Fun With Scraps Book project

>> Thursday, April 20, 2023

I'm pleased to be helping a fellow quilt pattern designer release her new book. Katherine Curtsinger, of It's Only Fabric and Thread, has a new book full of projects to make with your scraps.The book is called Fun with Scraps.

Fun with Scraps book scrap project sewing chair pad

From Katherine, " It is specifically written for use with scraps. Most of the quilts are block based and have sizing for baby up to bed size. The book also includes a sampler that uses blocks from each of the patterns and includes some other suggested quilt projects using blocks from the book. I really hope it inspires you to create using what you have!"

Sew Good Fabric Scraps

As luck would have it I was just finishing up an alternate version of my I Heart Churns quilt. I made it with the Sew Good fabric line from Fish Museum and love this line - I want to use every last bit! I reached out to Katherine and got busy scanning through all her pretty patterns to find one for the scraps I had left.

I Heart Churns quilt top Sew Good Fabrics

It wasn't easy! I wanted to make several of the quilts but I stayed focused on looking for one that I could use these scraps in. The pattern Drop Zone X fits the bill. It has large blocks with skinny pieces and I knew I would have enough scraps to make one block.

Sew Good fabric scraps scrap project

I like how the patterns give information for making only one block. So often when using scraps I need to change out fabrics from block to block so I like the option to make one block at a time.

The book also includes a sampler quilt using a block from each quilt in the book - another great way to try out the patterns and use up your scraps.


Drop X pattern block

The instructions and diagrams helped me quickly cut and layout my block pieces. I loved the finished look of one block and knew I needed to keep this fun sewing themed block in my sewing room. With no comfy chair to plump a pillow on I did the next best thing - I made it a cover for my chair pad!

Fun with Scraps book Drop Zone X block

X marks the spot indeed :)

quilted chair pad Sew Good Fabrics Fun with Scraps book

It makes me so happy to see this happy block when I sit down to sew.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the possibility of just one of the projects to make with your scraps in the new book, Fun with Scraps. 

You can see more of the book at my Amazon link. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Fun with Scraps book on Amazon link

With Joy,

Sarah V.


New Pattern: Triangle Pursuit

>> Tuesday, April 18, 2023


Introducing Triangle Pursuit

Triangle Pursuit quilt pattern cover Sew Joy Creations

This was a fun one to make! It started out with a block I designed for my local quilt guild's monthly block lottery and turned in to an opportunity.

quilt pattern Triangle Pursuit EQ8 image Sew Joy Creations

 One four patch block creates this quilt bursting with triangles! Half quilt blocks made up of squares and half square triangles are a secondary design highlighted by the contrast between your fabrics.

Whether you go controlled scrappy, stay in one colour family, or sew with ALL THE FABRICS, this pattern helps you create a joyful twin sized quilt.

Alternate Scrappy Version instructions included

Alternate version Triangle Pursuit Sarah Vanderburgh

Additional Instructions are included for the Alternate scrappy version shown - using 3 sets of fabrics to create this controlled scrappy quilt.

Quilter Friendly pattern

The pattern is full of detailed instructions and images. It's a great beginner one to work on creating accurate half square triangles. Accurate cutting and piecing will make the blocks go together smoothly. Pressing instructions are included.

One Colorway for the Win

blue scrappy quilt Triangle Pursuit Sew Joy Creations

It also lends itself to using up scraps in a specific colorway. I feel like I want to have more pink scraps so I can make one like this!

Print Fabrics work too

Triangle Pursuit quilt pattern fabric mockup Sew Joy Creations

While I haven't completed a full quilt, I did make some blocks to create this 'real fabric' version. I used prints and not just solids so you can see the design comes to life with fabrics too!

Pattern Available Now

Whichever way you organize them, Triangle Pursuit is the perfect pattern for putting together you collected fabrics and creating this exuberant quilt. Sew Joy, Reap Quilts!

The pattern is available now in my online shop as an immediate download.

Triangle Pursuit quilt pattern new release Sew Joy Creations

Click here to go to the pattern in my shop

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Color Play with Half Square Triangles - Green Four Patch block

>> Tuesday, April 4, 2023

 Here's a fun scrap block with lots of design possibilites. Let me know what you think in the comments!

I designed this block for my quilt guild's block lottery in March. We wanted to use GREEN as our theme colour. I wanted to make it scrappy so I wouldn't have to worry about all the shades and variations of white/cream/beige that would come in if I asked for green and white blocks! 

The block lottery also contained another challenge - to use a four patch block with at least one half square triangle in each quadrant. Now, a simple pinwheel block meets these requirements! But I also gave guild members this block as an example they could use.

Then I started playing with the block in EQ8 to see what the quilt possibilities would be. By rotating the block I came up with several layouts.

