Tutorial · weekly update

Moda Modern Building Blocks Quilt Tips and Tricks

I finally finished this quilt top! I have a very strong love/hate relationship with this quilt top for many reasons.  Before I started, I had already heard this quilt pattern wasn’t the easiest to follow and that it was wasn’t the easiest of quilts to make.  This blog post is dedicated to my assessment of the quilt, the quilt pattern, and any tips and tricks for assembly.  If you’ve made this quilt before and have things to add to my list, please comment below, and I’ll get this post edited for future readers!

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So here it goes…

Skill Level:

  • Advanced Beginner/Intermediate

Pattern:

  • Each of the block patterns are shown with the finished block, semi-exploded diagram of the block to help show how the block is sewn together, and then cutting instructions.

Block Cutting Tips:

  • The cutting instructions are such that you *shouldn’t* need to trim the blocks if you have an accurate and consistent 1/4″ scant seam.  If you would like to trim blocks, make sure to add 1/8″ to each of the squares that require a single diagonal cut.
  • Square up all the flying geese and Half Square Triangles (HST) before assembling each block. Because I was lazy (at least I admit it), I used the exact cutting instructions thinking I could get away without squaring the block.  Nope, I’m not that consistent with my seams, and it was very apparent on blocks with lots of seams.
  • There is a google doc sheet that shows the full cutting instructions for the block from Liz Harbour.  However, there are a few minor mistakes in the sheet from typos so be on the look out for those.
  • Always cut the largest blocks first.  If you don’t, you may not have enough fabric left.  If you bought the kit and cut the largest blocks first, you’ll end up with a nice stack of Bella Solids to use as scraps in the end.

Sewing Tips:

  • Instead of cutting all the HSTs apart before sewing them back together, look at which HSTs can be made with the method of sewing 1/4″ on both sides of the diagonal line, then cutting the HST apart.
  • For some of the blocks, the flying geese can be made with the no waste method.  So there is no need to cut the different sized triangles in the cutting instructions.  This is if there are 4 flying geese that are identical and have the same colors of corner triangles in the block.
  • Nesting seams takes some extra planning ahead.  Make sure to mark which directions the seams should go for easier assembly.  If you do not want to think, press the seams open to avoid them being bulky.

Pattern Corrections:

  • Block 7: This block is overall TOO small.  If you sew it with the cutting instructions, your block will end up about 18″ square, rather than 18″ finished (18 1/2″ square).  You can fix this by cutting the E pieces 5 1/2″ squares rather than 4 3/4″ and the F pieces 5″ squares rather than 4 3/8″.  After the block is finished, trim the block to size.
  • Block 8: the A piece is too small.  Piece A should be 4 3/4″ rather than 4 5/8″

**There may be other corrections, but those were the ones that were obvious or really off that needed correcting!

Did I miss anything?  Comment below!  Thanks!

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Here are some of the assembly photos of the quilt.  I really do love how this quilt turned out, and it’s the largest quilt top that I’ve made finishing at 84″x96″.

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So I didn’t work on anything this week other than finishing up this quilt top.  I also realized not having to post a Quilter’s Planner block each week has give me validation that I can skip blocks for which I’m just not feeling it.  Maybe I’ll do this week’s block, but we’ll have to see!

6/20-6/27 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Friday PM, Saturday AM, and Sunday afternoon

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
BCBarnQuilt
Designing for PBQ

Goals for the Projects:
Quilters Planner Block: Complete this week’s Block
BCBarnQuilt:  Complete the quilt top/block
Designing for PBQ: Work on new block designs, making a design a day.

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weekly update

Minnesota Quilters Show Recap

This past weekend was the Minnesota Quilters Show in Duluth, MN.  I didn’t attend any of the lectures or classes this time, but I was able to take Friday off work to drive up and explore the show.  It was definitely worth the drive (~2.5hrs each way) to see some of these spectacular quilts.  This is my favorite of all the quilts at the show.  It’s called Fractal and was made and quilted by Claudia Pfeil.  The quilt is AMAZING, and these photos definitely don’t do the quilt justice with all of the 30,000 Swarovski crystals embellished on this quilt.

