I want to thank the Country Quilters of McHenry quilt guild and all of our customers who stopped by last weekend to see us! We had a very successful show and we couldn’t have done it without you.

This coming weekend we will be in Minooka IL. please stop by if you’re in the area. We’d love to see you too!

“Fall Splendor” Quilt Show
Sponsored by Pieces From The Heart Quilt Guild
October 2, 2015 – 9:00 – 5:00
October 3, 2015 – 10:00 – 4:00

Chapin’s East
502 Twin Rail Drive
Minooka, IL. 60447

Here’s a few pics from last weekend if you couldn’t make it out.

Visit sewmod

Visit SewMod

Visit SewMod

Visit SewMod

Our biggest sellers last weekend was just about anything that my mom made as a shop sample!

Effie The Elephant was a big hit. A cute little pincushion pattern by Heather Bailey. The pattern comes with the template for the small one but we thought it would be fun to enlarge it 175% and make a big softie for baby too!

Effie the elephant

Happy Camper embroidered pillow from This & That.

SewMod happy camper

Of course her hand crocheted flowers. These make great embellishments for just about anything.

Sewmoddesigns crochet flowers

And the Good Natured Equilateral Baby Quilt kit.

good natured quilt tutorial

We sold out of all of these except the kits. There’s a few of those still in stock (here) and I’ve reorded all the patterns. I’m hoping to get those in by Friday’s show. I did ‘reorder’ the crochet flowers but you just can’t rush handmade!

sewmod clambake quilt kit

I have been wanting to make a clamshell quilt for quite some time now. I knew this would be perfect to show off all of these fabulous prints.

sewmod clambake quilt kit

Now I know that some of you are groaning. Knowing how much I like handwork, you’re assuming that it’s hand appliqued, right? Well, it’s not!! I’m a big fan of Crazy Old Ladies patterns and Emily Herrick designed one called ‘Clambake’.

sewmod clambake quilt kit

For all of you modern quilters out there who love a quick fix and instant satisfaction, this quilt assembles fast with a quick cutting method and machine appliqued clamshells.

Clambake measures at approx. 55″ x 62″ for a perfect lap quilt. Or, I’m thinking it would be really pretty hanging in my bedroom!

sewmod clambake quilt kit

As I was assembling this beauty, I found a few shortcuts to an already simple pattern. Every little but helps so I’ve listed a few tips & tricks below if you happen to purchase the kit or buy the pattern.

Clambake Tips & Tricks 

Use a thicker box to cut the template from so that you can easily rest and guide your rotary cutter along the edge while cutting. I used a leftover USPS box. Cut more than one template from the box just in case you end up ‘shaving’ a bit from your original template while your cut your clamshells out.

Use a new sharp blade to easily cut through multiple fabrics at a time.

Use a rotating rotary mat, like the Olfa Spinning Rotary Mat.
Spin the mat around while you cut out the template. This alleviates the need to move and shift your fabrics around while cutting. These are also great to use for fussy cutting projects.

Clambake pattern tips and tricks

If you don’t want to mark the center of each clamshell, you can finger press to crease the center right before you begin lining them up on their rows by folding them in half to find the center point.

Use ‘Perfect Shape’ template plastic. I’ve tried so many template plastics over the years and haven’t found any that can withstand the heat I put them through except this one from The Stencil Company called ‘Perfect Shape’.  It never melts and I only used ONE template for all of my clamshells. Trust me, when this product says ‘no melt’, it actually means it!!

Clambake pattern tips and tricks

Instead of pinning my clamshells, I used Roxanne’s Glue Baste It. I did not pin ANYTHING while sewing my clamshells! “Roxanne ‘s Glue-Baste-It is 100% water soluble, dries in minutes, and the unique applicator top allows for controlled placement of tiny glue droplets. It does not feel stiff, and does not contain harmful chemicals, dyes, or waxes. It cleans up with water and washes out of fabric with soapy water, even after ironing or sewing.”
Apply the glue along the edge of your clamshell. Give it a good press with the iron, move to the next one and so on until you’ve ‘glue basted’ your row. It bonds quickly so you don’t have to worry about it coming undone when you move it. Take it to your sewing machine and top stitch the clamshell 1/8″ away from the edge. I use this glue on all of my applique projects.

