Q&A with Oda May: Tape Measures, Pre-Washing, and Jelly Rolls

Welcome to today’s edition of Q&A with Oda May. Today Oda May answers reader questions about out of print fabric, pre-washing, and favorite fabrics. Do you have a question for Oda May? Send her an email.

Dear Oda May,
I was thinking yesterday how wonderful it would be for Moda to release a mini range of the American Jane Tape Measure Fabrics.  They are one of those fabrics that just add something special to small projects.  I have some fabric eggs that I made up from a kit, which I treasure because there was a square of the yellow tape measure fabric in the kit. It was the whole reason I bought the kit!  A small re-release would be wonderful. Any thoughts?
Tape Measure-less in Tampa
Dear Tape Measure-less,
Oh, those lovely tape measures! I know just the ones you mean. They were from American Jane’s Recess collection. They do add a bit of whimsy and fun to any sewing project. I’d love to see them in print again myself. Maybe a few whispered sweet nothings in the right ear can make that happen. But in the meantime, I have another print you will love! It’s from Moda’s Made with Love collection:

It comes in yellow, red, and aqua.

Dear Oda May,
Do you pre-wash your fabrics? I haven’t been washing my fabrics because I wasn’t sure if it was necessary.
Cleaning Conundrum in Concord
Dear Cleaning,
Prepare yourself for lots of “pre’s” in my answer! Moda pre-cuts never need to be pre-washed. Pre-washing means pressing and that takes a lot of the ease of use factor out of the pre-cuts, and you could also end up with a big tangle of thread ends. If you are using yardage for clothing, definitely pre-wash so that your seams don’t go all wonky on you. I would also recommend pre-washing vintage or any non-traditional fabric you may be using in yours quilts (sheets, clothing, etc.)
Prewashed and Pressed,

Dear Oda May,
I have this jelly roll of Wonderland by MoMo that I have been hoarding for a long time. I think I’m ready to finally use it, but I don’t know what to make. Oda May, please help me!
Wondering about Wonderland in Winnetka
Dear Wondering
Remember, dear, it’s just fabric. There is always a new collection being released so you can fall in love again.  Make hay while the sun shines! Once you sew your beloved fabric into a quilt, you will still have that precious fabric but it will have become something lovely and useful.
To find recipes made with a particular fabric line, use our search field on the main page. The Bakery page will help you search for projects made with a certain type of pre-cut.  
With Pieceful Thoughts,

"Off the Grid" Sliced Nine Patch Quilt

I’m so excited to be back for my second Moda Bake Shop tutorial! This time I’ll share a quick and easy quilt pattern featuring my variation on the classic 9-patch block. Finishing out at approximately 50″ square, this quilt would make a great lap quilt, baby quilt, or dorm room quilt to send off to your favorite college student. If you’re inspired, maybe you can even whip one up this week for your Valentine!

  • 2 charm packs (Note: you will need a total of 81 charm squares. My two charm packs of MoMo’s “Wonderland” line only yielded 80 squares, so I cut my final square from my backing fabric.)
  • 1 honey bun of the same line
  • 3 yards of a coordinating backing fabric
  • 1 yard of a coordinating binding fabric

Step 1:
Separate out your charm squares into nine groups of 9. You will be sewing these bundles into 9-patch blocks, so be cognizant of your mixture of color & pattern in each group.

NOTE: all of the squares will be cut down further in later steps except for the center square of each 9-patch. So if you have a large print that you want to feature, or an image that lends itself to fussy-cut squares, it would be good to include one in each of the bundles.

Step 2:
Sew your first group of 9 squares into a 9-patch block. Remember, the center square is the only one that will not be cut down further, so be aware of your placement of squares. Press your seams accordingly.

Step 3:
Select one of your 9-patch blocks. See how the block features 2 vertical and 2 horizontal seams? Using your cutting mat and straight-edged ruler, make a straight, vertical cut that measures 2.25″ to the right of the right-hand vertical seam. (I lined the seam up against a vertical inch mark on my mat, and used the mat guides to measure 2.25″ inches over.) This will slice through the squares in the third column of the block.
See my picture to help visualize this step:

Step 4:
Perform the same step, but this time measure 2.25″ to the left of the left-hand vertical seam. This will leave you with 3 separate pieces of the block.

Step 5:
Select 4 honey bun strips. Be sure to select strips of colors and/or patterns that might not already appear in that 9-patch block. From each of the 4 strips, cut a 7.25″ piece and an 8″ piece. You should now have four 7.25″ pieces (each of a different print), and four corresponding 8″ pieces. Put the four 8″ pieces aside for now.

