We are three weeks into September and fall has officially begun. I feel like this year has no regular markings of time and this month has been speeding by!!
This was such an interesting block to play with. That first image reminds me of the lights around a big celebrity makeup mirror. And the next one emphasizes the center just by nature of the different color. Number three uses negative space to make the center feel like cut ends of a bow in the center. The center shape really gets called to attention in that one.
In the middle row, the turquoise color starts to become more mixed into the outer border and the dark olive tones make diagonal shapes and transparencies. In the bottom row, the outer corners becoming the background color gives the shape a more rounded feel and more of grouped corner units.
I'm not sure what I am sewing this week although I am rather drawn to #7.
This is a busy week. I just got my calendar tea towel uploaded for the spoonflower challenge that opens up for voting next week. And this week Friday the sewalong "Sewcialites" starts! And I just might be imagining some Halloween project in my mind...I'm thinking about my "Cardinal's Christmas Wreath" pattern but done in more fall colors with a black crow. Can't wait to get that mocked up.
Happy sewing!! Happy fall!
Who doesn't love adorable house quilt blocks? I love them! And the simplicity of these lovely homes from Stacy makes them a versatile and fun block to do. To get Stacy's block pattern, visit her blog here:
Color studies for this week are pretty straightforward since I think the houses are so cute as houses and I just did some different play with keeping my neighborhood consistent or varied in colors. First off, the houses look modern and minimalist when just done as the shapes in all a single color. Start adding in different colors for doors and roofs and the houses become more dimensional and have more character. I tried Fall colors or a mix of fun pink, purple, orange and brown colors with variety in my sky blues and separate roof browns. What if the houses are all from a snowy village with night blue skies? Or a Christmas street with red and green houses with snow topped roofs and one with the snow falling softly. However you decide to do your houses, I imagine they will reflect some of YOUR neighborhood.
Here is a little fun extra play with the blocks. These are houses rotating around by the roofs or bases. I think of it as traveling around the block. All of a sudden we see arrows and more interesting shapes from the flying geese and those triangles.
My blocks this week use the brown colorways. Since I don't have many browns in my collections I've used ombre confetti by V & Co for my print blocks with an Abby Rose orange door.
Have fun building your neighborhood this week. And guess what...next week is MY BLOCK again! I'm so excited to share it with you. Be sure to check back next Wednesday!
Visit other Blockheads designers:
6.24 – Stacy Iest Hsu<–We are Here
7.1 – Robin Pickens
7.8 – Janet Clare
7.15 – Jen Kingwell
7.22 – Joanna Figueroa
7.29 – Corey Yoder
8.5 – Sherri McConnell
8.12 – Betsy Chutchian
8.19 – Jan Patek
8.26 – Brigitte Heitland
9.2 – Lisa Bongean
9.9 – Lissa Alexander
9.16 – Laurie Simpson
9.23– Vanessa Goertzen
Happy Moda Blockheads day! This weeks cheery block is at Vanessa Goertzen's blog:
With a name like Lucky Penny, how could I not think of coppery orange colors? Maybe mixed with grays from other change with it? Silver and copper...gray and orange...time for color play!
This block is just FUN like gumballs in bright colors! The little stitch and flip corners make friendly curved pieces that can play with random color in spotty placement or lining up the balls in rows or playing with the balls in formation on an angle. I started with all the same color stitch and flip corners and started to introduce other colors to give those corners their own sparkly personality.
In the second row I looked at the center stitch and flip unit being light/white while the other corners were darker colors. Combined with the colors of the snowball blocks in the center 4 pieces it really calls attention to that center spot. It is also interesting to carry those light corners out as little bows out to the corners. I kept the middle and right second row images completely symmetrical and tried the outer ring of pieces in light or dark shades. I
n the bottom row the image on the left shows using all the same repeating stitch and flip color pairs with mostly white snowball blocks. I've emphasized one block in there with a soft color surrounding it. The other two in the last row could be done in all white or in low volume fabrics with the color coming mostly from the stitch and flip corners. I love how the last one really becomes a composition about the little diamonds and you hardly see the snowballs.
For my own blocks, I liked the colors arranged in a random way and felt that had a playful energy. I used the orange fabrics from Abby Rose to make my scrappy block, using Burgundy from Thatched to make the dark corners that really make the orange prints pop.
