2017 Moda BlockHeads BOW – Block 32

Our favorite day of the week, Wednesday!

Fall is in the air?  It was 82 Sunday, yesterday we had a high of 41, with a chance of frost overnight, Russ picked tomatoes just in case.  Fall really is my most favorite season, but will miss the fresh vegetables of summer.

Question this week . . . When we went from making quilts for self and began doing it as a business, is there anything you wish you’d know ahead of time?  Or, was ignorance truly bliss.  There were many days I wish there had been a handbook . . . in the long run, I’m grateful there wasn’t one.  I was introduced to quiltmaking by Russ’s sister at Thanksgiving dinner in 1979, I thought her blocks were “the most beautiful thing I had ever seen”.

Russ’s sister, who also lives in Nebraska City, took her quilting class in Lincoln, Nebraska, I asked for the name of the lady and phone number, called and signed up for the next ’14 week course’ to make a double bed size sampler quilt, comprised of 12 – 14″ blocks, through which, I learned to hand piece, hand appliqué, and hand quilt in the quilt-as-you-go method popular at the time.  The class began in early January 1980.  I asked my boss (I was the bookkeeper for a car dealership at the time) if I could have Wednesday afternoons off for 14 weeks, and I would work Saturday morning to make up time, surprisingly, he said yes.  Lincoln is 50 miles from Nebraska City. There was a quilt guild in Lincoln that I eventually joined, and there was a very small quilt shop at that time in Lincoln (still open and much larger), finding cotton fabric was the hard part then, and the quality was sadly lacking.  I used to joke that the fabric faded in the sack on the trip home.  I’ve lived 50 miles from a quilt shop all these years, so of course it was logical to me, to build a “fabric collection” as I couldn’t run down and pick up what I needed nearby.  About 2 to 3 years into my quiltmaking, I realized other ladies in Nebraska City and area would probably like to learn to quilt but would not drive the 100 miles round trip to Lincoln or Omaha to learn, so I began teaching quilting in our small living/dining room to a small group of ladies, same premise, 14 weeks and learn these same techniques.  Then with the help of some local ladies we started a local Quilt Guild around the same time.

I was drawn to the antique quilts early on, and because we were making quilts by hand, an quilt show most always had an area of antique quilts on display.  I was totally hooked by the antique quilts, that is where I spent my time at shows, soaking up the colors used, the variety of settings and quilting designs, also loved the quirks that could be found. There were no machine piecing classes then, and I struggled with that part even though I had made clothes since 6 or 7th grade.  Please remember this is before the rotary cutter and other lovely tools we have today.  1/4″ seam was so skinny after 5/8″ seam on clothes. The second class I signed up for, the following year (1981), again in Lincoln was ‘drafting’, because there were very few books and patterns then either.  Jinny Beyer was a large influence in those days, I was able to take a class from her in Fremont, Nebraska, and of course I own her books, they are still great reference today, for skills.  We learned how to break down a block and draft them.  I know this is now foreign and that makes me a dinosaur!   Ha, ha, ha.

By 1985 I began my journey of making ‘new quilts that look olde’ or had vintage appeal, and haven’t looked back.  Through a quirk of life around 1988, I began exhibiting at Folk Art Shows in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and New England, selling my small quilts, ornaments, then added framed quilts, and framed quilt prints until around 2002.  I also had a license with a company for about 9 years for framed prints of my quilts.  I started my pattern business in 1995, due to requests from some ladies in Virginia who asked me for patterns, they were quilters and wanted to make what I was making, which eventually led to my first Quilt Market in Charlotte, NC in 1995.  Things overlapped for a few years, then I had to stop making quilts for sale, and then only made quilts for patterns, followed by my first self published book ‘Small Quilts for Framing’ in 2000.

Simply, I would not have had this lovely quiltmaking journey if there had been a handbook for business.

Now, if you are still with me, our block this week is by our friend Betsy Chutchian – Dutchman’s Puzzle, you will find the block directions here: http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/

Be sure to check our friends Blogs for their versions and tips:

Lynne Hagmeier – http://kansastroublesquilters-lynne.blogspot.com/

Jan Patek – http://janpatek.blogspot.com/

Lisa Bongean – https://lisabongean.com/

Moda Carrie – http://blog.modafabrics.com/

My pressing for this block, and only one clipping in the center –

Block 32, pressing

My block this week!

