Blockheads ~ Block 1

Finally!  It’s happening here – the Blockheads Block of the Week is starting. Today.

Block No. 1 is Whirligig from Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles.

Lynne will be sharing her block and maybe some tips and tricks for her wonderful layered patchwork technique on her blog – Kansas Troubles Quilters.

So you know, there will be a total of forty-eight – 6″ finished blocks from Lynne, Betsy Chutchian, Lisa Bongean, Jan Patek and Jo Morton. And me.

Each block will be available as a free download pattern that can be printed in black and white on your home printer.  Or just saved as a download on your tech-toy.

All of Lynne’s blocks can be made using her layered patchwork technique or the “old-fashioned pieced way”.

Isn’t that block gorgeous?  That’s Tammy’s – one of two she made.  She’s going to make one set of blocks using a scrappy “Fall palette” mixing fabrics from different collections and designers.  The second set will be made using her favorite French General scraps.

Chelair loves Primitive Gatherings fabrics and she’s going with a red, white, tan and blue-navy Patriotic theme – these prints are from Old Glory Gatherings.  (She said she’d have made a second block but with her grandsons playing baseball this weekend, much of her time was spent at the ballpark.)

Do you see the stay-stitching on the outside edge of the block?  For blocks that will probably get some handling before the quilt is finished next year (!), this is a great way to minimize stretch, fraying and distortion.

Simply use your regular stitch-length and stitch around the four sides of the block approximately 1/8″ from the edge.

If you remember, I’m using a scrappy assortment of blue Reproduction prints.  I was going to use a creamy white-ivory muslin for my background but after piecing a block, I decided to make a change.

This background is from the upcoming Snowberry collection from 3 Sisters – SKU 44145 11.

I love sewing with the Premium Muslin so I’ve already started cutting that up for another project so stay tuned.

This block goes together quickly and fairly easily, it’s made with “connector corners” or sew-and-flip.  I know… everybody calls it “flip and sew” but that’s just wrong.  You sew first, then flip.  Whether you draw the line, use Clearly Perfect Angles from New Leaf Stitches or the Sew Straight template from Quilt In A Day, it’s a terrific technique.  Right up until you have to trim off all those pesky corners.

So I have a tip/trick to share, it’s something I saw another quilter doing in a class many, many years ago and have used ever since.  It’s not rocket-science but it makes trimming the corners a little less monotonous. (And faster.)

You’ll need a cutting mat with a grid, a 6″ x 12″ or 3″ x 18″ rotary ruler and a rotary cutter.

Place the first piece on the mat aligning the stitching line with a grid line on the mat.  Off-setting the next piece a little bit, layer a second piece keeping the stitching line on the grid of the mat.  Continue until you have four pieces.  (You can do more but four works well for me.) Place the 1/4″ line of your ruler on the stitching line – or a little less for a scant 1/4″ – and trim through all the layers.  Voila!

The time you save will allow you to make another block.

Fig Tree & Co. prints from Farmhouse and Chestnut Street and a background from Primitive Gatherings Liberty Gatherings.

So that’s Block 1 – Whirligig.

Be sure to go visit the others to see what they made:

Then check #modablockheads on Instagram and Facebook for more pictures.

UPDATE:  There is now a Facebook group for the Moda Blockheads.

Happy Wednesday!

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37 thoughts on “Blockheads ~ Block 1

  1. Hooray!! I’m so glad it’s finally here! All of the blocks are beautiful! I love the Snowberry background. I trim my sew-flippity corners with scissors as I cut apart the chains.

  2. Thank you! i am very excited to get started on this, luv luv luv the block,of the week idea.

  3. I think I have to jump in and do this! One block a week is so doable, even for a hand piecer like me!! I am going to make mine totally from stash…love “shopping” in the stash! And it will be scrappy, for sure…. Cannot wait to get started….

  4. Love this block! I’ve decide to use my Olive’s Fower Market F8 bundle hope it’s enough fabric for all of the blocks.

  5. If I want to use the same background fabric for all my blocks, about how much background fabric would I need? So excited to get started!

      1. Hi Doreen – This question was answered on another post but we’ll be discussing it again this coming week. Until then… I started with 4 yards of a single background. That’s more than enough for the blocks, and it will also provide me with enough for sashings as I think I want a light, open look for my quilt.

        So far, the blocks are taking less than a “sweet sixteen” of background so with 48 blocks, that would require 3 yards. And that’s still very generous and doesn’t take into account that I am saving leftover strips and pieces that I’m using in other blocks. 🙂

  6. I finished my block and tried your method above for trimming the triangles and I loved it!!!! Thank you so much for sharing. Love this group

  7. Great block; thanks for all the color variations. Only wish the size of the finished block was identified. Will the blocks be of consistent size, do you know?

