Archive for the ‘English Paper Piecing’ Category

Introducing – Stars of Twilight Quilt Block

Saturday, December 1st, 2018

Yes it is that time again! A new Mic’s Attic Picks block release.

Several years ago this quilt was found during a trip to a flea market in Wisconsin.  I spotted it and new I had to have it.  The use of yellow as the prominent color in the quilt and lavender as the secondary just called my name as I love this color combo.  It ticks all my 30’s Girl Fan boxes.

The quilt was marked $225 and I remember I talked down the seller to $175. My entire “quilt budget” for that day at the flea market. I didn’t care. The quilt was mine. A very rare purchase for me, a finished quilt. Not a top, not a stack of blocks…a quilt. I think I smiled all the way to the jeep and then home. The yellow and lavender quilt was safely tucked into my shelves of my collection. Someday I envisioned it on a bed for a granddaughter. (I can now hear the rolling of eyes by Fric ‘n Frac -those are my soon to be 28 yr. old twins for new blog readers)

I have heard the request for a larger block, with larger pieces,and no curves.  A block that I would consider very easy for a beginner. This 16” block checks off all the requests and provides many coloring/design opportunities making it also very exciting for all skill levels. 

The following information about the block is provided by the Encyclopedia of Pieced Block Patterns by Barbara Brackman.

The historical name given to the block is Stars of Twilight by Home Art Studios.
Home Art Studios – A mail order pattern source from Des Moines founded by H. VerMehren. Patterns appeared under the names Nancy Lee, Colonial Quilts, Bettina, Hope Winslow and others in periodicals during the 1930s.


Stars of Twilight is available in Hand Piecing Templates and English Paper Piecing papers and templates. There will be several information filled blogs over the next week or so and then the “How To” blogs covering hand piecing will begin on Monday, December 17.

 

The Hand Piecing templates/EPP papers/EPP templates are all available for pre-order at this time with FREE SHIPPING. The Pre-Order special will expire on December 10th with the first wave of templates shipping out on December 14th. Place your order early to get into the first wave of shipping and have them in time for Christmas. You can find everything in the NEW category in my store or type Stars of Twilight in the store search engine.

Due to Christmas the Facebook LIVE segments for this block won’t happen until after December 25th.

And by the way Happy December!  I can hardly believe it is December already…my this year has flown by. 

Watch for another blog on Stars of Twilight in a few days!

 

October’s Attic Pick Block is….

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

SURPRISE!   I woke up this morning and thought why wait to release when wi-fi and time (very early morning flight home on Sunday) may be a stumbling block to a easy Sunday morning release.    So YAY! for a Thursday release!

 

…introducing the newest block in the Mic’s Attic Picks series 

                         TENNESSEE CIRCLES QUILT BLOCK 

Oh I have loved this block and it’s spectacular secondary patterns for many moons.    This top has been in my collection for many decades and I am so happy to share it. 

 

The name Tennessee Circles was given to the block in 1931 when it was published in a Prairie Farmer periodical.  This periodical was published out of Chicago and sold mail order patterns.  This pattern appeared in issue #1. 

The hand piecing templates and English Paper Piecing papers are now available for pre-order.   Shipping of the product will begin on October 12, 2018.   You can order up to October 10th at the pre-order special on the templates but they are shipped in order of receipt so if you wish to have them early place your pre-order early.   FREE SHIPPING is standard on the Hand Piecing Templates and some of the packages of EPP papers. 

All domestic order of $25 or more on any combination of hand piecing/EPP products from my webstore is FREE SHIPPING, $75+ for International orders.   If shipping is charged – I had to keep shipping on some items in the store – please note it will be returned as soon as the order is processed on my end. 

If your order includes items other than hand piecing templates and/or EPP papers/templates shipping will be charged for those items (first class shipping is always an option). 

