Square in a Square Quilt Block

I love a simple quilt block and the square in a square quilt block does not disappoint. This is a beginner friendly foundation paper pieced quilt block that offers a little bit for everyone. If you’re a beginner, this is a great pattern to try foundation paper piecing. There’s no tricky combinations or crazy angles. If you are experienced with this technique then have a blast with fussy cutting! This quilt block finishes at 7 inches and is super fun to sell. Let’s get started!

Materials List

Tools and Supplies Needed

Quilt Block Assembly

Foundation Paper Piecing is a very rewarding process. You can have perfect quilt blocks each time, if you do it correctly. The best way to learn is to watch my step-by-step video tutorials and also to practice for yourself! Having the right tools is very helpful as well! I love my Add-A-Quarter Ruler and also my Daylight Company Wafer One Lightboard with the accompanying cutting mat.

Do you like Fussy Cutting?

The best part of making a Square in a Square Quilt Block is that you can really feature a particular image in your block. This is called Fussy Cutting. The light board comes in super handy to you can center the image in the right position. I loved using this fabric line by Amarilys Henderson for Paintbrush Studio Fabrics called Christmas Peace. It’s no longer in production, so if you find some – get it!

I shared my quilt at a local guild meeting! What do you think?

Video Tutorial

Share what you’ve learned!

After you make a few of these Square in a Square Quilt Blocks, be sure to share your makes in our online community! We would love to see some of your quilts and quilt blocks!

Boxy Pouch Sewing Tutorial

I love a good Boxy Pouch and this sewing tutorial is one of my favorite methods for making this fun and functional bag!  You can call this bag a dopp kit, shaving bag or even a makeup bag.  Whatever you choose to call it, make it in your favorite fabric and follow the tutorial below for an easy and fun sewing project.  These Boxy Pouches make great gifts are best sellers in craft booths too!  Let me show you how!

Materials List

Basic Sewing Supplies

Boxy Pouch Assembly

For this Boxy Pouch, I used a Foam Interfacing (instead of batting). The Foam interfacing really provides great structure to the Boxy Pouch. I also pieced a really fun fabric panel and also used rainbow coil zipper by the yard!

Which machine should I use?

It’s really nice to choose the machine for the different steps of assembly. I used my Juki TL2010Q (with my Grid Glider table mat) to attached the zipper to the panels and then I used my Juki DU1181N to install my pull tabs and handle. And all honesty, my Juki TL2010Q could’ve handled the entire job but since I have a choice I used both machines.

Make Your Own Boxy Pouch

I’ll just take my word for it, make your own boxing pouch! Watch the video link below and don’t forget to download your PDF pattern. My PDF pattern provide step-by-step instructions so you can make as many of these fun boxy patches as you’d like. Remember, you can get this pattern for free when you sign up for my weekly newsletter.

Share your Boxy Pouch creations!

Join my Facebook group and share your box pouch creations! I can’t wait to see what you make!

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Six Advanced Embroidery Stitches

Hand Embroidery is such a wonderful art and skill to have!  There are so many wonderful possibilities and creations to make when you know how to hand embroider.  Follow along as my friend Karen, with Studio 21 Market, shares her embroidery sampler design and shows us six advanced embroidery stitches.  Be sure to watch the video and download your pattern.

Since Aurifil is my embroidery thread of choice, partnering with them was an easy decision. If you haven’t already, head over to our first post which helps you get started.  We will pickup where we left off from our first and second episodes. 

Embroidery Sampler Material List


Chain Stitch or Lazy Daisy

These are fun and really pretty versatile. Though technically two different stitches, they’re quite similar, so we’re teaching them together. The lazy daisy stitch is used for the little daisies and pulled fairly tight to create an elongated loop. For the raindrops, we’ll not pull as tight so the result is a more rounded loop. 

