Bonus Week of the Sew Joy Sew Along Dropping In Quilt

>> Tuesday, September 8, 2020

 It's BONUS Week for the  Dropping In quilt sew along! 

Dropping In quilt pattern Sew Joy Creations

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!

Keep Quilting

Dropping In quilt

I'm happy to report that I was able to finish quilting my Dropping In quilt top. It took a few more sessions of quilting more lines of the serpetine stipple stitch to complete. Then I decided to quilt some lines across the quilt too - I quilted where the new rectangles happened when the two blocks joined. In the end it made for squiggly rectangles all over the top which I think is a pretty fun compliment to the Good Vibes fabric line.


Then it was time to trip the quilt top square and remove the excess batting and backing. I use my large dining room table for this and bring my cutting mat to use on it.

trimming quilted top

The topstitching I did around the edge of the quilt top before I layered it for quilting came in handy in this step; I used it as a guide to line my ruler up on as I trimmed.

leftover batting and backing

I save the wider pieces of batting and usually most of the backing fabric that I trim off a quilt. I like to make small projects with my leftovers like the ones in Patterns by Jen's Batting Buster Week. 

midnight churn ornament pattern

My midnight churn ornament pattern was featured this year!

Adding Binding by Machine

I actually enjoy hand binding but don't really have the time to do it anymore. I add my binding to both sides of the quilt using the sewing machine. My method is pretty similar to Pat Sloan's and I find that the more I do it, the better I get at it.

binding Good Vibes fabric

I prepared my binding in Week 3 - you can go back here to read about it - and now it's just a matter of sewing it to the back and then the front.

binding back of quilt

I like to start adding the binding at least half way down one of the longer sides of the quilt and cut a 45 degree angle at the beginning of the strip. The side without the ironed over seam is the side I pin and sew to the back. I leave the first few inches of the strip loose and pin just to the first corner and then I pin each side as I go. I sew 1/4" seam and stop 1/4" from the corner.

binding turning corner

Then it's time to fold the binding at a 45 degree angle and then over itself to have enough to fold over the corner. Keep going until you're almost at the beginning of the binding strip.

finishing binding overlap binding ends

Lay the binding over the initial binding and cut off the excess a few inches past the overlap - cut on a 45 degree angle opposite the first. I finger press a 1/4" of the beginning strip over to the back, lay the ending strip over it and pin both in place. 

Stitch the Binding to the front

We're soooo close to done now! The binding strip already has an approximate 1/4" of material pressed to the wrong side. 
machine binding to front

Now I fold the remaining part of the strip in half and then fold over the far edge and pin it just covering that topstitch I did on the quilt top. Sometimes I use a machine blanket stitch to attach the binding to the front, but more often than not I'm now just using a regular sewing stitch.

I like to start a little before where the two ends of the binding overlap - just so I'm careful as I stitch over the extra bulk.  I stitch 1/8" inch into the binding and this lets my stitching line on the back run right against the edge of the binding if I'm lucky. Turning corners can be a bit tricky - it can take a few tries to fold the material in the corner to get a nice mitre.

binding corner top of quilt machine binding

Or just do your best and keep going :)

Link Up

quilted Dropping In quilt backing binding Good Vibes fabric

The Dropping In quilt sew along is complete! Thanks for following along. If you joined in and would like to share a photo, you can add one to the link up below. I will keep this open for a little while - probably a month or so. 

You can also use the hashtag #droppinginquilt to share on Instagram.

Thanks for joining me to #sewjoywithgoodvibes through these memorable times. It brought me joy and I hope it did the same for you!

With Joy,

Sarah V.

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Click here to enter


Week 5 of Dropping In Sew Along

>> Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Welcome to the Fifth Week of the Dropping In quilt sew along! It might not be the final one :)

Dropping In quilt pattern Sew Joy Creations

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!

Somehow we are already at the end of the sew along - that means it's time to turn our quilt top into a quilt! I usually get hung up and stop at this point in a quilt project - quilting the quilt continues to be the step that I need the most practice at.

I'm so glad we're doing this together so I actually get to finish and enjoy my quilt.

I did start to quilt my Dropping In quilt, but I'm not finished so I'm going to add one more week to this sew along and call it a bonus week ;) I'll even set up a link party so we can share our progress and hopefully some of us (me!) will even have finished quilts.

Make a Sandwich

This is the tricky part for many of us quilters who decide to quilt our own quilts; we need to get backing and batting and then find space to put the three layers together. 

I miss having my monthly Sew Days with my guild because we would pin our quilts as a group using raised wide tables. Now I just feel lucky enough to have a big enough floor space in my house to layer on the floor. I'm not a basting spray person, although the lap size of this quilt would be a great size for this method. If you have nice weather and the space, basting outside is also an option.

basting a quilt quilt sandwich floor basting

The trick to basting is making sure all three layers and joined and in the process no puckers or pleats or bumps develop. I use a painter's tape to tape my backing to the floor, taping opposite corners then the middle of each side. Then I do the same with the batting. Once these two layers are flat, I carefully place the quilt top over the layers with approximately 2" of batting and backing at each side.

