I have fallen a bit behind on my Blockheads blocks. Between making masks and planning a virtual quilt market there are many balls to juggle. In the pre-pandemic world, I would have just gotten home from Quilt Market. I would have been showing you all the projects I was working on with sneak peeks of what the Moda designers have new for you this fall. Excuses, Excuses, right? How are you doing? The sales of sewing machines have increased during this time which is so exciting. More people of all ages sewing whether making masks, clothing, or crafts. More MAKERS!!
Today is BLOCK 19, Compass Point designed by the uber-talented Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic.
I had fun choosing my fabrics for some odd reason. Normally I would have made each point a different color but when I went to grab fabrics for the block the first ones on the stack were funky geometrics so I went with it.
I wanted to share this video of Brigitte in her home in Germany sharing her studio, projects, and new fabrics. Everything about it is so charming. Enjoy!
What really is the hardest decision in the quilt making process is how to quilt it. Finding a quilter that can work their magic takes some time. Several of the quilts in Sisterhood of Scraps were quilted by Maggi Honeyman, so I asked her to do a post about how she goes through the process of quilting scrappy quilts.
When Lissa asked me to write a post about quilting scrappy quilts, I knew it was a subject that is right up my alley. My quilt-making journey has been about scrappy quilts from the beginning. The more fabrics that are included in one quilt top, the better! So, when it comes to quilting them, I feel at home. Over the 19+ years that I have been quilting on a long-arm quilting machine for other individuals, there has been a big transformation in how we approach quilting scrappy quilts. When I started, doing an all-over repeated pattern on most quilts just wasn’t the preferred option. This has changed recently, particularly on scrappy quilts.
I am a very traditional piecer and my quilting style definitely tends towards traditional patterns, whether on scrappy or more fabric specific quilts. I always try and let the quilt suggest to me what it needs in the way of quilting when the piecer is unsure of how they want their quilt finished. The types of fabrics or the block design are a couple of ways a quilt can talk to you. Sometimes it takes getting the quilt loaded on the machine; and other times, the quilt speaks for itself. Feathers and crosshatching are always great go-to-patterns for custom quilting. For the more modern quilts, it has been a bigger stretch for me artistically. When deciding on ideas for quilting, I will use a piece of Press-n-Seal to carefully draw on top of the quilt, which helps me visualize how my idea will actually look on the quilt. There is also a multitude of long-arm machine quilters who have written fantastic books with design ideas, as well as internet resources, that have lots of ideas for custom quilting on all types of quilts. These books and the internet have changed the machine quilting world immensely.
Having said this about custom quilting, all-over/edge to edge designs have become much more acceptable, just as machine quilting is more acceptable than it was 20 years ago. When looking at scrappy quilts, I feel that the fabrics and the actual piecing pattern make the biggest or most important statement for a quilt. On these quilts with so much interest in the fabrics and design, the quilting simply needs to add texture and dimension. I will pick an all-over design for scrappy quilts as often as choosing to quilt it custom.
As with scrappy quilts, I have always loved pieced backs. My philosophy is to use what I have and that includes pieced backs. But what I really mean is if I don’t use what I have, then I can hardly justify buying more!! So, when customers bring pieced backs, I am quite ok with that. However, when there are lots of pieces used for the back, it is very easy for the back not to be “square”. Careful measuring and piecing is just as important for the back as it is for the front so that you have a nice flat back. While quilting the top, I can see when a bit of adjustment is needed and I can attend to it. When the back has some less than square properties, it is much more difficult to see and correct while quilting. Many of my quilts have pieced backs, as it adds another artistic element, and making quilts is very much an artistic outlet for most quilters. When I piece my backs, if I am not using some of my leftover blocks for part of the back, I use a ½” seam allowance with a slightly shorter stitch length and then press the seams open.
As far as pressing seams prior to quilting, when a piecer chooses to press the seams open, they should know that any stitch-in-the-ditch quilting is more difficult. Also, stitching in an open seam runs the risk of cutting the piecing threads with the needle while doing the quilting. If the seam is pressed to one side, it gives you the ditch to stitch in, which provides the stability and structure that stitch-in-the-ditch is intended to give. Having said that, open seam allowances allow for much flatter intersections to quilt through and over. Thicker seam allowances always benefit from very good steam/heavy pressing to ensure they are the flattest they can be.
I hope these thoughts have given you some insight into my quilting process for scrappy quilts. Everybody has their own process, but in the end, we are all makers in one big sisterhood of quilters. This is first, a way to relax, express ourselves, belong to a group, and have fun. There are no hard and fast rules and there is no perfection. Make it yours and know I truly love quilting with you!
Thanks so very much for quilting with me,
Thank you Maggi for always making my quilts SING! and sharing such great tips.You can find Maggi on Facebook.
and Instagram @sewmaggi
Join me back here tomorrow as I share what Maggi has been working on lately.
