Table Top Turkey Trot

I’ve been so wrapped up in three additional days off school for the kids (yes, we are now on our THIRD snow day in a row; they are climbing the walls!) that I totally missed my dresden turkey table runner tutorial (isn’t that a mouthful) being posted over at Moda Bakeshop!


The  idea for this project came to me around the first of November. I drew up the plans, and it was approved pretty quickly. I had hoped to have it ready to post at Moda Bakeshop by Thanksgiving, but by the time I had the fabric in hand, that only gave me six days. My life, apparently, does not allow for a 6-day turn around time. It was ready before Christmas, but was just posted Monday.

Go check it out. It’s a festive take on a dresden block, and looks great on a fall table. That fabric is Floral Gatherings, and if you want to make some fall decor, I absolutely recommend picking some up. The colors are just perfect and remind me of an autumn walk through the changing leaves.

The tutorial includes a pdf download for the dresden template and the turkey body appliqué. You can download that pdf here as well.

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 9.01.22 AM

Let’s Get Acquainted New Blogger Blog Hop Stop

I know it’s not Festivus, but I’m going to begin with the Airing of Grievances anyway (anyone watch Seinfeld?).

Today is July 26th, the day we were supposed to close on our new house after being transient since school let out. This date had already been moved back from our original closing the 19th. Guess what? We’re still waiting. As of now, we’ve got another week to wait. I’m trying to roll with it, but I’m frustrated because my husband begins his new job on the 5th, which is also the day of my oldest child’s kindergarten orientation. I was supposed to have a glorious 8 days to paint and prep before we unloaded and began the unpacking. Then, when the date moved, we figured we could spare 5 before we had to unload our belongings. And now I have none. Zero. The afternoon we close, we will have to begin moving in so that we can at least have our moving containers unloaded before new job and new school begin. Le sigh. Silver lining: I will have a very small room all to myself as my sewing room. Yay!

I’m Em. I learned to sew forever ago, but found a passion for it about 4 years ago. You can read more about me here. Some of my favorite sewing projects are below, with most links leading to the project posts if you want see more.

Project mosaic

1. Patchwork diaper bag, 2. Baby pants with Heather Ross accents, 3. Pincushion caddy tutorial, 4. Double layer knit baby blanket, 5. quilt square pouch: sunset squared block, 6. Winter table runner: half square triangles, 7. Tina Givens Opal Owl mei tai, 8. Civil War Love Letter Quilt, 9. Hoopie swap, 10. Cathedral window pin cushion, 11. Ba{M}S mini swap, 12. Road Trip Quilt Along 2012

This blog began when I discovered the amazing online community of sewing and quilting blogs. I wanted a space to share what I’m working on, and maybe even inspire someone with some of my projects as I’ve been inspired by others. Most of my sewing is done in the hours after my girls are in bed, and I would love if you would join me, sewing by moonlight. I just posted the 4th tutorial for Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey.

Road Trip Quilt Along: New Jersey

There will be 8 more tutorials for quilt blocks representing states in the northeastern United States before I’m finished. I’d really love if you’d join in and share your blocks in the Road Trip Quilt Along Flickr group. Jump in now, or back up and try out Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware!

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial Road Trip Quilt Along tutorial: Delaware

Don’t need another quilt along to join (oh, come on, yes you do!)? Well stick around. When we’re in our house, I’m going to host another Sewing Room Clean Up Along (#sewingroomcleanup). I’ll set up my new space and you can get yours in order. My sewing space in our last house was so bad it was crushing my sewing mojo (sewjo). Nothing like a neat space to inspire you to get sewing!


Make sure you know when it’s time to clean up with me or get the new state quilt block tutorials by subscribing in your favorite reader, or, I’ll make it easy on you if you use Bloglovin:

Follow on Bloglovin

 I’d also love to catch up with you on social media. Instagram is my favorite, but I need to work on being more active. I love to lurk, though, so feel free to leave your IG name in the comments if you’re on there. I’m @moonlightsewing.

How about some non-sewing fun facts?