I will post a blog or two next week sharing some coloring ideas and quilt designs for this block.   And the standard “How-T0” blogs and Facebook LIVE posts will happen beginning approximately Oct 19th.   I am in a heavy travel time on my calendar but this will allow everyone who preorders to have their templates in hand and ready to follow along. 

You can find the Hand Piecing Templates here in my store.   And the English Paper Piecing items here

OR just go to the store and check the NEW category! 

 

Ok, that’s all for now,

Have a great day, 

 

Spring Sale on Border Options!

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Finally Spring feels like it has arrived in Chicagoland!  The nights are still a bit nippy but the days are getting warmer and the sun is shining.  And there is no snow in the forecast.  And yes, I am still a snow loving girl, but I agree snow after April 1st has lost it’s loveliness. 

I wanted to do something to celebrate Molly’s Gotcha Day last week (6 YEARS!) but with dashing off to Threads of Time (watch for a blog all about that this weekend) for a few nights to hang with friends and sew up a storm I decided when I got home this would happen. 

A combo celebration of Spring Arriving, Molly Arriving and the arrival of Border Options! 

Now that I am blogging has resumed I will be able to introduce you to more and more Border Options and ideas to use them. 

NOTE: Border Options orders of $25+ domestic/$75+ foreign will always have free shipping.  Just achieve that before applying the coupon code and this will still apply to your order.

You can always find full quilt recipe cards that can be downloaded for free in the FREE PDF PATTERN portion of the my webstore. 

 

 I am currently working Free Pattern #5 and posting progress on my facebook (MDQuilts) page.   Progress reports will also begin to appear here also. 

As I have said when I designed the Border Options line of rectangles and squares it was to fill a need I had for a unique border design on a quilt I was working on.   But I knew those designs didn’t have to live just in the borders of quilts for very long. 

So check out all 55 designs in multiple sizes and dream up something special for yourself or grab a free recipe card full quilt pattern, or take a glance at the pages of the recipe cards on the website for hundreds of ideas. 

These Border Options just don’t stop playing in my head. 

Enjoy the day, 

Lady of the Lake Table Runner Pattern!

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

LadyoftheLakeWorkshopYAY!   So many of you have fallen in love with the Lady of the Lake block as much as I have.   This was block #3 in my 2015 On The Road Project.   And now is proving to be a very popular workshop.

While my workshop and posted blogs on this block cover hand piecing, I do carry the papers to make the block English Paper Piecing style.  Lady of the Lake EPP 1 block

You can find all the blog links here on the Lady of the Lake block.

And all the supplies here in my webstore for making the block.  Just type in Lady of the Lake in the search box to see all available.

I always want to provide a simple 3-4 block pattern for everyone using the blocks I introduce in a table runner so if you choose not to commit to a full quilt there is a home for them.   This is my vow to help not contribute to the UFOs in your life.

I have been working on this pattern for a few months now. Life has certainly gotten busy and I apologize for the delay in getting this pattern done and up on the website since I started showing it on facebook back in September I think it was.

But it is here now!

LadyoftheLakeTableRunnerPicwatermarked

The borders are completed via foundation piecing and you will find the two patterns (mirror images) on the final page of the PDF.

The most important word of advice I can give is to piece all the A units at one time and then the B units so that you don’t inadvertently confuse the two when using second fabric in the B5 section.  See my notes on fabric usage on page two of the pattern.

So I hope to see some Facebook posts of Lady of the Lake Table Runners soon!   Don’t forget to “like” my new Facebook page “Piece and Hexiness with MDQuilts”.  This is an open group page so you can easily share all your quilting projects and questions to each other.  Every project is welcome!   Think of it as a quilt guild meeting online!

Enjoy your day,

MickeySignature

 

2015 On The Road – Paris Flight EPP Style

Monday, January 5th, 2015

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

Ok let me answer a question I get asked a lot ….what does EPP stand for?

EPP = English Paper Piecing

Yes I know many of you know this but some don’t.

