Improvisational Sampler Quilt

Have you ever wanted to make improvisational quilt blocks, but didn’t know where to start or what to make with them?  Well, now is the time to try some out!  I’ve created this sampler quilt using some popular improv blocks plus some that you might not have seen before. I will demonstrate the more unique blocks and provide links to tutorials for the others on my blog.  Then we will put them together to make this fun eye-popping sampler.  Improvisational piecing is fun and doable for beginning and advanced quilters alike.  Let’s get going!

1 fat quarter bundle or approx 36 fat quarters of your choice (I used A Stitch in Color by Malka Dubrawsky*)
1¼ yards** of red tonal (23210 16) for sashing and binding
4 yards of blue with green dot (23209 16) for backing

* Malka Dubrawsky’s latest line is From Outside In and will be available in stores January 2014.
**You only need 1 yard of sashing/binding fabric but I’ve allowed for a little extra in case you have to square up the fabric.

There are seven different block types, pieced borders, and sashing. You can make the sampler like mine or choose your favorite improv block style and make 12 plus the four wonky fan blocks for the corners.

NOTE: Use a scant ¼” seam throughout. WOF = width of fabric. The short edge of a fat quarter measures 18″ and the long edge measures 21″/22″.

From the short edge of each of three different fat quarters, cut a strip approximately 1½” to 2″ wide. From a contrasting fat quarter, cut one 14″ square. Cut the square in half on the diagonal. Place one strip between the cut edges. Sew the strip to each cut edge.

Cut the square in half again at a different angle. Sew the second strip in between the cut. Be careful to line up your first strip on either side of your new strip.Cut the fabric in half again where the two strips intersect. Sew the last strip to either side of the cut. Press and trim to 12½” square.

2 asterisk blocks measuring  12½” square unfinished

I made my stitch ‘n’ slash blocks from scraps of fat quarters I used throughout the quilt. These are simple improvisational blocks and perfect for scraps. Find the instructions {here}.

2 stitch ‘n’ slash blocks measuring  12½” square unfinished

Start with a square-ish piece of fabric and cut a free-form quarter circle.

Place the quarter circle over the corner of another piece of fabric, aligning it so the edges are ½” off the side of the second piece of fabric.  Cut along the edge of the quarter circle.  Then cut another free-form arc 1″ to 2″ wide above the first cut.  This is the second piece of the block.


Place the second piece over the corner of another piece of fabric.  Make sure the edges are hanging off the edge about ½” on either side. Cut along the top of the second piece.  Then cut another arc 1 to 2″ wide.  This is the third piece.Overlap them (like they were sewn together) to check your sizing.  If they are about 5 inches on a side, it is time to cut out the corner piece.  If not, add another arch.

To cut the corner piece, place the last arc about 2″ away from the corner of a piece of fabric (mine is only an inch here and it was pretty tight).  Cut along the top of the arc and then up to the edge of the fabric. This is what your pieces should look like.

Place the first and second pieces right sides together.  Place the corners so they over lap by ¼ inch. Stitch slowly along the edge with a ¼” seam.  Lift the top fabric and line it up with the bottom fabric as you go. Repeat for all remaining fabric arcs. Press seams towards the first corner piece.  It may be a wonky mess, but we are going to trim it up.

Square up block to 6½”. Make three 6½” curved blocks and join all four together into one 12½” block. 

2 improv curve blocks measuring  12½” square unfinished

For this block, I am going to give you some some general guidelines to get you started towards making your own unique house.  Feel free to improvise, use your imagination, play around, make some mistakes and make your own house masterpiece.   There are only two rules:  keep using at least a ¼ seam and trim the finished block to 12½” square so it will fit with the other blocks.   Let’s go!

Start by picking fabric for the components of the house. Each section starts out as a square or rectangle and you can introduce a bit of wonkiness as you piece the compenents together. First create the body of the house by combining a square of fabric with two contrasting rectangles of background fabric.

Create a roof for your house, once again combing a rectangle with two squares. Attach the squares as dog-ear corners and be sure that the roof rectangle is wider than your house.

Combine the roof and house body with a strip of background fabric and a strip of fabric for grass. Trim to  12½” square.

1 wonky house block measuring 12½” square unfinished

To create a wonky tree block, repeat the same procedure as with the wonky house but instead switch up the square for a triangle. I made two trees for my block.

1 wonky tree block measuring 12½” square unfinished

Log cabins start with a center square and you add rectangles to each side of the square (these are your logs). Make it wonky and mix and match the fabrics or use the same print for each log around the square. See the tutorial on my blog {here}.

2 – wonky log cabin blocks that measure 12½” square unfinished

Wonky star blocks also start with squares. For each block, you need {1} 4½” square for the center, {8} triangles cut from four 5″ squares for the points, and {8} 4½” background squares.  When choosing fabrics for the star, use contrasting colors for the points. My fellow Moda Bake Shop Chef Angela Mitchell has a {great tutorial for wonky stars}. Follow her instructions and your stars will finish at 12″ – perfect for this quilt.

