If you've been to the blog before you probably know I enjoy doing sewalongs for quilt samplers. I love the community and seeing the different interpretations of the same block. Plus I find my motivation to "get 'er done" is higher when I have other people to sew along with. So why not add some summer fun with a sewalong?! Yup, I'm happy to jump back into the weekly community with the Facebook group from Moda Blockheads to do Sampler Spree by Susan Ache.
Sampler Spree is published by Martingale and is the book to get if you are sewing along. Susan has done a number of books- as a contributor as well as authoring them fully herself. I was first enchanted by her work in her lovely instagram feed (@yardgrl60) and enjoy seeing the beautiful quilts she creates. For this quilt, Susan is sewing in color groups but I'm keeping my colors a bit more uniform...more on that in a bit. Some of the things I really like about this project: I enjoy the little pops of fun things I see like a pear, some baskets, an evergreen tree and some boats, combined with other blocks that are purely geometric play. And I like making 6" blocks which feel so doable and cute.
Cottage Bleu fabric was a little delayed in arriving to shops. The perfect thing about that is that it is freshly in the quilt shops now and just in time for this sewalong! I'm making my whole quilt from Cottage Bleu, focusing heavily on the blues and using the greens and yellows as smaller accents. I will be following the sashing and layout that is shown in the book, although the squares where the sashing meets will be 4 smaller patchwork squares. And I'll be rotating between blue background colors.
My overall theme of the colors will go from darker blues on the perimeter, medium blues next and white to the middle. Think of light radiating out from the middle block. I mocked it up on the computer to play around with the idea and this was the one I was most satisfied with. It might look a little rough, messy, "off" to you but that is how I sometimes play quickly on the computer, with shapes I draw quickly and not so perfectly aligned and matched.
I'm pretty excited! I haven't made many all blue or mostly blue quilts (except for my Gypsy Wife quilt with blues and grays and that was also in a sewalong) and I am just so happy to have my fabrics and see those big blue hydrangeas and yellow fluttering butterflies. The Thatched colors in Cottage Bleu that I am using for the borders are Midnight 148 (the darkest), Cornflower 147 and Mist 146 (the lightest). For the middle ring of light/medium blues, I'm planning on using Mist for all and flipping to the lighter back side for the every-other sashing to get that lightest blue shade.
I know one of the next questions would be "how much yardage is this for each color?" and this is a computer generated mockup and not an actual yardage based file in EQ8. This is done in Adobe Illustrator and is a rough idea.
Moda so kindly put these yardage suggestions from the book page 8 on their blog:Page 8. All yardage is based on 42" wide fabric.
My best estimates based on my sashing plan is to have:
1.5 yards (one and a half) of each of Midnight, Cornflower and Mist for sashings.
.5 yard (a half yard, in case you can't see the . decimal) of each Midnight, Cornflower and Mist for making blocks background
.5 (a half yard) of Broken Lines from Cottage Bleu in Midnight 48694-18 if you like that on the outer sashing
1 fat quarter bundle of Cottage Bleu (and this is really a guess...you may want more of a particular print or a little extra of yardage on the hydrangeas)
So its not exact and is an estimate/best guess. The great thing about this sampler quilt is that it will look great being scrappy and having more fabric friends join in!
I couldn't resist. I had to make one and get started. Hydrangea pear anyone?
Hope you are joining us over on the Facebook Moda Blockheads group, starting next Wednesday, June 16th.
See ya there!
My week with my second SEWCIALITES block is here! Celebrate "ABUNDANT"! I've got some variations and a fun project you can make with more blocks!
I've made blocks this week from all three of the sizes- the 9", 6" and 3". In honor of SPRING arriving and Easter around the corner, I've made a project for a cheery table runner from three of the 9" flower blocks. I used the Solana fabric line for the blocks and border since it felt so happy and summery and I just could not resist some of those busy ladybugs.
