Batting Busting Week 2020

>> Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Welcome to my post for the Batting Busting Week 2020  hosted by Patterns by Jen!

Batting Busting week Sew Joy Creations day

For most of my quilting years I have saved every scrap of batting to use because - you never know! Plus, I find it hard to throw away things 'just in case' I need them later. This has led to some creative uses of leftover batting for me.

Here's a mini series of posts I did two years ago when I gave myself a Backings Leftover Challenge:

Today I wanted to share my most recent favourite thing to make with my batting cutoffs - ornaments!
midnight churn ornament Sew Joy Creations

I designed this one for a special issue of A Needle Pulling Thread magazine dedicated to ornaments.

reversible ornament modern tree ornament

It's actually a two-sided, or reversible ornament pattern that could be made as two separate ornaments to use up even more batting.

quilted ornament quilted gift tag midnight churn dash ornament

I made several when designing them and used them as gift tags that my gift recipients could reuse.

midnight churn ornament halloween ornament

Plus I made one with Halloween inspired colours for family members who love that season and tend to decorate for it. Why not!

midnight churn ornament Sew Joy Creations

This quick pattern can be made in a variety of fabric combinations to suit different decors and preferences. Both of the blocks are patchwork, not paper pieced. I'm planning to design more ornaments with the churn dash frame too. Maybe for next year?!

Midnight Churn ornament Sew Joy Creations

You can find the pattern for the
The pattern is 50% off for the Batting Busting Week!
the price is already adjusted in the shop
no code, just click and buy

Put those batting scraps to good use and regift them too :)

batting busting week 2020 Patterns by Jen

Thanks for visiting today and be sure to check out the rest of the quilters contributing this week. 


August 4 - Jennifer at Dizzy Quilter

August 5 - ME! at Sew Joy Creations

August 7 - Bea at BeaQuilter

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With Joy,

Sarah V.

Dropping In quilt pattern Sew Joy Creations

p.s. Need to make some more batting scraps?! Why not join my sew along that just started!
I'm making my Dropping In pattern using Christa Watson's new fabric line, Good Vibes.


Quilt Block Mania ~ Show up and Shine!

>> Tuesday, August 4, 2020


This month the #quiltblockmania theme is Back to School. Hopefully, yes! 
But regardless of where we are, having confidence in our abilities makes learning a positive adventure. I named my block, Show up and Shine!

#quiltblockmania Show up and shine block Sew Joy Creations

Sew Joy Sew Along

Dropping In quilt pattern Good Vibes fabric sew along quilt along

This month - today actually! - is the beginning of my first ever sew along. Talk about a learning journey! Being ready is only one part; having the tools and materials to start a new project is important to having a good experience and the projecct turning out. But being mentally ready is just as important: mistakes will be made. Opportunities for growth will be found :) How you respond to these opportunities shapes how you respond the next time. As a teacher, part of my job is finding what each student is already good at and using it to grow their confidence. With confidence comes the willingness to take risks - where all new learning starts.

You're invited to join my Sew Along! Click over to this post for the first post.

You could also try another of my patterns or check out my tutorials to find something new to try!

#quiltblockmania Back to School Series

Show up and shine block quiltblockmania Sew Joy Creations

This block incorporates what I love about quilting and how I get ready to try new things. I love patchwork blocks and the churn dash block was the first block I made in my first internet block swap in the late 1990s. I still find new ways to incorporate it into my quilt designs. 

When I think about school for me as a child, it was always about getting those gold stars! And while I still think wanting to do well in school is a great thing, I know it's even more important to feel good about yourself before the star shows up. The star in this block is a reminder to enjoy the process too.

I added the words to the center of my block using the built in fonts on the PFAFF performance icon. You could do the same with your machine, or hand stitch them, or leave them off altogether :)

Show up and shine quilt block Sew Joy Creations


Summer Sampler Setting

I designed this setting to go with last month's blocks. You can find them here - Summer Series
My block is still free, but several others may not be any longer. Take a look and see!

free august show up and shine block summer sampler setting

I recoloured the setting with colours to match this month's palette. Like I said, I love the churn dash block!
 sampler setting churn dash sampler quilt block setting pattern
You can find the pattern in my online shop.

Designers Link List

There are so many wonderful Back to School blocks for you to enjoy today!