But I was also interested in making the low volume version of the block and decided to make a 4" block with my playful colors in the stitch and flip corners.
I'm not exactly the most accurate and patient when it comes to making a 4" block with lots of little pieces. I think my block should be renamed "Wonky Penny"! The seam ripper is there because I did rip out my rows and resewed them...believe it or not, this is the improved one! I decided I was just fine with the imperfections on this one and I kind of like the personality it has. Those small blocks sure are cute!
If you want to refer back to other color studies for Moda Blockheads I've made a page that shows an overview of them. The "COLOR STUDIES" is up in the navigation bar at the top. On the page you can click on an image to be taken to that blog post I'll update it and add the new color studies as I do them.
Hope you have lots of fun with your Lucky Penny block! Be sure to check out the other Moda designers!
6.17– Vanessa Goertzen
6.24 – Stacy Iest Hsu
7.1 – Robin Pickens
7.8 – Janet Clare
7.15 – Jen Kingwell
7.22 – Joanna Figueroa
7.29 – Corey Yoder
8.5 – Sherri McConnell
8.12 – Betsy Chutchian
8.19 – Jan Patek
8.26 – Brigitte Heitland
9.2 – Lisa Bongean
9.9 – Lissa Alexander
9.16 – Laurie Simpson
I love envisioning past patterns in new fabric lines and since Abby Rose is in shops now, let's play with those cabbage roses!
This light blue in Abby Rose is Thatched Seafoam and I just love the softness and warmer tone of that pretty blue! I wanted to see that as the larger side borders with a cream to highlight the fringe thin sashings. A good choice for the cream is Thatched cream 26 or Bella Solids Porcelain.
Here is the cream as the main background with the Abby Rose/Thatched Greenery 124 as the sashings. We have blenders in the Thatched texture with new collections and they don't all automatically become new basics in Thatched. But if a color is different enough and popular, it's a good chance that it will. Greenery is not as yellowy as charteuse, although it is close. Its pretty and soft, like the other Abby Rose colors.
If you were making a king sized quilt, I would assume doubling the twin size. This mockup shows the Greenery as the large border block with the seafoam as the rectangles in the borders. I like the idea of mixing two colors for the borders! You could even go completely scrappy with the borders and have it be an extension of the prints in the body of the quilt.
This last image uses the darker, Night 89 Thatched from Abby Rose. It is the same as 89 Marine. I have been so fascinated by Marine, Navy and Burgundy Thatched lately as deep, rich tones. They are so full of depth and personality! Notice on this image that the thin sashings are done in Seafoam Thatched for the two outer pieces, and cream for the inside piece in every group of three. Or you could go from light to dark in three steps to get a more gradated ramp. Lots of possibilities. I just love the drama of the darker border color!
I think Fringe is also a good pattern to play with those large blocks as crazy quilt piecing, string piecing, embroidery panels...lots of options! I hope "seeing" the possibilities with Abby Rose is helpful here!
Happy sewing everyone!
This week I made my first PURPLE block for my purple row in my Moda Blockheads3 quilt! I love that the name of this block by Sherri McConnell is "Dream" since I think purple can be a dreamy kind of color.
In the purple colors I used here, the darker Thatched purple and more plum-ish red purple color are both basics. The lighter purple was done specifically with my Sweet Pea & Lily line and I like this lighter background with the darker lines a lot. I'm hoping we can add a lighter purple to the basics like this!
For some reason I was having a hard time getting my points to match up today when I was sewing. Some days are just like that. When that happens, I rip it out, and I re-sew starting right at the middle point where the points are meeting, going out to the side, then flip the block and sew the other half from that middle point (instead of from one side to the other). That usually will allow me to match those points meeting in the center better.
For my Thatched with prints version, I used all purple fabrics from Sweet Pea & Lily and I was reminded how fun it is to do some playing in purples. This block is also fun because I could create some other shapes within the blocks by changing the light and dark placements in the half square triangles. Want to see some color play??
The first one is my initial color mockup and it is the one I decided to go with since it works well with the overall ratio of light to dark within my bigger quilt plan. The next one over is trying the colors all getting lighter as the triangles move from left to right. Then flipping to see how that looks on a dark background. In the second row, the large half square triangles make new shapes if they are the same color as the smaller HSTs. I keep seeing arrows in the one on the left if I squint my eyes. And the two next to it make me think of bowties. The angled movement is strong in these. The bottom row is more dimensional with the additional shades. Are they large angled diamonds...no, they are Amethysts! I am so intrigued by the darkest one and am wondering if perhaps another Dream block is in my future?