In essence, the chain stitch used the same method of wrapping the needle to make the loop, but instead of finishing with an anchoring stitch, it is continued to make the next link in the chain. The chain stitch is done in vertical rows here for a graphic effect.

Continental Knot

This is Karen’s favorite knot stitch, mainly because it can use 3-6 strands and will still be centered over the spot where the thread comes up from the back. Replay the video a few times to see the method. It’s kind of fun to watch it curl into a little knot. One trick for knots is to keep the looped thread close to the fabric—that’s key to  stitching nice little knots. (And if you find you’re not a fan, feel free to make the more common French knots.)

Blanket Stitch

Though a simple whip stitch could be used to hold the edges of appliqué pieces. the blanket stitch also makes a nice ridge of embroidery thread along the outer edge of the fabric or wool leaf. (For the appliqué fabric leaf, use a thin two-sided fusible with paper backing on one side, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.)

Feather Stitch

This one is so graphic and moves quickly once you get it started. It can be used with varying widths the way we used it on this feather shape, or with an even width to make a row of stitching. 

Herringbone Stitch

This is the (closed) herringbone stitch. A leaf shape is so awesome when this stitch is used. I’ve done it on tiny little meandering leaves and also on larger leaves like this one. With the overlapping center threads, it makes such a wonderful texture for a leaf without leaving any gaps or spaces down the middle.

Padded Satin Stitch

So, yeah, it’s not necessary to pad a satin stitch. And it is more time-consuming. But I wanted to include it so if there are instances where you’d like a satin-stitched area to be raised from the cloth a little more for the texture you’d like to achieve, now you know how. The dimension is outstanding!

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the entire Embroidery Sampler Series and stop to say hello to my good friend Karen with Studio 21 Market!

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Six Basic Embroidery Stitches

Hand Embroidery is such a wonderful art and skill to have!  There are so many wonderful possibilities and creations to make when you know how to hand embroider.  Follow along as my friend Karen, with Studio 21 Market, shares her embroidery sampler design and shows us the six most basic embroidery stitches.  Be sure to watch the video and download your pattern.

Since Aurifil is my embroidery thread of choice, partnering with them was an easy decision. If you haven’t already, head over to our first post which helps you get started.  We will pickup where we left off from our first episode.  Let’s start stitching!

Embroidery Sampler Material List


Running Stitch

This is the most basic embroidery stitches with the needle going up-down-up-down. It’s also used in hand quilting and in Sashiko stitching.  For our purposes, we’ll make the part of the stitch that shows about twice the size of the thread that’s underneath our fabric. It’s a fun and easy stitch!

Straight Stitch / Scatter Stitch

A straight stitch can be used in many applications. In this sampler, we’re using it in a scatter stitch pattern. This can be done without a plan in any space you’d like to use it. For a quick start, we’ve provided the placement of stitches on this pattern. 

Cross Stitch

With a variety of applications (counted cross stitch patterns, waste canvas cross stitch, etc), we’re using a large-scale simplified cross stitch. While each stitch can be done individually, my favorite method is to first do all of the left-slanted stitches in a row, then head back to the beginning of the row with the right-slanted stitches. For a uniform look, be sure to always have the right-slanted stitches on top.

Basic Herringbone

In essence a variation of the cross-stitch, this one is stitched in order from left to right. It’s a quick sew and provides a very graphic texture.

Satin Stitch

While this stitch may take a little longer to cover an area, it’s such a pretty stitch with a big impact of color. If you find a blank area left between stitches, just insert another stitch to fill the hole.

Stem Stitch / Outline Stitch

Okay, I have to admit that this is my most-used stitch! I use it to embellish many of my sewn items—from totes and organizers to my favorite use of labeling my quilts. You’ll see a sample in the video. In addition to a couple of other places, use this stitch to embroider your name in the lower center section. You’ll see just how easy it is to sew, and much more forgiving and less fiddly than the commonly-used backstitch. I usually use 2-3 strands of embroidery floss, but have used a single strand on occasion for really fine work. The main thing to consider as you are stitching the lines is to stay consistent in the size of your stitch.




