Dessert Sampler Block 5

By Christine Lux
on June 01, 2018
With 0 comments

It's Friday! And Block 5 is refreshingly easy to whip up! 

Just some easy squares and a couple of HSTs to make...

Once you have made your HSTs, lay out the block and sew it together in rows, joining the rows. This is a great block to "web" together. You can see that I've chain pieced my rows together and it's all connected before I join the rows. To learn more about this technique, visit my post here on the Moda Bake Shop

Viola! This block is done! :

I'm thinking about making more of these for a quilt of just this block - I love that shows off prints and is easy to whip up!

Have a great weekend! 

Dessert Sampler Block 4

By Christine Lux
on May 30, 2018
With 0 comments

Happy Hump Day! 

Today's block is another stunner! I really love the prints in this Sea Glass Dessert Roll - aqua is one of my favorites! Here's the end goal for Block 4: 

Follow the directions to get all your pieces cut. Again, we'll be making a LOT of HST blocks, so we will use the Cupcake Recipe 2 papers again to make all the smaller HSTs, just like with block 3. Don't forget to trim the to the right size (2" unfinished). 

With so many HSTs again, I decided that for this block I would try out pressing all the seams OPEN.  I normally don't do this as I like to nest my seams, but wanted to see if this would help the block come together a bit easier. Overall, I think that it did and will lay a little flatter at some of the seams. Although, this was more time consuming and I did more pinning to make sure points, etc would match up.

Here is a photo of the back of a completed block so you can see how I pressed everything. 

Once you get all your HSTs made, you'll need to assemble the 16 smaller blocks. I encourage you to lay out each one and take a quick look before sewing them together to make sure everything is going in the right direction. I got all mine sewn and realized I had 8 of them that needed a date with the seam ripper! (Yikes!)

I followed the diagram in the pattern booklet for the fabric placement of my blocks. If you'd like to do the same, here is a quick reference: 

You'll make 2 each of the six block versions in the first two rows. And then 4 blocks with the large floral HST and 4 small heart HST blocks. 

Once I had all my blocks together, I sewed them into rows of 4 and then joined the rows. 

I really love this one - totally worth the work! :) When you finish, pat yourself on the back because you're done with the 4 largest blocks in the quilt! Woo hoo!!!!

Friday's block is MUCH easier - I'll see ya then!

Happy sewing!


Dessert Sampler Block 3

By Christine Lux
on May 28, 2018
With 0 comments

We hope you've been enjoying the holiday weekend! We are kicking off Week 2 of the Dessert Sampler QAL with this stunner!  This block finishes at 16" and looks more complicated than it actually is. 

We're using three different prints in addition to the background for this one. 

As you've probably noticed, there are a TON of HST blocks in this one! We're going to use Cupcake Recipe sheets #2 to make quick work of sewing them. 

Once you are ready to trim, take a minute to be sure you cut on the correct line. This Cupcake Recipe card will make two different size HSTs and we want to make the ones that will finish at 1.5" inches. So be sure to cut on the outer line as shown. 

The Dessert Sampler pattern says to make 12 identical blocks. I chose to make 8 as directed and then rotate the background pieces just a bit for the other 4 so that my seams would line up like the diagram. But making all 12 the same will work as well. :-) 

Once you've got all 12 blocks made, arrange them as shown in the pattern with the four background squares - one in each corner. I sewed my block together in rows and then joined the rows. 

I really love this block - it just needs a good press! We have now done three of the biggest blocks! Hip, hip, hooray!

See ya on Wednesday!

Dessert Sampler Block 2

By Christine Lux
on May 25, 2018
With 0 comments

Happy Friday! 

I've seen some pretty awesome looking Block 1's on Instagram and I'm so glad so many of you are sewing along or planning to jump in shortly!  If you are on the fence, it's not too late! 

I've got Block 2 for you today and it is another big block. But if you are tempted to panic over all those HSTs, try not to! We're going to use Cupcake papers to make a bunch of them at once and if you think of this block as being a big ole 4-patch, it make take the edge off! Let's get started ... 


Follow the directions to cut your fabrics out. You may be able to see the prints a little easier in my photo here than in your pattern booklet. 


The Cupcake papers are easy to use. Place your squares right sides together (in this case, one pink/coral print and one solid White) and then place the paper sheet on top and pin in place. Follow the lines and arrows. (TIP: Be sure to shorten your stitch length as per the Cupcake paper instructions.) 

