Monterrey medallion progess in my new space

>> Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Life is pretty wild this time of year, isn't it? I'm getting settled into a new sewing space as we moved at the end of November. While there are still boxes on the floor the priority areas have been organized so that I can sew!

monterrey medallion center star atkinson designs

My guild project, Monterrey Medallion, is my ongoing project this year. I don't want to fall behind! I even went to our guild's sew day and spent my time cutting the backgrounds for all 40 of the floating stars that I'll need to complete by the end of January. To figure out my color placement for the stars I decided to make the center star now too (maybe I'll actually be ahead one month!) am going to make a star with each of the colors used in the center star, excluding the blue contrast fabric. Then the rest of  my stars might have two fabrics for the centers and the points but still the same color of fabric. 

At least that's the plan right now.;)

PFAFF sewing machine quilt expression 720

I'm also pretty delighted to share that in 2019 I will be reviewing and posting projects made with PFAFF's newest quilting machine, Quilt Expression 720! These posts will be available to enjoy over at

PFAFF sewing machine sewing room setup

I'm set up with my long table again and have left lots of room to the left of the machine for quilting quilts - a BIG goal of mine in 2019. This shows the one wall of my new sewing space - with a door!  I'm on the main floor of the house and have patio doors on one wall giving me lots of natural light. (Insert squeal here!!)

I will work at showing up here more often in 2019. Right now I'm trying to hold myself to once a month, minimum. I am fortunate to be starting a full time teaching job in January as well and plan to keep myself quilting so that I can continue to enjoy my job and my life! And quilting! 

Feeling very blessed as this year wraps up. Thank you for being here with me going into 2019 - 10 years of blogging!! Surely that's something to celebrate too ;)

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Rock City batik projects

>> Thursday, December 6, 2018

This week I'm guest blogging over at QUILTsocial. The fabric line is called Rock City by Banyan Batiks and is coming to quilt stores this month. I think the colours lend themselves to a modern, holiday feeling.

cushion cover Rock City batiks Northcott fabric

When I started the projects there was no snow, so the photos are a bit fallish. The little pumpkin in the photo we actually grew - our first one!

You can find the first post to make your own checkerboard star cushion cover here.

Rock city batiks quilted table runner

For my second project I reduced the size of the checkerboard star block and changed the construction method. I really love the hues of the fabrics in this project - the grey star point fabric almost looks green. 

The first post for this checkerboard star table runner project is here.

Rock City fabrics quilted table runner

The fun and challenging part of creating projects with the batiks is to make something that helps feature the fabric's own designs. I used large strips of the fabrics on the reverse side of the runner to show off the fabrics.

There is one more post tomorrow; I squeezed in one more project and even though it was quick, I had snow outside by the time I was done!

Be sure to keep checking the QUILTsocial blog because they feature a variety of guest bloggers and host giveaways for fabric - like this one ;)


Sarah V.


Quilter's Soup challenge

>> Monday, October 29, 2018

A new challenge at our quilt guild this year is, "Quilter's Soup!" 

quilter's soup recipe guild challenge quilt fabric challenge

We were given the 'recipe' and a canning jar at our first guild meeting. The idea was to go home and decide on your ingredients - what fabrics you wanted to include for someone else to use to make a project for you. Size requirements were included and the option of the receiving chef/quilter to add one fabric to the mix - like broth!

rainbow scraps quilter's soup challenge

It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to put in my jar. Once I thought about a rainbow I couldn't let go of the idea, so rainbow soup for me! I thought of it as 'unicorn soup' (but not soup MADE of unicorns, rather a soup unicorns would eat;) )

Quilter's soup jar quilting challenge

Then we took our full jars back to the next quilt meeting; we wrote our names on tape on the underside of the lid so no one would know who's jar they got until they opened it later. The jars were put in a large bag and we actually picked by taking one not by looking at the fabrics!

Quilter's soup challenge fabrics

The jar I picked definitely has intentional fabrics inside! I think the quilter included the 'broth' too so I will try hard not to add anything else to this mix. We have a couple of months to complete the project. Needless to say I have a few ideas already. I'll report back on this project in February. . .

Do you enjoy design challenges?

With Joy,

Sarah V.

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Starting a new medallion quilt

>> Sunday, October 21, 2018

My quilt guild is starting up again for the year. We try to have a long term project to work on; last year it was the Roosting Round Robin that I still have to finish! (Remember I made two!) This blog post shows what my civil war fabric one looks like right now.