One variation that I made on my runner blocks, was to make the flower base out of two strips of fabric as horizontal bands vs one body color. This allows you to add more dimension or prints into the flowers or you could make the bottom green and the top band the petal colors. If you would like to do this, take the finished size of the flower base, divide in half, then add your 1/2" for two 1/4" seam allowances on sides. On the 9" block you would use (2) 9 1/2 x 2" strips, the 6" uses (2) 6 1/2 x 1 1/2" strips, and the 3" uses 3 1/2 x 1" strips.
Each of my flowers for the runner use two strips for the base. I picked colors of peach, blue and yellow for the prints from Solana for my blocks. I also wanted to give my petals (made with the flying geese) two fabrics to suggest a little more dimension. To keep it looking like a cohesive unit, I chose stems and leaves in similar fabrics for all three flowers.
If you are making the flower base with two pieces as shown below, I suggest joining them first, then add your stitch and flip corner to the joined unit. I find my seams will press flatter this way (vs corner first then joining the two strips).
My runner also adds little pollen dots on top of each flower. The pollen pieces are made from 1" squares joined by background strips and that row is placed on top of the flying geese. To balance the flowers and make the bases and leaves line up when flipping, I've also added a 1" strip to the bottom of the flowers.
Each of the flower blocks are joined, side by side, with 10 1/2 x 1 1/2" strips to make the body of the table runner. A 2" border surrounds the group.
Here is my pieced top. It still needs quilting and binding but I can get that done by Easter. It adds a pop of spring to the table. I'm planning on binding in the light green Thatched from Solana.
These could be so cute as white or light colored flowers on a dark blue, dark green or purple background. Or play around with string quilting pieces in the leaves?
I also think a longer runner with more flowers that drapes over the edge of a chest or table could be nice!
But I'll just enjoy this Solana version this spring and maybe make another one later!
One more variation idea for this Abundant quilt block. I wanted to try patchwork squares within my flower to get a mix of warm pink, orange and red shades. Using the same formula for figuring out the horizontal bands for the flower body works for size of squares. This shows if you keep one a solid band on the underside of the bloom vs all patchwork squares.
This 6" sample is done with some of my new Thatched colors! The background is Chocolate Bar and the leaves are Green Curry and Olive. The flower uses Peach, Pink Grapefruit, Sugar Rose, Fuchsia, Apricot, Tangerine, Rose and Crimson. The Fat Quarter Shop is carrying the Thatched colors, including the new additional range, as well as Solana fabrics.
If you want to make patchwork squares, use 2", 1 1/2", or 1" squares for the 9, 6 or 3" blocks.
My overall Sewcialites quilt is made with 3" blocks in Thatched in grays with three of the blocks in color. For this quilt with the small blocks, Abundant is one of the color ones! The other is the heart block from Corey Yoder and the third one will be the sewing machine from Lori Holt.
Want the FREE pattern for the ABUNDANT block? It is on the Fat Quarter Shop page about SEWCIALITES!
I hope you have as much fun with this block as I am having. Keep it simple or add to the blooming delight! And thank you to the Fat Quarter Shop for organizing this sewalong and thank you for including me. Happy sewing everyone!
After joining my Moda Blockheads quilt tops, I felt like the scrappy version needed something a little extra and fancy to go with all those prints and prettiness. I thought a border based on flying geese and little squares provided a nice "fringe" to play off the rows and colors.
From computer plan to quilt top, I think it went pretty much as planned. I wanted to follow the dark to light scheme and reflect that in the flying geese and squares. I've changed colors as the rows have changed from blue to green to orange and so on.
The flying geese on the sides are in pairs with the same sashing width between pairs. Along the bottom, as the blocks are side by side with no sashing separation going across, so are the flying geese.
My blocks were the 8" size. Therefore my flying geese are 2 x 4 finished size. The spaces between the 1" finished squares are 3 x 1" and with the sashing spaces on sides, those are 1 x 41/2". 4 x 4" squares go in the corners and 2 1/2" borders line the outsides (all finished sizes. Cut sizes are marked on diagram as well).
