Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Fabric choices????

I just thought I'd touch base as we begin this Block of the Month and talk about fabric choices.

If you're confused now, I hope I don't leave you even more confused after this post!

Being a "modern" quilt, the first thing that comes to mind may be to use solid colours with perhaps a white, grey, or black background. Good idea!!! And if you have never made a quilt from solid fabrics, now could be a good time to try. A bonus, there are no right or wrong sides of the fabric. 

But wait!....this is your quilt and you get to make the choice of fabrics! 

There really are no "quilt police"... lol...I actually heard a speaker say that at the beginning of her trunk show once, then she proceeded to tell us all the faux pas' in quilting....I guess maybe she was the quilt police! 

If you are fairly new at quilting and find fabric choices daunting...and even if you are an old pro and still find it difficult, here is an old trick:  Pick out a focus fabric...this could be something to be used as a border of your quilt, or a fabric that may make an appearance in each block...or perhaps it could be the sashing. Now, pick the rest of your fabrics drawing from colours in the focus fabric.

Another idea is to look at quilts you've made in the past and really notice what your desired "look" is and go with it. Or maybe to think outside the box, look at quilts you've admired of your fellow quilters and try to follow their lead for something "new to you". 

Another idea is to go through your quilting magazines, or Pinterest, and see what excites you. This is a small project, one that shouldn't be costing you too much money, so maybe it's the perfect time to try something new.

One caveat....I tried "something new" a couple of years ago with a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt and absolutely hated it, so I abandoned that one halfway through. I don't mean to scare you from making new choices, but it does happen.

Something fun to try is a 2-colour quilt....such as blue and white, for example. This is challenging and not for the faint of heart, in my opinion. If you try it (and it would be wonderful to see someone try), pay particular attention to contrast. One way of doing this is to take a picture of your fabrics and edit the picture to be just black and'll see if there is enough contrast, or not.

An easy choice is if you happen to be purchasing fabric for your quilt. Staying in a particular fabric line does make things a little easier and harmonious.

If you "shop your stash" you can take comfort in the fact that you will most likely like your quilt...considering the fact that fabric that is in your stash is probably something that you like since you bought it in the first place! (that feels like an awkward sentence, but hopefully you get my meaning)

For my quilts...I'm not one to like to have the same fabric, but in different colours. I prefer to have all my fabrics different. For instance, if I included a blue Spotty Grunge fabric for my quilt it would bother me to have a red Spotty Grunge in there, also. That's just something I know about me. 

I like to have different "textures".....maybe a stripe here, a polka dot there...a floral thrown in...and a tiny print, etc. 

I'd say, in the end, for this your contrast, that would be my main point to get across to you. I hope I've given you a couple of helpful pointers. There are so many "correct" choices at your disposal....and not many wrong ones.

Please reach out to me or your quilty friends for advice if you are truly hung up on fabric choice. Remember, this should not be is our hobby, it's supposed to be fun!

And remember...we'd love to see your progress on Instagram using the hashtag #tqgmodernbom.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Block 1 of our Modern Block of the Month

 Hello everyone!

 I hope you are all well and keeping busy with things that make you happy, including sewing.

For Block 1 of our Modern BOM we will use four fabrics...3 fabrics plus 1 background fabric. 

The fabrics I chose happen to be colour coordinated with the block's instructions. If yours are not, I suggest numbering them 1, 2, 3, and 4, and make notes on the instructions which are which. This will hopefully help avoid confusion.

As it says in the instructions, you will cut out 4" x 8" rectangles...2 from each fabric. This is if you want to use the method in the instructions for constructing half-square triangles (HST's). You can use your own preferred method if you want, I think we all have our favourite. I decided to do what the pattern instructs us to.  I always like to try "new-to-me" methods because you never may become my new favourite method!

Next, draw the lines on the fabric as shown in the diagram, and in my picture. These are NOT sewing lines, they will come to be cutting lines shortly. 

You then sew on either side of the diagonal lines. You can chain sew these to save a bit of time.

Once the sewing is done, you can now cut the drawn lines

Take note on the next step....the pressing of the units. For each colour combo (there will be four of each combo), you will press the seams of two HST's to one side, and the opposite way for the other 2. This is important for when we sew it all together...the seams will nest nicely for easier sewing and to reduce bulk.

