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.
Today is my mom’s birthday or as we all called her, Gammy, you know like the Grammy’s. We all won the biggest award by having her in our lives. She was so creative and taught us all to work with our hands. In honor of my mom’s birthday, January 6th is the best day to announce the debut of Sisterhood of Scraps.
Sisterhood of Scraps is a follow-up book to Oh Scrap, but this one is bigger and better because some of my friends have come along for the journey. Laurie Simpson, Susan Ache, Barbara Brackman, Sandy Klop, Kim Brackett and Sheryl Johnson all helped make this book happen. Each of these talented women said YES when I asked them if they wanted to take on the challenge.
They weren’t scared!!
I paired with each person to make a quilt incorporating a certain shape. I would do the same shape but neither of us knew anything else. No other rules or limitations and I hope these quilts inspire you to join the Sisterhood of Scraps.
First up is Laurie Simpson of Minick & SImpson. Laurie has a very classic and timeless style and this quilt did not disappoint. The challenge for Laurie was 4 patches and 9 patches. Remember that was the only rule. There are so many secondary patterns in this quilt that I can look at it over and over and see different patterns created by the lights and darks throughout. The stacked brick border sends your eye back into the quilt. The quilting pattern is what I call a baptist fan. The curved shape of the quilting compliments the linear piecing.
This is my version of 4 patches and 9 patches. I don’t know how most people go about making a scrap quilt but most of the time I just start sewing shapes. It is my therapy, mindless sewing at the end of the day while binge-watching my favorite show.
This quilt is bits and pieces from a couple of other quilts I have made. I call it Friendship Starter because it reminded me of the Amish Friendship bread recipe. Friendship bread you create the starter, keep adding to it and wait patiently until it is time to make bread all the while the starter is shared with others to cultivate their recipe.
SIDE NOTE: I did pass along all the little four patch starters.
Susan Ache of @yardgrl60 Has created just the perfect pop of color using a red background for her LeMoyne stars surrounded by Log Cabins. The quilt is brand new but has that wonderful soft vintage feel as if it had been around for decades. A red binding finished it off beautifully.
Log Cabin was our shape in common. I made a log cabin on point with different centers, half dark and half light to create a woven pattern. If you have followed me you know I love using a combination of different Moda fabric designers’ fabrics. It just makes me happy and I think of each of them as I touch each piece. I love the quilting on this quilt. A floral design was quilted on the light section and simple straight lines in the dark. This also helps create an optical illusion on how the blocks were even pieced. All I need now is an actual log cabin house to go with the quilt. This is a great scrap buster for sure!!
I will give you a minute or two to catch your breath from this quilt.
Ok, got it?
Do you need to scroll up to see the picture again?
This quilt is even more spectacular in person.
Sandy Klop of American Jane is the creator of this quilt. Forever Friends is Sandy’s quilt. I look at this quilt and think about how each fabric tells a story and what was Sandy thinking about as she worked on this. The shape that Sandy and I both went with was a 1 patch square.
When I made my quilt and knew that my sister on the project was Sandy I knew I had to use reds and that my quilt had to be bright and vibrant just like Sandy’s personality and friendship is to me.
One main difference is her squares are uber small and mine and big and funky.
My quilt is named Ketchup and Mustard and is perfect for a picnic quilt.
( thank you Tammy Vonderschmitt for the quilt name.)
It is hard to have just one favorite quilt from the book,
just like it would be hard to have a favorite child but this quilt Half Square Hashtags from Sheryl Johnson will be the first one I reproduce.
I have always been a fan of Sheryl and her shop Temecula Quilts but had not met her in person until we started working on this book. The challenge I gave Sheryl was make something with half-square triangles, yes that was all I said and she created this beauty.
Part friendship quilt and part signatures from people that have influenced my life is the inspiration for my sister quilt to Sheryl’s, INFLUENCERS. I was able to get signatures some of my teachers, designers, friends, family even the president of Quilts, inc and Moda fabrics. I got signatures from new friends at quilting events and hope to travel some with this quilt, so if I see you I will most likely pull out a pen and ask you for your signature. Thanks for your influence.
