Wednesday, September 13, 2023

It's My Day! BH5 block 1 Bright Star

 Hello Blockheads! 

Welcome to Group One for the 5th Moda Blockheads sew along! I'm pretty excited here, for a new sampler quilt project. Or three, as you will see below, and I will explain the details.

I'm introducing the first official block, even though we had a kick off last week with a posting for a signature block.

My block is Bright Star. I was inspired by a beautiful antique quilt, and two journal entries from great great grandmother, Lizzie. On March 31, 1873,Lizzie wrote, "I pieced some on my quilt - 4 half star." Then on April 13, 1873, "The past week I finished piecing my Half Star quilt." This antique quilt is not Lizzie's but I think this is what she could have been making, a block with 4 halves of  Lemoyne Stars.

The difference between Half Star and Bright Star???
Diamonds became half square triangles.

Once I started piecing the Christmas version above, I thought why not a Halloween version?!

Then, when I thought about how 
 Group 1 ends in November, I thought about continuing with some of Group 2, to make a family quilt...just from the fabric lines I have designed inspired by my female ancestors.

If you didn't know already, everything I do has a story. 

So lets get on with the pattern and tips!
Click  HERE for the pattern, on Moda's Blog and then,
 come back for all my tips below.

Bright Star
12" block

Before you start cutting, I strongly suggest starching the fabrics. I starch as I need to, with a spray starch, placing fabric on a towel on my big board. I let the fabric air dry, or press dry if in a hurry.
There are many HSTs in this block...don't count. LOL
While you wait for you fabric to dry, think about where you want your fabrics to go.
On the pattern sheet, there is a great diagram of the block with triangles labeled. I made copies of that diagram so I could play with colored pencils.
Then, I put the options on one page and glued the swatches and labeled.
This was extremely helpful to me, hopefully it will be for you as well. Color as you like.

You will make HSTs by cutting squares to make fast HSTs (see pattern) Or you might wish to cut squares diagonally into triangles. I made HSTs both ways, since I was making 4 blocks. I will say, working with starched triangles was very easy. Regardless of method, you will trim the HST unit to size as directed in the pattern.  I always prefer to oversize the squares, then trim the pieced units after sewing.

I like Bloc_Loc rulers for trimming. Trim 2 sides from direction, then turn and trim the other 2 sides.

Arrange units as shown on the pattern. Refer to your colored diagram!

This is how I pressed the Halloween version. I press so seams nest, otherwise they are too bumpy. Use the color diagram to plan pressing, some HSTs are pressed to the light.

one quadrant

4 quadrants

12" block

pressing of completed  12" Halloween block

If you have a center that you don't want pieced from squares, try this HST arrangement and sew in 4 patch units, and then into rows....

6" block

6" Halloween

and lastly, a 12" very scrappy Bright Star.

Please don't hesitate to contact me, with questions. Instagram is the fastest. 
Do you follow me?  I will monitor here as well.
I will have posts on Facebook in Moda Blockheads group, and on Instagram throughout Group 1, and Group 2 when I make that block.

Lots going on. Lots to do. Lots I want to do.
Never enough time!!

Until next time ~


Friday, September 1, 2023

BH 5 is coming soon!


Hello everyone! It's been quite a while... And here we are about to start BH5!

So how have you all been? I hope well!  It's hotter that imaginable in Texas and elsewhere and no end is sight yet. Maybe under 100 for a couple of days, then back over 100 next week???

It has been so long since I last posted, this is a test to see if it still works! 

I thought I'd share a few things.... like my fabrics for BH5.

  I'm in the first group that ends mid-November. I'm planning 3 colorways: Christmasy, Halloweeny and traditional Yummy.

Now you will be wanting to know how much fabric. That's not an easy thing to answer. but let me give you my suggestions.

First, if you would like to use one background, buy more that you think you will need, depending on whether you are doing group 1 only, group 2 only, or both. Add a bunch of fat quarters, maybe 20ish, in a palette you love so you can add more as you go along. I know it is frustrating to not know exact amounts, with so many variables.

I do have an unfair advantage that as a designer, I have tons of fabric scraps and pieces from which to choose, so that I can easily substitute if needed. Scrappy with lots of fabrics is my favorite style of quilts to make.

My choices are from most of my fabric lines for Moda. I love how my different lines work together!

Follow me on Instagram @betsy_chutchian for the quickest answer to your questions. I'll have a detailed post here, on the blog, on September 13, my BH5 day, that you won't want to miss. No videos, but lots of photos to help you with my block. I will also be posting on Instagram and our Moda Blockheads Facebook group each week barring the unforeseen stuff that happens around here.

