aneela hoey foxglove showcase

Today I get to show you my #lawndiamondsquilt as part of Aneela Hoey’s foxglove fabric showcase!


This fabric is so pretty, and truly gender neutral. I can see this quilt in a little boy’s room or on a couch. As a mother of three boys I can appreciate a fabric line that manages to be super pretty without being girly.


This version of my Lawn Diamonds pattern (available here) is so different than the original! I love the difference fabric selection makes.


By the way, this pattern is also available via Brewer Distributors so be sure to keep an eye out for it at your local quilt shops.



Head over to Aneela’s blog to see the other great makes from the foxglove showcase!

Lawn diamonds quilt pattern tips & tricks


In this blog post I provide a resource guide for my Lawn Diamonds quilt pattern (available here). These are all the extra things I’d tell you if we sewing together here in my sewing room!

If you’ve never machine paper pieced, here is a good video tutorial. On the scale of paper-piecing patterns, Lawn Diamonds is incredibly simple. There’s no reason at all a first-timer should feel intimidated by it.

If you’re wondering about using fat quarters for this pattern, you definitely can. You’ll be able to get 10 center diamonds from a fat quarter so you’ll need at least 12 if you want to make the 54 x 60 quilt shown in the pattern.

lawn diamonds cutting a fq

That extra strip on the right should be just about the right size for a scrappy binding.

You can also use fat quarters for the other shapes, simply refer to the yardage requirements and assume 4 fat quarters for every yard plus an extra 1 or 2 to account for any waste.

If you’re wondering how to cut from yardage, I always cut my longer side from the width of fabric and then sub-cut the smaller edge. So for the 8.5 x 2.25 shape I’d cut an 8.5 inch strip and then sub-cut 2.25 inches. This is a great opportunity to stack and cut multiple strips at a time because accuracy is not very important at this stage for paper piecing.

If you want to make this quilt quickly, the fastest way to approach it is assembly-line style. Do all of your cutting first. Stack your center diamonds with the paper templates and sit at your machine and sew, sew, sew until you’ve attached all the Section 1’s. Now trim and press all those seam allowances. Repeat for the other sections. When I made my 2 versions of this quilt I did all my cutting in one day and then sewed one section a day after that. It came together surprisingly fast!


If you’re having trouble keeping track of color placement, use the paper templates and coloring page. When I made this quilt the first time I actually wrote the colors right on the coloring page AND the paper templates so I could check, double check, and triple check.


This was particularly necessary for that version because the small triangles on top were a different color than the ones on bottom. I didn’t have to do that for the second one because all of the small triangles were the same throughout the quilt.


If you have any questions along the way please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am extremely accessible on Instagram and by email ( Good luck and have fun!

Lawn diamonds quilt pattern release

Today my very first pattern is available for sale in my Etsy shop! Yay!


This quilt won Cotton & Steel’s #lawnquilt competition so it just so happens to be hanging at Quilt Market in Salt Lake City as I type this. 🙂 This is the first time any of my quilts have hung anywhere outside of my own home and I am really (REALLY) excited about it. (You can read more about the contest on Cotton & Steel’s blog).


The quilting on this quilt is truly incredible and done by Krishma Patel (@krishmaquilts). She did an amazing job. I’m afraid I might become addicted to custom quilting.

Here is another version of the pattern that I am working on for Aneela Hoey‘s #foxglovefabric blog hop (which stops here on June 7).


I love how this shows that the pattern can be soft and pretty or modern and graphic depending on what fabrics you use. You can see more versions from my excellent pattern testers on Instagram at #lawndiamondsquilt.

I am so pleased to be offering my first pattern and so hopeful that this will be the first of many. Thank you for your continued support and be sure to follow me on Instagram for all the latest. (@sarahschrawdesigns)

Blog hop: what shade are you?

What Shade Are You Logo 2016

I’m SO excited to share this quilt with you today. It is my second attempt at this design and definitely my favorite. (You can see the first version here.)


This time I teamed up with RJR fabrics as part of their “What Shade Are You?” blog hop. Did you know that RJR carries a line of Cotton & Steel coordinating solids? All of the colors I chose are from that collection. I find it difficult to look at hundreds of colors and pick just the right shades all on my own (especially online). It was much easier after narrowing it down to the colors already chosen by the Cotton & Steel designers.


Yep, it was a lot of HSTs. I used the 8-at-a-time method (good tutorial here) and trimmed them 20 or so at a time over the course of a week. It really wasn’t that bad, I swear.


