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

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Moda BlockHeads 3 block 38 from Stacy Iest Hsu

 Happy Wednesday

Here we are in Week 38 with a Fractured Rainbow for Moda BlockHeads3.  Stacy has created a lovely block for us this week, very colorful and really scrappy...I love it.

You'll see from my photos how the block should be assembled as Stacy created, and then what I ultimately sewed together, after a few encounters with the seam ripper.

Selecting the fabrics for the rainbow is so much fun, and if you are like me, it's hard to decide which prints to choose. I chose the 8" block this time.

Fabrics are from Susanna's Scraps, Sarah's Story, Nancy's Needle and a few from Elinore's Endeavor. Just blink and Elinore will be here. Isn't November like next week? LOL, all days are flying by. Where did summer go, locked up in this house, I missed it!!!

First photo is what I originally selected and sewed together.

First, the light blue corner was in the wrong is conveniently missing... oops, so I ripped it out and sewed in correct position. Then I decided to take out the dark pink stripe because it bothered me. After I ripped it out, and re sewed, I had sewn 2  wrong....oops. Rip again or, keep and continue sewing?

I kept it as I sewed, wrong, but cute, I think.

Please go to Stacy's blog to download the pattern.  

Enjoy the process, and hopely you will not need a seam ripper. And, check out our other designers, links below.

Below are the last few blocks. 

I haven't been up to writing for quite a while...I go through phases where I enjoy writing and want to tell you a story.  Lately, the only thing I have to tell is agonizing over the road construction of my street. So why tell the story now....It's been going on since April....what a giant mess.  Curbs and gutters and new sidewalks went in beautifully with only a few rainy weather days to delay.  Projected time to finish the street was the end of August.  HMMM it's now the end of September.
A few weeks ago, the city was ready to pave. They had created the longest dust bowl in Texas, removing the layers of old pavement where we now have, gray grass, gray leaves, gray cars, gray doors and windows, and now gray pumpkins. Well, 2 weeks ago one worker told Steve there might be a gas line issue, another said no problem. After Steve calls the gas company, they said they would check on the issue and call the next, they called the next morning. Main gas line for the street was 4" from the surface, had to be replaced and set deeper. ok. Why didn't they know this before getting to this point??? Then the crew ran into water and sewer line issues, then hit a gas service line a couple of houses away, nothing bad happened but I'm a nervous wreck. Fire trucks with hoses stretched and ready. Oh yay. Now every house is getting new lines and meters. All has to be done before the street can be paved. New projected finish date is end of October.  We shall see. Today they have dug the 4th giant hole in our yard in prep for shutting off the gas and replacing the line and meter. Scary. Every house has the same story. I swear one hole next door is deep enough to bury several bodies. The noise has been tremendous and except for rainy days, non stop. Most weekends have been quiet, thankfully. We are all congested and the dust is unending, but luckily allergy meds keep my sniffer working.

Actually, Fractured Rainbow is a very appropriately named block, for me, this week. I'm a fractured mess. And if a rainbow appeared, it would be in shades of gray. Thanks Stacy for a colorful diversion.

Blocks from the last few weeks...

Hope you enjoy making Stacy's block.

Stay well and take care.

Until next time,
~ Betsy

 Corey Yoder -

Sherri McConnell -

Betsy Chutchian -

  Lisa Bongean -
Lissa Alexander -

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Happy Wednesday! Today is my day for Week 31 Moda BlockHeads3

Happy Wednesday! Today is my day for Week 31 Moda BlockHeads3

Basket Collector

I am a collector of baskets, like so many of my collections, I inherited Mother's collection too. I love everything about them, especially the handmade. They are practical, useful and works of art...just like our quilts! I've compiled photos of a fraction of the collection.

Grab a cup of coffee or tea...and stay a while. Lots to show you.....

3 blocks, 3 baskets

We will talk blocks in a minute...

I love sewing baskets and sewing stuff. I finally found the missing leaf, now I can finish Jan's block.

Nancy's Needle, in a quilt, candy in the basket, and a basket of just a few pincushions. LOL

4" block in Elinore's Endeavor. 

6" block Nancy's Needle with Sarah's Story and Susanna's Scraps and a tiny bit from Elinore. 

8" block all Nancy's Needle with a bit of Sarah's Story.

