25 November 2020

Hot Cross Buns {$5 in November}

Before I forget. I reprinted a couple of my bestselling pattern oldies in Smoke & Rust fabric and must show you how fabulous they turned out.

First up is Hot Cross Buns. It's also the $5 pattern in November--just a few more days to snag a copy! I have made this quilt previously in several fabric collections, but this is the best one yet. Make it with a Jelly Roll (30 precut 2.5" strips) or a Layer Cake (30 precut 10" squares). I've tweaked a few things in the instructions from the original and made it even better than before. The pattern is available in PDF or printed booklet format.

Hot Cross Buns SR

I've already begun cutting it out, took me less than an hour. Be sure to snag this one for $5 while you can.


The other pattern that got an update is Trinkets. This one is made with 16 fat quarters and is available as a PDF or printed booklet. Smoke & Rust fabric is shipping in April 2021. If you'd like to make one of these quilts, be sure to check in with your favorite local or online shop to reserve a kit today!


24 November 2020

Smoke & Rust {the new quilts}

 Live by the sun, love by the moon. - J.T. Jackson

Smoke & Rust fabric is coming to shops in April 2021. In the meanwhile, I have new quilts to share with you. The best part is, all the patterns are available in PDF or printed booklet formats now. If this is a collection you are interested in, I always recommend reaching out to your favorite local or online shop--most are not only willing to reserve some for you, but they appreciate the input in deciding what to stock on the shelves. For more about the inspiration behind the Smoke & Rust collection, check out my previous post here.

smoke & rust12 
Now for the quilts! First up is Fracture. I'm always up for piecing a log cabin, so here's a new variation I came up with. The fabric lends itself for a masculine/modern look, so I definitely wanted to use shapes that complemented the fabric in this way. The quilting is by Marion Bott.
Fracture is pieced with fat quarters or fat eighths depending on what you have in your stash, and how much variety you want. The pattern is available in the shop in PDF or printed booklet formats.
Mountainside. This quilt has lived in my heart for a very long time. Having been around mountains nearly all my life, I am gaga over them. I've lived near Zion National Park the last 5.5 years--which is where the color inspiration for the Smoke & Rust fabric originated. One morning a few weeks ago, I finished binding the quilt and took it on one of my favorite hikes--Angel's Landing. It felt like reuniting a baby bird with its mother.
This is one of my quickest designs to piece for obvious reasons--only 1/3 of the quilt is actually made up of patchwork blocks. The hardest thing about this quilt is deciding whether to use just one background color or two.
I pieced two versions. The first (above) uses a grey "Crackle" print from the collection for most of the background but finishes with a charcoal stripe along the bottom. The second version (below) uses all charcoal "Crackle." Both versions were quilted by Natalia Bonner using her awe-inspiring custom quilt skills. The all-charcoal version has a Moda Snuggle backing (think soft minky). It made the quilting look a bit puffy, giving it a trapunto-look.
The pattern instructions are written so you can make either version. I had a really difficult choice narrowing down which ones to make! As always, it's available in PDF or printed booklet formats.
Moonwake. A word to describe when the moon's reflection seems to follow you as you walk along water. This quilt reminded me of that same magical bit of beauty. Make it with 16 of your favorite fat quarters. For this one, I stuck to just black + white + grey. I love the geometric quilting by Kaitlyn Howell on this one.
And you guessed it. The pattern is available as a PDF or printed booklet.
Concord. Mother Teresa reminds us, "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten we belong to each other." I have thought of that quote often this year as turmoil swirls all around. The overlapping rings in this design remind me that there is more overlap than we sometimes remember.
This one was quilted by Kaitlyn Howell at Knot and Thread Design as well. The quilt is made with a Honeybun (precut 1.5" strips) and is available as a PDF or printed booklet.
I hope you enjoyed this peek at the new quilts! The Smoke & Rust fabric definitely leans into a more masculine/modern quilting look, but I do know that any of these patterns would look fantastic in just about any fabric collection. 
Oh and one more thing--a quick word about solid/near-solid coordinates...
Keep in mind there is already a near-solid print within the collection called "Crackle" for each color. (It's what I used for all the backgrounds of the quilts shown.) It reads as solid overall but adds the illusion of texture. I recommend stocking up on Crackle for your backgrounds when purchasing this collection. They will sell out quickly in April.