But I had one other idea I HAD to try! Wouldn't it be fun to do a little pillow with fun golden fishes, kissing in the sea? I'd need to embroider on some little eyes. I also just liked trying this with bright, bold, summery colors with lots of energy.
Thanks to Sherri McConnell for this versatile and fun block. You can get the pattern at her blog at
A Quilting Life. And just a note about those purple scissors. They are made by Kai Scissors and are serrated edged and are great to use! Love them.
And one more piece of news...CONGRATULATIONS JANE KIMBERLING! You are my winner for an ebook of Moda Blockheads 1 from Martingale Publishing! I've emailed you and I hope you love the book!
Check out my fellow designers for their Moda Blockhead posts:
I've had a number of requests for showing Painted Meadow fabric in my Joy and Delight quilt design. I love the ease of the computer to try out a few things so lets have some color and print fun! I designed Joy and Delight with my Christmas collection, Splendid. I showed it with the blocks alternating two prints OR in a version with the large block centers using a Layer Cake for a scrappier look. With this exercise in color play, I'm staying with the scrappy Layer Cake assortment.
I'm starting with some of my favorites (I think) because I really enjoy how soft and pretty these can look in this more pastel palette. The above quilt shows the snowflakes in the borders in pink. So now I can feel free to call them sparkle bursts instead of snowflakes. They have a sparkly decorative feeling. Of course you can make this quilt without the border sparkles but I think they do add a layer of twinkle (or pixie dust??) to make those borders feel special. Below is a more close up view to see the softness of the sparkle bursts in a light color. Also the framing around the blocks is shown in pink (below) vs light green (above).
A little more exploration of pinks...lighter to the deeper pink. With the lighter pink background I used dark pink framing and border sparkles. When using a darker frame around the blocks, I like to switch the small squares in between to a light color for more contrast and the color sparkle of the white accents (see, more sparkle!). With the dark pink I went back to the pop of the cream frames but made my border sparkles even darker red.
I enjoy the more dramatic tealish blues of Painted Meadow and thought it would be fun to see some blue stories. A deep midnight blue frames the squares in this first one.
And on this version I wanted to add a soft khaki or light tan for the frames. I think the addition of the neutral natural light tan gives this an entirely different feeling and is a nice compliment to all the color in the blocks. There is something so restful and calm about this color combination.
Hope you enjoyed a little color play with Painted Meadow and this helps in visualizing quilt plans! If you are interested in Joy and Delight, it is shown in Splendid in my shop.
The Moda designers had a fun project for the Spring Quilt Market this year. A group of us designed 18" block patterns to give to local quilt shops to use during this National Sewing Month. 18 inches is a substantial size for a single block and leaves room to play with fabric and combine several shapes and sizes into a layered composition.
At the time of designing my block I was working on my Picket quilt with it's stitch and flip sides that make up the picket fence border around the quilt perimeter. I liked playing with this shape and how it also suggested flower petals, especially when grouped around a central square.
I call my block "Full Bloom" because it reminds me of the petals in a fully open flower in a grand display. The petals are separated by sashings to give more definition and color play in your piecing while dividing the space in an interesting way.
For a schoolhouse session at Market we showed our blocks. I made up two blocks using my new collection (shipping in October 2019) of Painted Meadow. Coneflowers in paisley shapes, textures, little sprigs, all make up the blocks in this composition. And I could not resist doing a little fussy cutting and making one of my fat bumble bees the center of a bloom. Perhaps this bee is looking for pollen in the center? These blocks are not quilted yet and I'm still deciding if I'm going to make pillows or work these into a quilt top.
I like to experiment on the computer with the blocks and what it looks like made up different ways. With this block, the corners could be more valentine-like with hearts (like the top left image) and a hashtag center. Or maybe the center is surrounded by darker colors to set it off in contrast. Multi-colored blocks (lower left) have a different feel from monochromatic blocks that play with values of light and dark.
Studying what happens with light and dark values is interesting when you have all these rectangles that continue across the block. You can have mid-range tones that suggest overlap and transparency, or sashing lines that stay solid and strong. Some look like woven plaid. Others are radiating light or dark from the centers. I love the different look and feel you can get from one block with this play of light and dark. Wouldn't it be fun do do a monochromatic quilt just exploring these light and dark relationships?
