Thank you for following along on my blog post last week. The majority of the blocks I have designed for Blockheads are all lovey-dovey inspired. Because I was doing hearts I also decided to add some pinks to my blocks. I get bored easily and that is probably why I lean to doing scrap quilts. More to come on that when it is my turn again.
I love color and love fabrics and since I opened the door for more color, I added a touch of color to this week’s block, 9 Patch Block designed by Laurie Simpson.
We were working on our Blockheads blocks back in December, which seems so long ago. I watched the Gringe with my grandkids many times over the holidays, and we often talked about having a big heart. I named the block ZEST for great enthusiasm and energy and, of course, a big heart.
This block is so simple that I had to play around with all kinds of options.
My 4″ block is half and half.
As I have done in my other blockheads’ posts, I have featured a few of my treasures. This week I am showing two pins, modalissa and Moda certified. But one of my favorite treasures is this pin that was in my stocking many years ago. That year, after all the gifts were open, bellies were full, and kids were down for naps, my mom brought out a huge sack for my sister and me.
Each item was individually wrapped and had a handwritten explanation about the history of the treasure. My sister and I spent the rest of the afternoon going through the makeshift stocking while mom told us all about the goods. This reminds me of how we all tell the stories about the meaning behind our quilts and the messages they leave behind.
I couldn’t help but incorporate my family into this quilt, combining 4 of the 4″ hearts to represent my three grandsons and one granddaughter.
To represent my four boys and one girl, I did the same but made them as 8″ blocks and will add this to my quilt somewhere. Every quilt tells a story, and mine would not be complete without adding these.
I was in the process of photographing these two blocks, and it gave me an idea!
I made a heart in a heart version combining the 4″ block and the 8″ block.
This is probably not the most efficient way to make this, but sometimes you just have to roll with it. Here are my notes to make your own.
Using the math from the blockheads 8″ Zest heart block, layout as shown above.
I am obsessed about everything Farmhouse. ( thank you Joanna Gaines)
Love the fresh look.
Love the timeless style.
Love the classic simplicity.
I have hunted for vintage grain sacks/ toweling and paid big bucks for it. When Moda started making toweling many years ago it became a basic but people still asked what do I do with it? Moda’s toweling is available by the yard, hemmed on 2 sides and assorted designs
and fabric weights.
In steps Jenelle Kent, taking toweling to a whole new level as shown in her new book, Farmhouse Fresh.
Adding appliqué is just one way to bling your toweling.
There is nothing more classic than making pillows from the toweling. The variety of fabric weights make substantial pillows. Adding buttons, ties and even embroidered panels take the projects to the next level.
The toweling is generally 100% cotton so it is great to combine with your fabric quilting fabrics.
I love this blue stripe and the tech organizer.
I desperately need to make a sewing machine cover and this one is calling my name!
Are you intrigued? There are more projects but I wanted to share that due to the popularity of toweling, Jenelle has designed a few fabric towelings that are 60″ wide. Duvet covers, quilt backs, home dec and so much more, but more on that later.
Farmhouse Fresh has 11 different projects and includes the embroidery stitches for everything. Any of these would make perfect birthday or hostess gifts for that special person on your list.
I have a book compliments of Martingale Publishing and I am going to
add a 3 yd chunk of toweling to sweeten the deal.
Leave a comment and tell me which project is your favorite.
Be sure and follow all of my friends that are on the book tour for more info
Today is a day of Magic. If you have even seen any of Lisa Bongean’s work then you will understand. Lisa creates magic with everything she touches.
She makes it all look so easy.
But the best thing about the process is that Lisa is a fantastic teacher sharing her tips on accurate piecing no matter how big or small.
My block is 8″ and I am happy with how it turned out but Lisa’s is 4″. You can see her block and get the pattern here.
The use of triangle papers is what makes this project pleasant to make. I love triangle papers and use them every chance I get, but normally I use them becasue I am making tons of trianges. Lisa’s set of papers makes it easy to cut off a section of paper to make only the qty of half sqaure triangles you need. They come in all sizes including 1/2″ finished. Egads!
Shown with my Magic block are a few treasures from my tape measure collection. I have some sterling silver ones, some old and new advertising ones and some fun animal shaped ones. Just a few of them shown here since they needed to match my quilt block.
These are 2 of my favorite sizes and packages of triangle papers. They are designed to use with charm squares. I find myself using these sizes the most, one pack makes 1″ and the other is for making 1 1/2″.
This is a sampler pack including papers for 1/2″, 3/4″, 1″ and 1 1/2″ for use with charm squares.
I do tons of sewing late at night so I like to have the sampler packs on hand.
