Castle Wall – Acrylic Templates are in the house! (Part Two)

WARNING: This is a very long and picture intensive blog.  

It’s time to begin to sew.

First thing is to get your supplies together.  I like to use Hemmings Milliners needles for my hand sewing.  I like the longer needle so that a few more running stitches can be made with each pass.  I am a big fan of Aurifil or Precensia thread for hand sewing.  I think when it comes to thread the saying “you get what you pay for” applies and I would rather work with a quality thread that will work with me than a thread that will work against me.


I think of the Castle Wall Block as a bullseye and I am going put it together working in rings.


Ring #1 = Squares

Ring #2 = Diamonds

Ring #3 = Trapezoids

Ring #4= Half Square Triangles


Begin by lining up the corner intersection on your first square with a corner intersection of the center octagon.  This is done by stabbing a pin thru both.


Then using a very fine pin (these are Karen Kay Buckley’s new pins) I pin right on the seam guideline.  I sew just a smidge above the guideline.  This takes in consideration of the fact that getting directly into the angle edge of the template when drawing this line is nearly impossible.


I always make three backstitches on every length of sewing done.  One as I begin, one in the center and the final at the end of the line.

My running stitches are about 10 to an inch in length.

Sew the first square to the octagon along one side.


And now you are at your first intersection.  An intersection is where three or more pieces meet.  The trick in hand sewing to accomplishing nice neat intersections resulting in sharp points and no pin holes is making a circle around each and every on when you reach it.

If you have roundabout traffic stops, or have ever encountered on, it’s like that.  You literally go around in a circle.


First you are going to line up Square #2 to Square #1 much in the same manner as you did in the beginning.  Note the first pin is between the corners of each square.  A second pin lines up the second corner of the new square to the octagon.  Once they are lined up I pin again on the sewing guideline.


Now I bring the needle & thread thru to the corner of the second square.


And now thru the square two and the octagon.


From the backside, the octagon to the first square. Sept21pic10

And back to from square one to square two.  Now take a backstitch at the start of square two.


Sew square two to the octagon.  Repeat this process until all squares are sewn to the center.

Don’t forget your backstitches and do circle the final intersection when the final square meets square #1 then knot off.


Ring #1 done.  On to the diamonds.


The diamonds are attached to the block by sewing two sides into the space between each square.  Basically a “V” shape.

Each of these “V”‘s are independently sewn, knotting off at the end of each diamond.

Apply the same methods for lining up the diamond to one side of a square .


Don’t forget to backstitch when you reach the end of the first length of the “V”.

Then you want to line up the second length of the diamond to the other square edge in the space.


This is an intersection as three or more units are meeting at that point.

2 Squares and a Diamond

So you circle the intersection.


At the end of the “V” you backstitch and knot off.


Seven more diamonds and you are done with round #2


I am going to end this blog here.   I am out the door tomorrow to Virginia and a quick less than 48 hour visit with the Cabin Branch Quilters.

So quick that I am not going to bring my laptop because honestly there will no time to do anything but teach, lecture, and sleep.

I will post the finishing up the block and pressing instructions either late Tuesday when I get home or early Wednesday morn.

Then I am out the door again.

I am sold out of the templates again.  (you like the Castle Wall block  you really like it!!)

I am ordering my next supply of templates (basically the waiting list and then some) on Tuesday.   So if you want to be guaranteed a set place your order off my website store (see the tab at the top) by Monday night .   The next shipping date out from my studio to you will be Monday, Sept. 29th.

Til Tuesday…or Wednesday,


P.S. I have received several inquiries asking if Paper Pieces makes a template such as these with the inside window for the Lucy Boston/honeycomb shape.

THEY DO!  You can order it by contacting Paper Pieces directly.  You will find phone number and/or email contact info here.

Tags: ,

11 Responses to “Castle Wall – Acrylic Templates are in the house! (Part Two)”

  1. Maggie Szafranski says:

    Mickey, Thanks for taking the time to do the tutorial. As someone who hasn’t handsewn since the 60s, I know I am very rusty. I know you have a busy schedule, but I would appreciate a video of how you are taking your back stitches, and knotting off at the end.

  2. Judy says:

    Think what’s really selling the templates is your fantastic choice of fabrics in the samples!

  3. Becky Lomasney says:

    I can’t wait for my. These instructions are very thorough and clear! Thanks so much.

  4. Susan McDonald says:

    Thank you so much for the tutorial…I’m still stumped on the “circle the intersection” part…I can not get the diamonds to look good. Could you shoot a video to show how you do that step…in slow motion? Love your castle walls…they are fab…
    Thanks so much.

  5. Debbie says:

    Where do you get the templates??

  6. Susan says:

    I love the little dog thread holder. Where did he come from???

  7. Diane Raines says:

    Micky are the templates made so you can cut out paper pieces and then the fabric with a seam allowance. I have seen other sights that have only the ones for cutting just the fabric with 3/8 seam allowance.

    • Mickey says:

      Yes templates have both the inside window for exact piece size that can be used for marking your seam line (or for papers if you choose…but I still think buying the laser cut papers is best and then using templates for fussy cutting for EPP) and the 1/4 seam allowance outside edge for cutting.

Leave a Reply