Mod blocks & using scraps

June 18, 2012 § 11 Comments

One of the reason I enjoy being in a virtual quilting bee on Flickr is because I get to try out new techniques that I wouldn’t ordinarily do for myself without having to make an entire quilt.  These blocks were made using the Mod Mosaic Block tutorial over on Elizabeth Hartman’s blog Oh, Fransson! These blocks remind me of the art by Modrian.

These blocks aren’t something I would normally give a try.   Mainly because it feels like I’m wasting fabrics.  Which I’m not. Not really.  Because they all came from my scrap bins (Except for the light purple fabric with hearts… which was lost in my stash & I didn’t even know I had!).  Normal people would probably throw out these little bits anyway, but I can’t seem to throw out anything but the smallest shred of a piece.  Hence the reason my scrap bins are overflowing! It must be one of my psychological hang ups.

And a secondary reason that sometimes prevents me from doing more free-piecing is that often it doesn’t feel relaxing to me.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy it. It’s just that I have to be in the right frame of mind to sew like this. Sometimes I want the challenge of trying to make all the pieces fit together. But more often I enjoy the repetitive, almost therapeutic motion of just sitting at the sewing machine and chain piecing. These blocks require a lot of get up to cut, sit down & sew, get up to iron, sit down to sew. Maybe that sounds lazy? There are  certainly different reasons for choosing different types of quilting patterns or techniques.

The other thing these blocks did for me…  is make me realize what a messy storage solution I have for all my scraps!  They would be so much more useable if they were all pressed and stored flat rather than stuffed willy nilly  into buckets. Like I have enough free time to iron them all, reorganize and store differently. Ha! Maybe someday they will be better organized and user ready…

(This was quite awhile ago when they were relatively neatly organized. It is much worse now!)

§ 11 Responses to Mod blocks & using scraps

  • pratima says:

    It is very satisfying to make something beautiful out of scraps! You always come up with great solutions for them! It can easily get overwhelming with these little pieces though.
    Your bee block is beautiful! The white sashing balances it so well!

  • Karen says:

    Hi Anita, the block is beautiful but I know what you mean. If you want to pop over to my blog you can see what I’ve been working on. This is the fastest most fun block – no measuring or pinning. You only have to press once and it’s done. And the blocks turn out so cute! Very repetitive and therapeutic! I’ve made the cutting very easy. And I’ve used all scraps but it would look cute done more controlled too. Happy sewing!

  • Jenny M says:

    Wow, and made from scraps? Love your pink mod mosaic block!

  • Jan says:

    Re: your thoughts on process and scraps, I think we are kindred spirits.
    Nice block!

  • meagangracie says:

    My scraps are all shoved in a drawer or bin, too – they’re sorted by color, but I’m not likely to sit down and use them knowing they need ironing first! I’d love to have them pre-cut and ready to go for a project, but then I’m afraid that I’d want them in a different shape or size when I pick the project.

  • Blue.Ridge.Girl says:

    I made a few of these Mod Mosiac blocks to send a friend for a quilt she was putting together. I loved making them, but was surprised at how long they take to make…you’re right! It takes a lot to plan the little pieces and get everthing pressed. On the up side they are really pretty =)

    I only let myself have one scrap basket…it’s a really old basket that my granddad gave me (it was even old then!) I use it for all of the little scraps that I have. I only let myself have just that one basket and when it gets filled to overflowing I make myself use up the fabric in scrap blocks. Currently I’m still working on that Liberated Wedding Ring you got us started on about a year ago. I’ve almost got enough blocks for a complete top! I figure that if I always have a scrappy top in the works it will help me keep my scraps under control. It feels so good to use even the smallest of scraps.

    With my fabric as long as it can still be folded I keep in on the shelves. I use one of the cardboard inserts from a Joann Fabrics fat quarter to fold all of my smaller cuts of fabric around…it really helps to keep them all neat and orderly. Once the pieces are too small to fold they get moved into the basket.

  • mathea says:

    I have been having an inner battle with myself about all those scraps lately too, but ironing and sorting and cutting them is just so overwhelming. It would have been nice though… Lately I’ve started using all the little leftovers from my quilts to make mug rugs instead of putting them in the scrap baskets and that helps keeping them from overflowing at least…

  • I’ve seen this block all over blogland but hadn’t clued into the instructions…thanks for the link. Also if you have the link to Karen’s (from the comments) blog I’d love to see what stash busting project she’s working on 🙂

  • amandajean says:


    i just love coming to visit your blog. it seems like we are always in a similar place in our quilting. i LOVE the mod mosaic blocks. i’ve been wanting to try them for quite some time now. your blocks are BEAUTIFUL!!!

    i can relate to wanting to save each and every scrap. now i have friends that pass along their beautiful scraps to me. and playing with them is just delightful! they add so much variety to my own scrap bins, which is much appreciated!

    one way we differ, though, is the improv piecing. i find it so freeing and relaxing. trying to get things precicse (i.e. triangle points) doesn’t relax me. i need to be in the right frame of mind for that kind of piecing. 🙂

    hope you have a delightful day! xo

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