Posts Tagged ‘hand piecing’

How-To Blog #1 – Carolina Favorite Quilt Block

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

It’s finally time to get to the “HOW-TO” blogs for the Carolina Favorite block. I am loving seeing the excitement of receiving the templates and some who are experienced hand piecers are already posting block for all to see on the Facebook page – Piece & Hexiness. That is the group page that acts like an open forum in connection to my professional page of MDQuilts. By joining the Piece & Hexiness page you can partake in the posting there. And when you do so ALL can see your posts vs waiting for me to share them on the MDQuilts page. Here is a link to the Piece & Hexiness page.

Let’s get on to the block.

This is a 4 piece template set. Three of the templates, B, C, & D, will be used also in reverse position. A template is right side up if the wording on it can be read. You will have a brown backing paper adhered to your template. That is left on for shipping purposes and you can remove it if you would like. But I have found most people like the paper left on the template as it provides a crisper edge to see when marking on light fabrics and easier to orientate between right side and reverse. There is no correct decision regarding the paper. The choice is yours.

These are the marking tools I use. Either some form of pencil, traditional #2 or a mechanical pencil, or a gel pen. I like the Sakura opaque white pencil for use on dark colored fabrics or any other fun color that shows up. ALWAYS test your gel pen on a scrap of the chosen fabric. There are several factors that can be detrimental to your success. As we all know not all cotton fabric is of the same caliber and a loosely woven fabric will have allow the gel ink to seep thru to the front making it visible. And the longer you use a gel pen most tend to bleed out their ink faster. It has to do with the warmth of your hands. So if your going to spend a day marking and kitting up blocks please keep this in mind. I tend to used 2-3 different pens on that day and change them out. I have also found a quick pop in the freezer (5mins!) tends to slow them down for use.
Once you have chosen all your fabrics and how you wish to have them appear in the block (see my previous blog here about coloring options) go ahead and trace the required number of each piece on the BACKSIDE of the chosen fabric. When tracing be sure to angle your marking pen/pencil so that you get as close to the edge of both the inside and outside. If you wobble a bit on the outside edge don’t fret it but try to keep that inside line as clean as you can. And make sure you get your corners clearly marked. That inside line is the more important line. It will all makes sense tomorrow when I go over pinning.

 

 

Cut out your pieces, again don’t worry if you wobble a little but do try to give yourself the full ¼ seam allowance to avoid any fraying of your fabric as you handle it.

 

 

 

Once you have everything cut out I always lay my block out to check my piece count, my fabric placement and then I take a picture of the block for future reference.

I usually kit up several blocks at a time and work on them over a several weeks, sometimes months, so having a reference photo in my phone is helpful. Especially when I am piecing on the go and cant have the block in front of me.

 

 

 

 

If you are interested in joining in learning how to hand piece you can order your set of Carolina Favorite Acrylic Templates right here!

That’s it for today.
New blog on Friday –  we pin and sew!

Carolina Favorite Quilt Block – Quilt Ideas

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

Let me go on record with the statement that I am a fast handpiecer. Speed comes with years of practice. It is like anything else in life, the more you do it, the more accurate you become and speed picks up.

BUT…there is no way I can ever make a quilt of each block I intend to share with you in the next few years, let alone 3 or 4 showing different layout and coloring ideas.

This is where my computer and skill with programs such as EQ8 and Adobe Illustrator allow me to bring to you some visual images and then send you on your way with ideas sparking inside your head.

Here are some easy quilt designs I came up with for the Carolina Favorite block.

 

1. SIMPLE SIMPLE SIMPLE. That is what this layout is. Just side by side rows of the block sans sashing. I colored this image as 2 color but I think this would be a great layout for scrappy Carolina Favorite blocks.

 

 

 

 

 

2. The same simple layout with a thin sashing and cornerstones. Add some fancy coloring of the D pieces (see previous blog for block lettering) and sashing/cornerstones to make a soft textured secondary design in the background.