1. I’ve lived in 5 states and 2 countries, and I hope that this move is my last. My very last. (until I retire and move to Colorado or Montana or someplace equally lovely)
2. This fall, I plan to run my 11th and 12th half marathons. I’m not sure if I ever want to run a full marathon, though.
3. I was on a PhD track in Botany, but stopped with my Master’s when I realized I didn’t like the solitary part of experimental design and data analysis. I love the field work, though.
4. My hometown has 3500 residents, an awesome historical downtown and is the home of Ulysses S Grant. (bonus points if you know what it is!)
5. Our family has spent the past 5 years living on campus at an all boys boarding school (good thing we moved on before my 3 daughters became 3 teenage daughters!)
6. My second child was born in the back of the car in an IHOP parking lot.

It’s been great meeting so many new bloggers on this hop. Be sure to jump over to Plum and June and check out who you missed and be sure to visit the other hop stops today!

Vicki @ A Quilter’s Mission
RobinSue @ RobinSue Quilts
Elisa Lea @ Lovelea Designs
Elizabeth @ In The Boon Docks
Jenny @ A Note To Follow Sew
Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts
Sonia @ Fabric & Flowers
Emily @ Sew E.T.
Em @ Sewing by Moonlight  <<<< You are here!

Another way to baste: craft foam

Hello, hello! Welcome to the Monday Link Up at Plum and June. Please share your link below and remember:

1. Link up any recent sewing/quilting post.
2. In your post or on your blog, please include either a text link or a button letting people know about this link up.
3. Visit at least the two bloggers who link up before you and everyone who visits you from this post.

Monday link up

If you’re looking for some fun blocks to add to your sewing list, I’d love it you would join me in the Road Trip Quilt Along, going on right now! If you’d like to see the plan, you can find it here. You can see what’s already happening by checking out the tutorials for Virginia Reel and Maryland Beauty. I’d love it if you wanted to make a couple of these lovelies and share in the Road Trip Quilt Along Flickr group.

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia Reel tutorial  Road Trip Quilt Along: Maryland quilt block tutorial

Today, I wanted to show you the method I use for basting. There are many ways to get this done of course: spray basting, bent safety pins, needle and thread. But I prefer to baste with straight pins. In fact, I’ve always basted with straight pins. When I made my first quilt, that was all I had, but then I just never got around to buying the bent safety pins that are preferred by many.

Problem 1: the pins can fall out and then the quilt sandwich is not secure.
Problem 2: Maneuvering the quilt through the machine means you will get jabbed once or twice. Ouch!

I took a Leah Day class on Craftsy and was thrilled to learn that she prefers straight pins, too. But Leah has it all figured out. She secured the pointy pin tips with a product called a pinmoor. Brilliant! Solves both of the problem. But, now a new problem: pinmoors are expensive!! Almost $20 for a pack of 50.

However, I bought this 12×18 inch sheet of 5mm craft foam for $1.27.

baste a quilt with craft foam

With a  straight edge, a utility knife and a little bit of time, I had 192 anchors to use with my straight pins to baste a quilt. The craft foam is not as thick as the pinmoor, but I found it worked just fine. I wouldn’t go thinner than 5mm, but if you could find thicker craft foam, that would be great, too.

baste a quilt with craft foam

I cut the craft foam into 1.5 inch strips.

baste a quilt with craft foam

Then I sliced each strip into a 3/4 inch rectangle. If you want to be precise, you could mark the foam before cutting, but I just aligned my ruler with the edge and dove in.

baste a quilt with craft foam

Now, use straight pins to baste and cap each pin tip with a piece of craft foam. They are quick to put in, stay put, come out easily, and don’t make your fingers hurt with opening and closing all those safety pins.

baste a quilt with craft foam

Hope this helps with the next quilt you have to baste.

Now, link up below with what you’ve been up to this week! Don’t forget to visit a couple other links and maybe make a new sewing friend.



Oh, reality. She really has a way to surprise you, doesn’t she? Despite the fact that we have a newborn, and despite the fact that we are in the midst of a cross country move, I somehow thought that I would still be able to begin posting tutorials for the Road Trip Quilt Along. Apparently, I’m delusional. Turns out I can’t do it all, and I’m okay with that. But I do apologize that I told you I would.

