Welcome to Moda Fabrics!

BH5 – Group 2, Block 8 – Crystal Manning

BH5 – Group 2, Block 8 – Crystal Manning

Written by: 
Anna Dineen


Happy Blockheads Wednesday! Our featured designer this week is Crystal Manning, and her block, Sparkle, is going to shine in your Blockheads quilt! Sparkle has so many fun elements – we’re making four-patches, flying geese, AND half-square triangles this week. With all of those different units, there’s so much potential to be creative with your fabric choices and placement! Crystal’s cheerful version in her Julia collection is a great example – you can find Julia fabrics in stores now!

You can find this week’s pattern here: BH5 – Group 2, Block 8 – Sparkle by Crystal Manning

Follow along with Crystal!
Instagram: @cmanningsews

If you’re new to Blockheads, here are a couple of quick things to know:

  • This is a free quilt-along. No sign-ups are required. Just download the pattern and you’re ready to sew!
  • The PDF patterns will be posted on the Moda blog and in the official Facebook group every Wednesday by 8:00 AM CDT.
  • You can also bookmark this page: Blockheads 5 main page to find a convenient list of all the patterns as they are released.
  • If you’d like to sign up for our blog newsletter to get blog posts delivered to your inbox, you can sign up here: Blog Newsletter Sign-Up
  • If you want to sew along with a virtual Blockheads community, head over to Facebook and join our official Moda Blockheads Facebook group. Our group is an active and vibrant community of 72,000 quilters and counting! It’s a great place to be inspired and share pictures of your Blockheads progress.
  • If Instagram is where you prefer to hang out, be sure to follow us (@modafabrics) and the hashtags #modablockheads and #modablockheads5 to see the latest blocks from our designers and other Blockheads.
  • Be sure to get your official Blockheads t-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags, water bottles, and more from our pop-up shop HERE.

(Looking for a little more information about Blockheads? You can check out the Blockheads 5 archive HERE.)


Be sure to head over to Crystal’s blog as soon as you’ve downloaded the pattern! Crystal is sharing her tips and tricks for fabric placement and construction options for Sparkle. You can find Crystal’s blog post here: Sparkle blog post by Crystal Manning

Something new we’re planning for this round of Blockheads is a weekly video. You can follow along with me as I sew the block of the week and share my tips and tricks and talk about different construction techniques. I’ll post the videos on YouTube and share them here on the blog. You can watch this week’s video below:

I’m really enjoying exploring new notions with you all every week in these Blockheads videos! This week, I’m using Deb Tucker’s Four Patch Square Up ruler to make perfect four-patch units. The 6” version of this week’s block calls for very small pieces for those corner four-patches, so being able to use strip piecing for slightly oversized units – combined with a truly helpful tool for trimming down with ease – made all the difference!

If you’d like to use strip piecing to make your checkerboard four-patch units, here are the cutting instructions:

For 6” finished blocks:

A: (1) 1 1/4” x 12” strip
B: (1) 1 1/4” x 12” strip

For 12” finished blocks:

A: (1) 1 3/4” x 16” strip
B: (1) 1 3/4” x 16” strip

In the video, I also show you how to trim down oversized four-patch units using a regular ruler. (I specifically reference the 6” block in the video, since that is my sample block, so keep reading for the details on the 12” version!)

  • For the 6” block, you’ll want to center the 3/4” mark on your ruler (3/4” from the top and 3/4” from the side!) right on the center seam of your four-patch unit – the spot where all four squares meet.
  • For the 12” block, you’ll want to center the 1 1/4” mark on your ruler – 1 1/4” from the top and 1 1/4” from the side – on the same spot.

I also mention the S-word in this week’s video – STARCH. I’m a committed starcher for all my projects, but I definitely think that starching can only help when working with the small pieces that we often have in our Blockheads blocks! I’ll talk more about starch in a later video, but if you’re on the fence about starching or have never starched and want to try it, here are a couple of tips:


I have one more exciting thing to share with you all before showing our blocks this week. Karen O’Connor of Lady K Quilts has designed this gorgeous quilt, Julia’s Table, featuring blocks from previous Blockheads series and made with Crystal’s Julia fabrics! We’ll be sharing the pattern for this stunning quilt here on the blog very soon, so stay tuned for that!


Are you ready to see our blocks?

Lissa is using Nantucket Summer for her blocks.

Alison is making a fall version in 12” blocks, and her patriotic version this week is also a 12” block.

And I am making a traditional/repro scrappy fall version and a sweet/cottage-y Americana version in 6” blocks.

Now…off you go to press, cut, and sew! And don’t forget to share your blocks with us in our Facebook group or on Instagram (#modablockheads5)!