 

 

3. On point and colored to resemble flowers. YES! I say. This may actually happen someday in my studio. Note the two-toned D pieces again for depth.

 

 

 

 

4. On point again but this time different values of background are used to draw attention to the center blocks. A strong color (black in the image) used on every other A piece gives the block a twirling movement.

So there you have it. I hope some of the ideas in this blog and yesterday’s have you thinking …hmmm…I really like this block and I think I can do this! Because let me tell you I know you can. I have taught hand piecing to hundreds if not a few thousand, over the last 5 years and I haven’t lost a student yet. And this block truly is much easier then it looks as the curves are quite gentle.

I may toss up another blog during the week showing the final two sample blocks and keep an eye on August 15th for the start of the “How-to Piece” blogs.

Don’t forget the pre-order special on the templates ends at midnight on August 7th. You can find all the details and place your order by clicking here.

Enjoy your day!

Piece & Hexiness,

Carolina Favorite Quilt Block – Coloring Options

Saturday, August 4th, 2018

I think part of my attraction to the Carolina Favorite Quilt Block is the various coloring options that I see when I look at it. I realize that this is not something everyone can easily do.

So I was also excited when I wrote out an outline for myself on presenting these “Mic’s Attic Picks” blocks that numerous sample blocks would happen. I can play and provide what I hope to be jumping off points for your own creativity.

So let’s get started.

Here is the block as it was done by the maker of my vintage top. Very traditional two color/fabric palette. Simple and yet so very effective for this design.

 

 

My version using Civil War prints. Obviously the most important guideline with making a 2 color version is to have high contrast between your choices.  Both in color and scale of print. 

 

 

 

I want to share with you one of the graphics in the instructions you will receive with your template set. I have labeled each piece with it’s corresponding template letter. A small “r” behind the letter means the template is reversed for this piece. Having this key will help with descriptions of coloring on the next samples.

 

You can also see that this block is composed of 4 sections. And the sections are basically two units that mirror one another with the addition of a piece A on one unit. Now I hope you are seeing just how easy this block truly is to piece. And wait to we get the blogs showing the process with all the tips and tricks I have for you on that. (remember August 15th – How To Blogs will begin to post)

Here are four more samples I have made of Carolina Favorite

1 & 2. In these samples I decided to use the same fabric in piece A (center) and the same fabric in B & Br. Stay away from using directional prints in A when using this coloring variation (unless you are going to take the time fussy cut those pieces for a unique look). Using a fabric that melds with itself presents a nice look where the seams disappear and don’t distract. This coloring variation allows a larger print (sample 1) to be used in the B/Br pieces effectively. There is enough exposure that a large print does not lose impact of design. Choosing one fabric for C and one for Cr. gives some dimension/depth to the block as they appear to be coming from behind. The A and B areas can feel a bit “flat” when colored with one fabric each, using two fabrics in C/Cr gives dimension and life to the design I feel.

3. I made one subtle change on this block in that I brought my fabric choices for C/Cr to the center A pieces. Strong bold choices make the repetitive coloring very appealing. Note that my B/Br pieces are a softer fabric in print, a floral, even though it is still bold in coloring. That is also very attractive to the eye in any block, mixing soft prints with strong graphic prints.

4. This is the same coloring style as 1 & 2 but done in solids. This is the block you will see me making in in the How-To blogs. I like to use solids for teaching as they are easier to see and identify. I will also make a few more solid blocks during the Facebook Live segments so you can actually see the sewing and tips as I do them. Plus then these solid blocks will be the samples sent to guilds/shops who may wish to book the workshop.

Ok…that’s it for now. I do have two more samples I am making showing two more variations of coloring. I will post a blog on them later this month. But if you have been following me on Facebook this week you have already seen one being made!

You can order your set of Carolina Favorite templates here in my webstore.  Be sure to read about the pre-order special there that is available until August 7th. 

…tomorrow I will share some simple yet exciting ideas for block layout in a quilt.