In my picture you can see that two are pressed to the orange, the other 2 to the white background fabric.

You will then trim the blocks to 3.5". I know it's a bit tedious to make the blocks bigger than you need and then trim them down, but this results in precision...a much desired thing in piecing quilts!

On a side note, for trimming HST's I really like using the Bloc Loc rulers. They definitely are not a necessity, but it is a ruler that I'm glad I purchased (lol, not like a drawer full of ones that I don't use). 

Next, follow the diagram in the instructions to assemble your block. 

Take particular notice of the arrows on the diagram. These arrows indicate which units to place where, according to which way you pressed the seam allowances (clear as mud?). 

Sew the units together into four horizontal rows. Press the seams in rows 1 and 3 in one direction, and press the seams in rows 2 and 4 in the opposite direction.

Then sew the three long seams. I happened to press these seams open, which was a personal preference for this block. As someone who has been making quilts for 40 years now, I can't believe that I now press seams open on occasion! I think, for this block, it makes it lie flatter once it's all pressed. 

And there you have it...the first block done!

Remember, we'd all love to see your blocks! Please post pictures of them on Instagram using the hashtag #tqgmodernbom. If you are new to Instagram, note the use of all lower-case letters, and no spaces.

If you don't have an Instagram account, I suggest you consider it. It is such a good tool for sharing ideas with people, near and far. I prefer it over Facebook, actually. Maybe you have a friend that could tell you all about it and explain how to make the most of it. 

For example....if I am making a Log Cabin quilt, I "follow" the hashtag #logcabinquilts, then anytime anyone in the world uses that hashtag I will see that post. Great for getting ideas on design and colour. I actually have many "virtual friends" now that have the same interest as I do. 

Also, you can follow your friends on Instagram to see what they want to share. When looking for someone you know, you use this symbol "@"....for instance, to find me you would type in my handle, which is @sandra.croley. 

Friday, August 28, 2020

This year's BOM with a modern twist...

Welcome to a new normal.....are we all sick of hearing that term yet??...I am!

I'm excited to present to you a Modern Block of the Month we will be running for the next year.

I am Sandra Croley and will be heading-up the BOM this year. If you have any questions about the BOM, you can email me at

You will be able to make comments and ask questions in the comment section of this blog also...but I will be putting a feature on the blog so that I will have to approve comments before they are actually published. On my regular blog there has been a real problem with spam comments since this whole Covid thing started, this is the reason for moderation of the comments.

If you are viewing this post on a laptop, you can see to the right of the screen a spot for "following by email". If you put your email address in there you will be notified anytime there is a new post to this blog. I will say, it's not always immediate, you may even be notified the following day...I can't do much about that.

Let's get to it, shall we?

The quilt we are making is one that was introduced by the Knoxville Modern Guild in 2012, and they have made it available to the quilting community. 

There will be 12 blocks for this quilt, measuring at 12.5" unfinished.

It's a small quilt, just 44" x 58" with the sashing, but could easily be made larger by creating a different setting of your choice...perhaps set on point, or sewing extra blocks.

We will begin with the first block in September. I'm giving you a heads-up now in case you need to do a bit of shopping.

The version in the picture calls for 2m of background fabric, 6 - 10 fat quarters, 1m of sashing, and .6m of binding fabric

This quilt would look great in almost any fabrics, and you can even shop your stash to make it scrappy. Many modern quilts are made with solids, and I was going to do mine in solids before I thought to use my Shweshwe fabrics.

Here is my first block...

I think of this block as the Charlie Brown block, lol.

I will be trying, eventually, to talk about the monthly block on the Guild's Zoom meetings....but I'm not having good luck with that so far. I'm wondering if it's my rural internet...but I have a few things to try, still, to see if I can make it work. 

That's where this blog will be of help....I will create a blog post  every month of the current block with my tips and tricks, and photos of the assembly process of my block. You will also get a pdf sent to you with instructions each month.

That's all for now....please be patient with me as I stumble through yet another "new normal". 

Fabric choices????

I just thought I'd touch base as we begin this Block of the Month and talk about fabric choices. If you're confused now, I hope I do...