Tell us in the comments which is your favorite basic embroidery stitch!

Happy Stitching!

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Juki Brand Ambassador

Juki is an amazing brand.  Becoming a Juki Brand Ambassador is a dream come true!  I am thrilled for this opportunity and am really excited to learn more about their wonderful products and share this all with you!  Let’s take a quick look back at how it all began…

My first Juki Machine

Several years ago, I was sewing a TON of bags for my online shops. I have a successful Etsy Shop and had just started with Amazon Handmade. When I launched my Amazon Shop, it was immediately apparent that I needed to upgrade my sewing machine. At the time, I was admiring my Mom’s DU1181N and loved how it sewed through several layers. I knew that I needed one of my own. My sewing business transitioned to a more efficient system and I learned all about assembly line sewing and batch production. I am still in love my my Juki DU1181N! I wrote an entire blog series. You can check that out right HERE.

Nicole Moore with Juki DU1181N

My Juki Long Arm Quilting Machine

Several years ago, I started offering Custom T-Shirt Quilts. I love quilting and was really confident at finishing quilts with free motion quilting on my domestic machine. The only thing I didn’t really like about quilting on a domestic machine was the tiny throat space and how long it took to wrestle quilts in order to finish. Conveniently, I was able to rent time on my friend’s long arm. That worked pretty well for a couple years, but I wanted one of my own. After all my research, I decided on my Juki J-350 Smart Stitch QVP for several reasons. The first reason was that I trusted the brand. The second reason was the laser guided regulated stitching. At the time, only one other brand offered this functionality on a table model. The final reason I chose this model was because I knew the machine would grow with me. You see, I have a tiny sewing studio and cannot fit a large quilting frame inside my room. The J-350 head can come off the table and transfer to a frame. I am still planning to transition to a frame (once at least one of my two kids leave the nest).

Nicole with J350

My Everyday Machine

I really can’t believe I waited until 2020 to purchase my Juki TL 2010Q. This machine is my everyday machine. I still have my 40 year old Kenmore (in case I need to do the occasional zig-zag stitch). This machine is so great! I may be a Brand Ambassador, but they don’t pay me to say things like this. I have loved sewing with this machine because the tension is PERFECT, I can easily operate and maintain it, and it sews SUPER FAST! It’s not the smallest machine, but that does not stop me from taking it to sew days and retreats. It comes with a table, but I upgraded to a Sew Steady Versa Table and always have my Daylight Slimline 3 overhead.

Nicole Moore with Juki TL2010Q

Looking forward to more

This new relationship with Juki isn’t really new. I have loved this brand for several years, so it only seems natural to take our relationship to the next level. Be sure to follow my events page and sign up for my Newsletter. I will be sharing upcoming events and get the opportunity to try new machines. You can read more about this topic on the Juki website. They published an article on their blog.

Happy Creating!

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Embroidery Sampler

Since Aurifil is my embroidery thread of choice, partnering with them was an easy decision. Next I decided to collaborate with my friend Karen Munger with Studio 21 Market to design an embroidery sampler pattern. The design we landed on is a truly fun sew!

Embroidery Sampler Pattern

Dividing the 8” embroidery hoop into 12 sections, the simple plan was to do one stitch in each section.  However, as a graphic designer, Karen knew those rules were made to be broken. So you’ll see some items crossing the grid lines, such as the feather and the running stitches. These help unify the entire design. Throw in some fun little things like umbrellas and quarter flowers, and the design is ready to share!

Embroidery Sampler Materials List

To Transfer Design

To transfer this Embroidery Sampler Design to your background fabric, you have a couple choices. You can either use a transfer sheet or you can trace with a light box. Both techniques work well. Try both and decide which is best for you!

