Blockheads ~ Block 4

It’s Week 4 and for the three Blockheads in the office, we’re all current.  For now.  What about you?

That’s Lisa Bongean’s block – last week’s Four X from Jo Morton.

This week, the block is Bee Skep by Jan Patek.

There are two parts to this week’s instructions – we goofed and part of the instructions weren’t included in the original PDF.  So this is what you’ll need – you will need both parts:

Appliqué.  While Jan is an expert with hand appliqué, this block can also be done by machine or with a raw-edge.

This is Chelair’s Patriotic Bee Skep.

She’s mixing several of Lisa Bongean’s patriotic-themed collections for her blocks – Old Glory Gatherings and Liberty Gatherings.  This is a very clever, creative use of the fabric – it looks great and it looks like a flag.

Tammy also made a super-creative use of fabric with two prints from Bee Inspired by Deb Strain.  The honeycomb print is perfect for the skep and that bee – best fussy-cut idea ever.

Me?  I went old-school.  Stayed old-school?  This is my mixed Fig Tree & Co. Bee Skep – it’s made with Farmhouse & Chestnut Street. The background is from Liberty Gatherings by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings.

I decided to hand-appliqué the skep since I was very, very out-of-practice and because I want Jan to like me.  That’s my explanation for the leaning door that may or may not be coming off it’s hinges and hanging a bit on the right side.

If you’d like to learn hand-appliqué from Jan, she has a series of YouTube video tutorials – Appliqué Like A Pro.  (Making mental note to watch these videos before Week 10…)

Question of the Week!  Thread.

For piecing, I use Aurifil 50wt. in No. 2324.  It’s fine, strong and after a seam has been stitched and pressed, you usually can’t feel the thread in the seam.  I tried Aurifil 50 wt. when it first started showing up in quilt and sewing shops in 2001 or 2002 and it was love at first stitch.  Okay, maybe not the first stitch… the “this is love” moment probably came the next time I cleaned my machine and saw how much less lint there was.

Because I do at least 90% of my sewing with this particular thread – using it in the needle and the bobbin – I buy it by the cone.  At first glance, the $40.00 cost seems a little pricey but the cones are actually more economical than the large spools.  A large spool has 1,420 yards and costs about $10.50, and a cone is 6,452 yards for about $40.00.  Each cone represents approximately 4.5 large spools so that’s $47.25 for the same amount of thread on spools as you’d get on a cone.

For this week’s appliqué, I used the Aurifil 80 wt. thread.  Aside from the beautiful wooden spools, the thread is quite wonderful.

Super-fine.  Really, really fine… need stronger readers and better light kind of fine.  It also disappears into the fabric in the same way that silk thread does.  Since most of what I will stitch with this thread can be done with neutrals – yes, red is a neutral in my book – this is my 80 wt. Aurifil thread collection.  I’m adding spools a few at a time as they’re perfect for machine-quilting on small-scale pieces like mini-quilts, zipper bags, etc.

That’s my blue Reproduction Bee Skep block – I was inspired by David’s improv-pieced skep so I shamelessly stole borrowed his idea.

After sharing the beginnings of my setting plans last week, several of you asked about the size of the geese and how many I’ll need.  The geese will finish at 1-1/2″ x 3″ – meaning they’ll measure 2″ x 3-1/2″ after piecing.  I’m going to use a Bloc-Loc Flying Geese ruler so I’m cutting my print squares at 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ and my background squares at 2-3/4″ x 2-3/4″.

Are you sure you want to know how many I’m going to make?


Four-hundred.  For almost any flying geese method, that means I’ll need 100 sets of four geese.  With the Bloc-Loc ruler, I’ll need 100 – 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ print squares and 400 – 2-3/4″ x 2-3/4″ background squares.  For fabrics, I’ll add 25 layer cake squares and 2-1/4 yards of background.  (Cut 29 strips – 2-3/4″ x 42″ wof.  From the strips, cut 400 squares – 2-3/4″ x 2-3/4″.)

