#IGQuiltFest Photos - a few things about me

>> Friday, March 17, 2023


This month is #IGQuiltFest over on Instagram. It started years ago as a blog event to share quilts during quilt festival. My how it's grown! 

I haven't kept up with all the posts and prompts, but I'm not sure that's the point. Here is me sharing a bit about myself right now as a quilter, using some of Amy's prompts.


Sarah Vanderburgh

This is me! My intro from Instagram is brief:
I am a self taught colour loving patchwork making quilt designer. I'm also an elementary school teacher, wife, mom, cat lover and coffee lover. I love meeting new quilters and picking out fabrics for a quilt. Really! It's one of my favourite parts.

Sewing Machine

PFAFF performance icon and pink accessories

My dream come true machine! I was fortunate for many years to write for QUILTsocial.com and got to review many PFAFF machines. When I took a break last year I was able to buy this one that I was reviwing. It's the PFAFF performance icon and it's the best. I have reviewed it at length on the QUILTsocial site if you would like to read more about it. Here's my blog post with links to the review - Rainbow pincushion and lucky thread catcher.

Creative Hands

quilter hand on top of pieces for quilt block

Here is the hand that gets to touch a lot of fabric! The other one does too of course, but it also holds the camera ;)  

I'm working on making a scrappy version of my Hearts and Churns quilt with some fun fabric from Fish Museum. 

Hearts and Churns by Sew Joy Creations

Quilt Back

quilt back

I do like to use wideback material when I can and I do enjoy the search for it as well. This backing fabric on the quilt on the bed is a Kim Diehl fabric which both my husband and I like. The fabric on the folded quilt in the front is a wideback from Tula Pink.

I like to use wideback fabric to make my quilts reversible - then I can turn it over and enjoy it again! 

quilt front On Ringo Lake Bonnie Hunter mystery

The Kim Diehl fabric is the back of my On Ringo Lake. The printed backing fabric gives the room a different feel from the bright cheery patchwork on the front. It's almost time to turn it back over!

Pressing Matters

singer iron

Part of my tool kit is this amazing Singer iron. I love how quickly it heats up, the nice point it has for pressing seams open (when required) and it's very long cord!

long cord

This iron has made pressing as I go a more enjoyable task. 

To be continued

March isn't over yet so the prompts keep coming! I might post over at Instagram too so be sure to follow me there (if you're there already :) )  I'm @sewjoycreates on Instagram.

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Top 5 patterns from Sew Joy Creations in 2022

>> Thursday, December 29, 2022

 It's that time of year when quilters make lists and check in on their UFOs. I decided to start by checking in on which of my paid patterns were the most popular this year. 

# 5  Liberated Churn Dash placemats

This one surprised me, although it was my best seller through Etsy this year. This pattern is a different construction method than my other liberated pattern. I like how you can use fabric scraps to make these an how easy it is to make the placemats in any theme or colour you'd like.

Here is a link to my original blog post when this pattern debuted in 2015 - New Pattern Liberated Churn Dash Placemats.

Buy Now

#4 is a TIE - Liberated Churn Dash Quilt and Delightful Stars

The Liberated Churn Dash quilt has been a consistent seller for me. I still love this quilt and am slowly workng at making another version as an Inventory Quilt.

You can see my progress on my new version - which again is a goal to get finished! - here.

This quilt started as my block in a quilt bee with the original tutorial still available.

Delightful Stars is one of my newer patterns and features large squares to showcase fabric prints. The theme of your print can suggest the other colours to use to make the stars that fill in the background of the quilt. This would be fun to do for any seasonal holiday including Valentines, Christmas or even the 4th of  July. I still have this fabric waiting for me  - will it get done in 2023?

#3 Dropping In

Dropping In has become one of my personal go-to patterns. I love how quickly it comes together and the chance to play with so many fabrics in one quilt. The cutting and piecing are straightforward and the possibilities are plentiful for making personalized themed quilts. I have fabric ready to make this quilt 'upside down' and look likde rainbow arcs!

You can find links on my blog to make this quilt as a quilt along - start here!

#2 Starlight

I designed this pattern and then worked at getting it published over the last couple of years. In the end I submitted it to be featured with these beautiful Dear Stella fabrics called City of Stars.  With two large repeating blocks it is another pattern that lets the fabric do the work while still creating a beautiful allover design. 

Kits available at Hancock's of Paducah - Starlight quilt kit

I decided to play with this one and used a variety of Christmas prints to make my very own quilt top! 

Starlight Sew Joy Creations

#1 Dazzle

My most popular pattern this year is Dazzle. This pattern was created with no particular fabric in mind but as a design challenge. I love how the secondary pattern is created when the blocks are joined together - it's easier than it looks!

I made this quilt and hosted a quilt along on my blog here: Dazzle Quilt Along

I've also most recently made Dazzle in Little Forest

It looks like 2022 was a fun year to make a quilt! Here's to making quilts in 2023 too :)

Did any of these quilts strike your fancy?
You can visit my shop to see more patterns too - maybe your favourite is waiting there!

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Tantalizing Table Toppers Sampler Progress

>> Sunday, October 23, 2022

 I'll catch you up fast as I have not been posting as I complete blocks for this project. Pat Sloan tempted me with this wonderful idea to make a sampler using a block from each project in her book, Tantalizing Table Toppers. Here is the first block:

Tantalizing Table Toppers sampler Pat Sloan

She also featured this gorgeous fabric called Frankie by Basic Grey in one of her previous projects. I bought this fabric and then, when the sampler project came up, I knew it would be perfect! 