Think Twice, Pin Once

I've learned to plan my quilting before pinning and I did this time too. The last thing you want to do is pin the top and then realize as you go to your machine and to start quilting that you have to remove each pin as you come to it. Yes you will probably start to remove pins after you've quilted some parts, but removing pins the whole time really doesn't keep the layers tight together.

dropping in quilt pinning the quilt top

I decided to quilt this quilt using one of the built in stippling stitches on the PFAFF performance icon. I like the way this stitch looks, it doesn't take a lot of time, and I think it complements all the circles in the fabric and contrasts with the squares and rectangles of the blocks. This meant that I could plan where to put my pins to give me spaces to quilt down the quilt top.

Thread Choice

aurifil thread quilting thread

One more part of the quilting process is to choose the color of thread to use. I'm not a thread expert but I do know that Aurifil is one of my preferred brands. I laid out a few options and took a photo so you could see how different neutral threads blend but also contrast with the different fabrics. I choose to use the light green (Aurifil 2880) because it blends in with the majority of the Good Vibes fabrics on the top.


quilting PFAFF performance icon Dropping In quilt

Now it's time to enjoy the process of quilting the quilt. Plan to take breaks! If you're like me and you don't usually push an large top through and under a machine, realize this step is a workout. I like to make sure the quilt is supported to the left of the machine so it doesn't drag and cause more lifting and also potentially pulling under the needle. I start in the middle of the quilt and work my way out evenly on both sides. I did find that using quilting gloves made it easier to manoveur the quilt even though I really wasn't doing any free-motion quilting - the gloves just made it easier to move my hands down the quilt. Eventually this part is fun for me but I really have to set myself up for success. 

Week 5 to dos

Hopefully my tips will help you get your quilting accomplished this week. Even setting a timer for 15 minutes or telling yourself you'll do 5 rows of quilting then stop will help you get the top quilted.

If you get all of your quilting done, then it's trimming the excess off the sides of the quilt and adding the binding. I plan to use next week's bonus week for those 2 steps!

 ~ Come back next week for the Bonus Week

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.

Let's #sewjoywithgoodvibes!

Sarah V.

Join my newsletter list to stay up to date with sew alongs, pattern releases and more. Plus you get to enjoy freebies that are only available to my newsletter subscribers. Click the image below to sign up!



September 2020 Monthly Color Challenge

Welcome to September and to the Monthly Color Challenge!

I'm happy to be a featured blogger this month along with several others. If you take a quick look around my blog you'll see that I love color! 

What a great challenge this is - to use up fabrics in your stash (or not) and maybe even go outside your color comfort zone to create a block. I have to admit that I love more colors now than before I was a quilter. There are some colors that I use a LOT and others that sneak in sometimes only later to become a color that I rely on to add sparkle or contrast in my quilts.

I hope you have been enjoying the monthly challenges so far. If this is your first month, feel free to go back to Jen's blog and find all of the previous monthly challenges.

September Color

This month's color is Cinnamon representing the Cinnamon Teal.You can read more about this bird in Jen's post.

traditional fabrics cinnamon fabric

I used some fabrics that were from a deconstructed kit for a Christmas quilt. These fabrics remind me of cinnamon buns! It's amazing where you can find just the right fabrics when you go looking for them in your stash - maybe you have a kit that you'll probably never make now that's keeping some just right fabrics for you.

The contrast is subtle and I find that the scale of the different prints helps to enhance the contrast. This color definitely gets me in the mood for fall!

Trimming Tip

trimming flying geese unit 45 degree line on ruler

If I have a tip to offer for making this block, it would be about trimming the geese triangles; I learned a long time ago to start trimming on the open side of the geese unit - NOT the point! This way you can work at getting to the right size unit for piecing without trimming off the point. You want to have at least the 1/4" seam allowance on the outside of the point to make sure the point stays on your quilt top. This is pretty easy to achieve with the large units in this block, but it's good practice to trim from the wide side first so it's a habit when trimming any sized geese unit. 

You can also see in the photo above how on my first trim, the 45 degree line on my ruler is lined up with the inner goose triangle - this helps to keep the point in the center of the block. I trim the open side of the goose unit and the top edge at the same time, then rotate the block to do the last two sides.

September block 2020 monthly color challenge

Visit Patterns by Jen to download this month's block pattern.

Prizes and Sponsors

This year the prizes will be given out quarterly.  To enter, you must link up a color challenge block each month - one block link up per month, per quilter. If you link up each month during the quarter you will have three chances to win.

Prizes for this quarter will be randomly selected on October 1.

The Link up takes place on Patterns by Jen's blog.

This quarter's sponsors are:

PDF Pattern from Quilter Chic

pattern and grunge bundle from Carole Lyles Shaw

Superior Thread S-Fine 50 and Magic Wand from Patterns by Jen

PDF Pattern from For the Love of Geese

Dream 80/20 - 60" x 60" from Quilters Dream Batting

Fabric Bundle from the Fat Quarter Shop

6 month subscription from Make Modern magazine

Warm 80/20 - 55" x 60" and
1 yard Insul-Bright from the Warm Company

Remember to link up at Jen's blog at the end of the month for your chance to win!

