Jelly Roll Race Remix Quilt

Hello, Karin Vail from Cascade Quilts back again this month with yet another Christmas in July project!

2 Jelly Rolls (or 2 jelly roll race quilt tops – or a combo of the two!)  I used 24th and Pine by Basic Grey
2/3 yard for binding (or use leftovers for a scrappy binding)
1 yard inner border (cut into 8@ 4.5”WOF strips)
1 1/2  yards outer border (cut into 8@ 6.5”WOF strips)
5 yards backing

Probably most quilters have tried this at one point or another –  a ”Jelly Roll Race” (JRR) quilt top.  It works up fast for sure – but makes a rather ho-hum quilt.  I made one myself years ago, but it was not ever destined to be made into a quilt after I finished the top and didn’t love it.
So, WHAT do you do with a JRR quilt top that you love the fabric, but don’t love the design?  Rework it by adding yet another JRR top to the mix…..
Now, there are lots of JRR quilt tutorials out there, so I am not going to go into how to make those.  What I am going to explain is how I remade these two JRR tops into a beautiful quilt with MUCH more visual interest!  These JRR tops will each measure around 50”x64” to begin with.

Yes, I made TWO identical JRR tops, but you could certainly make two different tops and use this same technique.  It is similar to a ‘bargello’ technique.  If you did this, I would alternated between strips from the two JRR tops to get a uniform look throughout.
First, take one JRR top and fold it in half so that the top strip can be sewn to the bottom strip – so you make a JRR ‘tube’.  Think of it like a *giant* trip-around-the-world block setup.  From that tube, you will cut cross-section strips.   Here the seam has been sewn to make the tube and it’s again folded in half horizontally so I can do the subcutting.
In this quilt, I cut my strips 2.5” so that I have 2” squares in my final quilt, but you can certainly change it up and cut varying widths of strips!
For the first strip, take apart one seam between blocks.
The next strip, you will take apart the next seam up from the one you took apart on the first strip, and so on.
To make it easier to keep track and keep them in the right orientation (how they came off of the original JRR top), I cut only a few strip tubes at a time and sewed them a few at a time.
Match up your seams and sew the long verticle seams.
Where the fabrics change, you will get several almost-half square triangles.  Or, you might luck out and get a perfect HST in the mix too:
You should be able to get twenty 2.5” strips from each JRR ‘tube’, so with two ‘tubes’ you would be able to get a total width of 80” if you used it all.  But, since the length of the quilt is only 64” at this point, and I didn’t want an 80×64 quilt,  I decided to stop at 64” wide and add borders to enlarge it and have a balanced quilt.  I personally prefer a square quilt since you don’t have to worry which side is ‘up’ that way 🙂  If you are using 2 identical tops, cut 20 strips from one top, and 12 from the second.  If you are using 2 different JRR tops, then cut 16 strips from each JRR ‘tube’.
Now, take your 8@ 4.5”WOF strips and sew them into pairs to create 4 longer strips.  Measure your quilt top, cut border fabric to match, and sew the border on top and bottom.  Mine measured 64.5”.  Press, measure the length you will now need for the sides and cut your remaining border strips to length, and sew on left and right sides.  Mine measured 72.5”.
For your second border, take your 8@ 6.5” strips and sew them into pairs.  Again, measure your quilt top as per the first border.  My first measurement for the top/bottom was 72.5” and second for the sides was 84.5”.

A generous 84”x84” quilt!

Karin Vail
{Cascade Quilts}

Peppermint Swirl Christmas Tree Skirt

Happy Christmas in July! I’m Heather from Heather Kojan Quilts. I’m excited to share this tutorial for a super fun Peppermint Swirl Christmas Tree Skirt! Start now and you’ll have it done way before the holiday rush. (Tip: Make this in any fabric of your choosing to create a fun table topper for any season. Or, maybe a fun and unique baby quilt or play mat. Simply applique a center circle and you’re good to go!)

So, this is truly made in July, and nary a Christmas tree to be seen. So, here you have the perfect basketball hoop skirt!

Ready to get started?

12 Fat Quarters of Basic Grey’s 25th and Pine (4 green, 4 red and 4 white)
3 yards backing fabric
1/2 yard binding fabric

Batting, 54″ x 54″

Nine Degree Wedge Ruler

I’m using the fabulous 25th and Pine from Basic Grey. I love the feel of this fabric. So luxurious.

You’ll need 12 fat quarters to make your swirl: 4 green, 4 red, 4 white. 

Take each of your fat quarters and cut into strips, 2.5″ x 22″. You should get 7 strips from each fat quarter to yield 28 strips of each color.

Next we’re going to make strip sets. Following the chart below, we’ll make 9 unique strip sets. R=Red, G=Green, W=White. Use a 1/4″ seam allowance throughout this project.

Row 1
Row 2
Row 3
Row 4
Row 5
Row 6
Row 7
Row 8
Row 9

Sew your first strip set together, using the chart above. A finished strip set should measure 22″ wide and 18.5″ top to bottom.

After you sew your first strip set, lay out the next strip set beside the first. Try to avoid having the same fabrics next to each other. Label your strip sets 1-9 as you sew them. Press the odd numbered strip sets in one direction, and the even numbered strip sets in the opposite direction. After sewing all of the strip sets, you should have one leftover strip of each color. 

Now it’s time to cut your wedges.

You need to get 5 wedges from each strip set. Place the ruler so that the 22″ mark is aligned with the top edge of your strip set. Use your seam lines on your strip set and the lines on the ruler to make sure your ruler is placed correctly and everything is lined up straight. It’s helpful if you can place your cutting mat so that you can walk around it to make the cutting easier. Cut your first wedge. Re-position ruler at the top edge, and cut your second wedge. Repeat to make 5 wedges total. Stack the wedges (I clip them with a wonder clip) and label stack #1. You’ll end up with smaller “waste” wedges as you cut. Save these for creative play later!

Continue to cut your wedges from each strip set. Label and keep in order.

Find a nice open spot of “design floor”. Lay out your wedges in a circle, starting with one, continuing through nine, then repeating with one through nine and so on. Do you see the spiral happening? Cool, right? You’ll only need 40 wedges for this project. Again, set the remaining wedges aside for creative play (mug rugs? table runner?) After you have all 40 wedges laid out, check to make sure the spiral works and that nothing got out of order. (Your ending wedge will not create a continuous spiral with the first wedge.)