The flying geese with 1" sashings are added to quilt top first. The bottom and tops have the 4 x 4" added when attaching those. Small squares with background rectangles and outer border are added next.
The fabric I have use for the sashings and borders background color is Modern Background Paper 1581 11 by Zen Chic. It is such a nice low volume background fabric.
I like to see the difference of how the little squares and flying geese look in the darker values vs the lighter shades.
I also like to see the differences in the scrappy fabric quilt top vs the all-Thatched version. I think the border on one and not the other will help to create differences between the two, as well as different quilting. Another change between the quilts is I used piecing for most of the applique blocks on the all-Thatched version. The scrappy quilt used the applique designs. Notice the darkest blue and green blocks have the original designs for flowers and birds and birdhouse. The Thatched quilt has pieced blocks from Joanna Figueroa of the tulip, house and posie (which replaces the applique rose that I used Abby Rose fabric for).
Sometimes the fabric choices for scrappy provided a different mix of light and dark so I rearranged some blocks within rows between the two types of quilt tops. The blue row especially flipped positions of some blocks.
I liked adding the little bird in the center of the Fixer Upper block from Vanessa Goertzen. Small peeks of color help to tie the gray blocks in with other rows.
Time for quilting on these tops. The finish line is in sight! Hope you are having fun with wherever you are in the process!
56 Weeks of sewing fun. I've been busy adding blocks together to make my rainbow colored rows. But one block was missing...that final block. Joanna Figueroa from Fig Tree & Co. is our final blockheads designer to wrap it all up. Thank you Joanna for your lovely "Star Dance" block! To get to Joanna's blog with the free pattern, click on the gray bar below. But keep reading if you want to see my color study and how my TWO quilts have come together!
Flying geese and squares to make sparkly stars. A number of my patterns such as Showering Stars, Little Star Shower, and Constance, use stars like this. I liked how Joanna's version also played with the very center square in the overall composition in a color or print too. Let's take a look at a couple of color studies.
My last block belonged in my blue row so that was my starting place. Light, medium and dark blues with subtle variations between the stars. It could be fun to play with black for the background (or starting rectangle of the flying geese) and I love how the white really pops in contrast. The white and black backgrounds make new shapes within the block. The left middle image uses a mix of medium and dark blues on some of the geese corners, positioned so it looks like the colors run diagonally through the block. And the last image creates arrows pointing to a glowing center.
After designing Cottage Bleu (shipping in April) and adding new Thatched colors, I have more blues in my Thatched range now. I have used a few from Cottage Bleu and used back sides as well for lighter shades.
When making my print blocks, I used blue prints from Abby Rose. The plaid fit nicely into the centers of the four stars and I decided to use a different print for the center with my light background and roses.
If I were to make another one of these blocks, I would try the blue hydrangeas from Cottage Bleu. For this particular print quilt, I felt the warmer blues from Abby Rose were a cohesive color group with the other surrounding blue blocks. Here is an image of the rows joined together on my mixed prints/scrappy version. For the sashings on this print/scrappy version, I've used Modern Background Paper from Zen Chic. It is one of my favorite low volume fabrics to use.
On my print version quilt, I chose to do applique on the weeks that Jan Patek and Jen Kingwell had their sweet designs. Last year I did all pieced blocks so this was a change for me. I still seem to resist doing turned edge applique and find my happy place is with the fusible raw edge applique.
I think my favorite of the appliques is the bird on the upper left, dark blue. I added and extra flower or two and more white dots. They make me think of little white baby's breath in a bouquet. And for the "rose" applique week, I chose to cut out one of my Abby Rose blooms instead of the template shapes.
How perfect is it, that the block that says LOVE was actually pieced by my mother? She was visiting a year ago January when it was the week for that block and she helped me out. Then the pandemic and quarantines started and I have not been able to see her in person since then. So I am especially happy to have a little bit of her in this quilt!
