Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Moda Blockheads Week #7


Moda Blockheads Question of the Week:

What's your favorite ruler? Do you have a preferred brand? Size?

I like Olfa rulers with their skinny black lines and sharp 1/8" markings. They're clear acrylic to easily see thru for use with any color fabric. I think I have virtually every size they make! Of course, I like our KT rulers & templates, too, for simple projects made quickly. Check them out at KT-RulersTemplates.


Moda Blockheads Block #7

We're into our second round of blocks so I thought I'd share something a little different. I love basket blocks! You'll see over the coming weeks, some of my fellow designers love them, too - in all shapes, sizes and techniques. I hope you'll enjoy my Penny Basket block mixing traditional & layered piecing with some fusible applique for a whimsical look. I can't wait to see what you do for your block. See you on FB. NOTE there are 2 pages to the instructions this week. Click on the highlighted link below.

Block 7 - Penny Basket - Kansas Troubles Quilters
http://unitednotions.com/Block7LH_PennyBasket.pdf





 Kathy & Joy chose similar fabrics this week to make their Penny Baskets. What will you choose?

 Visit my designer friends to see what they've created this week at the links below.

Hey, Jo, your new book looks like so much fun! It's on my must have list. Go to Jo's blog for more information.


 Betsy -
Blog - http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/betsy.chutchian
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/betsy_chutchian/

Lisa B -
Blog - https://lisabongean.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/primitivegatherings.quiltshop/ or https://www.facebook.com/lisa.bongean
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/lisabongean/  or https://www.instagram.com/primitive_gatherings_quiltshop/  or  https://www.instagram.com/primitive_gatherings_ca/

Jan -
Blog - http://janpatek.blogspot.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/jan.patek.79?fref=nf
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/jan_patek_quilts/

Jo -
Blog - http://jomortonquilts.com/jos_journal/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/jomortonquilts/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/joquilts/

Moda -
Blog - http://blog.modafabrics.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/modafabrics/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/modafabrics/


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Moda Blockheads Week #6

KT Winner

The winner of our red/tan/blue scrap bag this week is
Beth Esser -Love all the blocks! My favorite needle size is 70 with my favorite Aurifil thread!

Hope you find some prints that will work perfectly in your Blockheads blocks.



I'm so excited to check on Facebook each morning to see all the new, inspiring blocks you ladies are creating and posting. I used to make myself take the time for FB, but now, I check at least a couple times a day! Robert asked the other day if I was in a contest or something. My reply, "Kinda....". It's the kind of contest where everyone wins!

Moda Blockheads Question of the Week:

How do you press your seams - to one side, always to the dark, open, split?
For me, it depends on the block. I normally press toward the dark, when that works. Sometimes, pressing toward the way the block wants helps it to lay flatter. For small blocks, or blocks with alot of seams, pressing open helps reduce bulk. I really like the "pinwheel" effect in the center of a 4-patch type block, when I can get it work perfectly. I use steam, which seems to help flatten everything out, as well. We've already discussed starch/sizing. My go-to is spray sizing with steam. 

Let us know what you think in your comments on our blogs and on the Moda Blockheads FB page. 



Moda Blockheads Week #6

Block 6 - Sunflower - Carrie Nelson
http://unitednotions.com/Block6CN_Sunflower.pdf

For a Kansas girl, Carrie's Sunflower spoke to my heart. Click on the link above for her instructions, or go to any of her links below. Her blog with Moda each week is a must-read for information on all the Moda designers and their new fabric collections, featured quilt shops, new notions and her witty ponderings about the quilting world in general. Sign up today. You don't want to miss it!

Carrie Nelson/ Moda
Blog - http://blog.modafabrics.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/modafabrics/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/modafabrics/


Kathy's traditionally pieced Sunflower block is beautifully done in classic KT prints. It reminded me of a runner we have in the store with a sunflower blooming on each end. I really love sunflowers!

Kathy's traditional block






Block 6 - Sunflower - LP by Lynne


I couldn't resist giving this block the KT spin with my layered patchwork technique.Click on the link above for instructions. Joy's Sunflower captures the Kansas fields in late summer when a drive down the back roads is a treat for the senses.