2 – wonky log cabin blocks that measure 12½” square unfinished

Cut a 12½” square for the background of the fan block. The fan blades can be as tall or as short as you would like, but a good rule of thumb is for the blades to be two thirds the size of the finished block.  In our case that would be 12 x 2/3 = 8 inches tall.  Remember that this is a wonky block, so the measurements don’t have to be exact. Find a piece of fabric about 8 inches tall and cut the straight edge at an angle.

Move the ruler over and angle it until you have another wedge shaped piece.  Cut. Repeat as desired. If I am making multiple fans I like to stack 3-4 layers of fabric together to speed cutting. The blades can be fairly rectangular or quite pointed.  The points should be at least 1/2 inch wide or you will have problems with bulky seams.  A good rule of thumb is for the pointy ends to be between 2 and .5 inches wide and for the tops of the blades to be 3-6 inches wide.  Each fan will need 6-9 blades, depending on the width of the blades.

Place two blades right sides together and stitch from top to bottom with a 1/4 seam allowance.  Press the seam to the side. Repeat until your fan is large enough to cover the background fabric from edge to edge.  If the top edge of the fan is uneven trim it even with scissors.  Remember, this is Wonky – don’t get out a plate or compass to make it perfect!

Press under the top edge of the fan 1/4 inch. Pin to the background fabric. Zig-zag along the edge or use your favorite decorative stitch. You can also do needle turn applique if you choose. Yeah!  Fan are blades attached!

Now we need to cover up the bottom edge of the blades and add the corner round piece.  Find a squarish piece of fabric that is at least 1 inch longer than the distance between the corner of the background fabric and the start of the blades. Lay the square over the corner of the block so that it over laps the background fabric by at least 1/4 inch.  Make a notch with scissors at least 1/2 inch above where corner square overlaps the fan blades. Repeat on the other side.

Cut a curve between the two notches.  Ok – kind of scary to make a free form curve, but you can totally do it.  Trust me, it is very freeing. Press under the curved edge of the corner piece about 1/4 inch. Pin the corner round piece in place – be sure that it covers the edge of the background fabric – and stitch along the edge.

Trim the block to size by flipping it over and cutting off the excess fabric along the edge of the background fabric. You did it!!!  One wonky fan block.

4 – wonky fan blocks that measure 12½” square unfinished


From your fat quarters, cut strips of fabric that are between 1½” and 3½” wide and the length of the fat quarter.  Do not use a ruler to make the cuts.   Don’t try to make the strips perfectly straight – angled and a bit wavy is what we are going for.  Sew the strips of fabric together until you have a panel that is at least 12½” inches wide.  Press seams to the side.  Use steam and starch if necessary to press flat. Square up the panel to 12½” wide by however long your strips were.  Sew the panels together until you have two panels that are 12½” x 36½” and two panels that are 12½” x 48½” inches.

2 – wonky strip-pieced border panels that measure 12½” x 36½”
2 – wonky strip-pieced border panels that  measure 12½” x 48½”

From your sashing and binding fabric, cut 14 strips measuring 2½” x WOF. Set aside 7 strips for binding. Sew remaining 7 strips end-to-end and cut sashing strips:

4 – 2½”x 12½” strips
2 – 2½” x 64½” strips
2 – 2½”x  48½” strips

Create binding using your preferred method with the strips you set aside.


Sew the 12½” improvisational blocks together in a 3×4 grid as shown. Sew the top and bottom borders together by first sewing a corner fan to a 12½” strip.  Attach that to a 12½” x 36½” border piece.  Attach another 12½” strip and fan to the end.  Sew a 64½” strip to the bottom of the top border section.  Repeat for the bottom border section.

Sew the 48½”strips to the 12½” x 48½” border panels.

Sew the side borders to the middle section.

Sew the top and bottom borders on.

You did it!  Quilt and bind as desired!

One improvisational sampler quilt measuring 64½” x  76½”

Leila Gardunia

Moda Candy Alphabet

Hi everyone, it’s Chris “frecklemama” Warnick, and I am delighted to bring you this easy and fun alphabet project using Moda’s adorable mini-charm packs.

This alphabet is based on using squares and half-square triangles (HSTs) so you can adapt it easily to use any size square.  The project would work using jelly roll strips cut into squares or scaled up to use charm squares or even layer cake squares.  Want to add a message to a table runner or a monogram to a quilt backing?  This project provides a quick road map for making each letter without needing any fancy supplies or advanced skills.

For this tutorial I made a banner for an upcoming sewing retreat.  Other ideas for this project might include your business name as a banner for a craft fair table, your blog name for a photography background or header photograph, or a funny saying for your BFF’s craft room.

Because your use of the alphabet will differ from mine, you will need to sketch out your own project to get an idea of proportion and fabric requirements.  I use graph paper and have each square on the grid equal one 2.5″ mini-charm square.

Moda Candy Alphabet

– Mini-charm packs, jelly roll strips, regular charm packs cut into four squares or yardage cut into 2.5″ squares*. 

– Background fabric.  In this project I used white jelly roll strips to create background squares and skinny sashing strips.