Don’t miss Lisa’s very handy cross reference chart for referencing what size papers you need according to what size half square triangles are needed in any pattern. Keep this chart for handy reference.
Visit each of the designers listed below for their take on the MAGIC block:
Have you ever used triangle papers before? I am giving away an assortment pack to 3 of my readers. Just let me know why you need these by leaving a comment. The winner will be picked at random, Sunday, Feb 23rd.
Today’s post is a guest post from the uber-talented Susan Ache. Susan is one of the contributing artists in my new book Sisterhood of Scraps. Susan shares with us all about hibernation and what she does in THE cold month in Florida. ( one little hiccup- that I am posting this in February but I think you will get the gist and enjoy Susan’s process.)
Susan’s quilt from Sisterhood of Scraps, Scrap Diving.
It’s not something I get to say often, but, I am a “guest blogger”. Thank you, Lissa, for inviting me to your space. Let’s get some introductions started. Happy New Year to everybody, I’m Susan Ache (pronounced like hockey without the H) and, I play just about every day on Instagram @yardgrl60. I live in Florida, sewing by day and stitching by night.
Now that you know all about me, let’s talk hibernation. I am not about to spend my fun blogging time talking about new year resolutions cleaning and organizing my sewing room with tips and hints. I am going to talk about how I turn my air down really low, throw food in the crockpot and hibernate in my sewing room for the month of January and sometimes February. Florida gets a few cold days in February while the rest of the country is bundled up and snowed in during January. Well, I like to be a part of that fun, so, let’s talk about what I like to spend my time doing.
Hibernating January is such a quiet month to plot and plan new quilt projects from my inspirations I have saved over the year. Let’s not even begin to think that I write it down or count the number of things I want to get done, I just like visuals to let me know that it’s all there for me when I want to start. You know those tabs you put in books to mark your favorites, or if you are like me, those patterns you put in a file, so you will never forget you want to make them. January is my time to sit and re-evaluate what I really want to get done and what I really have in my stash to accomplish that. I do love playing in my scraps, so most of the time, I am lucky enough not to have to cut into the “real” fabric, but, I do like to know that when there is something special I do want to make, I have the materials on hand. The best part about my process is that I don’t actually “kit” my projects. I get everything together, make little notes, and take a quick snapshot of it. I keep that little “kit” photo in an album in my camera phone and will always have exactly what I pulled that day right at my fingertips.
Here’s the thing, I love, and I can’t even begin to say how much I just love to sit down at the machine and make a quilt block. Hibernating January is my time to do this from all of my “kits” that I have pulled. There are three main reasons why I make a practice block. The first reason is that I like to see if I like the construction of the block and if there is possibly an easier way for me to construct it. The second reason, how many times have you started a quilt and realized halfway through that you don’t really even enjoy making the block. Well, by making just one or two blocks, I can pretty much tell if it is something I will enjoy making lots of. And, finally, my favorite reason of all, I have an extra block to throw in my “orphan” basket of quilt blocks, which always come in handy when I want to make a sampler quilt.
Having Hibernating January is also my time to play with all of the templates and rulers that I have randomly picked up at shops, shows, or online. Taking the time to see what those things can do certainly helps me have more fun during the year when I finally learn how to use them. Years ago, I found an entire little box in the back of my cutting table filled with all sizes of drunkards path templates. I spent Hibernating January figuring out how to make curved piecing more comfortable for me, and to this day, it is one of my very favorite features of a quilt or a quilt block, and I feel confident making them because I carved out some quiet non-stressful time to practice.
Love from Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic pictured with some of my pins that are a word and pic combo. No, I am not a train wreck or a drama queen but I am a Lucky Duck to be a part of the Moda Blockheads.
Last week was applique. This week is paper foundation piecing. Both are a challenge to think outside the box and do something a bit different.
I have become obsessed about this block and will be making it in all sizes, the 4″ block for a pincushion all the way up to the 12″ block for a pillow.
A few tips:
-Print on lightweight paper and tighten your stitch length making the paper easy to tear off. When tearing off the paper make sure you hold on to the seam allowance around the outside edge so the seam does not come apart.
– Lightly color in where you want the colors for the letters to be. It is very easy to get these transposed and end up having a letter E without a middle bar.
-Be sure and adjust your printing of the pattern pages as actual size. Quite often the default setting is fit to print and will make your blocks a tad smaller.
-Oversize all your fabrics. When paper piecing it is crucial to have a bigger piece and trim down instead of coming up short on an angle.
-If you have not paper foundation pieced, print extra pages of the size you need. I messed up on both of the letters V and E and needed to redo them.
