Archive for the ‘Vintage Quilts’ 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.


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,

Introducing – Little Boy Britches Quilt Block

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

So you may of noticed there was no block release at the end of January in the Mic’s Attic Picks series. That is because I decided to shift the block releases to the ODD months of the year vs the even months. This schedule will be much easier with holiday’s, quilt community events, and honestly it worked out well with our son’s moving to Sweden adventure!

After a 4 week delay now…he is all good with the Swedish government and has been issued a work permit so he is off to Stockholm on Sunday. YAY!

But now let’s talk about the next block to be released. It is Little Boy Britches! Or Boy Britches, Little Boy Breeches, and even Lil’ Boy Britches/Breeches. I decided to use Little Boy Britches. This block is accredited to KC Star with a release sometime in the 1930s. Which is most definitely the time period for the antique quilt top in my collection that inspired this release.

We are back to 12″ finished size. Hand Piecing templates AND English Paper Piecing papers/templates are available. Shipping for the product(s) is March 8th.

Place your pre-order now and received FREE SHIPPING*. This pre-order special will expire on March 2nd at 11:59pm CST.

*Free Shipping is for Domestic US orders only. If you are outside the US I will send an invoice for shipping after your order is placed.

Looks like How-to Facebook Live events and blogs will post the week of March 18th for Little Boy Britches. This is such an easy block, I say it is great for beginners but with some play in coloration it will keep intermediate and experienced piecers intrigued.

Here are the links to the product or head to the store page and check the NEW category here!

I’ll be back next week with a blog to share some coloring/setting ideas I have for this block. First, I need to get dear son out of the country and then I suspect I may sleep most of Monday away. I have been living life in multiple “time zones” for weeks…this girl needs sleep….lol.

Enjoy your day,

Tennessee Circles Quilt Block – Coloring Ideas & Quilts

Friday, October 5th, 2018

Just the name of this block makes me smile from ear to ear.

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you know that Tennessee is where we wish to retire. Someday the dream is to find us at the foot of the Smoky Mountains. It all began when I visited the area a few years back to teach at the Pigeon Forge Quilt Show.  I  came home and told Paul that he must visit this area with me. I knew he would love it as much as I did. We went back less than a year later and both were smitten. Every year we count the days to our next visit. We move around in our cabin choices so we can experience different views, proximity to town(s) etc. We are even beginning to move the timing of our trips around the calendar to experience different seasons. Some day soon we will buy that house and begin the big move.

When I chose this quilt for #2 in my Mic’s Attic Pics series I didn’t know the name yet of the block. I just new I loved this top when I purchased it years ago and I wanted to play more with the secondary patterns it could make. When I researched the name of the block and found it to be Tennessee Circles it was kismet.

I was originally drawn to the quilt top makers placement of the bubble gum pink in the blocks and the pattern it made while also holding together the scrappy blocks of her quilt.

By using the technology available to use today I am able to easily play with color placement and secondary pattern of this block.
Here would be what I would deem the traditional coloring of this block.


And here is it set side by side with no sashing. Can you see the secondary pattern. The gentle round circles even with no play in coloring. I love it.


Now let’s play.







Traditional block.

And what if we colored it this way?


Look what happens with 4 blocks are set side by side with a twist of each block so that the unique corner meets in the center. Oh yeah…this would be very fun!



And then I play some more, this time setting the block on point and playing with accenting the circles to determine the quilt center and border without piecing any other blocks but Tennessee Circles. You know I love my one block quilts.












But then again what if we mixed Tennessee Circles with Carolina Favorite? 

Yes this would make a beautiful quilt.







While I have only made a few blocks, changing up coloring and playing with many different fabric genres I can envision them in the settings I just shared. Especially that combo of Tennessee Circles and Carolina Favorite…that one may have to happen.

If you would like to give a Tennessee Circles Quilt Block a try you can find BOTH Hand Piecing Acrylic Templates and English Paper Piecing materials in my webstore under the NEW category. You can click here for an immediate link. There is special pricing good until October 10, 2018 with shipping of product to begin on October 12th.

Note items will be shipped in the order received so it may take a few days after the 12th to see “shipped” on your status the longer you wait.


If you would rather support your local quilt shop, and I am all for that! Please let them know about the templates and ask them to contact me and I will provide them with the links to make a wholesale order. I am really hoping to get more shops interested in carrying hand piecing items. There are MANY quilters who love the zen of piecing by hand along with sewing on their machines, all we have to do is ask out shops and they will discover this too.

I am also writing the “how-to” blogs this week for this block and they are going to begin the week of Oct 22nd.

Have a great day,

Jackpot in Benton!

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Cathy and I hit the road at 7am this morn to make the trek pilgrimage to Paducah.

