Just Keep Swimming Mini Quilt Tutorial


Here is a mini quilt by Jan Daly Quilts for Moda Bake Shop, that can be used for a small table, wall hanging or even a pillow top.  Another great little project using a mini charm pack.

  • 1 Mini Charm Pack (shown in Paradiso by Kate Spain)
  • 1/2 yard background/binding fabric (shown in Royal Blue Bella Solid)
  • 2/3 yard backing fabric (shown in Paradiso Lagoon Blue Bonaire)
  • batting measuring 20″ x 20″
  • white size 8 perle cotton
  • light-colored marking pencil

Also Helpful:

  • spray basting adhesive
  • sandpaper board



Before cutting, spend a few moments sorting your mini charm squares.  You’ll need to reserve 16 mini charm squares for the center of the quilt and you’ll be using 24 (2 each) for the 12 fish blocks — you’ll have 2 squares left over.

Here’s how I sorted mine.  For the patchwork center of the quilt:


For the fish blocks:


Cutting Background Fabric:

First cut your background fabric into the following:

  • 3 strips 1 1/4″ x WOF (width of fabric – or one selvage edge to the other)
  • 4 strips 1 1/2″ x WOF
  • 3 strips 2 1/4″ x WOF (for binding – feel free to adjust the width to suit your preference)


Further cut your strips into the following:

  • from the 3 – 1 1/4″ x WOF strips:
    • 72 – 1 1/4″ x 1 1/4″
  • from the 4 – 1 1/2″ x WOF strips:
    • from the first strip, 12 – 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″
    • from the second strip, 4 – 1 1/2″ x 9 1/2″
    • from the remaining two strips, 4 – 1 1/2″ x 15 1/2″
  • reserve the 3 – 2 1/4″ x WOF strips for binding


Cutting Mini Charm Squares:

Each fish block is made of 2 mini charm squares — one for the front and the back of the fish, and one for the middle stripe and the tail.  Gather 12 sets of 2 squares for each fish.  Cut each mini charm square in half — each half should measure 1 1/4″ x 2 1/2″.


Assemble Fish Blocks:

On the back of each of 72 background fabric 1 1/4″ x 1 1/4″ squares and using a light marking pencil, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.  Note:  placing the squares on a sandpaper board before drawing the lines helps to keep the fabric from shifting or distorting as you draw the lines.


For each fish:

Place fish front, back, and tail mini charm 1 1/4″ x 2 1/2″ rectangles on flat surface with right sides up (reserve the fish stripe 1 1/4″ x 2 1/2″ rectangle for later use).  Place 1 background fabric 1 1/4″ x 1 1/4″ on each rectangle with drawn line visible as follows:


Stitch along drawn lines.  Press towards the background fabric for the front and back of fish and towards the print for the fish tail:


Trim excess fabric a scant 1/4″ from seams:


Place 1 background fabric 1 1/4″ x 1 1/4″ on fish front, back, and tail units with drawn lines visible as follows:


Stitch along drawn lines.  Press towards the background fabric for the front and back of fish and towards the print for the fish tail:


Trim excess fabric a scant 1/4″ from seams:


Lay out fish front, stripe, back, and tail units as follows:


Stitch together fish front and stripe and fish back and tail:


Stitch together fish stripe and fish back to make a finished fish.  Fish block should measure 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″.


Repeat to make 12 fish blocks:


Assemble Quilt Center:

Lay out 16 reserved mini charm squares as desired in 4 rows of 4 each:


Stitch mini charm squares together in rows:


Stitch together rows.  Finished center should measure 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2″:


Add Inner Borders:

Note:  I added all borders using a partial seam method.

