Moda Candy Alphabet

Hi everyone, it’s Chris “frecklemama” Warnick, and I am delighted to bring you this easy and fun alphabet project using Moda’s adorable mini-charm packs.

This alphabet is based on using squares and half-square triangles (HSTs) so you can adapt it easily to use any size square.  The project would work using jelly roll strips cut into squares or scaled up to use charm squares or even layer cake squares.  Want to add a message to a table runner or a monogram to a quilt backing?  This project provides a quick road map for making each letter without needing any fancy supplies or advanced skills.

For this tutorial I made a banner for an upcoming sewing retreat.  Other ideas for this project might include your business name as a banner for a craft fair table, your blog name for a photography background or header photograph, or a funny saying for your BFF’s craft room.

Because your use of the alphabet will differ from mine, you will need to sketch out your own project to get an idea of proportion and fabric requirements.  I use graph paper and have each square on the grid equal one 2.5″ mini-charm square.

Moda Candy Alphabet

– Mini-charm packs, jelly roll strips, regular charm packs cut into four squares or yardage cut into 2.5″ squares*. 

– Background fabric.  In this project I used white jelly roll strips to create background squares and skinny sashing strips.

* IMPORTANT:  In order for your letters to be legible, you really need to choose fabric that contrasts strongly with your background fabric.  I needed several mini-charm packs in order to pick out the charms that had the highest contrast to my white background.

– In this tutorial I used 7 mini-charm packs of Snap Pop by Sandy Gervais.  I also used some strips of a Bella white jelly roll as the background fabric and sashing.

– Backing

– Batting

– Binding


First determine what words you will be making.  Use the alphabet sketch to map out which blocks you are making and which squares are needed for each block. 

Moda Candy Alphabet

For example, if you are going to make an “A” you will lay out your squares like this:

Moda Candy Alphabet

Sew them together like this:

Moda Candy Alphabet

Once you have your letters made, you will separate them with skinny strips of your background fabric.  In the case of my project, I used skinny sashing strips cut into 1 1/4″ strips.  That is equivalent to a jelly roll strip sliced in half, long ways.  Once each word was completed, I finished it by framing it with additional skinny strips. 

Determine the layout of your words by auditioning them in different ways.  In the case of my sample, I stacked my words in a vertical stack and determined that I wanted about 2″ additional framing of background fabric along the sides. 

Once I was happy with my layout, I sewed the top together, quilted it with backing and batting, and machine bound it (Note: the binding is a yellow print from Kate Spain’s upcoming line Daydream).

Because my banner’s shape is irregular, I chose to use bias binding.  For such a small project, I determined that I could cut my binding at only 2″ to maximize my fabric.  I was able to bind this banner with only a Fat Quarter of fabric!  The banner measures approximately 38″ x 35″ at its largest width and height.

Curious what “The Stash Bash” is all about?  Visit to learn about a weekend of pajamas, friends, sewing machines, laughter, great food, and plenty of our two favorites: chocolate and fabric!

We hope you enjoy using the Moda Candy Alphabet to create a project of your own imagination:  Sew the word JOY along a holiday stocking, create a quilt with your family’s favorite inspirational message, or make a pillow that says YES! on one side and NO! on the other.  Whatever you make with your Moda Bakeshop tutorials, please don’t forget to share it with us on the Flickr page.

Happy sewing!
Chris Warnick

Charming Wonky Diamonds Quilt

I’m thrilled to be making my first appearance as a chef here at Moda Bake Shop! This project has been in the works for some time, but a new baby and a cross country move totally messed with my sewjo and time for blogging. We’re in our new place now, and I get to set up a new sewing space. I want you join me for a Sewing Room Clean-up Along as I get my space in order, so please come visit me at Sewing by Moonlight.