We will be helping out Paper with their dual booths this year!

I will be in the convention booth everyday from 9:30am to 1pm so stop by and say “Hi”.   Happy to sign books!

Back to our drive down.

Of course there was a stop at the Cracker Barrel in Effingham….tradition.

Since we weren’t expected to report for duty until Tuesday we had the entire day to “get to Paducah”…and that means Antique Malls are going to be explored.

Three treasures have been found.

#1 This 30s octagon top will gain and border and quilting by summer’s end.


Sorry the room is dark…better pics when home.

Close up


#2.  These five 30’s blocks were adopted.  I have an idea.


#3 And then we hit Benton, Il and it’s 4 antique malls around the town square.

Store #3 had a booth that stopped us in our tracks.


Oh my.

And then I spotted this bag on the floor.


$10.  Weighs approx 20-25 pounds.

I looked inside and nearly keeled over.


I am in 30s/40s scrap heaven.

I also bought 5 yards of vintage background for another $10.


According to Cathy I skipped out of the store.

Feet up and chocolate croissant time.
Tomorrow is another adventure on the horizon.

Happy Girl in Paducah,


Flowery Quilt Day

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

Racing to type and post this blog before my webmaster (the best ever! that’s a plug August W) texts me that he needs the website as there are some more improvements coming to various pages.

I planned to type it up last night but when I reached the top of the stairs I just continued down the hall to bed vs. turning into the office.

It has been quite the week of chaos here at Chez Depre and I felt it hit me with full force last night.

After the last post regarding Em’s travel we had an evening of frozen pipes at the in-laws and then Friday night we came home to our own personal pond in the kitchen from the fridge.

fridgedeadIt was running, but apparently not the compressor for making things cold.   And since neither Paul nor I opened the fridge at all during the day.  (I have a fridge in the studio full of munchies and drinks) this fact went unnoticed for HOURS.


All the drinks (it’s also the beer and adult beverages fridge) in the studio fridge where unloaded and thankfully our upstairs fridge untitledcontents were back to the usual “empty nesters on the go” status and everything could be JAMMED into the smaller downstairs fridge.   Lost a few items but not much.   We have most meats in the small (truly two person size also) deep freezer in the laundry room.

Decision time.  Repair or Replace.   I so didn’t want to have to do the replace thing right now.   Too much other stuff going on to add this into the mix.  And then the question…stick to white (which I personally like) or go to the brushed nickel which I know a certain other person likes.  I do definitely like the new (or is it back to old as my gram had this fridge) style with the freezer door on the bottom.  Hmmmmm.

But yesterday our trusty appliance repair man arrived and fixed the problem lickety split.  Seems our dear old GE Side-by-Side as a well known tendency to have this issue between the age of 10-15 yrs.   So for a $102 fee she is running like a champ again.   Whew!

So please forgive me for taking a few blog days off.  I didn’t think you wanted to hear again and again about the chaos that seems to be erupting here.

What I do want to share with you today is two of the goodies that arrived here during the holiday season.

Yes I do love my 30s quilts!

First up.Jan 12 -1

Jan 12 -2This lovely mini hexie baby quilt.   I think this is my fourth or fifth quilt (oh my that is a sign of problem when you start to lose count) with this exact same hexie basket pattern.  Someday it is on the docket to make this pattern even if it is just one basket and use Pieced Hexies in the flower arrangement.

The quilt is made up of 1/2″ hexies and is approximately 40″ x 42″.   It is a treasure.   And I know if was never used/laundered as the colors are clear and bright.  I love the yellow.  And heavily hand quilted.

This is definitely a new member of my trunk show lecture ” Quilts- Timid & Bold, Young & Old”.

Jan 12 -3The next goodie is a top. And while sitting at the computer I realized my full pic was horrible…and with the time crunch…well sorry.   I am still buying up tops.  They are cost effective and I like finishing them.  Some need repairs and or borders but I don’t mind.  The problem right now is the actual quilting of them as I wait out another month of chiropractic care…but that is another story.

The minute I saw this top on eBay I was all over it.  Merry Christmas to me!

look closely …..STRING PIECED TULIPS! Jan 12 -5and those tulips are pieced in not appliqued.   Yes this top has some bowing issues due to the curve piecing but I have tackled much worse.   I don’t think I am going to add a border.  I like it just as it is.   Jan 12 -4Most 30’s quilts don’t have borders in the elaborate style we are doing now.   It truly was a “get ‘er done” mentality.   This top was tucked away somewhere for many years as it too has very vibrant colors.  It measures approx. 80″ square.



