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  • Nicola

Spellbound Sew-along: week 3

Moon & Star

Our enchanted garden is lit by a waning crescent moon. Far away from the constant glow of streetlights, moonlight makes the familiar unfamiliar and the sky is suddenly full of twinkling stars. You can find the block Moon & Star block here.

EDIT: Although the sew-along has finished, you can still use the weekly posts as a guide and sew with a group of friends. You can find the Spellbound Sampler pattern book here and on Amazon, or the PDF Pattern Bundle here.


Follow steps 1-3 in your pattern...

As I mentioned in my first tutorial, I have continued to cut my background pieces from yardage.

In addition, I decided against using one of the low-volume prints from my Pepper & Flax layer cake for the Moon and cut the pieces from the border fabric (I'll save some of those lighter prints to add some scrappines to my border).


Follow steps 4-6 in your pattern...

We will be using the snowball technique - described here - to create the flying geese units for the rays of our Star.

These are small units so take your time and also take the opportunity to chain piece. This is when you feed each unit through your machine in turn, without cutting the threads between them - which make a chain - until you've pieced them all. They can then be snipped apart.


Follow steps 7-11

in your pattern to make the Moon units ;-)

Take care with the placement in step 9 as the diagram in the first version of the pattern was wrong. If you haven't had an email from me to update your pattern, the correction is here.


All of the elements of my block laid out and ready to assemble

Follow steps 12-15 in your pattern...


Simple backstitch gives my Moon a sleepily closed eye. I used an Anchor 6-stranded cotton embroidery thread (colour 400) that I happened to have in my sewing room and the darning needle I use for quilting, but an embroidery or chenille needle would be good too, as they both have a larger 'eye' designed for thicker thread.

I first marked the eyelid with a water soluble pen (you can dab off any residual marks with a clean cloth and cold water). If you are new to embroidery - and I'll confess I'm no expert - you can mark at 1/8" intervals to keep your stitches nice and even. As the name suggests, backstitch is worked...backwards.

Make a knot in the thread (a) and, starting from the back, bring the needle out at point 1 (b). Make a backwards stitch into 2, bringing your needle out at point 3 (c). Then make a backward stitch into 1 and bring your needle out at point 4 (d). And so on until you bring your needle out at point 8. Take one last back stitch into 7 (e) and then tie off your thread on the wrong side of the block (f).

The back of the fully assembled block, showing seam direction

We will be adding the same modest amounts of embroidery to our blocks later in the sew-along, but next week we'll be returning to simple piecing when we conjure up some Toadstools.

Can you believe we're already a third of the way through our blocks?

Nicola xx


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