Clambake pattern tips and tricks

I’d give this quilt ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. I had fun, it wasn’t too time intensive, and I got to use some of my favorite products. Whew! I love it when I can share my favorite products with you guys!

The Clambake kits are available at all the upcoming shows while supplies last (see Visit SewMod at the top of the blog) along with the coordinating fabrics. If you can’t make it to a show, visit us in the SewModDesigns Etsy shop. Kits include the fabrics for quilt top, binding and pattern. Backing & Batting NOT included.

If you’re buying the kit and are interested in either a sheet of the Perfect Shape or a small bottle of Roxanne’s, I have them available too. Neither of these products are available at your local craft and hobby shops. Only some quilt shops carry them. Just convo me and I’ll set you up a PayPal invoice since neither of these products are available in my Etsy shop either.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Join us for our first Fall quilt show this weekend in Crystal Lake.

We love to meet our customers! Having an online shop has some really serious benefits (like sewing in your pajamas)but one of the drawbacks is not being able to meet and spend time with our customers, which is one of the reasons I love to do shows. So head over if you have time this weekend and say Hi!

“Winding Path” Quilt Show
Sponsored by Country Quilters Of McHenry
Friday, September 25, 2015 10-6
Saturday, September 26, 2015 10-3

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Catholic Church
1023 McHenry Ave
Crystal Lake, Illinois 60014


~ Raffle Quilt
~ Special exhibits
Mickey Apron Co.
~ Silent Auction
~ Vendors
~ Quilt appraiser
~ Civil War Quilts
~ Over 250 Quilts on Display

We hope to see there!
For other local show dates, click on the header “Visit SewMod” at the top of the blog.

Our newest kit, Vintage Snowballs, combines Vintage Noel & Sugar Rush from Blend Fabrics in a snowball block design. A snowball block is one of the easiest blocks you’ll ever make. Not only is it simple, it’s a fabulous block to show off medium to large scale prints. It’s perfect for these fabrics!

Vintage snowball quilt kits

You can easily see the Vintage Ornaments, Snow Globes & perfectly cute Gingerbread Houses!

Vintage snowball quilt kits

To add some interest I wanted to separate the snowball blocks with a sashing and candy stripe cornerstones.

Vintage snowball quilt kits

Then I carried that stripe out to the binding to tie everything together.

Vintage snowball quilt kits

Let’s not forget about the backing…it deserves just as much attention to detail. When I have time, I like to use most of my scraps up on the backing. Just randomly pieced and flying by the seat of my pants is usually the way I roll with my backs. I think this one turned out great!

Vintage snowball quilt kits

I didn’t stop there though. You know I love Christmas fabric!! So I made up a couple of cute Allie dogs too. This is a pattern by Bunny Hill that’s in the shop. So stinkin’ cute and simple. Ive made these in the past as package toppers for your favorite puppy lover, or ornaments hung from the tree.

Vintage snowball quilt kits

I made one when Daisy came to live with us. Her puppy nestles every year in my Christmas tree. Puppy’s first ornament. Too add the extra touch of cuteness, head over to Petsmart and have a few dog tags made to adorn their necks.

Vintage snowball quilt kits

If you’d like a Vintage Snowball Kit or the Allie Dog pattern, visit the SewModDesigns Etsy shop. Kit is $47.50 plus shipping. Quilt measures approx. 50″ x 59″ and comes with an instruction sheet, quilt top and binding fabrics. Backing and Batting NOT included.

I’ve had this pattern, Posh Tot by Blue Underground, for awhile. I even sell it in the shop but I’ve never gotten around to making it till now.

Only three different fabrics are needed for this quilt. I used a Kona pink, Riley Blake’s ‘Girl Crazy’ line and a pop of color in the square centers to make this modern baby quilt.

Posh tot quilt kits

I did choose to make the binding from the ‘Girl Crazy’ stripe to make it a bit more interesting.