* IMPORTANT:  In order for your letters to be legible, you really need to choose fabric that contrasts strongly with your background fabric.  I needed several mini-charm packs in order to pick out the charms that had the highest contrast to my white background.

– In this tutorial I used 7 mini-charm packs of Snap Pop by Sandy Gervais.  I also used some strips of a Bella white jelly roll as the background fabric and sashing.

– Backing

– Batting

– Binding


First determine what words you will be making.  Use the alphabet sketch to map out which blocks you are making and which squares are needed for each block. 

Moda Candy Alphabet

For example, if you are going to make an “A” you will lay out your squares like this:

Moda Candy Alphabet

Sew them together like this:

Moda Candy Alphabet

Once you have your letters made, you will separate them with skinny strips of your background fabric.  In the case of my project, I used skinny sashing strips cut into 1 1/4″ strips.  That is equivalent to a jelly roll strip sliced in half, long ways.  Once each word was completed, I finished it by framing it with additional skinny strips. 

Determine the layout of your words by auditioning them in different ways.  In the case of my sample, I stacked my words in a vertical stack and determined that I wanted about 2″ additional framing of background fabric along the sides. 

Once I was happy with my layout, I sewed the top together, quilted it with backing and batting, and machine bound it (Note: the binding is a yellow print from Kate Spain’s upcoming line Daydream).

Because my banner’s shape is irregular, I chose to use bias binding.  For such a small project, I determined that I could cut my binding at only 2″ to maximize my fabric.  I was able to bind this banner with only a Fat Quarter of fabric!  The banner measures approximately 38″ x 35″ at its largest width and height.

Curious what “The Stash Bash” is all about?  Visit to learn about a weekend of pajamas, friends, sewing machines, laughter, great food, and plenty of our two favorites: chocolate and fabric!

We hope you enjoy using the Moda Candy Alphabet to create a project of your own imagination:  Sew the word JOY along a holiday stocking, create a quilt with your family’s favorite inspirational message, or make a pillow that says YES! on one side and NO! on the other.  Whatever you make with your Moda Bakeshop tutorials, please don’t forget to share it with us on the Flickr page.

Happy sewing!
Chris Warnick

Tips and Tricks: Crafty Storage

Today’s Tips and Tricks post is all about crafty storage. 
I don’t know about you, but keeping my work space tidy is a constant battle. Fabric, fabric everywhere! There are scraps and jelly rolls and charm packs just piling up on every surface. And don’t get me started on notions!

A few of our Chefs share some of their crafty organization tips with us today.

Erin Davis, of

I keep my needles and machine accessories in plastic craft bins meant for embroidery floss. I like the ones with removable dividers so I can accommodate large feet like the button holer and small needle packs efficiently. Everything is labeled so it makes it very easy for me to find the right foot without having to consult my machine manual.

Lisa Calle of

My favorite way to organize fat quarters is by color and I’ve found that if you fold them just the right way, the fit perfectly in bins and shelves designed for media (CDs and DVDs).  With so many people going digital these days, I see CD shelving units for sale very inexpensively at yard sales and thrift shops. They aren’t always cute but there is nothing a good coat of spray paint can’t fix.

See more of Lisa’s studio and organization ideas here.

Angela Pingel of

I use comic book boards to keep 1/2 yard and larger pieces of fabric neat and tidy. I’ve figured out a way to fold the fabric so it fits nicely on the board and the shelves in my studio.

See the full tutorial on Angela’s blog.

Thanks for sharing, ladies! Readers, what are your favorite ways to keep your space tidy?

The Forgotten Five Mini Quilt

Greetings everyone from beautiful Germany! Thank you, Moda Bake Shop for allowing me to come back again to present to you a new and rather simple miniature quilt using one charm pack, great colors, and a simplified cutting technique to make these impromptu miniature goodies – miniature quilt, pillow, and pin cushion. The block size here is four square inches, but don’t let it intimidate you. It is easier than it looks.

You can check out other free patterns on my blog – Don’t forgot to “join” my site to win a free charm pack to make this pattern!

Please use a SCANT ¼” seam allowance unless otherwise specified. This is very, very important when sewing smaller blocks together. 

{This will be enough to make all three items}

1 charm pack (Weave 9898PP)
½ yard sashing (Weave Linen 9898 11)
¼ yard center block fabric (Weave Mango 9898 32)
¼ yard binding for mini quilt + pillow (Weave Royal 9898 46)
½ yard coordinating backing
2 – 16″ x 16″ pieces of cotton batting

For center construction, cut:
 9 – 2“ orange squares
18 – 1 x 2“ white strips (A)
18 – 1 x 3“ white strips (B)

From nine different charms, cut:
18 – 1¼ x 5” strips (C)
 18 – 1¼ x 5” strips (D)

Sew one A strip to the top and bottom of the center square. Finger press outwards. Sew one B strip to both sides of center rectangle. Iron outwards. Square to 3″.

NOTE: Strips C and D are longer than you need, but this will allow you to match up patterns in the fabric when sewing if you wish.

