Reality check: Moda Bella Blues and Purples

We know sometimes ordering fabric online takes a leap of faith when you’re unsure of the color — particularly when we’re talking cotton solids. (I think we’ve all asked questions like, “Is it more of a bluish grey or brownish grey?” And, “Is it a true red or more orange-y?”)

But, my fellow fabric lovers, we’re here to help take most of that guesswork out of the equation by giving you a reality check. One that comes in the form of a pretty picture, featuring lovely stacks of Moda Bella solids, that will give you a frame of reference next time you’re shopping around. Today, we’re sharing some of the blues and purples.

Moda Bella blues and purples - how do they compare

As you can see, we’ve got Moda Bella Indigo, Dusk, Night Sky, Terrain Iris, and Purple.

We hope you find this helpful! We definitely plan on adding more of these little reality checks in the near future. If there are some colors you’d love to see, leave a comment below!


Sew a Sweet(water) Halloween Bunting


This bunting is so spookily sweet — and it’s made of fabrics from 2 of Sweetwater’s collections (thus, the name). Today, we’re showing you how to stitch your very own. Hope you enjoy!

The Supply List

¼ yard each of these Sweetwater Road 15 fabrics:

  • Main Street in Black (for the pennants)
  • The Road in Mist (for the pennants)
  • Vine Street in Mist (for the pennants)
  • Around Clock in Black (for the pennants)

¼ yard each of these Sweetwater The Boo Crew fabrics:

  • Tricky in Black (for the binding)
  • Creepy in Orange (for the pennants)
  • Bash in Orange (for the pennants)
  • Monsters in Black (for the pennants)

¼ yard of Moda Bella in Natural (for the pennant backings)

¼ yard of The Boo Crew Pigtails in Cream (for the letters & medallion backing)

Scraps of black tulle (for the medallion)

Rick-rack, medium size in cream, black, and orange (you’ll need approximately 20″ per pennant)

2 large coordinating buttons

Embroidery needle and floss (we used black and orange)

Fusible web, 2-sided

Cardstock (1) for letter templates
The Extras

Wonder Clips, thread, scissors, ruler, marking pencil/pen, pinking shears

The How-to


Let’s start by making our own binding, which we’ll use to string all the pennants together and hang the finished bunting. From the Tricky Black fabric, cut two (2) 2.5” x 44” strips. Lay them out like shown in image 1 above, using Wonder Clips to hold the strips together while stitching. Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner, as shown with my ruler. Stitch the two strips together along the diagonal line.

Next, trim off the corner triangle 1/4″ away from your stitch line (image 2 – the red line shows my stitch line). You now have one (1) long strip of fabric for the binding.


Fold the strip in half lengthwise and press with an iron (image 3). Open the fabric and fold both edges in toward the center pressed line. Press (image 4). Fold the strip in half lengthwise and press again (image 5). Now the cut edges are neatly tucked up inside. To finish, stitch down both ends using a 1/4″ seam allowance. (You’ll stitch where my finger is in image 5 on both ends.)

Let’s move on to the pennants. Start by cutting seven (7) 5” x 7 1/2″ rectangles from the Road 15 and The Boo Crew fabrics, as well as seven (7) 5” x 7 1/2″ rectangles from the Moda Bella Natural (pennant backings for a nice finish).


Now we’re going to make the boo letters. Prepare the Pigtails in Cream fabric for applique, using the instructions on your fusible web. To make the letter templates, print boo on card stock using our template or your own. Cut out the letters and place them on the wrong side of the prepped Pigtails in Cream fabric. As you can see, the letters are backwards and that’s how you want to trace and cut them out (image 6). Complete the fusing process by ironing the letters to the three “middle” pennants (image 7).


Blanket stitch around the letters (images 8 and 9). You can use this as a resource if you need a refresher.


