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I'm a Blockhead!

I am a Block Head, but it's not the "doh, you idiot!" type of blockhead. I am officially a Moda Block Head. Here's the backstory on how this came to be.

I went to a quilting retreat back in late February before things got wild and crazy with stay at home orders. One of the ladies there finished up her Moda Block Heads 2 quilt. It is a sew-a-long where new blocks are released every week. It runs for about a year. I loved what she did.

Laurel's Quilt - My Inspiration

Then Laurel mentioned Moda was doing another round of Block Heads. I checked out the information on the Moda website here. Before the retreat was over, I decided to become a Block Head.

It took a while to figure out what fabrics to use. I had taken an old Moda "A Stitch in Color" jelly roll and and charm pack with me to the retreat thinking I might do something with it. I liked the bright colors and thought it might work well for Block Heads 3. I purchased some Moda Grunge in matching colors to supplement my small amount of fabric.  Even with that, I wasn't feeling the love for it. I could not get motivated to start making blocks. 

After coming home, I went through my stash and still could not find the right fabrics for BH3. How is that even possible??!! I have a huge stash. Nothing caught my fancy. I started shopping online for fat quarter bundles to see if anything called out my name. I looked for several days. Nothing. My initial search was for bright colors in modern prints like my Stitch in Color bundle and my favorite Kaffe fabrics. I thought about using Kaffe but felt like I needed to use Moda fabrics. It isn't a requirement; I even saw one person in the Facebook group using Kaffe and her blocks were gorgeous! Then I stumbled across a Moda FQ bundle called Desert Bloom by Sherri & Chelsi. It was not a current bundle plus it was on clearance. I liked it but did I like it enough? I kept searching for other bundles but found myself looking at Desert Bloom again...and again.

Desert Bloom by Sherri & Chelsi

Was it the cheddar orange or mustard yellow? The teal and navy? The coral and reds? I don't know but I kept coming back to this bundle. So I bought it, along with a layer cake just in case. 

Ahhhhh...but am I ready to start making blocks? Nope, not yet. I needed to decide on a layout. Moda provides suggested layouts for you to choose from. I thought maybe I had locked in on one and fired up my Electric Quilt 7 program to start replicating it. The more I looked at it, the more I kept going back to Laurel's quilt for inspiration. I loved the mixture of sizes and the way it was put together. I wanted mine to look similar to that. Block Heads 3 has four sizes of blocks available - 4", 6", 8" and 12". The original layout I selected incorporated all four sizes. It felt too structured and traditional and not the modern feel I wanted. 

Ever the planner, I opened my Excel program and started "designing" a block layout. I ended up using 8", 12", 16" and 24" blocks in my layout. I then created a custom layout in my EQ7 program to match it. 

Next up was to recreate the blocks released to date and start placing them in my EQ7 layout. I was also able to get a complete download of fabric jpgs from the Moda website so I could play with the fabric placement in my blocks. I like doing this so I can see how it will look before cutting. I looked at what a few of the designers in BH3 were using for fabric choices in their block layouts. Corey Yoder from Coriander Quilts and Sherri McConnell from A Quilting Life are two of the designers that gave me immediate inspiration. Sherri is also the designer of the Desert Bloom fabric I am using. Okay, now I can say "doh, you idiot!" No wonder I was getting inspiration from her.

Playing with the fabric choices in my re-created blocks, I found I wanted to add some green to the mix. I located a fat quarter bundle from the Fat Quarter Shop that just so happens to include fabrics designed by Corey and Sherri. 

Finally, this weekend I started making blocks. I had to resize one to make a 24" block and my EQ7 program does that for me and gives me templates to use. That helped because of the triangles (not HSTs) that I was dealing with. I was happy to get three blocks finished.

Block 1 - Star Chain by Corey Yoder / Block Size 24"

Block 9 - Taos by Vanessa Goertzen / Block Size 12"

Block 10 - Windmills by Stacy Iest Hsu / Block Size 8"
And here is my future layout (I hope):

Did I mention I also upgraded to EQ8? I'm such a geek! Happy quilting!


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