The little bird in the middle gray block is one I had not shown yet. It was a block I did late, catching up one weekend. It is the Fixer Upper block from Vanessa Goertzen and I liked it as a framework around my birdie friend.
I love to see how the light comes through when a quilt top is hanging on the frame, before it is quilted. It looks like stained glass and the colors almost glow!
I started this project with a few design parameters I set:
1. Horizontal rows of color (rainbow-like rows), separated by a simple white line.
2. Each of the rows would use gradations of the color to go from darker shades on the left to lighter shades on the right.
3. I would make TWO quilts, one with all Thatched basics and one with a mix of Thatched and colored prints from my collections (with some other designer's goodies added in there too) for a scrappier look. This was to see how different or how similar the quilts ended up looking by the change in prints.
So how about that all-Thatched one?
I must admit the vibrancy and saturation of all that color was surprising to me when I got it all joined together. I was glad I graduated color to the lighter right side so it was not too overpowering. I used the Thatched Cream 36 for my sashings.
Instead of the applique blocks, I used pieced alternatives from Joanna Figueroa. The upper left has the tulip block, house block and another flower posie. I did keep two applique blocks- the Bachelor Buttons from Jen Kingwell since it felt so graphic, and the Bee Skep from Jan Patek. My sister likes bees and having this block reminds me of her. So now I have a mom remembrance and a sister remembrance in my quilt.
Its hard for me to say if I like one version of the quilt better than the other. I will keep some things different as I finish these, using different pantographs for quilting them, and I'm also thinking about adding an additional little decorative border around the scrappy/print one. I like the Thatched one being simpler with no outer border.
I am happy to come to this finishing phase of Moda Blockheads, but I'm also sad that it is ending. I know the connection and sewing along is so important during these strange and unpredictable times. So I made the decision to join in on sewing along with "My Favorite Color is Moda" because of course I need another project! I think the quilt design and colors they have suggested are beautiful! I hope to see you while sewing along with that!
The resource link to all the free block patterns from this Moda Blockheads sew along- archived at the Moda website:
Thank you for the lovely comments that you have shared each week on the block posts and color studies. You are the best! And thank you Moda for this wonderful sew along and all the organizing, writing, planning, giveaways and support. It is a BIG project and you do it with expertise, grace and style.
Let's finish up some quilts, right?
Hugs to you all,
Wine Not! from Jen Kingwell is an easy block this week with a lovely diamond shape. This block looks great square or set on point. This is the very light end of my brown row and the soft warm colors look calm and comfortable.
In playing with the color studies, I liked how the shapes can have a strong arrow form or emphasize the outer diagonals or the inner quarter square triangle center. The last one feels a little dimensional with the center having light and shadow as if it were a pointed pyramid triangle.
For my pieced all-Thatched version block, I used a couple of my new shades that are shipping at the beginning of February. The center dark brown is 164 Chocolate Bar and the light tans are 156 Toast with the lighter 158 Washed Linen.
My print version uses a fabric that has been quite prevalent in my brown row, Ombre Confetti from V&Co. The ombre gradations make it easy to find the light and dark levels you want within a block while keeping the colors harmonious. I love those little pops of confetti!
Pop on over to Jen's blog for her Wine Not! pattern.
And since I'm sharing brown blocks this week, here is one I did last weekend to catch up on a missed week. It is Intersection from Stacy Iest Hsu in Thatched and Solana.
Next week is the last block and then it is time for joining and finishing. I love seeing what you all are piecing together on the facebook page. Keep sewing!
Happy Moda Blockheads Wednesday! Janet Clare brings us this week's block "Windmills" with a fun pinwheels in a group of 4 blocks. I like how the block can be rounded off forms around the pinwheels or emphasize those corner points to change that outer shape. The second one reminds me of ribbons running through the center of the block with sparkly quadrants. The third one has depth in the corners within the 4 centers from the dark and light focused to the outer corners. The last one is a colorful party of windmills!