Posh tot quilt kits

I love it when my projects can be completed within the day…at least my quilt tops that is. The directions are so easy, I barely had to give them a second glance. I would have been able to finish it all in one day, but I was going to leave the quilting magic up to Paige this time. The pattern comes with different sizes so I bet once you see how easy & fast Posh Tot is, you’ll wanna make more! Maybe even one for yourself:)

Posh Tot can be easily quilted in straight lines, a wavy serpentine stitch, or an all-over.

Posh tot quilt kits

The kit comes complete with the Blue Underground pattern, quilt top, binding and backing. Batting NOT included.

My sample was made using the stripe and a solid but the kits are also available using the Girl Crazy main fabric in pink or white as the backing. Your choice!

The finished quilt measures 39″x49″ and the KITS are available in the SewModDesigns Etsy shop for $42.00 plus shipping.

So, get all Girl Crazy and make a special little girl a Posh Tot!

Take a Fancy Free bike ride and smell all the pretty flowers along the way.

Fancy free baby kits

I used one of our easiest patterns, ‘Baby Me Blankie’, to make this baby girl quilt. Simple cutting and strip piecing help this baby assemble fast! Wanna know how long it takes me to make one of these? 40 minutes. Yep. You heard me right…40 minutes! So, if I factor in cut time, I’ve made this quilt top in less than an hour.

Fancy free baby kits

The quilting on ‘Baby Me Blankie’ is simple enough to do yourself. Heck, I even did it! All you need to do is properly pin the layers and stitch a 1/4″ along each side of the strips seam allowances. Wanna know how long it took me? About 45 minutes!

Fancy free baby kite

Add in your binding time and you’ve got yourself a handmade baby gift for a special bitty one all finished in just one day! Fast, Easy, & Fancy Free.

Fancy free baby kits

These kits are available now in the SewModDesigns Etsy shop.Kit is $40.00 plus shipping and comes complete with top, backing, binding & free pattern.

SewMod Enderman MineCraft Quilt Tutorial
…the Enderman. The MineCraft Quilt Kits have been so popular and many of you have asked for different versions and sizes.

So let’s start with the Enderman shall we?

The Enderman is available in two sizes just like the Creeper, a small throw (45″x54″), which is perfect for the game room, a wall hanging, or your bitty one, and the twin/full (54″x72″), which is perfect for their bed.

***Standard mattress sizes for a twin measure at approx. 39″x75-79″ and a full measures at 54″x75″.
This quilt KIT will fit a twin and provide a drop over the mattress on the sides. It will be a few inches shy on the length, but a pillow at the top fixes that:) We keep the sample MineCraft quilt on the twin in the studio, and it looks great!!

Here’s a quick how-to on the Enderman layout and the fabric requirements.

The throw (45″x54″), is a 10×12 setting and uses the following fabrics:

enderman throw DIY 2 Yards Black(includes binding)
1/3 Yard Pepper
5/8 Yard Charcoal
1 Fat Quarter Dark Violet
1 Fat Quarter Hibiscus
Backing 2-2/3 yards for machine quilting

The twin/full (54″x72″) is a 12×16 setting and uses the following fabrics:

enderman twin quilt diy 3-1/4 Yards Black(includes binding)
1 Yard Pepper
¾ Yard Charcoal
1 Fat Quarter Dark Violet
1 Fat Quarter Hibiscus
Backing 3-1/3 yards for machine quilting

SewMod Enderman MineCraft Quilt Tutorial

Each letter is a 5″ square unfinished.  Lay your quilt out, depending on which size/setting, and refer to the photo. Each Kona color has a letter representing the placement. For example, B=Black, P=Pepper, etc. Use the remaining black fabric to cut your 2.5″ binding strips.

For more info on cutting and assembly for the MineCraft quilts, click on the tutorial found here.

***UPDATE 9/21/2015 The purple & black spider fabrics are completely sold out and until new Halloween fabrics are released for 2016, all Creeper & Enderman kits will be kitted with the cobblestone grey as the backing. If you’d prefer any of the solids, I’m happy to substitute.***


The Enderman kits are also available to purchase. The kit links are below.. Each kit comes with a tutorial, fabric for the top, binding and choice of backing. Batting NOT included. Please choose which backing you’d like in the notes section when you checkout with PayPal or convo me.

