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?

2012 in Review

Happy New Year quilters and sewers! 2012 was a busy year at the Moda Bake Shop. 199 posts published! Click through to see the top ten projects from 2012.

The Moda Bake Shop’s Top Ten Projects of 2012:

1. Sunbathing Companion by Stella Rutherford | {The Golden Adventures of a Very Dark Horse}

2. Sophie Car Seat Quilt by Jennie Pickett | {Clover & Violet}

3. Cathedral Window Pincushion by Kim Niedzwiecki | {}

4. Patchwork Chevron Quilt by Jeni Baker | {In Color Order}

5. Renaissance Waves Quilt by Karin Vail | {}

6. Owl Tag Along Toddler Backpack by Angela Pingel |{}


7. Lucky Layers Tiered Dress by Anshu Jain | {Blooms And Bugs}

8. So Soft Washcloths by AnneMarie Chany |{Gen X Quilters}

9. Isosceles Picnic Quilt by Penny Layman | {sewtakeahike}

10. Four Squared Quilt by Polly Monica | {}

Wishing you a happy, safe, and sew-ful New Year,

Studio Tour: Cut to Pieces

 Today we are touring the studio of  Moda Bake Shop Chef Angela Pingel of the blog Cut To Pieces.

{Have you joined our Show Off Your Stash Link Party yet? If not, you can link up here.}

Let’s take a peek inside this lovely sewing space!

Angela tells us that “Having a sewing room is an indulgence that has become a necessity in my life.  With a curious two year old, keeping sharp objects out of reach has been a daily task since she was born. But there is no denying that safety ALMOST takes a backseat to beauty in my sewing room.  I need a space that feels like an escape…a retreat…an inspiration.”

How does Angela keep her space so tidy? She used comic book backer boards to organize most of her yardage to look like mini bolts of fabric. She also keeps her thread organized by color.  A lot of her fabric storage space comes from a built-in bookcase, which she convinced her husband “needed to be this particular shade of blue.” I think it was a lovely choice!

Thanks for letting us into your space, Angela! You can see more of her studio {here}.

Getting Organized,

Squeaky Clean: A Shower Curtain

Hi All! I’m Angela from Cut To Pieces, and I’m back again today to share with you my latest project; The Squeaky Clean Shower Curtain.

 I recently moved to a new house and found myself in need of a new shower curtain for the bathroom my daughter mainly uses. I wanted to make something that would appeal to her little senses but also be appropriate for adults and guests. I spied Lucy’s Crab Shack by Sweetwater and knew that it was meant to be! I chose the prints that were the most gender neutral to me and would work with my focal print with the large orange bicycles.

 The simplicity yet sophistication of the design allows me to have a patchwork shower curtain without it feeling too “homemade”. The shower curtain is a hit with everyone in the house and will definitely grow well with my daughter!

12 Grommets with mounting hardware
7 – 19 Fat Quarters (I used 19 but you could repeat your fabrics and use fewer prints)
4 yards of laminated cotton canvas
1/4″ wide steam a seam lite or other fabric glue
Small clips (for holding laminated canvas together)

Cut the laminate cotton canvas into (2) 65″ length pieces. Discard the extra fabric.

Then cut one of the pieces to be 42 1/2″ wide. (You are mostly taking off the selvages here)

Cut the second 65″ long piece into (2) 15 1/4″ wide pieces. Discard the extra fabric.

Sew the laminated cotton pieces rst along the length of each piece, centering the 42 1/2″ wide piece between the two 15 1/4″ wide pieces.


  Use clips to help you hold the laminated cotton together as pins will most likely bend and cause puncture holes in the fabric.


CAREFULLY press the seam allowance toward the outside, making sure not to stretch the laminated cotton or touch the iron to the laminated side of the print. Press from the back.

 Because the fabric is laminated, it will not fray, so we can leave the edges raw. Yay for less work!


 At the top of the shower curtain, fold under the edge by 3/4″. Again, CAREFULLY press this edge down using a pressing cloth to protect the fabric and your iron. A lower setting on your iron may also help prevent distortion.


  Fold the edge again, this time by 4″. Use that pressing cloth!


  Using a laminated foot on your machine (or masking tape on the bottom of your presser foot), sew the folded edge in place along the top of the shower curtain.


Across the top of the shower curtain, mark a dot on each end measuring in 1 1/2″ from both the side and the top. Then continue to mark the grommet locations for the remaining 10 grommets approximately every 6 1/4″ across, also 1 1/2″ down from the top edge.


Install the 12 grommets across the top of the shower curtain according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You may find it helpful to use the grommet to trace the location and scissors to trim out any excess fabric before installing the grommets.


Put aside the top portion of the shower curtain and pull out the fat quarters now.

Choose 1 fat quarter to be the running strip across the width of the shower curtain. (Mine is the blue polka dot print). Cut (4) strips 2 1/2″ wide and sew them together at each short end.


TIP: Some leftover Jelly Roll Strips would also work perfectly here!

 Take your remaining fat quarters (I used 18 different ones) and cut (1) 4 1/2″ x 20″ strip from each. (They are easily cut on the fold)


Sew the strips rst along the long side in a pleasing random order. Press your seam allowances open.



REALITY CHECK:At this point your newly sewn strips should be a half inch wider than your laminated cotton upper portion of the shower curtain (which is 72″). Check to see if the fat quarters are indeed a half inch wider than the laminated cotton. If they are not (It’s REALLY easy to lose some length with all of those seam allowances), then simply add on another fat quarter strip of the width you need to get your dimensions to work. This is a very forgiving pattern and no one will notice an extra strip on one end that a little different than the others. 😉

Sew your long 2 1/2″ wide strip (again, mine is the blue polka dot) across the top of the sewn strips using a 1/4″ seam allowance and trim it to match your fat quarter strip.