Kim Brackett hit it out of the part with her DIVERGENCE quilt. So much pattern,
color and movement throughout the quilt without a single set in-seam.
My kind of quilt looks hard but it is easy.
The quilt just makes me happy!
Remember we did not see each other’s quilts until far along in the process. Trapezoid shapes. Geez, what did I do to myself?
You can never have to many holiday quilt so I went with classic Christmas colors, but wanted to create a spinning effect by making the backgrounds between the stars half darks and half lights. Then I thought it would be a super cool bed quilt with
the star set on point so filled it with background fabrics to float.
Barbara Brackman, the queen of quilting has graciously included one of her antique quilts in this book. Barbara and I did sisterhood quilts a little different. She sent me pictures of several antique quilts and I knew the Orange one was it. To tell you what a small world it is, I had saved a picture of this quilt and it was on my “to make in sometime life” list of quilts and had no idea
it was Barbara’s quilt.
Barbara reproduced her own quilt as a mini and yes the pattern is also in the book.
This quilt was probably the hardest to decide upon. Since I had seen Barbara’s quilt and it was on my must-make list, how could I think of anything else but the wonderfully faded orange and the black and white stripes and tickings? Seriously how can you mess with perfection? So I started with the graphic black and whites but went with dots instead of stripes, added tickings and vintage-inspired lights. Okay, half the fabric was decided upon. The other half of the quilt is Jen Kingwell’s Lollies fabrics. These fabrics are 8 fabrics in one so it was a breeze to get a scrappy look with a limited amount of fabrics. While not messing with the greatness of Barbara’s quilt, I think my Pot of Gold quilt gives lots of options when looking at color and fabric differently. I will still be making the Orange version. ( thanks to Sarah Huecthmann for piecing the top for me)
I am going to have some guest posts from some of the contributors over the next 2 weeks, and there will be prizes!! Books are in stores now. #sisterhoodofscraps
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GAMMY
I get my laugh, my humor,
my snark, my patience
and so much more from my mom.
I know she would love all the quilts and brag to everyone she met.
Happy Birthday Mom and thanks for nurturing and encouraging all things creative in me.
One of the greatest things about my job is that I get the pleasure of meeting all kinds of talented people. I work with designers, writers, creators, publishers, and shop owners from all over the world. Impressive, right?
Katja invited me to take part in her Instagram book tour and Thursday, Nov. 14th is my day. I am writing about it here but you have got to visit @modalissa to be able to enter to win a copy of the book. You can see my block on my IG feed also.
Visit @Katja_marek each day to find out a little more about the book and the blocks and then follow each of the following people on their scheduled day for more chances to win!!
Today starts the Moda All Star’s Mix it up blog hop. The listing of great quilts from talented designers will sure to inspire you. Each designer was given their choice of Cake Mix papers or Cupcake papers to design with. They could use any combination of papers and fabrics.
There are many chances to win and lots of places to hop to, including blogs, facebook pages, and even Instagram.
Follow the links below for each day.
I had the opportunity to make a quilt block for the month-long series, Stitch Pink. My mom was a breast cancer survivor, so this cause is very near and dear to my heart. Anything that we can do to raise awareness. I am a big believer in positive thinking, and I am so addicted to any quilt block that is a plus sign. I couldn’t think of anything better when it came to making my block than to take my inspiration from my quilt in American Patchwork and Quilting’s June Issue.
All of our Stitch Pink blocks are 12″ so I improvised and made my plus signs a little different and smaller.
I used a variety of Bella Solids and an essential dot, but the options are endless!
Living in Texas, we don’t experience four seasons. We have winter and summer with a glimmer of spring and fall squeezed in. So when fall is in the air or even just marked on the calendar as the first official day, it is time to act. With Orange being my favorite color, it is time to pull out all my orange quilts.