Let’s sew the spiral. I like to sew 8 wedges at a time. I pair the first 2, second 2, third 2 and fourth 2 by laying the right sides together. At my sewing machine, I sew the first pair, then 2nd, 3rd and 4th, chain stitching as I go. Because we did alternate pressing, the seams should nest together nicely. I then sew the first two pairs together, then the last 2 pairs together, and finally the 2 four wedge units together. Then I take this unit and return it to the spiral. Repeat for the reaming wedges. Once I have all 5 eight wedge units sewn, I check to make sure the spiral is continuous and nothing got out of order. Then I sew all the units together, including the seam where the end meets the beginning. I mark this seam with a pin.

Pretend there’s only 4 pairs of wedges above!
Back at the sewing machine, I do a little stay stitching around the inside and outside circle to keep the stitches from “popping”, about 1/8th inch from the edge. 
Cut your backing fabric into two pieces, 54″ in length x width of fabric. Trim selvages and seam the two pieces together. You’ll have a piece of fabric 54″ x 80″ (approximately). Trim to 54″ square. 
Layer your backing, batting and skirt top. Baste as preferred.
Time to quilt! I used my walking foot and did straight line quilting on each side of the seams. I started and stopped each line of quilting where wedge one and forty meet (where I placed that pin earlier.) Be sure to do an 1/8th of an inch stitch around the inner and outer circle edges as well. 
With your scissors, trim around the outer circle. Cut right down the seam where wedge one and wedge forty meet, then continue to cut the inner circle.

Make your bias binding. You’ll need approximately 240″ of bias binding. 1/2 yard will give you more that plenty! Lay out your 1/2 yard of fabric. Use the 45° line of your ruler to lop off the bottom left and top right corners of your fabric, approximately 10″ from the point. I do this so that I don’t have super short pieces of binding fabric. Keep the 45° angle going, and cut binding strips 2.5″ wide. If you want to make the optional ties, reserve two lengths, approximately 22″ long.

To join your strips, place two pieces together, matching the right angles.
Place right sides together. The strips will be at a right angle. Be sure to off set the corner by a 1/4 inch, as shown in the picture. Sew strips together with a 1/4″ seam. Continue to join all the strips until you have enough binding. Fold binding strip in half and press. Voila! Bias binding!
Optional ties: Take one piece of the bias binding strip approximately 20-22″ long. Fold in half length wise. Press. Unfold, then press so that each long edge meets the center “line” that you just pressed. Fold each short end under 1/4″ and press. Re-fold and press entire tie. Stitch along the long edge and short folded edges, close to the open edge. Cut into 2 lengths, approximately 10″ each. Repeat with second strip.
Pin ties in place with raw edges together, approximately 4″ from inner and outer circle. These will get sewn into the tree skirt as you sew on your binding.
Bind your quilt. Congratulations ~ your first Christmas finish of the year!

One Peppermint Swirl Christmas Tree Skirt, 45″ diameter.

Heather Kojan

Tumbling Around Quilt

Hi there! Konda Luckau from Moose on the Porch Quilts here. I have loved playing around with honeycombs! I have a tumbling block quilt from my grandmother that I love. I have wanted to make one for a very long time. These Honeycombs finally make this quilt easy, and fun, to make! I have a new technique for piecing these blocks by machine – including being able to chain piece the blocks. I have a new book coming out this Spring full of projects using this new technique. Give it a try. You just may like it!

1 25th & Pine Honeycomb
1 1/4 yards White Bella Solid
2/3 yard Honky Tonk Red Plaid
1 1/4 yards Backing
Plastic Hexagon Template from Honeycomb

Cutting Instructions:
1. Take the plastic hexagon template from the honeycomb. Cut it as shown below.

2. Cut the white background fabric into 4 – 2 1/2″ strips, 4 – 4 1/2″ strips, and 3 – 2 5/8″ strips.
3. Using the diamond template, cut 28 diamonds from the 2 5/8″ strips.
4. Cut the red accent and binding fabric into 4 – 1 1/2″ strips and 4 – 2 1/2″ strips.
5. Take 25th & Pine Honeycomb and cut each hexagon into three diamonds as shown below.

Sewing Instructions:
6. Reorganize the diamonds into three stacks according to color.

7. Now for the magic! This is the trick to piecing y-seams on a sewing machine. The difference between my method and traditional machine piecing techniques is that my method can be chain pieced! Chain piecing means it is a lot faster and less thread waste. Refer to the picture below.
    a. Start the seam 1/4″ down from the corner.
    b. Sew 1/4″ into the diamond parallel to the top edge of the diamond.
    c. Sew down the right edge of the diamond with a 1/4″ seam.
    d. Stop 1/4″ from bottom edge.
    e. Sew to the right edge parallel to the bottom edge.
    f. Now it is ready for the next piece!

8. Seams will be pressed clockwise.

9. The bottom diamond is sewed on one seam at a time. Using the same method as above, matching diamond points, sew the right seam.

10. This is what it looks like opened up.

11. Fold hexagon in half matching points and sew the last seam as shown below.

12. Press the seams clockwise opening up the center of the seam allowances into a bitty hexagon.

13. With those three seams, one tumbling block is created! Repeat to make 38 tumbling blocks.

 14. Lay out the center of the quilt as shown below.

15. Using the same machine piecing technique as before, sew the tumbling blocks into rows.

16. Again, using the same machine piecing technique as before, sew the rows together.

17. Trim the left and right sides even. Trim the top and bottom 1/4″ outside of the points. The quilt should now measure about 26″ x 27″. Your measurements may differ slightly because of the many bias edges. Press carefully.

18. Use the 4 – 2 1/2″ white background strips to sew on the first border. Measure carefully before cutting the length of border strips.
19. Use the 4 – 1 1/2″ red accent strips to sew on the second border. Measure carefully before cutting the length of the border strips.
20. Use the 4 – 4 1/2″ white background strips to sew on the third border. Measure carefully before cutting the length of the border strips.
21. Quilt and use the 4 – 2 1/2″ binding strips to bind the quilt.