Fold the short edge of each side under by 1/4″ and press.


Then fold the long bottom edge under by a 1/4″ and press it as well.


Line up the top of the fat quarter strips with the bottom of the laminated fabric, right sides together. Be sure to keep the 1/4″ edges folded in.


Hold the two pieces together using the clips again. If your pieces do not align perfectly, see the Reality Check portion above. Sew the laminated cotton to the fat quarter strips along the long edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance.


 CAREFULLY press the fat quarter strips down with the seam allowance pressed in the direction of the fat quarter strips. Top stitch the seam allowance in place along the top of the fat quarter strips.


Now apply the 1/4″ steam a seam lite to the folded edge of the fat quarter strip according to the manufacturer’s instructions. We are essentially “gluing” the fabric in place on the back side because it will be too difficult to use pins for this next step.

Flip the strips around to the back, WRONG sides together, and carefully place the folded edge of the bottom fat quarter strip on top of the seam allowance between the top of the fat quarter strip and the bottom of the laminated cotton. Allow the adhesive to hold the piece in place.


Top stitch a second time FROM THE FRONT across the top of the fat quarter strips to permanently attach the fabric in place.


Lay the shower curtain flat and press the bottom fold of the shower curtain, moving your way from the top of the fat quarter strip to the bottom.


Pin your short folded sides together and stitch along each short side and across the bottom of the shower curtain.



For aesthetic reasons, you may want to stitch more places together. I chose to also top stitch along the bottom of my blue polka dot print to match the top stitching above.


You now have a shower curtain with laminated cotton on the top and cotton fabric on the bottom with all the seams nicely concealed.


Take a step back and admire your new shower curtain! (This was the only time I could get a relatively decent shot of the whole thing)


Hang it up in your bathroom and ENJOY!




1 Shower Curtain approximately 72″ x 72″ just perfect for the kids or the kid in you!


Please note: I still hang this with a clear plastic liner as the back of the shower curtain is not water proof. Also, please check the dimensions of your own tub/shower before starting to confirm that this is the desired size you need. For a shower you may easily choose to make this less wide!

If you make this pattern or any of my other patterns here on Moda Bakeshop, please add your photos to my group on Flickr, Cut to Pieces, and the Moda Bakeshop group. I’d love to see them!

Angela Pingel
{Cut to Pieces}

Simply Charming Tablecloth

Simply Charming Tablecloth

Hello All! My name is Angela and I blog over at   I’m back with another tutorial for you, this time using the lovely Domestic Bliss line by Liz Scott.  I fell in love with these fabrics as soon as I saw them and wanted to make something quick and “easy” with all of the colors.

Sometimes you love every single fabric in a line and just want to USE them.  Right now!  Well this tablecloth pattern will let you do that and gives you a very functional item along with the joy of diving into a collection.  It uses just 2 charm packs.  So there is enough to have some fun but not so much that it gets overwhelming.

This tablecloth is perfect for special occasions like birthdays or holidays (with the right fabrics!) but is also simple enough for every day use.  There are special details like a mitered edge border and a single piece backing.

It’s “Simply Charming”.

(2) Charm Packs of Domestic Bliss by Liz Scott
  *update – not on PDF instructions* – you need 88 charms total…some lines will have enough in two charm packs.  If you don’t have enough, I would take some of the extra Bella solid and cut it into charm squares and use them as corner squares on the table cloth.
1 1/4 yard of Bella Solid Marine
2 yards of 108″ Grey Dottie Backing

Cut the Bella solid into a 40 1/2″ square piece of fabric.

Arrange your charms around the Solid center in rows.
You will need
     (2) 9 piece strips
     (4) 11 piece strips
     (2) 13 piece strips


Sew the charms into rows and attach the rows to the solid center as shown below.

First attach each 9 piece strip to opposite sides of the solid center.
Next attach an 11 piece strip to the two remaining opposite sides of the solid center to create a square piece again.


Then attach an 11 piece strip to opposite sides of the new square piece.


Finally, attach a 13 piece strip to the remaining two opposite sides to once again square up the piece.


Your piece should now be 58″ square.

Cut the Dottie Backing into a 67″ square piece.
We will be creating a deep mitered hem around the perimeter of the tablecloth.

On all four sides of the backing fabric, press the ends wrong sides together with a 1/2″ fold.


Follow this by pressing all four sides in with a 2″ fold.


At each corner, unfold the fabric back to reveal the wrong side of the fabric.  Fold each corner in at a 45 degree diagonal, wrong sides together.  You should be able to match up your pressed creases.


   Trim the folded triangle to a 1/2″.


Refold the fabric back along the original pressed edges to reveal a perfect mitered corner.

simply charming tablecloth - mitered edge

Lay the backing fabric out with the wrong side up.  Place the tablecloth pieced top on top of the backing, centering it.  Keep each fabric as smooth and flat as possible.

simply charming tablecloth

Fold the hem along the edge of the pieced top and pin in place around the entire tablecloth.  Top stitch around the entire edge of the hem, including the mitered edges.


And ta-da!  You are done!  Easy peasy!

One Simply Charming Tablecloth!