Here are some other judged quilts I thought were also spectacular.  There are lots of photos and I decided not to post the description card.  If you want more information on a specific quilt just comment below!  Enjoy!

There was also a Lion King exhibit displayed that was sponsored by Cherrywood Fabrics.  These photos do not show just how intricate these quilts were.  I was so impressed with the creativity shown by the participants.

Last little tidbit about the show, I was able to meet up with Wendy and have lunch!  Wendy is another blogger (Pieceful Thoughts) that was in the New Bloggers Blog Hop with earlier this year.  Always fun to meet people in real life, what fun!

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As for updates on what I completed this week:  This is Thunderstuck by Victoria Findlay Wolfe.  I took her class at QuiltCon this past February.  It’s a really quick quilt and I LOVE it.  Victoria is also an amazing teacher so if you ever get a chance to take a class from her, definitely do it.

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The Quilter’s Planner block this week was The High Road By Kathryn Upitis of Upitis Quilts.  This was such a quilt little block and super easy to get stitched together.

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I was participating the Gnome Angel‘s 52 weeks with the Quilter’s Planner, and so far I’ve been able to keep up.  She has changed the rules though.  We only need to make one block a month rather than a block each week.  I wonder if this will hurt my consistency of making each week’s block or if it’ll allow me to skip blocks I don’t like. We’ll see.

The BCBarnQuiltSwap4 quilt designs were due this week.  This is a quilt swap hosted by @wifeoferp, and it’s the second time I’ve participated. The task was to create a mini quilt 16-20″ that is made up of all Bonnie and Camille fabrics. Here’s what I’ve come up with and my fabric pull.  I can’t wait to get this stitched up!

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I also had some time to get started again on the Modern Building Block quilt. I got 4 more blocks completed to get my total up to 32 of the 48 blocks on this quilt.  I think I love the final quilt more than I actually like making each of these blocks.

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6/13-6/20 Weekly Goal:

Available time for quilting:
Friday PM, Saturday AM, and Sunday afternoon

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
BCBarnQuilt
Modern Building Blocks

Goals for the Projects:
Quilters Planner Block: Complete this week’s Block
BCBarnQuilt:  Complete the quilt top/block
Modern Building Blocks: Finish this quilt top

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Tutorial · weekly update

Fusible Grid Madness aka Tutorial

I finished the Mario Quilt this week!  I used fusible grid to make this process really quick and painless:

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Fusible grid is a thin piece of interfacing that has iron-on adhesive on one side and grid lines printed on the other.  There are different brands of fusible grid, and it comes in different grid sizes.  For this quilt, I used a 2″ fusible grid from Quiltsmart.  The 2 inches denotes where the grid lines are printed so my squares will end up being 1.5″ finished.  The Quiltsmart grids are sold in panels so for Mario I needed a top and a bottom half.  For larger quilts, you would just use more panels and sew them together after each panel is created.

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First, I cut up my 2″ squares of colored fabric and laid them on the grid with the adhesive side UP.  For the white background, I cut up a variety of 2″ squares or 2″ strips of fabric to cover the area.  For larger sections, you don’t need individual pieces if the layout desired doesn’t require it.  Once you stitch everything, it’ll look like you cut smaller square due to the stitch lines.

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Now it’s time to iron the fabric to the grid.  Make sure you protect the iron, so cover the spot you are ironing with parchment paper or an applique pressing sheet.  Tip: I used parchment paper because it’s a cheaper option, and I already had some in the kitchen for baking.  I also flipped my piece so I could iron on the back.  If you do this, make sure to put the parchment paper between the fusible/fabric side and the ironing board to prevent the adhesive transferring to the board.

