Blockheads ~ Block 29

Because it’s Fall – or late-summer and will it ever really be fall here in Dallas? – we’re enjoying anything that makes us think of the season.

These are Tammy’s Blockhead Blocks No. 1 through 28.  She’s using a big mix of scraps and pieces in fall colors.  As an Indiana girl, she knows of such things.

Juneau!  Alaska.  Is there a fall season in Juneau?  (Enquiring minds want to know.)  Block 29 from Lisa Bongean.  (You knew that from all the tiny pieces, didn’t you?)

Tammy’s block is made with fabrics from Songbird Gatherings by Lisa Bongean for Primitive Gatherings and the backgrounds are from Betsy Chutchian’s Rachel Remembered collection.

For the blue Reproduction-ish block, the background is from Snowberry by 3 Sisters.  The prints are from Alice’s Scrapbag by Barbara Brackman and a couple of “I should have written that down” fabrics.  I remember that they’re by Barbara Brackman, Jan Patek and 3 Sisters.  

CLICK HERE for the link to Lisa’s blog and the link to Block 29 – Juneau.

For the Fig Tree & Co. block, the fabrics are from the Farmhouse and Chestnut Street collections and the background is my favorite tiny stars from Liberty Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings.  (I will fix the seam join on that bottom goose-unit.)

Question of the Week ~ Machine-quilting.  Do you ever machine-quilt your own quilts?  If so, do you have any tips to share?

Yes and no.  That means I have been doing a lot of machine-quilting in the past couple of years but it’s for small projects – pillows, wall-hangings, bags and pincushions.  I have really enjoyed it but I doubt I will ever quilt anything larger than that.  (Been there, done that… and I was much younger.)

Tips?  I have two – practice and experiment.  As tips go, they’re probably not ground-breaking.  Those “aha moments”… I’ll leave those to Oprah.

Practice.  As it is with anything – everything – the more I do, the better I’m getting.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t still mess things up a bit, or need to pull out my seam ripper.  I love a style of machine-quilting that is often referred to as “organic wavy lines” – aka “close enough”.  Straight lines have become my preference, and anything I can do with a walking foot.

My favorite recent machine-quilting book is Walk: Master Machine Quilting with Your Walking Foot by Jacquie Gering.  Jacquie is an exceptionally good teacher and author, and the book is beautifully, perfectly done.

I also recommend the books by Angela Walters of Quilting is My Therapy and Natalia Bonner of Piece ‘n Quilt.

Experiment! I like playing with different battings and threads – from 40wt. to Aurifil’s 80wt.  For small projects in particular, I can machine-quilt lines that are less than 1/2″ apart without overloading the top with thread.  Craft- and Crib-size battings let me experiment with some of the battings I might not have tried yet – Cotton/Wool blend, Silk, etc.  (I love the Cotton/Wool blend.)

Just in case you missed it –CLICK HERE for the link to Lisa’s blog and the link to Block 29 – Juneau.

Don’t forget that there is a Blockheads Archive with links to all of the published blocks and blog posts.

That’s it for today, September 20.  Be sure to visit Jo, Betsy, Lynne and Jan to see their blocks and what other good things they might have made:

Don’t miss the blocks being posted to #modablockheads on Instagram and Facebook.

If you’re not already a member, you can still join the Moda Blockheads Facebook group.  It’s a busy group with lots of tips, suggestions and support.

Happy Blockhead Wednesday!

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6 thoughts on “Blockheads ~ Block 29

  1. Yes! You just have to think really hard that it’s Fall in DFW. I mean, the State Fair is less than 10 days away! Surely fall cannot be far behind! (Do you go to the fair! )

  2. Relax your shoulders when machine quilting. With your shoulders tense, you can only make jerky motions. With your shoulders relaxed, you can make your quilting flow. Circular motions look circular!.

  3. I have learned the hard way! Make sure your backing fabric is good quality and pulled tightly so that is won’t bunch up while you quilt. In every quilt book I own, it says to make sure your backing fabric and batting extend 2″ to 4″ beyond the top of your quilt. I hope I am not the only person who has ever unpicked that extra batting from the backing of the quilt when it gets tucked into the back of the quilt. Now I pin it carefully, just like the basting pins, to ensure I won’t ever make those mistakes again! I won’t quilt anything larger than a double bed size on my machine because I have a friend who has a large standing quilter who can do the super size ones. It isn’t worth my stress. I only have this one nervous system to live with! Ha ha.

  4. I’ve got books from all three of the authors listed, watched numerous videos and taken hands on classes. But nothing teaches you like learning from your mistakes and of course practicing – lots and lots of it.

  5. I have taken classes to learn, thought it was interesting how one instructor had us draw the designs first, then quilt. It worked! That way, you realize if you are more comfortable curving to the left or right, and it’s easier to get started once you begin working on the machine–because you’ve already warmed up on paper.

  6. Love Tammy’s blocks and your blocks are so pretty too!
    I quilt all my quilt by myself there are not so many good quilters in Germany. Sadly I’m not the best at quilting that’s why there are a lot of quilt tops that still needed to get quilted.

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