Blockheads ~ Block 5

Happy Wednesday – its the weekly gathering of the Blockheads!

That’s them.  And me.  I have a very well-honed skill for staying on the “right side” of cameras.

This is Week 5 – Lisa Bongean’s week.  Coronation Star – it’s gorgeous.  And there are a lot of pieces.  Most of them are small.

The block instructions are on Lisa’s Blog – CLICK HERE to go to Lisa Bongean’s Blog!

This is Chelair’s Coronation Star, it’s made with Lisa Bongean’s Old Glory Gatherings collection.

This is Tammy’s block – and a mini!  She’s adding one each week so she’ll have a wonderful mini Mini quilt by this time next year.

If you’re counting… there are 58 pieces in the Coronation Star block.

With all the small-scale half-triangle squares, Tammy, Chelair and I have all been reaching for the triangle paper.  Specifically, Lisa Bongean’s Primitive Gatherings Triangle Paper.

There are two options – large sheets that can be cut into smaller sections or 5″ square papers designed for 5″ charm squares.

Tammy had a great idea – if you only need a few half-triangle squares, just cut off part of the paper and piece just what you need.  The triangle paper makes these tiny HTSs much easier to manage, and consistently accurate finished pieces are a shoo-in.

There are two other notion-related items to mention – rulers with good 1/8th” markings and the GEasy Ruler Stickers by Gudrun Erla of GE Designs.

I love these Itty-Bitty Eights by Lisa Bongean – they’re my favorites.  Other options for rulers with 1/8″ markings are: the Omnigrid 4″ x 8″ with 1/8″ Grid, the Omnigrid 4″ x 4″ with 1/8″ Grid, the Bias Square-Plus Ruler by Nancy J. Martin and the 4″ x 4″ with 1/8″ Grid by Quilting Rulers.

As for the ruler stickers, they are a terrific way to highlight – point to – the line-measurement you need, especially when it’s an odd or incremental measurement like the 1/8″.  (If you have Gudrun’s awesome Stripology ruler, you need these stickers.

Week 5 – Question of the Week.  Sewing Machine Needles.

What size needle do we use?  And how often do we change them?  With the Aurifil 50wt. thread I use for piecing, I use a 75/11 or 80/12 Universal needle.  The 80/12 works well but I prefer the slightly smaller 75/11… and I have a lot of them.  I buy them by the box, and when I can find them, in the little bulk packages of 100 needles.  I use the Universals as the sharper Microtex needles don’t “play nice” with my older sewing machines.

As for how often I change them – frequently.  For many years – back in the old days – the theory was that you changed sewing machine needles when they broke or were bent.  But about twenty years ago, the needle companies decided that wasn’t good enough, and the sewing machine companies agreed.  So the recommendation for “with every new project” became the mantra.  But what if it’s a small project?  Or you maybe perhaps kind of sewed over a pin near the end of a project… should you still change the needle?

Early on, I found a system that worked for me.  It’s not supported by scientific data, mechanical analysis or a laser-reading of the wear on the end of my old needle… it’s just a simple way for me to remember when to change the needle.  I wind five bobbins with thread and when they’re out, it’s time to clean and oil my sewing machine, and change the needle.  I wind five new bobbins and I’m off and running.

This is the little dish by the side of my sewing machine.  Yes, even when I am thisclose to finishing a project, I will stop, clean and oil, wind and change.

Yes, I am finding that ball-point awl interesting.  I admit that I expected to see a bigger ball-tip.  As for the dish, that’s a bread plate from my Mom’s china.  I hot-glued several thin magnets to the underside so the bobbins and other things wouldn’t be easily knocked off.  I know that while my Mom would be initially horrified at my re-purposing her china this way, she’d also love that I’m using it almost daily.  And thinking of her every time I see it.

My blocks!  I didn’t think I’d finish them this week as I was working on something else.

Scrappy Blue Reproductions – the background fabric is Snowberry and the assorted blue prints are Betsy, Jo and 3 Sisters.  I’m hoping someone mixes in a big nine-patch soon.

I made Lisa Bongean’s Bonus Block from last week – if you missed it, you can get it HERE.  I also made my quota of flying geese for both sets of blocks.

And Coronation Star – ala Fig Tree & Co.  There was a bit more contrast when I was cutting fabrics, these sort of mooshed together.  It’s those teeny pieces.  I was thinking about re-making this one but with 58 pieces… maybe not.

