Archive for the ‘English Paper Piecing’ Category

Introducing – Midwest Star

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

Hello September! Hello to cooler days and nights, sweatshirts and evening fires. Hello to life slowing down a bit and snuggling under quilts with a good book.

Hello to the Midwest Star Quilt Block. Simple and Spectacular all at the same time. I just love that this block has a Nine Patch center.

The inspiration was another less then $20 ebay quilt top find. I just loved the block and thought surely I can do something with this top when it was purchased years ago. The ad did say it didn’t lay flat but that didn’t scare me. I have eased plenty of vintage of tops into flat quilts over the years. Then this top arrived.

Ginger thinks any quilt on the floor is photo time. I won’t lie I stuck Bruce in there so he wouldn’t be left out. He was like “really?”

Oh boy. It was quite….hilly. No block would ever lay down nicely. Big sigh. So I packed it up and with the thought that someday it may be used in “pieces” for upholstery, as someday I will have one of those quilt upholstered couch/chair in my studio.

When I was scouting thru my tops late last summer for inspiration quilts I came across this top and thought…now I know why I purchased you. Your going to be the September 2019 block release.

I have been anticipating sharing this block and a few special things that are going to go with it since November of last year! I know I held this secret for a long time!

When I started to work on the samples, directions etc. for the block. It was decided to offer the block in TWO sizes! This block is available in all formats, Hand Piecing and English Paper Piecing, in 8″ AND 12″ finished sizes. I am excited because I think it is the perfect block to play with in both sizes.

The pieces don’t get to small in the 8″ size and it is perfect for scraps.

These were my thoughts in early November so I quickly grabbed some fabric and a bunch of scraps and pieced 36 of the nine patch centers while in the Smoky Mountains last November. My thought at the time was a wall hanging. But sitting in the cabin one day I pulled out my laptop and began to play in my design software. And the idea to make a quilt combining both sizes of the block was born.

I worked hard and finished the thirty-six 8″ blocks by the end of January (remember dear son was occupying my studio with his belongings before his move to Sweden so hand piecing was about all I could do) and tackled the larger blocks from February to May. I had hoped to have it quilted by my own hand by the time of this reveal but life thru me some curveballs this summer and well….I hope you like the flimsy top!

It is named Fric ‘N Frac, my nickname for my twins, Paul Jr & Emily when they were kids.

But I can say that a copy of the “recipe” (not a true pattern as there is no piecing instructions – those are included in template purchase- but a breakdown of fabric requirements and a simple yet unique border) is a FREE PDF download with every purchase.

And because so many of you are enjoying these patterns in the English Paper Piecing format also I decided to have the pre-order special be FREE SHIPPING – domestic orders only so everyone can enjoy some savings!

Pre-Orders are open now. You will find all products under the NEW Category in my store. You can go there by clicking here now. Note that there are two EPP entries, one of each size, but both sizes are under one product entry for Hand Piecing. Upon purchase you will receive an email with a link to download your free Fric ‘n Frac Pattern/Recipe within 72 hours.

The pre-order special will apply to orders received by midnight ct on Sept 10th. Shipping directly from my manufacturer, Paper Pieces will begin September 13th.

The How-To blogs will start on Friday, September 20th and I will determine the dates for the Facebook Live events covering LIVE piecing demos and sewing instruction the closer we get to the final week in September. I will post that info here and on the MDQuilts Facebook and Instagram pages.

Ok I think that wraps it up for the reveal. I can’t wait to hear what you think of the Midwest Star block.

Have a great day,

p.s. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of this block and the two sizes being available!

Introducing – Windmill Block

Monday, July 1st, 2019

Hello July! And hello to a new quilt block design release in the Mic’s Attic Picks series.

WINDMILL

This vintage quilt, note vintage vs antique because that orange fabric you see right under Ginger is late 1970s/early 1980s I believe. This quilt is relatively new to my collection. I only acquired it within the last year or so.

But as soon as I saw it I knew it would be a great addition to the Mic’s Attic Picks series for it’s simplicity. Just two shapes make up this block that can be quite impressive with it’s various design capabilities.

