Welcome, Welcome to day 1 of the Block Heads 3.
My friendship group from several years ago was called the Blockheads, so when the idea of this type of project came up, we knew the name Block Heads was perfect for a group of like-minded people who are passionate about learning, making and sharing.
I am excited and nervous about being a part of Block Heads 3. I hope to keep up!
Each designer has supplied their block in an assortment of sizes.
Which size do I choose?
How do I know what blocks I am going to use?
How do I know how much fabric I am going to need for a year-long sew-along?
These and many other questions I am going to answer along the way but the most important thing is to have fun, be creative and enjoy the experience. But first, I have assembled a few of the “really would be great if you have” notions to make the process flow.
+ Oil up your machine, change the machine needle and thread using a neutral color of thread. I lean towards a light tan, light blue, silver or pink as my neutrals. The thread just disappears in both light and dark fabrics. Using high-quality threads does make a big difference in your project.
+ A small iron to keep handy by your sewing machine helps speed up the work no matter whether you press your seam allowance opened or closed. Even the larger blocks are made up of many small pieces so pressing is important.
+ A rotary cutter and small mat to square up sections as you go. Generally, when a 1 7/8″ square is called for, I round it up to 2″, then cut and sew into half-square triangles, press and square the blocks. This is also where the 1 1/2″ and 2″ bloc-loc rulers come in handy.
+ When more than a few half square triangles are needed for a block I use Primitive Gatherings triangle papers. The papers are fast and accurate. NO additional trimming is needed because they finish at the exact size needed. Give them a try!
+ Simple Folded Corners ruler by Antler Quilt Designs is also one of my must-have rulers.
+ Small portable design boards. Layout your fabrics as you cut them to audition your fabric choices or to keep the fabrics in order when it is time to sew. You can make these yourself by using any size of the cardboard, batting scraps, and fabric binding or fabric duck tape works nicely also. I often use the cardboard piece that comes with layer cakes. Fat Quarter Shop has a variety of sizes already made also.
+ Thread cutter by Sunflower Quilts is perfect to have to quickly cut apart all the chain piecing.
What fabrics am I going to use? When doing a mystery project like this, you want to make sure you have quite a bit of each fabric or a large variety of fabrics. I opted for a large variety. Picking fabrics is one of the hardest things to do. Trying to decide on the perfect 18- 24 fabric is a tough one, so I wanted to share my trick. I like to pull all the fabrics that I think may even be close to what I am looking for. Lay the fabrics out in color order and start eliminating. It is much easier to take fabrics out of the stack than to build only the perfect stack with no rejects. This frees you up to choose some fabrics that may add a pop of color, a little clash fact, or or a variety of scale. Also, keep in mind how many colors you want. Odd numbers work best. Shown above is the beginning of my first fabric pull. I added the medium blue as my 3rd color, so I would have the option of creating a medium. I also choose lots of different lights for my background, keeping in mind that I would need small scale prints.
Once I started sewing, I added many different fabrics and took away some that would not work. Don’t be afraid to change along the way. The quilt is a work in progress.
For the instructions to Corey’s Star Crossed block – Coriander Quilts.
Corey’s block was tons of fun to make. I choose to make the 8″ size.
Many of the blocks are available in a range of sizes from 4″ to 12″ so I am planning on making all 8″ but playing around with a few 4″ and throw in a 12″ from time to time.
One of my favorite things to collect is quilt block patterns, whether they are in books or online. Each week I will also share a few of the other trinkets that I collect. This week I am sharing a few cards of vintage buttons in greens and blues.
Be sure and visit each of the other blockheads each week for their blocks, tips, tricks, and additional info. Some of the designers already have given layout options, so that should help guide you in what size blocks you want to make. Moda will also be supplying a few possibilities of layouts for mixed sizes of blocks.
There are fourteen different designers:
- Corey Yoder of Coriander Quilts
- Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life
- Betsy Chutchian
- Jan Patek
- Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic
- Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings
- Lissa Alexander
- Laurie Simpson
- Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique
- Stacy Iest Hsu
- Robin Pickens
- Janet Clare
- Jen Kingwell
- Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Co.