Layout 1

In this version rotating the blocks results in pinwheels alternating with another block that looks like a shoofly with a square in a square center. The green half square triangles read as the background.

Layout 2

This version creates rows of on point looking blocks with half blocks floating in a green zigzag. I didn't change the fabrics in my scrap block so the design is really dominated by the pink and burgundy. It would look even scrappier if the half square triangle fabrics were different in each block.

Layout 3

In this version there is strong visual movement down and across the quilt. The bold pink and burgundy form diagonal rows across the quilt and the green again takes on the role of background color. Blocks made with different scraps would be really happy in this layout - I can see the potential for playing with rows of different color scraps in this one!

Layout 4

My final version to share with you is with the green fabric replaced with white.
It could be any color but the white really gives it a modern feel. Here I changed all of the fabrics except the pink :) The quilt has a lot of diagonal and vertical movement with half stars peeking out.

This block may eventually become a pattern - which layout do you like best?

With Joy,

Sarah V.

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Put a Pin in It! Tip for cutting long strips of fabric with a cutting mat

>> Tuesday, March 28, 2023

 As quilters we know it's important to accurately cut our pieces if we want them to fit back together. Long border strips are no exception! But those strips can be really long and our tables and mats usually fall short in being long enough to lay the fabricall the way out to cut it. Here's a tip that can help with that :)

Lay out your strip of fabric and line it up to extend all the way across your cutting mat. My longest cutting mat is 24 inches so when I get to the 24, I put a pin in the fabric. I try to insert the pin straight up and down (you could also put your fabric right side DOWN and mark the back with a marking tool). 

Move the strip of fabric across the mat to line the pin up with the far right of my mat - or where the 0 line is. I start counting at 25 and go until I get to the length I need.

Now the strip of fabric is measured out to the correct length. Cut it with a rotary cutter and ruler and you're ready to go!

Hearts and Churns Sew Good fabrics Sew Joy Creations pattern

This is the method I used to cut the border strips for my recent scrappy version of the Hearts and Churns quilt. 

pin in fabric cutting mat long strip cutting tutorial

Accurately cut pieces make quilting so much more enjoyable! Now my quillt top will lay flat for quilting and I will have an easier time quilting it.

Did you find this tip useful?

With Joy,

Sarah V.

p.s. Sign up for my newsletter where I share about quilting and tips to enjoy it. Click here to sign up.


Color Play with String Blocks - Yellow

>> Thursday, March 23, 2023


two string blocks yellow center

This month my Quilt Guild's block lottery block is a string block. We make two, one for the winner of the lottery and the second goes to our guild's charity group - Quilter's Who Care. The blocks are made into quilts to be donated in the community so it's a win win!

I started my string blocks with yellow and thought it was a fun color play challenge to make them look very different.

Yellow is a funny colour - some people love it and others don't. It can be quite moody and relies on it's fellow fabrics to give it a real presence or to tone it down. Let's see how I did!

fabric strips overflowing from a shoe box

First, it does depend on your stash of strips what you can create. For some reason I just happened to have two long strips of yellow fabrics to use to start my string blocks. You can tell from my shoe box full of strips that I really don't have that much yellow! 

bright fabric strips block of warm and cool strips

The bold yellow strip was easy to find fabric strips to go with and keep it shining bright. I have a lot of bright fabrics and in this case I ended up adding warm colors to one side and cool colors to the other. Could I keep this pattern going?

scrap prints and yellow strip block

The second string block went in a very different direction. There is always a need for masculine looking quilts for the charity quilts so I took this to heart when searching for strips to go with this yellow string - as obviously the other one went pretty bold and bright! Could I tone down this yellow? 

First I sought out darker looking fabrics and ones with prints. I didn't want an ugly block, but I did want to play down the yellow by choosing colours that didn't compete with it. The complementary purple and then the brown leaves strip both make the yellow more approachable. I kept looking for prints that would play well with the others and intentionally avoided alternating bright colors with the dark prints. 

This block feels more like I went for a dive in the scrap bin, don't you think? It has a cozy feel to it in spite of the dark colors which I think comes from the variety of fabrics used.

trimming string blocks from the back

Then it was time to trim the blocks square. I started with a backign fabric a bit oversized and used my Tula Pink 12 1/2" square ruler (pink with a unicorn in it!) to square up the blocks. I trimmed with the right side down so I could see the backing fabric - plus it was lighter and easier to see the ruler against.

The results?

2 string blocks

I like both! If everyone else also started with a yellow string, what a happy quilt it would be. The darker strips look a bit brighter beside the bold block and the bold block, well, it doesn't stick out that much thanks to also having those cool colors in it. 

This was a fun challenge for me to see if I could add some color play to making my block lottery blocks this month.


How do you like to play with color?

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With Joy,

Sarah V.

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