Two templates also means this is the LOWEST priced template set in the collection. Just $15.00 regular priced, but on preorder special right now for $12.50 if you place your order by midnight July 8th. Orders will ship out beginning July 12th directly from my manufacturer to buyers in the order they are received so if you wish to have the templates in hand ASAP then place your order early to guarantee quick shipping. You can go directly to the Hand Piecing Templates to order by clicking below on the image or head to my store via the tab at the top of this page. You will find them under the NEW category.

The Windmill design is also available in English Paper Piecing and you can easily find these products in my store under the NEW category.

So while the quilt itself is not, let’s just say, museum quality, it will be used someday to reupholster a chair or couch that will reside in my home. Some of the blocks are composed of heavy drapery grade fabric and thus this became very attractive for what I would like to use it for eventually. Please also note that the blocks in the inspiration quilt are approximately 20″ in size. I have taken the liberty to reduce the size to the more common 12″ and have eased the rounding of the circle edges to also make it even more beginner friendly.

Here are some samples of the block made with the Hand Piecing Templates.

This picture was taken at the Peace & Applique Quilt shop in Bloomington Illinois.

As I said – an easy block for beginners – but packed full of design potential for any level of quilter.

The timetable on this design is as follows: How-to Blogs will post on July 19 & July 21 Facebook LIVE sewing will happen on July 24th

This is my favorite block from the vintage quilt.

I hope you will join in some fun in July with the Windmill block!

Enjoy your day,

Michigan Beauty – Quilt Ideas

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Today let’s explore some quilt idea for the Michigan Beauty Quilt Block.  

Looking closely you will see that this block is basically a 4 patch.  Which means it is a repetition of squares, each composed of units.  These “squares” are rotated around the center much like a clock and thus create a lot of movement in a quilt by coloring the blocks and setting them in a ways to take advantage of that design element.

This quilt is composed of Michigan Beauty Blocks set directly next to each other with no sashing or border.  Sometimes a quilt doesn’t need anything but blocks.  They are stunning enough alone and on their own.   I would stay stitch the edges before quilting to hold all seams together and reduce bias edge stretch but other then that I would make this quilt.   And I may!   Notice I colored the Square Piece C’s (see reference to these units in Monday’s blog here) to elevate and celebrate the secondary pattern of the 4 patch that is formed with the blocks are set in this manner.   The actual center of the blocks (quarter triangle square) and the Square Piece C are colored in softer shades that make they naturally move to the background of the quilt.

Very same block layout, no sashing, no borders.  But the coloring is dramatically different.   There are several block coloring variations in this layout.  And it makes for quite a unique and movement filled quilt design.

On Point!   I can’t help myself I love a block on point!  And this block works well with being on it’s tippy toes as I say due to the strong Arrow C pieces in the design.

  This quilt has Little Boy Britches (March 2019 block release) in the center .  I played with the coloring of the block in a very untraditional way.   I accented the rings I saw develop with this setting. 

Then I placed Michigan Beauty blocks around the entire edge as a border.  I colored those blocks in a unique way also.   My graphic shows a small border on this quilt.  I think it needs one of maybe just an 1 wide in a strong color to hold it all in. 

Same two blocks as in the previous quilt, Michigan Beauty and Little Boy Britches, but this time sent in a vertical row layout.  These two blocks play very nicely together I feel.

I hope you enjoyed some of these ideas for quilts.  As the Mic’s Attic Picks series grow with blocks I will revisit some blocks combinations and create new ones in future posts.   

Friday will be the first of two “how-to” blog posts on this block.  It really is that simple to piece that two blogs will do it. 

My thoughts are to do a revisit to the tools used for hand piecing on Sunday and then the first “Sew Along” LIVE will happen on Tuesday night. 

Yes a night time LIVE segment!  Going to try a new time frame on the LIVE segments for this block.    Again keep an eye on the MDQuilts facebook page for announcements of exact times for each to be posted.

And if you wish to purchase the hand piecing templates for the Michigan Beauty block you can do so by clicking above   Please note that the block is also available in English Paper Piecing papers and templates for those who wish to make their blocks using that technique.  You can also find them in my store.  All the products are currently in the NEW category there.