Simply Charming Tablecloth2
So pull out those charm packs…feel free to mix and match!  And whip up a fabulous tablecloth for that special occasion.  You could make some coordinating napkins too. 😉  Oh and how cute would a novelty tablecloth be for a child’s birthday party?!  Endless possibilities… 
If you do use the tutorial to make a tablecloth I would love to see it!  So please share it in my flickr group, Cut To Pieces and of course the Moda BakeShop Group as well.  Enjoy!
Angela Pingel

SLICED Tutorial: Owl Tag Along Toddler Backpack

Hello all! My name is Angela Pingel and I blog over at Cut To Pieces. I recently participated in Moda Bake Shop’s SLICED competition and had the honor (and shock!) of winning. I’m pleased to share with you today my final project for the competition, the Owl Tag Along Toddler Backpack.

This backpack is fully insulated with heat/cold resistant batting to make a functional yet adorable lunch tote. Lined with laminated fabric, it is perfect for the messes that come with a toddler, making it easy to wipe clean. The backpack uses basic box construction techniques, piping, a zipper, cording, D rings and more. I’m not saying that this is easy. But trust me, you will be happy with the bag! And so will that special little someone. It’s the perfect project for a holiday or birthday gift!

approximately 6 Assorted Layer Cake Pieces
assorted scraps (for owl eyes and nose)
1 yard of Twill/Home Dec weight fabric (this is plenty!)
1/2 yard of laminated fabric
1/4 yard of mesh utility fabric
1/2 yard of Insul-Bright insulated batting
1/2 yard of fusible non woven interfacing
Basting Spray
2 yards of nylon cording (sized to fit through eyelets)
Heat-n-Bond Lite II
1 package of coordinating piping
18″ zipper
1/4 yard of nylon strapping
1 package of 4 D rings
2 double cord stops

optional but helpful: teflon sewing machine foot
optional but helpful: freezer paper
optional but useful: scotch guard

Unless otherwise noted, all seam allowances are a 1/4″.

Use the pattern pieces provided to cut the backpack front and back from the twill fabric and the lining front and back from the laminated fabric.  Be sure to mark the top center of each piece. I like to use freezer paper to create my pattern pieces because I can iron the piece in place from the non-waxy side.


A little tip when working with laminated fabric: you can quickly press the fabric from the BACKside using a pressing cloth to help protect your iron and the fabric. The heat will make the fabric more malleable which may or may not be useful for you.


Creating the Lining:

In addition to the two pieces cut from the provided pattern pieces, also cut the following from the laminated fabric:

(1) 10 1/2″ x 4 1/4″ – bottom of backpack lining
(2) 8 3/4″ x 4 1/2″ – sides of backpack lining
(2) 15 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ – zipper opening
(2) 7″ x 4 1/2″ – interior pocket

Cut the following from the Insul-Bright Batting:

(1) 10″ x 4″ – bottom batting
(2) 8″ x 4″ – side batting
(2) backpack lining pattern minus a 1/4″ all around

Mark 1/4″ from each corner on the side and bottom lining pieces.


Spray-baste batting onto the wrong side of the laminated fabric, centering the batting on the pattern pieces.  Sew batting in place in even lines across all lining pieces. (I used 2″ increments.) I chose to keep the batting out of the seam allowance to help reduce bulk.  The laminate is already a bit tricky to work with and placing the batting only on the usable part of the bag eliminates some struggle you might have working with both the laminate and the batting.


TIP: When working with the laminated fabric, you will have the most success if you use a teflon sewing machine foot. It will not cling to the laminate and allows you to sew more easily. Most likely your teflon foot will look something like this:


Construct the interior laminate pocket by using the two ” x 4 1/2″ pieces. Place these right sides together and sew around the perimeter leaving a couple inches open to turn the piece right side out as seen in the picture below. Clip the corners, turn the piece right side out and top stitch along the edge.


Place the pocket on the lining back piece, centering the pocket. Stitch along the left, bottom and right sides to attach the pocket piece to the lining back. To create an extra detail to the pocket to hold something like a pen, stitch a vertical line 1 1/2″ from the right edge.


Construct the top opening and sides of the lining, starting with the two 15 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ pieces. The lining will not actually be connected to the zipper until the final step, so we are creating a finished edge for the lining at the zipper opening. Fold in one long edge on each of the two pieces by a 1/2″.


Top Stitch the fold in place. (You will love having that teflon foot for this kind of step!)


Lay the two center opening pieces right sides together on one of the side lining pieces. Align the outside edges together. There should be a gap in the middle. You do not want these to meet together!. Use a 1/2″ seam and sew these together.


Fold the side piece back and press the seam allowance toward the side piece. Top stitch the pieces in place.


Use the same procedure to sew the center opening pieces to the other side piece as well.


At this point, you have a long side/center piece, a bottom piece, a front piece and a back piece of the lining. They have been insulated and a pocket is attached. Now you need to sew all of these four pieces together. Use basic box construction techniques.

First sew the side/center piece to the front and back panels using a 1/4″ seam allowances, matching the centers and the ends. Leave a 1/4″ unsewn at each each end and ease the curves as you sew. Pin the pieces together with heavy duty pins ONLY in the seam allowance (the pins will leave a mark and you don’t want that anywhere other than your seam allowance).


Clip the curves as needed.


Sew the bottom of the bag to the other pieces one side at a time, always starting a 1/4″ in from the edge of the bottom piece. Again this is basic box construction. Clip the corners of the bottom piece to turn the piece along the edge of the bag.

(I didn’t get a great photo of this step but there are oodles out there on the Internet…just search for box construction sewing techniques)

Sew all four edges together and you will end up with an interior all lined with insulated batting and ready to go into your backpack!



