14 March 2019

Block Your Head

I was never a metalhead, but three of my siblings played this song endlessly while we were growing up in New Mexico. One sibling has since converted to country western, but the other two never stopped banging their heads. This song brought back some real memories when I played it after coming up with the idea for today's blog post title.

All of my brothers and sisters (I was the oldest and the first to drive) would bang their heads to the appropriate segment of "Bohemian Rhapsody" in the back of my powder blue fleet Ford Maverick (my first car) back in those days in an attempt to help power the sad little engine up over New Mexico's big hills.

Nowadays, I'm a Blockhead in Colorado, driving, cycling and hiking up even bigger hills, and one of the mountains I'm still trying to conquer is my Moda Blockheads II project, which I'm still behind on by more than a dozen blocks.

I made really good progress last week after getting stuck on a block the night before we left for New Mexico for my grand niece's quinceanera. I had been working on Lincoln's Platform, Block 28, and really wanted to finish it before the vacation. However, I'd cut out all the pieces before assembling the block, and by the time I got to the border section, the outer pieces didn't fit my block.

I'd had this same problem a couple of times last year when I had to take breaks from blocks because of work. I'd started the project on one sewing machine, which gave out, then continued working with another machine. It seems not all quarter-inch presser feet are created equal. Once I realized that was the problem last year, my final block sizes were once again consistent.

But then I was forced to take a three-month break from any kind of sewing during last year's fourth quarter due to not having a life outside of work. When I got back to sewing again this year, I'd forgotten about the presser foot on the newer sewing machine. My blocks weren't all coming out the right size.

I went to New Mexico stewing about how to fix Block 28 when I got back home. I even considered leaving it as is, without the border, because it was an attractive block and I didn't want to cut more 11-inch strips because I was running out of the solid royal blue I've been trying to incorporate into most blocks so they work well together.

At one point during the vacation, I thought I'd just sew all the 11-inch strips together into one long strip with an additional piece of solid blue about five inches long when I got home and recut the strips so they wouldn't have seams right at the edges of the strips. By the time I got home, I'd decided a couple more yards of royal blue won't hurt, and I then could just recut the strips and use the short strips in another project... I've got another selvedge crochet project going on the side, and I've been adding all my narrow scraps to my fabric "yarn" ball to make it bigger.

Once I finished Block 28, I fell in love with Blockheads all over again, about my fourth time now since last April! This block turned out really cool, even if it is just a tad too large. My plan for joining the blocks will take care of everything that doesn't fit perfectly, I think. But that part of my project is still a secret!

Block 29 is supposed to be Courthouse Steps, but I turned it into a log cabin because I like the layout and color scheme better. This block was finished in no time, and I think it's beautiful.

Block 30, Gaudi, is simply gorgeous, but it got under my skin and ended up taking three nights because no matter what I did, I could not get the center block to come out the right size. I initially thought I must be making my seams too small again, but the block was coming out too small, and my seams were NOT too big! I ended up making the center block over again three times before I discovered the version of the pattern I'd downloaded had been updated because the rotary cutting instructions were not correct.

As a result, I've got one little block center I'm saving for a future block because it turned out so cute. If it doesn't fit into one of the official Blockhead blocks, I may design another block just to include it in my project.

The best part of this particular adventure is the correct pattern was big enough for a bigger snowflake!

I'm actually running out of large scraps big enough to fit some of the larger Blockhead patterns. I had planned to do the cross pieces in dark snowflake fabric, but only one scrap was big enough. So I used the solid. I didn't have enough large light-colored scraps for the fat stripe sections, but those sections would be trimmed from rectangles into triangles. So I used up more of the snowflake scraps from the still-yet-to-be-finished tree skirt panels.

This is yet another block I really like, and I could see an entire quilt with just different renditions this block.

Block 31, Interstellar, was one and done so quickly, I was able to start on another block the very same night. This is another block in which I couldn't resist the temptation to incorporate my own idea. I replaced the star in the quarter circle with a crocheted snowflake.

Block 32, X-Quartet, also worked up very quickly.

I've been trying to catch up in order, but when last week's pattern was released, I had an instant idea of how to do my own thing. I love both the official Block 47, Bird Basket, and the alternate, Rainbow Vine, but neither fit into my snowflake theme. I'd been wanting to do a plain, solid block with a snowflake, and the oblong size of Block 47 gave me the opportunity to use THREE snowflakes!

After finishing 47, I played with my blocks again to see if there is any way to put them together on-point. I think it might possibly work, but I'm going to need a few more 6.5-inch blocks. Blocks 33, 34 and the alternate Block 34, Happy Scrappy Basket, are beautiful, but they are 12.-5 inches, so I'm skipping them for right now. I may make Block 33, Star Power, and the Block 34 alternate after I finish a few more 6.5-inch blocks because I could always put a bigger block in place of four smaller blocks and then use the four smaller blocks to fill in the edge gaps. For right now, though, I'm plowing ahead to see what other 6.5-inch blocks I'm missing.

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


  1. Sure going around the block a time or two. May have to block some extra time off to stay on a roll. Will this get me blocked? I better stop before my block is knocked off haha enjoying is the way. Gotta hate when instructions aren't right though.

    1. You crack me up, Pat! I can't block you. You're my most frequent regular reader and commenter!!! Maybe we need to come up with some frequent comment miles or something. Ha ha ha! :D

  2. How pretty these are all coming out, and to see the growing gang all together is gorgeous. I absolutely LOVE the doilies on the blocks! I'm not a metalhead at all, either, but there are a handful of songs, like this one, that I do actually love somehow. :D haha!!

    1. Thank you, Lynette! I love the snowflakes, too. It's just the perfect way to use them up, and it's inspiring all kinds of quilt ideas!


Dusty words lying under carpets,
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