SewMod Enderman MineCraft Quilt Tutorial

**********************INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS**************************

KIT SHIPMENT: Once again, if you are an international customer, please convo me as shipping rates are different for each country. International shipping rates are set by the USPS and KITS are mailed in a flat rate mailer. SewMod does not charge our customers for any ‘handling fees’. A separate PayPal invoice will be made available to you after you convo me with the package destination. I’m happy to help! Thanks.

If you’d like to purchase an Enderman quilt KIT in the THROW (45″x54″) size, click on the PayPal button below. The throw is $48.50 plus shipping.

Enderman 45x54

If you’d like to purchase an Enderman quilt KIT in the twin/full (54″x72″) size, click on the PayPal button below. The Twin/full is 68.50 plus shipping.

Enderman 54x72

If you’d like to purchase a Creeper KIT in either size, please click HERE.

minecraft quilt tutorail

Good natured quilt kit

Equilateral?! Yuck. Geometry. Pretty much the only class I actually cheated in during high school. If I’d only known I’d be doing it as a business and hobby! The truth is, we use geometry & math every time we quilt…hexagons, triangles, squares & fractions. But sometimes we tend to get hung up on the ‘words’ until we’ve tried it. An equilateral triangle simply means that all 3 sides are equal. I’m going to be showing you a 60 degree equilateral quilt today with 2 methods to cut out the triangles.

good natured quilt tutorial

I wrote this ‘little‘ tutorial for a new baby quilt KIT for the shop using equilateral triangles and Riley Blake’s fabric line called ‘Good Natured”. It really is a sweet quilt with the orange & mint…adorable nature friends… squirrels, baby deer, sweet little bluebirds and playful foxes among birch trees!

good natured quilt tutorial

I was both excited and nervous to make something with so many bias edges but it went together beautifully! Now that I know just how awesome it was, think of all the scrappy triangle quilts I could make. Oh, if I only had more time!

Since I learned a few tips along the way to make this quilt, I figured I’d pass it along to you guys.

Fabric supplies needed for a 35″x42-1/2″:
3/8 yard of 7 different fabrics
3/8 yard Binding- Cut (5) 2-1/2”
1-3/8 yard Backing
60 degree Creative Grids triangle ruler (method 1) or…
The Template. Grab some colored paper or craft foam & double sided tape (method 2)

Cut each of your 7 different fabrics into 3 strips of 4-1/4” wide. This is the same height as your triangle template or ruler.

A ¼” seam allowance is used for sewing and ALL seams are pressed open. Do not iron your triangles or rows. This will cause stretching. Press.

There are two methods I like to use to cut 60 degree triangles. To make the cutting as precise as possible, choose only one method per project to cut all of your equilaterals.

Method 1: Creative Grids 60 Degree Ruler
This ruler is found in the SewModDesigns Etsy shop.SewMod Equilateral Quilt tutorialPlace the ruler on the strip of fabric. The 4-1/4” mark should line up with the bottom of the strip and the squared off tip of the triangle should line up with the top of the strip.
The first thing we need to do is cut a 60 degree angle. Discard the extra fabric with the selvage on it.

SewMod Equilateral Quilt tutorial

Rotate your ruler so that the top of the fabric strip lines up with the 4-1/4” marking and the squared off tip lines up with the bottom of the strip. Use the edge of the ruler to cut your triangle out.

SewMod Equilateral Quilt tutorial
Flip your ruler, line up the markings, and cut again. Repeat this flipping method until you have made 6 cuts with the ruler, giving you 12 triangles per strip.

SewMod Equilateral Quilt tutorial

And for all of you hittin’ it old school…
Method 2: Using the template, found here, & a ruler
Cut the provided template out onto colored paper. We want it to be colored so that we can see it easily through the ruler. It makes it difficult to see if we use clear template plastic. I used a piece of craft foam for mine. I like the foam because it ‘sticks’ to the fabric while I’m cutting. These sheets can be found at your local craft & hobby store.