English Paper Piecing is wrapping fabric around a paper shape, basting it and hand sewing together.

Many people apply the generic term of Paper Piecing to this…I like to stick the word “English” in there to further define it from foundation piecing.   Foundation piecing is when you have a paper pattern and you are sewing fabric to it along sew lines, flipping fabric back and sewing another to create a block or unit of a block.   This is sometimes also referred to paper piecing.  And thus causes new quilters all kinds of rightfully so confusion.

So I will use the term English Paper Piecing or EPP for short.

Now let me say I will most likely be making 80-90% of my blocks via hand piecing (which I will cover in a blog tomorrow).   Hand piecing works best for me in this type of project as I am literally shoving my block into a small bag and into my backpack to work on while on the road.   I have found that even a hexie EPP project gets mangled with bent papers doing this.   And when working on book samples for the Pieced Hexies and Pieced Hexies Deux books on the road I was constantly ironing EPP hexies in my hotel room.   To avoid this snafu I am going to hand piece on the road and occasionally do an EPP block to share while at home…or if it’s a driving gig and I have the ability to pack things with more care.

So on to specifics about the Paris Flight EPP Block.

 

Four shapes of the Paris Flight Block

Four shapes of the Paris Flight Block

These two pieces will be used in the reverse also in the block.

These two pieces will be used in the reverse also in the block.

Lay out all the pieces in the block and mark the edges with hash marks.  Make sure these hash marks are at least 1/2 inch in length so they will be visible after fabric is basted.  I also mark the four quadrants of this block by number.  This helps keep things in order.

Lay out all the pieces in the block and mark the OUTSIDE edges with hash marks. Make sure these hash marks are at least 1/2 inch in length so they will be visible after fabric is basted. I also mark the four quadrants of this block by number. This helps keep things in order. MARKING THE OUTSIDE EDGE IS VERY IMPORTANT. THIS WILL BE A MAJOR HELP WHEN SEWING PIECES TOGETHER.

Lay them out on the fabric with enough space between to mark a 1/4 inch around each piece.

Lay them out on the fabric with enough space between to mark a 1/4 inch around each piece.  NOTE: I used a dot of glue stick, specifically sewing blue glue stick, to hold papers in place.  Just a dot.

I use several different marking pens and even a mechanical pencil to mark my cutting lines.  Match the best pen/pencil to the job for each fabric.   NOTE: you can use the Paris Flight acrylic templates to mark you fabrics for cutting and side step this process if you wish.

I use several different marking pens and even a mechanical pencil to mark my cutting lines. Match the best pen/pencil to the job for each fabric. NOTE: you can use the Paris Flight acrylic templates to mark you fabrics for cutting and side step this process if you wish.

 

Using a ruler I mark a 1/4 seam around the entire piece.

Using a ruler I mark a 1/4 seam around the entire piece.

To "knock off" excess fabric and make basting a bit easier I measure 1/4" flat from the paper point tip.

To “knock off” excess fabric and make basting a bit easier I measure 1/4″ flat from the paper point tip.

Here is the tip with the excess knocked off.

Here is the tip with the excess knocked off.

 

All ready to be cut out.

All ready to be cut out.

NOTE: if you are using a fabric with a directional print take the time to lay out your papers to use that print to your advantage.   This fabric has a nontraditional stripe print.  By laying out all the papers to flow with the strip it will be less chaotic on the eyes when the block is put together.  These "little things" can make or break a block.

NOTE: if you are using a fabric with a directional print take the time to lay out your papers to use that print to your advantage. This fabric has a nontraditional stripe print. By laying out all the papers to flow with the stripe it will be less chaotic on the eyes when the block is put together. These “little things” can make or break a block.

 

All pieces cut and laid out.  I do this with every block just to make sure I like what I have chosen.  Easier to trade out a fabric now then later when sewn together.

All pieces cut and laid out. I do this with every block just to make sure I like what I have chosen. Easier to trade out a fabric now then later when sewn together.