Piece & Hexiness,

ReIntroducing Carolina Favorite Quilt Block

Saturday, July 28th, 2018

About a year ago I pulled out all my vintage quilts and quilt tops that I have collected over the past few decades and decided it was time to make good use of them and give them a new life. The only problem is I was deep into the design work on the Border Options line of English Paper Piecing products (and now hand piecing also!) and so the idea for a line of templates was born, but couldn’t become reality for awhile. I am an army of one and some days off and sleep are needed. 😊

But with Border Options now out in public and doing it’s thing I decided that it was time to begin working on what I am calling “Mic’s Attic Picks” collection of quilt block templates for hand piecing. I dove back into my stack of vintage and antique quilts and instantly knew what quilt block I wanted to share first.

Most of my antique quilts are tops for two reasons. The cost of a top vs. a quilt is significantly lower and when my collecting started many moons ago we had two young mouths to feed and clothe so my budget was very small. Plus tops obviously take up less space, and with a small abode (under 1200 sq ft!) I could collect 4-5 tops in the space of one quilt on my shelves. Tops it is! Now back to the inspiration top itself.

Isn’t it just striking! I remember the block caught my eye. But it was the use of the red background that sold it. WOW! What a bold and daring choice for the era. I am not a certified quilt historian but I know enough info to be dangerous and so I can state with confidence this quilt was most likely finished in the early 1940s based on the youngest fabric in it. And I think the red background supports that. Again…who would of thought to go red. But I love it. And I will say it has me looking at my red fabrics a bit differently with consideration of red background of my own one day.

So I grabbed my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman (did you know you can get this as a digital book now from the AQS website – I love now having all these blocks with me in my laptop) and set to work looking up the block. As a lover of history, I am determined to find a block’s given name if possible. Only when I have exhausted all possible avenues of knowledge will I give a vintage block a new name and then will let you know this when released. This is important to me.
I found the block. It is #1536 in the encyclopedia. It has just one name attributed to it.

Carolina Favorite

The block was a mail order pattern released in the 1930s by the Old Chelsea State Needlecraft Service under the designer name of Laura Wheeler. This company is know for it’s complex quilt block designs and advertised in newspapers across America selling patterns for a dime.

 

Carolina Favorite Hand Piecing Templates are now available for preorder in my webstore. You will easily find them under the NEW! Category as they are the first product. There is a preorder special available until August 7th, you can find all the details there in the product description in the store. Orders will begin to ship out on August 10th in the order in which they were received.

All template sets will come with basic hand piecing guidelines and tips. I will also be posting detailed how-to blogs full of step by step pictures starting mid August. And if you follow me on Facebook (MDQuilts) you will see numerous LIVE posts of sew-a-longs also covering block construction.

Hand piecing is very relaxing and I can say over the years I have taught thousands to hand piece both thru blogs and workshops, both beginners and experienced quilters and have never lost a student.

The gentle curves of this block are easily obtained with hand piecing and before you know it you will be breathing easier and enjoying the ability to be creative even while “on the go” as piecing by hand is so portable that a sandwich bag of “stuff” is all that is needed.


..next blog…let’s look at some coloring variations for this block. 

‘til next time.
Piece & Hexiness,

The Castle Wall BURSTS- Part Two

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

Castle Wall Burst TemplatesI am so excited to get this second in the series of how-to blogs posted.    The response to the template set has been wonderful, I am down to just a handful in stock but more are on their way.   I will leave the orders open on this product and will ship as soon as the next batch is received sometime this upcoming week.  I will get all fillable orders out as soon as that is.   You can place your order here.

For those who have inquired regarding EPP sets of the Castle Wall Burst Expansion they are on their way.   I  will not be able to add them into the store until August 1st due to my heavy travel schedule the last two weeks of the month.  But EPP fans keep an eye out for a special EPP sale I have scheduled to start on July 16th on all other blocks in stock.  And yes there will be a special introductory price on the EPP Castle Wall Burst Expansion pack when released in August.

Now let’s get sewing the Castle Wall Burst!

