Biscornu Sachets

It’s Casey again, from Casey York Design and the Studiolo blog! I’m so happy to be sharing this easy project on the Moda Bake Shop just in time for the holidays!

I love the idea of making handmade gifts for the holidays, but somehow I never start planning them until the beginning of December (i.e. too late). This year I finally came up with something that I can make quickly and easily enough so that I can produce a bunch for all of the people on my list: Biscornu sachets.

Biscornu are a relatively recently developed needlework form, in which two squares are sewn together with one on point to create a three dimensional shape that looks more complicated than it really is. I love how the interlocking points create visual interest in these little cushions. Because they are constructed from squares of fabric, biscornu are an ideal use for precuts such as charm squares.

I’m not the first to translate the biscornu form for use with quilting fabrics, but most of the tutorials out there are for making pin cushions. This is easy to do by firmly stuffing the sewn biscornu. I discovered that another way to use this form was to make them into scented sachets by  filling them loosely with lavender or other scented materials. If you use a sewing machine, they are so quick to sew up that you can make a set of three in under an hour. Pop a few in a stocking or wrap up a stack to give as quick hand made gifts this year!

For one biscornu satchet you will need:

  • (2) 5″ charm squares of coordinating fabrics (I like to go through an entire charm pack and match up my squares in advance so I get a good mix of colors and prints throughout the batch of biscornu; a Moda charm pack will yield 21 biscornu, or 7 sets of three)
  • matching sewing thread
  • 3/4 cup small polypropelene stuffing beads (available at major craft retailers)
  • 1/4 cup dried lavender (I got mine on Amazon) or other fragrant dried material
  • hand sewing needle
  • Perle cotton or embroidery floss to coordinate with fabrics
Stuffing beads are not shown

1. fold each square in half lengthwise and widthwise and finger press at the edges to mark the half-way point on each edge

2. With right sides together, place one square on top of the other so that the top square’s side edge is positioned 1/4″ to the left of the half-way mark on the top edge of the lower square. Make sure the parallel raw edges are aligned (they are not aligned in the photo to make it easier to see how to line up the halfway marks and corners).

3. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, begin stitching at the half-way point of the lower square, moving towards the corner. Stop 1/4″ before you reach the corner of the lower square.

4. Here comes the tricky part. You need to pivot your lower square while keeping the upper square in position, so that the remaining unsewn edge of the top square lines up with the perpendicular edge of the lower square. It helps to think of yourself as holding the top square in position and only pivoting the lower square.

This is how the squares will look after the first pivot

5. When you have lined up your squares, lower your presser foot and continue stitching until you are 1/4″ away from the edge of the top square.

6. Now do step 4 in reverse. Holding the lower square in place, pivot the top square so that the edges of the two squares line up. Lower the presser foot and continue stitching until you are 1/4″ from the edge of the lower square.

7. Repeat steps 3-6 until you have traveled all the way around the squares–you will pivot six times. Leave one length (1/2 of the width of the squares) unsewn for turning and stuffing.

8. Turn the biscornu inside out, using your finger to gently poke out the corners.

9. Fill with 3/4 cup of stuffing beads and 1/4 cup of lavender. It is easiest to fill the sachets by rolling a sheet of paper into a cone and pouring the beads and lavender through this. (I have also seen instructions for filling sachets with rice or flax seed, but I prefer stuffing beads because they won’t attract pests.)

9. Finger press the unsewn edges under 1/4.” Slip stitch the opening closed by hand.

10. Using the embroidery floss or perle cotton, make a couple of tacking stitches in the center of the biscornu to pull the top and bottom layers together.

That’s it–you’ve created a lovely and useful sachet. Although these instructions seem complex written out, you’ll get the hang of stitching these on the machine very quickly and you’ll be able to churn out a charm pack’s worth in no time. (If you make some, consider adding photos to my flickr group! I’d love to see what you make!)

1 biscornu sachet. 1 charm pack will yield 21 sachets.