Place three pieces of double-sided tape to the back of your template. Turn your ruler over to the backside and adhere the template to it, lining up the bottom edge of the template along the side of the ruler. Don’t worry. It won’t leave your ruler sticky after you remove it.

SewMod Equilateral Quilt tutorial

The first thing we need to do is cut a 60 degree angle. Line the 60 degree mark on your ruler with the bottom of your 4-1/4” strip and trim off the selvage angle. Discard the extra fabric with the selvage on it.

SewMod Equilateral Quilt tutorial

Using the colored foam as the guide, line the foam triangle up with two sides of the strip…the top and the left side as shown in the photo. Cut.

SewMod Equilateral Quilt tutorial
Turn the ruler and line up the foam triangle with two sides of the strip…the bottom and the left side. Cut.

SewMod Equilateral Quilt tutorial

Repeat this turning method until you have made 6 cuts with the ruler, giving you 12 triangles per strip.

SewMod Equilateral Quilt tutorial

**All of your triangles have the top squared off. It determines the top & bottom of the triangle and keeps the straight of grain going in one direction for minimal stretching.

Using your preferred method, cut at least 216 triangles from the fabrics. The fabric requirements provide enough fabric for you to cut as many as 252 triangles so that you can mix it up to your liking and play with the placement or make baby a matching pillow with the extras!

Lay your quilt out in a setting of 18 triangles across by 12 rows down.

Referring to the photo…
1. Place triangle 1 & 2 of the first row right sides together, matching up the top and all the edges.
2. Sew these together down the side using a 1/4” seam allowance.
3. Press the seam open.
4. Layer triangle 3, right sides together, on top of triangle 2. Sew. Press open. Repeat this process until you have 18 triangles pieced together and 12 rows total.
Join your rows together.

SewMod equilateral quilt tutorial

Trim off all of the ‘rabbit ears’ and threads.

Here are a few tips I use to line up the points on the equilateral triangles.

1. Place row 1 & 2 on your ironing surface right sides together.
Match up the triangle points. Insert a pin directly into the back of the triangle point on the top row. This is your ‘push pin’.
2. Now insert that same ‘push pin’ into the bottom row directly into its matching triangle point.
3. Push that pin onto the ironing surface to secure the row at that spot.
4. Place one pin on each side of the ‘push pin’. Remove the ‘push pin’.
Do this for all of the triangle points in each row.
5. Sew a ¼” seam right through the intersecting point. Press your seams open.

SewMod Equilateral Quilt tutorial

That looks like a pretty good matching point, don’t ya think? Yes! It really is that easy!

SewMod equilateral quilt tutorial

Trim the side edges of the quilt top. Make sure to leave a 1/4 “seam allowance from the triangle points on the sides to attach the binding.

Quilt & Bind. I want to give a shout out to my friend Isis, who did the fabulous quilting on the sample!

good natured quilt tutorial

If you’d like the complete kit featured in the post and a free copy of the pattern, it can be found in the Etsy shop. Each kit comes complete with quilt fabrics, binding and backing.

“Strawberry Vintage Market” COMPLETE Baby Quilt Kit is here. I spent some time this week kitting this cutie up.

Vintage market quilt kits


Looking for a sweet & adorable baby girl quilt that is quick and easy to put together?

Vintage Market is Riley Blake’s newest fabric line and we’ve taken all the sweetness of this much awaited line from Tasha Noel and designed it just for baby in our most popular quilt kit.

Vintage Market quilt kits


Take baby on a stroller ride to the local market, where vintage quilts are hung for sale, sweet strawberries and homemade jam are sold at the farmstand and fresh flowers are in bloom.

Vintage market

The center fabric is framed with the red strawberry scalloped vines and carried over to the binding.

Vintage market riley blake

The border fabric is a navy tossed bouquet of flowers and the backing is your choice of a fun bike ride or pink strawberries. You get to choose to make it your own!

Vintage market quilt kits

This quilt is perfect for a new baby, the nursery, as a wall hanging or a blankie for the carrier or stroller.

