Trifle Dish: Pinwheels

To make LAYER 3, use charm squares to create a scrappy version. One layer cake and a fat quarter will make a non-scrappy version.

For EACH Pinwheel block, you will need:
Fabric 1/Background: 4 – 5″ squares
Fabric 2,3,4,5/Pinwheels: 4 – 5″ squares (mixed prints or cut from one or two prints)

Suggested precuts for scrappy version: fat quarters, layer cake

1. Create 4 half square triangle (HST) units from 2 charm squares

  • With right sides together, sew a scant ¼” seam on each side of the charm squares. 
  • Trim along the diagonal of the HST unit to create 4 half-square triangles.
  • Press to the darker fabric.
  • Square up each HST to 2½”.

Make 16 sets of HSTs per block.

2. Lay out your block pieces as shown.

Piece together in rows.

Press well.
3. Repeat steps 1-2 to make 7 more blocks (8 total).

4. Join 8 blocks to form Layer 3.

1 row, measuring 64″ x 8″

Block design by Amanda Castor of {Material Girl Quilts}

Trifle Dish: Orange Peel

To make LAYER 2, use layer cakes and yardage to create a two-color version. One layer cake will make one block. Alternatively, use charm squares to create a scrappy version.

For EACH Orange Peel block, you will need:
Fabric 1/Background: 4 – 5″ squares
Fabric 2/Peels: 4 – 5″ squares

You will also need:
Applique thread (hand or machine)
Applique needles (for hand applique)
Basting glue
Template plastic

Suggested precuts: fat quarters, layer cake, charm pack

This block can be made using machine or hand applique techniques. 

1. Create template pieces for the orange peels. See Printer Friendly Version at the end of this post to download the orange peel template file. Cut out a total of 32 orange peels for the row.

    Tip: Be sure to label your template with permanent marker so you can use them again in another project.

    2. Cut out background fabric. You will need 4 squares for each block, cut them to 5″ to allow yourself some wiggle room for the applique.

    3. Applique one orange peel to each 5″ square, using the applique template as a placement guide. Use your preferred method of applique. Make a total of 32 orange peel blocks. Trim to 4½” square.

    4. Join 4 orange peel blocks together to make one complete block. The unfinished block should measure 8½” square.

    4. Join 8 blocks to form Layer 2.

    1 row, measuring 64″ x 8″

    Block design by Leila Gardunia of {Sewn by Leila}

    Trifle Dish: Cherry Spools and Lady Fingers

    To make LAYER 1, use fat eighths to create a two-color version. Two fat eighths will yield two blocks. Alternatively, use a variety of precuts to create a scrappy version.

    For EACH Cherry Spool block, you will need:
    Fabric 1/Spool:

    • (2) 2½” squares 
    • (2) 2″ x 8″ strips

    Fabric 2/Leaves:

    • (6) 2½” squares

    Fabric 3/Cherries:

    • (4) 2″ squares

    Fabric 4/Background:

    • (8) 2½” squares
    • (2 ) 2″ x 8″ strips
    • (9) 2″ squares

    You will need (6) 2½” x 11½” strips for sashing between blocks (Lady Fingers)

    Finished block measures 11″ square

    Tip: use a mix of low value prints for the background if desired

    Suggested precuts for scrappy version: fat quarters, layer cake, charm pack

    1. Create half square triangle (HST) units

    • Draw a line on the wrong side of each 2½” background square. 
    • Pair each 2½” background square with spool squares and leaf squares (a total of 8 pairs of background fabric + print), right sides together. 
    • Lining up the edge of your foot with the pencil line, sew a scant ¼” seam on each side of the line. 
    • Cut on the pencil line and press to the darker fabric. 
    • Square up each HST to 2″.

      Make 12 sets of background/leaves HSTs and 4 sets of background/spool HSTs per block.

    2. Lay out your block pieces for the center as shown.

    Piece together in rows.

    Add background side strips and spool top and bottom. Press well.

    3. Repeat step 2 to make 4 more blocks (5 total).

    4. Join 5 blocks and 6 lady fingers together to form Layer 1.

    1 row, measuring 64″ x 11″

    Block design by Robin Nelson of {}

    Holiday Baking

    Happiest of holiday wishes from all of us at the Moda Bake Shop! If you didn’t have a chance to sew anything for Christmas, now is the perfect time to start working on something for next year. Here are a few projects to inspire you:

    And don’t forget our latest book – Sweet Celebrations with the Moda Bake Shop Chefs – which is filled with holiday inspiration for the whole year.

