Posts Tagged ‘castle wall’

Spaces for Her Stuff

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

AppleseedQuilter'sEarlier this week I spent two days in Fort Wayne with the Appleseed Quilter’s.   It was great fun and I do believe there will be some Pieced Hexies quilts/projects that will come out of this region.PHexies

Remember Pieced Hexies designs can be applied to ANY hexie pattern that is out there.  It just takes things to a whole new level as Linda said in my workshop.   YES! I wanted to shout….she got it.

If you have ever taken a workshop with me you know that this approximately 6″ x 8″ box travels EVERYWHERE with me.   I am constantly asked how I get so much done in what most perceive to be a very short amount of time.Box

My answer. I use all the time I can each and everyday.  Meaning if there is a 10 minute wait…I can baste a few hexies.   So the box comes with me.   Usually there are a multitude of papers and PH blocks on top that I cleared out of the way so you can see what is in The Box.

StuffAt my workshop I had a wonderful Teacher’s Angel to help me thru out the day.  That is so welcomed especially when the class is large.   Nancy was a treasure.   As she and I sat an chatted for a few minutes during a very brief lull she presented me with a giftie.  OH MY!  She knows just what I like.  I am all about the bag.  She laughed and pointed to my classroom suitcase in which everything was in a bag.  Samples, Handouts, equipment, sale items. etc.

Ziploc loves me.

As soon as I had Nancy’s gift in my hands I turned to her and told her it was just what I needed.  I had been squishing the Castle Wall block bags into “The Box” while on the road but was thinking they needed their own storage.

And now they do.    This is going to be wonderful for when my travel swings back to air flights at the end of the month.  Yes I know those scissors are not TSA friendly.  I will swap them out in fact I found a new gadget to tell you all about for thread cutting…that will be another blog next week.  (look at me planning ahead!) SNEAK PEAK: upper right hand corner of box pic you will see a blue disc.

CastleWallBlockSo thank you Nancy, for your help during class, your words of advice and kind comments, and for this wonderful zippered pouch.  I will think of you every time I reach for it during my travels.

I just finished another block here at home…I felt the call to start a block during the movie Mud (highly recommend you watch this) and being the type A person I can be at times I had to finish up the block so that I could start a new one tomorrow night when I am in Madison.

I am up to 8 blocks done now.   I grouped six earlier this week for a picture.   I  am loving the random scrappiness of this project.  Also loving them side by side without sashing…..hmmmmm.CWallQuiltBlocks

Enjoy the day,

MickeySignature

 

 

p.s. You can order up your Inklingo pattern for Castle Wall by clicking my link in the right hand bar.  And you can English Paper Piece this block if you wish to go that route….I just put the papers in my website store.  And thanks for your orders of Garden Whimsy Applique…..I am sold out!

Castle Wall #3

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

Just a quick post to share block #3 of my “on the road” project.   Not on the road but wanted to make one block while watching the Olympics.

Going to spend some time today kitting up at least 6 more blocks for March.  I am getting much faster….this block took just a bit over 2hrs to sew. 

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Looks like measurable snow tomorrow.
Makes this winter-loving girl happy.  Remember it is still winter and summer is a long season to me.  

Enjoy your day,
Mickey

Castle Wall #2 and more.

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

I have been home for a few days and literally been digging out both from two bouts of snow (not complaining) and from a swarm of emails regarding 2015 bookings.

At this time there is just room for one or two more bookings in 2015 and it will be closed.  Just a heads up.

I can hardly believe that two 2016 contracts have already been signed and one guild asked about 2017 saying that their members were so excited about Pieced Hexies Deux they are talking a weekend retreat of just Pieced Hexies!!    OH MY!   It’s those emails that go into the extra special “save” folder for me to read years from now when I am in the old age home.   😀

I have been busy busy busy here at Chez Depre.  I almost have quilt top number #3 done for the next book , #4 is kitted for one the road sewing in March, and #5 is designed and fabric is being pulled.   There is truly alot going on in the studio.

I am also gearing up on a pile of handwork to get me thru my beloved upcoming Winter Olympics.   I can’t believe it all starts tomorrow.   Longtime readers may remember that I am an over the top Olympic fan with the winter games by far my favorite.   One event that I absolutely love to watch…curling.  What event is a can’t miss for you?

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On the handwork pile I did place a kitted up block of Castle Wall.  While it’s truly not “On The Road” I thought getting another block on the design board would be nice.   I did finish up the Shipshewana block.  The yellow rose fabric makes that center just pop!

Here are my two finished blocks together.

CastleWall1&2

 Yes I think this block is going to make a very striking scrappy quilt.

