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".