Each Cupcake recipe paper is a little different, so before you start slicing and dicing, be on the lookout for a specific line that should be cut first. in this case, it is the large diagonal line. 


Then cut the other lines and carefully remove the papers and press your blocks open. Viola! 

You'll also need to make two small HST blocks from each of the 8 prints - see directions in your pattern booklet. (I made them the same way I made HSTs for Block 1.) 

All you have left is to assemble the block!  First, you will make 16 of these cuties. 


Sew the smaller blocks together and then join them to the larger HST block. 

Once you have those made, you will join them to make four larger blocks and then sew those together to get this ... 

This big ole block sure is pretty and worth the time to piece it. :-) 

I've seen a few comments about being concerned about keeping up and so I thought I'd share a little more about my strategy for sneaking in some sewing during the work week. Over the weekend, I like to cut the fabrics for several blocks, label them and set them as aside. This makes it a bit easier to sit down and get to sewing in the evening even if I only have a small chunk of time. I made today's block over a few days ... one night I cut the fabrics; one night I pieced the HSTs and pulled out the papers; and then the next night I chain pieced the blocks and assembled them all together into the larger block. You can do it!

Hope you have a great weekend and I'll see ya on Monday with Block # 3!

Happy Sewing!


Dessert Sampler Block 1

By Christine Lux
on May 23, 2018
With 2 comments

We're diving right in today with the largest block (Block 1) in the Dessert Sampler quilt today! In case you missed the first post on Monday, you can find the printable schedule and a few other details here.

Grab your Color Cut Dessert Rolls and some background strips and follow the pattern instructions to cut all the pieces you'll need for this block. 

For Block 1, we'll be making quite a few half square triangle (or HST) blocks. There are many ways to make an HST block and if you've been quilitng for awhile you probably need no help on this! But if you are new (or just need a refresher), here's a quick photo tutorial ... 

You'll place two squares right sides together. 

Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of one of the fabrics. (I usually choose the lighter of the two so it makes it easier to see the line.) Then sew 1/4" seam away from the line. Sew on both sides of the line.

Then cut on the line, press the seam open (usually toward the darker fabric), and trim to size. I prefer a Bloc-Loc to trim, but any ruler with a 45 degree angle line on it will work just fine! 

Ok ... so go make all those HSTs and trim them down to size. 

Then arrange the HSTs to create the block pattern as shown in the pattern diagrams.

Since this block uses so many smaller blocks, I sewed the HSTs into nine 4-patches (4 aqua, 4 pink, and 1 green) and then sewed those together.

The finished block will look like this and measure 24.5" (24" finished). 

See ya on Friday when we will be making Block 2!

Happy Sewing!

It's Time for Dessert!

By Christine Lux
on May 21, 2018
With 0 comments

The Moda Dessert Sampler kits are here and shipping! And we're ready to start enjoying sewing with so many yummy prints and colors. Are you? Let's get this QAL started! 

A little more about our schedule ... 

We'll be posting here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday beginning this week and ending the week of August 13th.  We'll be making about 3 blocks a week and generally following the order of blocks as presented in the pattern book. In a few cases, we will jump around just a bit when there are multiple blocks with the same construction. If you like planning ahead and/or check lists, you can download our schedule here

For each block, I will share a few process pictures and any special tips for construction, if the block is a little complicated. If you are using the Moda kit, these photos should also help you identify the specific prints used in the original, but you can of course choose whatever combo you want from the kit (or your own stash). 

I will also post on Instagram (@sewlux) and I hope you'll play along and share your own blocks there too - be sure to use #modadessertsamplerqal so we can say hello! 

For today, I wanted to talk Background and getting organized. We'll share Block 1 on Wednesday.

Preparing Background, Storage & Using Cupcake Papers

I decided to go ahead and cut all of my background strips at the beginning as suggested in the pattern booklet. This will save me some time later on as I am preparing fabrics for my blocks. 

Follow the instructions in your pattern booklet for the strips. I used a fabric pen (you could use a Sharpie or other marking tool) to note the size strip in the selvage. I'll be cutting from the opposite end so the size notation will remain on the strip until I've used the strip up. Since some of the sizes are pretty close in width, this will help me easily identify the strip I should cut from as I prepare blocks. 