One fabulous quilt machine pieced tumbling block quilt that measures about 39″ x 40″.

Konda Luckau

Quilt Block to Pocket

If you are anything like me after you finish a quilt you end up with a few orphaned quilt blocks…and then you don’t have the heart to throw them out…so you keep them…and they wait for another chance to shine. 

Well, recently I found a fun way to let those orphaned blocks shine!  Add them to an apron, bag, skirt, or girls dress as a pocket and let them be the center of attention.

*A quilt block
*A piece of fabric the same size as your quilt block to use for lining
*An item to sew your new pocket onto
*Charm pack to create your own simple blocks

#1.  Find yourself a quilt block that needs a good home.  Square it up and then cut a coordinating piece of fabric the same size as your quilt block.

#2.  Place your quilt block and your lining fabric right sides together and sew around the perimeter of your block.  (Leaving a short 1 inch opening on the bottom edge of your pocket that will be used to flip your block right sides out.)
#3.  Trim your corners.

#4.  Flip your block right sides out and press flat.

 #5.  Pin your pocket on your item.

#6.  Sew along both sides and the bottom of your block leaving the top open to create your pocket. (As you sew around the perimeter you will sew closed the opening that you used to flip your block with.) 
And you are all done!

A new home for a deserving quilt block and one new item with a darling pocket detail.

***Note all the fabric for the quilt blocks, dress, and collar come from Basic Grey’s Little Black Dress 2 line.***

We were so happy to visit here at the Bake Shop today!
{Simple Simon and Company}

Redbird and Berries Mini Quilt

Greetings Moda Bake Shop readers and Happy New Year!   It’s Karen from Karen’s Quilts, Crows and Cardinals Blog excited to share the “Redbird and Berries” mini-quilt with you!

Oh so luscious Mini Charms of Little Black Dress 2 by BasicGrey were used for the border of this cute little wall hanging while scrumptious coordinating Grunge fabrics were used for the background and applique pieces.

The recipe includes a bit of piecing, applique, free motion and straight line quilting.  You’ll also learn to make Perfect Circle berries and bias stems.   I hope you find the variety intriguing because when you’re done the mini quilt will *Charm* all who see it!

Quilt Border:

  • 3 or 4 Mini Charm Packs of Little Black Dress 2 by BasicGrey  (88 2.5″ fabric pieces)

Applique Background:

  • 14.5″ by 22.5″ Grunge Basics Cream (30150-160) by BasicGrey

Applique Pieces:

  • 1 Fat Quarter Grunge Basics Grey Couture (30150-163) by BasicGrey for Stems
  • Fat Eighth or Scraps of Grunge Basics Kissing Booth Cherry Cordial (30150-167) or Grunge Red (30150-151) by BasicGrey for Bird and/or Berries
  • Scraps of Black and Reddish Orange Fabric for Bird Mask and Beak – I used Moda Black and Grunge Radish


  • 27″ by 35″ piece of fabric for backing
  • 27″ by 35″ batting
  • 1/4 yard of  fabric for binding
  • Perfect Circles or heat resistant template plastic or thin cardboard for berries
  • Freezer Paper or Template Plastic for making applique templates
  • Clover Bias Tape Maker – Size 6 (1/4″) for tree stems
  • Spray Starch or Sizing for Berries
  • Aurifil Mako 50 Wt – Color 2325 for Piecing and Border Quilting
  • Aurifil Mako 50 Wt – Color 2000 Quilting Background
  • Aurifil Mako 50 Wt – Color 2460 for Red Applique
  • Aurifil Mako 50 Wt – Color 2605 for Gray Stem Applique 

Pre-cut Basics:  

Before working with Mini Charms it’s helpful to run a lint brush over the edges.  This will reduce the amount of “little fuzzies” adorning your workspace 😉

Also, when working with any of the Moda Pre-cut fabrics always treat the outer most tip of the pinking as the edge.  This is especially important when piecing – the accuracy of your piecing depends on it.

For the piecing on this project you’ll need to know exactly where your 1/4 seam mark is on your sewing foot.  The walking foot below is clearly marked — I LOVE using it for accurate piecing.  

Measuring Seam Allowance Accuracy:

A great way to test the accuracy of a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance is by sewing three mini charms together.  Press to set the seams, press the seams to one side, flip over and measure. The middle charm should measure exactly 2 inches wide.  If not, adjust your seam allowance until it does.

Now lets get started with our recipe:

Step 1:  Layout/Design the border:

Layout your mini charms in a manner which is pleasing to YOUR eye.  Each quadrant of the border will be 11 charms high by 2 charms wide for a total of 22 charms in each of the 4 quadrants.   The complete border will use 88 charms.

I’m one of those CRAZY symmetrical types so a scrappy layout wasn’t in the cards for me.  Instead I designed one quadrant at a time, alternating light and dark pieces and making the opposite quadrant a diagonal mirror image.  Checkout the picture below.  I love the checkerboard effect!

To duplicate the layout above you will need 4 Mini Charms packs.  If you would rather go scrappy or change the layout you can get away with using 2 Mini Charm packs and cutting 4 mini charm pieces from one of your grunge fabrics 😉  Overall you’ll need 88 2.5″ square pieces of fabric for the border.

Step 2:  Sew a Border Quadrant (for each of the 4 quadrants):

Once you’ve finalized your border layout/design, pick one quadrant and sew the pairs together – chain stitching all 11 pair of your light/dark fabric.  Chain piecing allows you to quickly sew the 11 pair without cutting your thread.  Once you’ve chain stitched the 11 pair are all attached in the correct order.

When finished chain piecing 11 pair of a quadrant, remove them from your machine and lay them (still connected to one another) on your ironing space with the darker fabrics facing up.  This allows you to “set” your seam by pressing them flat, and then pressing again in the desired direction – in this case it’s best to press toward the dark fabric.

On a checkerboard layout, pressing toward the dark will enable you to nest your seams when you sew your pairs into 4 x 2 and then into 8 x 2’s and so on.  Nesting your seams allows for more accurate intersections.

Clip the threads attached to the first 2 pair and prepare to sew 2 – 2×2’s into a 4 patch.
Nest the seams for accurate alignment, pin and sew.  Repeat this effort until you’ve created an 11 x 2 quadrant of your border.

