Moda Block Heads – Block Number 1 “Aunt Dinah”

When you say her name, every quilter stops. Betsy Chutchian is one of the most prolific quilters known for her wonderful reproduction fabric collections from Moda. She also happens to be one of my very favorite quilt designers.

Recently, I picked up a copy of my new favorite quilting book, Moda Block Heads.

Inside there are 48 quilt-along blocks plus settings for finished quilts. It’s pretty amazing. It also helps that the book includes my favorite quilt designers from Jan Patek to Betsy Chutchian to Lisa Bongean and more in between.

I decided I wanted to just work through the book, tacking all the techniques in hopes of becoming a little better quilter.

Today is Day 1!

Now, I hope to make these blocks daily. Will that happen? I don’t know. I sure do have the fabric for it, but a block a day for 48 days is a lot, especially when you have the design schedule I do. I’m hopeful!

My fav part? I’m going to LOVE blasting through my scraps! I gathered a bunch of reproduction fabrics and pressed them!

First up was Aunt Dinah a block designed by Betsy Chutchian.

The Sewing Up

I wasn’t sure if I’d do well with this block. I’ve been quilting for a few years now but dang if I can’t sew triangles worth a single grain of salt. I just can’t do it. It’s because years ago, when I first started sewing, I joined a free beginner quilt-along. It definitely wasn’t beginner and after three blocks, I was just lost.

I’ve been nervous about triangles ever since.

But, I set out to do this and I’m going to.

*Deep Breaths*

Every single finished triangle you see in this block is created by sewing actual triangles. No stitch and flip sewing here. Betsy gives some great tips on her blog post here which helped. Basically start and iron all your pieces.

More than that I decided to turn the presser foot tension on my machine down. My Singer Heritage has an automatic tension but I can turn it down, which I did, to a three from a four. This helped my presser foot lighten up a touch which meant I wasn’t over stretching the bias, which I was sewing on a lot. My biggest tip…

Let your machine do the heavy lifting.

Your machine is doing the sewing. You’re not. Let the feed dogs pull the fabric and take the stitches. Problems from sewing on the bias always seem to come when you’re trying to manipulate the fabric.

One last tip? Use a thread eater. At least, that’s what I call mine. It’s easy for your machine to eat up those little tips of the triangles. Fold a piece of fabric in half and sew it before beginning your block. It makes all the difference.

Final Thoughts

I’m in love with this block! It’s not perfect…then again what is even perfect? I’ve got 47 more blocks and I’m itching to get them done! I kinda just want to spend the whole day sewing them up!

Purchase the Moda Block Heads Book HERE!

I really hope you enjoyed seeing me stitch up Aunt Dinah! I’m so excited to share my progress with each of these blocks. If you happen to be stitching them up too make sure you tag me in them on Instagram and show off your project in the Rohn Strong Maker Community on Facebook too!


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Rohn Strong

Yarn is life.