For Applique Leaves

  • Fabric & 2-sided fusible (paper-backed)
  • Wool felt

Using a PVC Frame

Although the Embroidery Sampler Design is meant for an 8″ hoop, it is easiest to work with a PVC Frame. Once your are done with your embroidery work, you can transfer your finished project to a hoop. The PVC Frame is easy to hold and also provides easy tension adjustment. You can get your own PVC Frame right HERE.

Preparing the Thread

Next, we will prepare our thread for stitching. As I mentioned before, I am using Aurifil Aurifloss, which is the heaviest weight of thread that Aurifil offers. It comes in a variety of colors, some of which I offer on my website.  Before we thread our needle, we need to separate and prepare our thread. Take one end of it, and sort of just bounce your finger on top of the thread to create a separation and your strands. Grab three strands and slowly pull these away from the remaining strands.   Slowly, keep pulling these threads apart. It may take a little bit of time because embroidery threads will want to not if you try to pull these apart too quickly. Once you have them separated, we can thread the needle

Threading the Needle

Pinch the threads together and insert them through the eye of the needle.  You want to get all three strands into the needle at once.  Next, to help you prevent tangles, twists and knots, guide your thread back and forth through the eye of your needle.  Do this a couple times and then we can show you how to tie your knot.

Tying the Knot

Take the tail end of your thread and hold it in one hand.  point it towards the needle.  Take your pointer finger and grab the tail.   Now you are grasping the needle and thread in one hand.  Then you will wrap around your needle a couple, maybe a few times.  Next, I will transfer the wrapped thread and the needle to the other hand.  Pull the needle, while holding those wrapped threads in place.  This will create a knot at the end of your tail.

Get Ready for Stitching!

And this covers just about everything you need to know to get started on this fun embroidery sampler designed by Karen with Studio 21 Market. 

Download your pattern from Karen and get your supplies from my online shop

Stay tuned for the next tutorial and we will cover the six most basic embroidery stitches.  Be sure to subscribe to my channel and sign up for notifications.  Sign up for my weekly newsletter and never miss a project!  Watch the “Getting Started” video below!

Bonnie Bucket Bag

I have been wanting to make the Bonnie Bucket Bag, by Swoon patterns, for the longest time.  It wasn’t until I recently purchased some leather and had some coordinating fabric on hand that convinced me to set the time aside.  For this bag, I have pulled out all the stops!  I added an adjustable strap (because I like to sometimes wear purses as crossbody).  I also added a recessed zipper for the top.  I made several other variations to the original pattern.  Let’s take a look at my Bonnie Bucket Bag!

Bonnie Bucket Bag Material List

Extra’s I added to the bag

Adding the Purse Feet

Adding purse feet to my Bonnie Bucket Bag was probably the easiest enhancement I made. I was sure to use the same finish as the rest of my purse hardware. This gold finish is amazing! One of the things I love about purse feet is that these help you keep your bag off the ground. Just think of all the places we set down our bags. Ugh! I especially wanted to protect my leather bottom, so adding purse feet was a no-brainer! You can find my purse feet installation tutorial on right HERE.

Adding a Metal Bag Label

I can’t tell you how many compliments I receive on these metal bag labels! They come in a variety of finishes and are super easy to install! I used the golden finish to match the rest of my bag hardware. If you want to see how easy it is to install a metal bag label – head over to THIS TUTORIAL.

Adding a Hanging Tassel Cap

Using some of the leftover leather, I used the hanging tassel cap hardware and made my own (coordinating) tassel. This tassel is perfect and attached to the side of my bag. It definitely gives this bag a designer appearance and people are shocked to learn that I made this bag myself! If you want to add a hanging tassel cap to your bag, you can choose the finish that works best for your project!

Finishing the zipper tape

You would normally only find zipper ends on high-end purses and bags from designer brands. If you really want to impress and finish your bag in style, consider adding these zipper ends! They were super-easy to install and come in a variety of finishes! I love how it really finishes this zipper! If you want to see how easy it is to install a zipper end – check out THIS TUTORIAL.

