Thursday, May 11, 2017

I'm a Moda Chef!

I was so thrilled when one of my designs was accepted by the Moda Bake Shop.  It's a super easy design to make, using Rail Fence and Maple Leaf blocks, and lends itself well to just about any color scheme.

For this project I used Moda's new line Gooseberry Lane by Kansas Troubles Quilters.  The colors were perfect for an autumn-winter quilt.

You can get the pattern and see the tutorial here:

Or you can use the instructions here:

This quilt finishes at 42″ x 58″.
1 Jelly Roll {Gooseberry Lane by Kansas Troubles Quilters}
1/2 yard background fabric
2 yards backing fabric
1/2 yard binding fabric
46″ x 62″ batting
Separate jelly roll strips by color, from dark to light.

From Jelly Roll strips cut:
112 – 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangles
49 – 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ squares
7 – 1″ x 3 1/2″ rectangle

From Background fabric cut:
7 – 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangles
7 – 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangles
42 – 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ squares

Rail Fence Block (Make 28):
Choose 4 – 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangles of varying colors and sew together.  Press seams going in one direction.  Finished size 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″.

Beginning with a horizontal (sideways) block, sew 7 blocks together, alternating between vertical and horizontal directions.
Beginning with a vertical (up and down) block, sew 3 more rows of 7 together.
Set one row beginning with vertical block on top aside.  Sew the remaining 3 rows together, placing the row beginning with the horizontal block in the middle of the other 2.
(For my quilt I chose to have 3 rows beginning with a vertical block and only 1 horizontal row, but you can choose to make 2 vertical and 2 horizontal.  Your choice.)

Maple Leaf Block (Make 7):
Begin building your Maple Leaf Block by sewing together Half Square Triangles (HST).  You will need 4 HSTs per block, for a total of 28 HSTs to complete all 7 blocks.
I like to use the Stitch and Flip method.  To do this, press a 2 1/2″ square of background fabric in half diagonally from corner to corner.  Place pressed square on top of a print square, right sides together, and sew on the diagonal crease.  Press to set seam.  Flip open and press print square toward the corner.  Trim seam allowance to 1/4″.

Leaf Stem (Make 7)
For each stem, cut a 2 1/2″ background square diagonally from corner to corner.  Align the stem print 1″ x 3 1/2″ piece across the long side of triangle, right sides together.  Pin in place and sew across long side of triangle.  Place other half of triangle on top of print sem, right sides together, and pin in place.  Sew across long side of triangle.  Press flat.  (I prefer to press the print toward the dark side to prevent it from showing through the background fabric.)  Line up with ruler and trim to 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ square.

To assemble your Maple Leaf block, refer to picture for layout direction of HSTs.
First Row: 
HST – HST – Background Square
Second Row:
Print Square – Print Square – HST
Third Row:
Stem – Print Square – HST
Press each row, alternating direction of seam.  Line up seams and sew rows together.  Press flat.  Finished size 6 1/2″ x 6 1/2″.

To each Maple Leaf Block add an 8 1/2″ rectangle and a 6 1/2″ rectangle as shown.  Finished block size 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″.  Make 4 Unit A blocks and 3 Unit B blocks.

Assemble the leaf row by sewing blocks together as shown.  Sew Unit B blocks to top of Unit A blocks.  Completed blocks will cascade downward in a helter skelter fashion.

Complete your quilt top by sewing together the Maple Leaf row to the lone Rail Fence row, then sewing this section to the 3-row Rail Fence section.

Baste, quilt and bind as desired.
This lap quilt finishes at 42″ x 58″.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Moda Be My Neighbor

Moda is not just a great fabric manufacturer, but also has a wonderful website where they offer free projects for those who love to sew and quilt. 

One of their latest offerings is a free Sew-Along called Be My Neighbor.  I have finally finished mine!  This is a HUGE quilt -- 64" x 84 1/2".  There are 16 blocks in all, 4 down and 4 across, of a variety of house motifs.   An appliqued bird sits atop one of the structures in each row.  This was a great scrap stash buster and a lot of fun to make.

This is such a big quilt, I do not intend to try to quilt it myself, so my next step is to take it to my long-arm quilter, Diana Whitfield Hall ( and let her do her magic. She always does a fantastic job and if I take her the fabric she will put the binding on for me, too.     

Below is the finished quilt as featured on Bear Creek Quilting Company

Moda Be My Neighbor Free Quilt Pattern

I love the colors they used and fashioned my own quilt after theirs.  It looks as though they have added some embroidered writing on theirs, which I think adds a nice touch.  Maybe I will do the same to mine.

The pattern is still available from several sites, including Bear Creek Quilting Company, if you are interested in making one of these quilts for yourself.   

