Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Amish Braid - My First Bake Shop Project!!!

Amish Braid
I'm feelin' a little crazy!  My first Moda Bake Shop project is live!  Jump on over and check it out.  

In honor of the event, I wanted to write a post about the ins and outs of my first project.  I really appreciated Rachel's post last month about the behind the scenes process of being published in Stitch Magazine - maybe I will submit a project to a magazine next? - and wanted to pass on the favor to others.

Moda Bake Shop

I was completely clueless but knew I wanted the "fame and glory" of being a "Moda Chef."   (lol at self)  Anyway, I started thinking of ideas using solid precuts.  I decided to focus on solids because:
  1. I didn't know for sure if Moda provided the fabric and solids are cheaper  than prints
  2. I wasn't sure I could get my hands on newly released precuts and worried even if I did that the line of fabric would be discontinued before I finished the quilt.  :)  Solids never go out of print.
  3. No one uses solids in tutorials and I thought I might be able to get my foot in the door by spinning the project as a great way to increase awareness of Moda's precut solids.
The "design concept" I emailed.
I sketched out this idea back in October when I just started my blog.  I sat on it for six months until I got up the guts to email the Bake Shop about my idea.  I don't know where I dug up the email address, but I got back a kind email directing me to the Chef Application Page.   When I went back and looked at the Bake Shop site, "Submit a project idea...  apply here" was staring right at me on the side bar right above the pictures of Fresh Fabric Treats.  Duh.  

Anyway, I got started filling out the online paper work.  It is fairly straightforward.  After name, address etc. they ask you about your blog, a specific example of your work, why you want to be a chef and a description of your proposed project.  They would also like you to attach a picture or sketch of the project.

For an example of my work, I linked to my Diamond Quilt tutorial.  I figured they would like an example of my tutorial writing, not just my sewing.  Plus I think the Diamond Quilt is way too cute.

For the why do you want to be a chef question I wrote something appropriately awkward and hopefully not too gushy.   In plain english?  Because chefs are totally cool, no one reads my blog (at the time) and I would like to get some of my awesome ideas out there.  ;)

For the project description I played up the use of solids, wrote a few sentences about the basic construction of the quilt and listed the precut and fabric requirements.

Then I checked my email multiple times a day for a week until I got the "...we would like to feature your project on the Bake Shop!"   I was directed to email them the fabric requirements needed to complete the project and they would send the fabric to me.  Sweet!  I had thought they probably provided the fabric but now I knew for sure.   A few days later I was sent an "invite" link so that I could have access to the Moda Bake Shop site and create a post.  A week later I got my stack of fabric in the mail.

We were all excited to receive the fabric.
I could reach the Moda site though my google dashboard and create and edit my post all I want during the sewing process.  However, summer happened and my sewing process totally stalled.  About three months after I received my fabric, Jenny emailed and kindly inquired after the state of my project.  Eeek.  I promised to have it done by the end of August.

After I finished writing the post, I emailed Jenny and told her it was ready to post.  She/others? reviewed it and scheduled it for publication.

I was worried that I had ruined my chances at getting another project approved because this one took so long to finish, but I sent in a series of small project ideas and one quilt idea yesterday and they were all approved.  (Happy Dance!!)  Once you are accepted as a chef you can just email in project ideas - no more painful "why do you want to be a chef?" questions.

Moda chefs are allowed to post a project once a month and I have four months of projects set up.  The first three are non-quilty things I can make in an afternoon and the fourth is a quilt made out of this fabric that I plan to have done by January (knock on wood!).

I think one of the funnest parts of planning a project is picking out what fabric to use.  If you go to the Moda homepage and click on fabric collections it will bring you to a list of current and future fabric collections.  Then you can click to see swatches of the fabric in each collection.  Way too fun.

So, to sum up this rambling post, if you want to be a Moda Bake Shop Chef:

-Think of a project using precuts.  They are always looking for non-quilt ideas.
-Make sure it is a project you love and that you would make anyway.  The free fabric and "glory" are not worth the pain of working on a project that you don't enjoy.
-Search the Bake Shop site to make sure no one else has written a tutorial for your project yet.
-Pick out fabrics you would like to make it in - choose three back up lines just in case.
-Sketch out your idea.
-Fill out the online paper work and get ready to create!

Do you have any questions?  Are there any other Chefs out there who have had different experiences or advice they would like to share?


  1. Thanks for writing out the process. I have always wanted to do this. And it looks a little less intimidating now that you have done it and documented it. Maybe one day... :)

  2. Congrats Leila! And thanks so much for all the info on the Bake Shop. I always wondered how they chose chefs!

  3. We are so glad you are a part of the Bake Shop!! :)

  4. Congrats! Looks great! Can't wait to see your next quilt. The fabric looks awesome!

  5. Congrats! That's so awesome!!! You've inspired me to try and submit something too!

  6. Love the info you put into this post, and I love your quilt. That is fantastic... of course I am partial to purples, LOL!
    ~ Kimberlee at The Spunky Diva 

  7. Congratulations Leila!! It is a beautiful quilt! And all this info is so awesome!

  8. Congratulations on your first design. It looks like a great quilt and I love the directions on how to apply. Extra chefs with new ideas can never be a bad thing!

  9. Congratulations! Very informative post here, too. I will have to make an Amish braid quilt for our church quilt ministry. Thanks!

  10. Congrats to you--I'm really happy that you were able to reach one of your goals. Yay!!

    And I loved reading that post. It was great, and was really helpful. You probably have helped many others.


    Elizabeth E.

  11. Congratulations on this beautiful quilt. I love all things Amish and am adding this to my list of 'to do'. And thanks for your tutorials, etc., on quilting as I am a basic, newby quilting person - love to sew. Thanks.

  12. How fun! Congrats! Love the project!
    Pat from FL & MI

  13. Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your experience and insights and I really do like this quilt!

  14. Congratulations! And thank you so much for sharing the tips.

  15. Well done you. And thanks for explaining the process - first 'baker' that ever has. Really interesting read.

  16. Congrats on becoming a chef! Thanks for sharing the how to process with us.

  17. A very helpful post. Thank you for sharing the process with all of us. I always wondered what it looked like behind the scenes.