Splendid Sampler Blocks End of May

>> Wednesday, May 25, 2016

splendid sampler block 26

The most recent Splendid Sampler block I finished is block 26. It's a pretty mini dresden! It was actually fun to make one so small - the instructions were very easy to follow. 

I have fallen behind - perhaps by choice - as so many of the blocks are paper pieced and this is not my favourite technique. {Julie mentioned the same *choice*;) } I will attempt some of them but I think I'm going to start doing some of the bonus patchwork blocks to replace a few.

In the meantime here are the blocks that I've finished so far - except one! I must have set aside block 20, the embroidered one. I'll take a photo for next time I report in;)



may 26 splendid sampler family portrait



With Joy,

Sarah V.




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Everything is Progress - WIP Wednesday

>> Wednesday, May 11, 2016

full shot bottom half quilted

This week I am still working at quilting my Wish Upon a Star for Spring quilt. Once I got the first quarter section finished on the bottom left, it was much easier to keep going. I am basically going to do the same thing in each quadrant!


Can you see the hearts?


sleep quadrant quilting

This quilt will be gifted to my daughter who just had her 15th birthday. I am quilting 4 hearts in each quadrant which gives her "one to grow on";) You might be able to see my attempt at writing in the quilting. The biggest heart has the word *sleep* quilted in it. I've got the top two quadrants to go then I plan to do some simple scallops around the outside. 

The quilting is taking me longer than planned and I can only do so much at a time. I gave myself a scare today quilting this quadrant and ending up all bloated and sore. Almost three weeks ago (maybe a few days more) I had a medical emergency and stayed in hospital overnight. Blood transfusions, the whole bit. I am okay, but still healing. Miraculously. 
Don't let anyone tell you that quilting isn't physically demanding!
Learning to listen to my body - and heed it's warnings! - is the memory that I'm stitching into this quilt. I definitely wouldn't be able to do what I am doing as far as quilting goes without the amazing PFAFF machine that I've been fortunate to review. It has really helped me keep creating and feeling like myself through this time.


The FUN thing about this quilt is that Connie featured it this week in her Linky Tuesday Party! So neat:) Be sure to check out the links there this week too!



three splendid blocks


I spent some time quilting on Mother's Day and did the fusible applique on two of the Splendid Sampler blocks that I am behind on. The stitching one I took with me to medical appointments - was it ever nice to have something to do while waiting (and waiting!) Now it's ready to take outside and finish in the sunshine!


block 4 my secret garden

I also did up my block 4 in Pat Sloan's My Secret Garden BOM. Not sure how I missed April!?!  I still have time to do May's so maybe this weekend?;)


maple leaf block tutorial button

I am not the only quilter in Canada who has felt the urge to help out the people of Fort McMurray Alberta. Please visit my tutorial post for more info on where to donate blocks and quilts if you are so inclined. 



Linking up this week with 





With Joy,


Sarah V.

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Tutorial - Maple Leaf Block

>> Tuesday, May 10, 2016

maple leaf block button


This tutorial will make a 12 1/2" unfinished maple leaf block. Inspired to help those displaced by the Fort McMurray fire of May 2016, this tutorial is my response. It has helped me feel like I can do something - make a difference. 

Others are collecting blocks and/or quilts for the community of Fort McMurray. You can find groups through Facebook and Instagram. I will be sending my blocks before the June 30 deadline to Mad About Patchwork, a Canadian quilt store in Ontario. **My tutorial uses white as a background as requested by the group organizing the blocks - low volume is also okay {think off-white, light grey}. Colours requested for the leaf blocks are blue, yellow, red, and green. *They actually request two colours be used for the leaf in one block*

Link to Request for Blocks for Fort McMurray
 You will find links to more maple leaf block tutorials at this link - we all have a little different approach. Use the one that makes the task easiest for you;)


maple leaf pieces sizes

To make ONE maple leaf block you will need:

background fabric 
1 - 5 1/2" square - cut in half on the diagonal
2 - 5" squares
1 - 4 1/2" square

leaf fabric
2 - 5" squares
3 - 4 1/2" squares
1 - 2 x 7" rectangle



draw hst lines

1. Start by making the Half Square Triangles (hsts): you will use two sets of  one background and one leaf 5" square. On the wrong side of each of the background squares draw one diagonal line; this is your eventual cutting line.