I have my Castle Wall center done minus the half square triangles (template C) for an overall octagon shape.   Again I will refer you to review the Castle Wall blogs that are linked on the Castle Wall page for piecing this block and general hand sewing tips when working with any of my templates.

sidebar: I am scheduling to post at least two if not more updated general hand sewing tips and tricks blogs in early August.   Please watch for these posts.  They will also be linked on the Castle Wall page soon after posting.  These will cover all the basics for those who are new to hand piecing.

Now back to our block.  Yes I am that excited my head is running in so many directions with so many ideas…this time at home is just what my muse needed.   Ok back to sewing.

The Castle Wall center of this block is sewn in a bulls eye manner, by adding pieces in a circle around the center.   The Burst expansion is sewn by breaking it down into two units, UNIT 1 & UNIT 2.

UNIT 1:  MAKE FOURCastleWallBurstUnit1sewingguidev2

This unit consists of three pieces, C-F-C.   Piece C template can be found in your Castle Wall block template sets.  It is the discarded half square triangle shape.

*design note- I have chosen to use two fabrics in my rendition of the Castle Wall Burst block for piece C.   You can do so also or use the same fabric for all pieces. 

There is just one continuous sewing line to make these units and one roundabout intersection.  Roundabout intersection tips can be found in the previously mentioned Castle Wall posts and a general blog about roundabouts will be posted in early August for those new to my blog.   This illustration is your guide to sewing UNIT 1

UNIT 2: MAKE FOURCastleWallBurstUnit2sewingguide

This unit starts off with sewing four more UNIT 1.  This is where I made a design choice and used a second fabric in my C pieces.  I liked the bit of depth that this brings to the block.

The next step is to add G-H-G to each of these UNITS.   This is also done with one continuous sewing line and 5 Roundabout intersections.

PatrioticCWBurst1

Finally, pressing.  While the Castle Wall center is best left unpressed until all rounds are PatrioticCWBurst2completed, meaning the center is fully sewn, UNITS 1 & 2 should be pressed after each line of stitching is completed.  This will help in obtaining the sharpest of points.   Also as in the original block the diamond shapes should be pressed flat or open for the best results.   And a bit of Best Press used at this stage really helps set the seams.

Next blog…putting it all together in a few days.

See, I told you this Burst Expansion is really quite simple.  And the resulting block is quite spectacular if I say so myself.  I have so many ideas for this block in projects.   Now I just need to look into obtaining 48 hour days.   🙂

Enjoy the day,

MickeySignature

 

 

 

 

 

The Castle Wall Block BURSTS!

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

CWBurstgreycenter2copyrightI have had this crazy idea of BURSTing the Castle Wall block for over a year now.  Think “biggie” size.  I wanted to keep most of the original Castle Wall Block ,just drop off the half square triangles, and expanded to a much larger block.

I played and played with the design while traveling and then would put the files back in my folder in my computer and think maybe in a few months.

And on a trip to Texas in April I opened up the folder again, tweaked my design thought it is time.

So off went my idea to Paper Pieces and they provided me with a sample set of templates lickety-split, they were excited as was I.

AutumnCWBurstBlockBut my schedule was a bit crazy and so I didn’t get to fabric pulling and sample block making until late May.  And then I sewed.  Here is the first sample block of what is being called Castle Wall Burst.   It finishes at 18″ square.  That’s a lot of block with a lot of bang!  At that size just 16 blocks with sashing and border and you have a queen size quilt.

I am loving this idea!

Castle Wall Burst TemplatesThe initial run of templates where produced and landed on my doorstep on Friday.  Just in time to kick off the holiday weekend!

 

 

The Castle Wall Burst Expansion Pack has three templates.  You will use the C template from the original 9″ Castle Wall set with the new templates F, G, & H to create this  border ring around a Castle Wall center (minus template C in the center).CWBurstlettered2copyright

The Castle Wall Expansion Templates

are available in my web store under the New! and Acrylic Templates Section

at an introductory price of $15 until July 15th.

Now to the tips and tricks of sewing this expansion ring of the block.