Basting done.  I won't cover basting here as it is covered in a tutorial on the paperpieces.com website.   Just remember to keep those point flags flying on these shapes!

Basting done. I won’t cover basting here as it is covered in a tutorial on the paperpieces.com website. Just remember to keep those point flags flying on these shapes!

 

Time to sew the four quadrants of the block  together.

Time to sew the four quadrants of the block together.

I sew the two halves of the square together.  And then the longer seam down the center matching up the intersections.

I sew the two halves of the square together. And then the longer seam down the center matching up the intersections.

All four quadrants are sewing together. Next step are to sew the squares together like a four patch.   But wait.....

All four quadrants are sewn together. Next step is to sew the squares together like a four patch. But wait…..

Look what happens if you twist the squares!  A whole new block!  Let's call this London Flight.   So here is another variation you might choose to use in your row quilt.  This project is going to be full of variations so truly it will become a very unique quilt of your own.

Look what happens if you twist the squares! A whole new block! Let’s call this block London Flight. So here is another variation you might choose to use in your row quilt. This project is going to be full of variations so truly it will become a very unique quilt of your own.

Paris Flight Block.   Now off to sew six more together for this row.  Four will have a red in the outside center triangle (see yesterday's blog for graphic) and three will have the red in the inside triangle.

Paris Flight Block.
Now off to sew six more together for this row. Four will have a red in the outside center triangle (see yesterday’s blog for graphic) and three will have the red in the inside center triangle.

Whew..that was a lot of pics.  But I didn’t cover EPP with the Castle Wall block so wanted to do so in detail with Paris Flight.   Tomorrow I will cover hand sewing a Paris Flight block.

I am busy kitting up five more blocks for on the road sewing as my 2015 work calendar begins on Thursday.

Beach Cities Quilt Guild in southern California here I come!

But first a Winter Storm Watch has just been issued for here at home.  Six inches of lovely snow.   I’m off to get these blocks kitted so I can sit and watch the snow fall later today.  I love it.

Enjoy your day,

MickeySignature

 

 

 

 

 

Big Bloombas is in the house! FREE PATTERN

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

For those who are a part of my facebook page, MDQuilts, you know that recently I switched back to my fermenting (projects are never UFOs here…they ferment) 30s Repro hexies & jewels quilt.

BigBloombasPic1This time around I finally sat down and did the math to see how many of the Hexie Blooms, 13 hexagons each,BigBloombasPic2

 

 

 

 

and what I call Jewel Blooms, 6 jewel shapes, I could achieve out of the stash I had set aside for this project.

I purchased 1.5 yards of the modern black & grey print  along with 1 jelly roll of soft creams, pinks, yellows, taupes, and very soft orange kona solids that I am using in the Jewel Blooms.

The 30s repro hexies are what I did in the 3700 miles of car rides in 3weeks in May 2013 when the kids each graduated collage and moved home for 6 days (Pauli) and 2 weeks (Emily) before we drove their stuff to their new out of state residences….whew.   That was a lot of driving.  And a lot of hexies got done when it wasn’t my turn behind the wheel.

BigBloombasPic3

 

Before I left home, I have been in Arkansas since Tuesday visiting Emily, I took this picture of where I was at in my idea for the layout.

 

 

Armed with that info, my fabric count, and some time I figured out I can make a center portion for this quilt of approximately 50 x 58.

Big Bloombas Quilt Layout 6x6

Then I will add borders of at least 8″ that will be pieced or maybe even appliqued.  I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

Several of you have asked for the layout pattern.  You can find it as a free PDF on my PDF page of this website under Quilt Patterns.

And if you haven’t “liked” my facebook page yet, MDQuilts.com, head over and do so.  There’s a lot going on over there each and every day.

Next week when I am home I plan to work on the borders of the Castle Wall Quilt.  Yes that will be a free pattern on the PDF page to as soon as I am done.