    A Very Merry Moda Christmas

    We are having a party and you’re invited! Join us for an virtual party tonight – December 11 – starting at 7 pm CST.

    Pin your recipes, crafts, quilt patterns, or anything else that is inspiring you this holiday season. Be sure to tag your pins and social media posts with #verymerrymodachristmas so we can all see them, too!

    This is an online party so join us in your best holiday gear or your favorite jammies and meet us on the web. We are going to be giving out prizes every 15 minutes via Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram so be sure to follow Moda Fabrics and the Moda Bake Shop so we can contact you if you’re a winner.

    Check out our Very Merry Moda Christmas board to see what we are pinning during the party!

    Family Tree Quilted Pillow

    Greetings, Moda Bake Shop readers.  My name is Karen Miller, and I’m a new Chef here at the Bake Shop!  I live in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York, USA, and I blog about all things Quilty at Karen’s Quilts, Crows and Cardinals.  Stop by and check out my projects, tutorials, and other happenings.

    Today I’m excited to share a Quilted Envelope Pillow recipe using Deb Strain’s “Family Tree” fabric.

    With its beautiful colorways, “Family Tree” is perfect for fall – AND – spring projects!  As you can see from my Blog, I’m addicted to birds – so the Family Tree birds and paisley along with some awesome dimensional cuts have me sold on this line…  I’m sure you will LOVE IT too!

    Several techniques were used to complete the quilted pillow including machine piecing, applique, fussy cutting, and free motion quilting.  Both cotton and wool fabric were used in this sample — I hope you enjoy the variety.

    The finished pillow fits a 20″ x 20″ pillow insert and has a cute little 2″ flange around the outside!

    Pillow Top, Envelope Back and Misc Applique Pieces:

      • 1 Jelly Roll Family Tree #19640JR

    Applique Background:

      • 1 Fat Quarter Family Tree Cream #19649 11

    Applique Tree:

      • 1 7″ x 10″ piece Moda Marble Chocolate #6851


      • 28″ square inexpensive cotton fabric for quilted pillow backing
      • 28″ square piece of batting (I used Hobbs Poly)
      • 20″ square Pillow Form

    Optional choices:

    • For Applique Tree:  7″ x 10″ piece Moda Wool Dark Brown #810-58
    • For Applique Birds:  5″ x 5″ scrap of Moda Wool Red #1700-72
    • Quilter’s Freezer Paper
    • DMC #8 Pearl Cotton Thread in Red & Brown for wool applique
    • Aurifil Mako 50/2 in Color #2000 1GN for quilting
    • Aurifil Mako 50/2 in Color #2845 1GN & #2600 ICN for top stitching


    Please review all instructions before getting started. 

    Unless otherwise indicated, all piecing was completed using a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance.


    Pillow Top Piecing:

    Applique Background: Cut one 13″ x 13″ square using Family Tree Cream or any other neutral Moda fabric.

    Pieced Pillow Top : From your Jelly Roll choose 5 to 10 different strips for the pillow top – The sample was completed using 7 different fabric strips and alternating lighter/darker fabrics in the block.

    Cutting and Piecing Pillow Top:  Using the “Piecing and Cutting” diagram below, cut strip sizes and sew to the cream applique background.  Note:  The diagram indicates the order in which you piece AND the size of the cut piece.

    Example:   #1 – 13″ represents the first piece you sew to the background and it is cut 13 inches long.

    Piecing and Cutting Diagram – # indicates the order and ” indicate size to cut

    Note:  Above pieces #9, #10, #11 and #12 were sewn to the pillow top after I completed the applique.  You can sew them on at any time.

    Cutting Tip:   When you’re cutting pieces that are longer than 10 or 12 inches consider this approach:

    Take 1/2 of the desired size as your target, fold your fabric to the target size plus a bit of overlap. Find the target size mark on your ruler and place it on the fabric fold. Trim the opposite end.

    This method allows you to remove the selvage while cutting the desired strip size and helps avoid LONG strip and ruler alignment.

    Now, back to the pillow top — be sure to press your seams toward the outside of the pillow after each strip is sewn.  I was taught to first press the seam flat before pressing it in the desired direction.  The seams come out beautifully using this method.

    Now that you’ve completed most or all of the piecing on the pillow top it’s time to applique!


    Pillow Top Applique: 

    The applique portion of the pillow allows for great flexibility!