CWBurst1

I took pictures as I pieced the sample above and was ready to use them for the “how-to” blogs.  But then I spotted my stash of patriotic fabrics while straightening up my studio and like every other quilter I know I figured…well let’s start a new project!     I am going to make 16 Castle Wall Burst blocks in a scrappy patriotic fashion.   I don’t have the full quilt setting figured out yet.  I will design this hopefully this autumn sometime when my travel schedule is full force again.   A lot of computer designing happens when in a hotel room on the road.

Over the next week or so I will post detailed how-to blogs for this expansion.  But for now I will refer you to the original Castle Wall blogs (you can find links to all blogs on this page) to refresh yourself in piecing this center and the Roundabout Technique for making sharp points!  Eventually links to these Castle Wall Burst blogs will also be found there.

CWBurst3

 

 

I have my center done sans the half square corners and all my pieces cut and ready for the Burst Expansion.

Watch for a blog in 2-3 days breaking down the next round of sewing into units, a review of pinning, and sewing guide illustrations.

Over half the original order of Castle Wall Burst Expansion Templates have been spoken for and shipped out this morning, hoping to have a few of you sewing along with me on this fun block by this weekend or next week.

Enjoy your day,

MickeySignature

 

 

 

P.S. All the graphics you will see in the blog(s) are included in a guide sheet packaged with the templates!

Lady of the Lake Block – How to Part #1

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

WARNING THIS BLOG IS VERY PICTURE HEAVY FOR THOSE DOWNLOADING ON A MOBILE DEVICE

Let’s begin!  As I said previously this block really has intriqued me.  Don’t let the slightly curved seams scare you.  Hand piecing makes that a breeze and the design elements that they give are awesome.

I am not going to go over marking your fabrics using the acrylic templates as that has been covered already under the general info blogs at the beginning of the year and a very detailed blog here (yes it is for the Castle Wall block but the same info applies to all blocks).

Here are the templates.  There are six shapes in the Lady of the Lake Block.

Fabrics chosen for the block.  Remember what is tying together all my block in my 2015 On The Road Project is the use of red in each and every one.

I am not going to go over marking your fabrics using the acrylic templates as that has been covered already under the general info blogs at the beginning of the year and a very detailed blog here (yes it is for the Castle Wall block but the same info applies to all blocks).  But I will do a few quick pics to help refresh/guide an newcomers…and we have many!

Blog 05.0304Blog 05.0303Blog 05.0302

Ok it’s time to sew!.

Here is an orientation guideline for the templates.  NOTE: Piece B is used flipped over (in reverse) for half the pieces in the block.

You can find a PDF of this orientation guide on the 2015. O.T.R page under the Lady of the Lake Block.

Be sure to keep checking this page periodically for useful/information PDFs.

Let’s break down this block into sections.  There are three.

Br-A-B (4 units)

D-E-D-C (2 units)

C-E-F-E-C (1 unit)

Let’s start with the Br-A-B section.  There isn’t any continuous line sewing in this unit so it will be quick seams.  But there are slight curves, so let’s tackle how to make those happen.

Blog 05.0307

The pinning for these curved pieces is a bit different than what we have done before in the Castle Wall, Paris Flight and Jim Dandy blocks.   The templates have the corners knocked off on the points so that lining things up will be easier.   You want to line up each corner edge of B to the corresponding edge of A.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE CORRECT B or Br PIECE. 

In fact I suggest laying out your pieces in front of you orientating them correctly before you pick them up to sew.

I pin in a vertical manner as shown  in the seam allowance using an ultra fine pins on each edge.  Then I gently ease in the curve of each piece to each other and put a third pin vertically directly thru the center.   You may wish to check that your seam lines line up with a quick needle check before you begin sewing.  But if you take care marking and cutting your pieces you will find that a little extra time/care in doing so makes life sweeter when sewing.

Now you can begin to sew

IMPORTANT!   Sew two or three threads above your drawn line!