I usually press my seams open but this time I wanted to see how accurate I could get with them pressed to the side and interlocking. It really turned out quite nice but it took a lot of time and attention to get it right.


I’m working hard on a pattern for this design. Watch for that later this summer!


The good news for you is that RJR is giving away this gorgeous bundle on my Instagram account (@sarahschrawdesigns)! Grab your phone and head over there right away – the giveaway closes at 9 pm EST on Sunday, May 8.


I loved this bundle so much I’m already making another quilt with it!


Being Cotton & Steel coordinates, they obviously go perfectly with Cotton & Steel’s prints. This is last year’s Christmas line, Tinsel. I’m most definitely going to be getting some of this year’s Christmas line (Garland) to add to this project.

Thank you so much for visiting me here today, and don’t forget to look me up on Instagram (@sarahschrawdesigns) and enter the giveaway! Thank you RJR!!

Marsala challenge: art quilt

Pantone’s color of the year challenge was initially a little… “challenging.” Kind of like a cross between brown and mauve. Yikes!


In the end though, I kind of love it. So much so that I’m making an Amy Butler Weekender Bag in an (unintentionally) very similar palette.


I decided to make another art quilt (first one blogged here) because I wanted to try the method again in a slightly different way. With both the butterfly art quilt and the one I did for my Instagram mini quilt swap, I overlayed a feature element on top of the textured background. I didn’t do a blog post for the swap, but here’s a picture.


The entire background was laid out before I placed the flowers and birds, which lay on top.

For the Pantone challenge, I wanted to place the feature rose in the center of the quilt before I placed the tiny “background” pieces. A subtle difference, perhaps, but one I was eager to try.


This quilt makes you want to touch it, as evidenced by my 3 year old.

After placing all of the pieces I straight line quilted it about a 1/4 inch apart to give it additional texture and also to ensure everything stays in place.


One of my favorite things about this quilt is the hidden Lizzy House creatures.


I spy two mice, a bird, and a fishy! There are a couple of bi-sected cats hidden in another part of the quilt as well.

A lot of people have asked me about the method behind this style of art quilting and I do have a blog post planned for that. It’s the same method I used to make the exterior of this cargo duffle.


And this sew together bag.


I hope to be posting that soon. It’s so simple, and just perfect for selvages because you don’t lose the words and color dots in the seam allowance.

I’m linking up with the Marsala challenge with On the Windy Side and Play-Crafts. Go see what everyone else has created with this challenging color!

Kilim quilt

I finished my Kilim quilt top! (I blogged about the inspiration and design process here.)


I learned a couple of really important things designing and constructing this quilt. The first is about myself as a quilter. I learned that I am capable of pushing through the monotony of working with solids, and that the end result is worth it. (I know not every quilter finds solids monotonous, but I personally do). Unlike projects like my gypsy wife quilt, neon sampler, or penny sampler, each block of this quilt was not satisfying in itself. But the end result is definitely the best quilt I’ve made, or at least the one I’m most proud of.

It’s an interesting tension – pleasure in the process vs. satisfaction in the result.

Another lesson came in the form of a major math fail. I set out to design a quilt to look as much like this rug as possible:

Kilim rug photo

Now, let’s view them side by side.

Untitled design

The design was supposed to extend another half block on top and bottom. Unfortunately, when I was deciding what size to make the HSTs, I based the decision on the size of the block as measured from side to side instead of on point. The block finishes 32 inches side to side, but it measures 46 inches when set on point.


If I had completed the design as planned with the size HSTs I used, the quilt would have been 92 by 138! I was already too far into the process when I realized the problem so I just eliminated the top and bottom of the design. The quilt now finishes 92 inches square. If I could go back I would use smaller HSTs and complete the design as planned. Lesson learned!

Of course the question now is how to quilt it. It is a big quilt, and the stakes are high because I’ve already put a ton of time and effort into it. I’ve definitely considered sending it out to be long armed. I’ve also thought about doing multiple colors of Aurifil 28 weight thread in straight horizontal lines. I even briefly considered hand quilting it before I realized how big it was going to be. But for now I’m putting it aside and working on other things, including Kilim II.


I’m sure this project is destined to have just as many adventures and learning opportunities as the first.

Big news

I had a baby! 4 months ago. 🙂 Ha!


I have several blog posts ruminating so I thought I should pop in first to share about Keene’s birth.