If you want to make a block with a big fuzzy bumble bee, like the one above, look for the Painted Meadow collection in October. Painted Meadow has corals, red, greens, teals and pinks. Or use solids with a range of light and dark values. Or go completely scrappy with enough room in those squares for some good fussy cutting. Whatever you make, I hope it is fully blooming and glorious! Check out this link for the FREE pattern and please visit your local quilt shop to see if they have projects with these 18" blocks!
Robin Pickens 18" Block
Visit the previous designer's blog posts and the future posts to see more 18" block fun! Here is the schedule and links to their blogs:
9.23 - Lella Boutique and Sherri & Chelsi
9.24 - Kansas Troubles and Corey Yoder
9.25 - Crystal Manning and Me & My Sister
9.26 - Jan Patek
9.27 - Robin Pickens (me and here is the pattern!)
9.30 - BasicGrey
10.1 - Betsy Chutchian and Lisa Bongean
10.2 - American Jane
10.3 - Kathy Schmitz
10.4 - Zen Chic and Deb Strain
I'd love to see images of things you make with your blocks! Do you make a sampler with all the designer blocks? A table runner with a set of three or four? A pillow or mini wall quilt? Have fun sewing and share with us!
When I saw the Kinship Fusion Sampler created by Gnome Angel and Skyberries I knew I wanted to try it in Thatched fabric, my new basics line coming out with Moda Fabrics (shipping in November 2019). I was wanting a color-play exercise that used a limited palette and a select group of the fabrics. I like this line for fillers and backgrounds, but they deserve to hold their own in a quilt sew-along!
I love the modern feel of many of the blocks, playing with geometry in often asymmetrical layouts. I thought the woven illustration of Thatched would work well to add just a little depth to the blocks.
I actually jumped in about a week into the sew-along, which is typical for me. I WANTED to do the sew-along but I get distracted and think I don't have time to add ANOTHER project. But then I see people posting on instagram and I can't stand it anymore and jump in late.
My original plan was to make the quilt in mostly grays and white with a tiny pop of color. Maybe just the heart block in orange? I selected three grays from Thatched to use- the Gray 85, Pebble 24 and Shadow 117, giving me a light to dark range of grays. There are actually 5 grays in this first release of Thatched but I wanted to keep it simple. I've never made a black and white quilt before or a black, white and gray one, so this was a new exercise in restraint.
fBut I guess at heart I am really a COLOR GIRL and I needed more than just one pop of color! I loved the idea of just orange with the quilt, but the addition of greens to the mix felt so much more appealing and fun. I really like how the combination of Chartreuse 75, Sprig 14, Peacock 77 and Turquoise 101 play together. It was a tough call to decide if I should add the dark green Pine 44 to the mix but I left it at the original four greens.
For the oranges I used Tangerine 82 and Apricot 103. Again, tempted to add more with Maize gold but I pared it back. Every time I use the oranges it feels like a jolt of orange juice waking me up!
Usually I keep the color story of greens or oranges within a block but once in awhile, one escapes and jumps in another color block! Quilt block 29 is an example of that with it's little orange square. And block 82 with one orange corner to liven up the group! (And yes, sometimes I go out of order and make some of the later squares in advance if I have the right pieces cut)
When I got to day 25, I layed out what I had on the floor to get a feeling for them all together. For the planning of this sampler, I used the coloring sheet that Gnome Angel has on her blog at https://www.gnomeangel.com/100days100blocks2019-colouring-sheet/. It was tremendously helpful in planning and playing around with the colors. You need to purchase the pattern to get the coloring sheets and I am not posting my colored in one since that would be a violation of the pattern copyright.
Yes, my helper was involved and let me know she was bored of this whole thing.
There is one thing I wanted to mention about this particular pattern for a sampler. I really appreciate that the sizes of the blocks you cut are very consistent so it is efficient with fabric and makes it easy to precut pieces. For example, a lot of pieces might be 2 1/2" wide so you knew that by cutting that size strip, it would be utilized for a lot of smaller pieces. I could go through and count out how many pieces I would need at certain sizes or how many flying geese were needed at the same size and then make them in bulk. This really cuts down on time and makes it enjoyable to move through the blocks faster and with more efficiency and economy. I thought it was a very smartly planned out sampler that way!