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Once you have everything ironed on, fold the first section on the line and sew the 1/4″ seam.  It doesn’t really matter which direction you start with, but you’ll want to do all vertical or all horizontal before changing directions.  Tip: Make sure that the seam catches both fabrics.  Sometimes the fold will crease the fabric on the inside and not make the seam.

 

Once you have the seam sewn, you will want to trim just the edge (less than 1/8″) of the seam.  Tip: Do this after each seam.  It’s easier than waiting until after all the vertical/horizontal rows are done.  Once trimmed, iron and press all the seams in the same direction.

 

Before moving on to the other seams, you will need to snip the intersection points.  Tip: Snip as close to the seam line as possible without snipping the seam line.

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The seam directions for every other row will now need to be flipped so the seams nest.  Tip: Fold on the dotted line so that the iron only touches the row that needs to be flipped.  Repeat this for every other row.

 

Sew a 1/4″ seam on the rest of the piece, trim the seam, and press all the seams to one direction to finish the panel.

Other tips: The “Quiltsmart” printing that is not the dotted line WILL show through white fabric.  I had to pick that off before I quilted Mario.

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This week’s Quilter’s Planner Block was Nautical Compass By Tish Stemple of Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland.  I really like this block, but I wish it was larger than 12″ due to the TINY little half square triangles (HST).  I have yet to really use HST paper on a large scale, but I think it would be easier than trimming all these 1.5″ HSTs used in this block.

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I finished the Modern Heritage BOM quilt top.  This BOM was hosted by Serendipity Woods and I had so much fun I think I’m going to be joining her next one, Long Time Gone, too.  Here are the month 8 and 9 blocks and the final quilt top.

 

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Last but not least this week, I created a Show and Tell Bag by CrazyMomQuilts.  I used Sunnyside fabric from Kate Spain to make it extra cheery!  The tote is rather large, but it’s perfect for transporting quilts or to use at the beach.

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I can’t wait to make more of these cute totes!

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6/6-6/13 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Thursday PM, Saturday AM, and Sunday afternoon

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
BCBarnQuilt
Thunderstruck

Goals for the Projects:
Quilters Planner Block: Complete this week’s Block
BCBarnQuilt:  Create the design and complete the quilt top/block
Thunderstruck: Finish this quilt top

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weekly update

Perspective

First, I’d like to thank everyone that gave me their thoughts on how to get over my quilter’s block. I think Pattern 103 is just going to go on hold for a little bit as I work through it.  I apologize in advance if this post gets to be too personal.  Last Wednesday, one of my good friends I’d fallen out of touch with in the past few years committed suicide.  I found out Thursday via a Facebook post of a mutual friend, and this has since altered my entire perspective on life and subsequently quilting.  A couple things on where my head is at now:

  • If you have thoughts of self-harm or can’t trust being around yourself, reach out to the Association for the Preservation of Suicide–www.afps.org–or go to the emergency room. Please seek help!
  • Life is much too short.
  • I need to keep better in touch with the people who matter.
  • I never thought I’d want to see my high school yearbooks so badly before.  (Thanks to my mom, who is sending them in the mail to me)
  • You should enjoy life as much as possible (See point about how life is short).
  • Quilting should be fun, and I should work on fun stuff.

So I decided that I wanted to make a Mario quilt from Super Mario Brothers.  I used a fusible grid that is pretty much a super light fusible interfacing that has grid lines printed on them to show where you put your squares of fabric.  I took enough photos to write a tutorial for next week.  Anyway, he turned out super cute!  I was a little concerned when I did the color matching that some of the colors wouldn’t look right, but he is pretty perfect!  Now to put on a border to stabilize the quilt top, do some quilting, and bind it!

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This week’s Quilters Planner Block was Hourglass at Sunset By Kim Soper of Leland Ave Studios.  I picked out my high school colors to make the block given the nostalgic mood this week.  Purple and Gold, go Eagles!

