Monday, March 13, 2017

Making Moda Blockhead 1: Whirligig

Here is my second Mini-toot video tutorial. I made it to demonstrate the first block on Moda's new FaceBook site, "Moda Blockheads -- Public Group"

The block is "Block 1: Whirligig - Kansas Troubles Quilters, Lynne Hagmeier, Designer". A PDF file with complete directions can be downloaded from the Internet by clicking on this link.

This design is not optimum for a mini-tutorial, but since I wanted to make the block, I thought I might as well take the photos and use the free Adobe Spark application to make another video. I think my first mini-toot, "Cross Block", is really cute; and I am learning more about the video process as I go along.

I made the "Cross Block" mini-toot because it showed an improvisational block, and I wanted to make this "Whirligig" mini-toot because it uses a "layered" patchwork technique that I wanted to investigate. 

In this "layered" patchwork method of making the Whirligig block, instead of sewing the triangles to the rectangles, these instructions give an alternate "layered" method that just stitches the triangles right-side-up on top of the rectangles, then the rest of the process is traditional patchwork seaming.

"Layered" patchwork technique from L. Hagmeier's "Whirligig" how-to

I'm sure this technique could be very useful and interesting, but I can't say I found it all that compelling in this instance. The "Whirligig" block can be pieced in the traditional way, too. I think if I try it again, I will increase the block size (this one is 6.5-inches) and piece the design in the traditional way.

A new block comes out every Wednesday on the Moda Blockheads public group on Facebook; it's fun, and instructive, to see all the different blocks that readers make.

UPDATE 03/14/17: Lynne Hagmeier, the creator of this "layered patchwork" version of the Whirligig block, stitches her triangles closer to the edge of the fabric than shown in this video. Hagmeier's post on how to make this block is available on the Kansas Troubles Quilters blog at

Whirligig mini-toot,
Whirligig directions PDF,

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

My first mini-toot video made with Adobe Spark

Modern, improv "Cross" block mini-toot by Linda Theil, created with Adobe Spark

The Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild recently announced that the entire guild is invited to make blocks for a quilt that will be awarded to a guild volunteer this year. They chose the "Cross" block because it is fast, easy, and beautiful; but also because it is a great example of a modern, improvisational block. When I saw Kathy Schmidt's post, "Modern AND improv -- Great!" on the GAAQG blog, wanted to try it right away. So I looked up all the links Kathy provided in her post -- there are a lot of tutorials out there about how to make this block. 

I thought wouldn't it be cool to to have one of those cute, short, video tutorials on how to make this block -- so I thought I'd try the Adobe Spark video option using photos I took while putting together my red and gold sample block. 

I could save and download the video I made, and could even get code to embed the video in this post. You can play the video from the screen above or play it on the Spark site at "Modern, improv, "cross" block mini-toot".

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I love my "Crosswalk" pillow-top in batik

I love this Missouri Star Quilt Co. Quilt Snips Mini Tutorial of the "Crosswalk" block

I made a sample out of leftover strips from a "Sumatra Batiks" jellyroll (2.5-inch strips) by Blank Quilting, and a piece of buttery gold sheeting. 

I liked the block so much I added a few borders to make a 21-inch square and made a pillow top out of my sample block:

  • I hand quilted the block with batting and a lightweight backing.
  • I pressed some iron-on batting to a 21-inch square of leftover sheeting for the back of the pillow cover.
  • Using a cording foot, I covered 2/5 yards of 1/4-inch cording with left-over strips of the batik prints,
  • and, using a zipper foot stitched the cording to the quilted pillow top.
  • With right-sides-together, I sewed the quilt top and the pillow back together around all edges, leaving a 12-inch opening on one side to turn the pillow cover. 
  • I turned the pillow cover, inserted a 20-inch pillow form purchased from Jo-Ann Fabric and stitched the opening shut.

Pillow top made by Linda Theil using Missouri Star Quilt Co. "Crosswalk" Quilt Snips Mini Tutorial -- Dec. 2016

A longer form of the "Crosswalk" tutorial is available at "The Crosswalk Quilt" by Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Tissue cover reprise

For a quick holiday project, make these cute facial tissue covers that everyone on your gift list will love!

Whip them up in a jiffy using my directions for "Easy Facial Tissue Cover" on Appleton Dance

You need only two, six-by-eight-inch contrasting scraps for each cover. The red, Scottie dog print I used, above, is from the "Storybook Christmas" line by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics.

Fill the covers with pre-packaged facial tissues such as the Kleenex brand "go packs" pictured here.

These also make a great, easy project for beginner sewists.

More tissue covers!