Free Motion Quilting week at QUILTsocial

>> Saturday, July 4, 2020

Last week I wrote about free motion quilting at QUILTsocial. I have been learning to drop the feed dogs and have some creative fun while completing projects. I am close to being a convert as free motion quilting really does take less time and is easier to do the more you practice!



PFAFF performance icon sewing machine

My first post talks about getting ready for free motion quilting. In this case I'm using the PFAFF performance icon sewing machine so getting it ready is an important part of the process. But also, I had to get ready mentally and prepare myself for trying something new and knowing that I wouldn't get it perfect right away.


free motion quilting practice hand drawn motif


I surrounded myself with knowledgeable quilters and then I practiced. I know there are common problems and really just getting used to doing the motions of moving the quilt increased my confidence.




quilted Canadian map panel cushion cover

Then it was time to put some play into my practice! I had purchased a panel with two Canadian maps on it a year or more ago with great plans to have pillows made for Canada Day. Well, I managed to get one done - and started enjoying the process of filling in the background of a project with free motion quilting.



heart applique cushion cover

My project to put my practice to the test was yet another cushion cover - can you really have too many? I loved mixing the bold print with the solid blue fabric. Adding the hand look embroidery stitch that is built into the performance icon really helped make my vision for this project come to life.


heart applique free motion quilted cushion cover

Then I had to go for it! I knew I had gained some free motion quilting skills and that I would never get any better if I didn't put them into practice. I'm starting to learn that I can explore using tools and techniques to help me create. I'm looking forward to doing more free motion quilting now and really hope my posts inspire some more quilters to practice and try it out too!





free motion quilting hearts leaves cushion cover



With Joy,

Sarah V.

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May Rainbow Quilt

>> Monday, June 29, 2020

Remember May? Yeah, that was only last month! I haven't shared all my photos yet of the quilt that my daughter and I made that month. The whole quilt, from start to finish, in one month!


We made Pat Sloan's Magical Quilty May Rainbow half square triangle quilt!

Rainbow Quilt half square triangles

The pattern is still free from Pat - visit this post to download it.

My daughter was home from university for the month and we decided to make a quilt together. Pat Sloan was providing a free quilt pattern for quilters and I knew I wanted to make it. I have been working on using up my current stash and a rainbow quilt is a great way to cut into fabrics and use up a whole bunch of pieces. My daughter sewed all of the half square triangles (hsts). I did the rest! HA! 

She used my Kenmore machine set up beside the PFAFF performance icon that I'm using right now for my QUILTsocial posts. You can read about it here :)

two sewing machines at one long table


I loved making this quilt with my daughter! Once we got the rainbow part done, we looked through my supplies on hand (also known as stash and quilt tops) to find a backing. She remembered that this Aurifil block of the month sampler was suppposed to be for her when she graduated grade 8?!. . .

Aurifil sampler reverse quilt

It was decided that we would use the sampler for the backing which meant adding on to the rainbow top to make it bigger. I again went into my supplies (this time fabrics that were being saved for something special) and brought out some yardage of Molly's Garden. I was saving it to finish the baby sampler that I'd made by hand when I was pregnant with my daughter. She loves the fabric and wants to include it on this quilt!

Of course I'm game! I really want to use up what I have and knowing she likes this fabric makes it an easy decision. Now I decide I need to make double sided binding because this chosen fabric doesn't go well with the sampler quilt. I used this tutorial from the Pattern Basket and am pretty pleased with the results.




She loves the fabric so much, in fact, that she wanted to make pillows with it too! 
I like this photo because you can see the quilting I did - a very easy serpentine stitch on the diagonal. I used a built in stippling stitch on the performance icon and increased its length. 

coordinating pillows


Now my daughter has a happy rainbow quilt. This photo is of the quilt on her bed here at home with her loving cat. In her apartment the quilt has prime location in her living room on her arm chair.

rainbow quilt


What a wonderful quilting memory we both have thanks to this incredible strange time that we are living through. 


With Joy,

Sarah V.


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PLUS have access to my seasonal freebies only available to subscribers

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Vote for the Sew Joy Sew Along pattern

>> Tuesday, June 23, 2020


This is the post with the link for voting! It's time to pick a pattern, not just any pattern but one of 3 Sew Joy Creations' patterns that you would like to sew along with me in August.

Sew Joy Sew Along August 2020




Please vote for one of the 3 patterns that I've picked for us to sew along with starting in August.
Why are we waiting until August? That's when Christa's fabric will be available :)

Good Vibes fabric Christa quilts


Once we decide on a pattern, Christa is going to make kits using her newest fabric line, Good Vibes. The line starts shipping in July, so by August we should be good to go!
Pattern - check!
Fabric - check!

Of course, you do not need to use the Good Vibes fabric, but if you're like me, I am ready to use some new fabric to make something new! 

First, you need to vote.