I am using a flat plastic box (like this one) to organize my strips. 

Those of you using Moda's kit have Cupcake Mix papers included with your kits. If you haven't used this genius product, I highly recommend watching this quick video from Moda to see how to use them. They are quick and easy and we'll use them in Block 2 on Friday. :)

That's all for now!  I'll see you on Wednesday when we'll crack these pretty rolls open!

Happy Sewing! 

Ready for Dessert?

By Christine Lux
on May 08, 2018
With 0 comments

Dessert is almost always worth waiting for and this time it's no exception!  The Dessert Sampler kits are about to leave the Moda warehouse and we're expecting them to arrive on our doorstep next week!  And we're more than ready to start sewing along with you!

Since the kits are shipping later than we anticipated, we've bumped the start of the sew along back to start on May 21st.  We'll be posted a new block (or a few when we get to some of the smaller ones) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week beginning May 21st through the end of July. We'll be assembling the quilt top the first week of August. 

If you've already reserved a kit, be on the lookout for an email about payments and shipping. If you haven't yet reserved one, you can preorder a kit here. We'll be ready to ship them out just as soon as they arrive so you can sew along with us! 

Happy Sewing! 


Save Room for the Dessert Sampler Sew Along

By Christine Lux
on February 01, 2018
With 7 comments

Anyone else out there have a sweet tooth? Since I began quilting (ahem, quite a few years ago), I have enjoyed collecting all the sweet precuts that Moda has lovingly prepared and I even came up with a few of my own recipes for the Moda Bake Shop in recent years. 

So it should come as no surprise that when I saw this sampler at Quilt Market using their newest Color Cut Dessert Rolls, I knew I needed to make one!

And I thought some of you might want to make one too. And then I thought, "this would be fun to make with friends ..." and here we are!

I'm so excited to share we will be hosting a Quilt Along for the Dessert Sampler

Before I go any further, I wanted to share what I love so much about this quilt... 

First, these Dessert Rolls are special in that they contain prints from a variety of Moda designers and collections as opposed to being all from the same collection. If you've ever been stumped by mixing and matching, this is sure to build some confidence in your own sewing kitchen. 

And second, the sampler is a great way to try out lots of different blocks without having to make a bajillion of the same block. Sometimes I get bored (or just plain overwhelmed!) thinking about making 1,000 flying geese! We'll even be using some of Carrie's genius Cupcake Mix Recipe papers to make piecing and trimming a breeze. What an amazing assortment of block recipes you'll have at the end of this project!

Here's what you need to know: 

  • Kits for this quilt include all the fabric for the top and binding of this 70" x 78" quilt, including Moda's new Color Cuts Dessert Rolls, which are 5" x WOF strips that include prints from various collections and designers within a color way. 
  • Kits are expected to arrive in April, so we will be starting our sewing May 1st. 
  • Each week, we will make three blocks and finish up the sampler the last week of July. I'll be sharing a post for each block with tips you might find helpful. And I will also include a fun planning sheet to help you keep track of where you're at in the process. 
  • There will be prizes along the way! 

The gals at Moda were sweet enough to send me a kit a little early and I know you are going to love sewing this gorgeous quilt up! 

Learn more about kits and reserve your's here

I can't wait to sew with you this Spring! 

Nova Tote Sew Along : Making the Parts & Assembly

By Christine Lux
on January 31, 2018
With 1 comments

Whew!  The end of 2017 certainly got away from me over here. Something about holidays, travel, and you know ... life. But Santa loved it and enjoyed gifting this bag to a sweet friend of mine.

I did finish my Nova Tote quite a bit back and posted all these details on Instagram, but was slack about getting it added over here.  Ready?

Make the Parts: 

Once you have pieced the exterior pocket, you'll need to get it quilted along with the other parts of the bag. But first, let me say you should be sweet to your machine and give it a good clean out, some oil, and go ahead and wind some extra bobbins. 

I chose to spray baste my pieces to the Soft & Stable (S&S). I like to use 505 spray and will occasionally use Clover clips around the edges, but I prefer spray on smaller areas that I am quilting. Additionally, pins through S&S are a little difficult. 

I spray basted both the front and back to the S&S. 

You'll see that I left the space between the front and back exterior open - not a big deal as it will be covered by the bottom panel later.

I chose to quilt the exterior pocket with some concentric circle loopy things. 