Sew one C strip to top and bottom of white square. Finger press outwards. Sew one D strip to both sides of white rectangle. Iron. Square to 4½”.

Repeat to make a total of nine blocks. Find the center of each square (2¼”) and cut into four center square segments. Keep together and set aside.

For the cross, cut:
2 – 2¼ x 12” white strips (E)
1 – 1 x 12” orange strip (F)
18 – 1 x 2¼” white strips (G)

Sew one E strip to each side of orange F strip. Press toward white strip. Cut into 1″ cross segments.

Assembling the Five Patch Block
Sew one white strip (G) between two matching center segments. Press seams inward. Repeat for the other side. Sew one cross segment to each side of center block you just made. The seams will cradle. Repeat to get a total of nine miniature blocks.

Press with iron and square to 4½”.

Assembling the Patchwork Front 
Arrange the nine blocks as you wish. Sew together in rows of three. Sew the three rows together. Iron and square. Layer your front and batting (and backing if making a mini-quilt). Quilt as desired.

{Optional instructions for making the mini quilt into a pillow. Skip to Finishing the Mini Quilt if you are not making a pillow}

Assembling the Pillow 
Cut two strips 2 x 12½” and sew to top and bottom of the front. Cut two strips 2 x 15½” and sew to the sides. Iron outward. Square if needed. Cut one square 15½ x 15½” (H) and one rectangle to 8 x 15½” (I). Turn one edge under ¼” (toward the wrong side of the fabric) twice to get a double fold on both (H) & (I) pieces. Sew to get a smooth and encased raw edge. Layer your Patchwork Front (facing up), Backing I (facing down) and Backing H (facing down). Sew with a 3/8″ seam allowance around the edge leaving a 2-3 inch gap to flip right-side-out. Clip the corners and flip. Press. Fill with a 15″ pillow form.

Finishing the Mini Quilt
Make continuous-folded 2″ binding strips from dark blue fabric. Apply using your favorite method; I applied to the front using a ¼ seam allowance, folded back and hand-stitched in place.

Cut the following pieces:
 1 – 2 x 2” orange square
2 – 1 x 2” white rectangle (A)
2 – 1 x 3” white rectangle (B)
2 – 1¼ x 3” charm rectangles (C)
2 – 1 ¼ x 5” charm rectangles (D)
4 – 1 x 2¼” white rectangles (G)
1 – 1 x 1” orange square (J)

Sew pieces A – D using the above instructions for center construction.

Sew one G rectangle to top and bottom of two sliced squares from the center construction. Press inwards toward white strip. Repeat for the other side.

Sew one J square between two G rectangles. Press outwards. Sew cross segment between two square segments to complete the block. Press and square to 4½”.

Cut backing fabric to 4½” square. Place backing fabric face up and Forgotten Five Patch face down. Sew using a 3/8″ seam allowance leaving a 2″ opening to flip. Trim corners, flip and press. Fill with unused, dry rice. Close using a hidden blanket stitch.

One Miniature Quilt – 12″ x 12″ and/or One Pillow Case – 15″ x 15″
One Pin Cushion – 4″ x 4″

If you like the look of scrappy, mix and match the center units like here featured with Honky Tonk! I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. I would love to see what you have made if you decide to use this tutorial.

Happy Patching!

Designed by Karen Ackva

Pieced and Quilted by Sarah Huechteman

Sunny Steps Quilt

Hi, my name is Alison Tudor of Sew and Tell Quilts. Sunny Steps was inspired by Kate Spain’s Sunnyside line and my love of  3D and geometric designs. While this quilt looks great in these middle volume colors, it also looks great in solids and bold prints. Don’t let paper piecing scare you away from this pattern. This is a very simple paper piecing project. The only tricky part to this quilt is getting all the prints in the right place.

Come and visit me at any time.


  • 3⅛ yards of Bella Solids white (9900-98)
  • 1 fat quarter bundle of Sunnyside by Kate Spain
  • ¾ yard of Sunnyside Prism Blaze for the middle border
  • 2 yards of Sunnyside Skyward Sprig for the outer border and binding (or ½ yard of a different print if you choose to use a contrasting binding)
  • 4¼ yards backing fabric
  • 72″ x 72″ piece of batting
  • Foundation pattern pieces (in Printer Friendly Version)

Pay close attention to the Quilt Layout Diagram as fabric placement is very important. You may choose to cut your strips slightly larger than indicated if you are new to foundation piecing. Make a test block before cutting all of your fabric.

Cutting Directions
 Select 32 fat quarters from the bundle. Choose a good mix of light and dark prints.

From each fat quarter cut: 
2 – 4″ x wof strips, sub cut each into one 11″ x 4″ strip (for block centers) and one 4″ x 5″ strip (for block corners)
1 – 3 1/2″ x wof strip, sub cut  into two 3 1/2 x 5″ strip (for block corners)

From the white fabric cut: 
28 – 3″ x wof strips, sub cut into six 3″ x 6″ pieces (for blocks)

From middle border fabric, cut 6 strips measuring 2½”” x WOF

From outer border fabric, cut 7 strips measuring 4½” x WOF

From the binding fabric, cut 7 strips measuring 2½” x WOF 

Making the Blocks
This quilt looks complicated but consists of two simple blocks, A and B. Don’t let paper piecing scare you. This is an easy paper pieced project, good for a first time paper piecer.