Go check out the other September Monthly Color Challenge bloggers: (Textile Time Travels)

Sew Joy Sew Along

Dropping In quilt Sew Joy Creations

I am just finishing with my first sew along with my Dropping In pattern.
 You can find all the details and links to the posts here.

 It's never too late to join :)


With Joy,

Sarah V.

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Vintage Holiday Quilted Runner - QUILTsocial week

>> Saturday, August 29, 2020

 This week I shared a special project over at QUILTsocial. The pandemic has me looking at my fabric stash with new appreciation and resolve - it feels like time to use up some of these pretties! 

vintage holiday runner queen bed runner

I decided it was time to finally use some vintage fabrics inherited from my husband's granny to make a holiday bed runner.

vintage disney fabrics holiday runner

The first post goes over the fabric requirements and getting the fabulous PFAFF performance icon ready for sewing:

PFAFF performance icon brings vintage fabrics to life

IDT System PFAFF sewing machine

The second post goes over cutting the fabrics and starts to make units for the star churn blocks:

Cutting and piecing the Vintage Holiday quilted runner

star churn block patchwork block vintage fabrics

The runner is made of 3 large star churn blocks - easy piecing!

Piecing star churn quilt blocks together using the PFAFF performance icon

in the ditch stitches quilting foot

Of course having the PFAFF performance icon to use I had to try quilting the runner with different presser feet. What a difference in the quality of the stitches! 

Why 3 different presser feet are better than 1 for quilting this bed runner

Maybe I was trying out all the presser feet to warm myself up to doing some free-motion quilting again :) Really it is starting to be a fun way to add personality to my projects. This bed runner is no different.

Every bed runner should have a little free-motion quilting

vintage fabric runner holiday runner quiltsocial free project

I know already that I am so happy to have finally made something with these fabrics! The runner can go at the end of my bed or even on the top of my couch for some quick room decorating. And I don't have to worry about the fabrics surviving numerous washes or being used to sleep under.

 Really the runner is a great gift for me and my family. Maybe you need one too!

Please visit the links and leave me comments over on QUILTsocial - it helps my posts get seen over there too.

Thanks and Enjoy!

Sarah V.


Dropping In Sew Along Week 4

>> Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Welcome to Week 4 of the Dropping In quilt sew along!

Dropping In quilt pattern Sew Joy Creations

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!

Today we sew the blocks together into the quilt top!

This might be my favourite week so far - seeing the quilt top come together. This is when the magic happens!

Dropping In quilt blocks

It's easy to use chain piecing again as you sew the blocks into rows; you could sew all of your rows together in one sitting! Of course, that might not be possible with other things to do as the summer winds down, but sewing even one row at a time this quilt comes together quickly. I started by putting some of the blocks up on my design wall just to see the fabrics bring the pattern to life.

design wall Dropping In quilt Good Vibes fabric

Be sure to follow the pattern as it gives guidance on pressing the seams. If you've been following the suggestions so far you'll find only nesting seams to deal with as you put the blocks together. This step is the first one I will use pins for and only to be sure that the blocks don't move while I'm getting the growing rows lined up by my machine.

sewing blocks together PFAFF performance icon

After the rows are ready and pressed, it will be time to sew them together. Take your time and pin here as there are a lot of seams. I like to pin at the nesting seams and then evenly between them just to keep the layers together as I move the top from the ironing board to the sewing machine.
pinning quilt rows Good Vibes fabric Dropping In quilt

Dropping In quilt pinning on ironing board

Basting Tip

When you are done sewing the quilt top together and have the final pressing done, go around the outside edge with a basting stitch. I rarely do this but my local quilt shop owner and long armer insists this is best practice and in this top I can see why! There are several seams that go to the edge of the quilt (common in quilts with no borders.) These seams will start to pull apart just from moving the top around which will mean I won't have closed seam allowances around the edge of the top where the binding will go. Having a quilt unravel is not what I look forward to when I'm done a project!

I set my regular stitch to 3" on the sewing machine and topstitched 1/8" around the edge of the quilt top - this basting stitch will be covered by the binding so no worries about it showing up in the finished quilt. And it will make layering and quilting the top easier whether you are doing it on your domestic machine or longarm or sending it out. Worth the time and thread!

Dropping In quilt Good Vibes fabric PFAFF performance icon

Week 4 to dos

~ Sew the blocks into rows and follow the pressing instructions in the pattern.

~ Sew the rows into the quilt top and press.

~ Do a basting stitch around the edge of the quilt to secure the seams.


Good Vibes fabric Dropping In quilt

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

Let's #sewjoywithgoodvibes!

Sarah V.

Join my newsletter list to stay up to date with sew alongs, pattern releases and more. Plus you get to enjoy freebies that are only available to my newsletter subscribers. Click the image below to sign up!

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