For the back of the back, I marked a grid using a ruler and chalk and quilted straight lines with my walking foot. 

This was really easy to do. And I like the look of this. Note that really dense quilting will make your bag "shrink" so keep this in mind as you are choosing a style - you'd had to lose an inch or two in the width of your bag!

For the front side of the bag, I did some big chrysanthemum type flowers. I think they turned out really pretty :-) 

To make the inner pocket, sew the lining and the front together on the long edge. Then bring the top of the lining up to meet the top of the front and press the fold. We'll be binding the top edge later, so its fine that it is "open." 

Tuck the S&S piece in to the fold and baste and quilt. I did some of those large flowers again. 

Trim the pocket and the main bag panel to size after quilting. 

Next, let's make the straps. 

I cut my straps per the pattern and added some woven interfacing (SF-101) to the wrong side. I tucked in a length of S&S that was 1.25" wide by the same length of the strap inside one of the folds.

I like to use Clover clips to hold everything in place.

Then I sew 1/8" from the edge all the way around the strap and then come back and do a lap about 1/4" inside the first pass of stitching. 

Trim the completed straps to the appropriate length per the pattern. 

Bind the Pockets

For the binding, I cut one 2.25" x WOF strip and then cut that in half.  I folded each strip in half lengthwise. Attach the binding like you would a quilt -stitch to the front using a 1/4" seam and then finish on the back by hand or machine. 

I elected to use my Edge Stitch foot and finish by machine. After adding the binding on both pocket edges, I ran around all the edges of all the bag parts (pockets and main panel) with a line of stitching 1/8" from the edge just to keep everything nice and tidy. 

They look all pretty now and ready to go!

Assemble the Bag

Follow the directions in the pattern for the placement of the exterior pocket and the straps. 

I secured the straps at the top with some extra stitching. I have found that I am a little rough with my bag at times, so this is always a good idea for me. ;-) 

Attach the inside pocket next. I made this so that it was on the back side of the bag (still on the interior).

I placed the pocket 2.25" down from the top of the bag. I secured this with a line of stitches along the bottom. ** Be sure to more the pocket out of the way when you stitch down the contrast bottom panel next. **

Almost done!  Make the bottom contrast panel as per the directions. I used SF-101 on the wrong side here too. 

A tip for folding over an edge is to draw a line on the wrong side 2 x the width of the fold. So if you are folding under 1/2", draw a line 1" from the edge and fold to the line. 

Next, we're gonna finish this thing! 

I cut a 3" x WOF strip and bound the side seams after cutting out the bottom squares per the pattern. I used a 1/2" seam and then sewed right on the edge catching the other side to enclose the seam. (I did a few extra rows of stitching in the seam allowance to flatten all the layers down a little.) 

For the bottom corner seams, I didn't have quite enough left of my binding fabric, so I cut two 3" x 8" strips from the lining fabric leftovers to make the binding for these.

I folded the ends over and stitched it all down. 

I used a 2.25" x WOF strip for the binding on the top of the bag. I finished it to the inside of the bag by hand. 

Ok ... so that is pretty much it!  I did add a few lines of stitching (following the previous lines I stitched into the straps to add some dividers to the interior pocket. (To be up front, in hindsight, I would have made this pocket a little shorter as I didn't want to stitch through the bottom panel so my "divider" stitches don't go all the way to the bottom of this pocket. But this also doesn't necessarily bother me for how I planned to use this bag.)

Here are all the glamour shots ... 

Thanks for sewing along with me!  If you have any questions, send us an email at sewlux at gmail!

Happy Sewing!

Nova Tote Sew Along : Cutting Tips

By Christine Lux
on November 15, 2017
With 0 comments

Hi again!  Hope you are having fun making your pockets!

This weekend we will quilt and prepare all of the bag parts and then next week assemble it all and bind the inner seams. 

I am sharing some cutting tips for those of you who are making the large tote using Soft & Stable and planning to quilt in your lining and bind the seams. You will still need the pattern from threeowls as the cutting tips will refer to it. You'll note that some of pieces are larger than the pattern calls for and this is to allow for some shrinkage when quilting Soft & Stable.  We'll get it all quilted up and then trim it to size and assemble as called for in the pattern. 

Hope that all makes sense!  The cutting tips sheet can be accessed here.  If you have questions, let me know! 

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