Make. Piece. Sew.

That was the phrase used in a Moda Fabrics ad several years ago and I always liked it.  It also fits the occasion – tomorrow is National Quilting Day!

I’m almost hoping for snow – I did say almost! – so that I won’t feel guilty if I stay in tomorrow and sew all day – just me and Bernie.

We have 764 half-triangles to make and after giving it a lot of thought – okay, about 1 minute’s worth – I decided that I was going to use triangle paper.  It was either that or trim them all to size… so I needed triangle paper.  Since I didn’t have any on hand, that meant a trip to the warehouse.  I know… it’s such a long, long walk over to the other building.

The truth is that it takes me forever – F O R E V E R – when I go over there.  It isn’t that it’s all that far, it’s that I can’t bring myself to walk quickly… that would mean rushing by a sight like this…


Moda Dotties – I knew you’d ask.

Then I get here… United Notions.  All these lovely notions, united in one place.


And I get lost.

Not in thought… not in discovery… lost.  (Reference:  needles, haystsacks.)  The lovely people who work here have been amazingly patient with me, and they’re bonafide brilliant!  I’ve yet to ask a single person where to find something without them knowing exactly where it is.  Even from 50 feet away, they can direct me to where I will find it – no, one more aisle over… on the left side… three shelves in… second shelf from the bottom.

No Carrie, your OTHER left.

Fortunately, I found the aisle with the triangle paper I was looking for – Primitive Gatherings – fairly easily.  (I am starting to learn my way around.)

Why this one?  While I like almost all of the papers I’ve tried, there is one feature that makes this one was perfect for this project.  I’m using Layer Cake squares for my fabric so I can make 18 – 2″ finished half-triangle squares from each square.  Thinking in terms of squares, I can fit a total of 9 squares in the layer cake, a 3 x 3 grid.  The Primitive Gathering paper is printed in a 3 x 5 grid.


So I just stacked the paper and cut it on the line to make my 3 x 3 grid – with a 2 x 3 grid left for something else.  I don’t have to draw any lines or grids and this paper fits my layer cake squares perfectly – how perfect is that?  But while I was nosing around looking for the correct paper, I found these…


Primitive Gatherings also makes triangle papers that are specifically sized for using with charm squares.  For someone whose made as many quilts with charm squares as I have, I want to know why I didn’t think of this.  (Don’t answer that… Lisa is… well, Lisa Bongean.)

Then I got really side-tracked… I think it was the bright, pretty colors.


These are called Tulips.  They’re by a company called Smartneedle and they’re bobbin clamps.  I think I’m going to need these – doesn’t the orange clamp look good on my bobbin?  (And it doesn’t hurt that these clamps are a little bigger than the ones I use now.)  They come with a little chain if you want to keep them together for traveling, or doing some handwork.

The same company names these Bobbinis.  Bobbinis… you had me with that name.


They kind of look like mini pacifiers, don’t they?  What I like – and what is making me think I’m going to need some of these – is that the bobbini is very secure.  The bobbin isn’t loose at all, and it’s very secure in the spool of thread.  Trust me, I was knocking them around to see if they’d come out or the bobbin would come off.

These were in the same aisle – also from Smartneedle.  The scissor and sewing machine USBs are very cute, as is the ladybug sewing caddy.  There is a suction cup on the underside that lets you stick it to the side of a machine, or whatever.  The little porcupine bobbin caddy also comes in green.  As with the bobbini, I was surprised that everything fits together securely and the tops or bobbins aren’t going to keep falling off.


While trying to find my way out of the aisles – they look straight but with all the distractions, it might as well be a maze! – I was distracted by Maya Road.


The pins are purely decorative – they’re sharp but they’re a little thick to use for sewing.  But they’ll sure look really pretty in my pincushions.  I don’t know what I’d do with the buttons yet but they’d be cute on a pillow, a bag or even to embellish one of my pincushions.  Maybe I’ll make a pincushion to go with the buttons…  And the spools?  They’re just cute.

It isn’t like I really need to know what I would do with something before I bought it right?

From fabric to notions, thread to scissors… we like some of this stuff because it’s pretty.  And because seeing it makes us happy.

Or maybe that’s just me – I’m a little frivolous that way.  And I think that’s a good thing.

Have a terrific weekend!

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37 thoughts on “Make. Piece. Sew.

  1. Great tips. I have been using Star paper for years to make my half square triangles. It’s a great product also and available through United Notions. Have to get some of those bobbin holders too cute!