** Sisterhood of Scraps is available NOW from your favorite book retailer.
First of all, I hope everyone is doing well. In these crazy times, I am keeping up with what day through the Blockheads series.
Today is my friend, Sherri Mc Connell’s Dream block. While she has a different meaning to her block, I continue to think that each morning I will wake up and the past few months would have all been a dream. WOW, I am in a somber mood, back to the fun of Blockheads.
I am still playing around with my setting options and thought I would have some more to share but not quite just yet. I have worked out a pretty elaborate setting but I think it takes away from the blocks. I will just keep “auditioning” fabrics and settings.
Thank you for following along.
Stay Safe my friends!
Visit each of the designers listed below for their take on the Dream block.
Welcome to Blockhead’s Wednesday. If you have been following from the beginning you have visited each of the designer’s one time. Each quilter sharing a quilt block pattern, color inspiration and tips along the way and we get to do it all over again.
This week’s block and we are back at Corry Yoder of Coriander Quilts. To download the pattern, visit here.
When picking out my fabrics for this weeks block, I loved the combinations but once I got it all sewn together I was not thrilled with the choice for my center block, so I auditioned a few other fabrics to replace the centers. Should it be green, how about blue, maybe I should go with the navy pindot?
My little treasures this week are an assortment of old wooden spools. Nothing fancy, just classic treasures.
All of the blockhead designers have a little treat in store for you this week. Our friends at Martingale Publishing are sponsoring a giveaway of a Blockheads Ebook. I am not sure what social media platform each designer is doing their giveaway through, so check them all out, their blog, maybe Facebook or like me, maybe their Instagram account.
I collect block books and this is a good one. 48 different quilt blocks and several different quilt setting options.
Just a few of the blocks shown here.
Such wonderful inspiration for setting of the 6″ blocks.
Which of the block settings is your favorite?
TO enter , visit Instagram @modalissa.
Visit each of the designers listed below for an additional chance to win Blockheads.
hello and happy blockhead Wednesday. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during this crazy time. Today more than ever I am so thankful for my family and friends that I have met through quilting.
Today’s block is designed by Joanna of Fig Tree and Co. The block is named Summer Breeze and can be found on Joanna’s blog, here.
Each week I take a pic of my block with some trinkets or treasures. This week I grabbed some of the spools from my Aurifil thread collection including a few spools of Joanna’s floss gift box collection. The colors are so yummy and are a perfect addition to wool embroidery.
Stock #JF12FW10- ask for it at your favorite retailer.
I pieced each of the 4 units and then played with what layout I wanted. The navy was the darkest and had the most weight so I put them in the middle and went with the third option for my block. How are you coming on your blocks? I am a bit behind on some of projects including 2 of the blockheads blacks. Like many of you I have been making masks and will be working on making masks for a local charity. So glad I can put my skills to good use, more on that later.
Visit each of the designers listed below for their take on the Summer Breeze block:
Nancy is a very prolific designer. She is a Bernina ambassador, has done several books on paper piecing, is published in magazines, teaches online and on cruises.
This one is mine!
The subheading of the book is 13 remarkable quilts with Timeless Appeal, so I planned on making a classic orange peel design. To be quite honest I was not happy with how my points on the applique lined up, so I decided to add some sashing. I loved how it turned out. What could have been a big mess-up actually made me do some creative thinking and design a completely different quilt?
Baskets in Blue from the collection of Julie Hendrickson of JJ Stitches. Julie has a shop in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and is a quilt historian and collector. She has shared one of her antique baskets quilts in the Blue and White book.
Cornered by Jill Shaulis of Yellow Creek Quilt Designs. Jill’s shop is in Pearl City, Illinois. Jill certainly creates timeless projects in everything she touches.
Welcome to Janet Clare’s block in the Blockhead’s series.
Janet’s block is titled Hampshire Star and the pattern can be found on Janet’s blog.
Janet’s line, Geometry is what inspired my fabric selection for my blockhead’s blocks. I love the combination of greens and blues together. You will see her fabric used throughout the year and additional fabrics from my stash added.
There is quite a bit of piecing this week but just consider it therapy for those of us quarantined.
I wanted to share my tricks on making my block happen.
I constructed this block in quarters.
There are 4 identical quadrants to this block so this helped with the layout
or making sure I placed the triangles in the correct position, and not drive myself crazy.
I placed the pieces right on top of each other and chain pieced them, pressed each section with a wooden presser and continued to complete each of the 4 units. With so many small seams, I decided to press my seams open as I went.
Laying out the 4 units and rotating them to make sure they were going in
the correct position before sewing my final 2 seams.
Using triangle papers for this block was a lifesaver.
Block 11 was tough for me. I haven’t been able to focus. I could not decide what to do with my fabrics. Then I read Robin’s inspiration for her block and I jumped right in.
You can get the pattern at Robin’s blog, click here. Be sure and also follow Robin on Instagram, here.