I’ll be in the studio sewing all day.   I got word that hexiedeux-coverloresPieced Hexies Deux hit the warehouse doors on Friday so here’s hoping my boxes arrive before I myself am out the door on Thursday to teach.   As soon as they arrive (and I can) I will begin signing and shipping out the preorders!   BIG THANKS to all of you who did preorder!   🙂

Take Care,



New Workshop debuting at Retreat

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Been spending a few hours every morning learning WordPress software and adding and sprucing up my website even more.  The tweaking never ends and neither does the education.  But I am fine with it.  I enjoy learning new things and giving my brain some new creative knowledge.  The problem is I now have so many ideas racing thru my head I have a hard time focusing.  So 3 hours every morning and then I am off to the studio.  3 hours that is it and the computer is put to “sleep”.  I keep a college ruled notebook on my desk and jot down every idea.  They will keep until I can get to them or find some help.  Which may truly be on the docket for 2014.

The files of new workshops to put into  the offerings is pretty high. (as are the pattern files)  And once Em gets home (tomorrow…fingers crossed with the impending weather that is forecasted) we might dabble with my new brochure making on Sunday.  It is one of the things on our “to do” list during her 2 week visit!  With Em’s graphic knowledge and artistic eye I can only imagine what she will come up with.    I know I mentioned it on facebook but she finally started her own blog/website.  You can find it here!

Ok..back on track….

EPP5PointStarWkshpPic2MDEPREOne of the new workshops is called EPP 5 Point Star.   I am excited about this workshop as it takes the “Pieced Hexies” idea and applies it to other shapes.   I wanted to design a 3 hour workshop so it can fit many situations and yet be new and exciting.   So it is just one design pattern (but trust me like the hexies the binder of patterns is quite thick…watch for more shapes/ideas over this year).

What is fun is there are two bonus blooms that can also be made from this 5pt Star Design.  You can find all my workshops under the tab at the top.chicago_lake_0114_cropped

I will be debuting this workshop (temporarily renamed EPP Pieced Snowflake to fit the theme) at the Lake Shore Quilting Retreat sponsored by Sew Many Places right here in Chicago!  The retreat runs from January 16th -19th and is going to be a winter pajama party blast!  This city girl is so excited to share not only this new design idea but “her city” (Native Chicagoan here!) during the prettiest time of 40sStringQTMDEPREthe year.  Winter.  I am hoping for some snowfall either Friday or Saturday night.  We can scout out an area in the hotel with big windows and sit and stitch together until the wee hours with the snow falling.  Wouldn’t that be magical.

I am bringing all sorts of quilts to share…since this is a driving gig for me the jeep will be loaded up!  So come join Pam Holland, Sue Bouchard, Brian Haggard, Jim West and myself for a weekend of quilty fun!

AntiqueStringBoxQuiltTopAntiqueStringBoxQuiltTopAlso Mr. UPS, Mr FedEx and Mr USPS have all been making their way up the stoop with packages the last few weeks.  One contained a new antique quilt top. Oh my.  String Pieced Blocks from the 40s.  Just my style.  I plan to make a very bold border for it and finish it.  I have made my list of tops to finish by August 1st and it is long.  But with a list it will get done.


Til Monday, (taking Saturday & Sunday off to hang with my favorite daughter)



I’ll have an Orange Crush please.

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Tuesday was the “Great Day of Junkin” here at Chez Depre.   It has become tradition that Paul and I spend a day exploring an antique mall, or two…or three in search of a treasure for our abode as a joint anniversary gift. 

This year we chose to venture to Beloit/Rockford area to explore.   This meant we were up and on the road by 7:30am.   The fog was pretty thick but nothing was going to stop us from our day.   It’s really not about the item…it’s about the hunt and spending the day together.   Give us aisles to putter and we are happy campers.

Unfortunate no one item stuck out and yelled “BUY ME I am what you want” to either of us …and that happens.   And that’s ok.   This house is pretty full and we have been actually decompressing it the last six months so we are getting very picky about what we bring in.

But of course EVERY quilt that was happened upon was looked at.

And I saw the orange sashing/borders of this quilt the minute we turned the corner into a new aisle.   This antique mall was HUGE!  And the aisle were pretty long.  But there it was midstream in the middle of a stack of quilts.  It took all my self control to continue the mosey until we reached it.   A good 20 minutes.   But when just two stalls away I couldn’t wait any longer and I beelined to the stack.  I started to remove the quilts from on top of it.   They were lovely but nothing called my name.  I did glance at their price tags and my heart sprung with glee as I knew this was a vendor I would work with.

Oh my scrappy 30’s/40’s goodness.wpid-IMG_20131205_063215.jpg

Check out those stripes!  LOVE!

But where is this price.