  2. You make a terrific tour guide. I’m having the best time doing a virtual look-see at Moda. Thanks.

  3. Always a pleasure to read your posts and it’s great to learn of new (to me) products! Those tulips and bobbinis are too cute – and useful, of course! Since my local quilt shop closed last year and I’m a 5 hour drive to the nearest shop, I don’t get the chance to see a lot of the new notions that are on the market.

  4. Are all the fabulous accessories you highlighted in your post for sale? May have to look online. Loved them all and I do love gadgets!

  5. Today is my birthday … and my mother ALMOST named me “Spring” (before she came to her senses). Your blog today through the hallowed (warehouse) calls of Moda and United Notions was truly a gift. Absolutely HAVE to get some of those bobbin tulips and the Bobbinis are just too cool to be true! It’s Spring after all, right? Perfect time for “tulips” … LOVE your Moda blogs, Carrie … you are such a GREAT addition to the Moda family and I, for one, am thankful! Happy Spring!!

  6. Those notions are great, need to find a local outlet for them if possible. I too would not be able to walk through the warehouse without looking around. We are always treated to great ideas when you go, so go more often, yes?

  7. OMG…….. Those Bobbinis are the perfect colorful/fun replacement for my golf tees:)!! Why didn’t I think of that when the golf tees are always wobbly.

  8. It’s like reading about a kid in a candy store!!!! So many delights….so little time!! Saw some amazing fabrics in your photos…I have warehouse envy. Maybe there’s a 12-step program out there, somewhere…

  9. that little bobbin porcupine had me laughing,chuckling and smiling – oh so ( sew ) cute – put a real smile on my dial – I desire one or two just for the sake of having one in my possession – so now I have to track it down cause I know I won’t be able to find it in Australia – love it

  10. Good morning Carrie. I so enjoyed your walk. Great new have to have items have been added to my list. I hope you have a fantastic weekend of sewing.

  11. I called once to see if Moda was on the stock market, no joy there, but I’d love to own a piece of it…but along the same line, of Moda feels a “we/us” company…I’ll be in Texas this fall, are there tours of the facility? Or a type of factory outlet shop?

  12. I don’t know how you manage to get any work done with all of that amazing stuff so readily accessible! Don’t you just want to roll in it all? Lol! You would find me in between bolts of fabric, just trying to soak it all in!

  13. Thanks for taking me on a walk – among everything I like! Can we please do it again, soon?
    Happy Spring!

  14. That warehouse holds lots of beauties and cuties! A jar full of those mini spools would be so stinkin’ cute!

  15. Glad to hear I’m not the only one with another left;-) But no wonder you good lost, ah, distracted I’m sure I could live in the warehouse!

  16. Love reading about your adventures while working at Moda. This post was terrific and hope to see more have-to-have notions you discover while roaming the aisles of the warehouse. I’m going to get some of those Bobbinis … what a terrific way to keep the bobbins with the type/color of thread.

  17. I can see how you would get lost. so interesting though. I love the scissors and sewing machine shape for using with a computer. Happy Stitching.

  18. Oh my gosh! I love this stuff! PLEASE make a weekly trip to the warehouse to show us stuff like this! You are so bad for my quilting budget, but I love it!

  19. Just love your “travelogue” through the aisles of Moda. Seems like more and more I’m finding things I MUST have!!!

  20. I’ve never heard of a couple of those items so I’m definitely going to put them on my wish list. And I’m like you, I would get lost in those aisles for hours and hours.

  21. What a fun post – I need them all………….. to be happy! Well, not really I am usually always happy!! It’s been a week now since I broke my foot, and I’m starting to get a little … maybe annoyed might be the word. I can’t drive, or stand for long periods. Dang, I wish I had cut something out before I did this silly thing!! It’s my driving foot, and I sew with the left – so I will be back sewing very soon. I love that you are discovering new fun things for us!!

    1. Lepowell good luck with your broken foot. I broke 3 metatarsals and cracked a few other bones in 2013 and was not allowed to put my foot to the ground for nearly 4 months and could not drive for close to 6! I spent a lot of that time drooling over new notions and fabrics and planning what I would make when I could …….

  22. I need all of these as well! I just know I could not work there as I would not only never get any work done but I would be paying them every payday for all my goodies! I sure enjoy these virtual Moda warehouse tours and love seeing all the new gadgets I need to get my LQS to get for me! Keep up the good work, and the tours, they are enjoyed!

  23. Well, you got me! I am a charm pack hoarder and just think I have to try the triangle papers. I have tried others and not been crazy about them, but how can I pass up something designed for charm squares?! So they are ordered and I have some lovely new charms to try them out with. I’ll let you know how it goes… you may have converted me. We’ll see. Have a great time on your retreat! I usually go to three or four a year. nothing like uninterrupted sewing time! can’t wait to see your treasures!

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