Blockheads 3 is approaching! It is slated to start on January 15th, 2020. I joined in the fun of sewing along with the online group of people last year for Blockheads 2. I looked forward to each Wednesday and the surprise of a new block, not knowing if it would be large or small, challenging or easy. I learned fun things along the way, like how efficient it can be to use triangle paper, and that little piecing can be really fun (thanks for those Lisa Bongean!). This year I'm especially excited since I am one of the designers providing the blocks!
First, I'm going to take a look back at this past year's efforts. This is the joined, but not yet quilted, quilt top I made for Blockheads 2. I usually work up my quilts in the computer first, so any project that gives me blocks without knowing the eventual outcome, is a fun chance to just play with fabric and color and the suspense of wondering what is coming next. Also- playing along in Moda Blockheads is free. Please don't mass distribute or repost the patterns. But please do share pictures of the blocks you make!
In Blockheads 2 I decided to make my blocks with a scrappy mix of my fabric lines of Poppy Mae, Blushing Peonies, Dear Mum, Dandi Annie, and a little bit of Sweet Pea & Lily, mixed with solids. I focused on color palettes of green, blue/teal, pink and coral, and a touch of yellow and orange. I often rotated the colors I used, week to week.
-Blockheads 2 had a variety of block sizes. This year you will have a couple options regarding size! More to come on that, so stay tuned for more information from the Moda Cutting Table blog posts as well as the Moda Blockheads Facebook Group. In the past I've participated in sew-alongs on Instagram so this was the first time I participated in one on Facebook. It is so interesting to see what people post for their blocks each week. I love to see the range of fabric and color choices. Some people even make two quilts with two completely different fabric groups and colorways. I hope you join the Facebook group to make it easy to connect with other quilters on the journey.
If you are interested in making your blocks with some of my fabrics, I have posted some fat quarter bundles in my online shop with 8 fat quarters each. Painted Meadow and Thatched are currently in quilt shops, so you can get those from your local quilt shops. I'm offering some bundles from my earlier collections including Blushing Peonies, Dear Mum and Dandi Annie. These bundles are intended as a starting place of inspiration or to help fill out your fabric pull (or feel free to use them on some other project you have in mind).
This year, I'm thinking about using a scrappy mix of my collections again, but this time weaving in more of my Thatched Basics! The color chart shows the basics so far, plus some Thatched shows up in new collections (like Abby Rose which has a seafoam color and warm light pink). I'm thinking about doing my blocks in color families and trying for a rainbow of color bands. So Dandi Annie yellows with Maize Thatched, Dear Mum Chartreuse with Thatched Chartreuse and Sprig, etc.
Who is playing along? This following group of designers will be posting their blocks on their blog when it is their week by 6am CST on Wednesdays. These are the Moda Designers and their blogs:
Corey Yoder https://corianderquilts.com/
Sherri McConnell https://www.aquiltinglife.com/
Brigitte Heitland https://www.brigitteheitland.de/blog
Betsy Chutchian http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/
Jan Patek http://janpatek.blogspot.com/
Lisa Bongean https://lisabongean.com/
Lissa Alexander http://modalissa.com/
Laurie Simpson http://minickandsimpson.blogspot.com/
Vanessa Goertzen https://lellaboutique.blogspot.com/
Stacy Iest Hsu https://www.stacyiesthsu.com/blog/
Robin Pickens https://www.robinpickens.com/
Janet Clare http://janetclare.co.uk/blog/
Jen Kingwell http://jenkingwelldesigns.blogspot.com/
Joanna Figueroa https://blog.figtreeandcompany.com/
Start gathering your fabrics up and get ready to start Moda Blockheads 3!
A quick catch-up on some Moda Blockheads2 blocks. I have learned so much while doing these blocks! I tried triangle paper for the first time (and liked it!) and I stretched myself with smaller piecing on some of these than I normally do. With every sewalong I do I feel my skills become better. I start to think more efficiently when I look at instructions and question if I can make more of the blocks in a different way (like making Half Square Triangles in the 8-at-a-time method).
This first one is Sherri McConnell's block "Vintage" and I used a bunch of scraps I had from earlier blocks from my Dear Mum collection. I am pretty pleased with how this one came out. I don't have that much experience doing Quarter Square Triangles so this was good practice!
This was the alternative block designed by Corey Yoder called Rainbow Vine. Mine is not a rainbow but does have a variety of green leaves. I liked how quickly this fun block came together. Now I think I need to make sure the block above in my arrangement has a design that suggests a flower bloom!
The next block is a larger 18" one and is designed by Betsy Chutchian. Feels good to get this one completed and I really like this pattern! I used #poppymaefabric and #blushingpeonies . After making a big 18” block like this I needed to do a small one next!
And last one to share today is this block designed by Corey Yoder. Its called Dainty Blossom and is an alternate for the Block 48 which was originally designed in applique. This is so cheery! 12 inch block with a big blooming presence!
I just may be seeing my blockheads blocks wrapping up here! Time for arranging and joining!
Harlequin is a quilt pattern I designed that uses Half Rectangle Triangles and I get quite a few questions about which ruler I recommend for it. The pattern does come with a paper template so you can make your own plastic template for cutting out the shapes. However, it is easier with a specialty ruler!