The tag is missing!!  (this seemed to be trend for the day, everything I liked was missing it’s price.  Those aisle walkers/watchers got their workout running items to the desk to price check for me)   Ok a few items came home but they were clearly “for me” items…so more about them later.

Back to “Orange Crush”…yes I named it immediately in my head.

Wait there’s the price tag…on the floor.  As I stooped to pick it up Paul came into the stall and began to unfold it entirely so I could have a full look.

He knows when a prospect is a hot ticket.  Oh and the price’s in my range…oh goodie.

I turned to look at the quilt full on…and my heart sunk.


you can already see the problem a bit in the picture above.

Yep a full on full fade area…nearly one fourth of the quilt.  This quilt sat on a self or chair by a window for years I suspect.


DRATS!  …sigh.

it is not trunk show worthy.

double sigh.

So refolded it was and we continued down the aisle and then off to a few other places.

and Orange Crush kept swirling in my head.

and on the way home I came up with why I should of bought it.  It was trunk show worthy.  It could help teach the lesson of always rotate your quilts monthly.

drats and triple sigh.

wpid-wp-1386250406018.jpgBut on a happier note.

Tomorrow starts the “10 Days of Swag Giveaway” on the blog.  The post has been written and is scheduled to load early so look for it.   I need to unload this large box of swag and find new homes for all of it so please check back for all the details!

til tomorrow,




day 1OOPS….now how did that teaser pic of tomorrow’s swag get in there…..I know I am so bad at secrets….hehehe.



I have some real “gifty” friends

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Who doesn’t like to get gifts?  And the best ones are the unexpected.
They don’t have to be HUGE gifts.  Just something the giver says made them think of you.

While in Houston I finally got to meet Annie in person.  We have been friends to several years but never had the pleasure of a real live hug!   I looked up while signing books in the Paper Pieces booth and there she was.  Her smile is even more beautiful in
person.   And she gave me this.

Oh my.

Annie is a spinner.  This is 350 yards of her own handspun yarn.  I do see another cowl in my future.

imageYesterday my bud Cathy came over.  We havent seen each other for almost 6 weeks with all my traveling.

Cathy loves Halloween. She brought me this for my studio.

It’s even better from the side.








Around 3 pm the mail man brought me

another gift.  This one from Maggie.
It seems she was out and about and saw this pin catcher that just screamed my name!  Love it!

I will be taking markers to it to “piece up” those hexies.  Hehe.






And of course one should always gift themselves from time to time.


My latest $20 ebay quilt top treasure.   I will be adding Pieced Hexie Rosettes to those fields of blue.

So with all this gifting I am going to give some of you a treat.  I mentioned this on my facebook page yesterday.

A one day sale of 4 items on my website store on Halloween.

I will tease that the Pieced Hexies Template set will be at a price point that it has never been at before.   And that is no trick.

Enjoy your day,

Posted on the whim of my phone. 🙂

Brews4Drew Quilt is Done!

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Thanks to everyone who sent in a block or two (or four!) for the Brews4Drew Quilt that will be auctioned off on September 8th at the Brews4Drew Fundraiser.

I am happy to say that Drew had his stem cell transplant yesterday and now he is on the flip side of this horrible nightmare called cancer.

He will be pretty much in isolation for the next few months so unfortunately he won’t be making an appearance at the fundraising event but if the reason is he is recovering and building strength we are good with that.

The quilt is awesome.  It measures 84x 84.  Much love and thanks to Cathy Boo for not only helping me put it all together but for also helping me binding it on Monday.



And to Debbie Van Kuiken/Warm & Tender Quilting of Oak Forest, Il for the spectacular freehand custom quilting job!  You rocked it Debbie and I will forever be grateful for your helping me out when time became an issue.

Here’s hoping that the Bears Fans at the fundraiser will go crazy for it!


I can’t believe I have been home already for a week from my adventure in North Carolina.  Still so many pics and stories to share.

I did return home to this this little beauty in the mail.  I was bidding on it on ebay while away, and when cellphone/internet coverage was not available the auction ended and I had lost.  But then two days later I got a second chance as the original buyer flaked out and the seller offered it to me at my highest bid….uummm YES!

And it beat me home.

Isn’t she a beaut.

BLOCK: Improved Nine Patch

and it has been modernized into an english paper piecing pattern.

(Look here and see -scroll to the bottom of the page)

And that 30s bubble gum pink.







The original maker didn’t finish one edge with pink melons so that actually makes my decision easier.

I will trim the entire quilt down to straight edges and add an inner and outer border.


I am thinking a turquoisey blue solid for the 1” inner border.   And another shade of pink or robin’s egg blue for the outer border.  In fact I think there might be a trip to buy the kona solid today.  hmmmmm…..

Enjoy the day,