The Finished Bag!

I must say that I loved making this bag. It took me a couple hours to cut and prep my materials and then I spent a few hours the next day on assembly. I used my Juki TL2010Q on a majority of the construction. I switched over to my Juki DU1181N when the leather was getting too thick. Sewing with leather was easier than I thought it was going to be! I don’t know why I hesitated so long to try! Granted, leather isn’t the least expensive material option – but WOW! Making and then using my new leather bag has been a real treat! I bought two more leather colors to try in the near future!

I encourage you to give this Bonnie Bucket Bag Pattern a try! The pattern is well written and adding these variations is quite simple if you plan ahead.

Be sure to grab your Bag Hardware and Designer Fabric in my shop!

Don’t forget to share what you make in my FaceBook Community! We would love to see your progress and results!

Happy Sewing!

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Make a Star Quilt Block

I have always loved the five point star!  They are easy to draw, but may seem a little perplexing when made with fabric!  I worked out a PDF pattern and created a video tutorial to take out any confusion or reservations you may be having.  Let me show you how to make a star quilt block!

Materials Needed

Tools and Supplies Needed

Getting Started

If you haven’t tried foundation paper piecing yet – this is a great pattern to try! It is perfect for a confident beginner (especially if you watch my video tutorial – linked below). Included in the pattern is a recommended cut size for each piece of fabric. I thought it would be nice to include this since most FPP patterns tend to omit this information.

Tips and Tricks

Over the years, I have learned quite a few tips and tricks about Foundation Paper Piecing. In the video (linked below), I share some of my favorite techniques to help you gain confidence and efficiency with your FPP projects! From pressing at every opportunity to using the best tools and techniques – I’ve got you covered!

Make a Star Quilt Block

Once you have all the pieces ready – putting them together is a breeze! I added registration marks on each pattern piece so you can join them together without wondering if the placement is correct. In the video tutorial, I even give you some tips on testing your placement before you sew everything in place for a more permanent stitch.

Star Quilt Block in a Quilt

I made a dozen stars (using Abyss and White fabric) and added them to make this festive quilt top! The middle “flag” is actually a panel and the rest is just a series of fabric borders at various widths. This fabric collection is called Land of Liberty by My Mind’s Eye for Riley Blake. You may be able to find this in my online shop, (quantities are limited). I used Red, White and Blue Striped fabric for the binding as well! For piecing the quilt, and attaching the binding, I used my Juki TL2010Q. I quilted this up on my Juki J350 table-top longarm quilting machine.

Watch the Video

In this video, you will see how easy this block comes together. Grab a cup of coffee and sew with me!

Thanks so much for visiting my website! Be sure to grab a Star Quilt Block pattern and make a few for yourself! Share your quilt blocks in my Facebook Community and tag me on Instagram!

Stay Creative!

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Stars and Stripes Quilt WP Header

Make a Stars and Stripes Quilt

Our family is very patriotic.  In fact, back in 1998, my husband and I said “I do” on Independence Day!  Our two sons simply love celebrating our country’s tradition by shooting fireworks.  My eldest son even helps a family friend at a local fireworks stand.  Needless to say, it was an easy decision for me to make a Stars and Stripes quilt.  Let me tell you how to make your own!

Stars and Stripes Quilt Pinterest Pin 1

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  • Stars and Stripes Quilt Pattern by Camille Roskelley for Thimble Blossoms
  • (8) Fat Quarters of Red Fabric
  • (5) Fat Quarters of Blue Fabric
  • (1.25) yards of White Fabric
  • (2) yards of sashing Aqua Fabric (I’ve even seen it made with YARROW – Gorgeous!)
  • (3.5) yards of backing Fabric
  • (5/8) yards of binding Fabric (try THIS FABRIC for your binding – it’s perfect)
  • 64” x 80” cotton batting (this is the exact batting I used)