Casey York

Trade Winds and Stars Quilt

I am super happy to be sharing the recipe for this quilt with you all. My name is Michelle, I live in Australia and I blog over at Buttontree Lane. I wanted to make a small quilt as a gift for a little girl and when I first saw the Trade Winds charm pack by Lily Ashbury, I knew this range would be perfect for a quilt that would keep her warm for many years.

It’s a very quick-to-sew quilt (I sewed the top together in an afternoon and an evening, with frequent breaks) and the effect of the slanted stars really shows off the feature fabric. I hope you enjoy making this as much as I did!

2 Trade Winds charm packs
0.6 yards of contrast fabric for the star points (I used Bella Bleached White #9900-98)
1.5 yards of dark contrast solid fabric for border and binding (I used Bella Raspberry #9900-140
Fabric for backing  (I used 0.9 yards each of three different fabrics for a 6-piece backing (Bella 30s Pink #9900-27,  Bella Popsicle #9900-143 and Bella Azalea #9900-144) but you will need more if you only use one fabric)
Batting (I used 100% bleached cotton batting)

1. Select 80 charm squares for your quilt top. You can use the remaining 4 to include in the backing later on, if you like.

2. For the star points, cut 160 2 1/4 squares from the contrast fabric. I do this by cutting 9 strips 2 1/4 inch wide (from selvage to selvage) and then cross-cutting the squares. This should yield a little more than 160 squares, depending on how wide your fabric is.

3. Take a ruler, a wash out pencil and your 2 1/4 inch squares, and draw a diagonal line once on each. I use a sandpaper board to keep the fabric steady, but a cutting mat works just as well.

4. Place a square at the top left hand corner of each charm square, lining up the edges. With your sewing machine, stitch along the drawn line. Do this for each of your 80 charm squares. Chain piecing makes this easier.

5. Do the same for the bottom right hand side of each charm square. You will end up with 80 charm squares with a little square at the top and bottom, diagonally across from each other.

6. Now gently press the little sewn squares open on one or two of the charm squares and see if you’re happy with the result. I wasn’t happy with the darker prints showing through the white, so I trimmed my excess off. Normally I’d be happy to leave three layers there though – I find it gives the corners of the block some extra stability. I’ll leave that decision up to you though. If you do decide to trim the bottom two layers of the point off, make sure you do it before you press them open!

7. It goes without saying – double check your blocks and trim to 5 inches if needed.

8. Head over to your design wall/floor/bed/kitchen table, and start arranging your squares into an 8-across and 10-down arrangement until you are happy with how they look together.

9. Sew the blocks into rows, then together to give you section 1 of your quilt top. It’s getting exciting now, isn’t it?

10. Have a cup of tea and a square of chocolate – you’ve deserved it!

11. Cut 4 x 7 1/2 inch strips lengthwise from your border fabric. I always cut more than I need and trim after sewing – I get a much more accurate result that way and I don’t mind the scraps. Sew a strip to each of the left and right sides of the quilt top, then trim so the top and bottom of the border is even with the pieced section. Sew a strip to the top and bottom of the quilt – and again, trim back so everything is even and square.

And there you have your quilt top! You’re so clever! Now go ahead and prepare your backing and batting, and quilt to your heart’s desire. Using a walking foot, I quilted from top to bottom and side to side in straight lines 1/4 inch from the joins of each block (I marked the border out with washout pencil). Then I quilted a cross hatch in the middle of each block, using the start of the star point as the guide.

 Here’s a photo of the back so you can see the quilting lines (and the backing I sewed together) a little easier.

Bind with the same fabric as your border.

One quilt sized 58″ x 48″, and hopefully a very delighted little girl.


Ruffled {Pocket} Potholder

Hi, Kimberly here from My Brown Bag Studio and I’m happy to be sharing my recipe for a really sweet, ruffled pocket potholder. Let’s get started so it’s ready in time for dinner! 

I’m using a Trade Winds layer cake for my potholders… aren’t the fabrics delicious?

1 Trade Winds layer cake 
2 – 10″ squares of insulbrite batting
8″ of bias tape or binding
15″ of ric rac
Basic quilting supplies
Wash out marker
Walking foot for your sewing machine… there are a lot of layers to sew through and I don’t think I could have done it without my walking foot!

