Bake Shop Beginnings

So many quilts, so little time. And yet, there are days when I want to sew something, but I’m not sure what. That’s when it’s time for the Moda Bake Shop.

The Bake Shop has its origins in 2009, when Moda’s marketing director, Lissa Alexander (AKA Modalissa), and web guru Angela Yosten got it up and running. Its original purpose was to help quilters figure out how to use precuts, those enticing bundles of coordinated, ready-to-sew fabric that first made an appearance in fall of 2006, when Moda introduced Jelly Rolls at Quilt Market. Since then, the Bake Shop has posted hundreds of patterns, created by dozens of “chefs,” and the result is a vast archive of patterns for quilters of every skill level.

At the helm of the Bake Shop since 2012 is Lisa Calle, a former technical writer and the founder of the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild.

In addition to posting projects (The Bake Shop averages between 7,000 and 10,000 hits daily), Lisa reviews applications from new chefs, helps chefs with their requests for fabric for the projects, and keeps track of which projects are posting when. (She’s also designed a number of projects herself.) Lisa says that though the Bake Shop has a good roster of chefs, she’s always on the lookout for more.

“Because there’s nothing new in quilting, I like seeing things that don’t immediately look familiar to me,” she says. She also appreciates projects that make efficient use of precuts, so that quilters get good value for their money. And I like projects that don’t require a lot of cutting, so you can just sew.”

If you scroll through the list of “chefs” who have successfully fulfilled that criteria you’ll find a few names familiar to lovers of Moda fabric. Vanessa Christensen, Vanessa Goertzen, Sherri McConnell, April Rosenthal, and Corey Yoder all designed Bake Shop projects before they were Moda fabric designers.

Sherri McConnell’s contributions include the Easy As Pie Layer Cake Quilt and the Four-Square Layer Cake Quilt.

Sherri McConnell’s Easy as Pie Layer Cake Quilt from the Moda Bake Shop.

Sherri’s Hometown Summer Quilt was included in the Sweet Celebrations with Moda Bake Shop Chefs book.

“It was really exciting when my projects were chosen—I hadn’t published any of my own patterns yet and it gave me the confidence to do that, and to submit my designs to magazines.” Since then Sherri’s published two books of her own patterns and in May 2015 started designing fabric with her daughter Chelsi. Their latest line is Creekside, will be in stores this fall.

 

The thrill of getting to play with brand new Moda fabrics inspired Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique to send her first project to the Bake Shop.

“When I realized anyone could submit, I jumped at the chance,” she says. She’s had a number of projects since then, including tuffets and Figgy Pudding, one of her personal favorites. “It uses my first line of fabric Into the Woods, and it was the first chance I had to show how great red and greens looked together. It allowed me to show a different side to the collection and also gain wider exposure—everyone loves a free pattern!”

Her new line is Olive’s Flower Market.

 

April Rosenthal saw the Bake Shop as an opportunity to get her pattern company, Prairie Grass Patterns, in the sights of a larger audience. It also helped her hone her pattern-writing skills.

“It was a great way to test my instruction writing and see what style of instruction worked best for people,” she says. “Plus, free fabric and a project I got to keep was super fun!” Here’s a photo of Starburst, stitched from her latest collection, Sweet Marion. 

 

Getting to use Moda fabric was a big draw for Corey Yoder, as well.

In the year her first project was accepted, she designed five quilts. “Dreamy Moda fabric for free? I was hooked!” she says. Having projects accepted for the Bake Shop gave her the confidence to submit patterns to quilting magazines and led to her writing her own book, Playful Petals. And when she felt ready to submit fabric designs, Moda was the first place she sent them. “It was a no brainer! Through the years Moda has been topnotch and I can honestly say the Bake Shop was instrumental in getting me to where I am today.” Corey’s Lulu Lane line is out in stores—she says this Backroads pattern is her current favorite.

Corey Yoder’s Backroads quilt stitched in her Lulu Lane fabric.

And Vanessa Christensen? These days she’s best known for her ombré fabrics, but she’s got another claim to fame.

Vanessa’s Criss-Cross Applesauce quilt in her ombré fabrics.

