Thursday, April 28, 2011

Nature's Gems at the Moda Bake Shop

I am so super excited that it is finally here!!!  Introducing Nature's Gems!! And you can see the free, beginner friendly, step by step tutorial over at the Moda Bake Shop!!  Ya,  it's my all time favorite "bakery" :)

I knew I wanted to design something for these amazing MoMo line, I mean who doesn't love a line called "Just Wing It"!!!  I just love the beautiful jewel tones and the adorable "nature" prints.  I really wanted to highlight those prints so I decided to go with large hexagons that aren't cut in half so they don't distort the design.  It took me a bit to figure it out but I love the results.   Doesn't it just look so fun to snuggle in :)

And now that this Moda Bake Shop Tutorial has been published for a while, I can now post it here on my blog for your convenience ;)   So just follow along below for the full step-by-step tutorial.  And if you love it, you can get the printer friendly version here :)  

1 Just Wing It by MoMo Layer Cake
1 Just Wing It by MoMo Jelly Roll
2 Yards Bella Solids - Any Grey Tone
2 3/4 Yard of your choice for Backing


Start by opening your Just Wing It layer cake.  You will be making 36 "Gem" blocks so you will have 6 extra "slices" of cake.  Go ahead and pull those out now.  I pulled out the solid repeats :)  Now the cutting in this tutorial is a little more involved than your basic squares but don't let it scare you off.  It is a lot easier to do than to describe how to do :)

To cut, you will be using the center square in your mat (the one with the angle lines that go through it),  Line the top of your layer cake square along the 5" line of that center square.  The center of the square will be along the 0 line of the center square.  The bottom of your square of fabric should be along the bottom of the mat (if it is the same as my mat).  The sides of your square will be lined up with the sides of the center square on the mat.  Now that you are all lined up, you are ready to cut.  You will be lining your ruler up along the 60 degree line (the dashed line the arrows are pointing to) making sure you intersect the 0 line at the side of the center of your block.

Just like this.  Once you have your ruler lined up go ahead and cut.

Now spin your ruler and line up along the 60 degree line on the other side of your center square.  Once you're lined up perfect, cut along the edge of your ruler.

Now spin your square of fabric and line up the other end and cut the two corners just as described above.  Repeat the entire process with all 36 of your layer cake "slices".  You will have some fun triangle scraps when you are done.  Note - Take care to watch for directional prints.  You want to make sure they are right side up and not sideward (I learned that the hard-way.  You will notice a few of my prints on the back are a little skewed :)

If you do not have a center square on your mat you can use the 60 degree line on your ruler to get the same effect.  See the directions for cutting the grey triangles for how to do this.  You will have to mark the back of your squares through the center to know where to line the edge up ;)

Now that your "Gem" Blocks are cut, you are ready to cut your grey yardage.  Start by laying out your grey yardage lining up the fold line along the 0" horizontal line on your mat.  Trim a nice straight edge to start with.  Then measure over 5 1/2".  Alight your ruler along the marks on the top and bottom of your mat and slice.  Continue this process until you have eight 5 1/2" x WOF strips.  (I do 4 at a time).

Trim your selvage edge off the top of your strips.

Now you are ready to start cutting your triangles.  You will be using the 60 degree line on your ruler.  Keep your strip folded.  You will be cutting 2 layers at a time.  Lay your first strip down so the bottom is aligned along any horizontal line of your mat. Align the 60 degree line up along the bottom of your strip.  Line the edge of your ruler with the corner of your strip. Cut along the edge of the ruler.  That first little half triangle is scrap.

Swivel your ruler and now you will look at the other 60 degree line on your ruler.  Align it along the bottom of your block again.  Align the edge of your ruler with the top corner of your strip.  Cut.   (Sorry, this picture is a little crooked.)

Continue this process until you have made 5 sets of triangles. You won't have enough room to cut another triangle.   You need 84 triangles for this project and you have 8 strips with 10 of each.  So on 4 strips you will need to open the strip, finger press your seam (I spray with a bit of water to help) , and cut one more triangle.  Continue this process with all 8 of your strips so that you have 84 triangles total!