sewing away from cut line on hsts

2. Match up the pairs right sides together and sew 1/4" away from each side of your drawn line.


cut and press hsts

3. Cut ON the line and press the seams to the leaf fabric.


trim hst units to size

4. Trim each unit to 4 1/2" square.


first step stem unit

5. To make the stem unit start by sewing the cut triangle units to each long edge of the leaf rectangle piece. The ends of the triangle will actually extend almost 1/4" beyond the rectangle on both ends - this is what you want!


adding second triangle to stem


6. Press both seams to the leaf rectangle.

Now I have directions for two different options for trimming your stem unit. One will give you a more liberated stem {read - it won't line up in the middle of the block!} and one will give you a stem that is centered in the unit. Both look good!  Check them both out before you choose then be sure to look at the photos to see where my ruler lined up.

red leaf stem first trim


7a. Liberated stem - line up the 5 1/2 inch marks on the ruler with the left edge and the bottom edge of the unit. Trim.


Turn unit so trimmed edges are now on the left and bottom. Trim unit to 4 1/2" square.



7b. Centered Stem

centered stem first trim

Line up the 45 degree line on the ruler on the middle of the stem piece and the left and bottom edges at 5 1/2". You can see here that the 1 1/2" grid lines rest almost exactly on the sides of the stem fabric. Trim.

centered stem second step

Turn unit so trimmed edges are now on the left and bottom. Trim unit to 4 1/2" square.



8. Layout your block units as in the photos below.

maple leaf one colour layout

Here is the layout for a one color maple leaf block. This one has a liberated stem.


two colour maple leaf layout

There was a request to make the donation blocks in two colours - here's a yellow and blue one. This block has a centered stem.

The assembly method for both is the same, but all my photos will be of the red leaf ;)


pressing row seams

9. Sew the units together in rows; press the seams in directions indicated by arrows in the photo above. Sometimes it's quicker to press the seams all at once instead of each time you sew one!


maple leaf block done

10. Sew the rows together; press the seams to the middle row.


two colour maple leaf done


I hope you found this tutorial useful! I plan on making more blocks to donate, but also some to add to my collection of fall blocks from my Harvest Joy sampler. I still really want to make a Fall row quilt;) 

Of course, Canada Day is coming and you still have time to stitch up a red and white maple leaf quilt or table runner!


With Joy,


Sarah V.


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Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Giveaway Winner

>> Monday, May 9, 2016

qm 100 vol 13 button



Thank you for visiting during Quiltmaker's blog tour! Check out the giveaway comments for lots of ideas on how quilters use these magazines for inspiration and quilting projects. The magazine should be available in your local stores now.

And the winner is. . . 

Random Number Generator picked #37 - Congratulations Kathy!

Kathy's comment: Cute block!! I like to use them as table toppers.




I also drew a second winner from my newsletter subscribers! Congratulations to Joanne!
Sign up for my newsletter for extra insights from me - and surprise chances to win too.


I spent Mother's Day weekend quilting! I'm working on posts to share with you this week:)



With Joy,

Sarah V


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Free Quilt Pattern Featuring Northcott Fabrics

>> Wednesday, May 4, 2016

spring quilt full over ironing board


I'm happy to share with you this free quilt pattern I designed using Northcott's Stonehenge Gradations Brights. I called it Wish Upon a Star for Spring!

Today I'm planning to get further ahead in quilting it, but you can find the pattern over at QUILTsocial.com.




closeup center blocks




Two more posts this week will assemble the tulip and star rows plus discuss quilting the quilt.

I'm aiming to be binding by the weekend - wish me luck!





I'm also participating in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Tour this week - check out my block and giveaway post here!


linking up with:

The Needle and Thread Network

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts



With Joy,


Sarah V.

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