Tuesday Tip: How to Use a Moda Layer Cake

Layer Cakes… our store offers undoubtedly the largest selection of layer cakes a quilter might ever see. We aren’t just saying that, but we think that it’s really true, especially within Canada. Every 10″ packet that Moda Fabrics creates is available through Hamels Fabrics.

Moda creates all of their precuts ahead of the yardage that gets wrapped on bolts at the warehouse. They are highly collectable as they are usually only available for a very limited time and once the offering has sold out, they become scarce. Layer Cakes designed by Moda’s top designers such as “Kansas Troubles” and “Bonnie & Camille” are in extremely high demand items and remain popular each time they produce a fabric line. That being said, we have customers who love Layer Cakes from other Moda designers and collect Layer Cakes when they are in stock.

Did you know that we also have solid coloured Layer Cakes, such as white, cream, black and gray? Even though they are tricky to keep in stock, we would love to special order one of the solid Layer Cakes for you, if you make a special request. Many patterns ask for solid and print 10″ square to work together to form a pattern. Eg. Cake Mix Quilts

10 neat things about layer cakes:

  1. Each layer cake manufactured by Moda Fabrics consists of 42 accurately cut  10″ squares. (Note: Other manufacturers who produce packets of 10″ squares might have less pieces of fabric, but for this article we want to only talk about Moda brand.)
  2. Layer Cakes come in a variety of themes ranging from baby, children, reproduction, Civil War, florals, woven cotton and more. There’s a layer cake designed for every taste, even a few in batik!
  3. A layer cake comes with all the pieces from one Moda fabric collection. Sometimes pieces might be duplicated if the line has less that 42 different prints in it. A layer cake is like taking home a stack of fabric from the quilt store without having to stand at the cutting table and have 42 pieces cut. Viola!
  4. There’s no need to prewash these 10″ squares before you start cutting or sewing with them. Modern technology has pretty much eliminated any worries about colour fastness, etc. and we aren’t going to fret about shrinkage.
  5. Moda carefully cuts the layer cake squares with a high tech machine back in Asia (somewhere in Korea…) and when you open your package the fabric is ready to go. Use the outer points of the pinked edges as the edge of the seam and do that consistently throughout your project and your project will measure up just fine.
  6. The fabric designer of the layer cake has done the work for us, so that each piece in a layer cake mixes and matches together. There are some pieces that are lights, darks and mediums giving a balance for quilts to blend beautifully. A layer cake can also provide a scrappy look that is controlled and works together.
  7. How big of a quilt will a layer cake produce? Well, generally one cake will yield about a twin size if add additional fabric for a border and two layer cakes will produce a queen size. It’s like buying a bag of flour or sugar and making a cake, it depends on your recipe and any additional ingredients you add that sets the size of the cake.
  8. How much fabric is really in a layer cake? Estimates are that there are about three metres of fabric in a layer cake. More than they look, huh?
  9. Don’t layer cakes cost more than cutting my own squares? Not always! If there is a bit more than three metres in a packet and the packet costs $48.98 then the fabric per metre would need to be $16.50 or less per metre to equate. Now that’s an offer worth checking out!
  10. There are endless ideas for sewing with layer cakes. Not only are they the perfect precut for a bed quilt, but they also work for home decor, handbags, baskets, etc. Selecting a layer cake saves you hours of selecting, matching and cutting.

If you are searching the perfect collection of fabrics to sew your next quilt top with and are short on time, check out the Layer Cakes we have in the storefront or the website. If you want, we will give you a free pattern to use with the purchase of a Layer Cake.

Happy stitching!

Tuesday Tip: Choosing Low Volume Fabrics

Low volume (or low value) fabrics add a lot of character to a quilt, especially when a variety of them are mixed into a background on a quilt. Fabrics with white, off white, or gray backgrounds, with small gray, black, or taupe prints can be classified as low volume prints.  Putting a variety of them into a quilt makes your whole top look far more interesting than only a single solid background! Also, don’t pass by the polka dots, text prints, stripes, graphic prints, music and Grunge. Low volume fabrics are designed with details in them such as old maps, handwriting, architectural drawings, text, newspaper graphics and more. Every quilter should have a variety of these prints to use, so we create fat quarter bundles with some of each print.