This compensates for the fact that getting into the exact edge of the template with your marking pen/pencil is

nearly impossible.   TRUST ME this is how you end up with a 10.5″ block (unfinished) and not a 10.25″ or smaller block at the end.

Make a backstitch to start off.

And backstitch every inch as you are sewing and always finish a line with a backstitch even if you are going on to another piece without knotting off.

Running stitch.    Remove pin when you reach it with your needle and thread.

Sew to the end of the seam, back stitch and knot off.

Now in order for the curved seam to lay flat we need to make some cuts into the seam allowance.

Three small cuts will do it. Be sure to leave several threads between the end of you snip and the sewn seam.

Viola!  a lovely flat gently curved seam!  SEW EASY to accomplish with hand piecing!

Now continue on with the other side (Br) and then finish up the remaining three Br-A-B units.

Tomorrow we tackle the rest of the block.

’til then,

MickeySignature

Jim Dandy Block – How to Part 2

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

WARNING THIS BLOG IS VERY PICTURE HEAVY FOR THOSE DOWNLOADING ON A MOBILE DEVICE

27JimDandy

Today we are going to tackle a corner unit of a Jim Dandy Block.  It is made up of  two A’s ,  one B, and two C’s – with one of them being a reverse of the C unit.

16JimDandy

Here are my pieces ready to go.

33JimDandyCornerUnit1

Sew an A to each side of B as indicated by the green lines.

These will be short lines of sewing.

knot off at the end of each line.

17JimDandy

now on to the C & Cr

34JimDandyCornerUnit2

The C & Cr pieces can be added to the A-B-A unit with one longer line of sewing.

There will be three Roundabout Moves as indicated by the red circles.

18JimDandy

Start and sew just as you have done before.

19JimDandy

Here is the start of the second Roundabout adding the Cr piece.

20JimDandy

Finishing up the center Roundabout.

Sew to the end of the Cr piece and knot off.

Repeat for the remaining three corner units.  Press each corner unit in the direction that seams fall naturally.

21JimDandy

Now let’s join the corners to the center.

22JimDandy

Sew two opposite corners to the center.

NOTE treat the center point(s) intersection as a Roundabout to obtain a sharp point on both the center square and piece B.

Press seams outward.

23JimDandy

Then finish by sewing the remaining corners to the center following the same course when it comes to intersections/Roundabout Moves.

Ta-Da!  A Jim Dandy Block!

Tomorrow I am planning to share where I am going to use this block in my quilt….and some other ideas.

’til then,

MickeySignature

2015 On The Road Paris Flight – Hand Piecing the block

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

WARNING THIS BLOG IS VERY PICTURE HEAVY FOR THOSE DOWNLOADING ON A MOBILE DEVICE

It all starts with the block palette.  Remember treat each block as it's own little quilt and play! Stretch your wings and try a new combo of colors to you.  And keep an eye on your textures.

It all starts with the block palette. Remember treat each block as it’s own little quilt and play! Stretch your wings and try a new combo of colors to you. And keep an eye on your textures.

Work this block in quadrants.

Work this block in quadrants.

And each quardrant is split into two halves.

And each quardrant is split into two halves.

These are the templates.  I have left the brown paper on them for this picture so they are easily seen.  The three circled templates will be used in reverse also in this block.

These are the templates. I have left the brown paper on them for this picture so they are easily seen. The three circled templates will be used in reverse also in this block.

 

THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT TIP!

This triangle can make or break you in this design.  You will need 8 of it, 4 right side and 4 reverse.  The tip I have for you is to mark the outside edge of the template for orientation.   This is like marking the outside edge of your papers for EPP.   I use this ruler tape.  But you can mark it with anything...even a permanent marker.  Just mark it!

This triangle can make or break you in this design. You will need 8 of it, 4 right side and 4 reverse. The tip I have for you is to mark the outside edge of the template for orientation. This is like marking the outside edge of your papers for EPP. I use this ruler tape. But you can mark it with anything…even a permanent marker. Just mark it!

Here it is marked.

