Moss & Lotus Tomte Sew Along 2018 Official Rules

It’s official tomte lovers!!  Thyme Gnome asked for votes and you delivered!  The 2nd Annual Moss & Lotus Tomte Sew Along is officially under way and I CANNOT WAIT to see what everyone creates this year! 😍😍😍  Last years sew along produced well over 500 (!!!) tomte blocks made by some of the greatest sewists from around the world that were creative, beautiful, magical, and sooo unique and personal.  (Check out all the makes by visiting last years’ hashtag on Instagram: #MossandLotusTomteSAL).  They were inspiring to say the least, but the best part was the excitement and love expressed among everyone that participated and by those that supported their friends from the sidelines.  That’s why I’m so excited to get this years’ sew along started!  

Are you ready??!!!


•The 2018 Moss & Lotus Tomte Sew Along runs from Nov 13th – Dec 17th.  

•Any Moss & Lotus Tomte patterns can be used for the sew along (see photos at the end of this blog post for which ones and click here to purchase patterns). You do not have to use all of them, one will do (though my customers seem to not be able to stop at just one Tomte.. is that you?!.. 😂😍😍).

•The official hashtag for the sew along is #MossandLotusTomteSAL2018 (in case you forget it’s also in my Instagram profile). What’s great this year is that we can all click a button to follow the hashtag (yay!!) and not miss a single post! I suggest doing that so they all show up in your feed – even those that aren’t participating or aren’t sure when/if they can join in can follow along!

FREE Pattern Sign Up

•I’m doing another FREE pattern again this year (yay!!) for everyone that participates (I think everyone should get a gift!😊).  It is going to be much more simple than last years so you can use it as a filler to get those projects done!!  To receive it you’ll need to sign up on a special email list.  Once you’ve posted at least one block, click hereMoss & Lotus Tomte Sew Along 2018 Sign Up“, and fill in the form.  Be sure to check your emails and click on the Subscription Confirmation Email after submitting the form. Once you’ve confirmed your subscription, you’ll get an email letting you know you are officially on the free pattern list!!  (Signing up for the special email does NOT sign you up for the Moss & Lotus Newsletter – that has a different form and can be filled out by clicking here. (Please Note: I will be confirming that at least one block was posted for each person that signs up on the list, so please do not sign up until AFTER you’ve posted at least one block. Thank you!)

1) Each Moss & Lotus Tomte block you post is a chance to receive the gift* of the week (picked on Tuesday’s for the week before) or the grand present* at the end. (The more Tomte blocks you make and post on Instagram, the more chances you have of receiving a gift!) Each week runs from Sunday at 12am EST to Saturday at midnight EST.  (I won’t be doing handmade gifts this year because it posed a problem with customs fees during delivery for my international sewists.)

2) You must tag my account @MossandLotus in each of your posts, the designer of the day (if there is one) and the sponsor of the week (who will likely be me but possibly someone else) – check my daily Instagram posts for that information!!

3) You must use hashtags #MossandLotusTomteSAL2018 and #MossandLotusTomte so I can see your posts and pick someone for the weekly present and for the grand present at the end! 

4) Gift recipients will be chosen at random from those that participate. 

Note: You must post on a public Instagram account so I can see your posts! 

*Chances of receiving the weekly present and/or grand present depend on the total number of entries each week and for the entirety of the sew along.

Any clarifications, changes, or additional information will be added to this post and mentioned in Instagram posts if necessary.  Moss & Lotus reserves the right to change any of the sew along rules at any time and for any reason.  If you have any questions please direct message me on Instagram or leave a comment on any of my posts and I will respond as quickly as possible.  

Several people have asked if I have a bundle kit for ALL of the tomte blocks – I currently don’t.  However, all the boy tomten (Nes, Halvor, and Peder) come as a BUNDLE with the Tomte House and Tree Scene and a free bonus (see last photo of this blog post) – the beloved Tiny Tomte (he has his own hashtag #TinyTomte !!).  The girl tomten (Gunda and Pernille) are sold together.  