And now for some final easy cutting.  Lay your remaining grey yardage out on your mat with the fold line along the 0 horizontal line of your mat.  Cut 26 1" wide x WOF strips.  Set 18 aside, they don't need any more cutting.  7 of them you will need to just trim off the fold line cutting them in half.  (I know there are only 6 in the picture, I miscounted when I took it, sorry)  And of your last strip, cut 2 pieces that are 12" long each.  The remaining piece will be scrap and the two 12" pieces can be set aside for a bit.  They will be used for the backing.  And that is it for cutting :)


Onto some sewing :)  We'll start by building the "Gem" blocks.  We will be adding a grey triangle to the top left of each "gem" and to the bottom right of each "gem".  And these are equilateral triangles so don't worry about which side to line up, they are all the same.

Lay your triangles onto your "gem" piece with right sides together.  Align your triangle along the edge and center it so that you have the same amount of hang over on each side.  It should be about 1/4" overhang.  Pin.  Repeat the process for the other triangle.  Now repeat both sides on all 36 of your "gem" blocks.  You will have some left over grey triangles.

Now to the sewing.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge of the upper left hand side of each block.  When you start sewing, your needle should fit right in the groove of your criss cross pieces of fabric.  Remember to remove pins as you go.  Once you are finished with one block, don't clip your threads.  Just feed the next block through. This is called Chain Stitching and it saves a lot of time.  Continue chain stitching all your blocks.

Now go ahead and clip the threads between your blocks.  Spin your blocks and sew your 1/4" seam along the bottom right pinned seam of each block.  Continue chain stitching all 36 sets.

Once again, clip your threads between your sewn pieces.  Press your seams out on both sides of all 36 blocks.  You will have some dog ears to clip once you have pressed :)


Now the fun part: the layout!!  Spend a little time and play with your blocks until you have a layout you like.  The colors are super fun to play with.  You want to make sure you have 6 rows of 6.  The last row will be used for the back.  (So if you made a slip with cutting something sidewards that might be the row where you want that block.)

Once you have a layout you like, you are ready to start sewing the rows together.  Once again, this is going to sound a lot harder than it is.  It is just hard to describe.  Take the first block in your row and lay  it over onto the second block of the row with right sides together.  The two blocks will make an sort of L shape.  The important part here is to make sure we get those triangle points nice and perfect.  The way to do this is to make sure your seams overlap.  You are going to want to nest your seams but that is wrong.  Keep sliding them together until you have a little "seam sandwich".

Go ahead and pin your center seam (your seam sandwich) and then pin the two edges of your block.  The edges should line up perfectly with the edges of the block below.  But if they don't, that's fine. It is more important to do the center right, as you will be trimming the edges anyways :)

Pin all of your rows and blocks.  In each row you will pin Block 1 and 2 together.  Block 3 and 4 together.  And Block 5 and 6 together.  Now back to the sewing machine.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge of each set.  Once again, chain stitch all of your sets.  When done, clip the threads between the blocks and press.  You will start to notice that your tops will not be lined up.  Like I said, no worries, we will be trimming them.  We just want to make sure the centers come out nice and crisp.

Lay your sets of 2 back out again.  It should look like this.  See how pinning those seam sandwiches gives you nice crisp points between the center of your grey triangles.

Now you are going to repeat the process just with sets of 2 instead of 1.  Lay your now sewn together blocks 5 and 6, onto your now sewn together blocks 3 and 4.  Align your edges making your seam sandwich, pin along the center and edges, sew your 1/4" seam along all 6 sets, clip your threads and press.

Now repeat once again, adding the final blocks 1 and 2 to the remainder of your row.  Use the same steps as above.

Now you have 6 rows that look like this.  Aren't they just fun!!!  Now you need to grab those leftover grey triangles.  You'll add one to the beginning and end of each row to fill in the "holes".

This time you will pin the ends a little different.  Align the edge of the triangle along the edge of the block.  This will make the other end overlap the already sewn on grey triangle.  Pin along the edge.  Repeat this process for all 12 of your remaining triangles.

Now to sewing.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge of your block.  You will start sewing only on one piece of fabric and sew onto your grey triangle.  Continue to the edge of the grey triangle.  When you reach the edge, you won't be at the end of the block.  Just stop there.  You can backstitch a stitch if you choose to lock it in place.  Clip your threads.   Repeat with all 12 pinned pieces.  Press your pieces.

Now your sides look like this and you are ready to trim them square.  You need to measure over a 1/4" from the point of your MoMo print.  Align the top and bottom along the lines of your ruler to make sure you are lined up straight.  (I found the Gem blocks to be a straighter measurement than the grey triangles.)  Once you are lined up, cut along the side of your ruler edge.  Repeat on both sides of all 6 rows.

Last, we are going to even up the tops and bottoms.  When your row is finished, it should measure 9 1/2" wide.  Now I wish I had a 9 1/2" wide ruler and this would be easier, but alas, I don't :)  So here's what you do.  Fold your row in half making sure to alight your corners.  Align your edges up along the vertical striaght lines on your mat and try to put your tops about a 1/4" over a horizontal line.  (The grey tops will be right about on that horizontal line.)  Now go ahead and align your ruler along the horizontal line your choose and trim your top nice and neat.  Measure down 9 1/2" inches on your mat and align your ruler along that mark on your mat and trim.

You should now have 6 rows with beautiful straightness and wonderfully crisp centers :)


On to the sashings.  We'll start with the grey sashing.  Grab your 14 half strips (the ones that measure about 22" x 1:) and 14 of your 1" X WOF strips.  You are going to sew a half strip to a full strip to make them a nice long strip.  Put a set right sides together (doesn't really matter in this case) and stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge making a 66" long strip.  Continue chain stitching all 14 sets.  Now grab 4 of the full WOF strips.  You will be sewing these in the same fashion making 2 strips that are 88" long.  Clip your threads and press.  Set your two 88" long sashings and 2 of the 64" long sashings aside for borders to be added on at the end.

Now we will add these sashing we just made onto the tops and bottoms of each row.  Easy enough!!  Just lay your sashing along the top of the row with right sides together (make sure your sashing is right sides together, in other words you should be able to see the raw seam on top).

You won't need to pin as there are no points to match.  Just sew a 1/4" seam along the entire edge aligning as you go.  Trim the excess at the end.  Repeat for the top and the bottom of each row.  Press your seams.

Your rows should now look like this.  Those little seams don't like to lay flat but don't worry too much about it, they will when you sew your rows together :)  You can go ahead and set that bottom row that will be used for the back aside now, we won't use it for a while :)

Now you are ready to move onto your next set of sashing.  It is time to open up that jelly roll!!!  Grab 2 prints from your jelly roll, don't worry too much about it, just mix it up.  Align the two blocks along the horizontal lines of your mat hanging the selvage edge over the 0 vertical line.  Trim the selvage edge along the 0 vertical line.  Now you are going to cut the strips so that when you add the 2 measurements together you get 60 (don't worry about seam allowance).  So I cut mine choosing from the following measurements.  (30 & 30) (31 & 29) (32 & 28) (33 & 27) (34 & 26) (35 & 25) and (36 & 24).  My mat doesn't go any farther than that so I called it good there :)  Repeat this process until you have a total of 12 sets that add up to 60.  (You will be using 24 jelly roll strips.) Go ahead and set the remaining pieces of your jelly roll strips aside.  They will be used for a scrappy binding.

Now you are going to repeat the process again with a slight change.  You need to make 4 more sets of strips but this time they need to measure 80" when you add them all together.  I used three strips for these so I didn't have 2 huge long strips.  Just use the measurements above and then add a 20" strip.  Or do whatever math you like, as long as three pieces add up to 80 :)  Add your remaining pieces of jelly roll strips to your scrappy binding pile  (You will have 4 whole jelly roll strips leftover that you can add to your scrap pile... you won't need them for the binding :)

Now you are going to sew your sets together.  Grab your first set of two (that equal 60) and place them right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Continue this process with all of your sets.  Make sure to add the 3 pieces together on your 4 sets that are 80" long.  When your sewing is done, clip your threads, and press your seams.

Now you are going to sew the now 60ish or 80ish strips into sets of 2.  So place one 60ish row onto a second 60ish row with right sides together.  Repeat for all of the sets, including the 4 sets of 80ish.

Once again, no need to pin, just align as you go sewing a 1/4" seam along the edge.  If the edges don't line up perfectly don't worry, you have some wiggle room for that :)  When done, you will have a total of 6 rows that are 60ish" long and 2 rows that are 80ish" long.  The 80ish" strips you can set aside with your backing pieces.


Lay your top out now with the 60ish" jelly roll strip rolls in between your "Gem" block rows.  Now it is as simple as sewing your rows together, starting from the top and working down.

Lay your Jelly Roll Row onto your "Gem" row with right sides together.  Start sewing a 1/4" seam along the edge (aligning as you go). Trim the excess at the end of the row.  Repeat this process for all of the rows.  Add the top and bottom jelly roll strip to the last row. Now just sew the rows together in the same fashion.

Your top now looks like this and you are ready to add the final borders.  Grab those sashings that you set aside way back when :)  Add the 64" long strips to the top and bottom first.  Use the same process you did to attach the other grey sashings.  Trim the excess and press.  Now just repeat on the sides using your 88" long sashings.  Trim the excess and press.

And your top is complete!! Aren't you just so excited!!!


Grab that pile of backing pieces you have been setting aside.  Start with your "gem" row and your 2 12" grey sashing.  Add the grey sashing along each side of your row.  Use the same process as you did to add the grey sashing on the front.  Trim the excess and press.  See that lovely sideways tree, oops.  I am glad you can all learn from my mistakes :)

Now grab those 2 80" ish strips.  You are going to cut off a 20" piece from each strip.

Now grab the remaining 60" left on each set and add them to the top and bottom of your "gem" row.  Ya, you are a master at doing this now :)

Now you are going to add those two 20" pieces to the sides of the row.  This won't show up on the back hardly at all.  This is just so that you have the wiggle room you need for quilting.  Most LAQs prefer to have a few inches of overhang on the side to work with :).  So after you attach the sides, trim and press.

Grab your yardage.  Align the folded end of your yardage along the 0 horizontal line of your cutting mat.  Trim a nice straight edge.  Measure over 32" and align your ruler along the top and bottom of your mat and cut.  Repeat this process 2 more times so that you have three 32" pieces.

Take one of your 32" pieces and open it up.  Cut along the folded line to make 2 pieces that each measure 32" x 22".

Lay your back out as follows.

Lay the 22" wide pieces onto the full pieces with right sides together.  Stitch together using a 1/2" seam.  This way you hide your seam allowance :)  Press.

Now go ahead and sew the three "rows" together.  Add the "gem" row to the top first and then the bottom to the now pieced together "gem" row and top.  Press.  And your back is done!!!


So now it is time to turn that finished quilt top into a finished Quilt ;)  Time to  Baste It, Quilt It, and Bind It!!!  Which is a whole lot in one little sentence.  If you are new to quilting, you can see my Finishing Your Quilt Series of video tutorials that will walk you through Basting, Quilting, and Binding step by step ;)

One beautiful, fun, quilt that measures 54 x 72 perfect to fit a twin size bed or to have around just waiting to be snuggled with :)

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and if you make your own Nature's Gems Quilt I would love to see it!!  You can email me a picture at, post it to social media with #happyquiltingwithmc  or or add it to my flickr group here ;)  I can't wait to see your Nature's Gems Quilts!!!
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