Here it is marked.

 

Pretend this paper is your fabric.  After you trace the template, draw a "X" or two...or three in the seam allowance to indicate that this is the outside edge.  Trust me this will be a great help when sewing together!

Pretend this paper is your fabric. After you trace the template, draw a “X” or two…or three in the seam allowance to indicate that this is the outside edge. Trust me this will be a great help when sewing together!

 

For information on marking pens and tips on marking (freezer paper stabilization) please see my blog post linked here

So now go trace your templates on your fabrics and cut out your pieces.

 

Here is my block ready to be sewn.  I lay out every block just to make sure I haven't reversed, or forgotten to reverse, anything.  And to make sure that I like my fabric choices.  Things can look differently when the fabric is cut to the scale of the block vs. the "blob" you pulled when putting together your palette.

Here is my block ready to be sewn. I lay out every block just to make sure I haven’t reversed, or forgotten to reverse, anything. And to make sure that I like my fabric choices. Things can look differently when the fabric is cut to the scale of the block vs. the “blob” you pulled when putting together your palette.

Here is our quadrant now marked with piece #'s for easy reference and outside edges on those tricky triangles.

Here is our quadrant now marked with piece #’s for easy reference and outside edges on those tricky triangles.

The arrows show the sewing sequence.  Start with #1 and work to #5 on the upper triangle.  And start at #8 and work to #6 on the lower triangle.  Have you needle loaded with enough thread to sew all the seams.    Now let's tackle the next tip.  The intersections as shown with the red circles.

The arrows show the sewing sequence. Start with #1 and work to #5 on the upper triangle. And start at #8 and work to #6 on the lower triangle. Have you needle loaded with enough thread to sew all the seams.
Now let’s tackle the next tip. The intersections as shown with the red circles.

As detailed as I am being in this post I know that for some this may not register at first.  It’s ok.  We are only human.   Don’t give up.

I am putting a link here for the piecing post I did for the Castle Wall Block back in September.

Since that block is a little less complicated,if the following steps cause you panic, go back and read this blog and then jump back here and reread… sometimes seeing the same thing done two different ways/sequences makes things clearer.

Onward we go!

I am going to tackle the 3-piece half of the quadrant first.  I line up piece #7 on piece #8.  I pin on the line.  Always make sure you drawn inner lines match up by pinning.  Do not count on the accuracy of your cut outer edges.

I am going to tackle the 3-piece half of the quadrant first. I line up piece #7 on piece #8. I pin on the line. Always make sure you drawn inner lines match up by pinning. Do not count on the accuracy of your cut outer edges.
NOTE : I am using glass head pins here so that they can be seen. I still prefer Karen Kay Buckley’s new super fine pins that you see in the Castle Wall blog. I will be adding these pins to the web store next week.

And let's sew.  I sew SLIGHTLY ABOVE MY DRAWN LINE.  This compensates for the actual girth of the drawing of the line.   These templates have a 1/4" seam vs a 3/8" seam.  This makes them usable for hand piecing AND for fussy cutting for EPP.  So remember to sew ABOVE the drawn to compensate.

And let’s sew. I sew SLIGHTLY ABOVE MY DRAWN LINE. This compensates for the actual girth of the drawing of the line. These templates have a 1/4″ seam vs a 3/8″ seam. This makes them usable for hand piecing AND for fussy cutting for EPP. So remember to sew ABOVE the drawn to compensate.
Backstich at your beginning. Make a small running stitch. I backstitch every inch on the pieces in this block and always finish with a backstitch before I join the next piece. Here we go….ready to CIRCLE AN INTESECTION?

 

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.

At this intersection we are joining Pieces #8-7-6 shown in the diagram above.

OK. somewhere I lost a picture so this direction is just going to be written.

Stab Stitch thru Piece #8 to #7.  Pull your thread thru.

Now pin Piece #6 to the opposite side of #6, right sides together (see next pic).

Stab Stitch thru Piece #8 to #7.  Pull thread thru.