Keene Gregory Schraw was born on December 14 at 10:09 am, weighing 8 lbs, 2 oz and measuring 21 inches. He has been an incredibly sweet and easygoing baby, which is a big part of why I’m able to sew and even return to this space to share about it.

Keene’s brothers adore him and are pretty patient when Mama has to “milk the baby.”


Here’s Keene in the amazing (!!) outfit Laura made him.



Hopefully I’ll be back very soon to get you all caught up on what I’ve been working on!

Quilt for baby

A few weeks ago I made some little stuffed toys for the baby’s room… and then somehow a quilt sprung out of the same fabrics. Spontaneous combustion?


It was more of a challenge than I initially expected! The pattern came from an older Fons & Porter publication (Fat Quarter Friendly). It suggested needle turn appliqué as an alternative to the curved piecing typically required for a classic winding ways quilt. Sounded good to me since I have needle turn experience but I haven’t tackled curved piecing yet.

Trouble is, the points really need to line up in order to create the “winding ways” effect. After my first block I realized it definitely wasn’t going to happen by luck. After a restless night’s sleep I came up with the idea to piece the background blocks first and then sort of manipulate the appliqué points to approximately come together enough to create the design. It worked! But it was definitely challenging and a little backbreaking. I quickly decided to reduce the overall size of the quilt and add a border! That cut the number of blocks I needed from 20 to 9.

Here it is before quilting.


I hand quilted around all the appliqué shapes.

photo-20 copy

And now I am feeling more ready than ever to have this baby!

Linking up with Crazy Mom for the first time in quite a while. 🙂

Stops and starts

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen that I was able to get a little sewing done this summer!

Gypsy Wife I

Gypsy Wife I

Gypsy Wife II

Gypsy Wife II

Gypsy Wife III

Gypsy Wife III

Berry Basket (Noodle-head's free tutorial)

Berry Basket (Noodle-head’s free tutorial)

Diaper Pouches (another free Noodle-head tutorial)

Diaper Pouches (another free Noodle-head tutorial)

Noodle-head poolside tote

Noodle-head poolside tote

Unfortunately, I’ve stalled out again due to heartburn and general 3rd trimester soreness and fatigue. It’s so frustrating! My heart is happy and my mind is engaged but my body just can’t do it right now. It is encouraging to feel like myself again in my own head though. I feel confident that I will get back to daily sewing and more frequent blogging next year. That confidence is a comfort to me because I really lost it during the worst of the early pregnancy woes.

Here I am a week or 2 ago when I treated myself to a blow-dry and a pretty dress.


I’m 29 weeks now and hoping to give birth in early December around 38 weeks so I will have time to recover before the Christmas holiday. Follow me on Instagram for nursery setup updates and eventually pictures of a sweet little babe!

My 3 sons

Last week we received the wonderful news that our surprise baby is (not surprisingly) another boy! A lot of people have asked if I had a feeling one way or the other, or if we wanted a girl. Out of loyalty to the child I really didn’t have an opinion. I just want (him) to be who (he) is!

Now that we know he’s a boy, for the first time in months I have quilt ideas whirling in my head. I’d love to make this baby a quilt or a wall hanging for his nursery, but something is holding me back. I’m 20 weeks now (half way!) and only just finally getting over the nausea. My poor husband is exhausted from taking care of me, the kids, and our home during my illness. The kids are a little wilder than usual because I’ve mostly scolded from the couch instead of properly punishing them for the last 3 months. And there is a lot of work ahead of me converting my sewing room back into a nursery.

So even though I’ve started reading blogs a little and browsing instagram, I am going to have to let that restless energy build while I put my house in order. Something about having a new baby makes you want to organize everything, amIright? I have a year’s worth of bills and paperwork to file, and the insides of my cabinet drawers in the kitchen and bathrooms haven’t been cleaned… ever. All of that comes first, along with the nursery setup.

But do you want to know what quilt ideas I’ve been thinking about, even though I’m not actually sewing yet? I thought so!

If the baby had been a girl, my idea was to make a snowflake quilt with 6, 9, and 12 inch versions of this block from the penny sampler. The “snowflake” design is a subtle nod to the baby’s Christmasy due date, although I wasn’t going to use Christmas colors or fabrics.


My idea for a boy is a machine paper piecing sampler using various boy-friendly blocks like these:




I even sketched a little!


Maybe I’ll find the time later in my pregnancy to make this sampler happen, or maybe I’ll turn it into a bigger quilt idea for his eventual big-boy bed. Either way, you can be sure you’ll be the first to know when I start sewing again!