That being said, here is a list of the best Moda Bella solid + BasicGrey Grunge coordinates I could find. I couldn't find matches for every color.

  • 30150 310 "Expresso" Grunge 

  • 30150 163 "Grey Couture" Grunge 

  • 30150 278 "Gris" Grunge 

  •  30150 91 "Vanilla" Grunge 

  •  9900 285 "Unbleached" Bella 

  •  9900 98 "White Bleached" Bella

 Hope that helps!

Smoke & Rust coordinates

16 October 2020

Sewcialites Block 4: Spirited

Hey there! It's my turn to share a block for the Fat Quarter Shop Sewcialites Quilt Along 2020. If you're new to the sew along, you can find all of the information for this free block-of-the-week program here. My block is no. 4 "Spirited."


The thing I love about the Spirited block is that there are so many different looks the block can take on depending on fabric placement. I kept this first block more minimalistic by keeping the prints confined within a plus shape. (The fabric, by the way, is from my new Smoke & Rust collection for Moda Fabrics. You can learn more about the fabric here as well as new quilt patterns here. The fabric will ship April 2021.)

Download Sewcialites block no. 4 "Spirited" here.

Here are 3 variations of the Spirited block in a 3" finished block size in my Folktale collection. I think a whole quilt of these would be just darling! NOTE: When piecing blocks this teeny, my recommendation is to press diagonal seams open. The Folktale fabric collection I used here is due to arrive in shops any day now. You can check with your favorite local/online shop including Fat Quarter Shop whose shop can be found here

 Block4 Spirited 

Here is a closer look at the Folktale collection.


Here are some of the quilt patterns I designed for Folktale. They are available as PDFs or printed booklets in my shop, and also at Fat Quarter Shop. There's Spring Fling, Sun Shower, SparklerStarstruck 2, and (not shown) Chatterbox and Social Butterfly.

springfling2  Sun Shower2 sparkler3  starstruck2j

For the rest of October 2020, you can get 25% off all PDF and printed booklets in my shop. No coupon code needed, the discount is automatically applied at checkout.

15 October 2020

Smoke & Rust

smoke & rust cover

There is something sacred about being in the mountains. Walk along the misty trail and fall in love with colors intensified by an overcast sky. In my desert home, much of the earth is framed with rust colored mountains and majestic stone cliffs. Some have been brushed with strokes of charcoal to match the richness of the lava fields. Autumn often arrives late, and if you're lucky, you may get a glimpse of a drying leaf with the lightest dusting of snow. The birds flying through the mist are silent... like me, they feel the reverence of being in such a mesmerizing place.

Smoke & Rust selvage

Nature has many kinds of beauty; the Smoke & Rust collection evokes the colors and textures of my beloved home, and is designed for masculine and modern tastes alike.

Smoke & Rust by Lella Boutique for Moda Fabrics, shipping April 2021. 

Zion Nat’l Park - Narrows trail December 2019
The Narrows trail in Zion National Park, December 2019.

I'm still working on the new quilts, but all of the new quilt patterns are in the shop now. To celebrate, I'm adding a discount of 25% on everything in the shop for the rest of October 2020. (Discount automatically applied at checkout.) 

23 September 2020

Block 37: Fixer Upper

I live in a fixer upper. I will never forget that first month and all the sweat it took to rip out carpet, linoelum, baseboards, old wallpaper, etc. Of course, all the work was worth it, and I ended up with a beautiful, blank canvas. Over the last couple years, I’ve been adding to it little by little and love the home it’s become.


I decided to create a little quilt block as homage to those early fixer upper days. I started with a simple square and kept building upon it to look like a charming little tile square. Here it is--just as satisfying as a real home project (but much less time and mess).

Click here to download the Block #37 "Fixer Upper" (for Moda Blockheads 3).


My sample block is the 6" finished size and uses a Bloomington bias stripe print + the aqua floral from Lollipop Garden fabric collection.