Block 32

And the link to the permanent page:    http://blog.modafabrics.com/blockheads/

I wish you a wonderful week, enjoy the colors of Fall, mostly Happy Sewing!  Jo

P.S.   I want to share Russ’s comment – “Jo took her first quilting class and hasn’t been home since”.  Kind of true, but after all these years I’m off the road for teaching travels, so I can be on the road enjoying travels with Russ. And, yes, I’ll have handwork with me!

2017 Moda BlockHeads BOW – Block 31

It is that wonderful day of the week, Wednesday – a new BlockHeads block, besides being ‘hump day’, aka week is half over, weekend on the horizon.  Some weeks I think ‘yikes’, I have so much to do, needs to be Monday, not Wednesday!

This weeks question:  Is there something quilt-related on my ‘bucket list’.  Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha . . . of course, I want more sewing time for languishing quilt projects.  My WIP list is not diminishing and I have the bins of projects to prove it.  See, we really are alike.

A little FYI – I’ve never liked the term UFO, because . . . I have no aliens in my house.  That means WIP is my go to acronym.  You are probably learning more about me than you want to know.

Back to the ‘bucket list’ question, I’ve been to quilt shows I never ever dreamed I would get to see, feeling blessed on that one.  As for my ‘quilts I would like to make list’, that becomes another ha, ha, ha, ha . . . yes of course!  Not one quilt, but a lengthy list!  Not saying how many.  Now, you really know why I make smaller quilts, I can make my version of a quilt inspired by an antique quilt, make it wall size, doll quilt size, or maybe throw size (it does vary), and that seems to make me very happy, and isn’t that part of why we quilt?

This weeks block is by our friend Lynne Hagmeier, named ‘Dot Dash’, this was a fun one to make!

You can find the block directions on Lynne’s Blog:


Here is my block pressing:

Block 31, pressing, and clipping trick.

And . . . here is this weeks block!

Block 31

Be sure and check our friends Blogs to see their versions of this fun block!

Jan Patek – http://janpatek.blogspot.com/

Betsy Chutchian  – http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/

Lisa Bongean – https://lisabongean.com/

Moda Carrie – http://blog.modafabrics.com/

And don’t forget to check out the permanent page, with all things ‘BlockHeads’, including our friend David’s contributions to keep it all together for us on FB:


Fall is in the air here in Nebraska, especially today after a warm spell, really cooled off at a high of 62.  Fall is my favorite season, time to buy orchard apples – at the orchard, and love watching the colors change, love going for rides to enjoy mother nature (we did that Sunday), the chill in the air, love being able to wear a jacket with jeans, also perfect time for a walk in the park.  I wish for you a beautiful walk in your park or favorite place to walk!

Until next week, happy stitching!  Jo

2017 Moda BlockHeads BOW – Block 30

Another special Wednesday!  We are feeling a bit Fall-ish here today, high of 64, kind of nice after last week in the mid 90’s (just not right in September is it).

This weeks topic – name a ‘famous’ quilter that inspired-taught you in the past 20 years, that you hope quilters will remember 20 years from now.  I’m picking Jeana Kimball, I took an appliqué class from her when she taught at the Liberty Quilt Shop in Liberty, MO, I’m guessing it was around 2000, give or take.  She taught me the back-basting prep method for needle turn appliqué.  Not that I do tons of appliqué, but this is my go to method, I’ve taught classes on it, and it is very portable, and I think easy.  I also want to share, Jeana has an Instagram presence if you want to see what she is up to (search for Jeana Kimball) she also has tutorials, that means you get free tutorials from her!  And, Jeana is now officially off the road for teaching travels, like myself, so you still have access via Instagram to her gorgeous work and workmanship.  I’m a basics kind of gal, no frills, no extra tools, all you need is the recommended needles and thread, and scissors of course, after you have marked the design, you are off and stitching!  But you also know I’m an old fashioned girl, and enjoy the process of quiltmaking.

This week’s block is by our friend Carrie Nelson, and personally am happy for an easier block, some weeks we need an easier block, don’t we.  Well I did this week, nuff said.

Here is the link to Carrie’s Blog:    http://blog.modafabrics.com/

This is how I pressed my block: note I used my clipping trick at the seam intersections.