 Notice the center of each block is the same fabric just a different color way.

I have one more color way to use it is a cream background. I haven’t printed any octagons yet in that fabric so it my be a month or so before you see any of those blocks.

I don’t have a plan as of yet for the finished quilt setting.   I figure as the number of blocks grow on the design wall I can play around with putting them on point etc and the plan for setting them will be created.

For now I am just happy to make the blocks.

I hope a few of you are also making Castle Wall blocks with me or might be considering it.  Don’t forget Inklingo’s special pricing of the Castle Wall Collection at $20 is good to February 15th.  Wouldn’t it be a fun new project to get started on during the Olympics for yourself.  And come to think of it the circle in the block fits right in with Olympic memories too!  If you are making Castle Wall blocks please email me pics of your blocks…would love to share them on the blog!

I have received quite a few emails of late asking me about upcoming engagements.  And since I don’t post this info on my website for personal reasons I thought I might do a blog a month or so giving some upcoming engagements.  Hopefully this will help those who wish to know and please still feel free to email and ask any time.  I am happy to answer those to.

Upcoming:

February 12th will find me just outside Milwaukee Wisconsin lecturing for the West Suburban Quilt Guild .

February 20th, 21st and 22nd has me hanging with the girls from the North Suburban Quilt Guild in Schaumburg, Il .  I will be lecturing and teaching two workshops.  There is some space in Friday’s workshop -Hello Hexie! Mug Mat but not sure about Saturday’s Pieced Hexies Buffet.   Please email me for guild contact info if you are not able to find it on the website.

March 6th, 7th & 8th I will be in Bloomington Indiana for the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show.  I am returning after a few years and can’t wait.  This is an awesome show and since I am driving there will be room to help the vendors relocate some of their wares.  Yippee!!

  • Here is my teaching schedule:
  • Thursday – Pieced Hexies Buffet  (last update told me there was just one spot left!)
  • Friday  – Charm Pack Wildflowers (this is such a fun & easy yet individually creative class!)  we are close to 2/3rds full so don’t dilly dally as there is always a rush the last week of signups.
  • Saturday – Hello Hexies Table Runner!   All the basics will be covered in this workshop and of course since I have the Pieced Hexie quilts with me for Thursday’s class I will bring them for show -n tell.

I am going to work on a new medallion this week to.   So excited now that Pieced Hexies Deux is out I can start unveiling designs the use both books.  You know what they say…more is better!  Off to sew! design, write and sleep (sleep is good).

MickeySignature

 

 

 

And we are sewing!

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

YAY! It’s time to sew my first Castle Wall block by hand.

Remember you can machine sew the block.  And I will most likely machine sew the top together when it comes to that time.  But for now I am happy to hand sew the blocks.

Here we go. CWblock1

First up…where do you start.  Well there really is not absolute correct starting point in hand sewing.  Each block semi dictates it’s own pattern.  So I chose to sew this block by hand the same way I would if I were sewing it by machine.  I broke the block down into units.

There are four corner units that consist of  a half square triangle, a trapezoid, 2 diamonds, and a square.

I chose to make these units first.

Half Square Triangle to Trapezoid.

TIP TIP TIP ALERT! : Sew just a thread or two on the side of the printed seam line towards the outer edge.  In other words hand sew a scant quarter of an inch seam allowance.  There are a lot of seams in this block.  A slightly pudgy 1/4 inch will add up fast to a smaller than expect block.

CWblock2Ta Da! Look how quick that was.   I used a running stitch with a half back lock. In other words to stitches forward (about a scant quarter inch in total covered) and the a tiny stitch back to lock.

After a few minutes it feels more natural and like anything the more you do it the fast and more  skilled it becomes.   Hang in there.

Now I chose to knot off after this first seam because I wanted to add the diamonds and square with one long stitching thread.

CWblock3

Here we go .   (Note I do not press using an iron at any time.  Finger pressing is all I am doing while sewing the entire block).

CWblock4

In this picture I have just pinned the upper diamond in place so that you could see my path that I would be sewing.

Sew on diamond on one side.  Sew on square.  travel back with a loose running stitch and sew second side of diamond to square.  Sew square to one edge of octagon. and finish off this line of thread by sewing second diamond to square and then to trapezoid.   You may wonder why I traveled back rather that knotted off.  The trapezoid/square seam is so short I would of actually used more thread to knot off then I did by traveling back.  Sometimes is ok to travel with a loaded needle and thread.   ‘nuf said.

CWblock5

 

Here I am almost half way done.  I just keep making units (corners or centers which are only trapezoids and squares) and just keep working my way around the center octagon.