Creating the Backpack Exterior:

The exterior is best tackled in steps.  Construct the back of the back pack, the sides of backpack (including the mesh pockets and zipper) and the owl front of the backpack.  Then put them all together.
Exterior Back:

In addition to the two pieces cut from the pattern pieces for the exterior back, also cut the following from the Twill fabric:
(2) 22″ x 4″ strips
(1) 5″ x 4″ strip

With each strip, fold the fabric in half along the length of the piece and press. Open the piece up again and fold in one short edge a 1/4″ and then again by a 1/4″ and top stitch the short end in place. (You do NOT need to do this particular step for the 5″ x 4″ piece). Fold the long edges of the strip in toward the center seam and press. Top stitch each long side of the folded strip.


Cut (1) 10.5″ x 9″ rectangle for the Exterior Bottom Back piece. Mark the center at the top and bottom of the piece. Place each of the long shoulder straps, raw edges together, 2″ from the center on each side and tack in place using an 1/8″ seam allowance.


Lay your piece flat and stretch out the shoulder straps flush against the back panel. Angle the straps so that they are 1 1/2″ from the outside edge and pin temporarily in place.

With right sides together, sew the exterior back panel pieces together using a 1/2″ seam allowance.


Press the seam toward the top of the bag and topstitch the top panel just above the seam (you may want a second row of topstitching a 1/4″ above that).


Remove the pins from the shoulder straps and move these out of the way while you work on attaching the D rings to the bottom of the bag.

Take the 5″ x 4″ strip that has been sewn into a small strap and cut it into (2) 2 1/2″ long pieces.

Fold the small strip in half and slip (2) D rings onto the loop.
Use a zipper foot to sew the D rings tightly in place at the center of the small straps.
Mark 1 1/2″ from each side of the bottom and place the D ring straps to the inside of each mark. Tack in place using an 1/8″ seam allowance.

Pull the long shoulder straps through the D rings following the manufacturer’s instructions.


Apply piping to the outside edge of the whole back exterior panel around the sides (not the bottom). Be sure to use a thread that matches the piping for this step and a zipper or piping foot.


Cut 8″ of nylon strapping for a hanging loop and attach it to the top of the exterior back with raw edges aligned and stitch in place using an 1/8″ seam allowance.


Step back and admire your work! You have completed the exterior back of the backpack!


Exterior Sides:

There are two distinct parts to making the exterior sides: making the center zipper and making the adjustable mesh pockets.

Zipper installation:

Cut (2) 15 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ strips of Twill fabric. Install the zipper between these two pieces.

Use your zipper foot for installation and top stitch the fabric in place for a smooth finish.


Shorten the zipper according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Mesh Pockets:

Cut the following:
(2) 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ pieces from the Twill fabric
(2) 5 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ pieces from the Mesh Fabric
(2) 7 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ pieces from layer cake piece chosen for pocket casing


Take the (2) casing pieces measuring 7 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ and fold in half along the length, wrong sides together. Press. Open out the pieces and press each side into the center.

You should see 4 “sections” of the casing now. Along the 2nd section, add a small scrap of interfacing across the middle. Mark the center (3 3/4″ from either end). Measure 1″ or so from each side of the center and mark your eyelet locations.


Install the grommets according to the manufacturer’s instructions with the wrong side of the grommet on the interfacing.


Cut (4) pieces of cording 14″ in length and thread it from the wrong side of the fabric through the eyelet to the right side. Tack it in place along the wrong side edge.


Insert the mesh fabric into the grommet placket casing and top stitch along the edge of the casing.



Attach the mesh to the side twill panel pieces by first stitching along each side using an 1/8″ seam allowance. Box pleat the bottom of the mesh to be fit perfectly flush with the twill fabric and stitch in place.


Insert the cording through a double cord stop. Trim cording to desired length and knot each cording end.


You may want to insert a pull tab on the zip side, so attach a 3 1/2″ piece of ribbon/twill tape folded in half to the pocket piece on the zip side.


Now attach each side pocket piece to the center zipper piece using a 1/2″ seam allowance on each side. Top stitch each piece in place.



Yay! You’ve finished the exterior side pieces!      

Exterior Front:

And now the part that I’m sure you’ve been waiting for! Making that sweet owl for the front of the backpack. I saved it for last because it’s my favorite part!

In addition to the (1) exterior front backpack pattern piece cut from Twill, you will also need the owl pattern pieces.

 Cut (2) Owl Belly Pocket pieces from (2) layer cake pieces.


Fold (1) neutral layer cake piece in half and cut (2) Owl Face pieces.


Cut (4) Owl Wing pieces from (2) matching layer cake pieces.


Apply Interfacing on the wrong side of one piece of each owl part: 1 per wing, 1 for belly pocket and 1 for owl face. Again, to lessen the bulk I like to keep the interfacing out of the seam allowance. So trim it to 1/4″ shorter than the pattern piece on all sides.


With right sides together, stitch 1/4″ around the belly pocket sides and top. Clip the corners and notch the curves.


Turn the belly piece right side out and double top stitch the top of the pocket.


Match the centers of bag front and belly pocket. Tack the pocket in place along the bottom of the bag using a 1/8″ seam allowance.


Stitch the sides *only* of belly pocket to the bag front.


To make the wings, sew (2) wing pieces right sides together along the sides only. Clip the seam.


  Turn wings right side out. Flip top in and under 1/4″ and top stitch all around the wing pieces.


