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BH5 – Group 2, Block 18 – Rashida Coleman Hale

BH5 – Group 2, Block 18 – Rashida Coleman Hale

Written by: 
Anna Dineen


Happy Blockheads Wednesday from the Windy City! This week, your Moda team is in Chicago for the h+h americas show. We’re so excited to share our fabrics and notions with shops in the handcrafts space. Unlike Quilt Market, which is mostly attended by independent fabric retailers in the US, h+h americas is open to retailers in the broader handcrafts space, like yarn shops, embroidery shops, and more.

So while we are introducing Moda Fabrics and United Notions to even more creative arts retailers, it’s fitting that this week’s Blockheads 5 block has true crossover appeal as an all-applique block!

Stellar Star, this week’s block, is an original design by Rashida Coleman Hale of Ruby Star Society. We couldn’t be happier that the Ruby Star Society team has joined our list of Blockheads designers this year, and Rashida has designed a wonderful applique block that works in either modern or traditional settings; can be used as an applique accent on plenty of smaller projects like pouches and pillows; and is a great design for new and experienced sewists and quilters alike.

You can find this week’s pattern here: BH5 – Group 2, Block 18 – Stellar Star by Rashida Coleman-Hale

Follow along with Rashida!
Instagram: @iamrashidacolemanhale

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 73,000 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.)

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:


In this week’s video, I share two different applique techniques: the freezer paper (starch) technique and raw-edge applique with fusible interfacing.

Both techniques have their merits! I actually combined the two techniques in my blocks, using the freezer paper method for my 5-point stars shapes and the raw-edge method for my 10-point center star.

Applique always seemed so intimidating to me, perhaps because it generally involves hand stitching. But here’s a friendly reminder that when your shapes allow it, you can absolutely use your machine to stitch down your shapes. If your machine has different stitch options, it’s most common to use a zig-zag stitch with invisible thread to stitch down applique shapes – but it’s also ok to use a contrasting thread to add a decorative element to your design, or to use a straight stitch along the very edge of your shape.


There are so many helpful notions available to make applique even more accessible. Here are a few notions that I share in this week’s video:


To learn more about the freezer paper method of applique, check out this great tutorial by Joanna Figueroa. (Joanna calls this method the starch method, by the way!)


Are you ready to see our blocks? Well, just my blocks this week – the team was busy with h+h americas prep, so we didn’t have as much sewing time!

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)!