Here is the current state of my sewing room: IMG_8176


The desk with my sewing machine on it is getting packed in a moving and storage container where it will remain until we find a house in our destination. The small dresser (and the actual machine!) are coming in our small UHaul trailer so that I might actually work on some sewing and quilting projects while we live with my in-laws for an undermined number of weeks.

That blank wall used to hold most of my fabric, which is now packed away in boxes and already loaded on the moving container (sniff, sniff). The photo below is from the Sewing Room Clean-Up Along. I think I’ll have to have another clean-up along when we have a new place as I figure out just how to best organize my new space (how I wonder what it will be like!).





I’ve got my black-white-gray fabrics ready to go so I can do a little hand sewing on our drive and increase my collection of monochromatic rose stars. I actually have seven completed, but they are only 8 inches across, so I’ve got a lot more to go!



Hexagons, half square triangles and housekeeping

During the previous quarter of the 4×5 Modern Quilt Bee on Flickr, I was a part of the hexagon group. I made my Multiples of 3 block (top center of the picture below) in the color schemes of my hive-mates, and received in return, 5 different hexagon blocks in my chosen colors of lime, tangerine and lemon yellow on a gray background. These will be fun to incorporate into the finished sampler quilt, which will one day become a fun, fresh, summer picnic blanket.


During the most recent quarter, I chose a classic half square triangle block and made five for my hive-mates and one for myself. This would really be great as a scrappy quilt, and I’m sure it’s been done. I’ll definitely keep it in mind when my scrap draws begin to get really unruly.


My favorite color combinations of this group were the scrappy rainbow (no surprise there),


and this one: green, gray and navy. I was surprised by how much I like these colors together because I usually tend toward brighter fabrics when it comes to quilting.


And the housekeeping part. As you are no doubt aware, Google is dropping Google Reader this summer. (sniff, sniff) I’ve been trying out Feedly and it has been working well, but for comparison sake, I thought I would give Bloglovin a go as well.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Best of 2012

It was just a year ago that I started this little blog.  Sometimes I feel like I haven’t really moved forward much since then, but then I look back at all I did accomplish, and I’m definitely satisfied.  As  reminder to myself, I thought I’d post my favorite projects from each month of this last year.

January 2012

I jumped on board with a pin cushion swap and decided to write a tutorial for a pin cushion caddy.  It was one of the first posts on Sewing by Moonlight, and it is still regularly visited.  Pin cushion caddy tutorial

February 2012

In February, I made an addition to Karen’s starter block in the Be Free Bees free form robin that was an idea had been holding in my head for some time.  It was a technique I had seen on a wall hanging in a quilt shop that involved 3-dimentional pieces of fabric sewn in to create the effect of water.  I was thrilled to finally have the perfect project to try it out.  Karen's Wisconsin block + Round 1 additions

March 2012

In looking through my March project posts, I’m finding several that I’m pleased with.  I posted my first quilt block tutorial, for a partially paper pieced (say that 5 times fast) block I called Sunset Squared.

Sunset squared quilt block tutorial

I tried New York Beauty blocks and made them small, 5-1/2 inches, to add to Nichol’s quilt, which I had that month for the Be Free Bees.

New York Beauty blocks: favorite corner of addition for Nichol

My daughter still loves the ruffle skirt I made, and she happens to be wearing it today!  (She looks so much older than she did in the photos from that post, just 9 months ago!)

Ruffle skirt

April 2012

With winter over, I finally finished my winter table runner.  Go figure.  Now matter, though, I’ve been using it this year, and I love it!  It’s great to have a seasonal decoration that I don’t have to put away after Christmas is over!

Half square triangle winter table runner with snowflake appliqué

May 2012

Hmm, seems May was another good month for projects I loved.  I was a guest poster at A Girl in Paradise with my Rainbow Double Staircase baby quilt.  In that post, I said I loved this quilt so much that it almost made me want to have another baby.  That “almost” has become a reality and Girl #3 is due at the end of March!