Sew Wings to either side of the belly pocket, attaching *only* at the top of the wing using a tight double top stitch. Your wing will be free to flap this way.


To make the owl face, sew (2) owl face pieces right sides together around the shape, leaving a 2″ or so unsewn gap at the bottom of the face. Trim seam allowance to 1/8″, turn right side out and press firmly.


Creating the eyes:

Cut (1) gray 2″ circle and adhere steam a seam lite II to the back. Cut the circle in half. Then trim an 1/8″ away from the outside edge (make this a good cut! These are the pieces you are using on the backpack). Use the remaining inner circle pieces to cut some tiny pieces for your eyelashes.

Arrange as desired. Remove the paper backing and press all eye
pieces in place. Be sure not to move your iron back and forth…this is an up and down pressing motion.


Using an open toe applique foot, top stitch or satin stitch around the edge of each piece with matching grey thread.


Creating the nose:

Cut (1) small triangle from a scrap of fabric. Back this piece with SAS Lite II as well. Remove paper backing and press in place. Top stitch or satin stitch around the edge.


Spray baste the back of the owl face and position it on the Exterior Backpack front above the Belly Pocket and Wings. Top stitch around the whole perimeter of the face.


Eep!! Isn’t she sweet?!



Sew piping to the Exterior bag front along the edges but not the bottom just as you did for the Exterior Back.

You now have a completed Exterior Front, Exterior Back and Exterior Sides.

Cut (1) 10 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ twill piece for the Exterior Bottom and you can start to sew all of these pieces together. It is constructed exactly as the interior lining was, with box construction.

First sew the Exterior Sides to the Exterior Back, matching centers and ends. I used my zipper foot to keep that piping nice and snug!


Ease the curve together and clip seams as necessary. Remember to leave a 1/4″ unsewn at the bottom of each side.



Starting to see a bag!


Yum….pretty piping!


I keep the backpack straps pinned up and out of the way.


Continue to construct the backpack together, sewing the bag front to the bag sides.

Then sew the bag bottom to the backpack using the same construction techniques as you did with the lining: box construction. So be sure to mark the quarter inch seam allowance at each corner on the bottom Twill piece.


 Sew all four sides together, clipping corners as necessary.


Turn bag right side out. Admire your work. You are almost there!!

 Putting the lining and exterior bag pieces together:

This is it! The very end!! All that you need to do now is insert the lining into the exterior backpack and stitch together at the zipper.

Insert the bag lining into the backpack ensuring that WRONG sides are together.


Push and finagle that lining into its proper place and line up the openings of the backpack exterior and the lining. The laminated fabric should be tucked back from the zipper a bit so it does not get caught in the zipper. Use heavy-duty pins and carefully pin the lining in place.


You may want that teflon foot back again depending on how you do the last step, but this is it! Sew the lining opening in place along the edge of the exterior zipper. There are some tricky parts to this but just keep fiddling with the bag until you can sew all around the zippered edge.

You will end up with what looks like a double row of top stitching on the outside!

  Now do the happy dance because you are DONE!!

One Backpack perfect for the Toddler in your life!

I hope that you all enjoy this pattern and try to tackle it. If you’re dying for the look without too much hassle, you could always make an unlined version and finish off the interior seams with packaged bias tape. Quick and Easy! (well…easier!) I would love to see any projects made from my patterns, so please add them to my group on Flickr, Cut To Pieces and of course to the Moda Bake Shop Group as well.

And don’t forget that there are endless possibilities for color combinations and themes. In another lifetime I will find the time to make a boy version of this in navy blue and kelly green, perhaps with a sweet whale face! My mind is a whirl with all of the adorable options for how to personalize this backpack to a particular child’s tastes. Personally my girl is quite pleased with her owl. The owl who says “whooo!”

Angela Pingel

SLICED Winner Angela Pingel!

The Moda Bake Shop is thrilled to congratulate Angela Pingel of Cut To Pieces for winning the Moda Bake Shop Sliced Competition! Angela, you should receive your prizes shortly.

Angela Pingel is a self-taught quilter who has been sewing for over 20 years.  She made her very first quilt during her senior year in high school for her college dorm room.  Her degrees include a BA in Mathematics from Saint Mary’s College and an Associates Degree in Interior Design from Ivy Technical Institute.  

Angela has been published in 101 Patchwork Projects  and Modern Patchwork by Interweave Press, 99 Modern Blocks by C&T Publishing, and featured on the Moda Bake Shop.  She manages her blog, Cut To Pieces, in her free time between sewing and raising her sweet little girl with her husband.

Stay tuned for more of Angela’s tutorials in the near future…

SLICED Tutorial: Inspiration Board

Cork Board
Spray adhesive
Scrap of batting cut to fit cork board
Roll of Upholstery Tack
Rhinestone Buckle
Fabric Stabilizer
(1) spool of Coordinating Ribbon
Hot Glue Gun or Staple Gun
(1) fat quarter of a Moda script print fabric
(1) fat quarter of a Moda Bella Solid fabric
Assorted Charms for Spool Paper Piecing