    In the completed sample I used Moda Wool for the tree and birds and attached them to the background with a whipstitch (sometimes referred to as an overhand stitch).  The birds were stuffed to give them dimension.   Needle turn applique method was used for the tree leaves.  In all cases, basting was done with applique pins.

    If you would rather not use the sample methods, there are many applique options available including raw or turned edge applique, fused or glued, with hand or machine stitching.  If you have any questions on any particular method, leave a comment here or on my blog, and I would be happy to give you feedback.  Also, check out the great Moda Bake Shop Basics tutorials on Machine Applique and Turned Edge Machine Applique.

    Tree above in Moda Marble — Yummy !

    Tree & Birds:

    If you are using wool and not fusing it down, then you’ll want to have Quilter’s Freezer Paper on hand.  If you don’t have Quilters Freezer paper sheets, you can use rolled freezer paper from your kitchen drawer 😉

    Using the tree template below, trace the tree design to the dull or paper side of the freezer paper.

    Tree Template

    With a dry iron set on **medium heat, press your freezer paper to the right side of the wool.
    **Use care not to burn and/or discolor your wool.

    Cut along the drawn line.  Remove the freezer paper.

    Use applique pins to secure the tree to the background fabric, then use Pearl Cotton thread to stitch using a Whipstitch.

    Finished Tree:

    Once your tree is stitched down, use the same techniques to cut and stitch your birds.

    Bird layout:

    Before stitching the birds to the background you can (optionally) add some dimension by stuffing them with batting.


    Once the birds are stitched to the background, give them each a wing.  I fussy cut paisley wings using clear template plastic to help find the perfect fussy cut.  You’ll notice that I auditioned several different fabrics for wings — there are many great choices.  Choose what looks good to your eye and attach using your favorite applique method.

    After stitching the tree, birds, and bird wings to the background, choose several strips from the jelly roll and fussy cut leaves to complete the tree.  The sample leaves were completed using needle turn applique, but use your favorite applique method.  For a fast and easy solution consider raw edge applique using fusible web to secure and machine top stitch for added interest.

    Once the applique is completed, add the 4 outside border pieces (pieces #9 through #12 from the Piecing and Cutting Diagram above).

    Your unquilted pillow top should measure appx 24 3/4 inches square.


    Prepare for Pillow Top Quilting:

    In the sample, only the pillow top was quilted. 

    Prepare the quilt sandwich on a table top — the pillow size is perfect because nothing drapes over the edges of the table!

    First, lay out your backing fabric — remember this fabric will not show once your envelope pillow is completed, so use a less expensive muslin or a light colored cotton fabric.

    Now secure the backing fabric to the table with tape, pulling it taut, but using care not to stretch your fibers – you don’t want it to spring back when the tape is removed.

    Next, position and smooth batting over the backing, secure it with tape, remembering not to pull too tight.


    Lastly, position and smooth the pillow top right side up on the batting, always smoothing from the center out and securing as you smooth.

    Pin basting is complete.

    I use quilting safety pins to baste my quilt tops, but there are other methods including spray basting and basting with straight pins and soft tips.


    Quilt the Pillow Top:

    Using matching thread and a walking foot, stitch in the ditches along the strip pieces to stabilize the pillow top before Free Motion Quilting the applique area.

    Start at the edge of the applique background and work your way outward – stitching in the ditch.

    Also, baste stitch around the outside perimeter of the pillow top.

    Free Motion Quilt the applique area:

    Free motion quilting is fun and it allows you to enjoy your piece without the wait of someone else doing your quilting for you.   This pillow top is a perfect place to practice free motion quilting..  Here are some basics:

    Use a top and bobbin thread that match the applique background, put your darning foot on, and drop the feed dogs on your machine.  For ease of movement, use a Supreme Slider on your machine bed.  Check out my blog in the next few weeks for more “Free Motion Quilting Basics”.

    Start by echo stitching around each applique piece.   I used Aurifil Mako 50/2 in Color #2000 thread to quilt the applique area – the color matched perfectly!

    After you’ve echo stitched the applique, quilt any design you like to fill in the background.  The more densely you quilt, the more your applique pieces will POP!

    The sample was quilted using a combination of “McTavishing”, circles, and swirls, which all added movement to the piece. 

    Quilt the Pillow Top Strips:

    Once you have finished quilting the applique area, quilt the pieced strips with a top stitch.  I used a 2.70 stitch length on my machine.  Use a thread color that complements the fabric.

    Square Up the Pillow Top:

    Depending on the density of your quilting you may have to make some fine adjustments to square up the pillow top.   On the sample piece the right side was simple and squared up nicely.