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

Be sure to see the blocks popping up in #modablockheads on Instagram and Facebook for more pictures.  The Moda Blockheads Facebook group is also busy with folks sharing tips, suggestions and support.

Happy Wednesday!

Jump to Leave us a Comment

54 thoughts on “Blockheads ~ Block 5

  1. You know when one presses here are the directions for next block and you get the big push for the designer’s other project it is a bummer. Took me almost all last week to get the “real” sheet for the bee hive….. as there was some snag fu…… it gets discouraging. So I hope I remember to come back and find week five blockhead.

    1. Hi Susie – I’ll start scheduling these blog posts for Noon so that I can make sure everyone else has published first. 🙂

  2. I am starting to get disenchanted with this weekly block post:( I was so excited to do this, as it was my first BOM adventure and I was very excited to try out some new techniques and work with different pieces (I am usually a pre-cut, larger piece kind of gal). We are on Week 5 and again, the blog states click here to find the block instructions…and there are no block instructions yet posted. The 5th week in a row. Pretty bad odds. Since there is always a delay between the moda blog and the designer’s blog, it seems that a better option would be for the designer blog to post a day before the moda blog. 1) It would ensure that the instructions are actually there when you state they are there. 2) It would give the designers extra ‘press’, as I know many people would probably hunt out that designer’s specific blog a day before the moda blog post in hopes of finding the ‘not yet released’ block.

    I am finding the lack of available instructions when they are said to be available more of a detractor than all those teeny, tiny pieces!

    1. Thank you so much for getting Block 5 up, and with alternative directions to boot! It was well worth the wait! I will admit that I am one of those very impatient people with very limited sewing time who is way too excited when I get that email that there is a new block waiting for me. 🙂

      This BOM is like getting a wonderful free present every week…and a present I really enjoy and eagerly await. Thanks again for the precise directions and the link to the block. I vow to be more patient in the future!!! Thanks again for all the blocks and directions.

  3. I love how you are doing the “questions of the week”! Even as a long-time experienced quilter, the info and tips are fun to read and very helpful! I really enjoy them. Thanks for all you do, and have a great week!

  4. I keep wanting to reach through the computer screen to move the block in the first picture so I can see those instructions! I appreciate Moda doing this for free, I just wish the designers weren’t so slow in posting!

  5. It’s 6 am in the morning and if I don’t get my instructions right now I may just perish from an overdose of butthurt and entitlement!

  6. I clicked on “HERE” and the block instructions are not anywhere to be found. Can Moda just post these instructions each week. So much time spent looking for the pattern. Thanks!!

  7. I am finding it extremely hard to find where the patterns to print them. Are they all located in a central place for easy finding and printing??

    1. Kinda sorta. The idea all along has been to encourage everyone to visit the different blogs to meet the designers, learn new tips and techniques and see everybody’s different take on the blocks. So each designer is posting the link to their own block.

      After that happens, someone in the Blockheads Facebook Group usually uploads the block to the group Files. Bear Creek Quilting Company is also keeping an archive of the links on their website under Free Patterns. So yes, within a few hours of each block being posted, there is a place where all the prior blocks can be found. 🙂

  8. I would like to say something POSITIVE. Here. I truly appreciate the time and effort that all of the designers, Moda and yourself are putting into this FREE PROJECT. If I have to wait till later in the day or the next day, I’ll survive and I will sew on a charity quilt until I get the new instructions! That way I will feel like I am “paying forward” the kindness of these designers to share their time and talents with us. #feelingrateful#happytobehere#nocomplaints


    1. I agree wholeheartedly ! Thank you to all the designers for offering this fun project!! And thank you, Carrie!! I love your posts, and your patience, and your quilts!!

    2. Yes A big THANK YOU is needed for all of the folks that are pulling this off. It is not easy and with their very busy schedule they still find the time to give us these FREE designs with very good instructions and some are even posting extra photos of the step. Thank you Ladies!!!!

    3. I agree with you! I am grateful for what these wonderful designers are doing! Patience people!

    4. Positive-ly wonderful sentiments with which I wholeheartedly agree!!! I am personally following along and saving all of the instructions, etc. for later use even though I would LOVE to be doing this now!! I won’t BORE everyone to death with the reasons why I’m not sewing right now, but new machine IS pretty bored!! Lol

  9. I agree with pattypiecer…just keep checking back with the current week’s designer. These all get posted on their blog. If you do every Thursday then still doing once a week. These are FREE and should be fun. Not a contest on who can get done that day.

