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BH4-Block 15

BH4-Block 15

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Welcome Crystal Manning to week 15 of Moda's Blockhead Series.

Madainn mhath! That’s a Scottish Gaelic. Good morning to you!


I am excited to share my block, Highland Plaid, with you this week. The name refers to my Scottish and Irish ancestors discovered through my sister’s genealogy research. Our clan, McReynolds, was part of the Highlanders. It’s interesting to read the meaning of symbols used in the coat of arms; it’s something we don’t see very often these days. What would it look like if you were to design a coat of arms for your family today? My guess is that it would have a sewing machine and a quilt block. The sword would, of course, be replaced with scissors or a seam ripper.




Plaid, also known as tartan, was considered the traditional Scottish dress, and each clan had its own pattern and colors. My version of plaid has evolved into a more cheerful and colorful design! 




Download Crystal's block here

The quilts we are making for the Blockheads sew-along resemble a coat of arms in a sense. Each block has a special meaning, and we use colors and prints that personally appeal to us. Our quilts will someday be left behind to tell a story for future generations.


The Highland Plaid block is very easy to construct. I’ve included some pictures of the assembly process. I think you will find it difficult to make just one. You can download the block instructions here.




Once you have all your pieces cut out, start sewing your corner four-patch squares. I pressed my seams open. You can do as you wish. The next step is to sew your block into three rows. I did press the seams to the middle row in the opposite direction of the top and bottom so I could nestle the seams for the final assembly. After you sew your three rows together, you’re finished! 




I made a small table topper with my blocks using the Garden Society collection, which will ship to shops in August. The topper includes 16 blocks and measures 36” x 36” finished.





I have also included a 9- and 4-inch version in the Paisley Rose collection. This is the first 4-inch block I’ve made, and my hat goes off to those who are incorporating those into your sampler.



Mar sin leat (farewell) Block Head friends. Enjoy sewing this week. I look forward to seeing all of your colorful Highland Plaids. 


If you’re on Instagram, you can see my progress at @cmanningsews.
I also have a website, www.crystalmanningart.com, where I introduce new fabric collections, patterns and share inspiration. 


Crystal grew up in northern Missouri where she discovered a passion for art in her younger years. She received a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Missouri State University and minored in Art Design. After working as a graphic designer for 10 years, she began using her art and design skills to create surface and textile patterns. In 2015, she ordered her first sewing machine and began teaching herself how to sew with her designs printed on Spoonflower fabric. Despite stepping on pins and befriending the seam ripper, sewing and fabric design quickly became a new passion for her.

Crystal currently lives in Kansas City, Missouri where she continues to create new designs for fabrics, patterns, and licensing. Nature is her favorite source of inspiration as she loves flowers, birds, and cheerful colors with a vintage vibe.

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