Open your layer cake and choose 6 layer cake squares, or 5 and an additional 10″ square in a neutral color (for inside the pocket) Have fun choosing!

From your layer cake squares, decide which two will make the back of the potholder, which two will make the front (pocket) of the potholder, which one will become the ruffle, and which one will become the binding. These are my four body pieces… the floral will be the back, the light teal will be the inside, the neutral will be unseen inside the pocket, and the large print will be the front.

The ruffle will be made from the blue lattice print, the binding from the coral print, and also shown here are my two insulbrite squares, my bias tape, and my ric rac.

1. Make two quilt sandwiches… with the wrong sides of your cotton prints facing in, layer the 10″ square of cotton, batting, and cotton… This photo shows the squares offset, but you want them stacked neatly. Pin together or use your favorite spray baste method.

2. Draw a line diagonally from one corner to the other as a guide for your quilting. I’m demonstrating on the neutral side of my potholder front… much easier to see what I’m doing than on a busy print!

3. Stitch directly on that line, then repeat 1/4 inch to the left of the line. Flip your quilt sandwich around and repeat on the other side of the first line.

4. Measure 2 inches from your line of stitching and draw another line.

5. Stitch on your line, and then twice more, leaving 1/4 inch between lines. Repeat again…

6. Flip around and repeat for the other quilting lines… you’re only halfway there! When you’re finished, there will be 5 groups of stitching with 3 lines in each.

then do the same for your other quilt sandwich, starting with a diagonal line through the middle…

7. Trim your two quilt sandwiches down to 9 inches square.

8. Take the piece that will be the top of your potholder, and make a diagonal cut that is 5 inches up from one corner, and 5 inches over from the same corner…

It will look like this… you can toss the little cut off piece…

9. Sew your bias tape or binding over the angled section.

Trim off any extra.

10. Cut the piece you chose for the ruffle into 2 1/2 inch strips and sew together 3 of them at the short end. Trim to 22 inches. Sew wrong sides together down the length…

… then press flat with the seam to the bottom.

11. Create your ruffle by machine or hand basting a long running stitch and gathering. Pin well to the angled piece and sew in place.
12. Reserve 6 inches of your ric rac for the hanging loop. Sew ric rac on top of the ruffle, then trim any extra.

13. On the back side of the potholder’s back piece, stitch a 6 inch loop of ric rac for the hanger.

14. Cut your remaining layer cake square into four 2 1/2 inch strips for your binding and sew strips together.  When you bind your potholder, I’d recommend pinning lots and sewing slowly… there are a lot of layers to sew through!

A fast and fun to make potholder that would be perfect gifts for anyone… for any occasion!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my project and feel free to stop My Brown Bag Studio for a visit any time! In fact, why don’t you stop by right now… I’m having a giveaway! See you there!

Kimberly Friesen
{My Brown Bag Studio}

Sew Simple Star Pincushion

Hi everyone! I’m Kimber from Heirlooms by Ashton House blog here to share my first project for the Moda Bake Shop. While trying to jazz up the traditional LeMoyne Star pattern for a quilt project one day, I came up with this whimsical star pincushion design. I chose the bright and cheerful Summer House fabrics by Lily Ashbury, which remind me of my garden in the summertime. This would make a great addition to your sewing room or a fitting gift idea for your sewing friends. After all, who can’t use another colorful pincushion?

• 5 Layer Cake squares per pincushion (I used two each of two contrasting fabrics for mine, plus a third coordinating one for the button)
• 1/4 yard total of two different pom-pom trims
• One 7/8″-diameter cover button kit (you will need to make two buttons)
• Polyester fiberfill or filling of your choice
• Template plastic
• Diamond template (included in the Printer Friendly Version at the bottom of this post)
• Long doll needle
• Perle 5 cotton

1. Print the template (included in the Printer Friendly Version at the bottom of this post). Be sure to print it with “no scaling” or your template will be the wrong size (the template’s dimensions are approximately  x 6½”). Then trace the diamond template on to the template plastic and cut it out on the line. The template includes a 1/4″ seam allowance.