Enjoy your day,

Michigan Beauty – Coloring Options

Monday, May 13th, 2019

It’s time to begin the Mic’s Attic Picks/Michigan Beauty Block blog series.  This blog is going to explore some of the coloring options for the block.  And Wednesday’s blog will go over some ideas for quilts using just the Michigan Beauty block and then combining it with a couple of other blocks from the series.

As you can see by the picture above the antique set of blocks was colored the same way as this purple version of the block.  With the same fabric being used in the C pieces that ring the center and form a square.   And then the same fabrics used in the C pieces that form arrows in the corner.   This is a very simple and elegant rendition of this block.   And can be quite stunning done in a monochromatic colorway as shown.  Just make sure to mix up the scale of print/texture so there is contrast.  This makes the block exciting to view.

In this version I did some shading of the Arrow C pieces and have opposite sides composed of same fabrics, same color, two values – light & dark. AND I made sure the scale of the print was also of different.   Then I applied this same concept to the Arrow C Pieces.   I really like this version of the block.  There is a lot of depth and movement.

Went TOTALLY scrappy here! 

I had to!  With so many pieces to the block it was a great design to play with.  Plus the pieces are just the right size for small prints like those in the 30s reproductions.

And finally some more modern fabrics.  The square C pieces follow the example of the 2 block discussed here in the blog but the sides are composed of two fabrics.  Because I was working in a line of fabrics I was able to use the same print, just different colors, which seemed to help the look of this coloring.  I applied the same concept to the Arrow C pieces and used two different colors but the same in all 4 sets.    Note that I took the time to make sure my directional prints used in the center triangles all orientated in the same direction.  Little things like this can make it much more pleasant for the eye to view the block.

Wednesday’s blog will cover some ideas for quilt patterns using the Michigan Beauty Block and the “How-to” blogs will post on Friday & Saturday.    And it looks like the first Facebook Live segment for this block will be Sunday.   Keep an eye on the MDQuilts page later in the week for the exact time.  I will begin posting that at least a day early.

If you haven’t joined in yet with a purchase of the hand piecing templates for the Michigan Beauty block you can do so by clicking below.   Please note that the block is also available in English Paper Piecing papers and templates for those who wish to make their blocks using that technique.  You can also find them in my store.  All the products are currently in the NEW category there.

That’s all for now. Check back on Wednesday for some quilt ideas using the Michigan Beauty Quilt Block.

Enjoy your day,

Introducing – Michigan Beauty Block

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

YAY! It’s May! And it is time for the next block in the Mic’s Attic Picks series. I have been so patiently waiting to share this block with you. It is a personal favorite ….. (don’t tell the others).

I remember buying the inspiration set of blocks at a flea market in Wisconsin about 10 years ago. The kids were in college and Paul and I set off for a day of adventure. Isn’t that how we mark time on most things in life against what age our kids were at the time? Or is that just me?

Anyway, there sat the stack of blocks on a table tucked back into a seller’s booth. And it was quite a stack. Approximately 25 blocks. I was like a homing pigeon as soon as they were spotted. I think I may of pushed Paul out of the way. But upon approach I noted how threadbare the blocks were, with a few actually falling to pieces. My face must of expressed my feelings as the seller called over to me…I’ll sell you the whole stack for $5.00 if you want them young lady. I think you will cherish them. This made this sale memorable. I have bought my fair share of items over the years, but this sale I remember.

I wanted them. I knew they would never become their own quilt. There is not enough stabilizer in the world to save them. But I knew they would become “something” at some time. I just loved the design of the block. Simple yet complex all rolled into one.

My research shows it is a variation of a block called many names in the Brackman Encyclopedia, and one name stuck out. Michigan Beauty. And with so many names (7 in that source alone) I decided not to invent a “new name” for this variation but to just call it Michigan Beauty.

Perfect name for one of my favorite states. I love Michigan. So much so that I would move there in a heartbeat. It has everything to make me happy. Water, Forests, Great People, Small town, Big Cities, Northern Temperatures, Fishing, and Snow. Yay Michigan!

This 12″ block is available for pre-order in both Hand Piecing Templates and English Paper Piecing format with shipping beginning on May 10th. Orders will be processed/shipped in the order received.

FROM NOW UNTIL MIDNIGHT ON MAY 8, 2019 – there is introductory pricing of $20.00 for the Acrylic Hand Piecing Template Set. You can place your order by clicking here! Then search for Michigan Beauty in my store or head directly to the NEW category!

