Moda Blockheads Day! Time to catch up on a few things.
First off, color studies for this week's block, Morning Star from Barbara Groves of Me & My Sister Designs. Are you a supergraphic 70's star outline lover? Or prefer a row of flying geese arrows? Blocky sides? Arrow points towards center with different color corners? Such fun to play with this block and the outline that surrounds the star. This is an awesome block to play with. Thanks so much Barbara.
This is my block that I made this week in Winterly fabrics. I decided to make those outlines in the corners the Seafoam color to bring in more of the cool tones in the tree prints in the corners. I liked having a darker green in the center star points in contrast with the Chartreuse sides.
Back in the first group, when I showed my block, I sewed it up in Winterly fabrics and I knew I wanted to make a Christmas quilt, but didn't have a plan. I have numerous Christmas quilts but none done from a sampler or from a sew along. It took awhile to think about it but now I have a plan.
For the past 2 Moda Blockheads quilts, I've made very structured medallion and linear quilts. I wanted a quilt for this one that felt a little more free-flowing but organized. The star blocks seem like the perfect opportunity for a holiday quilt. You can see my first block I made, my "Community Star" block (group 1, block 8) on my previous blog post.
Most of my Christmas quilts have a lot of red color so I wanted this to be more green-focused, using more of the tree/landscape/greenery/bird prints from Winterly.
The quilt will use a mix of 6" and 12” green blocks, in a flowing arrangement, with a band of red blocks running as a band through the center. I will also intersperse 6" squares of fabrics from Winterly to show off those fabric design, coordinate with the blocks, and fill in any needed spaces.
The Thatched colors that I am using along with the Winterly prints are Thatched Cream 36, Crimson 43, Pine 44, Ocean 144 or Dewdrop143, Seafoam 125, Spring 54 and Chartreuse 75. There is a larger group of greens to go with the larger percentage of the quilt and add interest by mixing the warm (Chartreuse) and cool (Seafoam) greens.
Now that I have decided on my plan, I have some catching up to do! According to this layout, I need about 10 of the 12" blocks and I worked on 4 of those. The blocks above are Morning Star, Super Scrappy Star, Bright Star and Shimmer Star. As I do blocks, I keep track of my progress by filling in my layout image. Since I do color studies, I make up these blocks in Adobe Illustrator and can easily swap in my Winterly fabrics for my layout. This helps me see what I am missing and how to keep the balance of color and light and dark.
I was a bit late in figuring out my plan and now have LOTS of catching up to do (and I'm sure no one else is in that predicament, right??). I'll share past color studies that I posted in the facebook group along with blocks as I make them here on the blog. This week I made the 4 blocks. The first color study for this week is at the top for Morning Star.
The very first block of group 1 was from Betsy Chutchian, called Bright Star.
Well, I could have played with this block all day long since there are potentially so many things I could try. I loved the little ribbon like corners and honestly, I think this block is a little busy and I should have limited the number of fabrics and colors I was using. But that is okay since I can balance this out with other, simpler blocks or just the Winterly squares around this.
I've also made Super Scrappy Star from Corey Yoder. This was from group 1, block 4. I liked the last of the color studies a lot with the lighter center star and two corners trailing off to darker shades.
On a block like this, I am using Thatched fabric and also flipping it to the back side to get that lighter shade of the color (the more chambray-looking ones). I just noticed in the photo that my lower left seams are not matching up so well. Hmmmm. To fix or not to fix? I'll probably end up fixing it...
This is last week's color study for Shimmer Star from April Rosenthal. Arrows, checkerboards, ribbons and pinwheels! And yes, stars.
My actual block based on the top row, far right, color study image. I like how Thatched Seafoam (backside) and Spring go with that Pine stripe from Winterly.
I don't think I'll be getting around the the paper piecing on this block, so I'll post the color study now. This was group 1, block 3 from Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic, called Stellar Elegance. It sure is elegant! And I love how it can be a split day/night image.
For my next round of blocks, I think I will focus on some of the smaller sizes. This shows the scale change between the 12" and 6" block sizes (and this is one of my Community Star blocks).