Rainbow double staircase baby quilt

A friend requested a mei tai from a Michael Miller giraffe garden print, and I added an appliqué of one of the giraffes to the sleeping hood.  So cute!

Giraffe appliqué mei tai with gray canvas straps

June 2012

June was actually a pretty productive month, especially considering I was gone for the entirety of the month.  I posted my first tutorial (Virginia) for the Road Trip Quilt Along (the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th tutorial for the QAL were also posted in June).

Road Trip Quilt Along: Virginia

The mei tai I made for my friend Emily is one of my favorites.  The reverse makes me just as happy as the “front” side.  I think it’s the turquoise straps.  They were her request, but they look awesome!


At my sister’s wedding, my mom and I presented her with a quilt we had been working on together for the better part of a year.  It was made of 121 6-inch blocks from The Civil War Love Letter Quilt book.

Civil War Love Letter Quilt

July 2012

For the second month in a row, my family was on the road.  We did a lot of camping and moving about, and thus, there was not a lot of sewing happening.  I did manage to continue posting the tutorials for the Road Trip Quilt Along, including South Dakota, which gave me some trouble in the construction, but I really loved it when finished.

South Dakota quilt block

August 2012

My daughter was going to be starting her first season of soccer, and she needed a little bag to carry her shoes and water bottle.  I wrote a tutorial for a little sports cinch sac that I made for her.  Her favorite color is green, so the green soccer monkey fabric was just perfect!


September 2012

Even though I had never attempted hand embroidery before, I joined an embroidery hoop swap through Bee a {Modern} Swapper and finished my first hoopie!  I love how it turned out, and my partner was happy too!

Split hexagon embroidery hoop

The “queen bee” for this month requested house blocks and I’m still giggling that I made a yurt quilt block!

yurt quilt block

October 2012

The Sewing by Moonlight Etsy shop opened in October!  The shop is languishing a bit at the moment, but one of my 2013 goals is to get it in shape and increase my inventory.


I also tried English paper piecing for the first time and made a large rose star wall hanging, with the colors and design inspired by a photo I took at Glacier National Park.

Glacier inspired rose star

November 2012

A mei tai is a project that requires a significant time investment, so a month in which I finished three mei tais means I managed to carve out some great sewing time that month!  I also finally completed the quilt top from the Road Trip Quilt Along (now if I could just finish the quilting!).

Road Trip Quilt Along quilt

Two new quilt block tutorials were posted in November: one was an update on the spider web quilt block and the other was a hexagon block I designed inspired by the triangles I tried in English paper piecing.

12.5 spider web quilt block tutorial Multiples of 3 - quilt block tutorial

December 2012

For the last couple weeks of the year, I sort of dropped off the face of the blogosphere.  We were out of town and there was just no sewing happening, not to mention, limited internet time.  I’m not complaining: we had a great trip to visit both mine and my husband’s families in the midwest.  Earlier in the month, though, I finally finished a mini quilt for a swap.  What a saga that was.  I ended up keeping it for myself, I had invested so much time and tears into it.


Since I kept that one, I had to make a new one to send off in the swap, and I’m just as pleased with my second attempt, and the design of a tree in the sunset.

Tree in the Sunset mini quilt

Now to see what 2013 will bring!  There is some amazing bloggy inspiration from the past year at the Fresh Sewing Day link up if you want more!

button_fresh sewing day

Day of Twelve, Part 2

Yesterday was 12.12.12, and I decided to play along with Katy of No Big Dill and whole lot of others on Instagram.  The game was to post a photo on the :12 of every hour.  I actually had fun documenting my day and checking out hashtag #dayoftwelve to see what everyone else was up to that day.

I left you right after lunch; here’s what the rest of my day looked like:

2:12pm.  Kaia is napping, Sierra is in Quiet Time (aka Mama’s break, aka highlight of my afternoon) so I had a few minutes to sew.

3:12pm.  Kaia just up from her nap and needs some Mama snuggles.

4:12pm.  Play date with Sophia.  Dance party!

5:12pm.  Sunset on the way home from the play date.