Are you EXCITED?!?!!  I am!!  Especially because I have some new pattern releases this season that I’ve been been working off and on for over a year.. and one of them fits the tomte blocks in all their perfect horizon scenery glory and.. goes under a tree.. 🙊😍😍😍

So… Get Sewing Tomte My Loves!! 🌲💕

~ Sue 


Fabric Where I Want It (FPP Tip)

When I first started paper piecing there were times where I frequently finished a section and realized I put one of the fabric pieces in the wrong spot. No matter how much I told myself when sitting down to start, that I knew which pieces were for what, I still managed to get a piece wrong (which is pretty frustrating if you’re limited on time!). 

I thought it would be helpful to share what I love to do to get my fabrics in the right place every time (including directional fabrics!) when doing foundation paper piecing. It’s pretty simple, and I know I’m not the first to think of it, but if you do it every time.. there’s a lot less mistakes (and frustration) plus it yields really happy results.  I made up the little pattern piece in the photo below (which is why it looks nothing like a Tomte or anything else 😂) as an example. 

How to get fabric where you want it when paper piecing:

•First.. lay out all your pattern piece sections, making sure to arrange them the way your finished block will look.  

•Using a photo of the finished block as your guide (or the Color Key included in all my patterns) and colored pencils or markers that coordinate with your fabric colors – mark a little line in each piece to match the fabric placement (i.e. turquoise marking on D2 for a turquoise fabric piece). 

•If you have two different fabrics that are the same color, you can also draw a symbol to distinguish the different fabrics (i.e. red heart marking on D1 for red fabric with hearts). 

•For directional fabrics, draw an arrow in the direction that’s most important to match your fabric placement (i.e. words and scenery get an arrow pointed up, triangles that point down get an arrow pointing down, etc.). Pieces that are plain white I’ll sometimes write a “w”‘on it so I don’t forget. 

That’s it!  Give it a try and I can almost guarantee your thread ripper will start missing you. ☺️

Are you new to foundational paper piecing or want practice with smaller pieces?  See my free pattern Little Pumpkins to try it out!  

Do you face any other challenges or problems with paper piecing that you want help with?  Let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to address it in a future blog post!  

Let’s Stay Stitched Together

There are so many of you who have expressed so much excitement for my patterns and who have enthusiastically supported my work ever since I released my first pattern, the Baby Onesie.  Thank you a million times…for purchasing my designs, for being a loyal repeat customer (you know who you are☺️), for writing incredibly kind reviews in my Etsy shop and for taking time out of your day to comment and like my Instagram posts – you are the best customers anyone could ask for and I appreciate each one of you!

Unfortunately, I have no control over whether or not you will see my posts on Instagram (it’s been challenging since they instituted the ever unpopular algorithm) or if my special announcements and online happenings will fail to reach you.

There are so many fun and amazing things that will be happening here at Moss & Lotus over the next month and starting in the new year.  I don’t want any one of you to miss out, so, I’ve created a way for us to stay in touch (take that algorithm! – hehe) by setting up a way to get emails from me.

I promise I’m not here to share your email addresses to the world (you have my word).  Nor am I here to spam you – (who has time for that anyway?!).  I just want to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the fun things I have planned as well as special offers.  Email subscribers will be notified of new pattern sneak peeks, plus, they will receive exclusive free patterns not available anywhere else 😍, as well as being notified of upcoming events.

Sew…let’s stay stitched together!

Click HERE to subscribe to emails about all the fun things happening in the world of Moss & Lotus.



Two Little Pumpkins (FREE FPP Pattern)

I made these two little quirky pumpkins for you as my way of saying thank you, in digital form, for all your support.  Fall is a great time to reflect on the abundance we have in our lives, despite the chaos that may surround us.  Pumpkins, apples, baking, and making always seem to remind me of that.  I’m so grateful for each and every one of you who have shown your support (without knowing much about me) through comments and likes, sharing my patterns with others and purchasing my patterns.  It enables me to continue to pursue a creative life, which is desperately important to me.  So thank you.  I hope you enjoy making and creating.. you all are a great source of inspiration.  (Scroll down past the photo, click on “MossandLotusLittlePumpkins” to download the PDF.)