There are three pattern to choose from. There is a blog post for each so you can do some reading and looking and thinking before you pick. Or you can just click on the link and vote! I have included a photo beside each pattern name that shows what the pattern will look like made in the Good Vibes fabric.



The patterns to choose from are
Sunbeams quilt




Dropping In quilt





Dazzle quilt

and Dazzle



Voting will be open for 2 weeks until July 6 (my wedding anniversary!) This should give you plenty of time to vote and still celebrate the patriotic holidays during that time.

I invite you to join my Facebook group - I will be posting in it as we sew along and it is a place you can share progress photos as we go.  


I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter too. I share behind the scenes and links that I don't share anywhere else. Plus I have a growing number of freebies that I share only with my newsletter subscribers.



Sew Joy Sew Along voting for a pattern 

Thank you for being here. I look forward to sharing the results and sewing with you!

                                             CLICK HERE TO VOTE


With Joy,

Sarah V.

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Dazzle quilt pattern

>> Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Dazzle quilt pattern was created during a design challenge.


Dazzle quilt pattern Sarah Vanderburgh Sew Joy Creations

Without giving too much away ;), I was playing with making a modern quilt. For me that means a quilt with large blocks, no borders and a dynamic tension created by colour, or space, or a combination of both. Wow, a lot to think about when designing. Yes and no; this quilt was made during a one month design challenge. The challenge was to make a block and set it in a pattern every day. It was the daily practice of play that resulted in this design!

My test blocks made up into a quilt look like this

Dazzle quilt test blocks mockup

I've mostly played with making this quilt pattern using solids or fabrics that read as solid from far away (or even just when squinting!) Partly because the design really shows itself when the piecing is so well defined by the separate fabrics, and partly because a lot of modern quilts are made with solid fabrics.

When I started to play with the fabrics in the Good Vibes line by Christa Watson - for the sew along coming up *details below* - I used some of the lighter fabrics and used two light fabrics for the background fabric. 

Here is a virtual sample of Dazzle in the baby quilt size

Dazzle quilt Good Vibes baby quilt


This line of fabric is great for its equal amount of light and dark prints. As much as I love this happy version of Dazzle, for the sew along I've chosen some of the bolder Good Vibes fabrics for a lap size version.

Dazzle quilt lap quilt Good Vibes fabric

This pattern works well with a variety of types of fabric. The actual shapes in the quilt are very traditional. The quilter gets to choose how much contrast they want based on the fabrics. In fact, you could make each block with a different fabric - maybe from your stash - to add your own personal dazzle to this quilt.

Sew Joy Sew Along August 2020


Starting in August I'll be hosting a sew along here with you. Which pattern? Well, you get to vote to help me decide! Dazzle is one of the choices.

I reached out to Christa Watson and I'm happy to say that she will be offering kits for the chosen pattern using her new fabric line, Good Vibes.

logo Good Vibes Christa Watson



Dazzle quilt pattern includes 3 sizes
Baby 48" x 48"
Twin 64" x 80"
Double/Full 80" x 96"

Dazzle quilt pattern Sew Joy Creations



A modern fun design for quilters. 

It is also available through Quiltwoman
with the option of purchasing it as a paper pattern


With Joy,

Sarah V.

I invite you to join my newsletter to keep up to date with my current makes and joys - 
PLUS have access to my seasonal freebies only available to subscribers

subscribe to Sew Joy Creations newsletter



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June 2020 Monthly Color Challenge

>> Thursday, June 18, 2020


We are finally at the middle of the year! Hard to believe as the last few months have felt a bit surreal. Thank goodness we have colorful fabric to play with!

monthly color challenge patterns by jen

For June, Jen gave us blue as the challenge color.  A perfect time of year for it as we take time to notice the sky changing color, getting brighter earlier in the morning and full of life as the birds sing to us.


june monthly color challenge block patterns by jen


I was grateful to have a sunny day to take photos of my block by the pool. Yep! I went in for the first time yesterday. Looking forward to going in again today ;)

If you look carefully at my dark blue sections, you'll see that I ended up having to piece one because I cut my fabric wrong. At least it isn't too obvious. I do this sometimes anyway when I really want to use a scrap of a certain fabric and I have to cut it up and piece it to make it the right size for the project. 
And I used two different light blues with different scales of print. 

Overall I think this is a very summery looking blue block!

Here it is outside with the first 5 blocks to give me - half of the blocks for this quilt done :)

6 monthly color challenge blocks patterns by jen


Remember, this block's month is free until next month!

You can go to Jen's blog and follow her link to download it.


{where you'll also see that I've rotated my block from her original direction!}

june monthly color challenge block patterns by jen

At the end of the month, Jen hosts a linkup and has GREAT prizes for each quarter!

 Go find some blue in your stash and make a happy blue block.



Voting starts next week to pick 1 of 3 of my patterns
 to sew together in August!

Sew Joy Sew Along August 2020



Stay up to date with all the joy that we are making on purpose right now.
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With Joy,
Sarah V.

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