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Look what I found on sale at Green Fairy Quilts ( ) - Frivols!

Moda's definition:

Fri - vol noun:
A collection of little treasures in a limited edition tin.

These little cuties contain a pattern and enough fabric (42 7" squares) to make a small quilt top.  They are just the perfect size for a weekend quilting project and make nice little gifts or accent pieces to brighten your decor.

I wanted them all, but settled on just three --

Little Miss Sunshine, Lella Boutique

Sew 'n' Sew, Chloe's Closet

Strawberry Fields Revisited, Fig Tree & Co.

I can't wait to get started on them!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Jungle Quilt

My friends' little boy Aidan isn't a baby any longer.  He is graduating to a toddler bed and needs a new big boy cover.  The last quilt I made him was a giraffe, which he still loves to drag about, so keeping with the same jungle theme, I made him a new quilt.

I found a really cute baby quilt called Yoo Hoo on the Internet, but it only measured 35" x 44" and I needed it to be bigger.  So using it as my guide, I made my own version.  (You can click on the picture and it will take you to the Lambs & Ivy website where I found it.)

With the animals in mind, I made my background first, using big scraps of fabrics I had on hand  The overall background measured approximately 36" x 40".  The left side measured 12" x 40" and the right side was a little wider at 16" x 40".

Once the background was made, I drew my animals on the back side of Christmas paper (my favorite pattern paper)  and appliqued them in place. 

I added a 3" pale blue gingham border to the quilt.

For their faces, I used slick fabric paint (I used Tulip brand).  I could have embroidered their features, too, but since this is for a rambunctious little boy and the quilt is likely to be laundered often, I felt paint would better suit his needs.  (When I make quilts for babies and toddlers, I avoid using buttons or embellishments that can be removed and swallowed.)

I left the paint to dry overnight, then the next day I added the final borders to the quilt.  To the border of pale blue gingham I added a 1-1/2" turquoise blue border.  The last border was a 5" plaid print.  After binding the quilt, it measured approximately 46" x 60", the perfect size for Aidan's new toddler bed.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

In My Father's House . . .

I follow several quilters on Instagram and Julia Davis of redrainbootshandmade made this adorable little banner.  It was so cute I just had to make one for myself.

There is no pattern, but you can read Julia's description of how she made hers by following this link

I made my own version just slightly different than Julia. 

Julia's banner uses Bonnie and Camille fabric, of which I had some scraps, so I used the same color scheme. 

The overall size of the finished houses are tiny, about 3"x 4 1.2" with a roof size of 3 x 1 1/2".  The size of the lattice pieces between the house are 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" (this measurement does not include the seam allowance).

To make the chimneys, I used the raw-edge applique method and sewed a small rectangular scrap, about 3/4" wide and sewed it to a 2" square, which I then sewed to the roof, using the stitch and flip technique.

The red pinnacles are scraps of fabric cut into triangles approximately 1" long.  I used a piece of thread to drape a line for the pinnacles and test how I wanted it to rise and dip, then lightly drew that line in pencil.  I placed the red pinnacles randomly on the line and used my machine to sew a black line across their tops.  I sewed across the line twice.

I liked the style of writing that was used, so mimicked the font as best as I could and embroidered the saying in black with 2 strands of black embroidery thread.


Before binding, I pinned a couple of easy folded loops onto the backing so I could hang my banner.

The completed banner measures approximately 10 1/2" x 19".

These would make adorable gifts for friends and family.  Mine, I think, will look adorable in the laundry room.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Spring has arrived

Punxsutawney Phil may have seen 6 more weeks of winter, but it doesn't look that way in California.  Spring has arrived!

Everything is in bloom and the weather is glorious!

No, that's not snow; it's the almond trees in bloom.  The Bird of Paradise in our garden is so colorful.

 Yellow and purple irises are a sight to see.

 And a swallowtail butterfly is getting a good taste of Spring.

It is wonderful to sit on our patio in the mornings and see the beautiful colors of nature.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Where's Levi?

Levi Joseph McCain is due any minute.  His room is all decked out with new furniture.  Friendly dinosaurs adorn the wall to watch over him.  Where is he?

In anticipation, I have made him a cute dinosaur quilt from Michael Miller's Dino Roars fabric.

I also crocheted him a soft blue afghan and made about a dozen flannel burp cloths in boy fabrics.

The little dinosaur bandana bibs I bought online.

To help out, Big Brother Wyatt and I have been cooking all day so there will be plenty to eat.  YUM! 

Where can that boy be?

It's 10 a.m., Sunday morning, January 29, 2017. 
There he is!  Hello, Beautiful!