Block 30, pressing

And . . .  my Block 30, we are moving along now!

Block 30


Be sure to look at our friends Blogs to see their versions, lots of possibilities for light and dark play and placement.

Lynne Hagmeier   –   http://kansastroublesquilters-lynne.blogspot.com/

Jan Patek – http://janpatek.blogspot.com/

Betsy Chutchian – http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/

Lisa Bongean – https://lisabongean.com/

Always check this link to the permanent page, updated weekly to include the new block of the week, and the most recent version of David’s Directory for the FB Group.  He is a very nice and kind person to step up and help us out on this journey of BlockHeads blocks.


Enjoy making this block, I’m looking forward to see what you do with your block!

Happy Stitching!  Jo

2017 Moda BlockHeads BOW – block 29


This weeks question is about – Machine Quilting – do you ever machine-quilt your own quilts?  Basically the answer is NO,  not shouting, but emphatic, they are always sent out for beautiful machine quilting!

That said, I have MQ a handful of small/doll quilts over the years, straight lines only.  I do not like to MQ, it is not enjoyable, but I love to HQ, but I can’t HQ them all.  I’ve been very fortunate to have a couple of long arm quilters who do gorgeous quilting, and make my quilts better, their quilting enhances my quilts with traditional motifs and designs.

This weeks block is by our friend Lisa Bongean.

You can find the block pattern on Lisa’s Blog – https://lisabongean.com/

Once again I’m going to show you my pressing of this block first.  I used the clipping trick and oops I see the top row needs repressed!  Look at the other three sides.  The iron is shut off and I’m home, pretend it is just perfect, OK?

Block 29, pressing

Here is my version of this weeks block.

Block 29

Be sure and check our friends Blogs and see their versions:

Lynne Hagmeier – Blog – http://kansastroublesquilters-lynne.blogspot.com/

Jan Patek – Blog – http://janpatek.blogspot.com/

Betsy Chutchian – Blog – http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/

Moda Carrie – Blog – http://blog.modafabrics.com/

Be sure and check the permanent page, it is updated every week with links to everything, including our friend David’s Directory for FB that includes all things BlockHeads related.



You will enjoy making this one!  Jo

2017 Moda BlockHeads BOW – block 28

Boy these fun posting days show up faster than once a week, I just know it!

This weeks topic – Hand Quilting . . . do you HQ, yes!!!   How frequently?  sporadically, depends what else I have for handwork, because I ‘love’ handwork from hand-piecing, back-basting prep method for needle turn appliqué, EPP, did I mention hand-piecing, and of course I love to HQ small quilts.  Small quilts are portable and easy to carry along and get them done.  I do not see myself HQ anything larger than a quilt that measures from 24 to 30 inches in my future.  But, things change, times change, so who really knows?  I learned to make quilts by hand in 1980, it is in my quilting DNA.  I also machine piece and enjoy that too.  I used to do machine appliqué, did tons of the fuse the shape hold it with machine buttonhole stitch, but mostly on hand towels (for show of course, can’t use pretty hand towels), I sold them for some time in the 1990’s.  I know TMI.  But maybe, just maybe you will understand it is just me, I’m not changing and will continue with handwork forever.

First I want to show you 27 of my BlockHead Blocks:

27 blocks

I do not have a setting figured out yet, I don’t expect to have one until I have the 48 blocks sewn.  It is the way I work, and have worked all these years.  Can’t change that now!

This weeks block is by our friend Jan Patek, a pumpkin with Fall in mind.  I did make a big Four Patch background for my block using ‘Timeless’.  The pumpkin and stem are from my January line ‘New Hope’, it arrived in time to use in this block.

block 28

You will find Jan’s block directions on her Blog:    http://janpatek.blogspot.com/

You will find versions of Jan’s block on our friends Blogs:

Lynne Hagmeier Blog – http://kansastroublesquilters-lynne.blogspot.com/

Betsy Chutchian Blog – http://betsysbestquiltsandmore.blogspot.com/

Lisa Bongean Blog – https://lisabongean.com/

Moda Carrie Blog – http://blog.modafabrics.com/

And of course the Link to the permanent page:  http://blog.modafabrics.com/blockheads/ 

Until next week, happy sewing!  Jo