Packing my Bags for a Sew Day - I made a list!

>> Saturday, January 6, 2024


The first sew day of the year is here! Last time I went I forgot a few things so I made myself a list. See if you would pack what I pack :)

Of course you need a a few nice bags to put things in.

I made this one wide mouth bag that fits my 6 1/2 " ruler perfectly.

Things to go in the bag:

6 1/2" ruler (Creative Grid)

bloc loc rulers ( 2 1/2" and 4 1/2")


sewing pins in pincushion inside scrap cutting bag

quilting pins

Clover seam ripper

rotary cutter

embroidery scissors

machine power cord

Things to go in bigger bag:

cutting mat (this time 12 x 18)

ruler for drawing lines (this can go in a project bin)

project bin with more than one project in it 

AND projects have been checked over to include pattern/instructions and fabrics needed

All of this fit in a tote bag I quilted using all kinds of fun stitches.

You can find the tutorial posts for this bag over at QUILTsocial - PFAFF quilt expression 720


sewing machine in working order (with extra bobbins, presser feet and thread)

Separate bag:



water bottle (filled)

warm socks

slip off shoes - I quilt in sock feet

money for rent

I have enjoyed making bags to use for trekking my stuff to sew days. At some point I would like a bag with a more boxed bottom and one with a zipper. For now these work!

What else do you put in your sew day bags?

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Pat Sloan 10 year FB group anniversary block

>> Wednesday, January 3, 2024

 I could have also called this post - First Squirrel of 2024! LOL

I made a change in my sewing room - I moved my cutting table in front of the patio doors and now I can stand at my design wall! It feels wonderful.

I watched Pat Sloan's video today and it is her 10th anniversary of her group on Facebook. Yay Pat! I met a great group of quilters that I still chat with on her previous Quilt Mashup forum. And Pat being Pat, she designed a quilt block to celebrate. 

And me being me, I jumped right in!

I decided to challenge myself using my little stack of Alison Glass fabrics for this one large block.

I fussy cut a circle print for the middle of the star block.

Then I fussy cut this strip of fabric to take the floral print area to make squares for the star points.

I had to use every last piece of this fabric to make enough squares! I pieced 3 bits together to make one square.  

Here is my center block. Pat used a stripe where my turquoise blue is and that's how I started; I put the stripe print as the corners then had difficulty figuring out what would work for the background. I went for a coffee break and decided I would switch the stripe print to the background print. It works so much better! 

So, taking breaks when making fabric placement decisions is a good idea!

I was able to use this leftover backing strip to make the border squares - I've been waiting for the right project for this fabric!


I decided to use 6 different fabrics for the alternating squares to make this a really fun rainbow effect.

Here's a photo of me using my design wall to plan out the placement of the squares. I'm smiling!
But I noticed the beautiful burgundy fabric looks really dull in this photo.

So I went and got a lamp! It's feeling good, bright and cozy in here now.

Here's a photo with the lamp on. Better. 

Here's my finished block. I'm so happy that I took the time to make this block. I'm also planning to quilt this to have it finished for my January guild meeting - because I really don't want to make any UFOs this year!

You can find Pat's anniversary block on her blog post - Month long Celebration

Have you found a 'squirrel' yet this year?

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Moving a quilt forward into 2024

>> Sunday, December 31, 2023


This last weekend of 2023 I have spent getting my sew day quilt ready. This project I only work on at my guild's monthly sew days - unless I have a big part to do! I am trying to be ready to just sit and sew when we meet again. I have been working on this quilt since 2020 - I bring other things to work on too, but this one has been only pieced then. For instance, I know from my notes that I didn't work on it from July 2022 until July 2023.

sew day quilt darlene deon 2020 weekly challenge quilt

This project was a weekly challenge from Darlene D'eon in 2020. I absolutely love these scrappy bear paw blocks which are the center of the quilt. I put them up on my design wall and cut out my setting corners and triangles. I sewed the rows together as I went. You'll see this part assembled at the bottom of the post!