 

I am truly loving this.

 

CWblock6

 

 

 

The block is done.

Not pressed.

 

 

CWblock7

I lay the block down with the back side towards me and see that pressing the center octagon outwards and the diamond in the same manner is the way the block wishes to be.

And you saw it in the fist blog…here it is again.   Block #1 of my Castle Wall quilt.

CastleWallBlock1

Is it perfect.

No.

But then neither am I.

I am very happy with it.

And by the time you are reading this blog I will hopefully be back at home after my road trip to Shipshewana, Indiana and I should have another block done to share with you this week.

Enjoy your day,

MickeySignature

castle wall

castle wall

Prep Work PART TWO

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

Ok…here we go…we are almost to fabric I promise.

Back to where we left off yesterday.   Let’s pretend I wanted to print out 8 of the Diamond D units.   Inklingo tell me I need a strip of freezer paper 4.75″ x 10.5″.   I cut that and let’s just skip forward a bit and pretend I have it ironed on to my fabric and I am ready to start printing.  (note we will cover ironing prep later in the blog) .     Capture6Now you can run your custom cut freezer paper/fabric thru your printer with a full page of diamonds pdf in queue and you will be fine.  There will be some over printing of partial units but not enough waste of ink for me to whine.  (you will see this in an image in a bit).  By customizing the printing area you reduce wear on your printer head and the potential of jamming.   So I  took the time to actually explore my printer with Linda Franz and guess what I learned how to set up “custom print sizes” on my printer and thus I want to take you thru this step by step.   My printer is a Hewlett Packard Photosmart.  It is about 5 years old and Linda tells me that there are some HP printers that are newer that are not allowing custom size printing.  She does have a list you can check on the Inklingo site so if you are having a problem locating the tabs I will be showing you might want to check out that list.  But remember I did some “faux custom size printing” prior to this discovery so it is not absolutely necessary to do this.

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Ok I tell my computer I want to print and up pops this page.  From here you want to click on the Properties button.

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Now click on the Features tab and find where is says SIZE:    If you pull down the arrow shown next to the Letter 8.5 x11in (which is the default) you will find a list and click on the word CUSTOM.

Capture9Here we are on the Custom Paper Size tab.  I typed in 4.75 for the width .  and 10.00 for the length.   And my printer will allow me to save these measurements to use over and over again.   I just need to title the size.  Now you can put the size 4.75 x 10.00 into the name.   But since I am going to make a lot of these blocks and for blog purposes I chose to name it CW Diamond D 8 units.   Hit save and now your printer will only print that amount of the page.  Thus the head of the machine will not travel back and forth over the edge of your paper risking the paper and fabric separating and jamming the printer.

Now I did print about a dozen strips of shapes without doing this custom sizing, thus the printer head went fully back and forth over the entire carriage and I had no problems.  But I did make sure my freezer paper was well bonded with all edges of the fabric.  I run my labels thru my printer for my quilts so I have done this hundreds of times.  The trick is making sure those edges are firm.

ON TO FABRIC!!

2-1Blog2I have decided to do my blocks in a semi scrappy fashion.  I had three half yard cuts of the same print different colorways (white, black, and maize) of a print from the Bohemia line.   So all my octagons will be one of these three fabrics and the trapezoids will all be neutrals (whites, creams, beige, taupe) and the other fabrics will change with each block.  But the fabrics will remain the same for each shape in each block.  This will make more sense the more blocks I make and post.  Hang with me.

Here I am ironing on an elongated (4.75 x 13.5″) piece of freezer paper to the chosen center fabric.   This length will yield 3 octagons.  Note the freezer paper is2-1Blog3 ironed to the right side of the fabric as your printing will be to the wrong side.   Yes a dark color of fabric such as black will hinder being able to see the printed lines with ease if the wrong side of the fabric is dark too.  In this case only 1/3 of the centers will be the black colorway.   I will work on those blocks in daylight.  or under my ott light.

 

Here are all the fabrics with paper applied for this “run” of printing.  To keep things fresh and interesting I have decided to only print 3-4 blocks at a time …maybe a few more if the road trip is long.   I hope to finish at least one block each trip (remember there will be other sewing too…especially when it’s a driving trip and I can bring my featherweight) maybe two.   So just have a few blocks kits (pieces in sandwich bags) at the ready will keep me motivated and reaching for more.

2-1Blog4And here are some of the strips fresh out of the printer.   Spent an hour hand cutting all the shapes apart.  Again my choice.  Was watching (err..listening) to a hockey game and so sitting with scissors and cutting by hand worked.   REMOVE the freezer paper before cutting.  You can reuse it several times (thus another reason to label the back) before it loses it mojo and won’t work.