Now that I finally have it all planned out, I get to do the fun part and SEW! Well, the color studies are also a fun part for me as well. I am often surprised by what pops out as I play on the computer. But there is such a satisfaction of seeing those happy fabric blocks evolving when sewing and feeling and working with cloth and thread.
Keep up with my progress and share your own projects through my Facebook group "Robin Pickens Sew Happy Community" where you can also ask questions and be in community with other quilters. Hope to see you there! You can also find me on Instagram and Pinterest @robinpickens as well as on youtube.
Happy sewing in the new year!
My week for Moda Blockheads! Yay! I am newly back from Quilt Market in Houston (just arrived home late Monday night) and woke up Tuesday morning with the thought of "BLOCKHEADS!!" When I am getting ready for Market, a lot of other things get pushed to the side and making my block became the task of the day. Seriously, I made my block instead of unpacking my quilts and clothes from the trip!
I knew I had to make my star block in my new WINTERLY fabrics that I was just showing at Market! I'm going to be making a holiday quilt to go along with the line and that is why a lot of my color studies have been skewing towards the greens in color...my brain has been piecing Christmas quilts for months. The 12" block I made has a mixture of Crimson Thatched AND Dotty Thatched (which we mix into a line from time to time and reminded me of snowfall for this winter group) and a cheery striped print and some of my whimsical flying birds. I used the Dotty Thatched Cream for the background of the smaller 6" block with greenery and pine stripes for the side stars and a red bird in the center.
My concept for "Community Star" is the idea that one star is in the center and the community of others is surrounding, supporting and reaching out to it. There are 4 partial stars that show half their star-bodies and reach out with points to touch the center star. So very often in quilting, we are reaching out and supporting and connecting with each other. It is really an activity that thrives with strong community. And Blockheads is an active and fun community so it seemed fitting.
As I read through the directions for my designed block, I realized I needed to share another version of construction for anyone who uses stripes like I am to allow the stripes to be horizontal and vertical. The way the directions are written would split the H and I squares diagonally and sew them to the G square, but the lines would be going diagonally in my final piece. So I did a variation that does take a little more fabric but uses a simple "stitch and flip" with corner squares to achieve the triangles. Using this method allowed me to position my stripes so they always looked like they were coming straight from the sides of the edge stars.
If you would like to use this method, these are my changes:
Instead of 4 squares of H and I, you will need 8 of each. Sew them to the corners and flip open and trim, similar to how you make traditional flying geese. After pressing open the opposite corners, add the other 2 corners. Just make sure to press open first (or am I the only one who has forgotten to press open a flying geese side before adding the other square?)
Whichever method you choose, I hope you have fun making these star friends!
Of course I had to share some color studies with you for this block too...
Like I mentioned, I'm thinking Christmas, but you can imagine any colors you like in here. Just substitute and think about those light and dark spaces. Stars can be the same colors in the centers as the points or multiple values of light and dark. The top two probably best illustrate the idea of stars reaching out in community to the center best. It is also fun to look at those outer star shapes as bowties or the center blending into a big X. How about a lighter outer border or a suggested churn dash relative in the white background shapes? Emphasize dots or lines...have fun!
You can download the pattern here from the blue DOWNLOAD FILE below. Or visit the facebook page or Moda's blog.
I'll be making some of the other blocks and sharing them in Winterly fabrics. Winterly will be shipping in May of 2024. It features Amaryllis lilies, birds flying in swirly breezes, hillside landscapes of trees, dotty Thatched, greenery, stripes and a triangle print with holiday motifs. There is also a panel with 4 square bird blocks and two horizontal treescapes. I'll share more pictures and the quilt projects in the next blog post. I've got new Christmas cross stitch to coordinate and it was very fun to share it all at Quilt Market!
If you are new to my world, I hope you will consider joining in on the Oak Grove Square sew along. I delayed October due to Quilt Market but just started in September on a monthly sew along. Want to sew some mushrooms? That is the first month! Check out my Facebook group "Robin Pickens Sew Happy Community" where you can share your projects with my fabrics and patterns or ask questions and be in community with other quilters. Hope to see you there!
You can also find me on instagram and pinterest @robinpickens
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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