Her Braided Rag Rug,  Easter Basket, and Baby Life Quilt make up half of the Bake Shop’s top six most popular posts ever. (The others are Off the Grid Nine-Patch Quilt, Woven Jelly Roll Rug, and Jelly Roll Floor Pillows.)

Lisa Calle says that the popularity of numerous non-quilting projects indicates that textile lovers of all sorts, not just quilters, enjoy precuts. How about you—have you used the Bake Shop to find projects for your precuts? Do you have a favorite? Have you ever thought of becoming a chef? Tell us your story!

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16 comments on “Bake Shop Beginnings

  1. Sharla Dial Anderson says:

    Thank you! I love your blog, always so fresh with interesting tidbits of information, ideas and inspiration!

  2. 2sasi says:

    I love Moda Bake Shop. I have made many quilts from your chefs. Especially like Layer Cake recipes.

  3. Susan says:

    Yes, I do enjoy Moda Bake Shop – it’s been wonderful to see all the great projects! All the incredible talented people that are part of Moda is astounding!! So much talent! Thanks for all your posts as well – they are always fun to read with good info to share with us!

  4. Tracey says:

    Moda Bake Shop is a great resource! I love seeing what others come up with. My favourite pattern is Charming Stars by Stefanie Roman and Countdown to Christmas is another. I’d love to have the imagination to come up with a fabulous pattern, but that sadly isn’t the case! I’ll keep enjoying others’ vision. Thanks to Moda for giving the Bake Shop to us.

  5. Diana W. says:

    I have made several of my the Moda bake shop offerings and always refer new quilters there for latte me they should try. It is my go to for quick projects like banan quilts. It also gives me the opportunity to see new fabric offerings used for inspiration. Love me some Moda precuts and sewing a cute project entices me to use some of the precuts I have collected.

  6. dondim says:

    So very interesting! Thank you again for your great inspirations you so nicely give to us!

  7. Leeanne says:

    S-E-W much inspiration here! S-E-W many fabulous designers and ideas…..thank you from New Zealand xxx

  8. terrieannie says:

    I started following Jeni Baker and Julie Herman after seeing their ‘recipes’ in the Moda Bake Shop, many years ago!

  9. Tammy says:

    I modified the Charming Stars Pattern by Stefanie Roman to make a baby quilt and plan to make the full size version for a birthday gift. I love searching for ideas for my precuts on Moda Bake Shop!

  10. Heather V says:

    I check the Bake Shop every day to see what’s new, have it bookmarked, have printed & made many of the quilts & other projects, and it’s always the first place I check when I need a project that I don’t want to design myself, especially a non-quilt project like a bag or something.

  11. Heather V says:

    P.S., the Bake Shop seems to be down, going on a couple weeks now….I keep getting a message “temporarily unavailable”. This happens from time to time, but usually resolves in a few days….not this time. Any update???

    • Carrie Nelson says:

      Hi Heather – There were some issues with the web platform so it was being updated. As sometimes happens, that can occasionally create problems elsewhere. But the Bake Shop is here to stay! 🙂

  12. Louise Farrar says:

    Hi
    I have purchased your layer cake mixed bag Studio M 33200LC to make your Zen Chic Bowls quilt. Could you please recommend a background colour fabric to use. I am a beginner quilter and not very experienced in choosing colour and that is why I bought the layer cake. In anticipation, many thanks.
    Louise farrar
    Sent from my iPad

    • Carrie Nelson says:

      Hi Louise –

      I’m sorry we missed this message! Mixed Bag by Studio M works well with White – either Bella 9900-98 or 9900-200, and it also works beautifully with Natural – Bella 9900-12. It just depends on whether you prefer white or cream – the colors will appear a bit brighter with either of the White shades and a little softer with the Natural. 🙂

  13. April Carey says:

    The bake shop is wonderful. Just wondering why it has be unavailable for the last couple of weeks?
    I miss being able to see great new ideas…

    • Carrie Nelson says:

      Hi April – First, the Bake Shop isn’t going away. There were some issues with the web platform so it was being updated. As sometimes happens, that can occasionally create problems elsewhere. 🙂

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