  10. I have an older computer operating system, and I cannot access Lisa’s blog (the only one I’ve had trouble with so far). Is there another site where I can get the pattern? I was hoping Moda would also have the pattern, but don’t see it.

  11. Thanks for a fun, free way to sharpen my skills, use my scraps, and make something beautiful. Here’s to patience, gratitude, and sisterhood!

  12. Lisa’s blog shows a different block than last week’s beehive. I could not find where to ask her what block she chose. Does anyone know?

      1. Thank you, Carrie! I loved that Bee Skep block and now I really have the corrected one 🙂

  13. I also have a POSITIVE comment…. I have had no problem accessing the patterns, and I am having so much fun making these little blocks!! I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to you, Carrie, and to the other designers, for getting together and providing this FREE project…. I know you are all very busy, and the fact that you are all willing to take the time do this is much appreciated!!
    I love seeing all of the designers’ blocks…lots of inspiration…. THANK YOU!!!

    1. Here-here, thanks everyone for providing these FREE patterns. Also, the tips have been really helpful as I am a “newbie” to the quilting world.

  14. I had grand intentions of sewing along–even ordered a fabric bundle for it, but life intervened and it hasn’t happened. Sewing time is so limited that I am not even going to try to catch up at this point. But I am saving the patterns (which I have had no trouble finding and printing). I am SO grateful to these busy, talented women for sharing their talent with us. When I first saw who would be participating my thought was, “How can I not participate–these are MY people!!”
    And thank you for your delightful posts–and your patience with all of the less than positive attitudes!

  15. I think this is a great project to have a FREE pattern every week – a BIG thanks to Carrie (Moda) and all the designers. Taking time out of busy schedules to give us a free pattern – should be a fun thing. And, I’d like to add, what I wouldn’t give to sit with those ladies (top picture) among those absolutely gorgeous quilts.

  16. I’m still working on my block from last week. It is my first time doing applique – I WILL finish it. This block I might have to piece today. Looks challenging but do-able if I take my time, cut precisely, and use my stiletto. I’ve only been quilting for about 5 months. If I can do it, you certainly can!

  17. Just wanted to thank you for offering the block of the week to us. Not sure why so many are upset with what time the block comes out. Life is way too short to worry about a quilt block. And, there are so many other projects one could work on.

  18. I love your blocks and as always I’ll shmelessy copy you and the print squares you used. Can’t wait to make my blocks (I’m also making the mini) tonight and I’m already looking forward to your block next week (perhaps a nine-patch?;-)

  19. I was trying to print instructions for the week 4 alternate block and I can’t find ANY way to print it. The bee skep is a cute block but it doesn’t go with my other 3 blocks. I would love to make the alternate block. Where it says “print here” there is no pdf or no response. Did anyone else get it to print?

    1. Hi Janet – The link is to Lisa Bongean’s blog post with the alternate block. She didn’t create a PDF download for the pattern so you can either do screenshots or write down the cutting for each piece. Lisa has labeled them beautifully. 🙂

    2. I just did a copy/paste and printed the directions under the photo in the blog. It doesn’t look anything like the directions for the other blocks but I can see it.

  20. The ball point awl is amazing for “unsewing” when you need to get under a short, tight stitch and pull it up some or lift it, and then finish with the traditional seam ripper. It’s great for taking out 10 stitches or so when one has a wobble in a seam and you don’t want to redo the whole seam. I love it!

  21. I agree that this should be fun. I am looking for something that is a little bit more organized.

  22. I have been quilting since 1985. I have never made a six inch block sampler. I am learning so many wonderful techniques and ideas for piecing and applique from the “best of the best” designers and quilters in the industry. Their little blocks are so pretty they inspire me to go for it…make the block! Thanks so much for all this fun!

  23. Hey Soul Sister Carrie!!!! My awl is MY MOST favourite tool (looked from Eleanor Burns almost 20 years ago!) I also wind 5 bobbins and then clean the machine. USe Aurifil thread – yep – all around super tips!

  24. Are you saying you use the “same needles” (box of) for different sewing machines or you go through this many in a time period?

  25. I like your Fig Tree block; I don’t think it moosed together much at all. Very pretty! Hugs, H

  26. i just made a block quilt from the summer breeze charm packs and washed it in a front end loader washing machine it shredded to pieces I have never had this happen before please contact me I use your fabric all the time I would like to know why this happened

    1. Hi Laura – I’m so sorry this happened to your quilt. This is the first we’ve heard of any issue like this with Summer Breeze, or with any Moda fabric. Please contact Customer Service at –

Comments are closed.