence that I have planned for my own success. Finishes make me feel happy and spur me on to keep finishing! How about you? :)
AND, as I finish ahead of the end of the month - I will have time to play!

Now. This is not my first attempt at planning. I've done a lot of the heavy lifting, so to speak, in past years. The biggest pitfall to feeling joyful and reaping the reward of finished quilts is WORKS IN PROGRESS. The ever present WIPs. I'll be honest. My plan this year doesn't include quilting many of my completed tops. They might get done in my 'play time', but I'm really focused on getting a few key quilts done this year, either to put in a quilt show or to gift on time.

I'm not committed to any Blocks of the Months this year. Yet. I get tempted on a weekly, if not daily basis, but again, focus. I want some finishes! I want to create my own quilts. I want to walk my own path, at least some of the time:)

To get my Works in Progress under control I started working on it almost 5 years ago. Thanks to Pat Sloan and her challenge I purged, organized and then last year I got a lot of quilt tops completed. I still want to go through my projects again this year, but for right now I'm moving forward with my current quilts.

You can seek out group support to deal with your UFOs -seriously! All People Quilt does a UFO challenge where you number 12 projects to work on over the year and then they announce a number to work on each month. This can work great for you if your UFOs don't have deadlines.

There is also a lively support group of users of the Quilter's Planner that post a lot on instagram. {Quilter's Planner on Instagram}Public accountability might help you focus on your goals. Then again, looking at all the social media posts might help you find more projects to work on too!

And then there's the guilt and overwhelm. It happens. It happens a lot when you're focussing on what you haven't finished, what you want to start, the time you have, the money you have, the stash you have (or don't). Hey. This is supposed to be fun! Therapeutic. Healing. Enjoyable.

Make it Sew. 

You'll succeed at what you want to succeed at. Give yourself permission to be you - whatever that looks like for you this year. Maybe you need to try something new to get out of a rut or get lost in learning something new. Or maybe you need to soak up some inspiration and just look. Or you might need to keep your head down in your own work, walk your own path and stop once in a while to see where you've been and acknowledge how far you've come.

Welcome to 2018. Your year is waiting for you!

With Joy,

Sarah V.

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