This year we are going to create the Monterrey Medallion from a booklet by Atkinson Designs. For this month's meeting we are to have our fabrics selected. Needless to say, I had fun with this step!

There are several options with this quilt once you decide between the simple or challenging version. I am going to start with the challenging option and use a turquoise as my contrast fabric.

gray fabrics turquoise fabric monterrey medallion

For the background fabric I selected several light gray fabrics instead of using just one. I'm hoping this will look a little scrappy and keep me from being bored!

monterrey medallion fabric choices

Next I needed to decide what colours I would use for the different blocks. I pulled from the fat quarters in my stash and decided on lime to plum with orange, coral and some yellow too. I had quite a few light greens and oranges and decided I wanted a few more plums.

plum fabrics fat quarter selection

A shopping trip to my local quilt store is where I got the grey backgrounds, the contrast fabric and a few more plum and a yellow fat quarter. I think this will be a fun challenge to spread these colours throughout the quilt.

organized quilt fabric

Now the fabric is all folded and together in this storage tray waiting for the next step.

bookshelf storage quilt project storage

The tray fits on my  bookshelf and will be within reach to make it easier to keep up and keep on working at it throughout the year.

There are more guild projects too! I'll share them with you soon.

Do you belong to a guild? What long term project are you excited about/

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Quilted Row turned into a basket

>> Tuesday, October 9, 2018

This Fall I've been fortunate to participate in the My Happy Place Row along hosted by Seams to Be Sew.

happy place rowalong 2018 button image

The winner from my rowalong was Vivian O - congratulations!

(keep reading - there's another giveaway today!!)

Today bloggers who participated were also invited to share rows they made that were designed by other bloggers. I made the cats and books row designed by Beth Strand.

rowalong row cats and books beth strand

I picked it because my daughter moved to attend her first year of university. Yep, that happened fast! We have two cats that adore her and she likewise AND she's a lover of books so it was perfect for her. (You'll notice that I did modify one of the cats to make it's face look more like our Siamese cat.)

Except I didn't think she needed just one row and didn't have the time or desire to make her a whole quilt. I already did that ;)

I got creative and wondered if I could turn the row into a basket!
I also looked at Connie's list of tutorials and referred to this one to keep my parts turned the right way(I did use Google to translate it, but mostly used the pictures;) )

I took the row apart at the 16 1/2" mark and added another book to make two sections 12 1/2" x 16 1/2". Then I added 2 1/2" strip of black polka dot fabric along each top and a 7" x 16 1/2" rectangle to the bottom of each section.

quilted basket pieced halves

I made a lining for the basket using some leftover wide backing material - 2 pieces 16 1/2" wide by 21" tall. I sewed them together leaving the top untouched and a sewing gap in the middle bottom edge of 3" wide. Then I boxed the corners at 5" - originally I tried 3" but then it would have turned out more like a tote bag- which is definitely another option for turning a single row into something useful!

creative grid ruler boxing basket corner

To complete the corner, separate the two pieces of the lining at the inner cut corner and make into a straight edge with the seams nesting in the middle of the edge; sew along the edge to join the sides together.

boxed corner seam quilted lined basket

I quilted both panels. I echo quilted around the cats and did several rows of stitches at the top of the row section. Then I switched to black thread and quilted on the diagonal between the polka dots on the bottom section; for the top I stitched in the ditch between the row and the added strip, then added one more row of stitches.

quilting pieced quilted basket

Once happy with the quilting I pinned the sections right sides together and sewed them together down both sides and across the bottom, starting from the top of one side and going all the way around to the top of the other leaving no turning gap. Now it's time to box the corners at 5" again - the same as the lining.

quilted basket panels boxed corners

Turn the lining right side out and place inside the sewn together quilted sections that are still right side in. Pin around the top edge and sew all the way around leaving a turning gap. Now turn all of the parts through the turning gap. When I did this I found one of my seams wasn't great and had a hole so I pushed it back through and resewed it. 

Check to make sure you're happy with all of your seams, then push the corners out of the quilted section and push the lining down into the basket. I rolled the top seam edge where the lining and quilted sections are joined between my fingers to make it flat - you could iron it flat. Then I pinned around the top edge before doing a 1/4" top stitch around it. I tried to get fancy and stitch the lining into the basket as well, but it bunched up so I took the stitches out.

quilted basket sewing lining to basket

The basket is ready! I put in some bright towels my daughter's taking to university. I'm happy to report it has a place of honour in the bottom shelf of her side table in her room :)

quilt row turned into quilted basket

Thanks for sharing this fabulous row Beth Strand!