    However, because of the dense quilting in the lower left corner of the sample, some “fine adjustments” aka “fudging it” were made on the left and bottom edges.  You can see from the diagram below that the “fine adjustment” included trimming outside of the top fabric, resulting in only the batting and backing being square.

    “Squaring up” which does not cut into the top fabric is not a problem; however, it may require you to increase the seam allowance when the pillow layers are stitched together.   This was the case with the sample pillow.

    The sample piece pillow top squared up at 24.25″.

    Important:  The above measurement is necessary to trim the envelope pieces.  The width of the envelope pieces will need to match the width of the pillow top (trimmed and squared).

    For now, set your pillow top aside and prepare to piece the envelope back.


    Pieced Envelope Back:

    The envelope back requires two pieces:

    • One 19″ by 25″ envelope top (horizontal strips)
    • One 17″ by 25″ envelope bottom (vertical strips)

    The sample was pieced using 13 of the remaining jelly roll strips.

    To piece the scrappy back choose 13 WOF strips from the jelly roll.

    Envelope fabric strips

    Arrange the strips in a layout that is pleasing to your eye.

    Sew the long sides of the 13 strips together.

    When complete you should have a 42″ by 26.5″ rectangle.

    From the rectangle, cut one 26″ by 26″ square, rotate it and trim it to 19″ by 24.25″ (same as the width of pillow top once squared up) with the strips running horizontally.  This is the envelope top.

    Use the remaining 17″ by 26″ piece for the bottom of the envelope.  Trim to 17″ by 24.25″ (same as the width of pillow top once squared up).  These strips run vertically.

    Fold and topstitch one wide edge of the envelope top and one wide edge of the envelope bottom.

    Now you’re ready to layer, pin and sew your pillow layers together!

    Complete the Pillow:

    Be sure all three pieces (Pillow Top, Envelope Top and Envelope Bottom) are the same width.  The sample measured 24.25″ wide.

    Begin by positioning the pillow top, right side up on a table.

    Add the envelope top, right side down on the pillow top.  Align the raw edges at the top, left, and right. Pin.  The envelope top will not cover the entire pillow – align it at the top edge.

    Lastly, add the envelope bottom, right side down over the bottom portion of the pillow top.  Align raw edges at the bottom, left, and right. Pin.  The envelope bottom will not cover the entire pillow top but it will overlap the envelope top by about 6″.

    Using your walking foot sew around the entire outside of the pillow layers using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. The envelope opening will allow you to turn right side out.

    Trim all 4 corners to reduce bulk.  Gently press the seams open.

    Next, turn the pillow right side out through the envelope.  Once right side out, reach inside to push out the corners.  If necessary, from the right side, use a pin to pull the corner fabric out.

    Almost done !

    Press around the outside edges of the completed pillow.

    Sew the Flange

    The flange is made by stitching in the ditch, through all layers, as designated by “A” in the diagram below.  This makes the pillow the correct size to fit a 20″ x 20″ pillow form.

    To give the pillow a more finished look, topstitch around the inner and outer edges of the outside strips as designated with “B” below.

    Below is a close up of the top stitching around the flange:

    Whew – that was fun!

    Now you have a beautiful quilted pillow with flange that you can use for fall or spring decorating.

    Are you ready to get started ?

    Check out the awesome price on the Family Tree Jelly roll at Cindy’s Sew It Is!

    Completed Front and Back:

    One 22″ x 22″ Quilted Envelope Pillow with a 2″ Flange — and plenty of Jelly Roll strips leftover for an accent pillow!!

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

    Also, I would love to have you jump on over to my blog and say hello.

    There are some neat posts about Wool Applique here and here, and if you’re interested in learning more about Needle Turn Applique or Free Motion Quilting, stop by in November when I’ll post some basic tutorials on these topics. 

    I look forward to seeing you there!

    Karen Miller

    Contempo Throw Quilt

    At The Calico House, we love to create new projects to showcase the fabulous fabrics in our shop. We’re excited to be accepted as a Moda Bake Shop Chef and share our “Contempo Throw” with you!

    This 55¾” x 70½” contemporary quilt features Moda’s “Contempo” line of fabric. A piano key border of 9 coordinating fabrics complements the beautiful center panel and inner borders. The glowing oranges, mustard golds, and relaxing taupe colors make this a perfect autumn throw!