Stars and Stripes Quilt - choosing the fabric

I am an active member of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild, which is a highly inspirational gathering of talented quilters.  A fellow board member organized a fun activity called “Block Lotto”. We chose this particular quilt pattern and color theme, so that all the blocks would be the same size and shape.  In order to play Block Lotto, you need to bring a completed quilt block.  In this case, participants would bring a completed flag block in exchange for a drawing ticket.  Each completed quilt block would render a separate drawing ticket.  At the meeting, there were over 180 quilt blocks turned in!  WOW!!!  That was enough blocks to make over 11 quilt tops!  We did a drawing at the end of the meeting and it was sooooo much fun!

Stars and Stripes Quilt - Block Lotto
These are just a few of the blocks that were turned in for the Block Lotto game at our Guild meeting

This quilt is a very simple project!    I started cutting and assembling my quilt blocks while I was on a visit to my Mom’s house.  The cutting was very simple.  It is my recommendation to layering a few like colored fat quarters to make quick work of this step.  I was actually able to cut, sew AND quilt this project in less than one week!  Normally, I don’t start and finish a quilt in that short of a time span, but I really wanted to show a completed quilt at our Guild meeting (which was incidentally Flag Day)!  I really love how it turned out.

Stars and Stripes Quilt Finished Quilt by Nicole Moore

This will be a great quilt to bring to the city fireworks show.  The kids are cuddling up with it already!  I hope you make one too!

Be sure to join my Modern Quilts Facebook Group!  Such a great community and lots of inspiration!  See you there!

Happy Quilting!

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The Best Magnifying Lamp for Handwork

I’ve wanted to try out the MAGnificent Floor and Table LED Magnifying Lamp for sometime now. You see, I’m becoming more interested with handwork, embroidery, and appliqué and I thought it would be a good idea to have some additional lighting that also offers magnification.  The Daylight Company was generous enough to send me to try out. You know me – I have to love it before I would share or recommend it – so let’s get started! Also, don’t forget to watch my un-boxing video at the end!

This magnifying lamp is shipped in a compact box but it has lots and lots to offer, once you start unpacking. Inside the box is an adjustable lamp assembly, power adapter, two poles that help you adjust the weight of your lamp, and a sturdy lamp base.

Magnifying Lamp - Unboxing

Assembling the Lamp

One of the things I find really useful about this lamp is that the head assembly is adjustable.  So it can be bent or adjusted to whatever position works best for what you are doing at the moment. The lamp base is a good and sturdy weight. It’s not too heavy but it’s solid enough so that you can stretch out your lamp head assembly, and the lamp still won’t tip over. The lamp comes with two poles that you can add.  These polls have built-in electronic connectors so that you don’t have to string a cord through the pole to eventually illuminate the lamp head assembly. The lamp base has a thumb screw that needs to be loosened before you insert the polls or head assembly into the base.

When you are connecting either the pole or the lamp head assembly to the base, you need to push down really hard to make that connection.  Once you have that connected, grab your power supply.  Plug one end into the base and the other into your electrical outlet.

The on and off switch is at the top of the lamp assembly and there is a large semi rimless lens which really helps with the close work activity.  This lamp is ideal for hobbies, crafts, and even reading. As I mentioned before you can remove the pole and use the lamp on the table as well.

Lamp Specifications

If you are looking for brightness, then you’ve found it here! Check out the specs for this magnifying lamp!

Use this for the Floor or the Table!

I totally recommend the Daylight Company MAGnificent Floor andTable LED Magnifying Lamp. Oh, the projects I have planned! I do have some very exciting handwork projects planned in the near future. Stay tuned!

Use the coupon code SEW20 and receive 20% off of your entire daylight Company order. Head over to the link in the description, just below this video, to learn more. 

Watch my unboxing video to see how easy it is to assemble the MAGnificent Floor & Table Magnifying Lamp!