Step 6:
Arrange the four 7.25″ pieces into two “columns” of 2, in between the three pieces of the original block like so:
Sew the column pieces together:

Step 7:
Reassemble the block, with your newly created columns inserted where you had previously made the slices. Sew the 5 pieces back together.

Step 8:
Rotate your reassembled block 90 degrees. Once again, identify your two vertical seams. Repeat steps 3 & 4, making two more slices in your block.

Step 9:
Pull out the four 8″ pieces that you had put aside in step 5. Arrange them to match up with the pieces you have already sewn into the block. Each of the four prints should connect, making a cross-like pattern. See the picture to help clarify:

Step 10:
Sew these new column pieces together, and reassemble the block again. Your finished block should now look like this:

Step 11:
Repeat steps 2-10 for the remaining nine sets of charm squares, making a total of 9 “split nine-patch” blocks.

Step 12:

Now that we’ve made the 9 blocks for the quilt, the remainder of the tutorial will step through sashing the blocks.

Take an inventory of your remaining honey bun strips. (I don’t know about you, but at this point I had a huge pile of cut-up strips. It’s a good time to make sure you have what you need for the remaining steps.)

  1. First, find 8 honey bun strips that have at least 16.75″ in length each. (If longer than 16.75″, trim down to size.) These can be prints that you haven’t used in your quilt yet (preferred), or leftover strips from making your blocks. Put these aside for now.
  2. Pull out 8 more honey bun strips of at least 16″ in length each. These can be prints that you haven’t used in your quilt yet, or leftover strips from your blocks. Cut two 8″ pieces from each of these strips, yielding 16 total 8″ pieces (2 of each print).
  3. Find another 8 honey bun strips that have at least 9″ in length each. These can also be prints that you haven’t used in your quilt yet, or leftover strips from making your blocks.
  4. Finally, find or cut 8 more 8″ strips. These can be from any prints that you’ve used already in the quilt, or from any unused honey bun strips that you still have.

Let’s recap this step. You should now have:

  • 8 “A” strips, 8″ in length each (8 different prints)
  • 16 “B” strips, 8″ in length each (8 different prints, two of each print)
  • 8 “C” strips, 16.75″ in length each (8 different prints)
  • 8 “D” strips, 9″ in length each (8 different prints)

Step 13:

Lay out your nine blocks in an eye-pleasing 3 x 3 grid. Pull out your 8″ “A” & “B” strips. Working in vertical columns, pick two pieces to serve as sashing in between each block, as well as above the top block and below the bottom block.
In your first column, select four “A” strips and four “B” strips. (Remember, your “B” strips are the ones that each has a matching partner.) Your four “B” strips should occupy the right position of each sashing, closest to the center of the quilt:

Sew all of the sashing pieces together, and then assemble the entire first column:

Step 14:
In your middle column, select eight “B” strips. Lay them out to create sashing above, below, and in between the blocks. The first four should be the matches to what you’ve already used in the first column. These will occupy the left position of each sashing, matching each up with its partner in the first column.

Sew all of the sashing pieces together, and then assemble the entire middle column.

DO NOT sew the columns together yet.

Step 15:
In your third column, take your remaining four “A” strips and four “B” strips. Again, lay them out to create sashing in between the blocks. Your four “B” strips should occupy the left position of each sashing, matching each up with its partner in the middle column.

Sew all of the sashing pieces together, and then assemble the entire third column.

Step 16:
We will now be creating vertical sashing in between the columns using our “C” and “D” strips.

Create four vertical sashes, each comprised of a D+C+C+D strip (in that order). In other words, you will start with a 9″ strip, attach a 16.75″ strip, attach another 16.75″ strip, and finish with a 9″ strip. These will all be sewn together on their 1.5″ sides, creating a long, skinny continuous sashing strip.
We’re not worried about matching any prints up here, so just arrange them in an eye-pleasing layout.
Step 17:
Lay your quilt out, from left to right, in the following order:
  1. Skinny vertical sashing strip
  2. Vertical column 1
  3. Skinny vertical sashing strip
  4. Vertical column 2
  5. Skinny vertical sashing strip
  6. Vertical column 3
  7. Skinny vertical sashing strip
Sew all components together in this order.
Step 18:
Baste, quilt, and bind your quilt.

A brand new quilt!

NOTE: you will have leftover honey bun strips for some other fun Moda Bake Shop projects!

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below. And if you decide to make your own “Off the Grid” quilt, I would absolutely love to see it! Visit me at my blog, http://www.quiltdad.com/.