    • 1 ⅔ yards of Contempo Spice 32841 14 Moda 
       (For the design to be centered may require more fabric)
    • 7/8 yard of Bella Solids Weathered Teak 9900 129 Moda
    • ½  yard of Contempo Mustard 32846 18 Moda
    • 1 Contempo layer cake OR 1/8 yard cuts of 9 coordinating fabrics

    Use ¼” seam allowances throughout, unless otherwise noted.
    Note: All measurements are based on unwashed fabric.

    • Contempo Spice 32841 14 fabric is the center of the quilt. Cut center 43 ½” x 58″
      (pay attention to the pattern repeat).
      Cut the selvage off each side so the pattern is equal on both sides.

    • ¼” accent border is Bella Solids Weathered Teak 9900 129.
      Cut (5) ¾” x WOF (width of fabric) strips.

    • 2″ inner border is Contempo Mustard 32846 18. Cut (5) 2 ½” x WOF strips.
      Cut (1) 3 ½” x WOF strip. From this strip cut (4) 3 ½” squares for cornerstones,
      then cut 2 ½” x the amount needed to complete the inner border. Join strips for side borders:
      (2) 2 ½” x 59″ strips. Join strips for top and bottom borders: (2) 2 ½” x 48″ strips. Trim to fit.

    • ½” accent border is Bella Solids Weathered Teak 9900 129.
      Cut (5) 1″ strips x WOF. 

    • The piano keys outer border is created by making strata from (9) coordinating fabrics.
      Cut 3″ x  WOF from each fabric. Join, then cut into 4″ strips. If using a layer cake, cut coordinating 
      colors into 3″ strips. You’ll need 45 strips to make your strata, then cut into 4″ strips.
    • Cornerstones: Use the (4) 3 ½” squares previously cut from the Contempo Mustard fabric. Add 1″
      Bella Solids Weathered Teak 9900 129 strips to 2 sides (the binding adds the other 2 sides).

     • Quilt as desired.

    • Cut Bella Solids Weathered Teak 9900 129 for binding in 3″ strips for a finish border/binding. Sew 
      on with a ½” seam allowance.

    Note: Meaurements on the diagram are finished block and strip sizes
    (¼” seam allowances are not included on the diagram).

    55 ¾” x 70 ½” Throw

    We hope you enjoy sewing this great “Contempo” throw.

    We have Contempo Throw Kits available at our store or on Etsy. (Quantities Limited)

    The Calico House

    Moda Bake Shop Basics: Machine Applique

    Machine Applique is probably the most favorite thing I love about sewing. If there is a way to put an applique on something, you can almost guarantee that I will put it on there.

    There are two types of applique that can be done by machine… applique and reverse applique. 

    1. An applique is when a piece of fabric is cut into a shape then stitched on top of a base fabric.

    2. Reverse applique is when the shape is cut from the base fabric and another piece of fabric is attached underneath the base fabric so that fabric shows through the cut shape. You then stitch towards the top base fabric to secure in place.

    Stitch Types… it’s a personal thing. Use what you like best. 
    Every sewing machine should have some basic stitches which are great to use with machine applique. Some machines have even more options from heirloom to decorative style stitches. Any stitch will work as long as you stitch along the edge of your applique fabric. Always use a test piece of fabric before sewing with new stitches to be sure you know where you needle is going and where to line up your fabrics with your machine foot.

    Basic Applique Stitches… (A) Straight, (B) Zig-Zag, (C) Satin, (D) Blanket

    Decorative Stitches… (E-F) Each model of machine has its own unique decorative stitches. I typically look for a stitch that has a straight edge in the stitching that I can line up with the raw edge of my applique to use as a guide when stitching.

     Just remember these three rules when machine appliqueing…

    1. Use a high quality thread to help keep your stitches in tact for years to come. I like to use Aurifil Thread 50 wt and 40 wt in my sewing machine because of the quality and strength.

    2. Use a fusible webbing to adhere your applique to your base fabric. Pellon makes two fantastic fusible webbing’s… Wonder-Under and Heavy Duty Wonder-Under. I use the regular wonder-under when working with a single piece of fabric. The Heavy Duty Wonder-Under is great for a scrap applique when there are seams in the applique that the webbing needs to adhere to.

    3. Have fun and experiment with new stitches.  I personally believe there is no wrong way to stitch on an applique. Be creative and try something new.

    Get inspired and create something!

    Angela Yosten

    Moda Fabrics featured… Flats by Angela Yosten and Bella Solid White.
    Aurifil Threads featured… Flats by Angela Yosten in 50 wt
    Stitches featured are from a Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8900 QCP sewing machine.