If you are following a light/dark arrangement (checkerboard) with a pattern to your layout (like I did), I suggest stopping and spot checking your order as you sew ; )  I ALWAYS take a picture of the layout before beginning to sew.  Use the picture to be sure you are sewing your pairs and your 11×2 sections together in the desired arrangement.

Once you have a quadrant that is 11 long by 2 wide,  press to set the seams, and then press all the seams of a quadrant in the same direction.  For ease of attaching to the background fabric you can press this way:

  • right side border should be pressed downward
  • left side border pressed upward
  • bottom border pressed to the left
  • top border pressed to the right.  

Each of the 4 quadrants should measure 22.5 inches long and 4.5 inches wide.

Once all 4 quadrants are prepared, it’s time to put it all together!

Step 3: Cut background fabric and attach borders:

Using Grunge Cream cut a piece of background fabric 14.5″ by 22.5″.

Attach the side borders to the background fabric first, press to set the seams, then press the seams toward the border.

Next attach the top and bottom borders, setting the seams and pressing them toward the border.  You only have two seams to match on this border — so simple 😉

Woohoo!  Now your top is ready for the applique. The top should measure 22.5 inches wide by 30.5 inches long.


The applique on the sample was completed by hand, but you can use your favorite applique method to complete yours.  The stems, berries and bird can be done with two sided fusible, raw edge machine applique, or any other applique method.  The sample was completed with bias stems, perfect circle berries, and a needle turn applique Redbird.  You can learn more about Needle Turn applique by visiting the “Teardrops of Love” tutorial on my blog.

Applique Prep 1 – Prepare Strips for Bias Stems:

You will need 10 or so 1/2 inch bias strips of Grunge Gray Couture.  If you’ve never made a bias strip before, don’t worry — just follow these simple steps:

  • Start with a fat quarter of Grunge Grey Couture
  • Iron your fabric – cut a straight edge if there isn’t one already.
  • Most rotary rulers include a 45 degree angle mark on them – find it on your ruler.
  • Lay the 45 degree angle mark on the selvage edge of your fabric.  This will align the cut edge of your ruler on a 45 degree angle. 
  •  Use a rotary cutter and cut a straight edge on the bias (the diagonal above).
  • Gently slide your ruler over to the 1/2″ mark (with the 45 degree line still on the selvage) and cut a 1/2 inch strip.
  • Repeat this process until you have 10 or more 1/2″ strips cut on the bias.

Note: Use Caution when handling the strips — when fabric is cut on the bias it will easily stretch.

Applique Prep 2 – Make Bias Stems:

  • Using the Clover #6 – 1/4″ Bias Tape Maker (BTM) feed one end of your 1/2″ bias strip through the wide end of the BTM with fabric right side up.  Use a pin to advance the fabric through the BTM to the narrow end if necessary.  Leave about 1/2″ of the strip showing on the narrow end.
  • Position your iron so the side of the iron is against the narrow end of the BTM.
  • Note: The BTM instructions say to move the tool with the hand that is not ironing — but I prefer to use the iron to move the tool.
  • The iron should be set on a “Cotton” heat with steam and a fair amount of pressure should be applied as you glide the iron over the fabric to make the bias stem.  Once you start pressing to the left  – keep going – don’t stop mid strip. 
  • Some would suggest you use a light starch on the fabric before beginning to make the tape — feel free to do so – it makes the bias tape hold its shape. 

Completed bias stems:

Applique Prep 3 – Make Berries:

Using Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Circles templates choose the 1/2 inch diameter template.  If you don’t own Perfect Circles, use the heavy piece of cardboard that backed your Mini Charm pack to cut a template.  

  • Cut 65-75 1″ circles for berries — I used a variety of fabrics, including Red Grunge, Moda Marbles and some of the extra Little Black Dress mini charms. Use a US Quarter coin to cut 1″ circles if necessary.
  • Once the 1 inch circles are cut , hand sew a running stitch around the perimeter of the fabric circles – leaving approximately a 6″ tail of thread attached to the fabric circle. Do not knot the thread after you’ve finished the running stitch.
  • Place a Perfect Circle template in the center of the fabric.  
  • Pull the thread taut around the Perfect Circle, drawing the fabric tight around the template.
  • Place the unit right side down on the ironing surface, spray a bit of starch or sizing on the back side of the drawn fabric and place a medium heat, dry iron on the piece(s) until the berry is completely dry (a minute or two depending on how much spray starch you use).
  • Remove the iron, allow the berry and template to cool, then peel the edge of the fabric back to  remove the  template.  
  • Reshape the circle by pulling the thread taut again and press once more to set the circle.

A collection of berries: The sample contained about 75 berries and included some berries made from the leftover Little Black Dress 2 mini-charms (not shown below).

Applique Step 4  – Layout and Attach Stems to Background:

Layout stems in a manner which is pleasing to your eye.  If you would like your completed work to look like the sample, use the “Final Applique Layout” picture (below) to arrange the stems and berries.

I use pins to secure the applique stems to the background prior to stitching.  This method allows the stem to float for re-arranging.  You can also baste or glue baste the stems in place for stitching.

Once arranged, use an invisible stitch (similar to the stitch used for needle turn applique) to attach the stems to the background.   You can see more about applique stitch here.

A couple of tips when working with stems:

  • When stems are made on the bias they are very flexible – so they curve easily.  Just pin or glue or baste in the position you like.
  • To hide a raw edge tip of a stem fold the end under once and secure when you sew the stem.
  • Create a fork in your stems by tucking the end of a stem under another section of stem or by folding a long piece of stem in two.
  • You don’t need stems that are so long they are unmanageable.  Just put one stem end against the other and sew — place a berry on it to cover the intersection if you like. 

Attach your stems to the background fabric by hand or machine.  Again, you can learn more about needle turn applique on the “Teardrops of Love” tutorial on my blog.

Applique Step 5 – Layout and Attach Berries and Bird:

Berries or Redbird first?  The choice is yours.  I did a few berries and then the Redbird and finished up with Berries.

Arrange and pin some berries in place.  I limited the number pinned at one time so my threads were not getting caught on the applique pins. 

Stitch the berries by hand or machine.  If stitching by hand use the same “invisible” stitch used on the stems and used for most needle turn applique.