Joy's LP version

Our first series of 6 blocks have been posted! Now you know what to expect over the coming weeks - traditionally pieced blocks with some applique thrown in here & there for variety, some blocks that will challenge, my layered patchwork alternatives, and lots of interesting options on the Moda Blockheads FB page. It's so fun to see everyone's creations. Keep it up, ladies. Great job!



Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Moda Blockheads Week #5

KT Winner

The winner of last week's 6-pack of gold fat 1/8's is:

kmcallister - My favorite thread is also Aurifil 50 wt. Have used it ever since a repair man of Featherweights told me it would be the best to use on my machine. I have purchased the big cones I love it so much.

Thanks for commenting. Enjoy your bits of KT sunshine.




Question of the Week:

What is your favorite needle size? Why? How often do you change your needle?
I use a size 70/10 in my Bernina. The size of your needle needs to be compatible with the size of your thread. Finer thread requires a smaller needle, so my favorite Aurifil 50wt. thread fits well in a size #70 needle. There's a groove in your sewing machine needle just above the eye. The thread needs to fit in that groove snugly for a good stitch. If your needle is too large, you can have wobbly stitches and uneven seams because there's too much movement in the thread when guided through the eye of the needle. If your needle is too small for your thread, it can cause tension issues and breakage.

I change my needle about every other month. I don't sew as much as I'd like, but that's about the same as piecing a queen size quilt (or several smaller projects) before changing needles. I can start to see a difference when it's been too long, especially with my layered patchwork topstitching, when the thread begins to pull or the needle seems to stick a bit. It's an inexpensive quick fix anytime I'm having stitch issues.

Moda Blockheads Block #5

Block 5 - Coronation - Lisa Bongean 
http://unitednotions.com/Block5LB_Coronation.pdf


Lisa's block is wonderful! It will inspire and challenge us to up our game and learn to work with tiny pieces. I've gotten so used to playing with precuts, that this block was a wake-up call for me, too. I went from "What-the-heck?" (and for those of you who really know me, it wasn't heck), to "I can totally do this!", to "Why don't I play with little pieces more often"? I can't wait to see all the variations this week.  

Kathy did a great job with her patriotic inspired theme using Lisa's fabrics. She sent this too cute chicken pincushion in the box with her blocks as a surprise - how fun!

Kathy's traditionally pieced Coronation Block #5


Click on the link above for Lisa's instructions. Go to her blog and follow her on FB & Instagram here.

Lisa's Info
Blog - https://lisabongean.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/primitivegatherings.quiltshop/ or https://www.facebook.com/lisa.bongean
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/lisabongean/  or
 https://www.instagram.com/primitive_gatherings_quiltshop/  or 
 https://www.instagram.com/primitive_gatherings_ca/



Block #5 - Coronation - Lynne's LP Option

Joy used my Layered Patchwork (LP) method to simplify Lisa's block with half as many seams and much less pressing. Click the link above for my LP instructions for Block #5.

Joy's layered patchwork version of Lisa's block.




Back of Kathy's traditional block on left; Joy's LP block on right.

Comment this week for a scrap bag of reds/tans/blues in honor of Lisa's block. Share your answer to the Question of the Week on FB along with your finished blocks with #modablockheads. See you next week!

Monday, April 3, 2017

KT April Special

Our April monthly special is a celebration of spring! 

We've introduced our KT Kut-ups on several new projects and now have them especially for our Bees 'n Blooms lap quilt and Blooms Mini Table Treat. KT Kut-ups are precut fusible appliques that are ready to fuse & stitch onto the quilt background. It cuts time and hand fatigue when making a simple project like our Blooms MTT. 

Blooms Mini Table Treat

This is our first Mini Table Treat to include KT Kut-ups. I wanted to make a practice run, so to speak, before introducing a handful of brand new Mini Table Treats with Kut-ups at Market next month. On our cruise in January, over 100 quilters whipped up this charming project in just a couple hours with the precut appliques already cut for them. Our Mini Table Treats are a 17" background circle layered with a smaller circle on top, then sandwiched with batting & backing. After quilting the layers, just add Kut-ups for a delightfully easy table topper. Perfect for a fresh pop of home decor for yourself or as a gift.