Now, let’s get back to the pennants. With the pennant front pieces right-side up, run rick-rack around three edges of the pennant, flush with the sides (image 10). We used cream rick-rack for the grey fabrics, black for the orange fabrics, and orange for the black fabrics. Note: Don’t run rick-rack on the top edge. Turn corners by folding the rick-rack over itself to continue in a straight line. Use your Wonder Clips to hold everything in place. Next, lay the Moda Bella Natural rectangle on top and clip all three layers together (image 11). None of the rick-rack should hang out. Do this for all seven pennants.

On your sewing machine, stitch three sides with a ¼-inch seam, leaving the top edge open. Turn the pennants right-side-out and press flat with your iron. (Don’t they look cute?!)


Now let’s start putting the pennants and binding together.

Fold the “Tricky” binding in half lengthwise to find the middle. That’s where you’ll position the middle “o” pennant. Open the binding and insert the middle “o” pennant between layers (image 12). Close and clip it in place for sewing. Repeat for all other pennants, approximately 1- 2” apart — or space as you like to fit your mantel or wherever you may choose to hang this.

With all pennants clipped in place, stitch the length of the binding close to the edge (approximately 1/8”), catching all layers (image 13). We’re almost done! Just the decorative medallions are left.


To make those, grab your stack of leftover fabrics from the pennants. With pinking shears, cut two strips of orange (approx. 2″ x 22″), two strips of natural (approx. 1 1/2″ x 22″), and two strips of black (approx. 1″ x 22″). Layer the strips on top of each other (image 14), lining them up flush on one edge. With the three fabrics layered, sew lengthwise down the strip in the middle of the black fabric to secure all three pieces together (image 15).


Baste lengthwise along the bottom edge (image 16), then gently pull the threads to gather it in to a circle (image 17). Hand-stitch the two ends together.


Flip the medallion over and back with a small circle of leftover fabric (image 18). We found using some of the leftover two-sided fusible worked perfectly for this since it could be ironed on. The circle should be about 1 3/4″ wide.

For each medallion, cut three (3) 4″ circles of black tulle. Lay on top of the medallion, centered on the hole in the center. With your finger, gently push the tulle in to the center (image 19). Place your larger button on top and attach it by sewing through the circle in the back.


Now just sew the two finished medallions to the binding (we attached them 16″ from each end) and you’ve got one Sweet(water) Halloween bunting that can be used year after year!

A Sweetwater Halloween Bunting



After finishing that jelly roll strip quilt tutorial, I’m already on to the next: a triangle quilt for little man.

Err… little big man. Or is it big little man? Oh, fiddlesticks, I don’t know… I do know, though, that if he was reading this I’m sure my precocious 5-year-old would insist that I remove “little” from each of those titles.

I digress. He loves purple and blue. And I like grey. And since his last quilt was mostly white (with blue, green and brown for good measure), I’m going completely opposite with this one. The lightest it will get is the grey. And maybe the quilt back. I haven’t decided on that yet.

He’s been asking a lot lately — since seeing the finished jelly roll strip quilt — if his triangle quilt is done.

Guilt tripping. He’s so good at that.

He’ll be happy to see that I have made the first step in working on his quilt. And honestly, after choosing the fabrics and seeing them all together, I’m pretty excited to get going on it.

Sometimes it is like brain surgery


Oh, Mr. Meowgi… What did they do to you?

On second, thought, I don’t want to know why you have a 3″ rip at the top of your head, a 5″ rip at your jaw line, a missing ear and a few missing pieces of your mane. You need brain surgery. STAT!


All stitched back up! Sometimes sewing is a lot like brain surgery… right? :-)

Unfortunately, I can’t do anything about your missing ear. Say, you don’t happen to know where my Vincent Van Gogh book went, do you?

A Jelly Roll Strip Quilt tutorial


I’ve been a busy bee these past few weeks and wanted to share something with you that I put together for our quilting newbies over at Bloomeriea jelly roll strip quilt tutorial. It’s in a quilt-along format, so you can follow along at your own pace, and it’s divided in to 6 different installments (starts with supplies and ends with you binding your own quilt).

If you’ve ever wanted to give quilting a try, this is a great starting point! Head on over and get started!