6:12pm.  Feed the cats.

7:12pm.  Bath time!

8:12pm.  Bedtime story.

9:12pm.  Jason has the boys over for cigars by the campfire.  Brrr!  It’s cold outside.  I stepped out for a bit to say hello.

10:12pm.  In bed, Mama’s bedtime story.  A couple late nights this week means this is the end of my day.

It was actually a pretty typical Wednesday for me.  This one had more play dates than usual, and the campfire, which doesn’t usually occur.  Also, usually 10:12, and probably 11:12 would be my sewing time, but I was tired!!

Day of Twelve

Today is December 12, 2012; 12.12.12.  This is the last time the day, month and year will be the same until January 1st, 2101.  Crazy.

Anyway.  Last night, I read the Day of Twelve post on No Big Dill.  The challenge to post a photo on Instagram on the 12th minute of every waking hour through the day.  You can follow me on Instagram @moonlightsewing.

12:12 am.  Stayed up way too late.  Bed time.

This morning I had an Instagram malfunction on my iPod touch (horror of horrors!), so sadly, no photos of early in the day.  Here’s what you missed, though.

7:12 am.  Toddler snuggles before getting out of bed.

8:12 am.  Finishing up breakfast.

9:12 am.  Meeting with the Facilities Manager at Sierra’s preschool.  Fun, fun.

10:12 am.  End of Toddler Story Time at the library.

11:12 am.  Quilting book from library, last bit of coffee from this morning, blocks with Kaia.

12:12 pm.  Preschool carpool, locked and loaded.  Heading home!

1:12 pm.  Check the mail.

I’ll come back later and share the rest of the day.  Meanwhile, you can play along with the hashtag #dayoftwelve on Instagram, and you can see what I’m doing by visiting my stream @moonlightsewing.

Two mei tais for twins

After a long hiatus from making mei tais, I found myself with four on my list.  I love making them because I know they will be used to snuggle a baby close to mom or dad, but they are definitely high on the “time and effort” scale.  These two went out in the mail to Canada this morning, so now I will move on to finishing up some other things on The List, and working on some things to stock my Etsy shop!

A friend asked me to make two mei tais for a friend that is having twins.  I love the fabrics that they chose; the fabrics of both carriers have been long time favorites of mine, especially the Michael Miller Birds of Norway.  So beautiful.

Green straps were requested for this one, and I used an absolutely delicious green brushed denim.  So soft!

The new parents wanted the reverse of the carrier to be brown.  I suggested this diamond print from the Michael Miller Heaven and Helsinki line.  Still “manly” enough for Daddy to be comfortable wearing it, but it adds another dimension to the reverse side.

The other mei tai is Timeless Treasures owls cream, another print I have loved.  This one had brown twill straps.

The reverse is Ann Kelle Bermuda stripe.  When you see these two prints together, they are perfect.  You wouldn’t know they were from the same fabric line!

I love these carriers for twins.  They have many of the same colors in the fabrics, so they coordinate nicely without being too “match-y.”  I hope the little babies enjoy being snuggled in them and the parents enjoy being hands free while baby is close!

What are you happy to have finished this week?  Go share at Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, hosted this week by M-R at Quilt Matters.

Today’s Big News

Good morning!  Today is October 3rd, which means two things.

1.  Exactly 2 weeks from today is my 33rd birthday.  I promised myself that I would open the Sewing by Moonlight Etsy shop as a birthday present for myself.  I don’t very many items to stock in the store right now, but I keep waiting for the “right time,” so I’m just going to make it happen!

I would love it if you would come over and Like the Sewing by Moonlight Facebook page and stay updated!  I think I’ll have to have a Grand Opening Giveaway, so stay tuned for that!

2.  Today is my guest post on KludyMom.  It’s not sewing related, but I talk about one of my biggest personal challenges as a stay at home mom: understanding that being “mom” is more than enough contribution to my family.  It’s one of the best gifts I can give my children, but I still struggle with the fact that I am educated and ambitious and “just” a mom.  You can click over to KludyMom to read about it, if you’re interested.