Bees 'n Blooms lap quilt
Our Bees 'n Blooms lap quilt is also available with KT Kut-ups. I love the fresh flowers and buzzing bees on a Jelly Roll background. So simple, so spring! You may purchase the kit with the Kut-ups, or buy the Kut-ups separately. Click on the links to go to ktquilts.com for more information.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Moda Blockheads Week #4

KT Winner

Happy day to:

Cecilia - Great block! I like to use Best Press when I'm squaring up my blocks. I would love to add some purple fabric to my stash.
You're the winner of our KT 6-pack of purple fat 1/8's for your stash. Thanks for being part of our Moda Blockheads group. 



Moda Blockheads Question-of-the-Week

Which thread do you prefer?
I discovered Aurifil thread about 5 years ago and instantly fell in love. Aurifil 50wt. is my go-to thread for topstitching on layered patchwork & piecing. It is smoother, stronger and finer than any other thread I've used. It's interesting how just a little less bulk to the thread makes your seams "skinnier" and press flatter. Even when hand-stitching binding, I've found it doesn't shred and break like other threads. I'm a believer! We have a KT Collection of 10 Aurifil colors that match my fabrics, all on sale thru the end of March.


Moda Blockheads Block #4

Block 4 - Bee Skep - Jan Patek  
Jan's Blog - http://janpatek.blogspot.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/jan.patek.79?fref=nf
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/jan_patek_quilts/


Jan's delightful Bee Skep block (click on link above) was alot of fun for Kathy & Joy. They saw the applique from two totally different angles. Kathy found a great stripe and added some fancy machine stitching to make her version of the perfect bee skep.  Joy pieced folded strips to create her own stripes for a more dimensional bee skep. I love them both! Click on the link below for Joy's version of this adorable block.

Block #4 - Bee Skep - by Lynne

The selvedge quote from last spring's fabric collection, Bees 'n Blooms says,
 "Work like a bee, but savor the honey".  Ain't that the truth?

Joy's block - lower left; Kathy's block - top right.

Comment about your favorite thread to win a 6-pack of gold fat 1/8's this week. Just what you need to make our strippy, scrappy bee skep.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Moda Blockheads BOW #3

KT Winner

Congratulations to:
Carol C. - I usually don't pre-wash, because I like to use the pre-cuts. The layered method looks really intriguing -- thanks for sharing the additional information! I love sampler quilts, and love these blocks... thanks so much!

You're the winner of our fat 1/8's 6-pack of reds. Thanks for stitching along.




Check the Moda Blockheads FB page each Monday where I'll post the Question-of-the-Week. You can post your answers when you share pics of your blocks and see all the designers' opinions, as well.

Blockheads Question of the Week:  Do you starch your fabrics before or during piecing?

I prefer spray sizing. Starch seems to lay on top of the fabric surface and gets stiff and shiny when pressed. I like that spray sizing penetrates into the fibers of the fabric, adding body but not stiffness. It provides a crisp, sharp seam when pressing seam allowances, especially on small pieces. Best Press works well, too.


Now on to the fun stuff. Here's Jo's Four X design that creates a cool star block. Make it in two colors, like we did here - or three, for a totally different look. Go to Jo's BLOG for more fun information.Can't wait to see all of your blocks on FB - #modablockheads.

Block 3 - Four X - Jo Morton
http://unitednotions.com/Block3JM_FourX.pdf


Here's Kathy's block done in Jo's yummy prints. I just found the yarn winder recently. The colors are great together! It might turn into the perfect hanger for a tiny quilt. Love seeing all the little blocks you're showing using the cut-off triangles. So cute!

Jo Morton's Four X Block #3 by Kathy Limpic

My Layered Patchwork version of Jo's block is here:

Block 3 - Four X - Lynne's LP Method

Love these huge tailor's scissors found on a recent antique trip.
Joy recommends stitching across the purple triangle points (see below) to hold them in place. It gives a more polished appearance. She changed thread color to match the fabric on this block - Aurifil green #5013 and purple #2570. Joy eliminated 12 seams using my LP technique.

Detail of Four X block. Note stitching on purple triangle points.

My Aurifil thread blends so well with my KT fabric we've discussed using hot pink or white so the topstitching shows up better. Just can't bring myself to do it. Remember all of our Aurifil threads - singles & my 10-pack box - are on special through March 30th on our website at Lynnes-Favorite-Notions.

Back of both Four X blocks - Kathy's (left); Joy's (right).