With Piece #6 pinned to #7 stab stitch thru the very point of the drawn line. Pull your thread thru.

Here is the backside of this previous picture showing the stab stitch coming right thru the drawn point.

Here is the backside of this previous picture showing the stab stitch coming right thru the drawn point.

 

  Your needle should now be between Piece #6 and Piece #8.  Continue stab stitching thru TWO pieces of fabric at a time…ie, now go thru 6-8, then 8-7, and finally 7-6 where you will start to sew your second seam along the pins shown in the picture above.

Don’t forget to back stitch and finish off with a knot.

Here is your first sewn triangle.  I will tackle pressing tips once the next triangle is complete.

Here is your first sewn triangle. I will tackle pressing tips once the next triangle is complete.

Now we will tackle Pieces 1-5.   Refer to the graphic above with the green arrow for your sewing sequence.

This is my first seam between Piece #1 & #2

This is my first seam between Piece #1 & #2

from the right side

from the right side stabbing needle thru to prepare for the addition of Piece #3

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Piece #3 pinned in place. I switched to the Karen Kay Buckley pins. And you see I have stabbed thru the point with the needle. My next stitch will be a stab thru #3 to #1, and then #1 thru #2 (again), and finally #2 to #3 exactly where we are in this picture. Doing this may seem tedious but the results are wonderful. Sharp points and no pin holes in your intersections!

Sew your seam!

I've sew piece #3 to #2 and now ready to sew #4 to #3.  When I can I do stack my entire block in order of sewing (see background).  This makes for mindless sewing late at night.

I’ve sew piece #3 to #2 and now ready to sew #4 to #3. When I can I do stack my entire block in order of sewing (see background). This makes for mindless sewing late at night.

Keep sewing until all intersections have been circled and all five pieces of this triangle are together.

Next up ….PRESSING MATTERS!

With this block I have found that pressing the units (ie. triangles) really makes a difference when sewing them together to make the quadrant square.

My tip: PRESS the center triangles seams out on both pieces!  You make think this contradicts the traditional one in and the other out for nestling of seams but with and sewing you have control over those seams and with circling the intersection it really doesn’t matter like in machine piecing.  Press in in this fashion allowed me to really match up the points.

Center Triangles (Piece #3 & #7) pressed with seam allowances out.

Center Triangles (Piece #3 & #7) pressed with seam allowances out.

Sew these triangles together along the center.  I press this seam towards the Piece #6-7-8 Triangle.     This square should measure 5.5″.  If you are too small, which is common the first time you hand piece sew your seams another thread width or two above the drawn line.   Just as in machine piecing.  Keep measuring and adjusting until you find your “sweet spot”.

Once you have four quadrants sewn then arrange them following the line drawing of the block and sew together two units.  Press these seams in opposite directions for the traditional nestle.  Now joint the these two units together (think large 4 Patch).

DISCLAIMER: That center is going to be ugly.  It’s 8 points coming together.  Take your time circling it, go slow and even do it twice if you feel your block needs it.   You can do it.  The first block is always the hardest…just push thru.

Now I once my final block seam is sewn take a look at that center.  If I like what I see I give the mess in the back a slight trim and then I press that final seam open and the wad in the center into submission.   Best Press is my friend and will be yours to!

Here is my hand pieced Paris Flight Block!

Finished Paris Flight Block.  Your block should measure 10.5".

Finished Paris Flight Block. Your block should measure 10.5″.

 

Whew…I need a nap.  🙂

Can’t wait to see your blocks.  If you have a question please post it in the comments or on the facebook page and I will do my best to answer them in a timely manner.  I have a full day of travel tomorrow and lecture in the evening so it may be a day or two.

For those new to the blog…you can find the templates, papers, and all kinds of other goodies in the store on my website.  Just look for the tab at the top that says “Store” and click thru.  You can also find links to my facebook and pinterest pages in the column on the left.   Normally I would put links here but WordPress is starting to act up on this blog post.  I think it needs a nap too.

Enjoy your day,
MickeySignature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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