Happy Fall,






💕So glad you made it here to join me. 💕


Sew Along Information and Rules

Where To Buy Tomte Patterns For Sew Along

Here are a few quick links to help you find what you need:

BLOG HOME / Recent Blog Post






My Shop
Moss & Lotus ETSY Shop

Moss & Lotus CRAFTSY Shop (if you prefer PayPal)

My Patterns





FREE Patterns

Two Little Pumpkins (FREE PATTERN)

Pincushion Tracker (FREE PATTERN)

Other Patterns You Might Love

The Mug Club 1 FPP by my sister Kid Giddy

The Original Ugly Christmas Sweater Block FPP by my sister Kid Giddy

Affiliate Links You Might Adore

The Quilter’s Planner 2019

Let’s Stay Connected






Sew Does My Thread

Ever look into a pool and feel like the deep dive in front of you is just too deep for your blood?  

Ever take a second look and realize you were standing at the shallow end of the pool?  Where no diving is even allowed?  (No need for pressure here folks.)

The former happens to me a lot.  The latter.  Well.  The latter kind of happens a lot.  (Just not the second look part.).  

After thinking for the umpteenth time today that I have so much to accomplish and not enough time…I had a little epiphany.  With that epiphany I decided to sit down on the edge of the pool (instead of thinking I had to dive into all those would-be accomplishments) and put my feet in the shallow water until I felt like I was comfortable enough with the temperature of the water (and the depth at the other end) that I’m thinking of getting myself into.  That epiphany was helped by a little habit I’ve taken 2 years to develop.  

More about that tomorrow though.

Right now…time is up and I need some sleep…and sew does my thread. ☺️

(Consider this post my way of saying…I’m starting small.  That I’m working on making fun things for my kitchen table for the rest of October using my Tomte Pattern Bundle and I hope you’ll join me.  Preface: I don’t have a ton of connections in the industry to start a sew-along with giveaways like my sister Kid Giddy does, but I’m hoping many of you amazing sewists will join me for some old school sewing and making and just being together.)

The Great Wall of China & The Pincushion Tracker


This is long. Get a glass of water. But enjoy it while you can. It will probably be the only thing I post for a year.

Can you imagine for a second if you asked someone how long the Great Wall of China is and their response was ‘I don’t know, pretty long though.’? Would you be impressed with that answer? Would you be able to appreciate all that it took to build that wall after being told ‘pretty long’? If you were to guess how long it is (without googling it) what would you say? I first guessed 100 miles. Knowing that it’s actually super crazy long though, I thought of a second guess by doubling my first. 200 miles. How’s that sound? Pretty long, huh?

Would you believe that the Great Wall of China, with all of its branches, is actually 13,171 miles long? (That’s 21,196 km for you snazzy metric people.)

Thirteen thousand one hundred seventy-one miles.

We don’t have to know how long the Great Wall of China is. It doesn’t get the dishes done and it doesn’t get us extra hours of sleep by knowing. But…. when we know just how long the Great Wall of China is, we are so much more beyond impressed, so much more appreciative, so much more in awe and wonder at the countless hours (decades) that it must have taken to build it. We go from ‘pretty long’ (end of conversation), to thinking of the man hours.  The skills.  The number of people it must have taken. How much time? How much skill? Why was it built? Who built it? More questions can lead to more answers.  And, your appreciation and awe grow exponentially. ✨

Why should knowing how long you spent on a quilt or embroidery project or {insert your creative outlet you spend hours on here} be any different?

It shouldn’t be. At least in my opinion it shouldn’t be.

We all have so many different reasons why we do the creative work we do – to give as gifts, earn a living, or just for the cathartic effect it can have.  Whatever the reason,  I was certainly never interested in keeping track of how long I spent on anything.  I just started (and hoped to finish!).  As a teenager I didn’t care to keep track.  But….my mom made me do it. (Thanks mom!)