2020 weekly block challenge darlene deon

I have also cut the fabrics for each part at home so I only sew at sew day - mostly to avoid cutting errors! Lots of chatting happens at sew day ;) Here you can see I have units for the border star blocks partnered up. 

block units sew day quilt
According to the notes I leave myself on the pattern each time I get it out, I needed fabrics for 4 more stars. I went through my scrap bins and found some that I think will work.

I also cut the remaining background squares needed and drew lines on the larger squares for the half square triangle units. I realized as I'm writing this that half of each blocks smaller squares also need lines! If memory serves, I think I just used the 1/4 inch guide line on my machine last time so I will try that again.

patchwork pieces sew day quilt 2020 weekly challenge darlene deon

Here are the newly prepped pieces laid out in a lid inside of the project container. You can see beneath it part of one of the star block borders. I shared a photo of one in this post recently.

center of quilt darlene deon 2020 weekly block challenge

Here is the top half of the quilt center sewn together. The bottom half is almost ready to join - I had difficulty on the second half sewing the side triangles on in the right direction! That will be fixed today and sewn to this to complete the center.

After the star borders are done I will be adding a fabric border and then deciding if it's done. Darlene added a piano key border but I might be ready for this one to be quilted and enjoyed. We'll see what the year brings!

Wishing you time with fabric and patterns you love this year!

With Joy,

Sarah V.


One quilt leads to another! Second quilt for a favorite fabric line

>> Thursday, December 14, 2023


Sometimes I fall behind on a project that I really want to finish. Then another quilt comes along that I want to start and it propels me to the finish line. Especially when I know the next quilt will look great in the same fabrics!

That's what happened with my Tantalizing Table Topper sampler quilt that Pat Sloan hosted. It featured using a block from each pattern in her book of the same name to create a quilt. I loved the idea! Pat  e featured the fabric line Frankie in a previous project and I had to buy it. I used it to create my sampler quilt. 

Frankie fabric Pat Sloan Tantalizing Table Topper book sampler quilt

Of course another quilt came along that I have to make - The Quilted Witch by Lori Holt. It's just so fun! And a great use of the rest of my Frankie fabrics. 

These are the blocks I have done so far:

Quilted Witch blocks Lori Holt pattern

I'm incorporating a few other treasured fabrics and will be making my background scrappy. I had intended to make Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt last year and didn't so I have several white background prints available to incorporate into this quilt.

And I'm already behind! Pat Sloan is hosting a sew along for this quilt (she is doing a version without the witch) and I am currently on the third week of blocks. 

At this point I am prepping for some straight line stitching over the holidays. I am going to catch up on this quilt and hopefully piece another top too.

These bright cheery fabrics are a great way to keep my spirits up in these dark days of winter.

What cheery projects do you have planned this season?

With Joy,

Sarah V.


Pumpkin Patch Block Projects

>> Tuesday, November 14, 2023


A quilt idea from 2015 is finally a completed quilt top!

It's a wonderful fall scrap quilt with rich autumn colors and pumpkins. Bright orange and brown for the border and leftover black and tan nine patches. This quilt has the feel of the scrappy polyester quilts my great grandmother made for us. It has the darker colors like my brother's quilt - here's a post showing mine (I slept under this for many years and I think the colors inspired the quilter I am today!)

pumpkin blocks scrap quilt autumn quilt

The pumpkin patch block featured in the middle of this quilt is available for free in my online shop - follow this link to get the pumpkin patch block.

And if that's not enough pumpkins for you - I have this pumpkin coaster out this time of year too. 

pumpkin coaster Sew Joy Creations


 I used part of the pumpkin patch block to make a pumpkin coaster! It's fun to put it together with different scraps - I love being able to use that last piece of a favorite orange fabric and mix it wih surprising and traditional color choices.

The pumpkin coaster tutorial is available to my newsletter subscribers - join my list to get access!

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With Joy,

Sarah V.


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