Here at Hamels, we continue to stock basic tone on tone prints such as our beloved tone-on-tone bundles as well yardage and bundles of Zen Chic’s “backgrounds” because they are very interesting and full of detail. In this quilt shown below, there are a variety of “low volume” prints mixed with the bright coloured solids.

I think this tone on tone bundle shown below is an all-time favourite! We are constantly producing this one. Once we finish making a batch of these bundles, we start cutting and folding more of them.

Fire up your next quilt top by incorporating a variety of low volume fabrics. They are extremely popular for both modern quilters and scrap quilters alike. Low volume fabrics are also awesome as a background to your appliqué.

Zen Chic, who designs fabrics for Moda, now has a standard collection of low volume prints and we are quite fond of their Modern Background-Paper collection.

This is a picture of our Modern Backgrounds bundle which is currently in stock. These fabrics are also standing on bolts in our store and on the website waiting to used as the  foundation for your next project.

As always, we strive to be available to help you in store and online if you need assistance in choosing the right fabrics for your next project.

Happy stitching!

Tuesday Tip: Moda Candy (aka Mini Charms) and How to Use Them

Moda Candy or Mini Charms is one of our favourite precut formats both here in our store and via our website. These delightful packets of fabric are not only cute, but can be sewn into all kinds of projects.

So what exactly is Moda Candy? What in the world do quilters do with all those little squares? Well, we get asked this every day at the store (it seems like). First and foremost,  we receive all of the Moda precuts that are created and Moda makes a lot of them! They are constantly developing collections of fabrics to inspire us as we plan our sewing projects.

Moda Candy (referred to as MC in this post) are the smallest of the Moda precuts which include fat quarter bundles, jelly rolls, layer cakes and charm packs to name a few. Each packet of MC is comprised of 42 squares of fabric that are 2.5″ each. These squares measure 2.5″ across from one outer pinked edge to the other. Moda cuts them with a pinked edge to help prevent fraying. Each packet contains all the pieces in a collection; you get some lights, some darks and some medium coloured fabrics. Each of the 42 pieces in a packet of candy is meant to be sewn together with the other pieces in the collection and the designer has coordinated the fabrics for us. No stress of choosing the fabrics or having to cut them into small 2.5″ pieces!

So what can you do with these sweet little bits of fabric all packed in a collection? Well, the possibilities are endless! Here’s our 10 list for Moda Candy:

1. Take and arrange two packets of MC (84 squares in total) by setting them into five rows of 16 squares. This makes a super fast table runner that you can not only sew together in an evening, but the runner can be quilted and bound very easily in an afternoon or a bit of time on the weekend!

2. Sew pieces from one packet of MC by setting them 6 rows of 7 squares and you have a placemat for your table. Voila!

3. How about English paper piecing? These little 2.5″ squares are the perfect size for 1″ hexagon papers. You can hand stitch these togetherwhen you need a fun project to work at whilst away for the weekend, at a ballgame with the kids or whenever you are away from your sewing machine.

4. Purchase MC as a quick gift to delight your sewing buddies. What a neat way to appreciate a friend and what quilter wouldn’t welcome a little packet of delightful fabric.

 

5. Sew ingredients from two MC packets (84 squares) into four patch units and add a bit of background fabric and you have a table topper for the centre of your table.

6. With about three packets, you can create the outside of a Mondo bag.

7. Check out the book Pin Pals.  Full of  pincushions projects and available via our website. Carrie Nelson features a delightful array of pincushions you can make beginning with MC pieces.

8. Sew three little squares from your MC packet together in a strip and and other strip of three squares; fuse them together and you have created a little bookmark for yourself or to give as a gift.

9. Check out ModaBakeShop.com for even more ideas. Moda is continually adding project ideas and posting them to their website. Also if you “like” Moda fabrics on Facebook, they post new ideas as they come available, so you are always up to date for new ideas for MC.

10. One packet makes another table topper quilt design as demonstrated in this video. Laura is so good at showing you! Check out this video below:

We hope that you will check out MC packets the next time you visit our store or investigate all the various MC displayed on our website. It would be great if you send us a picture of your project(s) created with MC. Browse our selection of Mini Charms in the shop or online here.

Happy stitching!