I shared this quilt top in progress on a previous post but sent it to Maggi Honeyman to let her work her magic, so I had to show it off again. She quilted the quilt with an allover ORANGE PEEL quilt design. It was a perfect complement to the quilt.
The magic of layering the quilt top, batting, and backing and stitching the layers together is what makes quilts so unique.
Then I sent the quilt home with my daughter to get some pictures of the quilt out on her farm. (Thanks, Jillian!)
I will be sharing some more of my ORANGE- Fall quilts over the next few weeks. It helps me pretend that it isn’t in the high 90’s here in Texas.
Just in case, the quilt above is a pattern from Fig Tree and Co. named Pumpkins and Cream, stock # Ft 1465.
I live in Farmers Branch, a small town that
sits immediately north of Dallas, Texas.
I have lived here since I was eight years old. Three of my five kids live here, and all four of my grandkids live here.
My oldest grandson just started Kindergarten at the same elementary school I attended.
Why I mention this, is our family roots run deep and while I live in a suburb of Dallas, Texas surrounded by international business,
bustling highways, I love anything country/farmhouse related.
When I found out Martingale was publishing a book from Julie Thomas, I knew I had to own it.
I have followed Julie on instagram for quite a while and love everything she does.
Now I get to drool over the pages in print as she shares how they
“created a country life just past the city limits.”
Sounds completely heavenly!
Not only is the book full of gorgeous pictures, but it is also full of how-tos,
such as creating an outdoor eating area.
Many of these ideas are doable regardless of your space.
Gardening? My brown thumb doesn’t work, but I love reading about it,
dreaming about it and eating out of other people’s gardens.
Chickens Like Pumpkins Too.
This saying made me giggle.
My daughter lives in the country and raises chickens, so I do enjoy fresh, colorful eggs.
I will certainly send my pumpkins to the farm as treats for her chickens.
And if this is not the cutest thing ever,
an Olde English “Babydoll” sheep.
Not sure if this is Teddy, Winston or George but I
could stare at him for days.
A great book to add to your Christmas wish list! Available at your favorite book retailer. Stock #B1500
(all above photos used courtesy of Martingale publishing)
The book will be in stores October 1st, but as a special treat, I have an advance copy that I am going
to share with one of my country girl readers.
Leave a comment and let me know if you had an animal growing up.
I had many animals, but one of my favorites was my duck named Frito.
I will pick a winner at random on Wednesday the 18th.
I had already made one of these quilts but there is nothing like a quilt-along to encourage you to jump in on another project.
Several people in my family have hinted that they want their own flag quilt and I have a fairly large family!
My daughter (only girl with 4 brothers) got wind that I was making another one
of Camille’s quilts and she decided
she wanted to make one as a gift.
I couldnt believe this and I didnt dare want to pass up the opportunity of JIllian making a quilt.
She hasn’t made a quilt since she was in fourth grade.
She did win a prize at the Dallas Quilt Show for her sunflower nine patch quilt.
She seems to think it was a participation ribbon and all the kids got one.
I dont remember it like that at all!!
Jillian lives about an hour away from me but comes to town often, so we took this project on.
She had a deadline!!
She was on a mission!!
Great photo props in the country!
A little photo op in the country with a lady bug landing on one of the quilts…
JIllian showing off the quilt she made that will be gifted this week.
I always joke that it is just as fast to make 2 quilts as it is to make 1,
so while she was sewing away I was cutting and cutting and cutting.
She thought she would never finish which was quite humorous.
What she didnt know was that I was sewing another set of flags after she went home.
I found the perfect shade of green (jillian’s favorite color)
and a yummy green fireside/snuggles fabric for the back.
Sent both quilt tops off to the quilter (Red Velvet Quilts) in time to finish before the fourth of July.
I have made several flag quilts in my lifetime but I have never made 3 from the same pattern, really 2 and helped with the third.
But I am hooked on this quilt and will probably make many more. Remember that big family I mentioned?