I forgot to take a pic of all the piece cut and had them all separated in to block baggies before I remembered so I apologize.

Tomorrow’s blog….I sew.

 
castle wall

’til then,

MickeySignaturecastle wall

 

 

 

 

Prep Work! PART ONE

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Now it’s time to get down to business with InklingoFreezerPaper0001

And it’s time to fess up that my first go around with Inklingo…well I didn’t slow down to read no stinking instructions.  Yep I am just like everyone else..well most everyone.  Have an idea about how it works and jump in and start paddling.

So after the first few sheets of printing.

Sidebar: I purchased a pack of 8.5″ x 11″ sheets of freezer paper.  Yes you can use a roll of paper that you can buy off your grocers shelf.   Did you read the first few lines of this blog.  I jump in.  I didn’t read the directions…LOL.    But in hindsight I will buy the sheets for Inklingo from now on.  I like that they are precut.  And I have tip later for you when you need longer than 11″ of paper for printing.

After “monkeying around”….and if you know Inklingo you know Monkey is always involved, I came up for air and really took a look at all the info included in the Castle Wall Block Collection.

WOW!

You know what they say…knowledge is power.

First off…if you are brand new to Inklingo I suggest you print off the TEST PAGE in your PDF.    Well actually first off.  Get a file, or a binder.  Your going to want to keep all your info together.   Then print off this page.  This will come in handy when you are trying to figure out the best ink color to use based on your fabric back.   We will cover this later.

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Page 10 of your packet.  Variations.   Ignore the word PLACEHOLDER on my graphic.  My PDF was a work in progress when Inklingo gave it to me to start working on my blocks.   Take a look at this page (maybe print it for that folder) and start to decide what coloration style  you want to play with.  Notice I said PLAY.   Sometimes you just need to play a bit with fabrics and color before you make final decisions.  Otherwise too many ufos are born.  So let yourself play and realize you aren’t creating orphans your creating “back art” for the final quilt.

I’m going to do all my blocks in the style of #5 but scrap them up in fabric with the centers all the same print but three different colorways.

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Now click open the Catalogue of Shapes folder in your pdf and open Combo 1 which should bring you to page  20.   I love that Inklingo has the option (and several different selections too) of printing out combo pages.  Extremely handy if your a quilter that wants your blocks to repeat a fabric thru out.   Just match up the best combo to your chosen coloration variation from the previous shown page and your off!.   See those colors with page numbers.  Figure out which ink color you will use and find your page number.   Either scroll or enter your page number up top and get yourself there for printing…but after you read the rest of my blog.

Capture3Page 35.  The Octagon Page/Custom Sizes.   Now here is where not taking the time to really investigate and just jumping in on my first block cost me.  I was thinking I needed to print 8.5’x11″ sheets of every shape.  Well if I took a moment I would of seen this wonderful CUSTOM SIZES page for each and every Combo and Shape in the collection.  Since all my blocks will have the center fabric repeat a dozen or so times I am going to print off my octagons in groups of three.  Well that says I need a piece of freezer paper that is 4.75″ x 13.5″  and my papers are only 11″ long as I am not working with a roll of freezer paper.  NEVER FEAR!  you can slightly (like 1/8″) overlap two sheets to get the length you need.  Cut your  “custom freezer paper piece” and set the rest aside.  The can be use to make other custom papers. Capture4When you start cutting custom freezer papers I suggest you take a marker and note the paper size and the shape you intend to use it to print out.   TRUST ME ON THIS. ….. PLEASE DO IT.

And this last screen shot shows one of the Diamond options.  There are 4 diamond options.  This is fantastic because in this design those diamonds can really add some dynamic spark either by color choice or texture (or both).    During the year I plan to play with all four options with different fabrics.  For now chose what you thing will be best with your fabric and play.

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ok…I am out of room for this blog.  So we are done for now.

Tomorrow I will post part two of PREP WORK!

Fabric will make an appearance I promise.   And if you haven’t taken a look yet at the Castle Wall Collection on Inklingo  you can click here to do so.   Or on the graphic on the top of the sidebar.

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Take Care,

MickeySignature

 

 

 

 

My 2014 “On The Road” Project

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Sarah

DSC04281Long time readers might remember that I used to do a “Road Project” every year.  It was something that I just worked on while “on the road”. DSC04456 Usually a small project that give some quick results and thus kept me entertained yet felt fulfilling.  One year it was knitted hats, one year mitts…by February most of the time I had the pattern memorized so it was even more portable.