– Measure the dimensions of your cork board and cut a piece of batting to fit directly over the cork but not the frame.  Use the spray adhesive to attach the batting to the cork board.
–  Use the charms to create a paper pieced spool of thread.  The background of the spool should be the Bella solid. 
– Cut the script fat quarter to cover roughly half of the cork board plus 2 extra inches on the top and sides for upholstery purposes.  Exact dimensions will depend on your particular cork board. 
– Piece together the bottom half of the fabrics for the cork board using the paper pieced spool and the bella solid.  Again, you will want roughly two inches around the bottom and side perimeters. 
– Sew together the script fabric and bottom spool fabric to create your full fabric piece for covering the whole cork board. 
– Pick a font that you like to create a template for your letters in the word “Inspire”.  It is easier if you use a script font so the letters connect seamlessly.  Size the word to suit your cork board and lightly trace it onto the fabric with a pencil.  Use a fabric stabilizer behind your letters and free motion stitch the letters using your pencil lines as a guide.  (You may want to practice this technique first!  I do this with my feed dogs down, a bobbin matching my solid fabric, and a small stitch length on my machine.  But find the right technique for you and your machine.)
– Use the spray adhesive and align your sewn fabric over the cork board as desired. Pay particular attention to the fabric over the actual cork.  Making it as smooth as possible.  Use basic upholstery techniques to wrap the fabric around the edge and to the back. 
– Use either a heavy duty hot glue gun or a staple gun to hold the fabric in place.  Be sure to fold the corners in tightly. 
– Place your buckle and ribbon on the upper third of the cork board.  Pull the ribbon fairly taught and wrap it around to the back of the board as well.  
– Hold it in place with either hot glue or a staple gun. 
All fabric should be held firmly in place at this point with just the upholstery tacks left to place.  
 -Use the roll of upholstery tacks to hold the fabric in place, using the edge of the frame as a guide.  Cut the roll of tacks to size per side. 

You’re finished!  Hang your new inspiration board on the wall and start filling it with beautiful images that “Inspire” you!

Angela Pingel

Picket Fences Crib Quilt


Hello again! I’m Angela and I blog over at Cut to Pieces. I am very excited about this baby crib quilt. I had the pleasure of working with Sweetwater’s Hometown fabric and I couldn’t be more in love with it. There is something about this collection that just begs you to snuggle with it. After making this quilt, I want to make Pajama pants in almost every fabric. 😉

Picket Fences is a crib quilt that is a perfect welcome home gift for the newest little one in your life. You can have fun trying to find your own Hometown among the many, many names on the fabric. I found mine! The canvas backing makes for a durable floor play mat, but this also makes a beautiful wall hanging. Either way, this quilt will be well loved by all.

• 3 Charm Packs of Sweetwater’s Hometown
• 1 Jelly Roll of Bella White Solids
• 1/2 yard of fabric for the binding
• 2 yards of Hometown canvas grey dot for the backing
• 2 yards of Hometown canvas town print for the backing

Latest Project

Charm Packs and a Jelly Roll make quick work of piecing this quilt top. The quilt is pieced in vertical columns made up of charms and/or jelly roll strips. Then each vertical row is sewn together to complete the top. A small amount of paper piecing is used to create the tips of the picket fence (but don’t worry if you don’t do paper piecing! You can use the patterns in the Printer Friendly version as templates).


White Bella Solid:

Select (11) strips from the White Jelly Roll.

Cut (8) strips 22.5″ in length for 2.5″ x 22.5″ pieces.  Use the remaining part of the strip for the 8 paper pieced fence tips.  There is plenty for this!

picket fences

Cut (3) strips into (9) sets of (2) 2.5″ x 5″ pieces. You need 18 pieces total and you can get 8 pieces per strip.

picket fences

Hometown Charm Packs

I chose to remove the solid cream fabrics from the charm packs as I felt that there would not be enough contrast between the cream and the white “fence”.

• Select (8) charms to be used with the paper pieced tips.  Cut each charm in half to create (2) 2.5″ x 5″ pieces.  Keep the two halves together for use on the same fence tip.

• Select between (16) and (32) charms to cut in half to create pieces  2.5″ x 5″.  You need (32) half charms all together, but you may or may not want to repeat which ones you have of this size.  Thus you can either choose (16) pieces or up to (32) pieces to cut in half.

picket fences

• Select (8) charms for the “post” rows.  Cut each charm in half and then cut (8) of those into 2.75″ x 2.5″ pieces.

 • Select (72) charms to be used throughout the background as well.


The first thing you get to do is play with all the pretty fabrics in the charm packs!  You will need to lay out your charm squares, half charm squares and perhaps even some of your “fence” pieces to spread out the colors and patterns evenly throughout the background.  There are nine “rail” rows (which are 5″ wide)  and eight “post” rows (which are only 2.5″ wide).

You can use this picture as a visual for where you are headed.

Picket Fences

Each “post” row is only 2.5″ wide and uses half charms, jelly roll strips, and the paper pieced tip. From top to bottom, there are 3 half charms, followed by a “quarter” charm, then the paper pieced tip and the 22.5″ long fence post.

picket fence post
Each “rail” row is made up of 5 charms followed by a “rail”, then two more charms, another “rail” and ends with a single charm at the bottom.
picket fence rail
As you can see here, I just put my fabric out all over the floor and tried to evenly distribute the colors and fabrics.  You will be using both of your full sized charms (for the rail rows) and your half charms (for the post rows).
picket fences

Things can get confusing very quickly, so I find it helpful to label each row.  Use whatever system works best for you, but I just grab some generic plain labels and stick them on. (A little tip: don’t put the labels where they could get caught in the seam allowance!  This way you can keep the labels on while you sew the pieces together and remove them when you need to.)

picket fences

I start to partially construct my rows by sewing together each very simple rail column.  I press all the seams in one direction from the bottom to the top of the row.