Applique  – Prepare and Applique the Redbird:

Note: The Redbird applique template can be found in the “Printer Friendly” version of this recipe.

In the sample, Needle Turn applique was used for the Redbird, his mask, and beak – but any method can be used to complete this step.  I won’t go into Needle Turn Applique techniques here but please visit my blog and/or leave me questions below if you run into trouble completing the bird.  I do have pictures of each applique step and would be happy to share them on my blog if it would be helpful.  Please let me know.

Normally, to prepare applique shapes, I would print the applique templates directly onto the dull side of a piece of freezer paper; however, for this recipe I decided to use template plastic so I could fussy cut the Redbird from the beautiful Grunge fabric. If you’re using turned applique, trace the bird onto the fabric with any of the marking tools identified here and cut out with an 1/8″ plus seam allowance.

Did I mention how much I LOVE Grunge?  – OR – how well it goes with the Little Black Dress 2 fabric line?   It really is a beautiful line of fabric.  No kidding!!

Next applique the bird to the background.  Stitch the body first, then the mask, and lastly the beak.

If you haven’t done so already, finish attaching all of your beautiful berries to the background. Each berry adds dimension to the overall design.  I didn’t fret much about making my berries perfect – because in real life they are not.  The sample berries were stitched by hand.

Final Applique Layout:

Note: Often when you applique a quilt top, the overall dimension gets smaller.  The applique stitching tends to pull in the sides of a quilt top.  No need for concern — the quilting will probably shrink it more!

Prepare for Quilting:

If you are unfamiliar with the steps necessary to prepare a top for quilting, there are detailed instructions specified in the Family Tree Pillow Recipe here.

For the sample I used two layers of batting to provide both loft and stability.  One layer of 100% Wool Batting and one Layer of Warm and Natural Cotton batting.

I also pieced the back for this particular quilt.  The backing measured 27″ x 35″.

I started quilting by straight line stitching around the perimeter of the background fabric and again around the perimeter of the first rows of charms.  I almost always “stitch in the ditch” to stabilize the quilt before starting to Free Motion Quilt.

For the background quilting I used Aurifil Mako 50 Wt Cotton in Color #2000.  This thread glides through my Janome and I never get thread breaks.  The color matches the Grunge Creme perfectly!

Always be sure to match your top and bobbin threads when Free Motion Quilting.  So we are now echo quilting around each applique piece (removing pins as necessary).  Once done repeat the echo quilting around all applique and stems.  In hindsight I wish I had echo quilted one more time before starting my background quilting.  As you can see below, I quilted in some mock berries to add interest.

To complete the background quilting I used a “McTavishing” like design – a variety described as “Nifty Little S’s” shared by Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring Blog. This design is so forgiving and allows you to move around the applique pieces with ease.

Once the background quilting was completed I added some straight line quilting (with a walking foot) on the mini-charms.  I used a walking foot as a width guide and quilted every 1/2 inch around the perimeter of the background.  The straight line stitching shows up best on the back of the quilt.  For this quilting I used Aurifil Mako 50Wt Cotton in Color #2325.  Again, I just love the way the Aurifil quilts – I couldn’t be happier with this thread!

Below is another picture that shows the pretty straight line quilting on the charms.

When finished quilting, the sample “squared” to 21.5″ wide by 29.5″ long.  The applique and dense quilting ate up 1 inch each of the width and length.

The next step is to prepare hanging sleeves and binding as desired.  There is a great Moda Basics Tutorial for Binding here.

The sample binding was completed using a 2.25″ wide binding (folded) and a 3/8″ seam allowance to sew it on the front and hand stitch it to the back.  I also added two hanging sleeves (either side of the middle) using two 5.5″ by 8.5 inch pieces of fabric.

If you’ve made it to this point of the tutorial congratulations!   I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about bias stems, Perfect Circles, applique and some free motion quilting.

Working with these methods opens a new door to the world of quilting doesn’t it ?    It’s sew much fun!

One 21.5″ x 29.5″ Wall Hanging or Table Topper or Mini Quilt.

If you have questions, leave them in the comments below — I’ll be happy to answer them.

Please be sure to swing by my blog and check out my tutorials, lessons learned and completed projects.   I would love to have you join the fun and give me feedback on this recipe.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Karen Miller

Midnight Stars Quilt

Hi All! I’m Heather and I’m eager to share this tutorial with you! I’m a big fan of Basic Grey. When I heard that they were coming out with Little Black Dress 2, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with this beautiful fabric.  Midnight Stars is 4 super sized stars, combined to make a nice sized lap quilt. 

2 Layer Cakes of Little Black Dress 2
5/8 yards black print accent
5/8 yards black dot on cream binding

4 yards backing.fabric
Batting, at least 80″x 80″

Start by taking your layer cakes and separating them into dark and light piles. For this quilt, we’ll need 32 of the darkest prints and 32 of the lightest prints. Reserve the more “medium” prints for the backing. In this quilt, I wanted a little more black in the quilt, so I cut two additional 10” squares from the black accent fabric.
Tip if you’d like to make this quilt with another fabric line, use one layer cake and choose 36 layers for the stars. Take 2 ¾ yards background fabric and cut into 36 10” squares. 
Take all 32 dark squares and cut in half on the diagonal. Take remaining 18 light squares and cut in half on the diagonal.

Choose 14 Light squares for the four corners of each star. Where the four stars come together in the center, you’ll only use 2 squares, cut in half. Lay these all out on your design wall (or, design floor in this case!) 
Using the finished quilt as your guide lay out your quilt top. Take your time, making sure to balance light and dark, until you’re happy with your layout. For the center square within a square, cut 4 grey layers in half on the diagonal and arrange as shown. I think it took me almost as much time to arrange the top as it did to sew it!

Here’s how one quarter of the quilt should look before it’s sewn. (This block is actually made from leftovers from the layer cakes. It will become part of the quilt back.)
Now to sew!
Use a ¼” seam allowance throughout. It doesn’t need to be a perfect 1/4 inch, but a consistent seam allowance will give you great results!

Take each of your half square triangle pairs, and sew together on the diagonal. This is a long bias edge, so handle carefully. Press seams to one side, to the dark when possible. I usually will sew 4 of these at a time, chain stitching. 

