Secret Lives of Colour quilt a long

>> Thursday, August 4, 2022

 This is my first blog post about this quilt along! I guess I have only shared photos over on Instagram, which doesn't really help me track projects and progress. I'm still behind, but this is where I'm at today :)

Secret Lives of Colour book Anna Maria Horner fat quarters

This is where I started - with the Canadian version of the book by Kassia St. Clair and some of the fat quarters of Anna Maria Horner fabrics that I bought last year. These are my background fabrics!

white shoo fly blocks Secret Lives of Colour quilt along

The quilt along is another fun quilting adventure thought up and delightfully executed by Pat Sloan. I have really enjoyed the process so far. Pat chose three different very light colours for her background fabrics - and I didn't! In fact, I have decided to use a variety of Anna Maria Horner fabrics. I started with some from the Love Always collection and have since purchased more fat quarters from different lines after deciding this extra challenge of using large print fabrics for the background is really fun. 

two rows Secret Lives of Colour quilt along

Skip ahead a bit and here are the first two rows complete. All the blocks are shoo fly blocks and vary in three different sizes. I have started in each row to reverse one block so that the colour is the background. 

start of third row Secret Lives of Colour quilt along red blocks

This is the beginning of the third row. Pat has made a brilliant layout, which combined with using the shoo fly block, basically made me have to join this quilt along!

It is free - the book is not and it's the guide for the choosing colours for the blocks - but the instructions are free from Pat. You can find the details here: Secret Lives of Color sew along Pat also includes the sew along in her daily videos so it is possible to go through her videos for the colours - but the book makes it handy to match fabrics to the coloured edges of the book.

purple binding fabric

At this point I am looking ahead to blue fabrics as that's the colour after purple. I need this purple fabric for a block though, but have to use it to make binding for this quilt first! 

What quilt along are you enjoying right now?

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Savannah Island Batik Fabric Blog Hop featuring 2 Sew Joy Creations' patterns

>> Tuesday, June 28, 2022

 Welcome to my turn on the Savannah Island Batik Fabric blog hop.

I love the chance to play with new fabrics and this time - the playing was all digital!

Tammy of Tamarinis asked several designers if we would be willing to showcase her new fabric line Savannah. 

Because of the way of the world and shipping, most of us opted to go virtual. 

You can see all of the fabrics in this line here, but it's more fun as a quilter to see how to use them in quilts.

 Here's 2 of my quilt patterns showcasing these fabrics.


Right away I was attracted to the purple batiks and the saturated hues. The first quilt pattern I tried out with the Savannah line is my Dazzle quilt.

Dazzle quilt pattern Sew Joy Creations Savannah Island Batik fabric

I love how these saturated batiks make this quilt feel tropical!

Dazzle quilt pattern Sew Joy Creations Island Batik Savannah fabric

Those blues! I couldn't decide which I liked better - the dark or the light print. 

Which do you like better?

 That's the fun thing with the Dazzle pattern as adding color to the background can change the feel of the design.

Starlight in Savannah Fabrics

The next quilt pattern I put the Savannah fabrics into is my newest called Starlight. I tried out some of the darker prints in this first version.

Starlight pattern Sew Joy Creations Savannah Island Batik Fabric

Quite different from my usual brights but I like the sophistication the darker batiks bring to the design.

 Of course I couldn't resist changing it up one more time and used as many of the brighter prints as I could fit into the Starlight pattern!

Starlight pattern Sew Joy Creations Savannah Island Batik Fabric

This quilt makes me smile. It feels festive and warm like a summer street party.  

It was a treat to get to digitally play with Tammy's new fabrics - I never would have made 4 quilts for one hop!

Pattern Promotion

These two patterns are available in my online shop and have a special promotion: when you purchase either one at full price you will be offered a 20% discount on the other. Pretty sweet! You can click on the pattern cover images below to get to my shop and purchase them.

Dazzle quilt pattern Sarah Vanderburgh Sew Joy Creations

Starlight pattern Sarah Vanderburgh Sew Joy Creations

Blog Hop Designers

Savannah fabric Island Batik June 2022

Here is the list of designers participating in the blog hop. Be sure to visit to see their patterns made up in the beautiful Savannah fabrics.

06/27/22 Tamarinis

06/27/22 Swan Amity

06/27/22 Faith and Fabric

06/28/22 True Blue Quilts

06/28/22 Sew Joy Creations - you are here :)

06/28/22 Said with Love

06/29/22 Studio R Quilts

06/29/22 Dragonfly's Quilting Design Studio

06/29/22 Quilty Zest

06/30/22 Kate Colleran Designs

06/30/22 Quilt Blox

06/30/22 Sunflower Quilting

07/01/22 Slife of Pi

07/01/22 Master Piece Quilting

07/01/22 Quilters Treasure Chest

There's and IG Loop soon too!

If you're on Instagram there will be a 'loop' happening July 6-7. 

Follow me @sewjoycreates, Tammy or any of the designers to - be in the loop about the loop :)

Thanks for visiting! 

With Joy,

Sarah V


My Day on the Sew Much Fun Blog Tour

>> Sunday, June 26, 2022

 Welcome to Week 48 of the Sew Much Fun Tour

Each week a designer will be presenting a 6" (6 1/2" unfinished) block on the theme of sewing.
This is my week and I'm happy to share a scrappy patchwork block with you.

