Monthly Archives: February 2018


Or... Not So Mellow Yellow.

I knew this week's Project QUILTING challenge would be extra hard since I was leaving for QuiltCon on Wednesday morning. That left less than 70 hours for the challenge, including sleeping and packing. Step one, make it small. Maybe really small.

I was pleased for it to be a color challenge, as I knew I could make it work in the short period of time. The first palette I considered was this year's QuiltCon Charity palette. First, it included a bright, cheerful yellow. Second, I've loved the palette since it was first announced. And third, since I'm an Individual Member of the MQG I wasn't participating in making a charity quilt with those colors. I had already purchased the solids a while back, knowing I would someday make a quilt in this palette. My fabrics were Kona Corn Yellow, School Bus, Red, Geranium, and Bright Peri. (Why use a neutral when you can use more color instead?)

I chose a simple, single star block. "Work small," as my friend Mel reminds me for short challenges. So, I decided on an 8-inch sawtooth star block. I wanted to use all the colors, which led to the decision to piece the background sections by building a slab from the non-yellow colors. I edited out the School Bus orange in favor of the three darkest values: Red, Geranium, and Bright Peri.


Here's an accidental alternative setting. I dig this one too, but it wasn't what I initially had in mind and I wanted to stick with plan A.

Once the block was pieced, I intended to add a border of the scrappy background and a yellow binding, but I would have had to build a new slab and I was crunched for time. I didn't like the idea of putting a solid yellow binding on it without the borders since the star points would touch the binding. It was clear to me that the right answer was a scrappy binding that would blend with the background.

It took a little planning to be sure that my corners wouldn't have seams, and that the binding fabrics weren't matching too much with the background fabrics. Though honestly, it probably would have been faster to build more slab for borders and use a single piece of fabric for binding. That said, I'm thrilled with the results.

Not So Mellow Yellow finishes at 8.5" x 8.5". The walking foot quilting was done with 50wt Aurifil #2120 (Canary).

I'm linking up to Project QUILTING 9.4. Be sure to check out all the submissions and vote for your favorites. (Mine is #70.)




QuiltCon 2018 starts next week in Pasadena. I'll be there with my family. Maybe you are attending. Maybe it's your first time. I thought I would share a few tips. If you have additional tips or questions about QuiltCon, please feel free to leave them in the comments.


Download the App

Download the CrowdCompass AttendeeHub app to get this year's QuiltCon app. It's an easy, in-your-pocket way to keep track of all your events and connect with others. You can use it to take notes and to set reminders for events. View the Event Directory to find your friends and add them as contacts or send messages through the app. I *think* you can also access online here. (Someone tell me if that doesn't work.)


My first QuiltCon (Pasadena 2016) I took a million classes. I don't advise that. ;-) Take classes. They are great. But consider how much bandwidth you have for sitting in a classroom and taking in new information. Also consider leaving yourself plenty of time for seeing the show, visiting the vendors, seeing the town, and socializing with quilty friends. (Most classes are currently full, but there is availability in some and numerous people are trying to sell their spots. Check at registration.)


Lectures are great info and a low price point. They are more likely to have space available at this point. Lecture passes are available for a whole day of lectures as long as no individual lectures that day have sold out. Check the schedule for which lectures appeal to you to see if a day pass makes sense as a way to save over the price of paying for each lecture individually. Be sure to bring paper and pencil for notetaking. Any lecture or panel is sure to be a wealth of info!

Social Time

Schedule time in advance to meet up with people you want to see while you're there. (For walking the show together or a meal, etc.) This may include a guild dinner on meeting up with your online quilter friends in real life! I think scheduling in advance is especially important for online friends you want to connect with. A friend and I missed each other entirely in Savannah because we were trying to connect on the fly and were never in the same place at the same time. Now is the time to reach out to the online friends you want to be sure to connect with and make a plan for when that will be. One great option is to plan to meet up at one of the QuiltCon organized evening social events.

Meeting People

Related to social time with people you already know... be open to just meeting people while you are at the show. 99% of us will be there because we LOVE quilts. (The other 1% will be dragged along by someone who LOVES quilts.)  I am a super big extrovert, but I sometimes struggle with small talk with people who are new to me. I found this to be a particular challenge in Savannah when I was basically going to bed at late California time and getting up at early Savannah time and I was sleep deprived all weekend. There are many ways to connect with people. Consider chatting with someone sitting next to you at a demo, waiting in line for food at the concession stand, or another person admiring the same quilt as you at the show. If you have a hard time thinking of what to say, try one of these questions to get the conversation started:

  • What have you been most inspired by today?
  • What do you love most about quilting?
  • Are you working on a project that you're excited about? Tell me about it.
  • Where did you travel here from? (There are many people who travel internationally for QuiltCon.)
  • Are you here with any friends? (If you meet someone who isn't traveling with a group, it would be nice to invite them to join your group for dinner. The crowd I've encountered is very "the more the merrier" at QuiltCon.)
  • Have you found any fabulous deals in the vendor booths?
  • What's the next thing you're checking out today?

Another point worth mentioning in the "meeting people" section is the strangeness of meeting people in person for the first time that you only know online. There are many of us who are connected online in one way or another. I have online quilter friends who I'm super excited to meet in person. Some have become such close friends that we keep in touch by email, or even chat by phone or FaceTime. Then there are people who I feel I've gotten to know through conversations on social media. There are also numerous people whose work I really enjoy online, but who I don't really know. To complicate matters, numerous people don't use their name for their social media handles and maybe never post any photos of their face. So... when meeting someone who I "know" online I like to remember that they may have no idea who I am and offer them a little context if I think they might know me. If it's someone whose work I admire, but whom I don't expect to know me, I may say something about what I like about their work. Even when you meet one of the industry sewlebrities, remember that just like you, he or she is there because they love quilts and any of those above questions will do. ;-)

The Quilts

The show of quilts in Pasadena is in two rooms. The main room with the vendors and a hall next door. Super close. But be sure not to miss those quilts! And leave yourself plenty of time. There is a lot of very fine work to take in! Also, be sure to make your way through all the vendors booths, as they have many additional amazing quilts to awe and inspire. Remember, that while it's great to take pictures of the show quilts, you should ask vendors before photographing anything in their booth. And be sure to credit makers if you share photos online. Again, quilts in the show are fair game to share, but check with vendors before posting their work.

