moda modern building blocks quilt FINISHED!

I have a finish to share with you today! The Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt is finished, and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. I can hardly believe that I started this in July 2014 - two years ago! The last time it appeared on this blog was February 2015, and at that time, I said that I had only two blocks to go. Wow, how time flies!

The pattern was a bit challenging, for sure. The block patterns instruct you to use triangles (not the stitch-and-flip method), so lots of careful cutting and pinning was needed. Several of the blocks - such as the large 36" block! - have stretchy bias on the outer edges. I loved working with the Fig Tree color palette, with a few prints added for interest. I added a narrow Fig Tree toile outer border in a taupe color.  There were three reasons why I did this. First, I wanted to contain all those seams that would have been on the outer edge. Second, adding an outer border ensured that no star points would be accidentally hidden within the binding. And finally, the borders created a quilt that was the perfect size for a queen bed (it finished, with borders, at 90" x 102" before washing). It was quilted in a Baptist fan pattern by Kaylene Parry of Lehi, UT, and I love how her quilting helps to bring a classic element to a modern quilt. 

But I don't have the quilt anymore - it's been gifted! When I was first started working on the quilt, my friend Carole saw it on the blog and mentioned that she'd be happy to have it. I thought how perfect, now I know what to give her for Christmas! So this past Thanksgiving, I took the still-unfinished quilt top to Ohio so that she and her husband Russ could have a preview. Then I stuffed it into a bag and brought it home :-) I added the border and shipped it off to Kaylene for quilting. And then it sat in my studio for another three months until I stitched the binding (Surely I am not the only lazy quilter when it comes time to do the binding?!) Carole and Russ came to visit us in Indiana last weekend, and I was so happy to be able to present them with a finished quilt... at last.

Specifics: my fabric mix was part of a monthly block-of-the-month program from Fig Tree Quilts. It is made of Moda Bella solids and some Fig Tree Somerset prints. The pattern was written with a different color grouping. You can see more detail about the blocks and fabric yardage requirement on this Moda pdf that I found online. I also searched and found that a copy of the pattern is still available here.

Giveaway: don't forget that you still have a few more days to enter the giveaway on my last blog post! I know that I had a problem earlier this week and my blog wasn't accepting comments. Sorry about that! It's been corrected, so go ahead and enter... just make sure that I can reach you by email if you're the lucky winner!

modern building blocks - almost done!

I'm almost finished sewing the Moda Modern Building Blocks. Finally! It's been a seven month journey. And I have just TWO 6" blocks left to sew! I cannot wait to begin assembling the blocks into a quilt top. I have plenty of leftover Fig Tree and Moda Bella Solid fabric, and I'm already thinking of some pieced border options. 

Maybe you've wondered why I've been so quiet this past week. Well, I love sharing what I'm working on with you. But blogging also helps me to remember what's going on in my life at that very moment. This past week, I spent countless hours doing some secret calculating, secret drafting and secret sewing. I've always hated when bloggers have secrets! Here's what I've been working on. It will be just between us, ok? I've worked up a quilt proposal for a magazine! I've never really thought of myself as a quilt designer, and yet I had so much fun (and a few sleepless nights) working on this project. I'm happy with my design. I've mailed it off and now I'll just have to be patient for a few months. I hope they'll select my pattern. And now I have plenty of time to get back to sewing!

modern building blocks month 6

I'm getting near the end of this quilt! It feels good to have finished this month's collection of blocks. Last night I celebrated this with a midnight snack. Leftover Christmas fruitcake, anyone? (I am so not kidding. There's another fruitcake in the fridge that I'll eat in July while sewing Christmas quilts!)

Each month there's one block that proves to be a challenge. This month the culprit was this 18" block. I wasn't happy with my block - it was 1/2" too big, and then I realized that I used the wrong fabric! - so I remade it. Now I love it. The rest of the blocks were a piece of (fruit) cake.

I completely love the Somerset houndstooth and teal star, and I don't even like teal! See how the houndstooth pieces all face in the same direction? That took some careful planning and fabric waste. I had a tiny bit of the houndstooth left that I wanted to use in another block. After much procrastinating, I altered Joanna Figueroa's color suggestion for the next block.

