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