So happy it is time for Moda Blockheads again! For those of you are new to Blockheads, it is a quilt sampler sew-a-long sponsored by Moda Fabrics and has a free quilt block pattern each week for a number of weeks to make a sampler. Today, Wednesday March 23, 2022, is the beginning of Moda Blockheads 4. The designers and some wonderful Moda folk come up with the designs for the sampler blocks to share with you. I'm one of the designers but my week will be coming up later.
Couple details about the sew-a-long...there will be 28 blocks from designers and 8 extra bonus blocks if you want to make more (so potentially 36 if you make all the free bonus quilt blocks). Each Wednesday, the designer who provided that week's block design will blog about the block (or Moda will release it if they don't do blogs) and you can get the pattern as a digital download from the blog posts shared. How do you find out who to visit? Well, there is a big Facebook group (just search Moda Blockheads) you can join where that info will be posted. And Moda will blog and tell who the designer and block is. Moda will then post the block pattern later in the week. Bonus blocks from Moda will come out on Fridays (about once a month). Moda's blog: https://my.modafabrics.com/categories/quilt-along-0
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In past years, I've done color studies with some of the different blocks and I plan on doing that this year as time allows. I love doing color studies with quilt blocks! The possibilities are endless. I do keep a page on my blog with references to past blocks (click on one and it takes you to the post). I love quilt samplers to try out a new skill or a new block. Some of them are complex and challenging and some are simple sampler quilt blocks. There is quite a range.
I also have a plan for how I am approaching my quilt and of course, it involves grouping my colors to emphasize the structure of the setting I will use. You can make the quilt blocks in a 9" size or a 4 1/2" size or a combination of those. I think a combination is lots of fun and I like the possibility of using those smaller blocks as a ring or surrounding element around the center block.
Using 36 blocks, I plan on making a center with 4 blocks of the 9" size with a ring of 4 1/2" blocks around it and then a ring of 9" blocks around that, with sashing separating the outer ring of blocks. This means 4 big blocks in center, 20 small blocks next and 12 big blocks in the outer row. I'll also make some blocks for my corners of the quilt with a flower bud/leaf theme. I'll provide pattern instructions for the corners when we are about half way through, just in case you want to join me with this design.
This plan will make a nice lap/wall quilt of about 56" square. For block yardage, I'm assuming the general fabric requirements (or amounts) that Moda has suggested and am dividing that into 3 color groups, assuming about 20% for center color, 40% for small ring of blocks and 40% for outer ring. I'll post yardage for sashing, outer border and leaves soon.
I am making each of my rings with a color family and chose yellow, orange and pink for the quilt I am making. I am using my own fabrics from my past and current collections and might make a few with Carolina Lilies just for fun! I am also mixing in Thatched basics in these colors to help unify the color stories and provide a nice balance of blender fabrics and print fabrics. In my mind, I'm thinking of the quilt background with either all white (actually Cream Thatched, my go-to background) or MAYBE a Cranberry Thatched background with the outer pink blocks.
How about some other color stories for this quilt layout? I mocked up a few, thinking of Thatched and mixing it with your other favorite fabrics or whatever you have in your stash. A teal/aqua/green and periwinkle and Dutch Iris in the center could be really serene. Some of the teal/aquas that would work well here are Seafoam, Peacock, Pond, Turquoise, Ocean, Horizon.
And the one to the right is envisioning dark Navy or Midnight mixed with lighter blues for the outer part and the inner blocks with green and dark blues on cream.
How about a Christmas theme quilt? Thatched Crimson and Scarlet pair with Sprig, Pine, Spruce and Sprout. Or earthy warm fall colors with reds and tans. The small blocks could use soft Washed Linen, Oatmeal and Toast with Pink Grapefruit, Smoked Paprika and Aged Penny. Add a little soft pink with Petal 56. I think this could work well with a center using Chocolate Bar or Charcoal with Cocoa or Stone.
If you are interested in some FQ bundles of Thatched in some of these color families, Lisa at the Quilt Emporium is putting together a couple bundles for this sewalong! www.quiltemporium.com
I'm including a coloring sheet in case you want to try experimenting with some colored pencils or what to keep track of your blocks within this quilt layout. When you are ready to finish and quilt, you can also sketch out what your quilting plan might look like. Sketching out quilting plans and quilting motifs on paper can be a good way to experiment before sewing. You can download from this pdf link just below by selecting the blue "Download File"
So let's begin with the block color studies! BLOCK #1 is SQUARE WHEEL from Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles Quilters. You can visit Lynne's blog here to get the block instructions:
I'm putting Block 1 in the center and using a cheery yellow like a sun with rays reaching out. The Nine Patch in the center gives a nice place to play with patchwork squares and treat them as a checkerboard, scrappy random light and dark or playing up the plus sign in the center.
Split the sides to have the background color or make it a gradation of shades? I like how the last one above looks like a plus symbol inside a plus symbol. Dark corners round off the overall shape.
Here I have played with taking the colors through in horizontal and vertical bands, like a plaid. Or 4 corners of color with the center squares reflecting the outer colors. What a fun and simple block to create!
I've used yellows from Solana with a number of Thatched shades (Honeycomb, Citrus, Clementine with Rose in the center). Sunshine happiness.
Check out the other designers for Moda Blockheads too and share your blocks on the facebook group! Don't be shy about sharing your work because I love seeing the variety of blocks and the different designs that you all come up with it!
Also, as a reminder, block 1 is a free pattern and is part of Moda Blockheads! For this year's Moda Blockheads, there will be 28 blocks and 8 extra bonus blocks that you can download and create. So, make sure you come back to see more quilt block patterns and color studies so you can create your own unique block-style quilt! Whether you are using traditional reproduction fabrics or are going for a more modern sampler quilt in all solid colors, now is a great time to experiment and have fun in the quilting community with this Blockheads sampler. Happy Sewing!
Designer of colorful florals for Moda fabrics. Modern to transitional quilt designer. Illustrator, sewist, crafter.
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