There are just 8 more blocks to go! Yay! I still need to make a 36" star (eek!) and some smaller, simple blocks, and then the big assembly can begin. Now I'll just sit here quietly and wait for the fabric to arrive. Kidding! I've got more stuff to sew!

If you visit my blog often, you know that I'm a devotee of all the fashion exhibits that we have in NYC. Yves Saint Laurent + Halston Fashioning the 70's opened at the Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology this past weekend. Eighty ensembles and accessories are displayed in a gleaming white space filled with disco music. The show compares and contrasts their highly influential work - Halston's clean, deceptively simple American sophistication and Saint Laurent's opulent, fantasy dresses, each leaving a permanent mark on 70's fashion and continuing to echo in today's fashion. It's a perfect show.

moda modern building blocks update

How did I let nearly two months go by without working on the Moda Modern Building Blocks, Fig Tree Style? It's time to get caught up!

It's fun to receive the block-of-the-month fabric packets from Fig Tree. My challenge is that if I don't start sewing them immediately, then I move onto something else. (Kinda like magazine subscriptions, right? I'm reading January issues quickly, before the February issues arrive.)

I love watching the contrasts develop each month. I'd probably never put these colors together by myself, so in this case, it's nice that somebody else has made the fabric selection for me. These fabrics are Fig Tree's Somerset, Mirabelle and Moda Bella Solids. But I'm getting itchy and might start to shuffle some of the block colors, because, you know, I'm a quilty rebel. Haha.

Look at those two super-easy blocks! A big 'ol 6" half square triangle block in grey toile and coral dots. It almost seems like it's a cheater block because it only took 5 minutes. It should be a component of a block instead of a real block! It was a treat to sew after some of the more difficult blocks, and it gave me a chance to showcase the entire white flower.

The orange and green star block nearly killed me. I spent an entire night on that little 6" block! It was all about sew, unsew, repeat, and yet I love the finished star. I won't think about how many of those magazines I could have read in that time!

I have 30 blocks done! Just 19 to go. And the January fabric pack has new colors, like teal and a frosty green houndstooth.

Today marks my 1 year blogging anniversary! Another anniversary is about to arrive soon, along with a few milestones. I think that this calls for a celebration. Stay tuned!

(And before I forget to tell you, I added photo links to my new Blogger's Bundle at Fat Quarter Shop and the Snapshots quilt along. They're near the top of the right column. Click them for more information. More about that Blogger's Bundle soon!)

moda modern building blocks - the first 18!

Yay! I've completed 18 Moda Modern Building Blocks, Fig Tree style!

This month's blocks all featured the Fig Tree Somerset orange with cream dots and Moda Bella ivory solid. It was like making creamsicles!

I have a tip for you when sewing with bias cut triangles. I love using the Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Corner Trimmer. It gets rid of dog ears before you sew your pieces together, and it helps to make sure that your pieces line up correctly. It's an inexpensive gadget that really works. And it's only $5 from Marti Michell's website. I had one in my sewing box for years and then it mysteriously disappeared, so I recently ordered a new one before I started this project. I used it on all the orange triangles on this square-in-a-square block. 

blocks 24 + 25.jpg

I can hardly believe that Grey Dogwood Studio is going "modern" with this quilt! But I love the way that the blocks look when they're all combined. I really hope that next month's fabric shipment from Fig Tree Quilts has some red!

And now for some fun news!

Be sure to visit me on Monday because I'm the next blogger on the Around The World blog tour! You'll get to learn more about me, my projects, work style and why I'm different from other quilters. Ever wonder about my inspiration? How I put fabrics together? All that and more!

1st three months 4.jpg

moda modern building blocks - month 3

It's the third month of the Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt- Fig Tree style!

This 24" star block includes a tiny orange pindot print from the current Fig Tree collection, Somerset, mixed in with Moda Bella solids. I love having just the smallest hint of a print. It warms up the block and makes it a little less "modern" and feels a bit more vintage. And then there's the positively huge 30" star block.