-Have fun and experiment.
I was playing around with Brigitte’s newest fabric line, JUST RED to create a LOVE pillow. I was going for negative-positive color placement but was not happy with how it turned out so I will keep playing with color options. Remember when I said print multiple copies of the pages?
Thanks for being adventurous and learning new things!
I can’t wait to see what you create.
Visit each of the designers listed below for their take on the LOVE block:
I want to Welcome Barbara Brackman today as she does a guest post about her quilt in my new book, Sisterhood of Scraps.
“When Using Stripes and Plaids Buy Extra Fabric to Match.”
Someone ignored that good old HomeEc advice to make the Orange Zig-Zag. Lucky for us.
The quilt top came from a Topeka, Kansas thrift store in the 1970s. I asked church ladies in Garnett, Kansas to hand quilt it in the ‘80s. I’d guess the quilt dates to about 1920 due to two fabric style characteristics. The oranges are all cut from the same solid and it looks like a 20th-century dye, not chrome orange, a 19th-century dye. It’s not really lightfast. I hung it too long one winter in Seattle where there’s not much sun; yet the orange faded a bit.
The light fabrics are shirting stripes and plaids, which were quite popular for everybody’s clothing in the teens. Even the giant black and white stripes were probably meant for a snappy men’s shirt, worn with a celluloid collar.
Ad from 1910
I’ve enjoyed hanging it over the years to the envy of my friends who decided to make their own. You might want to use Lissa’s pattern beyond the advice I gave them:
“Get a bunch of orange prints & solids and white stripes & plaids. Make a 60-degree diamond template. Piece rows. When you get bored piece some half diamonds along two sides.”
That’s how I do things, but my friends bought a 60-degree ruler and counted.
We had an orange-fest at our quilt show a few years ago. The quilt on the left is by Kathe Dougherty, a faithful copy. Karla Menaugh’s on the right was done in a Kaffe Fassett workshop.
Kathe was really able to match the look of a century ago.
Orange Zig-Zag by Carol Gilham Jones (Not Orange)
Thank you, Barbara, for sharing your quilt in the Sisterhood of Scraps.
Here is my version that primarily uses the Lollies fabrics by Jen Kingwell. I want to make a quilt exactly like Barbara’s and probably still will.
Please share your version by using the hashtags #sisterhoodofscraps.
SO many great variations and color placements on everyone’s blocks. I have learned so much from watching the progress. Each week is a different kind of challenge to not only what fabrics am I going to use but how my sewing skills are going to be challenged. Today’s block is from Betsy Chutchian. I have known Betsy almost forever. I can’t really remember when we first met but we were both involved with local quilt shops and would run into each other at guild meetings and various quilt shows. I get to see her more now that we are both moda peeps.
I knew Betsy’s block was going to be a challenge for me but in a good way.
I’m not scared!
The half-square triangles are cut at 1 7/8″ so they finish 1″. I rounded up all my cutting to 2″. I was able to then trim or square up each of the units. This definitely took more time but well worth it. Each week I am concentrating on improving my piecing skills. Some weeks I am trying out different rulers but most weeks I will be using triangle papers.
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE.
Generally, I do not press my seams open. I must confess that I am a bit lazy when it comes to pressing. So to keep it real and make me accountable I decided to show the back of my block. Where the seams got bulky I did press open. There is still some bulk where the tip of the flying geese blocks was but that is okay with me. I will deal with that.
One thing I am going to work harder on is starching my fabrics. Lisa Bongean did a great post on the Blockheads FB group about starching. If you didn’t see it, here is the link.
Welcome to block 2 in the Blockheads 3 series.
( that sounds weird)
This week’s block is designed by Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life and she is one of the sweetest people I know. I will probably be saying that a lot on my Blockheads posts because I do think these gals are the best!
I am not sure what my layout is going to be so I am making some of the simpler blocks in a variety of sizes. If I don’t use the 4″ blocks they can always be used as quilt labels, pincushions or parts of zipper bags.
My tip for this week is to sew the blocks in quarters.
Many of the blocks can be done this way and it helps with making sure the shapes are faced in the correct direction. It is also easier to chain piece the sections and then press the sections nicely and then join the 4 quarters together.
The flannel board is one of my makeshift boards using the cardboard from a layer-cake package, a piece of batting and some cloth duct tape around the edges. The cloth duck tape is available at many craft stores, hobby, and hardware stores. It is not available in the greatest colors but when in a bind and want to make a bunch of these boards quickly it works.
I am still playing with my fabric combinations by making a variety of sizes of blocks.
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!
+ 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.
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.