Tidy Linens Bag

Hi! Lisa Calle of Vintage Modern Quilts here today with a very easy project that will help you get a jump in your spring cleaning. A couple of years ago I bought a set of sheets that came with a handy little storage bag and I thought it was a great idea. The only problem? There was no way I’d ever be able to fold those sheets up as small and tidy as they were straight out of the package and they never fit into the bag again. So what’s a girl with a sewing machine and tons of fabric to do? Make my own cuter linens storage bag!

The hardest part of this project is folding that fitted sheet. I made mine for queen size sheets but it will fit king or full, as well. You may want to decrease measurements all over by 1″ to 2″ for twin sheets.

2 fat quarters (I used a pair of gray prints from V and Co.’s Color Me Happy line)
8″- 11″ of Velcro
Marking pen

Hand sewing needle and embroidery thread

Cut each of your fat quarters into a 14″ x 15″ rectangle. If you are using a directional print, the 15″ measurement is your length. From the remaining pieces of each fat quarter, cut a 6″ x 8″ rectangle. Set these smaller rectangles aside.

Sew a 1/4″ hem along the top of each large rectangle (or use a serger, if you have one).  Trim a 2½” square from the bottom left and right corners of each rectangle.

Place rectangles right sides together and sew a  ¼” seam along the sides and the bottom, leaving the top and the corners open. Be sure to back stitch at each edge. Press seams.

Box the corners of your bag to create depth. To do this, pinch the fabric together so that the seams line up as pictured.

Sew ¼” seam along each boxed corner, back stitching at the beginning and end of your seam.

To create the fold-over flap of your bag, join the small (6″ x 8″) rectangles together along the long side. Press the seam to one side. Hem all sides of the resulting rectangle.

Determine which side of the bag will be the front. Find the center of the back of the bag and match up with the center of the flap, right sides together. Sew a ¼” seam to join these sections.

Pin one strip of the Velcro along the inside of the bag flap, close to the edge. Sew ⅛” around the Velcro to attach it to the bag. Put your folded sheets in the bag and close the flap firmly, marking where the edge meets (use a removable marking pen). Remove the sheets from the bag and pin the other piece of Velcro just a hair above your mark, again sewing a ⅛” around the Velcro to attach it to the bag.

That’s it! You are done. But if you want to take this project up another notch, use embroidery floss to add some important info to the bag. Are these sheets for the guest room? Your child’s room? Or maybe just add the size.

1 tidy linens bag

Lisa Calle

Layer Cake Waterfall

This is literally a no sewing project! Layer cakes are my favorite pre-cut to sew with but my least favorite to hoard because they just aren’t as pretty as the rest of the bunch.  I tend to sew with them right away. But with this easy folding technique, I can make them look pretty to wait for me on the shelf while I spend some quality time with my jelly rolls and fat quarter bundles.

I’ve used this same technique to dress up fat quarter bundles so I thought I’d give layer cakes a try. A layer cake rolled up in this way is the perfect size to stuff into a stocking. And if you don’t think Santa is going to bring one of these lovelies to you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with putting one in your own stocking!

1 Layer Cake (I used Scrumptious by Bonnie and Camille)
6 to 8 inches of twill tape or ribbon (I used Moda twill tape that I saved from a jelly roll)

Fold your layer cake squares in half. (Look at all that layer cake dust!)

Line up the folded and bottom edges and fan them out about 1/4″ apart. Stack some prints on top of each other but make sure the ones you like best are showing.

Starting from one end, roll them up.

The ends of the outer layer cake should almost touch.  Use a rubber band or twill tape to tie the bundle together.

Start folding down the edges of various layer cake squares to create a waterfall effect. You won’t be able to fold down each one individually but you should be able to get a nice variety.

Adjust the folded layers until you get just the right look.

One sweet little bundle! Perfect to keep and lovely to give.

Hop over to {my blog} to see this tutorial using fat quarters.

May your stocking be stuffed with layer cakes this Christmas!

Lisa Calle

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 mummyquilts.blogspot.com

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 vintagemodernquilts.com

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 cuttopieces.com

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?