Place a background fabric 1 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ atop right edge of quilt center with right side of quilt center facing up and aligning rough edges.  The top edge of both the quilt center and the inner border strip should line up, but the border strip should extend 1″ beyond the quilt center:


Stitch along edge, stopping at least 2″ before end of border strip.  Press towards inner border:


Place a background fabric 1 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ atop top edge of quilt center with right side of quilt center facing up as follows:


Stitch top inner border to quilt center.  Press towards inner border:

jks29-800x842Repeat steps to add left side inner border:


Repeat steps to add bottom inner border.  Note:  make sure to tuck the bottom of the right side inner border out of the way before stitching — see bottom right corner of photo:


Finish stitching the right border seam:


Here’s a close-up of the bottom right corner prior to stitching:


And here’s what the stitched together quilt center and inner borders should look like.  At this point, the quilt should measure 10 1/2″ x 10 1/2″:


Assemble Fish Borders:

Referring to quilt, lay out quilt center unit, 12 fish blocks, and 12 – 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ rectangles as desired:


Each fish border will include 3 – 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ rectangles and 3 fish blocks as follows:


For each border, stitch together 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ rectangles and fish blocks.  Press seams towards the 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ rectangles:jks38-800x719

Add Fish Borders:

The fish borders are stitched to the quilt center unit using the same partial seam method demonstrated above.


Place 1 fish border atop right edge of quilt center unit with right side of quilt center unit facing up and aligning rough edges.  The fish border should extend 2″ beyond the quilt center unit.  Stitch, making sure to stop sewing at least 3″ from the end of the fish border.  Press towards inner border:


Repeat steps to add top fish border:


Repeat steps to add left fish border:


Repeat steps to add bottom fish border, again making sure to tuck the bottom of the right side fish border out of the way before stitching :


Finish right edge seam and press well.  Quilt should now measure 14 1/2″ x 14 1/2″:


Add Outer Borders:

Using the same partial seam method, add the 4 – 1 1/2″ x 15 1/2″ outer borders pressing seams towards the outer borders.

Add the right side (stop stitching at least 2″ from edge of border strip):


Add the top border:


Add the left border:


Add the bottom border:


Finish stitching the right side seam.  Press well.  And voilà, you’ve finished your quilt top!


Finish Quilt:

Layer the quilt top with batting and backing.  Baste and quilt as desired.  Because of the small size of this quilt, I chose to baste it using spray basting adhesive between the three layers.  To quilt, I used size 8 white perle cotton and a big stitch in a cross hatch pattern for the patchwork center.  I also quilted on either side of each fish’s stripe and finally, I quilted a wavy line in both the inner and outer borders.


This pattern makes 1 charming 16″ x 16″ quilt.  If you’d like to make Just Keep Swimming into a pillow, consider increasing the dimensions of your outer border strips to 1 3/4″ x 15 3/4.”  This would allow for a 1/2″ outer seam allowance and would still result in a 16″ x 16″ finished pillow top.  Good luck!

Click Here for a printable version.


Bet You Can’t Eat This Jelly Roll?


All the rage right now is everything pre-cut.  Pre-cuts are a line of co-ordinating fabric cut into specific sizes bundled together.  They are usually released prior to the fabric being available off the bolt in yardage.  There is an endless supply of patterns, books etc. specifically for pre-cut fabrics.  They not only save you tons of time by not having to search co-ordinating fabric, but also they reduce greatly the amount of cutting you will need to do to piece your quilt top.  Below is a description chart from Moda Fabrics to explain just what those pre-cut fabrics are with those funny names.  Almost good enough to eat!  Click Here to view pre-cuts from our store.  Click Here to view pattern books exclusive to pre-cuts from our store.


Tutorial for Grandma’s Dominos by Kymberly Pease


I love memory quilts made from the clothing of a loved one. One day I found myself feeling discouraged that I probably would never have the opportunity to make one of the quilts since my loved ones still need their clothing. Then I realized that there was more than one way to make a memory quilt. One of my favorite things to do when I visited my grandma’s house was to make elaborate domino chains with my sister. The white squares in this quilt representative of those domino chains. I plan to embroider dots with the birthdays of all of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren into the white squares before I give this quilt to my grandma. This quilt would also be perfect for a guest book for a special occasion such as a graduation, wedding, baby shower, or anniversary.