Week two's block:

Week 2 Tantalizing Table Topper Sampler

This week the block was several units which together make a border around the center. Pat is incorporating solids with her prints and as luck would have it, the fat quarter bundle for Frankie also included these gorgeous grunge solids. I'm trying to use my solids when Pat does to have a similar effect.

Week 3 is a bonus block:

bonus block Tantalizing Table Toppers sampler

I love this hexagon print and am trying to use it in fun spots throughout the sampler. This colourway is more white.

center Tantalizing Table Topper

It is a busy print but up close it works.

Now skip ahead to the joining the left column of blocks to the center:

weeks 4,5,6 Tantalizing Table Topper sampler

I finally have some curtain clips on my double rod and clipped up the progress on the sampler. At this point the left column - so three more weeks - of blocks is added and I sewed the sashing pieces on too. For some of this black I used a crochet print by Alison Glass because I needed more than a fat quarter of black. I'm loving the bright colours with the black. I chose to use the floral print with black background for the center of the first block and bought more of it for the final borders.

Here is the completed center outside on a nice summer day:

center complete Tantalizing Table Topper Pat Sloan

Next is to make blocks for a row above and below this piece. Then borders and we're done! I'm behind now with only the next block complete:

block Tantalizing Table Topper Pat Sloan sampler

I'm having fun anyway! This block incorporates the hexagon print in the blue colourway. 

How do you stay motivated once you've fallen behind in a sew along?

Leave me your tips!

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Quiltblockmania September 2022 - Occupations

>> Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Welcome to Quiltblockmania release day for September 2022!

quiltblockmania September 2022 teacher block Sew Joy Creations pencil and mug patchwork block


September 2022 #quiltblockmania theme is Occupations. My block is for teachers, which is my occupation when I'm not designing quilt patterns :)

Even in this technological age, there's a moment everyday where a pencil is required. And honestly, I always have a cup of coffee nearby too - most teachers will tell you they only get to drink it when it's lukewarm. I hope this block reminds you of a favorite teacher or inspires you to get back to basics and enjoy learning something new!

There are many designers offering blocks this month. Visit their websites to find more blocks to create a Wedding Sampler quilt or maybe even find a new pattern to buy. Blocks are free this month, but designers may request you sign up for their newsletters (like me) and others may make the blocks a paid item after the month is over. Please read and respect each designer's choice as we really do enjoy designing blocks for you.


September 2022 career themed quiltblockmania blocks

Here is the list of designers participating this month:

Cars Quilt Block by Carolina Moore
Stethoscope by QuiltFabrication
Scales of Justice Quilt Block by Purple Dasies
The Tooth Fairy by Scrapdash
Farmer's Market by Sugar Sand Quilt Co.
Firefighter Block by BoBerry Design Co.
My Hero by Inquiring Quilter
Teacher at Sew Joy Creations
Chef by Appliques Quilts and More
Eighth Notes by The Quilting Room with Mel
Podcaster Mic at Patchwork Breeze
Makeup Artist by Inflorescence
Mathematician by duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Cook's Tools by Blue Bear Quilts


free teacher block Sew Joy Creations quiltblockmania

CLICK on the image above or on the link below to subscribe to my newsletter and have access
to this free block.
You will also receive access to my collection of patterns available only to my subscribers.


Spread the love and tell your quilting friends about the new designers you find!

Is your occupation reflected in these blocks?

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Sew Much Fun Tour wall hanging

>> Monday, August 29, 2022

The year long Sew Much Fun Tour is complete and so is my little wall hanging!

mini quilt wall hanging Sew Much Fun Tour blocks Sew Joy Creations

In the end I didn't end up making very many of the blocks for various reasons, but I did want to put the ones I did make together into a project. The wall hanging is the perfect size to hang in my quilting room as a mini quilt.

The wall hanging doesn't have any sashing between the blocks. Instead I added triangles to the corners where the blocks touch to create another design element using fabrics from the blocks to connect them.

narrow borders Sew Much Fun Tour mini quilt wall hanging

I added some narrow borders to again bring the blocks together as a group. I though it was funny that I decided to add the triangles so that the wall hanging wouldn't get bigger and then I still added borders! But they are pretty narrow :) 

Alison Glass print

Then I found the fun scrap of Alison Glass fabric that goes perfectly with the collection of blocks and added it on for a final border. I had just enough!

quilted close up of top Sew Much Fun Tour mini quilt wall hanging

I enjoyed stitching the applique blocks and then finally quilting the top. I first went around each shape in the blocks then filled in the background with free motion quilting. 

quilted close up Sew Much Fun Tour wall hanging

I've added links for the different blocks I included in my wall hanging. Some may no longer be free but I wanted to include the links to the designers anyway.

seam ripper by Katie Mae quilts 

tomato pincushion by  Appliques Quilts and More - they have a good list of the blocks too!

sewing machine by  Orange Blossom Quilts

Sew Much Fun logo block  by Kathryn Dragonfly's Quilting Design Studio

thread spool   by Faith and Fabric Design

iron - by Duck Creek Mountain Quilting

thimble by  Slice of Pi quilts 


churn dash block tutorial Sew Joy Creations

My two blocks are the alternative churn dash - here's the link to the tutorial post; and the Scrappy S block which is free to my newsletter subscribers. Subscribe here!

With Joy,

Sarah V.

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