By bringing the shapes together and uniting them with HST blocks in the center, the block can play as a flower bloom with petals or a clover. Using the color play of accentuating a side in reds/pinks brings out the heart in this bloom for LOVE! -Robin Pickens
During this crazy time of self-quarantine due to the COVID-19, there is no better thing than to share the love via our craft. I decided to go with all greens like a 4 leaf clover and adding an extra dose of love with a pink heart. I added some of my collector pins to this picture. While I have been a big collector in the past, I have Marie Condo-ed and minimalized my collections but still, have lots of little stuff that fits in big mason jars and does not have to be dusted. I do miss all my junk! What do you collect?
Once I made the 8″ block I decided I needed a 4 leaf clover pincushion so I made a small version.
To add a stem, I cut one of the squares in half diagonally and added a 1″ strip of fabric. Press towards the stem and square up the block.
Since this is Robin Picken’s block design it was a no- brainer to use her textured solids called Thatched.
I had fun quilting it to death with Aurifil green thread. Once this quartine is over we are going to have a heck of a St. Patricks day celebration along with any additional holidays we have missed.
Robin and I dressed alike while setting up a booth at the Road to California show.
Stay safe and keep sewing.
Visit each of the designers listed below for their take on the Blooming Love block:
If you need a quick project to work on until next week’s blockheads’ block, how about making some medical masks? These are needed at our senior centers, children’s hospitals and I even had a request today from a friend that is a PA at a cancer center. If you need a pattern, there are many online resources just search how to make a mask.
There are so many options out there and while the fabric masks are not going to replace the N95 versions, there are many places that are accepting masks. Stay safe!
The windmill block pattern is available on Stacy’s blog as a free download. Visit Stacy’s blog to learn all about the inspiration behind this block. My version of her block is shown here.
I couldn’t wait to talk about Stacy today. Stacy is the creator of CUT, SEW, CREATE. This is a program of prepackaged panels with big easy shapes and some basic sewing skills making it a perfect learn to sew program.
So many fun, easy options.
These just make me happy.
Right now we all need some sunshine in our lives.
Stacy’s newest fabric is Sunday Picnic. The line features a panel of all the parts and pieces are shown
above to make your own Sunday Picnic play pieces.
Stacy is also a prolific quilt designer. Shown here is one of her patterns, My-Garden. The quilt stock number is SIH 036 and the quilt measures 64×84. Follow Stacy on Instagram to see what all she is working on.
Each week I an a few more tchotchkes to my block picture. This week I grabbed some items from my sewing room that were blue or green. One is a random strand of blue star ribbon. I am patriotic at heart and pick up anything I see that has stars on it. The Olfa rotary cutter is a must-have, and a good, I mean great pair of scissors like the Karen Kay Buckley scissors.
Here is the info about the scissors right off of Karen’s website.
Karen Kay Buckley’s 4″ Perfect Scissors-green
I have been using nothing but serrated edge scissors to cut my fabric for the past 25 years. I love the way the serrated blade cuts into my fabric. This special blade pulls the fabric into the scissors rather than pushing it away like traditional scissors. Things you will like about these scissors…cushioned handle, easy for right or left-hander to use, blades sharp to the very tip, serrated blade keeps the fabric from fraying, lightweight and comfortable. The 4″ size is great for detail cutting on curves and points.
My favorite little treasure in this picture is what a friend of mine, Roseanne Kermes made.
Isn’t it the cutest thing ever?
Using an embroidery hoop and a few layers of pattern tissue paper to create your base, then add your message/word. Roseann used a Sizzix die-cut to cut out the words.
Here is a pic of the back of her hoop all nice and trimmed.
What word would you use on your hoop to describe your hobby?
Okay back to the post at hand. How are you coming on your blocks?
Visit each of the designers listed below for their take on the WINDMILLS block:
I have had so much fun mixing fabrics during this blockhead journey. While some of my blocks are only 2 or 3 colors, some of my blocks have lots of different fabrics. Having colorful blocks will help me balance all the blocks throughout the quilt. Have you added any fabrics to your blocks other than what you first started with?
When I was at Quiltcon in Austin a few weeks ago, I was working at the Moda Bakeshop booth. Around the corner comes a familiar face, she yells Lissa, I yell Sally. I had not seen Sally in at least 30 years and I will say we had not aged a bit. She had moved from New York to Austin and is a quilter! Sally’s mom was one of my girl scout leaders and I guess I have always loved earning my badges. Here are a few badges that have been added to my collection. I know I have certainly earned the credit card one. Once a girl scout, always a girl scout.
Vanessa has a couple of books that you should add to your bookshelf. Check out this youtube as Vanessa shares a peek inside her book, Charm School.
Vanessa’s newest book is Jelly-Filled, featuring 18 quilts using Moda’s 2 1/2″ Jelly Roll Strips. To learn more about Vanessa’s book ask at your favorite book retailer or visit Vanessa here.
Visit each of the designers listed below for their take on the Tahos block