Bitty Bunting Quilt


Everyone loves a bunting quilt! I was inspired to make this quilt from the trimmings of another quilt. I was using a pattern that calls for dog ear corners from 2½” squares. The resulting triangles looked like pretty bunting flags to me (considering that the fabric was Bonnie and Camille’s Marmalade, any excuse to not throw out even tiny scraps, right?) I kept them in a bin on my cutting table for a few days and the idea of using Moda Candy for tiny bunting flags popped into my head.

Moda Candy are perfect for this quilt since folding them in half allows you to create two-sided flags that look very cute waving about. There are lots of ways to attach the flags – use bias tape like I have or sew them all down first and add ric rac trim. I’ve also made bunting quilts with Perle cotton stitches standing in for the bias tape. Use what you have on hand. There is really no wrong way.

If you want to use a solid background instead of piecing the ombré background, simply start with a 1½ yard cut. I’ve also included a girly color option below.

43 Moda Candy pieces* (equivalent to 1 packages plus 1 more.  I used a mix of Lucy’s Crab Shack, PB&J, and Oh Deer!)
4 yd of ¼” double-fold bias tape in coordinating color
¼ yd dark blue (Royal | Bella Solid 9900-19)
¼ yd cobalt blue (Bright Sky | Bella Solid 9900-115)
¼ yd bright blue (Capri | Bella Solid 9900-225)
¼ yd gray blue (Glacier | Bella Solid 9900-207)
¼ yd light blue (Blue Raspberry | Bella Solid 9900-84)
¼ yd white (White Bleached | Bella Solid 9900-98)

Binding: 3/8 yd preferred print (I used Silver | 9900-183)

Backing: 3¼ yd (I used bits of leftover blues and Lush Uptown | 26047-22)

*NOTE: You may use more or fewer pieces of Moda Candy, depending on how you swag your bunting across the quilt.

Alternative Fabric Choices:
For a girl version of this quilt, try using Shocking Pink | 9900-223, Popsicle | 9900-143,  30s Pink | 9900-27, Amelia Pink | 9900-166, and Parfait Pink | 9900-248 instead of the blues listed above.

1. Piece ¼ yd strips from light to dark to create ombré background. Trim the selvedges before you sew or leave them on and trim all of them at once like I did. Press each seam from light to dark.

2. Layer up with your backing fabric and batting and quilt.

3. Square up quilted background and set aside.

4. Time to sew the bitty bunting! Set your stack of Moda Candy next to your sewing machine. Fold the first Candy square diagonally from corner to corner to create a triangle. Press or pin to make it easier to sew.

Top stitch around the sides of the triangle. You can chain piece but be careful not to stitch your Candy pieces together.

5. Place one bunting triangle between your bias tape with the fold  facing away from the triangle point.  Top stitch along the opposite edge of the bias tape to close the seam.

6. Pin bitty bunting to quilted background so that it drapes from edge to edge.

7. You can attach your bunting by top stitching long fold of the bias tape OR use an invisible stitch to tack it down (that’s what I did).

8. Trim any loose threads and bind as desired.

A simple, sweet, and modern baby gift! Measures approximately  43″ x 51″.

Lisa Calle

Color Pop Pillow

Hi, everyone! It’s Lisa Calle of Vintage Modern Quilts here today kicking off Color Pop month on the Moda Bake Shop. Two of my favorite things come together in this fast and easy project – Nine patches + Bella Solids! I used a mix of Moda Candy (2.5″ squares) and fat quarters to make my pillow covers, but you could use yardage, charms, or even jelly rolls.

For one pillow, you will need:
9 bright squares from your Moda Candy (I used 2012 Bella Solids)
72 2.5″ squares in a variety of neutral solids
4 – 2.25″x22″ strips of fabric for border
20″ pillow form
24″ square of batting
24″ square of muslin
21″ square of backing fabric

Perle cotton thread for hand quilting

Note: Piecing seams are 1/4″. Pillow assembly seams are 1/2″.

For each 20″ pillow cover you are making, choose nine bright squares from your Moda Candy pack. You will need 72 neutral squares for your background. I used all of the neutrals in the Moda Candy pack plus some more I had on hand, including stone, feather, bleached white, and silver.

Select eight neutrals and one bright color pop for each 9-patch, placing the color pop square in the center:

Sew 9-patches together and press well. Trim into quarters:

Square up each quarter to 3.25.” Arrange your blocks into a pleasing design in rows of six. Sew together and press each row.

Join the rows together to form your pillow top.

Attach your borders, trimming off any extra fabric.

Layer your pillow top, batting, and muslin square. Pin or spray paste to keep in place. Quilt as desired. I quilted several straight lines using my machine to hold the layers together and then I added a lot of hand quilting using a variety of perle cotton threads.

Trim to 21 inches square. Serge edges or sew a zig zag stitch around quilted top and 21″ piece of backing fabric so your pillow is nicely finished inside.

About my backing fabric…I used four pieces of Moda wool from a bundle called Crazy Cuts that I’ve been hoarding for several years. I thought, “Why save it when I can enjoy it daily on the back of this pillow?” Moda offers a variety of wools in their basics line, including solids, houndstooth, and plaids.

Start using 1/2″ seams from here on out! You can even go to 5/8″ seams if you want your pillow case to fit nice and tight on the pillow form. 

Insert your zipper between the backing fabric and the quilted pillow top using your favorite method. Unzip the zipper and sew the remaining three sides. Use the zipper opening to turn the pillow right-side-out.

One 20″x20″ pillow cover with pops of color!

If you make a pillow, be sure and add it to the {Moda Bake Shop Flickr pool}.

Lisa Calle

Happy Go Round Quilt

Hi, Moda Bake Shop readers! It’s Lisa Calle from Vintage Modern Quilts, sharing a project I love to pieces. You may have already seen a sneak peek of this quilt if you were at QuiltCon in February. I’m happy to share the finished product here today. I love this quilt! Happy Go Lucky from Bonnie and Camille is on the way to becoming one of my all-time favorite lines. The colors, the happy florals, the vintage look, the perfect tiny dots…it’s got everything.

This is an improv style quilt so you may use more or less fabric than I did…It all depends on your cutting and piecing. I used Bella Solids layer cakes in my quilt top but I’ve given an option below for using yardage instead. Just know that you will have more cutting involved if you opt for yardage.

1 Layer Cake (Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie and Camille)
3 coordinating solids layer cakes (I used Robin’s Egg, Blue, and White. NOTE: You will only use a fraction of these layer cakes so you’ll have plenty left for a second quilt or another project. I used 16 Blue, 20 Robin’s Egg, and 12 White.)
3.5 yards of coordinating solids
1/2 yard binding (Happy Go Lucky 55067 11)
4 1/8 yards backing (mine is pieced using Happy Go Lucky 55063 22 and 55061 17)

Curve Master 1/4″ Presser Foot (This foot is great for all curved piecing.)

All seams are 1/4″. Read instructions before beginning. I recommend practicing on some scrap fabric before you cut into your layer cake. Unfinished block size is 9″.

1. If you are working with yardage for your solids, cut into 10″ squares. You will need a total of 48 ten-inch squares from your solids.

2. Select four layer cake squares – a mix of prints from the collection and some solids. I went by the general rule of two solids, two prints.

3. Layer your four layer cake squares into a neat pile, making sure the edges are lined up on all sides.

4. Using a rotary cutter with a fresh blade, cut a freehand arc across your stack of layer cake squares. Go slowly and use firm and even pressure Try to make a wide curve. The tighter angles are going to be harder to sew. For a video tutorial showing exactly how to cut and piece these improv curves, click {here}.

5. Mix and match your inner and outer curves. Line your inner curve edge up with the outer curve edge, right sides together.

*A note about pinning* You do not need to pin these curved seams. Starch your edges to keep the bias seams in check and/or use the curve master foot.*

Sew a 1/4′ seam along the curve, gently guiding the fabrics together under the foot of your sewing machine. The key is to guide the fabric. No tugging or pulling as that will distort your seam.

5. Press light to dark. Repeat sewing and pressing process for your other fabrics in the stack.

6. Once you’ve sewn all four sets, check them for size. Set aside any blocks that don’t quite measure 9″ square. These are your A blocks. Trim your other blocks to 9″ square and set into your finished pile. These are your B blocks.

Note: These blocks do have a right and a wrong way. It’s easy to tell if  you’re working with prints, but solids can be trickier. If your block ends up like this, you’ve sewn it the wrong way. Just seam rip (gently), flip the inner curve, and sew again.

I made this block just to show you guys. I would so never make a block like that. Never. Ever. 😉

7. Repeat this process until you have 64 blocks total: A and B blocks.

8. Take your stack of A (not quite 9″ blocks) and repeat the curve step from above, but this time just choose one layer cake. Set it underneath your pieced block and shift it to enlarge the block. Cut a curve just like before. Sew your two pieces together and press light to dark. Square up to 9″.

Alternatively, if you are a master curve piecer and didn’t have any blocks that didn’t make it to 9″ (go, you!),  take half of your perfect blocks and add a second curve to them using the process outlined above. This quilt will look nice with just one curve per block, but the second curve adds a lot of movement throughout the quilt. I made several blocks that have up to four curve in them.

9. Assemble your quilt top in a 8×8 block layout. I sewed mine in sets of 4 blocks at a time so I could take extra care matching the points where the four blocks meet in the center of the broken circles. Don’t worry too much about fabric placement. Just have fun with it! There are lots of options for setting the blocks in this quilt. I made another version using Aspen Frost by Basic Grey:

{Note: the Aspen Frost version is smaller}

10.  Baste, quilt, and bind as desired.

One happy and fun 68″ x 68″ quilt.

If you make one, please add it to the Moda Bake Shop {Flickr} group. Don’t forget to stop by my blog and say hi. 

Lisa Calle

Sweet as Candy Pincushion

Hello! It’s Lisa Calle of Vintage Modern Quilts here with a quick recipe using your favorite pieces of Moda Candy.  I came up with this cute and fast little pincushion as a way to use some of my Moda twill tape. I’ve saved every piece of it since I started buying pre-cuts (Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this?!). They’re just tucked away and looking lonely in a jar on the shelf.

I just had to make use of them! Even with the small-scale piecing, this pincushion is a fast and simple project.

1 package of Moda Candy (I used Mama Said Sew by Sweetwater)
6 pieces of Moda twill tape from a Jelly Roll or Fat Quarter Bundle OR 108 inches of binding
12 charm squares OR 12 pieces of 5″x5″ scraps
12 pieces of 5″x5″ batting
Filling (I used crushed walnut shells)

These instructions show you how to make 1 pincushion. A package of Moda Candy plus the ingredients listed above will yield 6 pincushions.

1. Choose seven pieces of Candy for your pincushion top: four pieces for the 4-patch, 2 sashing fabrics, and 1 center fabric

2. Mark a line down the center of two of your 4-patch pieces. (I press a line with my iron). Place 1 marked piece and one unmarked piece right sides together and sew 1/4″ away from the line.

Cut along the line and press. Repeat for your other two 4-patch pieces.

3. Mark or press a line down the center of the 4-patch strips you’ve sewn, going perpendicular to the seam. Repeat the process of sewing 1/4″ from each side of the line, cutting, and pressing. You now have four itty bitty 4-patch blocks.

4. Cut your sashing squares in half: each sashing strip will measure 2.5″ x 1.25″ (with about 0.5″ of the length as excess that you’ll trim off later). Set aside.

5. Cut your center square. I chose a cute portion of one fabric to fussy cut a star and some text. This center square measures 1.25″ x 1.25.”

6. Assemble your block in rows. Press your seams towards the sashing on the 4-patch rows and towards the center block on the middle strip.

7. Match points, pin, and sew your block together.

8. Layer up with one charm square, your batting piece, and your block on top. Quilt as desired. If you don’t want any quilting, at least baste the edges together. Use your ruler and rotary cutter to square up to 4.25 inches.

 You now have a cute mini quilt pincushion top!

Optional – sew a length of Moda twill tape that reads “Moda” on the backing square for your pincushion. I hand-stitched mine on because I only thought of this after I’d made the pincushion.

9. Place your pincushion top wrong sides together with your backing charm square. Sew a 1/4″ seam all around your pincushion, leaving a small opening for the filler. I like to mark my stopping point with a pin or Clover clip.

10. Sew a zig zag stitch at one end of your Moda twill tape.This will help prevent fraying. You can also use fray check if you have some on hand.

11. Attach your Moda twill tape as binding. Start just after the opening you’ve left and sew on just like bias tape, folding the twill tape at each corner to miter them.

12. Fill the pincushion with crushed walnut shells. (NOTE: You can find these in the bird section of a pet store. The bag is huge so share with a couple of friends.)

13. Stitch the opening closed and finish adding your twill tape binding. Be sure to zig zag the end to prevent fraying. Overlap the beginning of the twill tape by an inch or so. It is helpful to use your zipper foot for this step.

 One Sweet as Candy Pincushion! (That’s my son’s little hand in the photo. He just had to touch those yellow pins.)

Repeat x 5 to use up your entire pack of Moda Candy. Each pincushion measures about 4.5″ square. These can also be used as pattern weights. They make a great gift for your sewing friends and this pincushion looks sew stylish in solids (the Bella Solids 2012 colors are available as Moda Candy.) See what other Moda Candy is available {here} and check your favorite LQS to see which ones they have in stock.

Hope you enjoyed this recipe. If you make a pincushion, be sure to brag about it in the {Moda Bake Shop group on Flickr}.

Happy sewing!

Lisa Calle

Studio Tour: Vintage Modern Quilts

Today we are touring the studio of Moda Bake Shop Chef Lisa Calle of the blog Vintage Modern Quilts.

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

Let’s take a peek! Lisa tells us, “I frequently make changes to my sewing space. I can never seem to find the perfect arrangement or the right furniture pieces. I suspect the real problem is that I have too many supplies, too much fabric, and too many WIPs!”

Lisa’s space is filled with inspiring little objects and art, and she tries to keep everything tidy on shelves and tucked into drawers. She has a special spot for her Moda pre-cuts. That’s a very inspiring shelf, indeed.

Lisa keeps her one yard and larger pieces on mini bolts, and she says that it has given her a lot more storage space. Jars keep notions like thread and buttons from getting dusty or spilled on the floor by little hands.

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

Dreaming of Jelly Rolls,

Quilted Toy Leash

Hi! My name is Lisa Calle, and I blog at Vintage Modern Quilts. This is my first tutorial for the Moda Bake Shop, though I have been a Moda and Bake Shop devotee since I first learned to quilt.

I had my first baby, a boy named Benjamin, in November 2011, and I’ve been obsessed with baby sewing projects ever since. Today I have a project for all you mamas that have picked dropped toys up off the floor a few times too many. This toy leash also makes a great gift and sews up quickly.

4 charm squares (I’ve used Ten Little Things by Jenn Ski)
1 piece of batting (measuring 2″ x 21″)
1 plastic toy link (available in baby stores and most grocery stores and pharmacies)
2-inch strip of Velcro

Lay out your charm  squares in a pleasing pattern and then join together, using a 1/4″ seam. Press seams to one side.

Place your batting strip in the center of your pieced charms. Fold the left edge in 2 inches over the batting. Pin in place.

Line your foot up with the raw edge of the fabric and sew the length of the strip.

Fold the right edge in so it butts up against the batting strip.

Fold again and pin in place. Sew a 1/4″ seam along the length of the strip at this new fold.(Your seam should match up with the first one, but if it doesn’t, you can camouflage with your quilting.)

Quilt your strap as desired. The more quilting, the sturdier it will feel. Top stitch the long edges of the strap for a finished look. (The right side in the image below has been top-stitched; the left side has not.)

Trim any excess batting at both ends of the strap. Fold the top edge of the strap towards the inside 1/4 inch (the inside has the visible fold).

Sew 1/8″ from the raw edge, and back stitch at each end. Trim any excess batting and threads. Repeat on the bottom edge of the strap.

Now it’s time to add your final touches. Slip the strap through the plastic toy link and fold over so it covers the link and leaves room to stitch (about half an inch is enough).

Use a zipper foot to sew close to the link.

To add the Velcro, separate your hook and loop pieces (the hook is the pokey part and the loop is the soft part). Place the hook piece of Velcro so the top is aligned with the edge of the strap and it is centered across the width. Pin in place. Top stitch around the Velcro.

Measure just a hair under 6 inches from the bottom of the hook part of the Velcro to find the spot where you will attach the loop part. Pin your loop piece of Velcro in place as shown.

Top stitch around the Velcro.

One super cute and very helpful toy leash!

Lisa Calle