If I start this week – which I’ve done – and I make at least 3 sets of 4 geese every week through the rest of the Blockheads sew-along, I’ll finish by Week 38.  Except that I’m making two sets of blocks and two quilts… I should finish by 2027.

That’s it for today so be sure to visit the others to see what they made:

As always, don’t forget to check #modablockheads on Instagram and Facebook for more pictures.  And if you haven’t already joined, there is the Moda Blockheads Facebook group.

Make sure you go say Hi to Jan and her new buddy, Elizabeth.

Happy Wednesday!


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38 thoughts on “Blockheads ~ Block 4

  1. Sure wish we didn’t have to scour entire websites to find out how to print the block. After half an hour I still couldn’t find out WHAT TO CLICK ON !!! Some of us are not fluent in computer navigating. What about a big sign that says CLICK HERE to print pattern.

    1. Hi Cheryl – I’m not sure why Jan’s blog post hasn’t posted yet but in the meantime… here is the link to the Block No. 4 pattern –

      The link I included in the blog post is to Jan’s blog – it’s her block to post and I know she’ll have some terrific appliqué tips. When Lynne Hagmeier came up with this idea and proposed it to the rest of us, one of the goals was to encourage everyone to visit the blogs each week. We’re still working out a few kinks with timing of the posts – actually, we’ve got it figured out, it’s the blog hosts that are messing with our timing! lol.

      Thank you for sticking with us – and for the comment. I do appreciate it and we really are working to make this all easier and better.

      1. I still can’t download the pattern. When I click on the link above I only get one page
        Which is a drawing of the block, no directions. Help!

        1. Hi Sheila – It’s not you. It’s us. We goofed. When the pattern for this block was written and made into a PDF, the “instruction” part of it was accidentally omitted. And twits that “some” of us are, we just went on our merry-way and never noticed. But Jan came to the rescue and we’re getting the Instructions uploaded to the website – a link will be posted as soon as it can be accessed.

    2. I agree with her. Is it so difficult to do that. And where are the specifics for this block?????

    1. I know. I love Flying Geese. I think I could make entire quilts with just flying geese… oh wait! I have! 😉

      My hand-applique looks awesome too. Photoshop.

  2. Thank you for the cutting measurements on the flyi
    ng geese. I’ve never used the Bloc-Loc…which one are you using for these?

  3. I clicked the link to Jan’s blog and the pattern is not there. The last post on her blog was from 22 March as of 0838 EDT on 29 March. It’s bad enough having to hunt (as Cheryl described) but for the link not even to take a person to the pattern? That’s unfair and frustrating at best.

    1. Hi AuntieM – Jan’s blog post for Block 4 is now posted and the pattern is included.

      I’m sorry that you’re frustrated – really. In a perfect world, all six of our blog posts would post at exactly the same moment. We all schedule them but there are some things that are simply out of our control. And to be fair, sometimes there are “life issues” that also delay a post.

  4. Carrie, Is there a formula for cutting the flying geese? How do you calculate the size to cut in order to “square up” using the Bloc Loc to obtain, for example, a 1 x 2 ” finished geese?

    1. Hi Anne – The good news is that each ruler comes with a complete cutting chart for all of the sizes of geese. The better news is that the “formula” for the sizes is fairly easy.

      Basically, it’s a 1/4″ bigger than the “regular” cutting size. For 1″ x 2″ finished geese, the squares would be cut 3-1/4″ for the big triangle and 1-7/8″ for the small triangles. With the Bloc-Loc, the cutting is 3-1/2″ and 2-1/4″ – the smaller squares add 3/8″. Does that make sense? 🙂

        1. LUCK! I will share that when I haven’t used it to trim in a little while, it takes me a minute to get the groove going. But once you find the process that works for you, I think you’ll like the ruler – and the results. One of my favorite things about using the Bloc-Locs is that I can make really scrappy geese without having to make hundreds. I also find the process of piecing them oddly relaxing – that repetitive chain-piecing.