My blocks were cut out before I did color studies so I stayed pretty close to the original layout. This is the last one for my orange row and I wanted to mix in some yellow for the lighter range, and dark Tangerine for the darker range.
My Thatched fabrics show off the flip side for the pale orange rectangle sides. I used triangle paper for making my HST. With 32 HST per block, and 2 blocks, it seemed best to simplify my colors for those elements and use the papers so I didn't have to do extra trimming.
Fabrics from Abby Rose bring in the orange prints on my scrappy block. I stayed with consistent orange/yellow HST from my first block to be most efficient with the HST making. The rectangle sides were the place to swap out prints to play with my Thatched fabrics.
Hop on over to Janet's blog for the pattern this week and have fun with windmill motion and HST fun!
It is my week for the Moda Blockheads quilt block and I am feeling a little sentimental that this is all wrapping up soon. I have had such a good time! Last year I sewed the sampler but was not one of the block designers. This year, the excitement of sharing blocks I've envisioned has been a highlight to my months. The connection through online communities and sewing has been more important than ever with the changes we have all been going thorough with quarantines and working from home. In weeks that have blurred into other weeks, one thing has been steady...the fun and creativity of Wednesday block releases for Moda Blockheads.
Thank you all for being a part of this quilt journey and community! I hope you are excited with your evolving quilts. And for this week's addition, block 53 is "Bear Cubs Round the Campfire." I've been enjoying some projects with Bear Paw blocks and liked the idea of a simpler corner with a small paw. With all four corners surrounding a center block, it felt like smaller bears, or little bear cubs, sitting around the fire pit or campfire. I have actually been camping when a big, tall bear came into our campsite. He/she smelled the food cooking and we banged the pots and pans to scare the bear away. For this quilt block, I envision these bears to be smaller and so much more friendly!
I took the opportunity to put my little farmhouse from Solana into the center square on my print version. Greens with a little pop of blue is my theme and the farmhouse is warmed up with some happy sunflowers. For my all-Thatched version, I've got greens from Painted Meadow, Solana and Abby Rose, along with the original basics Pine and Chartreuse. I used the flip side of the Solana light green to get the lightest outer shades.
Speaking of Thatched...I recently announced that Moda is releasing another 25 colors into the basics line! It will be shipping either this month or February. I am thrilled to have more colors to play with and can't wait to experiment with more color combinations. Check back to my blog in the next few days because I will be releasing a NEW FREE mini quilt pattern that uses a Mini Charm. I'll have it as a download on my blog. I've got it shown in the new Thatched colors and I am loving the spicy warm colors and new periwinkle/cornflower blues.
But lets get on to the COLOR STUDIES! And of course the pattern and then, please enter to win a layer cake of SOLANA (enter on the Facebook Moda Blockheads page on my announcement post with the picture of my sewn blocks). The pattern is here - just click the gray bar right below this paragraph. But to see mockups and learn more about the GIVEAWAY, keep reading...
When first planning this block, I had a red center square for the "fire" but as I played with it and realized it was going to live in my green row of the quilt, I switched out center colors and added more subtle bands of color in the middle of the sides. I also liked looking at this with warm colors on a dark background, and again tried those bands in a different value of the lighter brown.
Next I tried emphasizing the squares in the middle, either through light and dark or a highlighted color. On the last one I dropped out the corners on the inner box so it reads like a big chunky plus sign.
The facets of cut glass? 70's supergraphics? More continuation of color from piece to piece and the illusions of lines turning corners. It is exciting that this doesn't resemble a bear paw any more.
And finally, a little rainbow love with a color wheel of color showing up in those corners. I like these as a pair with the light and the dark background.
So of course I had to stay up late and make these! I didn't have good enough light to photograph last night so I added these to the post later. I did these as 12" blocks (my green ones are 8") and I think that adding some extra borders would increase the size to nice pillow covers.
I've used some of the new Thatched colors in these. The background below is so fun to try out! It is called Chalkboard Scribbles and is basically the reverse of Heather from the first group (grey lines on white). There is a crisper white on white called Blizzard and deep and dramatic tonal Soft Black.