Block A

Block B

Foundation patterns for Blocks A and B can be found in the Printer Friendly file at the bottom of this post. 

  1. Make 32 copies of each of the paper-foundation pattern blocks and trim the pattern to a comfortable size, leaving at least 1/4˝ around the outside cutting line. 
  2. Place a 11” x 3-1/4” rectangle right side up on the blank (unmarked) side of the pattern. Make sure the fabric covers the entire area by at least 1/4˝ on all sides and pin in place. Place a 11” x 2-3/4” white rectangle on top of  the print rectangle, right sides together. With the marked side of the paper foundation up and the fabrics on the bottom, sew on the line between areas 1 and 
  3. Fold the paper pattern back and trim the seam allowance to 1/4˝. Open the fabrics so that both pieces are right side up and press. 
  4.  Fold the paper back along the next seam line, between areas 2 and 3. Trim the fabric so that it extends 1/4˝ past the folded line. This trimming creates a straight edge upon which you can line up your next fabric piece, making the placement easier. 
  5.  Place a 4” x 2-1/2” corner rectangle on top of white piece and sew on the line between areas 2 and 3. Flip open the triangle and press. 
  6.  Repeat steps 4 and 5, adding white and print rectangles in numerical order until the pattern is completely covered with fabric pieces. Press the unit. 
  7.  Use a rotary cutter to trim away the excess fabric around the block, leaving a 1/4˝ seam allowance all around the outer sewing line. The block should measure 7” square. 

Quilt Layout Diagram 

Make the Borders
Join the 1 1/2″ wide white strips end to end. Measure the length of the quilt, it should measure 56″, cut two strips to this length.  Sew the strips to the sides of the quilt top. Measure the width of the quilt top, it should measure 58″. Cut two strips to this length. Sew the strips to the top and bottom of the quilt top for the inner border.

For middle border join  2 1/2″ wide strips end to end. Measure the length of the quilt, it should measure 58″.  Cut two strips to this length.  Sew the strips to the sides of the quilt top. Measure the width of the quilt top, it should measure 62″. Cut two strips to this length. Sew the strips to the top and bottom of the quilt top.

For the outer border join 4 1/2″ strips  end to end.  Measure the length of the quilt, it should measure 62″. Cut two strips to this length. Sew the strips to the sides of the quilt top. Measure the width of the quilt top, it should measure 70″.   Cut two strips to this length. Sew the strips to the top and bottom of the quilt top to complete the borders.

Quilt Assembly
Lay out the blocks in 8 rows of 8 blocks each as shown in the quilt layout diagram. Join the blocks in rows and then join the rows. Add the 1 1/2” white inner border, the 2-1/2” middle border and the 4-1/2” outer border. Layer the quilt top with batting and backing; baste.

Quilt as desired. Detail in photo below shows how I quilted mine.

Piece binding strips end-to-end on the bias and press seams. Press in half lengthwise to create single-fold binding. Attach to quilt using your preferred binding method.

 This was quilted with a stair-step straight-line pattern. Finished quilt measures 70″ x 70″

Alison Tudor

Honeysweet Pinwheel Quilt

Thank you for stopping by the Moda Bake Shop to see what is baking today.  I’m happy you stopped by for a visit.  Let me introduce myself…I’m Pauline Francis and you can also find me blogging at Quiltnqueen.  I am back to share my 3rd recipe with you.  Today I am baking a sweet recipe…using one of Moda’s ‘beautiful’ fabrics Honeysweet designed by Joanna Figueroa from Fig Tree and Co.  I hope you find it ‘yummy’.

  • 3 Charm Packs Honeysweet ~hst’s
  • 2 yds Honeysweet Solid Ivory 20199-31 ~hst’s
  • 1 yd Honeysweet Amber Drops Raspberry 20217-12 ~borders and binding
  • 3.25 yds Honeysweet Poppy Blooms Ivory 20215-11 ~backing

  • use 1/4” seam allowance throughout
  • use your favorite method for pressing the pinwheels…to eliminate the bulk I press my all the pinwheel seams open, using a shortened stitch length
  • press border seams towards the narrow border pieces
  • wof = width of fabric
  • hst’s = half square triangles


  • From the Ivory 
    • cut 12 – 5″ strips wof
      • subcut into 96 – 5″ squares
  • From the Amber Drops Raspberry 
    • cut 6 strips 1-1/2″ strips wof  for borders
    • cut 6 strips 2-1/2″ strips wof for binding
  • Choose one charm square that contrasts with the inner border
    • cut 4 squares 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ for the corner stones in the inner border 


  • choose 96 Honeysweet charms and draw a diagonal line on each
  • pair each of the 96 Honeysweet 5″ charms with a 5″ ivory square, right sides together and stitch a scant 1/4″ on both sides of diagonal line.  