Let's talk making baskets...and the construction of. You will see in your pattern, one way of making the large cream triangle section. below is another way. I'm all about choices. Once you have your pattern in hand you will see the difference, and see why I wanted to show you this alternative. Pick the method for you or combine the methods, as I did.

Look at the pieced brown triangle, our pattern gives that construction for the basket base, for the background, and for the empty space above the base. The pieced version will have a lot of seams coming together and you will need to press so that seams nest or press open. Below you will see the pieced triangle version for the background below the base.

Note the large triangle matches the pieced triangle. I'll give you the size square to cut if you would like to use that method.

The 6" block

and below, the fussy cut center, the reason for the alternative construction, with a fussy base..
and next to it the pieced triangle unit for the background corner. Can you see the seams?

Click Here for the pattern Basket Collector

If you would like a fussy cut filling for your basket, or background, or even a plain basket base, here are the cutting instructions:

for the 4" block, cut one square 2 7/8"

for the 6" block, cut one square 3 7/8"

for the 8" block, cut one square 4 7/8"

for the 12" block, cut one square 6 7/8"

Cut each square in half, diagonally.

Regardless, of how you make this basket block, I hope you enjoy it. and NO, you don't have to make 3 sizes!

More baskets???

Basket of Eliza's Indigo fat quarters

Big basket of plaids and a bread basket full of ribbons

Just the right spot

                                       big laundry basket of yardage for backings, and a quilt 

Picnic baskets, cool basket and a basket purse form the 1960's (mom's)

All Mom's, except for the one on the right with the Christmas cactus that won't bloom.

I use baskets for storage and for decoration. There ARE more. LOL. I've shown enough.

Thanks for stopping by. Stay well and stay safe. 

Until next time,

~ Betsy

 Corey Yoder -

Sherri McConnell -

  Lisa Bongean -
Lissa Alexander -

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Week 30 Moda BlockHeads3 Ring Around by Corey Yoder

Happy Wednesday everyone!
Week 29 Ring Around is by Corey Yoder.

I made this sweet block in 2 sizes, 4" and 8" and because I am easily bored and have to add new fabrics, I pulled some scraps from making Market quilts for Elinore's Endeavor.
Elinor will be available in shops in November.

In the above photo, the yellow is from Sarah's Story and the rest from Elinore's Endeavor.

All fabrics in this block are from Elinore's Endeavor.

And here we have both it is easy to tell which one is 4" and which is 8".

to go to Corey's blog for the download to this cute pattern and Corey's tips.
Thank you Corey, I enjoyed playing with new fabrics and your cute design!

I think these blocks, as with most of the blocks we design have lots of color and placement options.
Have you noticed how much the value of the fabrics makes in the final block!
I pull fabric and set aside, pull another combination and set aside.
 I pin options to a design wall across the room and look for contrast and find the values are too close.
Other times, I'm looking for the fabrics to blend...LOL.
I love mixing textures, florals, stripes, plaids or checks and various scales of prints.
Fabrics are to me as yummy as the best desserts. I enjoy having a full pantry to make my selections for blocks and quilts.  "The more fabric the better" is my motto.

Tiny seams and pressing can be challenging. I twisted seams whenever possible and, still this itty bitty cutie, did not press well.

Before I go, I want to mention the final layout of the blocks.  I know we all mentioned ideas we might have, but as we are now half way, you will want to be thinking and making a plan. 

Before you ask, I still do not have a plan.  I need to see all my blocks, completed, and up on a wall...big wall, to see how they will play together.  Some of my fabric or color choices may not work once we finish.  Remember that I make several blocks some weeks, and blocks of all different sizes, 
so I have choices.
 I like to wing it when it comes to a sampler and since I'm fairly indecisive, this works for me. 
So, throwing the blocks of the floor or sticking to a design wall and moving them around to fit, makes me happy, and if I need filler blocks, or need to remake a block, or several, that's ok too.

I've worked in shops, and taught for so many years, that I know making blocks without a plan just may not work for you, and that is ok with me! (I like the challenge)...You need to be happy with your quilt. Watch for layout options on my fellow designers blogs.  Some posted their ideas early on, but there might be some new ideas coming as well.

Questions??? I am better at answering on Instagram.  I love hearing from you.

Until next time, 
Stay well, stay safe, wear a mask and be happy sewing.


Sherri McConnell -
  Lisa Bongean -
Lissa Alexander -