Back to school blocks quilt designer blog hop

There are a LOT of designers joining in on the back to school theme fun! Be sure to visit in a timely manner as again, some blocks may not stay free indefinitely. 
My block will stay free as a way of saying Thank you for being here :)

Crayons by Slice of Pi Quilts
Lockers by Powered by Quilting
Math Problem by Pretty Piney
Chalk Board by Inquiring Quilter
Stack of Books by Carolina Moore
Pointy Pencil Block by Sew Brainy
Geometry by Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Pencils by Quilting Room with Mel
School Bus by Orange Blossom Quilt
Book with Animal by Seams to be Sew
Stack of Textbooks by Quilted Diary
Shades of the Sun by Charisma Horton
Basketball by Devoted Quilter
Apples by Perkins Dry Goods
Box of Crayons by ScrapDash
Apple with leaf by Blockofthemodotcom
Crayons by Off the Wall Quilt
School Time Schoolhouse by Quilt Moments
School House by Utah Quilt Appraiser
Pencil by True Blue Quilts
Owl by The Whimsical Workshop
Calculator by Quilt Fabrication
Crayons by Linda B Creative
Applique Computer by DooHikey Designs
Modern Apple by Cotton Street Commons
Glue by Quilting Mod
School Girls Puzzle by Sew on the Go
Snack by Quiltfox Design
Backpack by Oh Kaye Quilting
Math Signs by Patti's Patchwork
Bookworm by Appliques Quilts and More
Backpack by Tacy Gray
Schoolhouse by From my Carolina Home
Girl's Favorite by Blue Bear Quilts
Origami Paper Plane by Amarar Creacions
Show up and Shine! by SewJoy Creations - you are here! :)
School House with Children by Aunte Ms Quilts

Enjoy your time spent quilting these blocks!

With Joy,

Sarah V.

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Dropping In Sew Along ~ Welcome to Week 1

I'm sew glad you're here!

This is Week 1 for the Dropping In quilt pattern sew along.
Purchase the Dropping In pattern in my online shop

Paper pattern available through

These posts will always be available so start when you're ready!
You can find a link to all of the posts in one spot - right here.

Let's get started!

Good Vibes fabric Christa Quilts

This week is all about cutting your fabrics. I like to read through the quilt pattern and look at all the photos/diagrams before cutting. Why? Well, sometimes a photo tells you things you need to see to understand. 
I look and think about 
what is creating the design elements that I like
how I can make that happen with my fabrics?

Sometimes it's the fabric that makes the quilt!

Dropping In quilt Sew Joy Creations Good Vibes fabric

In the Dropping In quilt pattern, the design moves down the quilt and repeats itself using two different blocks. I need contrast between my fabrics in the block as well as between the blocks to make the design move across the quilt.

Good Vibes fabric Dropping In quilt units

With the Good Vibes fabric, I chose to make one block in cool colours and one block in warm colours - mostly!
Cool colours are blue, green, and purple; warm colours are red, orange, and yellow.
This is a natural contrast and works well in this quilt.
Switching between light and dark fabrics is one way to make the design work - you could also play with prints and solids.

With the Good Vibes fabrics they are all prints, but half of the line features prints with dark backgrounds and half have light backgrounds, or read as what quilters refer to as neutrals. I alternated dark and light prints in my blocks and also varied the scale of the prints to keep them from blending into each other.

Directionality of the prints didn't really matter to me for most of the prints. This means that I just cut the fabric as listed in the pattern. I did purposely cut one fabric to make it's pattern go vertically(up and down the cut fabric) on the quilt and not horizontal(across the cut fabric) because of the overall movement of the quilt design down the quilt. 

Good Vibes fabric quit block units

Can you see the one fabric has its pieces cut in what looks like opposite directions? Wait to see what they look like in the block next week ;)


I changed my mind about the placement of 2 fabrics once I saw them in real life. 
This does not change the amounts of fabric required, just fabric placement.

Fabrics Dropping In quilt

I switched Fabrics C and G around - this means the fabrics will be placed in the opposite positions from my original version of the quilt.
I did this because the two green fabrics I chose don't look as good beside each other and I think the C and G fabrics look better beside the opposite fabrics.

The picture of the quilt now features the fabrics in their new spots :)

Week 1 To Dos

Good Vibes fabric Dropping In quilt sew along

~Cut fabrics for the quilt top

You might want to wash and/or iron them first. I used to be a wash-everything-as-it-comes-into-my-sewing-room kind of quilter, but that was years ago! Now I iron before cutting and feel no anxiety about colorfastness or shrinkage. I use the best cotton fabrics I can afford.