Scrappy S block

Scrappy S block Sew Much Fun Tour

I originally came up with this block when finding a way to use up the waste triangles in projects. I took the cuttings, sewed a 1/4 " seam then trimmed the half square triangles to a consistent size and then arranged them to form an "S". I had seen the "H" quilt by Kaffe Fassett and thought it would be fun to have an "S" quilt because my first name - and maiden name - both start with S. 

original scrappy S blocks stash quilting

I have a collection of these S blocks from the last 11 years of my quilting life and still haven't made a quilt with them! LOL! This photo is from my post in April 2012 :)

For the blog tour I thought about words related to quilting that start with S: 

and Starlight! My newest quilt pattern :)

Starlight quilt pattern Sew Joy Creations

I realized this simple patchwork block would be a great addition to this tour's variety of sewing themed blocks.

fabric choices Scrappy S block Sew Joy Creations

You don't have to use waste fabrics; for this project I used leftover background fabrics and colors from the blocks I had already made so my S would match the other blocks.

Second pieced block

Earlier in the tour I designed an alternative patchwork block in case there were other quilters looking for more pieced blocks. Also, I pretty much include a churn dash block in everything I make :) This block can also be made using scraps from other tour blocks so it coordinates.

My Sew Much Fun Tour blocks

Here is the collection of blocks from the tour that I have made so far! At this point I have enough for a fun sewing themed cushion cover or wall quilt. We'll see what I decide :)

sew much fun tour blocks

Scrappy 'S' block instructions

Scrappy S block instructions cover

Click here to sign up for my newsletter and access to the Scrappy 'S' block - AND access to my library of freebies exclusive to newsletter subscribers.

Links to More Designers

Last week's block was from Sara at Our Crafty Life
Week 46 was Andi from True Blue Quilts
Week 45 was Becca from Sugar and Sand Company

The blocks will be free for the duration of the tour - 52 weeks  and is wrapping up soon.  Designers may ask you  to sign up to a newsletter to receive their block. I encourage you to ~visit~ the blogs and check out the designers' work. While blocks are free, designers do put in time and it's great to receive feedback ;)

Next week's designer is Melissa at The Quilting Room with Mel
then it will be Laura at Orange Blossom Quilt Design Company's turn
followed by Carolyn at Appliqués Quilts and More
then Kathryn from Dragonfly's Quilting Design Studio will finish up the tour


Spring Cushion project - Let the Sun Shine In! - QUILTsocial project

>> Wednesday, May 18, 2022

 My latest project on QUILTsocial is for an applique cushion cover to welcome Spring!

Spring cushion applique project

This project features applique which I like to do, but rarely make the time to do it :) This cushion was a perfect opportunity to play with colorful fabrics and do some applique lettering.

PFAFF performance icon sewing machine

I'm still lucky enough to be creating with the amazing PFAFF performance icon. This machine makes quilting such a joy!

I used the Radiant Stitch technique to stitch out the sun and it's rays.

radiant stitches PFAFF performance icon

Then I quilted even more rays of sunshine into the background of the cushion cover top using built in quilting stitches.

serpentine stitches quilting stitches PFAFF performance icon

The message for this quilt came to me while recovering from COVID. Certainly I did not get as sick as many others, but as a person with a history of chronic, invisible illness, it was a struggle to stay positive as the days of fevers kept coming. Finally at one point the song lyrics appeared when I was starting to have moments where the world didn't feel so dark. Holding onto that piece of light like a string that would lead me out of the dark forest, brought this project to life. And now I have a cushion cover to remind me to always look for the light - and let it shine!

machine blanket stitch mirror stitching PFAFF performance icon

Something fun I did while using the wonderful machine blanket stitch on the performance icon was mirror it when going around the word 'shine'. I think it added a fun look of rays shining from the letters. The machine blanket stitch on the performance icon is so good! It was enjoyable to stitch all these letters down.

To finish off the cushion cover I simply sewed two backing panels to use with the cushion cover top. There are so many presser feet included with this machine (11) that there is one to do every type of sewing with precision. I used several to sew and join the cushion cover layers together.

Quilted applique cushion cover QUILTsocial project

I hope you enjoy this project!

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Pieced Sunflower Block - visual tutorial

>> Sunday, March 27, 2022


pieced sunflower block 12 1/2" block

Here is my contribution to the quilt blocks being made to show support for the people of Ukraine.

My quilt guild is making a sampler quilt and I decided to make my own block.

This block is all pieced and finishes at 12 1/2" inches.

fabrics for sunflower block

I partly decided to design my own block because I don't have a lot of yellow in my stash right now. This block doesn't use much - almost one jelly roll strip. And I used different white fabrics from my stash too. 

This tutorial is made in a 'vintage' blog style where the instructions are typed onto the images. I'm hoping there is enough detail for you to follow along and make your own block. If you have questions please leave them in the comments and I will respond as soon as I can!


Fabric Requirements

sunflower block fabric requirements

Prep with Diagonal Lines

marking diagonal lines

Make Half Square Triangles - HSTs

make half square triangles HSTs

Trim Half Square Triangles

trim HSTs blocloc ruler

Add yellow triangles to HSTs

stitch and flip yellow triangles HSTs

Press to the new triangles

added triangles stitch and flip HSTs

Make Dash units

yellow and white dash units sunflower block

Sunflower block layout assembly

layout assembly sunflower block

Sew the rows together. Press the seams towards the middle row :)

Sunflower Block

sunflower block pieced 12 1/2 inches Sew Joy Creations

If you like it, pin it for later ;)

tutorial for pieced 12.5 inch sunflower quilt block

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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