picket fences

Sewing the Fence Tips

Use the templates in the Printer Friendly Version at the bottom of the post and make 8 copies of the fence post tips for paper piecing.  This is a very simple little paper pieced pattern. If you are not familiar with paper piecing, you can also use the print out the pattern as a template guide.  You can make your own templates simply by cutting out each shape and then add a 1/4″ seam allowance on all sides of pieces 1, 2, and 3.   Piece 1 is the fence itself and should the white solid.  Pieces 2 and 3 are two halves of a charm as chosen before.  And piece 4 is a “quarter” charm (or more accurately 2.75″ x 2.5″).

picket fences

Use the pattern to sew the white fabric to the paper and surround it on either side with the two matching half charms.

picket fences

Sew the upper half of the post row to the paper pieced fence tip, connecting the fence tip to the background fabric.  Remove the paper.

picket fences

Here is a view of the upper half of the “post” row from the front.

picket fences

Sew each upper “post” row to one of the 22.5″ long pieces of the white solid.  The rows may look a little odd at first because of the extra fabric on either side of the fence tip.  But you want this!  That is your seam allowance for when you sew a “post” row to a “rail” row.

picket fences

Putting your Quilt Top Together

Begin to sew each of your “post” and “rail” vertical rows together in order to create your quilt top.  Pin together at each matching seam and as needed to help keep your fabrics together.

picket fences

Sew row 1 (a rail row) to row 2 (a post row) and press the seam allowance toward row 2.  Then sew these two rows to row 3 and so on.

picket fences

Your quilt top will begin to come together.  Soon you will be able to see a fence, piece by piece.

Picket Fences

More rows sewn together.

Picket Fences

A whole fence, built of rail rows and post rows!

Picket Fences

The Backing

The backing of a quilt is always a bit larger than the quilt top to allow for some shifting during the quilting process.  This back is no exception.

From the two yard lengths of canvas, cut an 18″ width of the grey polka dot and a 33″ width of the town print.

picket fences

Using some of the left over fabric from the jelly rolls and a single charm, create a strip to go between the two canvas prints.  Cut the charm into fourths and use three of the pieces spread evenly between lengths of white solid.  Then sew this pieced strip in between the two canvas prints, creating one backing.

picket fences

Here you can see the backing in action!  That little quarter charm just pops off the back!



Completing the Quilt:

Use your favorite basting method to baste together the backing, batting and quilt top. I chose to use a low loft cotton batting. Then quilt as desired. I echo quilted the fence posts with straight line quilting. Then I used free motion quilting to create a horizontal “wind” effect on the top half of the quilt and a vertical “grass” effect on the bottom half of the quilt.



I bound my quilt using (5) 2 1/2″ wide strips sewn together on the bias end-to-end. I fold that in half all along the length and stitch to the edge of the quilt. Then I flip the folded edge to the back of the quilt and hand sew in place. Just a simple double fold binding method.


One Crib Quilt sized 45″ x 60″.


I hope you like this design! I’d love to see any versions you make of this quilt. You can share them on Flickr in my group Cut To Pieces and of course the Moda Bake Shop group.

Angela Pingel

Gift Box Quilt

Gift Box title

Hello All! My name is Angela and I blog over at Cut To Pieces. I’m so pleased to be able to share with you all my very first Moda Bake Shop quilt! But not my last 😉 It was very fun to be able to use Kate Spain’s newest Christmas Line, Flurry. This is actually the first Christmas quilt that I have ever made and I was delighted to have an excuse. But don’t worry if Christmas Fabrics are not your thing! I have lots of other fabric options to show you below. So keep reading.

This twin sized quilt is a very versatile design that looks fabulous with any fabric. I actually think it would be a great design for a quilt for a male, which can be hard to find. And the beauty of this quilt is that it is all made from the same block pattern, so it goes quickly! I pieced the top in one weekend. So put off all of your quilt projects and tackle this one. I promise you won’t be disappointed. 😉

• One Fat Quarter Bundle of Flurry by Kate Spain (or Two jelly rolls!)
• 3.125 yards of Bella Solid Navy
• 3.5 yards of Aqua Snuggles fabric (60″ wide) for the backing
• 1 yard of Flurry Snowdrift Peppermint Swirl for the binding

Each block in this quilt is made exactly the same way. So all of the cutting and sewing instructions are the same for every block. Each block is made up of (9) pieces of fabric, all either a different size or a different print. There are 35 blocks that make up the quilt.


The Navy Bella Solid:

Fold the yardage in half selvage to selvage.

Cut (11) 4.5″ wide strips across the width of the fabric.
Cut (24) 2.5″ wide strips across the width of the fabric.

•select (4) of the 4.5″ wide navy strips and from those cut (35) 4.5″ x 4.5″ squares. You can get 9 pieces per strip.

•select (7) of the 4.5″ wide navy strips and from those cut (35) 8.5″ x 4.5″ pieces. You can get 5 pieces per strip.
*This measurement is fairly exact, so you may want to give yourself an extra strip if necessary.*

•select (3) of the 2.5″ wide navy strips and from those cut (35) 2.5″ x 2.5″ squares. You can get 16 pieces per strip.

(cutting a strip into 2.5″ inch squares)


•select (9) of the 2.5″ wide navy strips and from those cut (35) 10.5″ x 2.5″ pieces. You can get 4 pieces per strip.

•select (12) of the 2.5″ wide navy strips and from those cut (35) 12.5″ x 2.5″ pieces. You can get 3 pieces per strip.