  • cut on the diagonal line

  • set the seams, press seams open  

  • trim hst blocks to 4-1/2″ (using a rotating cutting mat works great for this step) 

  • you now have 2 piles, one with the trimmings and one with perfectly trimmed 4-1/2″ squares…this important step makes all your hst’s go together perfectly

  • to make the 6 large center blocks, you will need 96 hst’s.  You can choose to make your center blocks scrappy or choose a color way for each of the 6 blocks.  I made the 6 center blocks each a different colorway.  Choose 16 hst’s of each color way for the 6 center blocks…set aside the other 96 hst’s for the outer border.
  • lay out your hst’s as shown below.  It will look like a 16 patch block.

  • sew together in rows of 4

  • now sew your 4 rows together and you have one center block that measures 16 1/2″ x 16 1/2″ 

  • make 5 more 16 patch center blocks
  • sew 2 of the center blocks together side by side
  • repeat 2 more times

  • sew the top, center and bottom rows together…set aside this large center section of the quilt…you will need it again when you add the inner border.  It should measure approximately 32-1/2″ x 48-1/2″.

  • 4 hst’s make one pinwheel block
  • take the remaining 96 hst’s and mix the different color ways to make 24 pinwheel blocks…balance your colors to make them scrappy.  The pinwheel blocks should measure 8-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ 

  • take 4 of the pinwheel blocks and sew them together. This will be part of the top outer border.  Repeat for the bottom outer border
  • take 6 of the pinwheel blocks and sew them together for the side outer border.  Repeat for the other side outer border.
You are now ready to add the borders…

  • measure the sides of the center piece…they should be the same length
  • measure the top and bottom of the large center piece…they should be the same width
  • you will use these measurements to cut your inner border pieces 

    • take 3 of the 1-1/2″ x wof strips, join them using a 45 degree angle (like you would piece your binding strips).  Cut 2 pieces that measure the length of the sides of your center piece
    • with the remaining 1-1/2″ strips cut 2 pieces that measure the width of the top and bottom of your center piece
    • cut 8 pieces measuring 1-1/2″ by 8-1/2″ 

Lay out your quilt pieces into 5 rows as shown below
TIP:  when attaching the 1-1/2″ inner border to the pinwheel blocks place the border piece next to your sewing machine and have the pinwheel blocks on top.  That way you see the pinwheel seams and are less likely to have the seams flip the wrong way.  Nest your seams…pin at each seam..I like to use extra fine pins.

  • sew your blocks together to make the 5 rows, press seams towards the narrow border 
  • press the corner stone seams in row 2 and 4 towards the narrow border
  • sew rows 1 and 2 together
  • sew rows 4 and 5 together

  • sew the 3 rows together to complete your quilt top
  • press your seams towards the narrow border pieces
  • quilt and bind

I hope you enjoy this Honeysweet Pinwheel quilt.

A lap size quilt approximately 52″ x 68″

Thank you for stopping by the Moda Bakeshop today to see what  I was baking.  I hope you liked my recipe.  It has been a lot of fun baking with Moda.  

I would love it if you came to visit my blog.  I have another version of this quilt to share.  It measures 52″ x 52″ using American Jane’s Fairy Tale Friends charm packs.  Stop by and enter my giveaway.  

Have a wonderful day!!

Happy stitching

Pauline Francis

Fair Isle Baby Quilt and Crib Bedding

Leah Douglas from Buggspot again! I am SO EXCITED to share this with you. There are lots of tutorials out there on the web for making your own nursery bedding, but I think this one is the best. 😉

This is a tutorial in THREE PARTS. First up is a fair isle style imitation baby quilt using solids and a very thin soft fleece for the backing, sure to entrance the eyes and be snuggled up to by your newest arrival. Second is the chevron crib skirt, with one pleat in the center of each long side, as well as a matching customized breathable bumper (my *favorite* kind of crib bumper because it won’t suffocate any little guys who aren’t yet strong enough to move their heads if they get smothered AND because it keeps all arms and legs safely inside the crib and safe from becoming stuck or caught…I guess that was a big issue for my kids for some reason!). Third is the crib sheet!

Fair Isle Quilt Tutorial

1 Fat Quarter (FQ from here on out) of Amelia Orange
1 FQ Goldenrod Yellow
2 FQ Pistachio Green
1 FQ Green (the darker green)
1 FQ Turquoise
1/2 yd. White
1 yd. 60″ wide Fireside Pale Grey (the super soft stuff; this way we skip the batting)
1/3 yd. binding (OR you should have enough of the soft fleece leftover from the backing to skip this if you want)
white thread

When cutting these fat quarters into strips, always cut so that the strip ends up being 22″ long and not 18″ long.

If you weren’t able to find fat quarters, you can use regular cuts of fabric. Your instructions will be in {brackets}. If using FQs then just ignore the {brackets}!