This is a very easy block to piece and it is full of so many coloring options as you can see by the pictures in this blog.

I will post some quilt layout ideas in a blog next week and the “How-To” piecing blocks and Facebook LIVE segments will begin May 15th. The exact times for the Facebook LIVE segments will be posted at a later date. Watch for them here and on the MDQuilts Facebook Page.

I hope you love Michigan Beauty as much as I do, and will join me in hand piecing this great block . (Or EPP if you desire). At the pre-order price of just $20 for the hand piecing set it is a great block to start that journey.

The hand piecing template set includes instructions that are both written and full of graphics that are easy to follow. The HOW-TO blogs and Facebook Live segments will also take you thru the process step by step. No one gets left behind. Everyone can enjoy the ZEN of hand piecing and this block is a perfect block to jump in and give it a try.

Easy piecing – dynamic design ~ that is Michigan Beauty!

Enjoy your day,


2 Holidays = ONE BIG SALE!

Friday, March 15th, 2019

What do you get with National Quilting Day – March 16th and St. Patrick’s Day – March 17th come together on the same weekend on a quilter’s website who lives on the southside of Chicago?

ONE BIG SALE!

I decided to combine the 16% discount for the National Quilting Day and the 17% discount for St Patty’s Day and just make it 33% off for the weekend on all Border Options products!

From now until midnight CST on Sunday March 17th

all BORDER OPTIONS products are 33% off*

coupon code : 33OFF


*Border Options Quilt Bundles are excluded.

What are Border Options you ask?

Like the designs in the border above?

Border Options is a unique collection of rectangles & squares designs. There are over 75 different designs in various sizes which make the combinations endless. Feel free to check out the HUNDREDS of examples shown on the Border Options page just by clicking the tab at the top of this page.

Border Options are available in English Paper Piece & Hand Piecing formats – so pick your favorite technique and get started!

Have a great Holiday Weekend!

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, 

 

Border Options FREE How-To PDF

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

The FREE six page How to Use Bracer Bars and Corner Blocks PDF is now available in my webstore

Pages of FULL COLOR step by step instructions on how to attach an English Paper Piecing Border to ANY project. 

Yes, now you can finish any machine pieced, hand pieced, vintage finds, fabric panels, whatever your creative mind dreams up with an unique English Paper Pieced border. 

We all know that very intricate blocks/patterns/designs can be achieved using English Paper Piecing with greater ease and success  vs heading to your machine.  Now you can add that WOW factor anywhere.    

Head over to the FREE PDF PATTERNS & HOW TO subcategory under the BORDER OPTIONS portion of my webstore for your copy now. 

Enjoy the day, 

Two New FREE Border Options Quilt Patterns Release

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Two new quilt patterns made entirely with Border Options designs are now available for FREE in my webstore.  They are numbers #007 & #008.

Border Options Quilt Pattern #007

I just love playing with the designs in the Border Options series and creating these pattern ideas for you.  Make them as you see them in the “recipe” or use it as a jumping off point for your own idea.  The coloring is also just a suggestion…I can’t wait to see what you dream up!

Quilt Pattern #7 is a more advanced pattern if you decide to tackle it via hand piecing (did you know that all the Border Options designs are also available in hand piecing templates?) while pattern #8 looks complicated but truly is a made simply by using three designs in a row quilt layout. 

And #8 can be made in 3 different sizes, baby to full!   

 

 

Border Options Quilt Pattern #008

Head over to the store and download your FREE PDF recipe for these quilts today!  I will have bundle options for English Paper Piecing up soon in the Bundles category…or you can order just a few packs of papers and remove/reuse the papers as you build the quilt.   Just remember your order needs to be over $25 prior to any discounts….oh look further in this post for that….to receive FREE SHIPPING on Border Options products.  This free shipping applies to English Paper Piecing  papers, templates and Hand Piecing templates!

Oh and about the special coupon code…how about MAY15  for 15% off all Border Options orders from today until May 22nd. 

I am off to work some more on my version of Border Options pattern #005 today.  It’s perfect weather to sit out on the deck and listen to a book from Audible and do some English paper piecing. 

Enjoy your day,