To check out my final layout for the blocks (and an updated archive of the blocks), check my original post here.

I hope you enjoy making this one! For my September deal, grab a copy of my Square Dance pattern (pictured below) for just $5 (PDF or printed booklet) or save $5 on my bestselling book: Jelly Filled - 18 Quilts from 2 1/2" Strips.


Stay tuned in October for a peek at new fabric, the release of 4 (!) new quilt patterns, and watch for Folktale to arrive in shops. To stay up-to-date with me, follow me on Instagram or Facebook @lellaboutique or subscribe to this blog. Stay safe, friends!

01 September 2020

Square Dance

 Lollipop Garden 

September 19th is National Sew a Jelly Roll Day. You know I can get behind a celebration of Jelly Rolls. Who can resist those scrumptious 2 1/2" strips rolled up in a concentric, cinnamon roll style? I've decided to make Square Dance the $5 pattern of the month for the occasion.


The Square Dance pattern is perfect for any skill level, looks great in any fabric collection, and is available in PDF or printed booklet format. Grab a Jelly Roll and get started today!

LB178 Square Dance COVER

Looking for more Jelly Roll quilt ideas? Check out my newest book: Jelly Filled - 18 Quilts from 2 1/2" Strips (Stash Books). It's just been restocked in the shop and has been marked $5 off in September. That's only $1.17 per pattern!

Jelly Filled - 18 Quilts From 2 1/2'' Strips

17 June 2020

Block 23 - Lucky Penny

Happy Wednesday! If you're looking for the newest block for Moda Blockheads 3, you've come to the right place. Block no. 23 is "Lucky Penny."
23Lucky Penny 
When I was a little girl, I believed I was lucky any time I found a penny on the ground. Now that I am grown, I don’t pick up many coins - but I get that same happy feeling every time I sit down to sew. This block is like a batch of scrappy little pennies, reminding us of the little things that make life good.
My block uses a mix of Lella Boutique fabrics including prints from my Bloomington, Lollipop Garden, Farmer's Daughter, Sugar Pie, and Garden Variety collections. The only tip I would have is to press the seams open in Step #4 to reduce bulk--it helps when sewing all those teeny snowball blocks together.
I've accumulated enough sampler blocks by now to start sewing them into Mama's Linoleum blocks. (Full instructions for my "Mama's Linoleum" layout here.) I'm currently trying to decide if I should make the background charcoal or white.
Mama's Linoleum Layout  
There are a few other new things around here since my last Moda Blockheads 3 post. The first is a new fabric collection called Folktale for Moda Fabrics arriving October 2020.
Folktale fabric by Lella Boutique for Moda Fabrics
And of course, new fabric = new quilt patterns! Read about the new Folktale quilts in this blog post .
springfling2 Sun Shower3
cHATTERBOX1 sparkler2
One of those new patterns, Starstruck 2, is June's $5 Pattern of the Month. I'm currently picking out red + white + blue scraps to make a patriotic version.
Thanks for stopping by! 

01 June 2020

Starstruck in June

There's a new $5 pattern-of-the-month in town and it's got me starry eyed.
With 4th of July coming up, it was obvious that this one should be the new $5 pattern for June. It's called Starstruck 2 and I want to drop everything I'm working on and start sewing one up in red, white, and blue. Deadlines, schmeadlines. ;)
LB191 Starstruck 2 cover
This one is from the newest batch of quilt patterns using my Folktale fabric collection with Moda Fabrics. The fabric won't ship until October--but who says you can only make one? ;) The pattern is in the shop as a PDF download or printed booklet
But that's not all. This is a sequel to my original bestselling Starstruck pattern--which will also be on sale for $5 this month. The difference between the two patterns is the finished block size... Starstruck = 9" x 9" finished block, and Starstruck 2 = 6" x 6" finished block. There is also a PDF pattern option for a mini wall hanging version