From Orange cut: 3 FQ strips 2″ wide {that’s 2 strips of a full length cut if you are not using Fat Quarters}
From Yellow cut: 7 FQ strips 2″ wide {4 full length}
     Cut a 2″ square off the end of one of these strips. Save this. Don’t set it somewhere to be lost! 😉
From Lighter Green cut: 10 FQ strips 2″ wide {5 full length}
     From these strips cut:
          2 rectangles 8″ x 2″
          5 rectangles 11″ x 2″
          11 squares 2″ x 2″
          save 4 FQ strips {or save 2 1/2 strips full length}
From Darker Green cut: 6 FQ strips 2″ wide {3 full length}
     From these strips cut:
          6 squares 2″ x 2″
          4 rectangles 8″ x 2″
          10 rectangles 5″ x 2″
From Turquoise cut: 3 FQ strips 2″ wide {2 full length}
     From these strips cut:
          8 squares 2″ x 2″
          12 rectangles 3 1/2″ x 2″
From White cut: 7 full length strips 2″ wide
     From these strips cut:
          10 rectangles 3 1/2″ x 2″
          49 squares 2″ x 2″
          5 rectangles 5″ x 2″
          2 half-strips (just cut one full strip in half)
          save 2 full strips

Also, always press towards the darker colored fabric whenever possible.

Sew a yellow FQ strip to a light green FQ strip (long side to long side). Press.

Sew a yellow FQ strip to a half-strip of white. Press.

Sew an orange FQ strip to a half-strip of white. Press.

Cut 9 of these from the yellow and light green:

Cut 9 of them from the yellow and white and then 9 from the orange and white. 

Sew the light green and yellow rectangles that you just made to the white rectangles 3 1/2″ x 2″ with WHITE on each end. Press.

Sew 3 yellow FQ strips into one long strip with a diagonal seam. A diagonal seam works like this (I know it’s not yellow, just pretend):

Sew this long yellow strip to the yellow side of the row you just created above. Press toward the yellow strip. Trim ends and square them to the rest of the row. 

Sew remaining light green FQ strips end to end into one long strip like you did with the yellow. Sew alongside a full length white strip. Press and trim ends. Sew remaining light green strip to the other side of the white strip. Press and trim.

Sew your two rows together:

Using 6 white 2″ squares, 4 light green rectangles 11″ x 2″, and 4 light green 2″ squares make TWO of these rows:

Using 9 white 2″ squares, 2 white rectangles 5″ x 2″, and your remaining light green pieces, sew the following:
Using all your turquoise pieces, 16 white 2″ squares, and 3 white rectangles 5″ x 2″, sew the following:

Sew yellow and white blocks from way earlier end to end starting with yellow and adding that additional yellow square onto the other end (so yellow is on each end of the long row). 

Sew yellow FQ strips end to end into 1 long strip. Cut in half. Sew to each side of a full length white strip. Then add the yellow and white strip from the previous step:

Sew orange and white blocks from way earlier end to end starting with white and adding an additional white square onto the other end (so white is on each end of the long row).

Sew remaining 2 orange FQ strips together (with diagonal seam again). Sew this strip to the orange and white row from the previous step:
Sew your rows together like this and you’re done with the quilt top! Use your fuzzy soft material as your backing and if you live in Texas, feel free to skip the batting altogether. I also used the fuzzy stuff for the binding, because I know my babies would love the quilt that much more if the edges were soft on their cheeks too. 

29″ x 36″ finished baby quilt

Crib Skirt and Bumper Trim

3 1/2 yds. Half Moon Modern Zig Zag Steel
1 1/2 yds. White
a set of breathable bumpers in White

You need to cut 2 rectangles from the Zig Zag fabric: 17″ x 62″
And 2 more rectangles from the same zig zag: 17″ x 30″

You should have lots of looooong scraps leftover after cutting these panels. SAVE THEM for the bumpers. They will all be going the same direction as the chevrons in your skirt, which is definitely desirable. Just set them aside. 
Also cut a white rectangle measuring 28 1/2″ x 52 1/2″.
Turn in the vertical edges (the edges measuring 17″) of all 4 of your zig zag rectangles 1/2″ and press:
And again, fold over 1/2″ to create a double fold. Press.

Now create a 1 1/4″ double fold along the bottom of your 4 rectangles and press. When unfolded, your corners should look like this:

To miter the corners, fold the corner up like this and gently press (this doesn’t have to be super precise):

Then press your double folds back in place. You should end up with nor raw edges showing.

Sew just under a 1/2″ seam down one vertical side until you come to where the bottom is folded up. See these next two pictures:

Just keep that vertical stitch going until you’ve come one or two stitches onto that bottom double-fold. Backstitch before cutting your thread. Then, using the above picture as a guide, start to sew (Backstitch first!!) from the edge of your bottom double-fold. Sew across and backstitch when you come to the end. Then start the next vertical side as seen below (backstitch first!) and sew until you come to the unfinished top edge:

Do as above for all 4 panels/rectangles.
Now to make a pleat in the center of each long panel. Find the very center of your panel and use a pin to mark it on the unfinished edge. Then measure 4″ out on either side and mark with two more pins:

Bring these pins in to the center pin:

Pin everything in place as smooth and straight as possible. Repeat for second long panel. 