Things to Do

If you aren't taking classes or attending workshops, there is still lots to do! There are demos both in individual booths as well as the main demo area. Many vendors have games and activities in their booths. And don't forget to do some shopping. Be on the lookout for book signing schedules in some booths. Enjoy the warm Southern California weather with a walk or a meal outside.


There is convention center food available for purchase, but in Pasadena there are many dining options just across the street in Paseo Colorado, an outdoor retail district.

Things to Bring

  • Business/Contact cards -- for connecting with others.
  • Handwork -- for while you're resting or waiting for class/lecture/demo to start.
  • Notebook and pen/pencil -- to keep track of all that is inspiring you!
  • Spending Money -- cause shopping... 'nuf said.
  • Comfortable Shoes -- you'll be walking a lot!
  • Buttons (or stickers) to swap -- don't have buttons, check here to see if there's still time.


If you're attending QuiltCon I hope you have a great time. Get even more info on the QuiltCon site. If you see me, please stop me to say hello. I'm not taking any workshops this year, but plan to attend the following lectures:

  • Thursday 2/22 @ 1:20 - Panel: Social Media and Quilters
  • Thursday 2/22 @ 3:00 - Quilt as Desired: Choosing Walking Foot Friendly Designs for Your Quilt with Jacquie Gering
  • Friday 2/23 @ 12:00 - How to Design a Quilt in Five Easy Steps with Latifah Saafir
  • Saturday 2/24 @ 12:00 - Featured Lecture: You Make The Rules: How I Use Design To Guide Work And Life with C. Friedlander
  • Saturday 2/24 @ 3:00 - Lessons from Art Critique - with Chawne Kimber

Aside from those times, I'll most likely be bopping around QuiltCon with my quilter kiddos (ages 5 and 7) who each have a quilt (from Kids Quilt Round Robin) in the Youth category of the show.

Let me know if I'll see you there!


The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik, including products from Hobbs and Aurifil.

My second project as an Island Batik Ambassador was to make a small Valentine for a friend. I opted to make two mug rugs in honor of Galentine’s Day, a celebration of some of my best gal pals.


I chose to use four of the fabrics from my Valentine's Island Batik bundle. As soon as I saw the bundle I knew I had to feature the print on the top (which I think is Mixed Berry Mini Dots from the Plum Delicious collection). That's how I chose it for my background fabric. I chose the pale pink for my hearts to contrast the dark tones of the background.

#islandbatikambassador Valentine's Day palette of Island Batiks with purples, pinks, cream, and red

I pieced two sizes of heart blocks. The smaller ones fit in the palm of my hand. I opted for a triple heart in the small size heart blocks for one mug rug and used a single larger heart for the other mug rug. I like the idea of the main design of a mug rug to be on an edge or corner so it can still be enjoyed even with a mug and a snack in place.

#islandbatikambassador #islandbatik tiny pieced heart block

I used the same ultra-thin polyester Thermore Hobbs batting that I used in my last quilt. I'm not sure polyester is the best choice for a mug rug, (anyone have thoughts on that?) but I like the idea that it'll stay flat and not get crinkly when washed. I used one layer of the batting on my triple heart mug rug, and on my single heart mug rug I doubled the batting and added a third layer under the heart. On that quilt, I started the quilting by stitching the perimeter of the heart, then I cut away the third layer of batting as shown below. This gave the heart just a little more puff to it, especially once I added the dense quilting to the background. It's subtle, but I like it.

#islandbatikambassador #mugrug quilting on the perimeter of the pieced heart by Sarah Goer Quilts

#islandbatikambassador #mugrug showing extra layer of batting under pieced heart

#islandbatikambassador #mugrug cutting away extra layer of batting under pieced heart by Sarah Goer Quilts


I opted for loops and hearts on this first mug rug and went for pretty dense all over quilting in the background. This was my first time using Aurifil 40wt thread. The Antique Rose (#2430) from my ambassador box was a perfect choice to contrast my background fabric. I the second mug rug I omitted the hearts from my design and used a slightly larger scale loop motif.

#islandbatikambassador #mugrug loops and hearts free motion quilting

#islandbatikambassador #islandbatik #aurifil Antique Rose thread was used for free motion quilting.

In order to incorporate two more fabrics I made a flange binding. I pieced the cream and pink fabrics for a pink binding with a cream flange. The binding was attached by machine with a Light Beige (#2310) 50wt Aurifil from my stash.


These are my 12th and 13th quilt finishes in 2018. The triple heart mug rug finished at 10.5" x 8" and the single heart mug rug is about 10" x 7.75".


Check out some of the other Galentine's Day projects by my fellow Island Batik Ambassadors.

Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts

Steph @ Steph Jacobson

Jeanette @ Inchworm Fabrics

Connie @ Kauffman Designs

Joan @ Moosestash Quilting

Maryellen @ Mary Mack Made Mine

Jackie @ If These Threads Could Talk

Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts

Annie @ Masterpiece Quilting


Next month's Island Batik Ambassador challenge is to try a technique that is new to us. Maybe I should have saved my flange binding for next month! ;-) I'm looking for ideas. Leave me a comment below with your ideas for a new technique for me to try.