          Just so you know, everybody will have suggestions on how to actually use the ruler, the best – only? – way that “really” works. Many people like using a rotary mat while trimming so they can turn the piece around without moving the ruler, and a good friend only uses a 28mm rotary cutter for trimming with Bloc-Locs. I use my regular mat and a 45mm cutter – it’s just what works for me. So have fun figuring out what works for you. 🙂

          And don’t forget to let me know what you think!

  5. Carrie, I’m new to quilting and LOVE reading about quilting “stuff” ! But for the most part I’m still in the “how in the world did she do that?” stage LOL. So I’m always delighted when you (or anyone) posts a picture with a “door off the hinge” type block ! It always looks so charming and I think IT’S OK TO NOT BE PERFECT – so I can do this! Thanks!

  6. Ack! The dreaded ‘A’ word. I might be substituting another block or sitting this week out. ::sigh:: Disappointing.

    1. Every sixth week will be an appliqué block but not to worry, there will always be a non-appliqué alternative. 🙂

  7. I have done quilting for years (my own ideas) and have just now started doing piece quilts and appliques. my question is…..I found the link to Block 4, printed the pattern ok. But their is no written instruction to go along with it. I’m not sure what size my block should be and not sure about appliques in general but definetly want to learn. Thanks

    1. Hi Kim – In getting the patterns ready and PDF-ed, the instruction part of Jan’s pattern was accidentally omitted. We’re getting that fixed now – the updated instructions will be available soon. I’m sorry for the error – and our oversights. Because I knew what size the block should be, it never occurred to me that there were parts of the instructions missing. But we’ll get this fixed. 🙂

  8. Jan’s block is great but I’m really glad there’s an alternative form Lisa. Although I’ll change her layout a bit so I don’t have to cute 1/16″ pieces.

  9. It is 11:15 in Texas and we still don’t have the pattern for this week. If you go to Jan’s website see says you have it. I do wish Moda would just print the pattern so we could all get it.

    1. Hi Ginger – I’m sorry that the links aren’t working for you this morning. I posted the link to Jan’s blog post with Block 4 to Facebook at 8:30 this morning, Dallas time so her blog was up. At a few minutes before 11:00, Dallas time, Jan posted a link to the instruction part of her pattern – something that was accidentally omitted when the PDF was created.

      One of the goals from the outset was to encourage quilters to visit each of the blogs for tips and different versions – and it is why we decided that the each designer would post their own block pattern, that the rest of us would link to them. For a number of reasons, the blogs have been posting at different times even when they are scheduled for the same time. We’re working on trying to correct that.

      To save you the time of hunting –

  10. Oh, thank goodness I came back. I checked this morning & there weren’t instructions. I don’t applique and was hopelessly lost. I sent texts to everyone I know who does applique to please help me figure this out as all I have is the pattern. I’m good now! Thanks.

  11. I can’t find a second page. The page I downloaded was an instruction sheet with a drawing of the Bee Skep on it. Is that the only page needed?I just want to be sure I have all the pages s everything I am reading says there are 2 pages.

    1. Hi Selene – We goofed. When the PDFs were written and turned into PDFs, we kinda sorta forgot to include the written instructions that Jan included. We updated the PDF and now there is a PDF that includes both. Here is that link –

      It’s still one page – but everything is now on a single page. 🙂

  12. Enjoying the blockheads – need to decide on a fabric soon so I can start. But what happened to the moda bakeshop website? Will it be back soon?

    1. Hi Becky – It’s there now – I just checked. But maybe I used the secret handshake… sometimes there is “work” being done on the website and it doesn’t load properly but the Bake Shop is up, running and here to stay. It can’t go away because there are too many really good projects coming in the next few months!

  13. Hi Carrie – when I try I get a message that says the site has exceeded its bandwidth – so what’s the
    secret handshake?

  14. Can I get the entire series on one site? I find this web site very hard to access. From you pic of staff I find no minorities, why?

  15. I am doing the alternate square, since I am new at this. Can anyone point me to a site that will tell me how to sew these pieces together to make the complete square? Any help is appreciated.

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