These blocks are so dramatic because of their size. I'll also be constructing three smaller blocks this month, and when it's all finished, hopefully my quilt will look like this:

Image from Fig Tree and Company

Image from Fig Tree and Company

The Fig Tree version is sold out, but there is a kit featuring an alternate colorway coming soon to the Fat Quarter Shop. You can also purchase just the pattern and use your own fabrics. The kit and pattern are both available here

This past weekend, I went shopping in search of some upholstery fabric. Any chance to visit NYC's garment district makes me happy. It takes me back to my days at school and hanging out in designer showrooms. And it's a vibrant reminder of the great design creativity that comes out of our country. I only needed to visit one store - Mood Fabrics!

You might have heard of Mood Fabrics. It's where the Project Runway contestants shop. The store was positively buzzing on Saturday afternoon. It's on the second and third floor of an unmarked office building. There are bolts of silk taffeta, shirtings, upholstery fabrics, organzas, satins, burnout velvets... I kinda wonder why some of those outfits on Project Runway are so ugly when the designers have access to all this great fabric!

All that fabric shopping left me hungry for a cupcake! That problem was quickly solved with a visit to Sweet Revenge in the West Village. Sweet Revenge is a tiny cupcakerie that also offers light lunch food, and has special pairings of cupcakes with wine or beer. There are never more than six cupcake flavors, and they're all amazing. I had a "Dirty" cupcake - dark chocolate cake, rich chocolate ganache and dusted with cocoa powder. The cupcakes seem very adult - no sprinkles, no pink and no gummy bears here!

I'd like to thank you for the great response to my Quilty Fun birthday cake quilt last week. I really appreciate the comments and emails that I received. I'm happy that you were able to celebrate with me!


moda modern building blocks - month 2

Howdy, everybody! I recently returned from a short trip to New Mexico (yes, again!) and immediately got back to sewing. It was exciting to find an envelope from Eric Figueroa at Fig Tree and Co crammed into my tiny mailbox. That could only mean one thing - the September fabric pack for the Modern Modern Building Blocks sampler arrived!

Last month I made one 36" block and four 6" blocks, and this month's fabric made an 18" block and four more 6" blocks. Working with Moda Bella solids is fun! I don't think that I've ever used solid fabric for blocks, so this is a bit of a stretch for me. I love that tiny coral pindot fabric from Fig Tree's recent Mirabelle collection. It adds just a bit of texture without being too overpowering. 

The Flower Sugar fabric for my Another Year of Schnibbles "Whit" pattern also arrived while I was away (I could barely open my mailbox!) and I quicky starched and cut it. Here are my fabrics, just waiting to be sewn into flying geese.

So when I wasn't sewing or blogging last week, here's what I was up to. My sister took me on a trip to New Mexico to celebrate my upcoming birthday. She's traveled around the world but never to the Southwest US! First, we visited Taos Pueblo, which has been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years and has no running water or electricity. 

And we had to have a snack at the pueblo. I love this sign. 

No running water or electricity, but they managed to find Sue Bee honey and a plastic tablecloth. That cracks me up. 

Then came a 2 1/2 mile hike in Bandelier National Monument. It's breathtaking to see caves carved out of ancient volcanic ash where primitive people made their homes. There are still traces of their artwork thousands of years later (swirls, zigzag serpents, and... people with marshmallow heads?).

We saw these sunflowers EVERYWHERE we went, growing wild and out-of-control along the highways as well as in the park.

Surely this volcanic ash home could use a nice quilt with pointy-points and heirloom quilting?

After visiting the Bradbury Museum in Los Alamos to learn about the secret mission to create atomic bombs during WWII, we then stopped at Camel Rock, just outside of Santa Fe. We joked about how silly this rock formation looks, but after driving by it 8 times we decided that we just needed to get a closer look. I think that if you look at it head-on it turns into a cobra instead of a camel, but never mind. I wouldn't want Camel Rock Casino to have to change its name!

And, of course, we spent time in Santa Fe, where the annual Fiesta was taking place. And the green chile pepper harvest was being roasted in giant rotating metal drums. We really had a great time. I got to spend time in one of my favorite locations with my favorite little sister!