My mom taught art for over 30 years and she always had us keep track of how long we spent on our projects and paintings. Why? I’m not sure if I remember that part of class, but now the ‘why’ to me is because it’s our history. Every hour we spend sewing (or pulling out stitches), every hour we spend planning (and revising, changing, and improvising), every hour we push through (and sometimes stress about) to seeing ourselves to the finish line of that project…it’s what makes up the history of that quilt (or embroidered wall hanging or zipper pouch, or sweater, etc).

The number of hours you spend make up the parts and pieces of what is so amazing about your finished work. It’s what amazes others and helps them to appreciate what you’ve created. This is not about impressing people. It’s about helping them (and ourselves) to stop and truly recognize that handmade is so much more than favorite fabric stashes and quilt patterns. It goes so far beyond having thread and floss in rainbow order. It prompts others to think and ask questions about your work. It helps them appreciate. It helps them to stop and wonder. ✨

I love knowing the fun facts behind the quilts and embroidered stitches I see. I’m sure others would too. I’ve asked a few Instafriends how long they took to make something and they didn’t know. That was the end of the story. 😭  I then asked why they didn’t keep track. Some said they hadn’t thought to. Others said they work on projects for a few minutes at a time. Others said it would be too hard to try and keep track of.

So I got to thinking..

What’s a super easy, fun/cute, and possibly functional way to keep track of how long one takes on a project? On multiple projects? Enter… the Pincushion Tracker!

It feels a little like playing on a game board. It functions like a time counter (in minutes/hours/days) and has you feeling like ‘wow’ about yourself when you’ve completed a project and get to record (and realize!) how long it took in a journal. It’s made really simply by paper piecing the top panel, adding the grid lines just as you would with quilting and then assembling the cut pieces together. Voilà!

It’s pretty simple and could work for all kinds of creative projects. It being a pincushion though, works really well for sewists and other fiber artists that need pins and such around their work station (since the back and sides can hold pins for you to use), but I’m sure it could be used for other things. The only thing you have to do is look at the time when you get started on a project and when you finish, then move your pin(s) accordingly. That’s it! When you’re finished with your project, record it in a notebook or journal. Shazam!! (This comes in super handy if you’re in the business of selling your work and want to know how many hours a project takes. Or parts of a project.  Especially for custom orders!).

How It Works
My first example is for a sewing project. Let’s say I’m working on a quilt. A purple star quilt (the star fabric I used is from the Literary collection by Heather Givans with Windham Fabrics). I cut a little swatch of the main fabric I’m using in the quilt and pin it to the front panel. Then I use two pins on top that match the color of the fabric swatch on the front (purple pins by Dritz in this case) (if you don’t have lots of colored pins to match your fabric – I have a solution for that too). Use one of the two pins in the section on the top left with 12 boxes – this is where you count your minutes in increments of 5.  Use the other pin in the larger box on the right – this is where you count the hours up to 24.  The fabric swatch on the front is where you count your days (if a project goes over 24 hours just add a pin to the swatch!) but it also reminds you what the pins up top are being used for.


My second example is for when you don’t have lots of different colored pins to match your fabric swatch on the front or if your project has multiple colors in it. Instead of designating a color, cut a little triangle of the same fabric swatch on the front of your Pincushion Tracker and create a little flag at the top of your pin. One and done!  (The fabric I used for the second example is Dreamer by Carrie Bloomston with Windham Fabrics.)  Here are the first two examples together:


My last example is great for hand quilting, embroidery projects, knitting and/or crocheting. I clipped a little piece of pink floss, to match my project, and tacked it to the front of the pincushion.  Then I added pink pins to track my time up top.  So easy!!


Here are all three types of examples together (with plenty of space for more projects):


I could see this being used for so many other things besides creative work. Kids keeping track of reading or practicing instruments, counting down the days until a special event, etc.

I’m offering this project for FREE because I think it’s that important to keep track of the creative work you do.  Plus…if we all get to be amazed at knowing how many miles the Great Wall of China is..then we should also get to be amazed at knowing how long you spent piecing those hexies together or embroidering all those French Knots or sewing a Queen Bee quilt. ✨


Happy sewing..or embroidering.. or whatever greatness it is that you do! ✨

~ Sue

PDF for Moss & Lotus Pincusion Tracker: