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  • Nicola

Keep Calm & Carry On...

Moda Bakeshop  Birthday Sew-along

Thanks to Storm Imogen and a rather wet and windy weekend in Cornwall I've been whizzing through my Moda Bakeshop Birthday Sew-along blocks. Some letters are slightly more challenging than others, so I eased myself in with a couple of 'E's *ahem* before moving on to the trickier blocks with diagonal sections. And I couldn't resist tweaking a couple of the letters. I had larger pieces of some of the prints in my Avalon Jelly Roll, so I constructed my 'M' and 'Y' with triangle-in-a-square blocks, rather than the flying-geese blocks called for in the pattern.

Moda Bakeshop  Birthday Sew-along

My quilt is inspired by the famous poster - I have a copy hanging in my kitchen for motivational purposes - and I've had lots of fun thinking about the 'filler' blocks. I'm auditioning a few brolly blocks left over from the Jolly Brollies quilt I made for my niece, plus a cakestand block from Vintage China, which happens to be the perfect size. And it would be impossible not to include a crown block, as it's such a prominent feature of the poster. I've had a go but, to be honest, the jury's still out on that particular attempt...

Moda Bakeshop  Birthday Sew-along

For the last filler block I've chose - appropriately enough - a spool block. I have adapted a pattern I first found on Edytar Sitar's beautiful Laundry Basket Quilts website here, adding a heart motif to the centre. To make a block like mine you will need:-

2 2½" x 8½" pieces for your spool tops

2 2½" x 4½" pieces and 2 2½" matching square scraps from your jelly roll for the thread

4 1¼" squares and 2 3" x 5" pieces of darker fabric to outline the heart

2 2½" x 6 1/2" and 4 2½" squares of background fabric

{I also cut 4 1½" x 10½" strips of matching background fabric to frame my block}

Moda Bakeshop  Birthday Sew-along

Prepare your 3" x 5" pieces of outline fabric by placing them right sides together and - offsetting by ½" along one of the shorter sides - cutting them diagonally, discarding the smaller triangles. Join your 2½" x 4½" pieces together to make a 4½" square. Now assemble a triangle-in-a-square unit, as shown in my tutorial here...

Moda Bakeshop  Birthday Sew-along

To make the top sections of the heart, mark a diagonal line on the back of the 1¼" outline squares and place right sides together on the top two corners of both of the 2 ½" thread squares. Sew on the line, then trim ¼" away from your stitches before flipping open and pressing, to 'snowball' the corners. These are teeny tiny pieces and I found reducing my stitch length (to 1.8 on my Janome) to be really helpful. Similarly, 'snowball' each end of the spool tops with the 2½" background squares.

Moda Bakeshop  Birthday Sew-along

Assemble the block by joining the the two top sections of the heart, before adding the bottom section. Then add the remaining background pieces - one to each side - before joining the spool tops to each end. Some of the seams are a little bulky, so I pressed mine open. I then added the additional pieces of background fabric, as I've shamlessly stolen the setting from Cindy Lammon's lovely ABC Quilt (Cindy's Instagram account is incredibly inspiring).

The next step is to start assembling the whole quilt: I'll be sewing up a storm...

Nicola xx


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