    1. Hi Iris – Thank you for letting me know that I forgot to include the finished size of the block!

      Lynne’s block is 6″ finished – and yes, all 48 blocks will finish at the same size. 🙂

      1. Hi Carrie – I re-read the original post and you DID include the finished size in line four! My apologies, Carrie. Thanks for the info about the over-all size of the blocks.

        PS- Totally off topic, but I have to mention that I just finished reading my copy of your book “Feedsacks”. Congratulations on an engaging, comprehensive, colorful and nostalgic look at a special part of our fabric history. The personal recollections of sewing with and wearing feedsack fabrics were a highlight of the book.

  8. Kind of off topic, but I clicked on your link for Snowberry and then saw your Jack Frost pattern – which I totally love! I was wondering if you have the fabric requirements for that quilt, as I’m trying to decide whether to pre-order a fat quarter bundle or just wait until yardage is available. Thanks!

    1. Hi Laure – No worries, I get distracted like that too! Squirrel! lol

      Both the red and blue versions of Jack Frost are best made with yardage. Each quilt uses seven red or blue prints – 3/8 yard each – and five background prints – 1 1/8 yard each. When the fabric is available, if you can’t find the list of fabrics used, leave a comment and I’ll e-mail you the information. 🙂

      1. Thanks so much! Now I can get back to figuring out which fabrics to use for the Blockhead blocks!

  9. OK somehow I can’t find the list of required fabric. On Facebook someone said it is at the bottom of the blog under the quilt pictures! can’t find that!

    1. Hi Marilyn – We’ve replied to several questions on Facebook but there isn’t a specific list of Fabric Requirements because the idea behind this was to go “super, super scrappy”. Given the response and the questions, expect a blog post by early next week. 🙂

  10. Sooo excited to have this Block Head group get started! I think I may need to stay home from work today! Hoping to make mine stash-scrappy!

  11. How fun! I am so excited to get started. Will you be doing more blocks to go with the figtree and co. block? I like the colors. Thank you!

    1. Hi Julie! I am – I’m going to make each block in both color ways. At least that’s my plan. I have Layer Cakes of Chestnut Street and Farmhouse collections that I absolutely love so that’s what I’m using for all my blocks, and yes, I will be mixing in the other colors along the way. I have no idea whatsoever how I’m going to set it but I’ll figure that out soon. (I hope. lol)

  12. I am just getting back into quilting after a 20 year hiatus due to “mother duties” and “caring for elderly parents” duties, and I am soooooo excited about becoming a blockhead!!!!

    I am planning on creating a scrappy quilt, so I would like to know how the finished blocks are going to go together so I can plan my colors, tones, size of patterns, etc in each block.

    Would you please give me some guidance on this?

    Thank you!!

  13. Lovely! I´ll jump on this train too. Which colours? Hmm …. I have a lot of fabrics in ´my own fabric shop ´,so we´ll see what will happen during the trip ……
    Greetings from Lena in Stockholm,Sweden!!!

    1. Hi Linda –

      The first place the blocks will be posted each Wednesday morning is on the blog for that week’s designer. Some of the blogs will also have the link to the pattern download – and we will always link to the designer. Every 6th week, we’ll link to the previous five blocks… just in case someone missed one.

      For the first two blocks –
      Block 1 – http://kansastroublesquilters-lynne.blogspot.com/2017/03/moda-blockheads-bow-1.html
      Block 2 – http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/2017/03/moda-block-heads-block-2-aunt-dinah.html

      Have fun! Block 3 is tomorrow – Jo Morton.

  14. Have not received any more blocks except initial block on March 8, 2017. Could you please forward or make available blocks to date? Thank you!

    1. Hi Sandy – Here are the links to the blog posts that have the Instructions for Blocks 2 through 7. New blocks are posted every Wednesday – the links to the designer blog with those instructions is included in each post. 🙂

      Block 2 – http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/2017/03/moda-block-heads-block-2-aunt-dinah.html
      Block 3 – http://jomortonquilts.com/2017/03/22/moda-blockheads-week-3-block-3/
      Block 4 – http://janpatek.blogspot.com/2017/03/getting-ready-for-april-and-moda.html
      Block 5 – https://lisabongean.com/2017/04/05/block-5-blockheads-2/
      Block 6 – http://blog.modafabrics.com/2017/04/blockheads-block-6/
      Block 7 – http://kansastroublesquilters-lynne.blogspot.com/2017/04/moda-blockheads-week-7.html

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