14 February 2019

Quilter's Block

Moda Blockheads 2's Block 19, Rocky Road to California, is the last block-of-the-week I got to make before making my way to California for my parents' 50th anniversary last October. By the time we returned to Colorado, my day job had become overwhelming, and I worked overtime every single night all the way through the end of 2018. Every weekend that autumn quarter, I would vow to try to catch up with the rest of the Blockheads, but every single weekend, I had to attend to other home priorities that couldn't be done during the week because of all the overtime.

Last week, I finished my first machine-quilted WIP (Butterfly Collage) since March 31 (Blue Scrappy Block a Day)!!! (I finished hand-quilting Leaf Me Alone on New Year's Eve, and that was the only WIP finish I had for nine whole months.)

Now that I've finished the second-biggest procrastination on my WIP list, I get to bang my head again!!! I was 23 weeks behind, I was down to 15 blocks behind for one whole day, and now I'm back up to 16 blocks behind. Yet I am so excited to be a Blockhead again!!!

I decided to pick up right where I left off and make the blocks in order. First up was Block 20, Go Fish, which didn't really fit into my blue snowflake theme. Initially, I thought I might make wrapped candy, converting the fish to tails on both ends like salt water taffy, but during our drive to California, I came up with the idea of ornaments. I love this block so much, I can see making an entire quilt with this theme. I'm storing that idea in the vast collection of quilts I'd like to make one day.

Block 21, Circle and Star, was an easy one for me. I finished it in less than one hour. (Because the snowflake was already made and blocked, of course.)

I didn't notice that the next instruction sheet in my pile was an alternate block, and I really liked the pattern. A huge plus was the room in the center for a snowflake appliqué. So Block 21 is another double in my growing finished block collection. (My pineapple blocks are tripled!)

I didn't really plan to do my own interpretation of Block 22, Economy Path, but while I was cutting the tiny little 1"x1.5" strips from my tiny scrap pile, I noticed the black and white graph on the instruction sheet, which suddenly jumped out at me like a coloring page, and the design I came up with screamed to be made. I could not resist. I had (and still have) plenty of tiny little scraps for this interpretation. This is another block I love so much, I'd like to do an entire quilt, perhaps even with selvedges!

Block 23, Broken Windows, is yet another block I adore. How many times can I get away with saying I'd love an entire quilt with this theme? Just maybe not on such a tiny scale. Ha ha! I already have a box of (larger) HSTs made up, ready and waiting to be made into something...

Block 24, Kaleidoscope, was just plain fun!

Block 25, Oshkosh Star, has just about the tiniest flying geese I have ever made! Blockheads definitely is pushing me outside of my comfort zone, but I like it. In my mind, I'm getting ready for a Dear Jane one day...

I wasn't sure if I should appliqué the snowflake I made specifically for this block because, to me, the flake overpowers the star. My sweet Lizard agreed, so I think I'm going to not use the snowflake on this block. I'm sure it will fit on another block!

I modified Block 26, Churn Dash Surprise, just a tad because I noticed while making the Oshkosh Star I haven't made many predominantly light blocks for this project. Crocheted white snowflakes don't show up as well on light fabric, so I pulled one of the snowflake motifs from the tree skirt panel I've yet to complete for the centerpiece. Cutting up another of the tree panel snowflakes made me a little braver for the next block...

Block 27, Climbing Mountains, pulled all kinds of heart strings because I love to climb mountains, both on foot and on my bicycle. Plus, I'm going to be climbing a huge pile of HST leftovers one day, and this block gave me a very good idea of what I'm in for...

Last year I put together more than 500 HSTs made of leftovers from various projects over the last three or four years. They are stored neatly in a box right now, but I expect to add more once I finish the Blockheads project and three other quilts I hope to finish by the end of this quarter. (Blockheads will not be done by the end of this quarter, but the end of the block patterns is coming up, and I still have blue snowflake fabric leftovers to use up; why not more HSTs? Might even try some pieced triangles because I've seen some that look phenomenal.)

Block 27 definitely did not come out too bad, in my point of view, but it did take a while. Most of the other blocks above were finished in a night, and some were doubles, two in one night. Mountain Climbing took four nights!

I wanted to make a triangle from each fabric in my 22-year collection/obsession. The pattern called for 64 blocks. When I got done slicing the triangles and began configuring block placement, I learned I don't have 64 snowflake fabrics! I had to make about seven more blocks, and then when I began sewing, I turned up about four more blocks shy! I was laying them out in too small a space, and I didn't realize I had crowded the early rows to fit all the blocks and then didn't crowd the final few rows and was at least one block short on each of the last four rows.

So plenty of duplicate triangles exist, plus, there were three or four fabrics I didn't have big enough scraps from which to cut 2 7/8-inch blocks. So this final block for this week doesn't have one of each fabric, but I still like it.

At literally the very last second, I pulled the center snowflake fabric block and inserted a solid block because I had one the right size and because I decided after four nights of piecing one block, it needed a snowflake appliqué. I didn't ask anyone whether I should do it. I didn't wonder how it would look. I just made the executive decision and did it quickly so I couldn't change my mind.

Now, it's one of the things I love best about the block! It is different than all the other Blockhead #27s, even though I tried to stay fairly true to the original pattern.

I kept telling myself that as soon as I finished Mountain Climbing, I could make myself another dress for Valentine's Day. I got off work late again the next night, so the dress got started, but then the next day, the next Moda Blockheads pattern was released, and, well, the dress isn't done yet.

I also finished cutting out the next butterfly dress skirt panels!!! I just need to figure out what fabric to use for the bodice now! I'm strongly leaning toward a solid color with a crocheted butterfly appliqué. At least the skirt is ready to be stitched!

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, TexasNascarCowgirl! I sure love making them!

  2. Getting much done indeed. Just plain fun is a win too. Know all about over time, ugg to it but the money is nice.

    1. Nice until the IRS takes it all away, Pat...


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