And then “hexies” entered my life and since Oct 2011 my “Road Project” has been sample making and pattern writing for each of the Pieced Hexie books.    hexiedeux-coverloresWhen Deux was finally “put to bed” as they say in the publishing world the first week of December I thought…I have some personal time back in my life.

And then came the “What’s your word for 2014” posts on Facebook around New Years.   Many chose words of determination, some words expressing moods….I thought about it for awhile and was a bit late to the table with my word…a good week into 2014.  But I chose PAUSE.

Life has been quite the whirlwind since late 2011….surgery….recovery..traveling..hexies..more traveling…hexies….more hexies.   And this is no complaint and I still love my hexies so please don’t think I don’t.  But I am an eclectic person.  I need to keep trying different things to feed my creative soul.

I decided to bring back the “On the Road Project” and provide myself some PAUSE time with something being made “just for me”.

What to do?  What to do?

It had to be portable and very small. Personal space in my luggage if flying is very limited.  Best if it was a hand project  in case a machine couldn’t be obtained. (note to pending guilds I am scheduled to visit….I will be putting out a request to “borrow” a machine for hotel room sewing if staying 2+nights..more on that later).   But I’m not ready to start knitting again…sometimes I need to keep my vices in check and opening the yarn vault (as Paul calls it) may happen later this year but not right now.

So I wanted it to be fabric related in the fiber requirement.

Then my light bulb moment.   Hand piecing a block.

OK get up.  It’s not that bad.

Then I thought what block to hand piece?…it has to be something that would be a challenge….no nine patch.    hmmm….

CastleWallBlock1

The chosen block: Castle Wall.

It is a fantastic old block with ties to Kansas City Star  where it appeared on October 10, 1931.1f525fcbb40729df32e60cfe99825bc6

That excites the history girl in me.

It’s unusual so that eclectic part of me is jazzed….so many opportunities to play with coloration and texture.

And then another light bulb moment.

Inklingo.

Now I have been a “member” of Inklingo for a few years.  I admit to joining…dinking around the website…downloading the free stuff…and then never doing anything with it.   The concept is wonderful.  Print out shapes and the appropriate sewing guidelines directly onto your fabric from your own inkjet printer.  If you haven’t ever heard of Inklingo I suggest you check out the site.  Linda Franz, the creator of Inklingo, has some fantastic start up guides there and you tube videos to explain the process in depth.  I plan to cover some of the same but include my own suggestions and “things I learned along the way” information.

What I didn’t realize was how much more there is to Inklingo there is…WOW.  I contacted Linda Franz and explained what I wanted to do and asked how I would go about getting the pieces for the block.

cover-castle-9-02-115 cover-castle-6-115 cover-castle-45-115Linda put together a collection of the shapes (plus some bonus material that I will explore later) to make the Castle Wall Block in 9″ (the size I am making) and 6″ and 4.5″!

Each collection is $25.00 but from now until February 14th it is just $20.00!

I am hoping a few of you might want to hand piece some Castle Wall blocks along with me.  But know that you can machine piece these blocks too!  I’m going to hand piece but would love to have a guest blogger who is machine piecing the block share some tips with all of us.   So if you are let me know.

It’s always fun to do new things in a group.  There is the natural sharing that happens and I think we can achieve that with posting pics here on the blog,  Facebook,  then over to a gallery page I will make just for the Castle Wall project (on the website here)  and finally also to the Pinterest Page that I have set up.  You can find that page here.

I will post tomorrow my steps to printing out the shapes needed to make my first block.   I learned a few things about my printer with this process.   And on Friday I will take you thru the making of my first hand pieced Castle Wall block.

I will also be on my first road trip of the year to Shipshewana, Indiana to lecture/teach for Yoder’s Department Store/The Cotton Company as part of their expanded PJ Sale Celebration.

As I explained to Paul…this will truly be a “working for fabric” gig.   The Jeep will come home packed.

During this trip I will make a second block (maybe third) and you can follow along via blog posts or for an instant glimpse be sure to “LIKE” my facebook page Pieced Hexies with Mickey Depre where I post daily just about whatever is happening.

And no I have no setting ideas yet for these blocks.  My plan is to just make a bunch and let them ferment and tell me how to set them in time.   Sometimes in life we have to do things just because.  Just because we want to try it.  Just because we want to play with this color combo.  Just because we need to PAUSE and take some quiet time for ourselves.

In the long run this will be a quilt just for me….it may take awhile…but I’m ok with that.   After all I am worth it!

’til tomorrow,

MickeySignature