Trim each hst unit to 9.5” Use the diagonal line on your ruler to trim each block accurately. After sewing, pressing and trimming, I return the blocks to my design wall (or design floor in this case!) I find that if I do more than 4, there’s a good chance things will get turned around. We don’t want that!
Trim all of the 10″ corner layer cake squares down to 9.5″.
Your can piece this in one of two ways: you can piece it as four giant blocks, or you can go row by row.
For our sample, I sewed row by row.  Sew column 2 to column 1, chain stitching. After sewing these, I returned them to the design floor (again, I really don’t want to mess up the order!) Continue to sew column 4 to 3, 6 to 5 and 8 to 7. Continue to sew until all the rows are sewn together. Once all the rows are sewn, to keep things in order, I take a pin and place it in the top left corner of each row. I alternate which way I place the pin, so I know which way to press the seams. For the odd rows, press one way. Press the evens in the opposite direction. I do pin where the blocks line up. Where the star points meet, go slowly, pin, pin, pin and take your time. Try not to cut off any points. Are mine perfect? Not all of them, but most of them are close enough.
If you prefer, you can sew each large block first, then sew the four blocks together. 
Sew your blocks together in rows. Again, alternate the direction in which you press the rows, so that you’ll have nice interlocking seams when you sew the rows together to complete the four blocks. 
Sew your four large star blocks together.
Hey, guess what? You finished the top! My dog, Chase thinks you’re awesome!

Want to make a fancy backing to go with?
Take the remaining 10 squares leftover from the top. I cut 4 10” squares from my black accent fabric, then chose 4 matching black dot/tan squares and 8 grey squares. Lay them out as above, and sew the block.
From you backing fabric, cut one piece of fabric 36.5” x width of fabric. (Your star should measure 36.5”. If your star measures differently, use that measurement.) Cut this into two pieces. I didn’t want my star to be exactly centered, so I cut at approximately 30”, making two pieces: 36.5″ x 30″ and 36.5″ x 12″. Sew these pieces to each side of your star.  From remaining backing fabric, cut two pieces 45” x width of fabric. Remove selvages, and sew these pieces together, to create one piece of fabric approximately 45” x 82″. Cut this unit into two pieces along the long length. Again, I didn’t want mine centered, so mine are about 30” x 82” and 15” x 82”. Sew the 30” piece to the top of the star unit, and the 15” piece to the bottom of the star unit.  Your backing is finished!

Layer your quilt top and back with batting. Baste and quilt as desired. Thanks to my friend Maria O’Haver for doing such a beautiful job on the quilting!
Cut binding fabric into 8 pieces 2.5” x width of fabric. Join on the diagonal to create double fold binding. Attach to top of quilt. Hand sew to back of quilt.

My favorite quilt photo shoot location!
Woo, woo! A new quilt!

You did it! 
Thanks for following along with me. I’d love for you to stop by my blog and say “hi”!

1 Midnight Stars Quilt, 72″x 72″

Heather Kojan

Candy Squares Table Runner

Hello, again! I’m Shannon from Modern Tradition Quilts and I am so excited to be a part of Moda Bake Shop today.  It’s great to share my Candy Squares Table runner made from those darling pre-cut Mini Charm packages–Moda Candy.  They are so cute that they’re sweet!  The 2 1/2 inch squares work-up into 2 inch squares–perfect for a postage-stamp style  quilt.  I love using pre-cuts, don’t you?  I also love the Little Black Dress fabric line by Basic Grey.  It works beautifully with modern home decor and will make a beautiful addition to any table at any time of the year.  This is one project that can be displayed all year round!  So, let’s get down to business!

2 Packages of Moda 2 1/2 inch pre-cut Mini-Charms (I used Little Black Dress)
1/2 yard white dot for setting squares (I used Little Black Dress Ivory Dot)
1/3 yard for outer borders (I used Little Black Dress Grey Dot)
1/3 yard for binding (I used Little Black Dress Cream Black)


This is the fun part!   Playing with all of those prints and trying to make it so that no two of the same print touch one another.  It is helpful to look at your candy pieces in gray-scale to see if there are any similarly valued pieces touching one another.  If you don’t want to use a yellow filter, you can always squint at it to get your eyes to notice the gray-scale.


For the setting squares, cut seven squares measuring 4 7/8 inches from the width of fabric (WOF), then cut them in half diagonally to yield 14 triangle units.

Also cut one square measuring 2 7/8 inches and cut it into quarters diagonally to get the setting triangles for the four outer corners.

For the outer border, cut four strips from the WOF measuring 3 1/2 inches wide.


Due to the fact that this quilt has odd numbered rows, it would appear that the triangle units would need to be set-in.  This can be difficult for new quilters and I have found a way to get around it by simply doing the piecing in several sections.  Please refer to the number in the photo for final section placement.

  • Section One and Five: Sew two rows consisting of 5 candy squares with a triangle unit added at the end.

Sections 1 and 5
  • Section Two and Four:  Sew two rows consisting of 7 candy squares with a single triangle unit added at the end.

Sections 2 and 4
  • Section Three:  This is the tricky section.  In this section we compensate for the odd-numbered setting by using three rows instead of two.  This way we can avoid setting-in the outer triangles.

  • First, sew two rows of 7 candy squares then add a triangle section just as before for sections 2 and 4.  Then sew another unit comprised of two candy squares and one triangle as shown on the right-hand side of the photo.  Save this piece
  • Sew a strip of 9 candy squares together, then add  it  to the unit comprised of two rows of 7 candy squares.  This row will span the full length of all 7 candy squares and the triangle.

  • To complete this center unit, add the triangle with the two candy squares to this section.
  • Sew the outside corner  units.  They are comprised of two candy squares, two triangle units and topped with the mini-triangle unit.  Sew four, one for each corner.

  • Sew together the center patchwork sections.  I think it looks good without the corner pieces as well!
  •  Add the four outer corners.

  • Add the four outer 3 1/2 inch borders.  Trim away any excess fabric to square the quilt top.
  • Quilt as desired!

And…just because it’s one week until Christmas, here is what it would look like if made from scraps of holiday fabric.

One table runner measuring 16 inches by 30 inches.