Enjoy,

MickeySignature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s enough fabric in the stash…

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Honestly within hours of my last blog post I received an email from my editor inquiring if the deadline for my manuscript could be moved up.

Since I was so close to finishing all the quilts I decided to put my head down and just “get ‘er done” and will have the manuscript to my editor next week.  Even earlier than she inquired about.  WHEW!

Now with that pressure off I am winding down, or up, depending how you look at it.

I have pulled out some fermenting projects and started to play with them again.

And started a few new projects.  So watch for blog posts starting to happen again as I have stuff to share.  I’m even working on the first quilt of the next book already.

But something happened yesterday that prompted me to write this morning.    Two private Facebook (click on the side bar to join me there) messages within hours of each other asking the same question…and the writers were literally thousands of miles apart.

Which do you like best EPP (Paper Pieces)  or hand sewing (Inklingo)?

My answer:  I truthfully love them both.  And you can.  You don’t have to make a choice.  Love them both.  For me they each bring different things to my creative life.  And variety of technique.  Life is boring doing the same thing over and over.  I love to mix it up.  And many days I do both EPP/Paper Pieces and hand sewing/Inklingo during the very same day.  It’s ok.  You can do this.

wpid-img_20140703_064456.jpgCastleWallBlock

 

 

 

 

I love my newest EPP project as much as my Castle Wall Blocks. 

It reminds me of some of the emails received a few years back when Pieced Hexies was published.   How could I do both traditional and art quilts people would ask.PiecedHexiesCOVERsmall

Easy…I just do.   They both make me happy.  So I just do.

I have been making traditional quilts for decades, albeit behind the scenes as it was my Art Quilts that people knew me for.

Cham Sugar Cubes

 

But if you look closely at my art quilts you will see many traditional quilt piecing in the background.

 

 

 

Pieced Hexies BOOMER design

About 5 years ago I started piecing more.  And it made me happy.

And then Pieced Hexies happened and before I knew it my persona in the quilt world flipped.  But truly it is just still me just with a light shining in a different corner of my art work.

 

So back to the original question.   I do truly love them both.  Just as I do truly love almost all genres of fabric (my only exception is the Japanese prints with all the metallic…sorry) as you will see in my upcoming book.

Offset Squares Quilt Block

Yes a traditional pieced pattern book.

Truly I have now come full circle.  Well maybe not yet.   There are still many needle turn applique patterns to make and share.

 

I guess I might have to alter a tag line of mine.

“There is enough fabric in the stash to make both Art and Traditional Quilts” to

“There is enough fabric in the stash to piece quilts both EPP style and hand sewing style”.

Just do what makes you happy.

MickeySignature

 

NeedleTravel – Great App!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Yesterday brought some down time and I was finally able to load a few apps into my phone and explore them.

One that wasn’t on my list to load but I stumbled across is NeedleTravel.

image

This app tells you of shops near your location.  But not just quilt shops.  Shops of any of the needlearts, so embroidery, needlepoint, knit & crochet.

Yes fiber friends this app rocks.

Here’s what my neck of the woods looks like.

image

And when I click on a dot or pin (I am guessing the pins paid more to be included) a page such as this pops up.

image

With all the travel I do I think this app is going to be used many many times.

Emily is here visiting to Saturday afternoon.  We discovered that Amazon Prime has just added the last season of Downton Abbey to it’s service and since I only saw four episodes (before travel took over) and Em only saw two we are going to binge watch the season over the next few days together.  And just relax, talk and laugh.

I so love The Dowager…she and I would most definately get along.  Dry wit rules…toss in a spot of sarcasm and life is good.

While watching I will work some more on my latest EPP project.

image

No name yet.  Loving the combination of 1″hexies and jewel shapes. The solids are an array of very light pastel solids to give the overall design some “twinkle” and depth. This quilt may take a few years of off and on work but it will get done.  Loving it.

Happy July 4th!
Mickey