MQG Riley Blake Fabric Challenge 2015 – My Quilt

The Modern Quilt Guild, of which I am a member, has been holding fabric challenges which I have been participating in for a couple of years.   This year the Spring Challenge was to use Riley Blake Cottage Garden Fabrics by Amanda Herring.  All you had to do was make something fantastic that is quilted, something you’ve never done before, challenge yourself to learn something new, and use the provided fat eighths of fabric and coordinating Riley Blake Solids.   I completely forgot about it until I got a reminder note from The Modern Quilt Guild saying we had 11 days left to make something.  Yikes!  I have been sewing for the past six days straight!

I participated in the last Riley Blake Challenge too.  I made this super awesome duffle bag with quilt as you go techniques.  I use it all the time.

rbchallenge2015-sThese were the fabrics that we received.  Lovely prints in aqua and grey, even included a text print.

I had actually been thinking about some kind of pattern to include the birds and trees.  When I laid out the fabrics, my idea just came together.  It needed a little color so I tried to find fabric to match and ended up with the yellow and the red which sort of matched the birds legs.  I purchased some extra solids in aqua and grey as well.  The left side you can see in the picture, I just stacked most of the fabrics and added the pops of color.  Not seen in this picture, the entire right side was a big strip of an aqua solid.  I placed the grey solid over the whole thing and sketched a tree shape with a water soluble marker.

Then I basted by hand, (Yes, just like my Grandma Mabel would have done!), I basted using a running stitch over every line of the tree.  Once I had it all basted, I cut away the fabric leaving a 1/4 of an inch to turn under.

Here is a picture a little more close up so you can see it better.  I did not worry too much if the 1/4 inch was perfect, the tree would just look more natural.

Then I hand appliqued that entire tree to the pieced top.  I also added some leaves in a darker grey and a little bird.  I used one of the gray flowers for his body.

I handquilted using big stitches on the tree branches and the leaves.  I also embroidered some yellow legs and a beak on my little red bird.  Here, I am getting ready to machine quilt the other parts of the quilt.  I just used a random swirl pattern around the tree on the right side of the quilt.

I just got going well with my machine quilting when the Quilt Inspector arrived.  How does he know every time that I am quilting??  He usually does not show up when I am piecing, only quilting.  Apparently this quilt passed the inspection, HA.  Love you, Cookie Cat.

My DH volunteered to hold this up so I could get some pictures and get them loaded on the MQG website before my time ran out.  You can see the whole quilt here.  After I washed it, it was so lovely and crinkly with texture.  I managed to hide the center seam with a tree branch all the way up.  I also added my little extra pieced on the right side of the binding for some interest.

Here is a picture of the back, I used some of the leftover fabric to put it together, you an really see my quilting from the back.

 Here is a closeup of my little bird before and after quilting and embellishment.  He just adds a little something.I will be taking to my Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild meeting next week for show and tell.

Happy Stitching!


Picnic Silverware Rolls – free tutorial

These sunny summer days are perfect for picnics and spending time outdoors.  Here is a cute, washable silverware holder that you can make up to have stocked and ready to grab for an impromptu lunch in the park or a weekend outing with the family. These little picnic silverware rolls stitch up with sleeves to fit silverware and it even features a spot for a napkin.  It is pretty easy sewing, so lets get started!

Materials Needed:

This will make 8 silverware rolls.

  • 1 yd gingham fabric for lining and pocket
  • 1/2 yd print fabric for outside
  • 1/2 yd of batting
  • 5 -6 yards of grosgrain ribbon
  • Coordinating thread



  • 1 — 8″ x 10″ rectangle of print fabric
  • 1 — 8″ x 10″ rectangle of batting
  • 1 — 8″ x 10″ rectangle of gingham fabric for lining
  • 1 — 10″ x 10″ rectangle of gingham fabric for pocket
  • 22″ of grograin ribbon for the tie


  1. Take the 10″ x 10″ pocket and fold in half and iron flat.
  2. Layer the batting, the lining and the pocket all facing up as shown.
  3. From the left side of the pocket, measure 2 inches, 3 1/2″ and 5″ at the top and bottom of the pocket.  These will mark the stitch lines to make the channels for the silverware.
  4. Stitch down from the markings on the pocket to make the silverware channels.  You will have three stitch lines.  Do a couple of back stitches at the top to secure the channels.
  5. This is what the pocket channels will look like.
  6. Next, take your 22 inch grosgrain ribbon and fold almost in half leaving one end about one inch longer than the other.  Pin the ribbon flat on the right side of the pocket about halfway down the side of the roll.  Make sure that you will catch the ribbon when you stitch the side seam.  Tuck the ends out of the way so that you do not catch them in the side seams.
  7. Layer the rectangle from the print fabric over the pocket, right sides together and pin in place.
  8. With a 1/4″ seam, stitch all the way around the roll leaving an opening for turning on the bottom.  Clip corners.
  9. Turn the roll right side out and tuck in the raw edges on the opening.  Iron the silverware roll flat.
  10. Top stitch close to the edge of the roll all the way around being sure to catch the edges of the opening and sew them shut.
  11. Your first silverware roll is completed, now just make seven more!  These really do stitch up fast, sew them assembly line style!


A friend used this pattern but wanted to quilt the outside.  Just Piece or quilt the outside fabric or block with the batting instead of including the batting with the lining.  Then assemble according to the directions.

If you use regular silverware instead of plastic, the roll may be too short, add an inch and cut it 9″ x 10″ for the outside fabric, batting and lining and stitch up using the same directions.

Published – Mod Selvedge Cushion

I am thrilled to share my Mod Selvedge Cushion published in the first anniversary issue of Make Modern Magazine.  No, I did not spell it wrong, Selvedge Cushion is how you spell Selvage Pillow in Australia where Make Modern is published.  This online quilt magazine is created by Jane, Lara and Kristy and is filled with delightful modern quilt and sewing patterns.  Make Modern is a digital magazine put together by quilters for quilters who are passionate about modern quilting and sewing.

I have been saving my selvages for a while, I even have a few friends saving them for me.  I don’t know if I will ever use them all.  This whole large bin is full of them.

I pulled just the black, white and cream ones strips of selvage for this pillow.  You create the selvage fabric by sewing them together in an overlapping fashion.

After you have sewn together a bunch of them, you start to see the cool fabric.  I alternated with lighter and denser pieces of black and white selvage.

I used a bright solid red for the accent.  Then I started quilting.  I think you could use multicolored selvages and use a neutral gray or white for the accent for another cool take on it.

Here is a picture of the pillow top up close. Don’t you love the striped accent? That was a last minute bit of whimsy.

Back of pillow

Here is the back of the pillow, I used a large newspaper print to play off the black and white.


Issue 6 cover


There are 14 great creative modern projects in this issue including my Mod Selvedge Cushion.  You can easily purchase the downloadable issue of Make Modern Issue Six online HERE for a very reasonable price.  There is also a free newsletter that you can sign up for.

My Modern Selvage Pillow is now available FOR SALE as a pattern in My Shop for instant PDF download.