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After that, I decided I really needed to finish a quilt. Seeing as I thought I’d work on the Modern Heritage Block of the Month quilt last week, I started digging in since I was only 3 months behind plus a redo month. This is what the quilt layout looked like before I started making blocks this week. It’s missing Month 5, 7, 8, and 9.

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I completed the Month 5 blocks as you may recognize from my paper piecing tutorial a few weeks ago.  At the time, I only made the one block for the tutorial and left the other two untouched.

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These are month 7’s blocks.  These are 6″ finished blocks, so the pieces are fairly small. I think this quilt has taught me I really like big blocks!

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5/30-6/6 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Friday PM, Saturday and Sunday afternoon

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
Modern Heritage BOM
Mario
Show and Tell Tote

Goals for the Projects:
Quilters Planner Block: Complete this week’s Block
Modern Heritage BOM: Finish Month’s 8 and 9 and assemble quilt
Mario: Add borders, quilt, and bind.
Show and Tell Tote: Make one.  (I ordered interfacing, it’ll get here Thursday.  I can’t wait!)

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weekly update

Quilter’s Block

I feel I have a quilting version of Writer’s Block…so Quilter’s Block? The cause is Pattern #103, but I’m not quite sure why I’m not able to make progress on it.  It’s not technically a hard block, and it looks amazing in the simulated photos, like nothing I’ve seen done before. But why can’t I seem to get myself to make progress and actually work on it?  That’s the million dollar question.  With secret sewing, I don’t want to share until it’s completely finished and the pattern is written in fear someone else will take the design and get to the market faster than me.  I’m thinking maybe I need to make a smaller version of this quilt for the pattern and then make the larger one at a later time.  Any thoughts?

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I participated in the Starbucks Mug Rug swap in which we made a mug rug and then shipped it with a Starbucks mug with extras to our partner.  I decided to make a mug rug called “Orange Slice” designed by Lindsey Weight.

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The mug rug uses raw edge applique and bias binding. I finally looked up how to do a blanket stitch on my machine instead of the zigzag.  But in actuality, I think I prefer the zig zag look. I used a lightweight heat and bond to fuse the slices on the background and Insulbright as the mug rug batting. I love this mug rug so much, I think I need to make one for myself.

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This week’s Quilter’s Planner block, Ocean Fun By Jinger Snapp-Laplace of Trials of a Newbie Quilter, also used applique.  I used the same raw edge applique technique as the orange slice, but I used zig zag instead.

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I got the binding finished for Chic Country, and the quilt looks stunning!  I was a little concerned with possible shadowing that would occur since it was black and white, but I don’t see any of it.  Major props to my Longarmer, Rhonda Walker of Olie&Evie for doing such a great job.

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I have also updated the completed quilts page to include this week’s finishes!

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5/23-5/30 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Thursday PM, Friday PM, Saturday-Monday (I love Holiday Weekends!)

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
PBQ103
Modern Heritage BOM

Goals for the Projects:
Quilters Planner Block: Complete this week’s Block
PBQ103: Break the Quilter’s Block; either make a smaller version or make BLOCKS in the existing one.
Modern Heritage BOM: Redo Month 5 Blocks, Start the next(?) month’s blocks (I forgot where I’m at.)

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weekly update

Who’s Accountable?

Did anyone catch last week that I didn’t finish sewing my basket case quilt top like I said I was going to?  After I posted last week’s post, I noticed I didn’t ever do that.  So I sat down and started sewing immediately to get that done even if I was a day or two late.  I’ve gotten comments about how people like my weekly goals at the bottom of my blog post.  It’s really for me and the internet (you included) to make sure that I’m accountable for what I’m going to be doing.  Working a “regular” job that travels often puts me in situations where time is my most precious resource. I need the internet to keep me accountable for what I’m set out to do.  So here’s the completed quilt top! Yippee! Now if I can decide if I want to walking foot quilt it myself or just send it to my longarmer because it’s easier (and see the limited time resource comment above).