(shown here are the three sizes of navy pieces that are 2.5″ wide)


The Fat Quarter Bundle:

Choose 21 Fat Quarters from the Bundle. Select 14 of those 21 to be double blocks and 7 to be single blocks. Do this by choosing a layout. Lay the fabrics out, 3 across and 7 down. Place them in such a way that you have a pleasing balance of color, scale and print. All three will keep your eye moving.


When you are pleased with your arrangement, proceed with cutting.

For the 14 fat quarters that will double (ie the ones that you are making two blocks of), cut (3) strips 2.5″ x length of the fat quarter (generally 22″).

•select (1) strip and cut (2) 10.5″ x 2.5″ pieces.

•select (1) strip and cut (2) 8.5″ x 2.5″ pieces.

•select (1) strip and cut (2) 4.5″ x 2.5″ AND (2) 2.5″ x 2.5″ pieces.


For the 7 fat quarters that are single blocks, cut (2) strips 2.5″ x length of the fat quarter (generally 22″).

•select (1) strip and cut (1) 10.5″ x 2.5″ piece.

•select (1) strip and cut (1) 8.5″ x 2.5″ AND (1) 4.5″ x 2.5″ AND (1) 2.5″ x 2.5″ pieces.


*note: if using jelly rolls for this, simply skip the step that requires you to cut the fabric into 2.5″ strips and go straight to cutting the actual pieces required. You will need (2) jelly rolls to achieve the displayed quilt.*


Sew each block together in the alphabetized order from A to I, always pressing toward the newest piece added to the block.

gift box

A. Navy 2.5″ x 2.5″ square
B. Print 2.5″ x 2.5″ square
C. Print 4.5″ x 2.5″ piece
D. Navy 4.5″ x 4.5″ square
E. Navy 8.5″ x 4.5″ piece
F. Print 8.5″ x 2.5″ piece
G. Print 10.5″ x 2.5″ piece
H. Navy 10.5″ x 2.5″ piece
I. Navy 12.5″ x 2.5″ piece

Pieces A and B


Place right sides together and sew.


For faster piecing, you may find it helpful to do some chain piecing, particularly at the beginning.


Pieces A and B with C.


Place right sides together and sew.


Press seam toward piece C. (always towards the newest piece)


Pieces A,B,and C with D


Place right sides together and sew.

(try not to notice that I didn’t press my seam here the way that I am telling you to.)


Press the seam toward D.


Pieces A,B,C,D with E.


Place right sides together and sew.


Press seam toward E.


Pieces A,B,C,D,E with F (stop me when I’m boring you!).


Place right sides together (big shock…) and sew.


Let’s skip ahead a couple, shall we? Eventually you attach that last piece onto your block!


Each block finishes at 12.5″ x 12.5″ unfinished.

Sew the (5) blocks in each row together, taking care to match your seams at the double block. Press the seams open.


Sew each row together, pinning as necessary. Press open the seams.

Two Rows Together.


Putting the 4th row on.


The whole quilt top together!


A detailed shot of the top:



I used Moda’s Snuggles Fabric for ultimate comfort in the cold winter months. You may have thought that this fabric was just for baby blankets, but let me tell you. Adults love it too!

This fabric comes in a 60″ width, so you will have some extra left over if you piece the back together. But that will guarantee you have enough fabric on all the sides for quilting. You will need 3.5 yards, cut in half and seamed together across the middle width of the back.

gift box back 60

You can certainly back the quilt with a quilting weight cotton as well which is typically a 45″ width. You will need 5 yards cut into (2) 2.5 yard pieces and seamed together along the long edge of the fabric.

gift box back 45

Completing the Quilt:

Use your favorite basting method to baste together the backing, batting and quilt top. I chose to use a slightly lofty wool batting in this quilt to make it extra warm in the cold winter months.

Then quilt as desired. I had the fun of sending this quilt to a professional long arm quilter (my very first time!) mainly due to time constraints with my recent move 1000 miles across the country. But I had her quilt it the way that I intended to quilt it myself on my conventional home machine. I chose a simple echo quilting pattern that emphasizes the lines of the quilt pattern. I love how it turned out, but I’m a straight line kind of gal. The beauty of this quilt is that there are really so many different options for quilting. I also considered an all over cross hatch pattern, a simple meander pattern, and even a bow like pattern on the “top” of each “gift box”. So there is definitely a little something for everyone.


I bound my quilt using (7) 2 3/4″ wide strips sewn together on the bias. I fold that in half all along the length and stitch to the edge of the quilt. Then I flip the folded edge to the back of the quilt and hand sew in place. Just a simple double fold binding method. I used a slightly wider strip than usual because of the loft of the wool batting. If I were using a flat cotton batting, use a 2 1/4″ wide strip.


Color/Fabric Alternatives:

I know that not everyone is going to want to make a Christmas Quilt, but don’t let that stop you from trying this pattern out with other fabrics. There are endless possibilities of fabric combinations that make for some very interesting and modern quilts. Here are just a few mock ups that I have put together.

Try a monochromatic quilt with a solid background.

gift box green

Can’t get enough of rainbows? Give one of these versions a try!

gift box tan rainbow

gift box white rainbow

Want to try out a new line coming out? Here’s what a little Hometown could look like.

gift box hometown

And just because I’m such a fan of aqua, I had to show you an option with an aqua background. 😉

gift box aqua

One twin sized quilt measuring 60″ x 84″.


Inspired yet? I hope so! I’d love to see any versions you make of this quilt. You can share them on Flickr in my group Cut To Pieces and of course the Moda Bake Shop group.

Come on…how can you resist this quilt?


Angela Pingel