Time to sew the panels to the big white rectangle. I used my serger, but if you don’t have a serger, feel free to use a tight zig-zag stitch. The bedskirt is not something that should be going through the wash nearly as often as the sheet or quilt, so this doesn’t have to be quite as durable. But if you *do* have a serger, go ahead and pull it out for this. 
Pick a panel and match it to a side of the white rectangle. You should have about a 1/4″ of white sticking out on either side, and this is GOOD. Pin it all in place and sew together. Repeat for the opposite side as well.

Do the same for the other two ends. 

Your corners should end up like this:

It’s a pleated crib skirt! 

Back to your previously set aside strips for the breathable bumper customization. Cut these strips to 3″ wide. You will need about 420″ total in length, which means you probably still don’t have enough. So using the remaining unused chevron fabric, cut more 3″ wide strips. BE SURE TO CUT THEM THE SAME DIRECTION AS YOUR OTHER STRIPS. If you’re not using stripes or chevrons, this won’t matter, but if you *are*, be sure not to mess this up!!

To be more specific, I still needed 290″ more in length. Using a 21″ cut of fabric, and cutting these strips *horizontally*, I came up with 14 strips 3″ wide to give me the amount I needed.

Using a diagonal seam (as demonstrated above in the quilt section), sew these strips together until you’ve come up with:
   2 lengths 120″
   2 lengths 88″
Press them all flat, with open seams. Then fold over and press the long edges 1/2″ on each side all the way down. Then press in half all the way down. You’ve just created a kind of binding, right? 🙂
Now pull out your fresh package of breathable bumpers. I got mine on Amazon. I’ve had two babies and I LOVE these “bumpers”. 

This part is going to be tedious. You need to carefully remove all the velcro and save it for later. Note that there are longer and shorter pieces and remember as best you can which pieces generally went where. It’s not too hard. 

After removing the velcro, it will look like this. Don’t worry. 

Using your chevron binding created above, sew it over the top of the satin already on the bumpers. First, you’re going to fold the edge under about 1/2″. Press. Line up this fresh fold with the very edge of the bumper. I suggest setting your machine for a thicker setting. On my ancient machine (it’s older than I am!) it looks like this. This isn’t a huge deal, but if you’re having trouble with your binding becoming stretched or pulling funny, this will certainly help.
Backstitch at the beginning before you get going and then sew along:

Stop in place a couple inches before the end of the bumper:

Cut the “binding” about 1/2″ beyond where the bumper ends. 

Finger press it under and then sew to the end, backstitching those last couple stitches in place.

Do this for all horizontal sides of your breathable bumpers! Reattach Velcro strips in the correct spots. Wasn’t that easy? 

One crib skirt and one set of breathable bumpers for a standard crib measuring 28″ x 53″

Crib Sheet
I know it’s hard to cough up the money for fabric that is 108″ or 60″ wide, but trust me, it’s worth it. I’ve had two babies and made some of their bedding, obviously, but the homemade sheets using regular width fabric only barely covered the mattress and because it was stretched so much, it looks worse for the wear. Go ahead and buy this nice fabric. You won’t regret it after it’s been pooped, spit up, and peed on and through the wash literally hundreds of times and it *still* holds up great. Honestly, if I were you, I’d make *two* of these sheets.

1 1/3 yds. 108″ Dottie Quilt Backs Steel (or you could get 2 yds. of 60″ wide fabric)
70″ of 1/4″ wide elastic

Cut yourself a rectangle measuring 47″ by 72″.

Make sure those edges and corners are all parallel and square.

Cut out 10″ squares from all 4 corners of your large rectangle. 

You should have this:

Now fold those funky corners like this, WRONG SIDES TOGETHER:

Pin in place.

Sew a very scant 1/4″ seam. Or if you prefer, sew it at a regular 1/4″ and then go back and trim the seam smaller.Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your seam. 

Flip it inside out and then pin again:

Sew a 1/4″ seam (backstitch at beginning and end). 

Congrats, you just made a French Seam! Do this for all 4 corners. 

Now for the elastic casing. Measure and press a 3/8″ seam. 

Make a double fold by measuring and pressing in 3/8″ again. 

Starting with a good backstitch, sew all the way around the sheet UNTIL you come about 3″ from where you started. Backstitch.

You should have an opening in your elastic casing like this:

Using a safety pin at the end of your elastic piece, thread the elastic through the casing, being sure not to pull the other end all the way into the casing too. 

Once you’ve gone through the whole thing, pin the ends together. 
I used a zig zag stitch down and back and down again to be sure that elastic wasn’t gonna go anywhere. 

And I forgot to take a picture of sewing up those last three inches in the casing, but if you made it this far, you can figure that out. 😉

One crib sheet for a standard crib measuring 28″ x 53″

Look what we just made! Isn’t it fantastic??!!

A note from Oda May: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against using padded bumpers in cribs. Please consult with your doctor and the latest AAP guidelines when choosing bedding for your infant.