There are other bloggers sharing today too:

Words & Stitches | Upstairs Hobby Room
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Clever Chameleon | Creatin’ in the Sticks | Sew Joy Creations (you are here!)
Seams To Be Sew

quilted basket

I hope you enjoyed this row turned quilted basket and maybe you'll make one of your own, or use a row you have already completed.

There's a giveaway today too! 

Enter to win a $25.00 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop

If I won this giveaway I would use it to purchase the awesome golden and olive bundle they put together for fall! See it here ;)

The giveaway is open for 24 hours only!!
 I'll post the rules again below the post (gift certificate will be emailed to the winner)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BUT WAIT, there's more!

Electric Quilt is offering a coupon code for 20% off any product (excluding classes) on their site until October 23rd.

Visit the site and use code STBSRA20

With Joy,

Sarah V.

p.s. here are the rules for the giveaway from our hostess, Marian at Seams to be Sew

Rules and Guidelines For Giveaways
Please take the time to read it.

Giveaways offered by sponsors are assigned to the various bloggers for their featured day.

There are no prior announcements on who is doing which sponsor except to the sponsor themselves.

You'll have to visit the blog or the featured blog to enter the giveaways.

Not all giveaways can be entered at Seams To Be Sew.

I will start announcing winners on September 11, 2018, and finish announcing winners on October 10, 2018.

In most cases, the blog where you won at also will announce their 

You must give a valid email address when you enter the giveaways, any email returned to me, loses the ability to win automatically.

With the exception of Show and Tell Day, all giveaways run for approximately one week.

You are given 3 days to answer the email, if you do not answer within 3 days a new winner will be drawn. Check those spam/junk mail folders, you may miss that winning email if you don't do so because there are no exceptions to this rule.

If you are notified that you are a winner, in most cases, you will need to provide your name, address, city, state, zip code, country, telephone number, and email address.

In some cases, you will be asked to comment on the blog to enter the giveaway... do the right thing and thank them for the time it took to create the pattern, thank them for the pattern and...

Thank the sponsor by buying their products for the giveaways. This helps them continue to offer great prizes for these types of events. You can also comment on their social media pages. Even if you don't win, letting them know you love their products is a huge incentive and they really do love hearing from you.

No purchase whatsoever is necessary.

You must be 18+ in order to win a gift.

You are responsible for claiming and paying any tax owed on the value of any gift that you win. Prizes valued at $500.00 should be claimed.

All winners are chosen at random.

All winners will be announced on the blogs via the Rafflecopter entry form and/or post by the blogger at the site where they won and here at Seams To Be Sew. All winners must allow for their first name and first initial of their last name to be announced on this blog.

Odds of Winning a prize are based on a total number of rafflecopter entries during each week and in total for all giveaways.

This giveaway is void where prohibited by law.

Participating bloggers may enter any of the giveaways.

The word giveaways in the rules and guidelines are also known as sweepstakes.

Most of the giveaways are international shipping this year
in some cases, you will be asked to pay for shipping your giveaways.

I am not rich and I do not ask sponsors for money, they provide prizes only.

If they shipped the prize to me, you will be asked to pay for shipping.
All giveaways will be shipped that are in my home within 48 hours of my having heard from you.

An invoice will be sent to you via Paypal, and shipping will take place via Paypal, so your Paypal email will be needed to send the invoice. You will receive a tracking number except for overseas shipments. All shipping will either be first class which averages out at 2.77 to 4.00 up to 13 ounces. Paypal fees are added to that amount to cover that fee. All fabric bundles from Michael Miller, Hoffman, and Moda will be shipped via Priority Mail to protect the fabric itself.

Please note, every effort is made to protect the prizes. They go into a plastic bin when I receive them, and it is covered by an air tight cover. I have a dog in my home and I have a smoker in my home, so I do everything possible to protect the prizes.

Most companies are very good about getting prizes off to customers quickly also, but some companies are overseas, so please allow all sponsors a 2-week time period before you report to me that you still haven't received your prize. When the company is overseas, it can take 6 weeks to 90 days for an item to also arrive.

Whether or not you read the above, the rules for giveaways are in place to protect everyone. I do not want to hear you didn't read them, they will be posted on my blog daily during each featured day. There is no excuse for not reading them.

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