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Blockheads ~ Block 4

Blockheads ~ Block 4

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It's Week 4 and for the three Blockheads in the office, we're all current.  For now.  What about you?

That's Lisa Bongean's block - last week's Four X from Jo Morton.

This week, the block is Bee Skep by Jan Patek.

There are two parts to this week's instructions - we goofed and part of the instructions weren't included in the original PDF.  So this is what you'll need - you will need both parts:

Appliqué.  While Jan is an expert with hand appliqué, this block can also be done by machine or with a raw-edge.

This is Chelair's Patriotic Bee Skep.

She's mixing several of Lisa Bongean's patriotic-themed collections for her blocks - Old Glory Gatherings and Liberty Gatherings.  This is a very clever, creative use of the fabric - it looks great and it looks like a flag.

Tammy also made a super-creative use of fabric with two prints from Bee Inspired by Deb Strain.  The honeycomb print is perfect for the skep and that bee - best fussy-cut idea ever.

Me?  I went old-school.  Stayed old-school?  This is my mixed Fig Tree & Co. Bee Skep - it's made with Farmhouse & Chestnut Street. The background is from Liberty Gatherings by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings.

I decided to hand-appliqué the skep since I was very, very out-of-practice and because I want Jan to like me.  That's my explanation for the leaning door that may or may not be coming off it's hinges and hanging a bit on the right side.

If you'd like to learn hand-appliqué from Jan, she has a series of YouTube video tutorials - Appliqué Like A Pro.  (Making mental note to watch these videos before Week 10...)

Question of the Week!  Thread.

For piecing, I use Aurifil 50wt. in No. 2324.  It's fine, strong and after a seam has been stitched and pressed, you usually can't feel the thread in the seam.  I tried Aurifil 50 wt. when it first started showing up in quilt and sewing shops in 2001 or 2002 and it was love at first stitch.  Okay, maybe not the first stitch... the "this is love" moment probably came the next time I cleaned my machine and saw how much less lint there was.

Because I do at least 90% of my sewing with this particular thread - using it in the needle and the bobbin - I buy it by the cone.  At first glance, the $40.00 cost seems a little pricey but the cones are actually more economical than the large spools.  A large spool has 1,420 yards and costs about $10.50, and a cone is 6,452 yards for about $40.00.  Each cone represents approximately 4.5 large spools so that's $47.25 for the same amount of thread on spools as you'd get on a cone.

For this week's appliqué, I used the Aurifil 80 wt. thread.  Aside from the beautiful wooden spools, the thread is quite wonderful.

Super-fine.  Really, really fine... need stronger readers and better light kind of fine.  It also disappears into the fabric in the same way that silk thread does.  Since most of what I will stitch with this thread can be done with neutrals - yes, red is a neutral in my book - this is my 80 wt. Aurifil thread collection.  I'm adding spools a few at a time as they're perfect for machine-quilting on small-scale pieces like mini-quilts, zipper bags, etc.

That's my blue Reproduction Bee Skep block - I was inspired by David's improv-pieced skep so I shamelessly stole borrowed his idea.

After sharing the beginnings of my setting plans last week, several of you asked about the size of the geese and how many I'll need.  The geese will finish at 1-1/2" x 3" - meaning they'll measure 2" x 3-1/2" after piecing.  I'm going to use a Bloc-Loc Flying Geese ruler so I'm cutting my print squares at 4-1/2" x 4-1/2" and my background squares at 2-3/4" x 2-3/4".

Are you sure you want to know how many I'm going to make?


Four-hundred.  For almost any flying geese method, that means I'll need 100 sets of four geese.  With the Bloc-Loc ruler, I'll need 100 - 4-1/2" x 4-1/2" print squares and 400 - 2-3/4" x 2-3/4" background squares.  For fabrics, I'll add 25 layer cake squares and 2-1/4 yards of background.  (Cut 29 strips - 2-3/4" x 42" wof.  From the strips, cut 400 squares - 2-3/4" x 2-3/4".)

If I start this week - which I've done - and I make at least 3 sets of 4 geese every week through the rest of the Blockheads sew-along, I'll finish by Week 38.  Except that I'm making two sets of blocks and two quilts... I should finish by 2027.

That's it for today so be sure to visit the others to see what they made:

As always, don't forget to check #modablockheads on Instagram and Facebook for more pictures.  And if you haven't already joined, there is the Moda Blockheads Facebook group.

Make sure you go say Hi to Jan and her new buddy, Elizabeth.

Happy Wednesday!