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As many in the quilting industry knows, Spring Quilt Market is this week!  My goal is to sometime be able to attend market vending my patterns or in some other format I haven’t figured out yet.  I actually have a lot of goals for what I want to do, but I struggle balancing them with reality (life).  So my mantra I need to remember and repeat to myself,   “Life’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

An update for my PBQ103 pattern: I am generously 15% done with the quilt top. Hopefully I’ll be able to make a lot more progress soon so I can share!  I’m terrible with secrets!

The Quilter’s Planner block this past week was OXB Sunrise By Sarah Smith of 123 Quilt and featured Half Rectangle Triangles (HRTs).  They are definitely not as hard as they look following Sarah’s tutorial for the block!  Definitely can use this skill in future designs.

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I got my Chic Country quilt top back from Rhonda Walker of Olie&Evie and it is FABULOUS! Here’s a sneak peak as I still need to get the binding put on.  I asked to have lime green thread for the quilting to match the pop of color.  This is so that you can see the quilting on both the white and black fabric not just one or the other.

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5/16-5/23 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Wednesday PM, Friday PM, Saturday and Sunday afternoon, Monday PM

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
Starbucks Mug Rug Swap
PBQ103
Chic Country

Goals for the Projects:
Quilters Planner Block: Complete this week’s Block
Starbucks Mug Rug Swap: Finish and mail
PBQ103: Finish 3 blocks.
Chic Country: Bind quilt

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weekly update

Secret Sewing has started again!

First of all, it’s the last week of the 2017 New Quilt Blogger’s Blog Hop.  Make sure to check out all 3 hosts to see who are getting introduced this week as well as enter for some really cool prizes from the sponsors.

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts
Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
Leanne @ shecanquilt

I for one am still working on replying to everyone via email that have commented on my blog posts!  So if you haven’t gotten one yet, just know it’s coming, and I definitely appreciate your kind words!

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I am very pleased to say that I’ve gotten over my quilting block on working on my next pattern. (YAY!) However, it’s a secret so I’m not going to be sharing any photos until the design is finished and the pattern is ready for release. This may be a while since this is probably the most challenging quilt I’ve created so far.  Go big or go home, right?!

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I was able to get some stitching done on these Tiny Box Zippy bags designed by Michael Ann Made.  I had previously made 3, one tester with ultra stiff interfacing, one with shape flex, and one for my Maker’s Birthday Bash Partner.  Well, when my sister saw one in Hawaii, she wanted one, too!  Remember how I wrote a post “Why I say No“?  Well apparently that does NOT apply to my sister.  I feel guilty and just make her stuff because she likes it (no wonder I’m her favorite!).  I also ended up making 2 more (they’re actually SO fun to make for some reason) for a total of 6.

I am using the teal one made from Joel Dewberry’s Atrium fabric for work.  We are now “mobile” so we move from desk to desk each day so my headset, mouse, and cords all fit nicely in this little tiny box zippy!

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I made this week’s Quilter’s Planner Block, Floating Hourglass By Kelly Quilla of Quilting it Out, and I made it way harder than it should have been.  I stitched the block using the web-piecing technique which would have been great had I laid the block out correctly.  I didn’t realize it was wrong until I went to take a photo of the block.

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The hourglass portion was very wrong.  Then I thought, “oh I can just rotate the middle two rows, no problem.”  Well if you do that, then the outside pieces of the two middle rows are wrong. It was one of those days, but I finally got the block completely fixed so ta-da!

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5/9-5/16 Weekly Goal:
Available time for quilting:
Wednesday PM, Thursday PM, Monday PM (busy weekend!)

Projects I want to work on:
Quilter’s Planner Block
PBQ103

Goals for the Projects:
Quilters Planner Block: Complete this week’s Block
PBQ103: Finish 3 blocks.

I should be getting my Chic Country Quilt back from the longarm, so I will hopefully get the binding finished, but it depends on when I get it back.

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