Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Moda BlockHeads Week 30 Four Patch Dash by Carrie Nelson

Question of the Week...Name a "famous" quilter that inspired-taught you, of the 20 past years that you hope quilters will remember 20 years from now.

First, I'm always inspired by by fellow BlockHead designers, but with them exempt from this topic,  I can name a few quilters/ teachers that I'll never forget.   One name is Pat Campbell. Applique teacher, now deceased.  Pat taught a series of classes at the church across the street from me nearly 30 years ago, where I learned her applique methods, many of which I still use today....except the size 12 Clover quilting needle....the size needle she preferred for her award winning and stunning work.  I prefer a Jeana Kimball Fox Glove Cottage size 10 straw needle.
The second quilter that I'll never forget and appreciate everyday, is quilt historian Terry Clothier Thompson.  I had the pleasure of attending her Fabric Camps, 4 of them,  years ago, and was constantly amazed at her knowledge and her practical, hands-on approach to antique quilts, tops and fabrics. I loved that her quilts were meant to to be touched and studied 'up close'.  When I give trunk shows of my antique quilts and talk about the fabrics and their time periods, I try to impart a practical study and love of textiles as Terry did.
There are SO many quilters whose stories and techniques are to be treasured and remembered. Will you remember?

Our block this week is by Carrie Nelson - Four Patch Dash
I was quite pleased to see an easy block this week, thanks Carrie!
However, selecting the fabric, hmm, well that was far harder than I expected, and really took more thought and time than some of our more difficult blocks.
I think the 2 sets of  'medium' prints threw me. I'm in heavy duty, pedal to the metal sewing stage of Quilt Market prep crazy. So, after pulling multiple combinations, I settled on a set, then remade in other  fabrics.  It's a great block and fun to make, I just needed a 'make a decision' pill!!!  It's not like I haven't made 4 patches or even this block before!

Here are my versions....

Above, fabrics are from Rachel Remembered and the soon to be delivered Grace's Garden (couple of weeks away, I think)

Below, fabrics  are from Eliza's Indigo, Lizzie's Legacy, and Grace's Garden

Click on Carrie's blog (Moda) 
to get the pattern and to see her tips.

I made 2 - 3" mini versions also.
 Cut the 4 patch squares 1 1/8", center square 1" and the sashing 1" x 1 3/4"

Top mini has fabrics from Hope's Journey, Rachel Remembered and Grace's Garden. 
Bottom mini has fabrics from Lizzie's Legacy, Hope's Journey and Grace's Garden.

Don't know which version will go into the quilt!

Thanks for stopping by....
Be sure to visit my friends' blogs and all of us on social media.

Happy sewing!
Until next time ~

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Week 29 Juneau by Lisa Bonean

I thought Fall was here!...the joke's on me this week as it is really hot, mid 90's and more.  Hoping for a cooler week next week. Time to decorate when I get a few deadlines out of the way. I do have 2 pumpkins on the porch, need a third. 

Here we are again.  Didn't we just make a pumpkin block?  This week is Lisa's turn and she has brought us a fun block called Juneau.
This block is making me long for Alaska.  Hmm, bet it is cooler there!!!
 All prints this time are from Rachel Remembered. I varied from the pattern placement of light, medium and dark prints just a tad.  I'm in a blue mood.  Not sad! I just like that blue right now.  Do you have favorite colors?  My favorites run in cycles. 

Question of the Week....Do you ever machine quilt your own quilts?  If  so, do you have any special tips?  I'll type when I finish laughing....Ok, I've composed myself...I'm absolutely pitifully hopeless at machine quilting.  I can quilt a grid or straight lines or follow a gentle curve, but NO NO NO ability to free motion quilt.  I bow to those with that talent.  My special tip...I quilt by check to lovely and talented women who make my quilts even better...Sheri, Karen and Maggi....thank you, for your talent!

  Click on Lisa's Blog for her pattern, tips and tricks for making this pretty block.
Be sure to visit my friends blogs to see what they have made.

Here is my 3" Mini Penny block for this week, made totally from leftovers on the cutting table.
First , I saved the the extra triangles when I trimmed the square in a square center.  I took a 1/8" seam and after pressing to the dark brown,
I trimmed the HST units to 1 3/8" square.  
Sew them together to make a tiny pinwheel block that measures 2 1/4"
Cut 2 - 3" squares, cut again once diagonally.  Yes they are big, but the pinwheel floats.  Sew the triangles to the pinwheel, pressing to the corners.  Trim the block to 3 1/2" for a 3" finished block.

Hope you enjoy making Juneau and have a good week sewing!
I'll be busy sewing too!!!

Until next time ~


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Moda BlockHeads Week 28 Pumpkin by Jan Patek

It's Pumpkin time! YAY!  Well almost here in Texas.  Pumpkins will start arriving end of the month or early October.  It's my favorite time of year.  As soon as I can meet some early Market deadlines, I'll decorate. Love, Love, Love this time of year.  
Cooler days and nights, although we will continue to have really warm days too, 
the anticipation of cooler days to come, makes the intermittent warmth bearable.