How about a 6-pack of purple fat 1/8's to add to your stash this week? Comment here to win.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Moda Blockheads BOW #2

 KT Winner

Congratulations to:
Chelra - I plan to give your way a shot. I love learning new ways to do things. Thanks for the opportunity to continue my quilting education. 

You're the winner of (8) KT tan fat 1/8's. Perfect for backgrounds of the Blockheads' blocks.Reply to lynne@ktquilts.com with your mailing address. We'll send them right out. 
 

Moda Blockheads Question of the Week

Do you have a question for the six of us - Jan, Lisa, Jo, Betsy, Carrie and me? Comment on any of our blogs on Wednesdays with your questions about quilting, the block-of-the-week or whatever you'd like to know and we'll all respond with the answer of the week. Watch for your question over the next few weeks. We'll answer as many as we can.

This week's question: Where do you stand on prewashing fabric?

I do not prewash my fabrics. Mainly because I start with alot of precuts which cannot be prewashed easily, and because it removes the sizing that gives the fabric body for better pressing. Also, Moda's fabric shrinks so little, it's not worth the time and trouble. I try to save time quilting by not doing things that don't make a big difference.


 

Welcome back to Week #2 of Moda Blockheads. 

All of us are delighted by the positive response to our block-of-the-week. Join our Facebook group, post your completed blocks with the hashtag #modablockheads and let's see how many variations are out there! I'm trying to see and "Like" all the blocks you're posting, but it's beginning to be an all morning job! Just know they're all turning out great. Thanks to everybody stitching along.


Click here for the traditionally pieced block by Betsy.

Block 2 - Aunt Dinah - Betsy Chutchian
http://unitednotions.com/Block2BC_AuntDinah.pdf

Piecing by Kathy Limpic. Love those Betsy blues!

Just as nice on the back. Seams pressed open for fewer lumps.


Click here for my layered patchwork version.
Block 2 - Aunt Dinah Layered Patchwork Option by Lynne

KT Layered Patchwork Basics

I've read several questions regarding my layered patchwork (LP) technique on the FB group. Here are some basic guidelines when trying this method:

1. Fabric glue is perfect for holding the layered pieces in place while topstitching. Pins allow more movement, especially on triangle points. I add a dab of glue on triangle points or the corners of squares. No need to cover the whole piece. It's merely to hold the layered piece in place securely while topstitching.

My favorite glue pen is Sewline. It has a thin tip for easy application, doesn't make my fabric stiff, washes out well, and as a bonus, is refillable.
Find them at Lynnes Favorite Notions - Sewline Glue Pen.

2. I cut my layered pieces so all the exposed edges are on the bias to prevent raveling (Moda's pinked edges on precuts works well, too). A bias edge will simply soften and curl over time after handling and washing for a dimensional, primitive effect I love. After 3 rounds thru the washer & dryer, on regular wash (like a pair of grankids' dirty jeans, not like I usually wash a quilt) this is what a layered block/quilt looks like:

No raveling, just soft, dimensional raw edges that add to the primitive look I love.

Aleece's Charming Stars from Layers of Love book

3. Never square up a half square triangle again. Simply layer a triangle over the background square for perfect seam allowances every time. Since we're just adding the triangle over the top of a square and not trimming out behind, there is no more chance of a layered block coming unstitched in a quilt than a traditionally piece block. In fact, with fewer seams and doubled fabric in some places, my grankids have a hard time wearing their quilts out!

4. In the block below, I pieced traditional half square triangles for the corner units. Sometimes, it just makes sense to go the traditional route. The squares in the corners layered on top keep the unit square. Be sure to cut the squares so all sides are on the bias (on point).

5. I topstitch 1/8" from the exposed edge of my layered patchwork, but always use traditional 1/4" seam allowances to piece the block. Every time we stitch a seam and every time we press or trim a block, we've given ourselves another chance to distort or change the size. Fewer seams, less pressing, no trimming, all add up to flatter, more square and correctly sized blocks. Give it a try! 

To save about 16 seams and have much less pressing to worry about, try my layered patchwork version, pieced by Joy.

Great job, Joy!

Fewer seams, less pressing = flatter block.
Comment or ask a question this week to win a 6-pack of red fat 1/8's. Who doesn't love an assortment of good dark reds?