Above is my Christmasy selection, just reds and greens mostly from Florence's Fancy.

My Halloweeny version with good old Bramblewood and other blacks and creams and a cheddar from my assorted lines.

And last, my yummy traditonal print version, that will run the entire series, but not every week. When I started pulling this madder look, I realized the prints were all from my lines which were inspired by distant family members!  How fun is this! My family tree in fabrics!  In this photo, Lizzie's Legacy, Susanna's Scraps, Nancy's Needle, Mary Ann's Gift, Kate's Garden Gate and Florence's Fancy are all represented, with Dinah's Delight, set to join the others in January. No doubt this group will grow!!!

Did you notice, each group has more than one background? Makes substituting easy when one becomes a favorite and you run out!

This is my 5th BlocksHeads and it's such an honor to share my crazy scrappy world, once again with you. With each sampler, I've tried to change up the fabrics to achieve different looks. This time, I wanted you to see the options and how any style, or flavor of fabrics, will work. You just pick fabrics you love and ENJOY!

Until next time,

~ Betsy


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

My Turn! Moda Blockheads4

Thank you All for the nice response to my test blog! I’m back today with MY block Crowning Glory, number 18, for BH4.  If I had known how hot it would be this month, I would have named it Blazing Glory!

In case you are new to following me, since I’ve been away from blogging for a couple of years, this is my 4th time to be a Moda Blockheads designer. Each series has been fun and different. This time we have lots of Moda designers and I hope you will visit them to see what they have made. 

My pile of tiny blocks is growing…and while I’ve thought of settings, I’ll wait until we are finished to let the tiny blocks tell me what type of little quilt they want to be. Do you have a plan from the beginning, or like me, you let the mood move you?

On top of the pile is today’s 4 1/2” version. I made it first.  

And then I made  the 9” version, thinking I might make a medallion setting. Still thinking! The larger version certainly went together quicker than the 4 1/2” version! LOL
I love this combination.

Now let’s break down the assembly, which is basically a 9 Patch.

Top row above shows the hour glass unit before trimming. I like cutting squares for an hourglass 1/8” or 1/4” larger before stitching. It makes trimming to size so much easier.  Hourglasses in middle and bottom rows are trimmed. 

Below, you can see how I pressed.  I flip the seam intersection of each hourglass, and clip next to the seam allowance so you may press the seams to nest with the half square triangle units. This makes for a smooth construction and ultimately a flat block without big bumps.  

I got excited that Kate’s Garden Gate should be shipping this week. So I just had to make a another 4 1/2” cutie combining Mary Ann and Kate. 
Side note, Kate was Mary Ann’s mother in law.

                          I hope you enjoy making Crowning Glory. Here is the link to the pattern.

For more with me and today’s block, visit Moda’s blog,  Instagram @betsy_chutchian or Moda Blockheads on Facebook. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time,

~ Betsy

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Catching Up

 Good morning from a very hot Texas.

As you’ve noticed, I haven’t written a blog post in 2 years. Why? Many reasons, but primarily, I say what want and need to say, over on Instagram. In the last 2 years, computers have crashed, new one is impossible to work and I have been hacked way too many times.   it’s exhausting ! And I feel like the world is in a mess and it’s terribly frightening  so, I stopped blogging. 

This post is a test, LOL not to see if you comment but to see if I can load photos from the iPad.  You may comment if you want  ; ) 

Ok! I’ve been participating in ModaBlockheads4 and here is block 17, Shoreline by Camille of Thimbleblossoms.  Super cute block in tiny 4 1/2” size. Find the pattern on Moda’s blog or @thimbleblossoms on Instagram. Please visit Camille if you get the chance. 

That’s all I’ve got for now…stay cool and sew!

My little loves,  a few weeks ago. Be still my heart. 

Until next time 

~ Betsy

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Moda Blockheads week 46, Roses by Jan Patek

 Happy Moda Blockheads Wednesday!

Today is Jan Patek’s day for Roses, block 46

I LOVE this block! I’m thinking a whole quilt of these would make a fine Christmas quilt, don’t you?

Because some of you have eagle eyes, the shapes are perfectly in place for the photo, not stitched down. I think this will make for some lovely stitching on quiet evenings. I’m all caught up with the other appliqu├ęs. 

For Jan’s lovely pattern, Click Here

Be sure to visit our other designers to see what they have made. 

Thank you all for the wonderful stories on last week’s post. I loved reading every one of them. I’ve posted the winner of the layer cake on the Moda Facebook group. 

There is another giveaway running until Friday on my Instagram feed @ betsy_chutchian for 
Red anGreen Quilts book from Martingale, if you would like to enter. 