Question of the Week....
Hand quilting...Do you hand quilt?  How frequently? If so do you have any tips?
Wow, I love to hand quilt.  I almost never get to hand quilt and if I do, it is more of a Utility style of quilting, that is now being called "Big Stitch".  I love the comfort of hand quilting and 'big stitch ' style still gives me that comfort. Slow. relaxed. Comfortable chair or couch. Good lighting. Size 7 or 8 Sharps by Bohin are my needle of choice for size 8 Perle Cotton.

Most of you don't know this, but I taught myself to quilt before I pieced a quilt.  I was given a top made by my paternal great grandmother. I picked muslin for the back and a polyester was 1980.  I drew on a swirly design, reminiscent of my Spirograph designs. I bought a hoop on a stand from Sears and went to work.  I found my calling...I loved taking every stitch in that quilt and treasure it still. For many years I hand quilted for the public. I miss quilting more than you know, even though I absolutely love machine piecing!!


Here is Jan's cute block for this week.  I'm really enjoying the applique blocks.
Thanks JAN!

                                                Click  Jan's Blog and her pattern and tips.

My version is made with a layered applique technique, which means I traced whole shapes rather than wedges.

For the mini, I drew an oval template. Tried to make it symmetrical and then traced 3 more to put on a 3" square of paper...too big.  So then I trimmed until my 'pumpkin seeds' fit. I suggest cutting a 4" square of background fabric and pressing into diagonal quadrants.  On paper, draw a 3" square, with a dot at the center of the block and diagonal lines if desired.  Draw one oval template and place on paper square. It should be slightly smaller in length and not quite meet the corner.  Fabric will add width and length to the template, so take that into consideration. You won.t want your seeds to be lost in seam allowances.   Remember Jan's work is primitive and wonderful.  The Pumpkin Seed block does not have to be perfect either.  Trim square to 3 1/2".

I'm always surprised how different these squares photographed even when taken at the same time, same light!

Enjoy your sewing time as the days get cooler.  Bring on FALL!

Visit all or BlockHead designers to see what they have done, and the ongoing list of patterns on our Moda BlockHeads Facebook group if you need to catch up.

Until next time~

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Week 27 Moda BlockHeads Jo Morton's Union Variation

Welcome to BlockHeads Week 27!  The block this week is Union Variation by Jo Morton.  Jo and I love this block and both have quilts using it.  I'm so glad Jo submitted this one!

I'm sorry for any inconvenience you may have had last week when Blogger didn't recognize my pattern link. There was nothing wrong with the link, it was just a Blogger thing. I know clicking on the link is the easy way to go, and I prefer it, but a quick copy and paste into the browser window worked well.  I'm concerned this will happen again when it is my week.  Ugh!  Fingers crossed.

Question of the Week...
Is there a product or tool you wish you had invented?
Absolutely, I wish I had invented triangle paper!!!!  I almost submitted triangle paper as the one invention that changed my quiltmaking process and makes me the happiest.  Triangle Papers save SO much time, especially when making blocks for Patchwork Diva exchanges or when making quilts for Quilts Market, as I am now.  I have every size paper that is made and have never regretted the purchase in the amount of time saved with such accurate results. Great invention, and our own Lisa Bongean has a full line of papers through Primitive Gatherings. I've also used Spinning Stars, Laundry Basket, and Quiltime papers. Triangulations is also a fine product on a disk where you print the size you want on your home printer.
Bloc_Loc rulers are a pretty nifty invention, too.  Can I please wish I had invented them as well????
And graph paper...I cannot live without it. It's been around a l o n g time, like mechanical pencils.  Hmm. I wish I had invented them all.

Here is Jo's Union Variation, my version.

Let's see if this works...
 Click Jo's Blog
for her pattern and tips for putting the wonderful block together.
Thanks JO!
Be sure to visit everyone's blog to see their blocks!

 I oversized the squares for the small triangles by an additional 1/8", then trimmed with a small Bloc_Loc ruler.

Hello Fall.  The day after Labor Day, Fall begins here in Texas, and I'm sure elsewhere, too. At least we start think about cooler temperatures.  As I write, the wind is from the North, bringing a cool front.  I do wish the weather people would stop saying 'cold front' will only be cooler, not COLD!!!
No orange pumpkins yet, but this white one has been hanging out and not rotting, since last October.

For the 3" mini this week, I chose a Churn Dash.
To make the block:
Cut 2 light and 2 dark squares 2" for corner HSTs. Press to dark triangle. 
Trim the HSTs to 1 1/2" x 1 1/2".
Cut 4 light and 4 dark rectangles 1" x 1 1/2". 
Sew light and dark rectangles together, pressing seams open.
Cut 1 - 1 1/2" light square for the center.
Sew units together.  I pressed the middle row out to the rectangles and the top and bottom rows in to the rectangles. Join rows, pressing to center row.
Block should measure 3 1/2" for a 3" finished block.

Before you head off to sew, we had a lovely Labor Day at my brother-in-law's home. Had to share some of the weekend's photos.
 Reed, the newest, and cutest Ranger fan on Sunday.

 Miss Fearless Madison

 Mimi and Reed

Rachel (mommy) and Reed, first time in the pool.
Uncle Matt and Reed

Until next time ~
Enjoy every day!
Happy sewing!