1 Jelly Roll (I used 1930s Bella Solids)
1 Bella Solids Charm Pack OR 3⁄4 yd solid fabric (I used Bella Snow) 1 yard for first border (I used Bella Solids Grass)
2 yards for second border (I used Bella Solids 30s Pink)
4 yards for backing

From first border fabric: Cut (7) 2.5” x WOF strips
From second border fabric: Cut (7) 5” x WOF strips
Cut (7) 2.5” x WOF strips for binding
From 32 charm squares cut (64) 2.5”x5” rectangles
*If using yardage cut (8) 2.5” strips. Subcut into (64) 2.5” x 5” rectangles. You should get (8) rectangles from each strip.

Don’t be scared. The next steps look complicated, but each row is made from 1 strip from the jelly roll. Each step is cut into three pieces. The two outer pieces will be the same length and the third piece will be in the middle of the row. (Row A is the exception. You’re strip will be cut into two pieces with one rectangle in the middle. Add 2.5″ squares to each side to make the row the same length as Rows B-I.)

Row A: Cut (3) strips into (2) 21” pieces

For each row cut (2) 2.5” squares of matching fabric
*You will not use all of the strips from your jelly roll for this quilt. Most Jelly rolls will have a few duplicates. Use these for Row A and cut 2.5” squares from the duplicate.
Row B: cut (4) strips into (1) 2.5” and (2) 20” pieces
Row C: Cut (4) strips into (1) 5” and (2) 18.5” pieces
Row D: Cut (4) strips into (1) 10” and (2) 16” pieces
Row E: Cut (4) strips into (1) 15” and (2) 13.5” pieces
Row F: Cut (4) strips into (1) 20” and (2) 11” pieces
Row G: Cut (4) strips into (1) 25” and (2) 8.5” pieces
Row H: Cut (4) strips into (1) 30” and (2) 6” pieces
Row I: Cut (2) strips into (1) 35” and (2) 3.5” pieces

Break out the dishes for this bakeshop recipe! Place all of the pieces for one row on a paper plate to keep things organized as you assemble the rows. I recommend labeling the plates to make assembling the top easier.



Row A: Sew 2.5” square to end of each strip. Sew white rectangle between strips to create one long row. Rows B-I: Sew white rectangles to each side of the single sized cut from jelly roll. The remaining two pieces from jelly roll should be the same length and are sewn to the other side of white rectangles.


Sew rows together as shown. (A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-H-G-F-E-D-C-B-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-H-G-F-E-D-C-B-A)
*I avoid using pins when possible, but I recommend pinning at least the middle and end of each strip to avoid fabric shifting.
For both border fabrics sew (2) pairs of strips together. Cut (1) strip in half and sew to remaining strips. The inner border is 2.5” wide and the outer border is 5” wide.

7/13/2015 Original Recipe can be found at www.modabakeshop.com Recipes are sometimes altered to correct errors. Please ensure that you have downloaded the most recent Printer Friendly Version before starting your project. If you find a mistake in this pattern, please contact modabakeshop@unitednotions.com.
This is an original pattern not intended for sale.

Measure length and width in at least three places (middle and each side), average the measurements (add the 3 measurements together and then divide by 3), and border strips to length. Begin by placing a pin in the middle and at each end and pin every few inches so that fabric is fairly even. Sew long sides first. Press and attach borders to short sides using same method. Repeat for second border.

Quilt and bind as desired. I chose to do an all-over pattern of various sized circles and used the (7)2.5” strips from second border fabric to bind the quilt.

60″ x 70″ Quilt


Click Here For Printable Instructions

By Kymberley Pease {peasinapodcreations.blogspot.com}

For modabakeshop.com


Thrifty Thursday…Everlasting Split Nine Patch Quilt Kit


Today’s Thrifty Thursday item is the “Everlastings Split Nine Patch With Border Quilt Kit” from Moda Fabrics.  The finished quilt measures 53″ x 40″.    This quilt set comes with pattern and all the fabrics for the quilt top.  Our regular price is $44.50.  Our Thrifty Thursday price is only $16.00.  Click Here  to order yours today!  Note that borders and border print can vary.  This kit is very limited in supply so don’t hesitate or you might miss out!