Blockheads ~ Block 13

It’s rather fitting that this week’s block is titled Bowtie Quartet – we’ve finished one quarter of the blocks!  Twelve done, thirty-six to go!

That also makes this Lucky Block 13!

These are Tammy’s blocks made with fabrics from Lynne Hagmeier’s Thistle Farm and Sandy Gervais’ Beauty Fall.

Lynne Hagmeier – Kansas Troubles.  Block 13 is her Bowtie Quartet – CLICK HERE to get the link to the Block.

We have Lynne and her family in our thoughts and prayers, and we hope you will too as they grieve over the loss of Lynne’s father.

Lynne’s block is made with her wonderful layered patchwork technique and that’s the technique Tammy used.  For her small mini-version, the print and background squares are cut at 1-1/2″ x 1 1/2″ and the layered squares are 3/4″ x 3/4″.  The block measures 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ and finishes at 4″ x 4″.

As for me, I’m a natural-born go-my-own-wayer so I decided to make a traditional bowtie block using connector corners.

For each print used for a bowtie – cut 2 squares 1″ x 1″ or 1-1/4″ x 1-1/4″.

I cut my squares 1″ x 1″ because I prefer a smaller “knot”.  For a little more oomph in the knot, use the larger square.

Connector corners – also called flip-and-sew, folded corners, etc.  If you learned this technique way back in the olden-days – the 1980s – from Mary Ellen Hopkins, you probably call them connector corners.

With right-sides-together, lay the small square in the corner of a background square as shown.

Stitch across the square.  You can use a ruler or a tool that lines up the corners of the square – Clearly Perfect Angles or Sew Straight by Quilt in a Day – but for squares this small… I just eyeball it and stitch across the center.  (I’m such a rebel!)

Clip one layer of the fabric or both – I obviously prefer both.  Press the seam toward the tiny triangle.

Assemble the block as directed.

Easy, right?

With blocks like this, I also like to “pop the seam” so that my seams are going in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction.  (It doesn’t matter which direction they go, just make sure all of the blocks have the seams going in the same direction.)

The technique is simple – using your fingers to twist the seam in opposite directions, or using a seam ripper to remove the couple of stitches above the horizontal seam, open the center of the block so that the right sides show.  I do this on the bowties and on the completed block.

Fabrics – assorted blue prints from Grand Traverse Bay by Minick & Simpson and Snowberry by 3 Sisters.  The background is from Snowberry.

It is one of my favorite little tricks, something I learned many, many years ago and still use frequently.

Question of the Week ~ What is the best quilting tip you’ve ever learned?

Tammy shared a terrific tip, one she learned in a five-day workshop at Asilomar with Elly Sienkiewicz on Baltimore Album Appliqué.  The tip is to put a tiny knot in the end of your thread to keep it from coming unthreaded while stitching.  Tammy uses this technique ever time she threads a needle, whether it is for binding, appliqué or any kind of hand-stitching.

The best “quilting” tip I ever learned was in a knitting class.  The tip was a simple one – it doesn’t matter how you do any single thing, what matters is that you’re happy.  Happy with your process, and with your results.  If you can knit with one leg looped behind your neck while holding the needles in your teeth, go for it.  (And by all means, sell tickets to the show!)

As for the fabrics, they are from the Farmhouse and Chestnut Street collections by Fig Tree & Co., and the background is from Liberty Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings.

Just in case you missed it – CLICK HERE to get the link to Block 13 ~ Bowtie Quartet.

That’s it for today, May 31 – can you believe it’s the end of May already?!  Be sure to visit Betsy, Jo, Jan and Lisa to see their blocks and what other good things they might have made:

And don’t forget to check out the blocks popping up in #modablockheads on Instagram and Facebook for more pictures.  The Moda Blockheads Facebook group is also busy with folks sharing tips, suggestions and support.

Happy Blockhead Wednesday!

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9 comments on “Blockheads ~ Block 13

  1. Hildy says:

    I love your blocks but I think I’ll simplify mine and make one big center instead of a four patch. Fewer seams are always good;-)
    Best quilting tip for me was how to make HSTs oversized and then trim them down. And the sew & flip method for flying geese. These two things changed my sewing life:-)

  2. Sue H says:

    Your tip is perfect … be happy! I used to absolutely, positively fret over less than perfect points. I had to remind myself that I quilt as a hobby and to release artistic endorphin. Peace & happiness = perfect quilting!

  3. Ju de Simas says:

    You’re so funny! Your knitting tip made my day , thank you!

  4. Marie E says:

    Help. Lynn’s alternate directions for the traditional method is not coming up when I click on it. Can you get it out for us from your blog? Thanks (and I love the Fig Tree alternates!)

  5. Linda Lowery says:

    I am still trying to get blocks ten. and eleven to print. When I go to Jan’s page for ten, I get a page cannot be displayed error message. Her picture has her block over the instructions so I cannot get it that way.
    Also cannot get eleven to print.

  6. DeNita S. Wattersq says:

    Do these blocks cost anything and is it to late to join? Thank you for any information

  7. Kelsie says:

    I enjoyed this block. My aunt is currently making a bowtie quilt top [but the bowties are set in diagonal rows.] This was a very fun variation. The best tip I ever got was just to enjoy creating and to view your “mistakes” as “happy accidents” that show the piece was handmade.

  8. slope says:

    Help. Lynn’s alternate directions for the traditional method is not coming up when I click on it. Can you get it out for us from your blog? Thanks (and I love the Fig Tree alternates!)

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