I have been loving the blocks I've been seeing on instagram from other people sewing along. I particularly love seeing some of the fussy cutting and cute fabrics. It is a different feeling to do a sampler with a limited palette and limited fabrics and I like the new muscle that is flexing in my mind to explore the contrast and color relationships. I like how clean and modern this feels to me. But I can't lie, a part of me wants to just throw one of my big flowers into one of these blocks!
I'm guessing the next time I share these blocks on the blog I'll be done or at least close to done. Follow me on instagram to see more progress with the Thatched blocks at @robinpickens. Follow along to see all the great blocks on instagram with the hashtag #kinshipfusionsampler or #100blocks100days2019 and thank you Angie @gnomeangel and Bec @skyberries for a great sewalong! (Also, I am dying over Bec's blocks made with Heather Ross fabrics- fantastic!!)
Layers cakes and Half Square Triangles. Fun and lacy borders. Meet "Emilia"!
This quilt uses Layer Cake 10" squares to make large triangles and reflected small triangles on the opposite side with the same print. I've grouped them into color blocks. If you don't have a layer cake to use, you may want to make your cutting easier to start by using Creative Grids Perfect10 Ruler (CGRPERF10) to make those nice sized starting blocks!
One of the distiguishing characteristics of Emilia is the borders. The half square triangles continue out into the side borders, using the sashing color, to make a lovely triangular lacy edge. It makes the whole quilt almost sparkle! Wouldn't this pink version be pretty in a girl's room? I focused on pink, green and lighter purple shades for this one. I used a chartreuse green for the sashings but a minty green would be pretty too.
Emilia is written for two sizes, a larger, 76" square or smaller, 55" square lap size. You can easily adapt the pattern to add more rows of blocks if wider sizes are needed.
Emilia was designed to show with the Sweet Pea & Lily collection, which is shipping in March 2019 to quilt shops. But since I have Dandi Annie here...and its in stores now, I thought it would be fun to take a look at how Emilia might look in some summer Dandelions! These computer renders are some color play to look at the pieced blocks and how the quilt changes looks with the sashing and border colors.
I think I am partial to this darker gray border. I would use Moda Bella Solids Graphite 202 for this. I think the Moda Bella Solids Gray 83 would be nice for the sashings and border triangles.
This makes me think of a sunny summer farmhouse day! Moda Bella Solids Baby Yellow 31 and Maize 273 work nicely together with this line.
And back to grays with a lighter version of border. I like having a slight difference to white so the inner triangles pop and sparkle more. Moda's Bella Feather is a lovely very very pale gray, close to white.
Emilia can be found in local quilt shops or at my shopify shop. I hope you have some fun with half square triangle love and border play with this one! Happy sewing! For more ideas for Sweet Pea & Lily or Dandi Annie, take a look at more patterns...
Jelly Roll-friendly and quick to piece, this Showering Stars quilt is full of drama!
I knew with the Sweet Pea & Lily collection for Moda Fabrics (ships in Feb/March 2019) I wanted a quilt that used deep purple to enhance the theatrical nature of the purples in the prints. One thing I enjoy with this group is the purples are in both cool and warm purples. I needed to find the right deep purple to show off their splendor.
I have now fallen in love with Moda Bella Solid PRUNE 238. Its rich and vibrant and LUSCIOUS! Its the glorious deep purple/plum color as the background. Did I mention I bought a bolt of it? Not sure what I'm doing with the rest but I can't wait to use it as an accent to other prints.
But what would Showering Stars look like reversed, with a light background? I haven't made it this way (yet) but thought I'd give some computer inspiration for other colorways. I used a soft gray in the star points and dashes to let the colors in the star trails feel more colorful and sparkly.
And going all-out color with this turquoise background and light green star points. Completely different look but all of these are using the same Sweet Pea & Lily prints in the star trails.
This quilt was my main booth image at the Houston Quilt Market this past fall. It was fun to have such a different color play with this collection! One part I like is the greens and grays still transition through from previous collections.
Check your local quilt shop for the Showering Stars pattern, along with Sweet Pea & Lily fabrics! Patterns are also available at my online shop if your local shop is not carrying it.
Find a falling star and make a wish! And check back for more Sweet Pea & Lily quilts!
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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