29 May 2020

Coated Prints 101: Sewing with Laminates

The Bloomington collection has hit shops... and with it, Moda added something a little extra--coated prints! In case you're wondering, coated prints = cotton prints coated with a laminate layer. (I'll use the terms "coated prints" and "laminates" interchangeably.) As you might guess, laminates come with their own set of rules, so today I'm sharing a few tips and tricks about working with laminates in general.
One of the perks of working with laminates is they are extra durable and easier to clean than traditional quilting cotton. This makes them ideal for bag making, which is why I came up with my first ever bag pattern, Kiss & Makeup, the hanging travel bag you see here.
Sewing with laminates comes with a different set of rules than working with regular cotton prints. Let's talk about some of those special tools you should invest in to sew with them. As it turns out, they make a HUGE difference in the quality of how your projects turn out. Most (but not all) of the tools I'm about to mention are pictured below.
coated prints
Polyester thread.  I didn't think it would make much of a difference what type of thread I used, but it did. I initially used a high quality Aurifil cotton thread I had on hand. I was surprised to find the stitching looked uneven and messy. I switched to the Mettler brand polyester and had a visibly nicer result. Because the Kiss & Makeup bag has a lot of top-stitching (an example below), it was important to me that the stitching look as nice as possible.
Teflon/Non-stick Sewing Foot. Laminates have a tendency to stick to your sewing machine. One source of resistance is the machine's standard metal feet; look for a non-stick Teflon foot to invest in. Mine is Bernina's "Zigzag foot #52." You will want to research what Teflon non-stick foot is available/compatible with your specific sewing machine. 
Tissue paper.  Another source of resistance is the bottom of the project--it will stick to the sewing machine bed and feed dogs. To remedy this, place a scrap of tissue paper underneath the project. This will help it glide through smoothly. Yes, I'm suggesting you sew the tissue paper to the bottom of the project. It sounds like a strange thing to do, but it's really not a big deal. Just tear the tissue paper away afterwards and discard.
Wonder Clips. Because laminates/vinyl retain holes from pinning, one great way to avoid this is to use binding clips to hold the layers in place. I used them almost exclusively for all my pinning needs in my bag project.
1/4" Wonder Tape.  There were a couple exceptions where I couldn't use Wonder Clips to 'pin' things in place for the project... One example came in positioning the zippered pockets in place on the bag lining as seen above. The Wonder Clips held everything in place at the sides, but I needed something to "glue" the bound areas of each pocket down. This is where Wonder Tape came in handy. Since Wonder Tape is a double-sided adhesive, I added a skinny strip underneath the bound edges in place so I could stitch them down. And Wonder Tape dissolves after being washed (in case that matters to you, I felt it was a moot point here since the skinny 1/4" width remains out-of-sight).
Microtex Needle.  This sewing machine needle is extra thin and sharp. It's a game changer for working with laminates. It penetrates the layers easily and was another factor in making the stitching look clean and clear... which I learned the hard way through testing, of course.
Hera Marker. Some laminate projects require markings to be made. If yours does, consider using a hera marker to make your markings. (It marks creases instead of ink.) Ordinarily, I love using a Frixion (heat removable) pen for markings, but ironing laminates is a no-no...
Which bring me to the last topic I want to discuss: PRESSING.
First things first, DON'T directly iron a laminate, it will melt. IF you need to remove wrinkles, use a low heat setting over the BACK (cotton side) of the laminate. All laminates are going to be slightly different in the level of heat they can handle. The Moda brand gave me no problems when it came to removing wrinkles, but every manufacturer is different. I was actually able to add a light shot of steam to help remove the wrinkles and spent probably 4-5 seconds over each wrinkled area at the most. (I didn't need longer than that.) It would be best to test a scrap of your laminate to see what level of heat it can handle. 
When it comes to pressing seams or creating folds, you can use weight or a seam roller. Wonder Clips can also be helpful, especially when it comes to bindings. The Kiss & Makeup bag involves binding the edges of zippers, vinyl pockets, and eventually the perimeter of the bag It would have been ideal to use an iron in creating the binding creases, but obviously wasn't an option. Instead, I used a combination of weight + Wonder Clips to create and hold the binding shut.
And that's it. I can't emphasize enough the importance of each of these tools. I made at least 6 tester bags to test all of these tools and can personally attest to the effectiveness of having the right tools for the best looking end-product.