Quilt KIT is a perfect for the beginner & measures 40″ x 40″ .
Everything is included with your quilt including, backing, binding, quilt front and a free pattern!
The only thing needed is the batting.


Vintage Market has complete step by step instructions to ensure you have a great time creating a one of a kind baby heirloom that’s handmade by you.

Vintage market quilt kits

If you’re looking for Vintage Market fabric, we have FQ stacks and some yardage left. Visit the SewModDesigns Etsy shop.

vintage market fabric

Vintage market quilt kits

I’ve been swapping for about 4 years now through various social media sites and within our local sewing group and guild.

Different types of swaps may include specific blocks, sizes & color combos. Handmade items such as pincushions and zippy bags. Some have strict rules that must be adhered to and some only have a theme to follow, such as butterflies, in which anything can be swapped as long as it has a butterfly.

Overall, I find this quilting activity rewarding and enjoyable and I’ve made many online friends doing it. I have had a few swaps that have proven to be challenging. For example,  the color scheme is ‘off’ or the blocks I receive may be shy of the dimension requirements, but this never stops me from saying…”yes” to the next one!

Today I’m going to share with you a few tips, mainly focusing on block swaps, to help make your next swap successful for you and your partners.

Use quilt store quality fabrics for your swaps.

Tips for block lottery

Use precise cutting. This is where it all starts. Accurate cutting will help ensure the desired block size. Here’s a quick refresher on Craftsy for tips on using your rotary cutter and mat.

Tips for block lotteries

Double check your seam allowance. A 1/4″ seam allowance is typically required for quilting. If your 1/4″ is off, your block will not finish the correct size. Invest in a 1/4″ foot for your machine. The 1/4” foot has a guide designed to help you achieve perfect 1/4” seams when piecing. The distance between the needle and the right guide is a true 1/4”. Or, stack painters tape as a reference along the plate to guide you.

Tips for quilt guild block lotteries

Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. Slow down your pace, it’s not a race! Take your time with each block.

Measure your block before swapping. A good Sewista is most likely to be able to work with about 1/8″ of your block being off . After all, we are not perfect.
1/8 + 1/8 = 1/4″ total.

But, if your block is 1/4″ off on each side…
1/4 + 1/4 = 1/2″ *this is not workable. No amount of “stretching” can resolve this problem y’all!

Tips for guild block lotteries

As you can see, my block is slightly off. Mostly, because I can’t seem to sew a straight line to save my life even while using my fancy pants 1/4″ foot but it is still well within an accepted allowance…within the 1/8″ allowance.

Press your work well after each addition. Press your seams flat, whether it be open seams or pressed to one side. Do not “iron”. This will cause stretching. Use Best Press or other solutions to “starch” your finished project. Nothing makes me smile more than a well pressed block. It’s my finishing touch. If your block is pressed, you will be able to make an accurate determination of whether it is the correct size.

Tips for guild block lotteries

One of our guild members, Trish, was kind enough to share her recipie for a homemade pressing spray if you’d like to make your own.
Mix a ratio of 4 parts water with 1 part POTATO vodka.
Add to a spray bottle. It’s important that it be POTATO vodka. Ask your local wine & liqueur store if they carry it.

Quilting meme

Follow the design elements required for the block swap. For example, if your swapping for Halloween, and your swap partner or leader asks for a certain block size or color palette, try to accommodate those requests as closely as possible. This will ensure a cohesive final quilt for whoever is making it.

Tips for guild block lotteries

Don’t hesitate to ask for guidance. Like I mentioned, we are all here to learn from each other. I literally need Paige to explain paper piecing every. single. time. I do it! It’s ok to ask for help. Everyone has their own level of experience and what they are skilled in.

Use good judgement. Ask yourself…”Is this something I would want to receive“? Make something you don’t want to give away. Because if you love it, so will someone else.

Mail your project on time. If you have joined an online swap through sites such as Flickr or Instagram, make sure to mail your project or block out in time. Your swap partner will anxiously be awaiting it’s arrival. You wouldn’t want to dissapoint her!

Have fun! Use quilt swaps to make new friends, expand your sewing skills and be creative. But remember, the most important part, is to have fun!

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