Skills I wish I had - 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge

>> Wednesday, December 8, 2021

 There are a few skills I wish I had when it comes to quilting; mostly though I console myself designing patterns and using bright fabrics :) Seriously though, there are so many techniques in quilting that when I first started I tried a lot of them out.

I tried english paper piecing, foundation piecing, hand quilting, and like them all but don't have the time. I have done a bit of foundation piecing lately, but prefer patchwork.

I designed this quilt for a friend who helped us move into our house a few years ago. I loved the panel and was fortunate enough to have more Northcott fabric in my stash to make the blocks.

I love applique but have never tried needle turn. I love Pat Sloan's applique and usually machine applique when I do this technique.

This is one of my favourite applique quilts I made. It was a Pat Sloan Mad Hatter's Tea Party challenge. My quilt actually got to hang at the local public school at a Grade 8 graduation when the theme was Alice in Wonderland!

I wish I could figure out cutting triangles so I could make some of Edyta Sitar's beautiful star quilts.

I wish I could just try a new technique and be good at it, right away! Oh well, looks like I'm still human :)

Oh, and I'm not sure it's a skill (and really not sure I want it!) but how do quilters only work on one quilt at a time and FINISH it before starting another!?!

What quilting skill do you wish you had?

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Dream Project - 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge

>> Tuesday, December 7, 2021

 I think I'm like most quilters and am always finding new quilts that I would love to make!

One that caught my eye recently will actually be a Block of the Month next year: Homage to Grandmother's Flower Garden by Katja Marek.

Katja Marek quilt pattern Homage to Grandmother's Quilt Garden

I took this photo from her website where you can find more inspiration and more beautiful hexagon projects. Katja's Quilt Shoppe.

You can check out other quilt blogger's dream projects by visiting the links at Cheryl's site. Join the fun and share with others by writing on your blog too! 

31 day blog writing challenge button

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Maybe my oldest UFO

>> Monday, December 6, 2021

 I'm not sure right now what my oldest UFO is - I don't count finished tops ;) Today's prompt from Cheryl for the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge is our oldest UFO. This one has been on my mind lately.

Fancy This block Blind Man's Fancy

It's called Fancy This by Linda Cordell and is in the December 2002 issue of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. I loved that magazine! The pattern was inspired by Blind Man's Fancy and Linda credits the book, Quilts of Western New York by Lynn Hoffman. (here's a link that will take  you to a more recent book that has the quilt on the cover)

I won this fat quarter bundle at my local quilt shop's anniversary in 2009 I think? It took me a bit to decide what pattern to make and then I only made one block. So many bias edges! I'm not usually one to use starch and that was one thing that made me set this project to the side. Now that it's one of my oldest UFOs I've been thinking about getting back to it. Glad for this reminder today :)

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Day 5 of 31 for the Blog Writing Challenge - First Quilt

>> Sunday, December 5, 2021


I'm re-using a post today because I can! 

I made my first quilt using cardboard templates and sewing the blocks together by hand.

Some days I think about going back to the slow stitching, but most days I just want to play with colorful fabric and get something made :)

My First Quilt

Head over to Cheryl's blog to visit the other bloggers and see their first quilts too - a great way to spend some time this weekend!

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Favorite Tools - 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge

>> Saturday, December 4, 2021

 hmmm, I had to think about this one! I don't usually pick favorites ;) And I think after quilting for 20 years, I think there are too many 'gadgets' that are advertised as tools.  

But! There are definitely 'tools of the trade' that I wouldn't do without.

Rotary Cutter and Rulers

rotary cutters quilting rulers

Two rotary cutters - I love using the Splash Olfa turquoise run, but I have started a bad habit of not closing my blade when I'm done cutting. I'm not sure exactly why this new habit started but I can't seem to stop! I switched back to my more ergonomic Olfa that you squeeze the extra handle to expose the blade and covers it again when you let go. Now I enjoy cutting fabric after work and don't worry about leaving an open blade laying out in the open.

The rulers in the photo are the two I first started sewing with - the smaller 3" x 18" Omnigrid does the majority of the work. The longer one is no longer in production - it was made in Canada by Jackie Black and is called Speedy Strips. It is 4" wide and a bit longer at 23"; this ruler I inherited from my husband's granny when I started quilting so it holds a special place in my heart.

Scissors, Seam Ripper  & Pincushion

fabric scissors seam ripper handmade pincushion

My fabric cutting scissors are some very basic Singer scissors - I like the red handle! The smaller purple ones are embroidery scissors that I use at the sewing machine to clip threads - they're really sharp!

I love my Clover seam ripper. I started quilting with one of the mini ones that comes in a starter sewing kit and used it for years! Only in the last couple of years have I embraced the seam ripper and how much better it makes my work - like erasing a letter you're not pleased with. I'm also not a pincushion collector like some quilters, but this one I made a while ago as a QUILTsocial project and it has become a favorite.

Flannel mini design mat

flannel design board

This flannel design board was also inherited from my husband's granny so I guess it's vintage! Long before I had a design wall, the board helped me keep my block units organized as I moved them from the cutting board to the sewing machine. I love the connection it gives me to a past quilter and - it still works! I might need to pick some threads off it again :)

My Iron

I really love it - definitely one of my newest favorite tools. It's one of the new Singer ones with a really long cord and it warms up super fast! Of course I got it before this challenge and haven't taken the time to write about it. I guess I'll add it to my prompts. You can see a picture of it here and how it inspired one of my Sew Much Fun tour block color choice.

I'm afraid I hadn't realized the scope of tools I use or require to create my quilts. And I didn't even mention tools to use  with the sewing machine! But in the end my favorite tool is my curiosity - it never runs out. Sometimes it needs a tuneup or a rest, but it is always there ready when I make time to explore a new technique or fabric line.

What's your favorite tool?

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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