This is my quilt. 
It’s on the cover. ☺️

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Until next time, 
stay safe and well. 
~ Betsy


 Corey Yoder -

Sherri McConnell -

Betsy Chutchian -

  Lisa Bongean -
Lissa Alexander -

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Moda Blockheads3 It’s my week for Block 45 Songbird

Happy Wednesday! It’s my week for block 45, Songbird.

As I mentioned last week, we are in the final round of blocks, so this is the last one you will have from me. This is my 3rd time to participate in Blockheads and I love it. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed the journey, each week visiting our blogs, Instagram and Facebook postings.


 I have to admit, the real name of this block is Vermont, but I changed it.  I like to connect the block and the name. If you follow me, you know I like a good story. I see things in blocks. Vermont didn’t speak to me, but I did see bird beaks.  Now the weird thing is, I’m not fond of birds, but I do like to listen to birds the distance.  Yes, I’m weird.

Before you race to download my block, I have a few tips to share, more photos, and information for a giveaway.

I made 4 blocks. One 8”, one 4” and two 6”, to try different fabric combinations, and make notes that I hope will give you the best results. So here are my tips for Songbird:

1. Starch all fabrics before cutting.

2.  I suggest adding 1/8” to each measurement given for half square triangles. Make HSTs and trim according to the pattern instructions  

3.  You will want to select one combination of HSTs and press to the light.   Press the other combination to the dark.  This enables the seams to nest.

4. The diagonal design poses potential seam allowance issues. I have a way for you to test your sewing before piecing the entire block and discovering that your block is too small, or too big. For example, below is the center section for a 6” block as a check to see that your opposite corners reach 6 1/2” marks on the cutting mat. If the section does not go to 6 1/2”, either too big or to small, this is the time to adjust by either taking a wider seam or a narrower seam by a thread or two in the last seams you made to assemble this section. Assemble the remaining parts in the same manner, according to your adjustment if necessary. Your seam allowance may be spot on, I however have a gremlin in my machine  LOL and my 4” was too big. 

Use this guide to measure the other sizes, 4 1/2”, 8 1/2”, and 12 1/2” using either a square ruler, or cutting mat.

I love playing with fabrics....
8” block
Plaids are from Elinore’s Endeavor.

6” block

6” block

Click HERE for Songbird pattern. 

Please check on our other designers to see what they have made. Links below.

Now for the giveaway....  Remember I said I like a good story? At a time when we are missing family gatherings, and the decision of whether to gather for Thanksgiving is so emotional, and difficult. I’ve been thinking of funny things that have happened over the years at our family get togethers. I’d love to hear one of your funny traditions or memories of  your gatherings.  Something that makes you smile or giggle thinking about it. Here’s one of my favorites from Halloween 2012. 

We hosted Halloween parties for years. In 2012, Matt was a “serial” killer aka “cereal” as you can see inside his suit coat LOL, and my Mother was a black widow spider. My parents always came in costume. Such a fun memory of happy times.  Aren’t you glad I don’t have a photo of my grandfather as he asked my grandmother one holiday why he had on two pairs of underwear. The vision is forever in my memory as is the sound of all of everyone laughing. Smiling as I write. 
A layer cake of my lovely Elinore’s Endeavor will be sent to the lucky winner randomly selected from comments made on my post for Songbird in the Moda Blockheads Facebook group. You will need to make your comment there for a chance to win.

I look forward to reading your funny family stories. Winner will be announced next Tuesday, November 24 in the Facebook group.

A new giveaway!
Go to my Instagram feed @betsy_chutchian to enter a chance to win Barbara Brackman’s NEW Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Blocks. All the details are on my IG post. Good luck!!!

Until next time, 
stay safe and well. 
~ Betsy


 Corey Yoder -

Sherri McConnell -

Betsy Chutchian -

  Lisa Bongean -
Lissa Alexander -

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Moda Blockheads3 Week 44 by Sherri McConnell

I really like the name for this week. We are a community. 

Sorry I’ve been absent for a while. Lots going on as usual, plus a lot of trouble with my email program, iPhone an desktop. Yes, I need a new phone and desktop. I’m typing on the iPad which I’ve not been able to do until tonight. I’m awful with technology, tech anything so if this blog posts, I will be amazed. 

My version of Community 

                                                  First I made the 8” block then ....

...a 4” version.

Click Here for Sherri’s pattern.

I saved all the cut away triangles from making the flying geese in the 8“ to make a little 4”cutie with 16 triangle units.
Here are some options for consideration...

These little extras are going to come in handy when I’m ready to set my quilt. Hope you enjoy the last round of blocks. My last block will be next week. 

Until next time,
~ Betsy