Shannon Mower

Easy Hexagon Pillow

Designed by Karen O’Connor of

 2 – Aspen Frost Mini Charm Packs or 68 – 2 1/2″ squares
1/4 yard Grunge for border
1/2 yard for backing
1 3/4 yards red
1 3/8″ rick rack
1 – 14″ pillow form 1 ruler with 60 degree angle lines


Cut each 2 1/2″ square in half.

Place your ruler with the 60 degree angle like this  and cut:

Place ruler with the 60 degree angle on the other side like this and cut:

Cut all of the pieces so they look like this:

Arrange pieces like this:

Arrange the pieces as desired with 9 in a row and 7 rows of complete hexagons.

Sew the pieces into rows.  

Press each rows seams the opposite way.

Sew the rows together.

Square up to 11 1/2″.

Cut 2 – 2 1/2″ strips by WOF.  Cut into 2 – 2 1/2″ x 11 1/2″ and 2 – 2 1/2″ x 14 1/2″.  Sew the 11 1/2″ pieces on first to two opposite sides.  Then sew the 14 1/2″ pieces to the other sides.  I did not quilt this pillow but you certainly could if you would like.

To make the back for the pillow.  Cut a strip 14 1/2″ wide.  Make 2 – 14 1/2″ x 20″ rectangles.  Press the rectangles in half so they are 14 1/2″ x 10″. 

Place the hexagon quilt top on your table right side up.  Place the back pieces on the top aligning the raw edges to the raw edges on each side of the pillow top.  The folded edges will overlap. 

Stitch 1/4″ around the pillow.  At the corners, use a spool of thread and trace around it to make your corners rounded.  It makes sewing the rick rack on much easier to go around the corners.

Iron your rick rack in half.  Place the folded edge along the seam line and hand stitch in place. 

Stuff you pillow form inside the opening and ENJOY!

Makes 1 – 14″ pillow

This is my second Moda Bake Shop project.  I hope you enjoy this one!  You can purchase a kit from our web site at for $25.

Karen O’Conner
{ }

Red Rooster Quilts
48 Corbins Mill Dr.
Dublin, OH  43017

Owl Pocket Pillow

Hello again my dear friends!! I know it’s been a while since I have posted here but I am back and I am very excited to bring you this adorable little project!! If you don’t know me, I am KarrieLyne Winters and I am owner/designer of Freckled Whimsy. I’d love it if you stopped by to say hello! 🙂

Are you ready to make oodles and oodles of these pocket owls??!! They are a bit addicting… so there you have your warning! Heehee!

Ok, on to fabrics… For my tutorial I used Sweet Serenade by Basic Grey.  I would also encourage you to pilfer through your scraps and come up with some lovely combinations, such as maybe a quilt as you go version for the pocket. I think that’d be super cute!

Grab those fabrics and let’s make some owls!

1/2 yard cuts for the body
1 Fat quarter for the front pocket
1 Fat quarter for the back pocket
Scraps for the wings, eyes, and nose
Iron on adhesive that is paper backed, such as Heat’n Bond for face pieces
Your favorite craft stuffing

**Light to Medium weight fusible interfacing ( 3 yards) ** — This is optional. If you are making these for kids who will bury them in the sand box or use them for pillow fights, I suggest using this as a stabilizer to help support the cotton fabric.  If you are only using them for decoration, you will not need the stabilizer. A good Medium weight is Pellon 93TD.

1.  Print out the PDF that has the templates.  Be sure not to reduce the size. Print at 100% and check your 1″ square against a ruler to ensure its truly 1″.  If it is not, check your printer settings.

2. Pages 1-4 is the body of the owl. Cut out each piece and tape together making sure to match up outer edges. Don’t worry if inner lines don’t line up right on.

3.  Using the 1/2 yard cut, keep wrong sides together and lay the body template on the fabric. Pin around the edges and using a rotary cutter or scissors, cut out the pattern.  Unpin. You will have a front piece and a back piece.  Set aside.

4.  If you are using interfacing, repeat step 3.  You will then need to trim 1/2″ away from the edge all the way around. If you don’t, your edges will not fray. Iron interfacing to the wrong side of the body pieces following the manufacturers instructions. Be sure to center the interfacing before ironing it down.

5.  Next, cut out and tape the front pocket and back pocket pieces together.

6.  For each pocket you will need a fat quarter.  Take each fat quarter and fold it in half, wrong sides together and press. Lay the pocket templates on the fabric lining up the fold marks on the template with the fold on the fabric.  Pin in place and cut around sides. Do NOT cut the fold and keep the pocket folded.

7.  Repeat for interfacing if you are using it.  Make sure you trim 1/2″ around this piece too, only don’t  cut the fold. Center on the wrong side of the fabric of each pocket, iron down per manufactures instructions.

8.  Cut out the wing template and cut from fabric. I used a different fabric for each wing.  Feel free to do this or use the same fabric.

9.  Take one owl body piece and lay the front pocket on top lining up the edges.  Lay the wings down, also matching up the edges. They will match up, just move along the edge until it lines up. Pin all 3 pieces in place.

10.  Sew 1/2″ around the edge of each wing going through all layers (wing, pocket, owl body).

11.  Cut out face pieces. Trace both eye pieces, two of each, and beak on the paper side of the heat’n bond. Cut out each piece. Do NOT remove paper backing yet. Using the manufacturers instructions, iron the pieces to the fabrics you chose on the WRONG side. Let sit to cool. Cut around pieces to remove excess fabric.  Remove paper backing.

12.  Lay the beak on the front owl piece that has the pocket sewn on.  If you want it centered, fold the body in half to create a guide. Unfold and center beak on this fold mark. Make sure not to put it too close to the top of the head.  You need to leave room to sew the edges at a 1/2″ plus room for rounding edges after stuffing is put in. Use my photo as a general guide. Once you have it where you want it, press in place to activate the glue. Zig zag, or use another decorative stitch, around the edge of the beak. 

13.  Repeat for the “whites” of the eyes using steps in #12 and then for the “pupils” of the eyes.  Experiment here before ironing down.  Change the placement of the pupils for different emotions. 🙂

14.  Take the back owl body piece and the back pocket.  Line up the edges and pin in place along the top and center. Keep pins at least 1″ away from all outer edges.