Use the cutting instructions in the pattern to cut the pieces for the entire quilt top. This will make the rest of the sew along all about sewing! I even cut the binding strips and have them ready to sew together.

Remember to keep in mind the direction of your prints when cutting. You get to decide if you want to emphasize it or not - cut up directional prints create interest in a quilt when you are snuggled underneath it. If you are using the kit from Christa, you can cut your fabrics like I did or not. It's still your quilt :)

~Keep the cut fabrics organized

For this quilt it's pretty easy to keep the pieces organized but sometimes I will also add a label that says what the fabric is in my quilt, for example, Fabric A.  I try to label the cut pieces in some way especially if I have to move them before working on the project. In this case, I am stacking mine in two piles - one for Block A and one for Block B. You can put your cut pieces in a container until next week if you're like me and making other things too!


Join me in my facebook group where you can share photos of your fabrics. I'm also on instagram and using the hashtag #droppinginquilt to show my progress.

Enjoy cutting this week!

Sarah V.

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Get ready to Sew Along - A Checklist for quilters

>> Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Getting ready for a sew along can be half the fun! Fun as in buying fabric, tidying your space and cleaning your machine. Well, how about we talk about this in a different way?

Dropping In quilt sew along
Join me! Read about it here
Buy the pattern here and Get the kit here

Get your pattern

I'm working on getting ready for my first ever sew along. A lot of that is writing and editing and making sure my links work. But besides that, my space needs to be ready! How about yours? Let's get ready together!

sewing room long table setup

Tidy your space

It's always fun to start something new. Right now I actually just changed up the tables in my sewing room and am already enjoying the cleaner space and designated spaces for writing and sewing.

sewing room setup table desk

Tidy your space

My cutting table is another matter! I basically just went through the *stack* of fabric on it and put away stuff not currently assigned a project. 

cutting table quilt fabric pile

Then I cleared off my design walls too. It's okay not to finish things and recently, I've been finding it hard to focus on one project all the way to the end. Now that I'm starting a sew along I want to make sure my space and supplies are ready. 

Get supplies

I also put a call in to my local quilt shop and got more topstitch needles - and elastic. I still have a couple of more rotary blades as I bought a bulk pack a few months ago. I never used to be a needle or blade changer, but trust me, it makes a big difference in the quality of your work. And it makes cutting and sewing easier and more enjoyable with less fuss. Your quilting time is worth the investment!

Use a checklist

I thought you might like a way to get ready too. I made this quick checklist to make sure you have what you need to start sewing along with me. The checklist is pretty generic so you could use it every time you are about to start a sew along. You can click on the link below and it will take you to a free pdf you can download and print.

Did I forget anything? Let me know in the comments!

Remember to get your patten and join me in August ;)

With Joy,

Sarah V.

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July Monthly Color Challenge

>> Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The color for this month's challenge is rust. Not a color I collect in my stash, but I did manage to play within the guidelines to create my block this month.

patterns by jen monthly color challenge

I found this fabric in my stash that I'm sure my dad bought for me. I love the pineapples and the pink! I realized that I probably pulled this fabric at the beginning of the year because of the birds.

rust fabric monthly color challenge patterns by jen

I decided to try my hand at fussycutting the pair of birds for the center block. Not bad on my second try ;)

dark rust fabric fussy cut monthly color challenge

For the rest of the dark rust pieces I intentionally avoided cutting out distinct shapes so that when the block was together it would just look like a print. I have some fabric leftover if I really want to use a pineapple another time - in fact, I think my dad bought me this fabric in the blue colorway too!

The light rust fabric I've had forever. I remember using it as a sashing fabric for a quilt my sister and I made my parents many years ago (not even sure it's on the blog!) Happy to use up more of it and, maybe not, surprised to find I have some left. It's one of  'those' fabrics that never seems to run out.

July monthly color challenge

This month's block is still available to download for free from Jen's blog.

You can also check out the feature bloggers this month to see any tips they offer for making the block.

Complete your block by the end of the month and add it to Jen's linkup to be in the running for a whole bunch of great prizes! Prizes are awarded quarterly so this month starts a new round. You can see the prizes and sponsors at Jen's monthly post here.

With Joy,

Sarah V.

p.s. Do you have your Dropping In quilt pattern yet? You're invited to join my first sew along using the Dropping In quilt pattern - you can get it here. Plus, there's a kit available. Details are here :)

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