Because this design repeats the same shape, it would be easy to add in another charm pack and some more background fabric to make this larger, or leave off a couple rows to make it smaller. Because of the scrappy look, you could use charm packs from two different, coordinating fabric lines for the diamonds. Or you could make the background scrappy with white diamonds.

2 charm packs for the diamonds and border – Snap Pop by Sandy Gervais
3 charm packs + 4 additional charms for the background

2.5 yards for the quilt back
1/2 yard for the binding

*set aside 22 colorful charms for the outer border*
*set aside 6 background charms for the inner border*

Cut the remaining charms from your fabric collection into 8 sections. Using your rotary cutter, first cut the charm twice corner-to-corner to make four triangles. Subcut those triangles through the middle to make 8 pieces.

Cut the remaining background charms into quarter from edge to edge, resulting in 2.5 inch squares.

You will have 496 squares of background fabric and 496 triangles of colorful fabric.

Pair up each colorful triangle with a square of background fabric.

Place the triangle right side down on the square of background fabric so that the long edge of the triangle is off-set to the right side of the background square (see first photo below). The triangle must be at least 1/4 inch to the right of center so that when you sew the pieces together, your triangle will complete a 2.5 inch square. note: you do not have to place each piece exactly the same. Variable placement will make your diamonds wonky. Tilt some triangles slightly to the left or to the right. Place them farther to the right side of the the square. 

This is a great time to chain piece. Now trim off the extra bit of background fabric, and cut your triangles apart. Iron the seam open.

Now comes the tedious task of trimming 496 squares back to 2.5 inches. I lined up several rows on my cutting mat and trimmed several at a time with my rotary cutter. Just be careful that your squares don’t slip.

Match the squares into pairs so that the colorful corner triangles are touching. Sew them together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. 
*set aside 14 pairs to use in the inner border*

Sew the remaining pairs into units of 6 pairs, as shown in the photo below. Two pairs will form a diamond and the third will have a half diamond facing the edge. 

Use these 6-pair unit to make three block types, as shown below. You will need six of Block A, six of Block B, and three of Block C. Trim Blocks A and B to 12.5 inches square and Block C to 12.5 x 4.5 inches.

Sew each block type into rows of three, matching up the 1/2 diamonds on the edges to form complete diamonds.

Create the inner borders. This border will complete the half diamonds along the long edges. Cut the six background charms you set aside in half, then trim 1/2 inch off one end. You will have 12 rectangles 2.5 x 4.5 inches. 
Use 6 of these for an inner border on each long edge of your quilt. Alternate a half diamond pair with a rectangle of background fabric. Sew the borders along the edges, matching the half diamonds in the border with the half diamonds on the edges of the quilt top. 
Create the outer borders. Cut the 22 colorful charms you set aside in half. Sew 9 of the 2.5 x 5 inch rectangles together using 1/4 inch seam allowance at the short sides. Sew this border along one of the short sides of your quilt. Repeat with another 9 rectangles and sew that border along the opposite side. Now sew 2 border pieces made of 13 triangles each and attach them to the two remaining sides of the quilt. You will have an overhang of 2.5 inches along each long side. 

I used those two overhanging squares with a strip of the binding fabric to piece the back.

I knew I wanted to quilt this with the dogwood free motion pattern found at Oh Fransson! The grid pattern of the quilt top lends itself perfectly to this technique. But when it came to what thread to use, I was at a loss. I visited my friend and quilting mentor and she asked me one very simple question: “Do you want to emphasize your quilting or your piecing?”

Since this is a project for Moda Bakeshop, I wanted to highlight precuts and let the quilting be secondary. The solution was Aurifil 50 wt thread in a color numbered 2021, which is white, but not bright white (you might call it winter white) so it fades into the background without standing out against the bright colors of Snap Pop.

Try this quilting pattern, or let your creativity guide you in another direction. Trim, bind (I tried machine binding for this one), and you’re finished. 

One quilt, 44 x 56 inches, perfect as a large baby quilt or a small throw.

Em Komiskey