Thank you for all your lovely comments about the color studies over the weeks! I have greatly enjoyed doing them and sharing the mockups.
I'll be drawing a person to win a Layer Cake of SOLANA fabric. Please enter by commenting on my post in the Moda Blockheads FACEBOOK group (my post with the photo of these green blocks, not the color study one) and tell me what flowers you would like to see me do on a future fabric collection. I'll be picking a winner next Tuesday the 19th.
Thank you all for sewing along and may 2021 bring health and happiness to everyone!
I usually start the Moda Blockheads posts with my color studies. But today I want to share a time-sensitive thing first...a giveaway! Yes, in honor of 2021 starting in a couple of days, I am doing a calendar giveaway on instagram @robinpickens. Just comment in the giveaway post and I'll be selecting 2 winners on January 2nd (just in case some of you are already celebrating and haven't seen the post yet!)
Vanessa's SPARK PLUG block this week is a fun one and I wanted cheery energy with some yellows. They are yellow fabrics from my SOLANA collection that is in shops now. I used the white on white tonal sunflower seeds as my background fabric in the print block and I love the subtleness of the hinted texture. I really enjoy the "varietals" coordinate in this collection and used that for the center rectangles.
It was perfect timing to have the cover of this next year's Seize the Day wall calendar be the same cheery sunflowers that I used in the SOLANA main prints! I really hope this year brings more sunshine and happy days in a spirit of optimism and progress.
And, just in case you are wondering, the Seize the Day calendars come in wall, daily and checkbook sized formats. I just saw some recently at my neighborhood Barnes and Noble.
But back to quilt blocks...for the Thatched version I used the Maize color and got that lovely soft light yellow in the corners by flipping and using the back side. Stay tuned for some news very very soon about Thatched (hint, hint, I hope 2021 will be more colorful)
And now...COLOR STUDIES! I stayed pretty true to Vanessa's layout when making my blocks. But when playing on the computer, I had a little fun playing with a variety of shades of color. I find it especially interesting how the shape looks almost flower like on that middle left one. Or I notice the surrounding box shape on the one to the right of it. And I like all the color gradations on the last one and having some different color families in the corners.
Hop on over to Vanessa's blog for the SPARK PLUG pattern and enter her layer cake giveaway on facebook in the Moda Blockheads group.
And a Happy New Year to you all and may 2021 be filled with fun sewing projects!
Within the structure of "Night and Day" the inside grid can be a simple checkerboard or gradation of colors. I like how the little squares can form a new perimeter around the center or can work with the middle triangles to make arrows. The outer triangles can frame the diamond or play with colors dancing around the shape.
For my blocks I used Thatched in grays, using the backsides as well to get those lighter shades and subtle gradations. I wanted the effect of the checkerboard squares in the center to be very whispery and to highlight the structure of the box surrounding it more.
Dandi Annie became my fabric choice for prints. I forgot how much I love working with these big puff balls of dandelion seeds! I kept the structure of the center box outline and the darker corners on two opposite sides. I'm still debating if I need to rip out and line up those medium gray squares better, but honestly, it is the week of Christmas and I think I'd rather be baking cookies over ripping out seams. So it is staying I think. Sometimes we need to say "it is good enough" and allow ourselves to love the imperfections.
Hop on over to Laurie Simpson's blog for the pattern! And she is doing a layer cake giveaway on instagram!
Happy sewing and happy Moda Blockheads day!
X Marks the spot by Lissa Alexander! I wondered what it would look like with a different color on the bar ends? Like little white cat's paws?
How fun to play with switching corner colors and making the background "disappear" by using the same color for some corners as the big background. I think the one on the lower left looks like it is twisting. And the very last one makes the corner squares almost float. Can you see the white arrow in that one?
Looking for the pattern? Hop over to Lissa's blog and see what she has as a giveaway too!
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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