2. Place the template on the wrong side of a Layer Cake square and trace around it. For one pincushion, you will need eight diamonds from one fabric and eight diamonds from a contrasting fabric. You can fit six templates on one Layer Cake and you will need an additional Layer Cake square of the same fabric to trace an additional two templates. Repeat this step for the contrasting fabric.

3. Cut out each template. You will need a total of 16 for one pincushion.

4. Lay out the diamonds in a star design. You will need two stars—one for the front and one for the back.

5. With right sides together, sew two diamonds of contrasting fabrics. 

6. Continue sewing diamonds together until you have a total of four of them.
7. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 to create a second half star. Then piece the two halves together to create a star.
8. Repeat Steps 5-7 to create a second star, leaving an approximately 2 inch opening in the center for stuffing the pincushion later. Backstitch at the stopping and starting points to stabilize the stitches for stuffing. 
9. With right sides together, layer the two pieced stars so that like fabrics are on top of each other.
10. Pin the two pieced stars together. Using a ¼” seam allowance, sew around the entire perimeter of the star.
11. To create nice, sharp star points, clip the outer points. With all the points in this pincushion, it’s important to clip for a smooth finish!
12. Clip the inner points so they will lay nice and flat when you turn the pincushion right side out. 
13. Turn the pincushion right side out. Gently push the harder-to-reach outer star points out with a pointed yet blunt object.
14. Starting with the star points and working your way toward the center, stuff the pincushion firmly with polyester or your choice of filling. Then slipstitch the opened closed. It doesn’t matter if your center point matches perfectly because it will be covered with a button later!
15. Following the instructions on your cover button kit, cover two buttons with a coordinating fabric. 
16. Using a long doll needle and Perle 5 cotton, sew the two buttons to the center of the pincushion. Tufting puts a lot of tension on the thread and I find that Perle 5 cotton works better for this task than regular sewing thread because it’s stronger. 
17. Trim eight balls off the pom-pom trim of your choice. 
For my pincushion, I used two contrasting colors of trims.
18. Sew the pom-poms to the tips of the star points. 
19. Fill your pincushion with pins and enjoy! You can make a colorful galaxy of star pincushions with the cheerful palette of Summer House fabric. Here are just a few color combos.

2 Layer Cakes will make 21 pincushions with fabric scraps to spare for other projects. They’re so easy to make that you’ll want to create some for your sewing friends, too!

Thanks for joining me and I hope you enjoyed my first tutorial for the Moda Bake Shop. I love making pincushions and have designed several over the years. To see more of my designs and my creative adventures, stop by my blog. And if you decide to make some of these fun pincushions, I’d love to see them. Please feel free to contact me at the email link on my blog.

Happy stitching!


Summer Love

Hi Everyone! It’s Jera from bringing you another MBS tutorial! This is a simple and beautiful quilt that will make your favorite fabrics pop! Check out my 3-step tutorial below that uses jelly roll strips to make the entire quilt top.

I used the Summer House collection by Lily Ashbury. Make one yourself and checkout my blog at for a chance to win a Terrain jelly roll by Kate Spain!

  • 1 jelly roll (you will have plenty of leftover strips!)
  • 1 solid white jelly roll
  • 3 yards backing

Step 1 – Trim the strips from both the colored and solid white jelly roll to the exact measurements represented in the cutting diagram below. (Note: the measurements below are the exact cutting measurements of the unfinished pieces). Since a jelly roll strip is 2.5″x44″ long, in some cases you will need to sew a couple strips together and then trim it to get the measurements shown below.

Step 2 – Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew all the pieces in each row together, and then sew all rows together.

Step 3 – Add the borders. Sew enough strips together until you have these measurements:

  1. Left and right borders – 46.5″ long. Sew these on first.
  2. Top and bottom borders – 57″ long.

Layer and quilt.

Sew together six leftover strips to create the binding. A binding tutorial can be found here.

That’s it! Simple and absolutely beautiful! Let me know if you have any questions. 🙂

Happy Quilting!

57″ x 50.5″

Jera Brandvig