15.  Lay the back owl body WRONG side up, then lay the front owl body RIGHT side up and pin all layers together.

16.  Starting at the left wing where the stitching begins, 1/2″ seam allowance, take a few stitches, backstitch, and continue sewing around the edge of the owl body keeping a 1/2″ seam allowance. Stop and backstitch when you get to the bottom of the opposite wing.  This leaves the bottom open to allow for stuffing.

17.  Remove all pins and stuff.

18.  Following the same 1/2″ seam allowance, stitch the bottom closed, backstitching at the beginning and end.

19.  Maneuver and squish the owl to distribute the stuffing to your liking.

20.  Here comes the fun part.  Making him scruffy! You can get this look multiple ways. Have your kids throw it around, sleep on it, hug it and squish it and call it George.  It will get there. You can also use a bristle brush to coax the fibers apart. My favorite thing to use is a wire bristle cat brush. Cleaned of course.  Those wires go to work like crazy and your owl will be scruffy in no time.  Just don’t brush too hard if you use one of the wire brushes so you don’t create holes.

One super adorable owl! 😉

Measures about 17″ high and about 13″ wide.

What are you waiting for??? Go make some owls!!

I would love to see the owls you make!! If you use Flickr, you can add the photo to my group HERE. Or just use the hashtag #FreckledWhimsy in any social media. You can also email them to me too!

Thank you so much for looking. I hope you like the project!

Much Love!!!

Karrie Winters

Peanut Butter and Kelli Quilt

Hey, it’s Kelli here from Jo’s Country Junction.  My youngest sister Kalissa and I have always been close.  When she was little, her nickname was Peanut as compared to all of us other kids, she was a peanut. Her nickname Peanut eventually evolved into Peanut Butter.  Because I was (and still am) her favorite sibling, we used to change the words of our favorite Barney song, Peanut Butter and Jelly, to Peanut Butter and Kelli.  After we completed this quilt, Kalissa expressed her love of it.  Because we used the Moda fabric line PB & J, we decided to name the quilt Peanut Butter and Kelli.

Stop over to our blog for a chance to win a jelly roll after you’re done reading the tutorial.
Follow along and you can make your own.
You’ll need a fat quarter bundle and some yardage.

1 fat quarter bundle PB & J
4 yards neutral print (We used ½ yard of each of the 8 neutral prints)
1 yard neutral (border)
1 yard dark print (binding)
2.5 yards dark solid (borders, block outline)
8 yards for backing

From each of 32 colored fat quarters, cut the following:
            -1- 3.75” x 21” strip (stars)
            -2- 3” x 21” strips (sashing)
            -2- 1.75” x 21” strips (sashing, pieced border)

From each of 8 lighter fat quarters, cut the following:
            -3- 3.75” strips (stars)

From neutral border cut 10- 3”strips

From binding fabric, cut 10- 2.5” strips

From dark solid, cut the following:
            -27- 1.5” strips (star outline)
            -6- 1.75” strips (pieced border)
            -10- 3” strips (border)
Making Star Blocks:

From 32- 3.75”  colored strips, cut 1- 5” rectangle and 2- 3.75” squares.  A total of 32- 5” rectangles and 64- 3.75” squares.

From 24- 3.75” lighter strips, cut 8 (1 of each print) into 4- 5” segments from each to yield a total on 24- 5” segments.  Using the remaining 16- 3.75” neutral strips, cut a total of 64- 3.75” squares.
1.  Pair 1 colored 5” segment with 1 neutral 5” segment.  With right sides together, use an easy angle ruler to cut 2 half square triangles.  Sew together using a ¼ inch seam.  Press to the colored print. Continue with all of hte 5″ segments.  It you haven’t used an Easy Angle ruler before, here’s a great tutorial Bonnie Hunter did showing you how.
2.  Assemble star by first sewing the dark square together into a four patch.

-Then sew the half square triangles together as shown.

-Sew two to the side of the four patch.

-Sew a light colored square to each end of the remaining start points.

-Then sew the final strip to the outside.

Outlining the Star:

3.  Using 11 of the 1.5” dark solid strips, cut a total of 32- 1.5” x 13.5” strips (3 from each strip).  Sew to opposite sides of each star block.  Press to the dark “frame.”


4.  Using the remaining 16 strips, cut 32- 1.5” x 15.5” rectangles.  Sew to opposite sides of the star.  Press to the dark “frame.”


Making the Sashing Blocks:

5.  From each neutral ½ yard cut, cut a total of 3- 3” strips.  Cut each in half (approximate) to yield a total of 24- 3” x approximately 21” strips.

6.  With right sides together, pair 1 colored 3” x 21” strip with 1 neutral 3” x 21” strip. 

7.  Using your easy angle ruler, cut a total of 10 half square triangles from each set.  Sew using a 1/4 “ seam.  Press to the colored half.  Make a total of 448 half square triangles.


8.  Using the colored 1.75” strips, cut a total of 576- 1.75” squares (448 for sashing blocks, 128 for pieced border).
9.  With right sides together, place a colored 1.75” square in the neutral half of the half square triangle.  Sew diagonally from corner to corner.  Trim excess fabric and press to the colored square.  Repeat for each of the 448 sashing blocks.


10.  Sew the newly created units together as shown creating 16 blocks.


11.  Sew the blocks together in a 4 x 4 setting as shown.


Making the Pieced Borders:

12.  Subcut the 6- 1.75” strips into 64- 1.75” x 3” rectangles.

13.  Following the diagram below, using the remaining 128- 1.75” squares, place a colored square on one end of the dark rectangle with right sides together.  Sew diagonally from corner to corner of the colored square.  Trim excess and press to the colored square.  

14.  Repeat on opposite end.  Continue making 64 pieced border blocks.


15.  Using the remaining 1.75” colored strips and the remaining 1.75” dark strip, create 4- 1.75” half square triangles using your easy angle ruler.  Press to the dark.

16.  Sew 16 of the newly created border pieces together.  Make four sets of these border units.  Add a half square triangle to both ends of two of the strips.

17.  Add newly created border as shown.


18.  Next add the neutral, then dark borders.


19.  Quilt and bind using 2.5” binding strips.

Come on over to our blog, Jo’s Country Junction, to see how mom quilted our version.

Finished Quilt Size—93” x 93”

Jo Kramer