Little Girls Patchwork Skirt

I’m so excited to be a designer at Moda Bake shop, this is my first post! My name is Melissa & I love to think of new creative ways to use fabric. Check out my blog, the Polkadot Chair…www.polkadotchair.blogspot.com. Or my pattern shop fourteen may for more fun ideas!

1-2 Wonderland Charm Packs (depending on size, I used 1, that did not include the t-shirt applique)
1/2 yd matching fabric for waistband and ties
1/2 yd matching fabric for skirt band
1/2″ wide elastic

for optional t-shirt
2 black buttons for owl eyes
heat & bond lite
owl applique download at amazing mae
This will yield a skirt size 6-8, instructions below for changing sizes:
Cut from waistband fabric:
4 waist band pieces (1 waist band front, 1 back, 1 waistband lining front, 1 waistband lining back)
4″x 13″
2 tie pieces
5″ x 23″ (or width of your fabric 22-23″)
From Skirt band fabric cut
2 pieces:
5″ x 32.5″

From your charm pack, lay out a pattern of squares that you would like for the skirt front.

You will have 2 rows of 7 squares.Pin pieces togetherSew the 1st row of 7 squares together using a 1/4″ stitch- it is very important to keep all your seams the same. My machine has a setting for a 1/4″ stitch. Press seams open on row 1.
Repeat for row 2
Pin and sew row 1 to row 2.
Repeat for Skirt back
You will end up with 2 panels, 2 squares by 7.
Mark, with a fabric marker, the 2 edge squares. This is so you will know where your side seams are (this will be important when attaching the skirt to the waist band) Do NOT sew side seams yet.
With right sides together, attach skirt band to bottom of skirt. (skirt band will overlap skirt at this point) Sew with 1/4″ seam.
Press seams towards skirt band.
Sew side seams together.
Turn under bottom edge of skirt band 1/2″ and press.
Fold skirt band in half so that the pressed edge covers the seam of the skirt/skirt band. PIN in place from the RIGHT side of the skirt.Top stitch skirt band. Sew on skirt band about 1/8″ away from skirt bottom seamFold tie pieces in half length wise. Sew with 1/4″ seam. At the end sew and angle, so that the tie comes to a point.Trim. Turn right side out and press.
Repeat for tie #2Take waist band FRONT piece. Pin ties to it, 3/4″ down from the top. Baste in place.Attach waist band BACK to front, sew at side seams. Press open seams.
Sew waist band lining pieces together at side seams. Press open seams.
Sew waistband to waistband lining at TOP seam. Press open.Fold waist band at top seam. Press well. Come down 5/8″ from the top and sew a casing. Leaving a 1″ opening for the elastic.On skirt, run two rows of gathering stitches, starting and stopping at side seams. (it’s easier to gather a skirt in 2 pieces than one really long gathering stitch)Pin RIGHT side of skirt to RIGHT side of skirt band, matching side seams. Sew, being careful not to catch ties in the seams.
Turn skirt inside out. Measure elastic to size and thread though casing. sew elastic together and close casing.
Press under unfinished edge of waistband lining 1/2″. Pin to skirt (covering gathers). Whip stitch closed.
VOILA! Your finished!!
This is how I figured the sizing:
My daughters waist is 20″, normally for gathers you double the waist, but I did not want this skirt as full so I took 20″ x 1.75 = 35″, which is 7 charm squares.
Since she is small I thought 2 rows of squares would look best. If you are making a larger size, add a 3rd row of squares.
If making it smaller, just use less squares across (say 5 or 6 instead of 7)
For the waistband measurement I took her hip measurement.
For the ties I wanted to conserve fabric, so I cut the 1/2 the width of my fabric. They BARELY fit, I would make them longer if you have enough fabric.
Feel free to email me if you have any questions!

1 skirt per charm pack.

Baby Playpad

1 Moda Layer Cake of your choice. Wonderland by MoMo featured here.

1 3/4 yd. Backing

Full -Size Poly Batting (I tripled the batting so it would be lofty but soft)

Cordonnet thread or embroidery floss to tie the quilt.

To make this play pad you will need approx. 20 layer cakes. (10″ x 10″ squares) Choose your favorites and sew them into sets. You will need 8 sets of 2 and 8 sets of 3. Lay the sets onto your cutting mat and cut into 2 – 5″ sections as shown here. Join the sets of two and sets of 3 together.