I love this quilt because it symbolizes collaboration and community to me. I had it pieced by Terry Bowman because she is more accurate and more experienced than I am and before Quilt Market we have a LOT of sewing to do in a small amount of time. So luckily for me, Terry was willing to help me out. We met at the Quilt Emporium and Lisa, the owner, also came to the rescue by getting her Bernina out of her car so we could sew up some samples in the back classroom. Lisa saw us figuring out the rectangle size that would make sense and she brought over the solution...the Creative Grids Kaleidoscope Triangle Ruler. It was a great moment of brainstorming and solutions coming together and that is a lot of what is so exciting about sharing the experience of sewing and quilting with others! Quilters are often collaborators in creative ways.
The ruler is the actual height of the pieces you cut for this quilt so it really works with the pattern well. Thank you Penny Haren for designing this lovely tool! Just like other Creative Grids rulers it has some circles of texture on the back to help hold fabric without slipping too.
Any time you are making a block that is new to you or different in trimming, etc, I suggest you make a sample block first. Some of my first samples are with my Blushing Peonies left over scraps and I am hoping to go back and make a nice springy version with pinks and oranges in my "spare time." You know how that goes... I did make this block first and make mistakes on the trimming and had to start a new one. So I'm serious when I recommend making a sample and measuring your block size end result before progressing on a pattern. It can make a big difference! Half Rectangle Triangles need to be trimmed up in a particular way so you have correct seam allowance to maintain your triangle points.
Check out the Harlequin pattern at my shopify store!
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Blues, teals, robin's egg blue. Having fun trying out my Blockstep pattern in Dear Mum fabrics.
I enjoy looking at the difference in light vs dark backgrounds. The feeling changes completely when the fabrics are against a darker teal vs white.
I have a new addiction. Its not buying shoes. Its not chocolate (okay, that one is already established). It's joining in to Sew Alongs.
There is a rush of excitement when you finish a block and photograph it and add it up on instagram or facebook or where ever your sew along is happening. Little pockets of motivated time for a do-able thing. Baby steps that add up to a bigger thing. Sharing in the online community and interacting, getting feedback, seeing how people interpret and add their style and taste, encouraging each other...it's about the people as much as the sewing.
Sew alongs are like my new crack. And in my need for my next "fix" I jumped into two of them in the last few days: Moda Block Heads 2 and the Splendid Sampler 2.
There is a huge group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/253867175058745/ where you can post your blocks. The first block pattern is Stellar Star from Lynne Hagmeier . The second one is Buckeye Beauty from Me and My Sister Designs. I'm using fabrics from my lines- the top one has fabrics from Blushing Peonies and Dear Mum with Bella Solids Ruby Ice and Light Lime. The bottom one is Dear Mum in the middle with Dandi Annie for the dots and birds. I thought it would be fun to just mix the lines and use them all.
The next Sew Along I jumped into is The Splendid Sampler 2 hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson. I loved seeing what people made from the Splendid Sampler 1 and the first 20 blocks will be released free on a weekly basis, on Thursday mornings. If you want to make more than the first 20, as I'm SURE I will, then the remaining blocks will be in the book The Splendid Sampler 2 which comes out in October.
This first block, Quilt Market, is from Alex Veronelli at Auriful thread and I love it! I always take a deep breath before trimming something like this...and double check the placement as its noted in the directions.
For this project I think I am going to stay in the gray family and mix in yellows from my new Dandi Annie collection. Maybe I'll add more colors as I go along- we'll see. That is the fun of a sampler. You can experiment as you go along and see what fits the blocks and the group.
Want to join along? Come on, its a GOOD addiction! I'll try to post here each weekend to show my progress. Or check out my feed at Instagram @robinpickens.
I love totes! If you are a quilter I'm guessing you do too. Or you do even if you are not a quilter. I've made three totes with Dear Mum fabrics and I get comments constantly when I use them!
For Quilt Market I made these totes using a free pattern that is on Amy Sinabaldi's blog Nana company. I love the large size of the totes and find these are my go-to bags to transport quilts in when I am taking one to show at a guild meeting or work on binding in the car while I wait to pick up carpool. They came together quickly and although I learned I need to work on fitting my inside linings better, I'm pretty happy with them! And if you are wondering about the labels on these- I ordered a swatch of fabric from spoonflower.com with my etsy shop logo on them so I could make labels.
This next tote is one of my very favorites! I made it at Sew Together Stitching Lounge in Los Angeles and I really hope Victoria, the owner, makes a pattern to sell of this. It uses Soft and Stable by Annie and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the straps. It is jute webbing that is used in upholstery. This tote was made in a couple hours. I love a project like that! Those cute toes...that is my daughter!
With all the rush of getting ready for quilt market I didn't realize I had not posted pictures of my Dear Mum line that is in shops now! I was so excited to do this line and include a pretty robin's egg blue (warm blue) that has a little bit of a turquoise feel. The main print is comprised of two kinds of mums- one of them being the oh so dramatic Anastasia Mum in a lovely chartreuse green. These mums fascinate me! I love their green color and graceful upward petals.
Tomorrow I'll share more of the quilts that launched with this group: Starlet, Equalizer and Harlequin, along with a color remix for Tokyo Terrace. I also made a cute tote with the bug print!
Keep planting, keep sewing, keep loving the splendor of blooming beauties!
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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