Set 4 sections of aside. Sew the remaining 4 sections into a ring end to end as shown below. Choose a fabric anywhere on the ring and cut it in half. This is what will give you a staggered strip. If there is a fabric that is not your favorite, choose that one to cut in half so it appears in smaller pieces in your quilt.Sew the 8 rows into sets in a pleasing order. Press the seams all in one direction. Join all the rows together. Press and square up any extra along the bottom.Make a quilt sandwich by laying the batting (I used multiple layers of poly-fill batting), backing and quilt top. Make sure quilt top and backing are right sides together. Pin all the sections together. Sew around all four sides of the quilt top leaving approx a 12″ opening to turn the quilt right side out. Trim the excess batting and backing away. If you will hold your scissors at a 45 degree angle while trimming the excess it will help “plane” the bulk of the batting and make it lay flat.TIP from Carolyn St. Clair: To get a nice sharp corners, sew the corners like the picture shown below. Trim.Once you have the quilt turned right side out, sew the opening closed. I originally was just going to tie this quilt but I started sewing a running stitch along the edges and I really liked how it turned out.So I added more running stitches throughout. I use a thread called Cordonnet by Mettler. I love this thread because it is on a spool but has the weight and feel of embroidery floss. 2 strands of embroidery floss is about the same weight as 1 single thread right off the spool. No separating floss. Did I say it comes on a spool? This thread can also be used on your sewing machine with a top stitching needle. It comes in several colors. I think Aurifil makes something similar so I am going to check it out also.

A fun, soft, easy baby project measuring 36″ x 47.5″. This is a great quilt to throw down for a baby to play on.

1 moda layer cake will yield 2 of these. I am thinking about possibly even sewing a piece of ribbon or twill on it to be able to roll it up and tie it.

OPTIONS: The same quilt can be made larger. Just determine how long you want it and sew that many layer cake squares together to get your length. To make a large one, 76″ long, sew 4 layer cakes together and then cut then in half, join 2 sets of 4 together to determine your length. 4 layer cakes is ideal to sew together before you sub cut. 4 will fit folded over into 2 and fit on your cutting mat using a 24″ ruler. Do not press until after you have sewn into rows. Great for college dorms, hunting lodges, etc. Showcases large prints nicely.
Enjoy and have fun creating,

Travel Mug

1 Custom Photo Mug – featured mugs are from Home a la mode, they may also be found at Target.
1 slice of a Layer Cake (1 – 10″ x 10″ square) – featured Wonderland by Momo for Moda Fabrics
10″ cut of a coordinating Satin Ribbon
Coordinating Thread
Fray Check by Dritz
Rotary Mat, Ruler, and Cutter and/or Scissors

You may add additional embellishments, however keep in mind that it must stay fairly thin in order to fit back into the mug. Suggested embellishments may include: embroidery, applique, Fabric paint with stencils or foam stamps, etc.

Step One:
Gather all your ingredients.

Step Two:
Remove bottom cap from mug Remove paper insert.

Step Three:
Line up a rotary ruler along the cut line of the paper insert.
Cut the paper insert using a rotary cutter and mat to creat your template. You may also use scissors if you do not have rotary tools.

Step Four:
Determine where the template needs to be placed on the fabric to get the look you are going for.

Step Five:
Flip the fabric over so it is faced down and then place the template on the fabric faced up. You may pin this in place or just hold the two pieces in place while sewing. Step Six:
Sew the fabric to the paper for stability.
You can sew any design you wish.
I prefer to sew straight lines in a diagonal both ways to have a diamond quilted appearance.
REMEMBER: You are sewing the fabric to the paper with wrong sides together.

Step Seven:
Following the paper template as a guide, cut off the remaining fabric so that the fabric is the same size as the template. Apply Fray Check to the straight edges of the fabric to prevent fraying while sliding the fabric template back into the mug. The Fray Check will dry clear.
Step Eight:
Cut a piece of Satin Ribbon 10″ in length. Grosgrain ribbon may be used, however because it is a thicker ribbon, you may have difficulties sliding it back into the mug.

Step Nine:
Lay the ribbon towards the top of the template.

Step Ten:
Set your sewing machine to stitch to the far left.

Step Eleven:
Starting at the very top, carefully stitch the ribbon to the template with the fabric facing up. Be sure to follow the curve of the top of the template.
Then, come back the opposite way stitching down the bottom of the ribbon to the template. Always be sure to back stitch on all ends so there will be no lifting when sliding into the mug.

Step Twelve:
Trim off the edges of the ribbon following the same lines as the template.

Step Thirteen:
Roll the fabric insert to fit back into the mug opening.
Carefully slide the fabric template back into the mug ensuring that all the edges are laying down nice and flat.

Step Fourteen:
Line the seam up with the mouth opening at the top so when you are holding the mug the seam is facing you and the beautiful design is facing outward for all to see.

Screw the bottom cap back on and you now have a beautiful custom travel mug.

One Moda Layer Cake makes 40 mugs. Great for gifts!

Fill with your favorite drink and Enjoy!