Archive for the ‘Mic’s Attic Picks’ Category

Windmill Block – Let’s Play with Coloring

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

Time to make the “quilts”! The colorplay blog is so much fun to put together for each block release of the Mic’s Attic Picks series.

Yes, they are computer graphics vs real quilts. There are only so many hours in each day, I truly do wish I could make every idea into an actual quilt, but even if I was machine piecing this would be impossible.

There are so many ideas.

So let’s just enjoy the fact that technology allows me to share some of what happens in my brain with you.

First up! A very traditional two color Windmill block setting (see image above). If you are considering this for your quilt I have just a small bit of advice. Make sure you colors are high contrast and if you are using prints vs solids, make sure the prints are of different scales (ie small and large, medium and large) to make an eye pleasing quilt.

Now look what happens when you play with the coloring of Piece A.

Movement and depth is achieved.

Let’s step up the coloring one more notch. This is an example of four blocks each colored in the same unique manner. But when set together four patch style a very complex and large “new” block is made.

This “block” measures 24″ x 24″

Repeat that block in a 4 x 4 setting you get this bed size quilt measuring 96″ x 96″

And last but not least. The Little Boy Britches block (February 2019 release) and Windmill block combine for a beautiful quilt. Windmill block with it’s breakdown into 6″ square units makes for a great block to utilize as a border. And look at those fun circle corners that can be achieved!

I hope you are enjoying the Windmill block. I see a border of it in a future project of my own.

Join me tomorrow, Wednesday, July 24th at 6pm cst for a FACEBOOK LIVE session all about the Windmill block. I will demo the roundabout technique and we can discuss coloring etc.

If you are unable to join me LIVE you will always find all the LIVE segments saved and stored under the video tab on the MDQuilts Facebook page.

Enjoy the day,

Windmill Block – How to Blog #2

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

Today’s blog will be short and sweet as sewing up your Windmill block it quick and easy. 

We left off with all the wedges, as I call them, of the block finished.  With their short, approx 1 ½” seams they do finished up in little time. 

The next seam is a complex seam.   A complex seam is any seam that includes a roundabout technique that is used to pull together the intersection of 3 or more fabrics.   These intersections are always indicated by the red circles in the written instructions included with all template sets.

Place a set of wedges (of opposite coloring in this example) right sides together, line up the corners of the intersection and pin as shown perpendiculary.   The pin directly on the sewing guideline across the entire length.   

The pins I use for hand piecing are Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Pins, and believe me they are PERFECT for hand piecing.   I never realized the weight of traditional fine pins until I tried these ultra fine pins.   And because they are so slender you can leave them pinned and sew right past them (hovering above the drawn guideline – see part 1 for explanation) if you find that helpful in reminding you to hover above the line vs sew on it.

I use the smaller pins 90% of the time in my piecing.

Begin at the far right edge, just a thread or two above and to the right of the drawn corner point and sew to the left.

The roundabout technique is utilized at the intersection of the previously sewn pieces.   You will be going a round the intersection by moving your needle thru TWO pieces of fabric at a time.  Trying to manuver thru any more then two pieces usually results in warping the corner, so two pieces at a time is recommended for the best results.   You will proceed to do this as close to the corner point with your needle in a clockwise motion around the intersection, the entire intersection, until you return to the point of the two Piece A’s and then continue with your hand piecing of their edges together.

At the end of this segment you will find yourself at another roundabout, proceed as before this time ending when you reach again the portion of the two Piece B’s segment and sew that length to the end/corner, knot off and repeat 3 more times with the remaining wedges.

PLEASE NOTE:  I will be demonstrating the Roundabout Technique in a Facebook Live segment on Wednesday, July 24th.  The actual time is still being determined and will be announced in the next blog posting on Tuesday and on the MDQuilts facebook page. If you miss the LIVE segment you will be able to find the video under the VIDEO tab on the MDQuilts Page in the folder named Windmill.

With all B-A-B segments (think half square triangles) matched and sewing into square what is essentially left to complete this block is to sew it together four patch style.

The two shorter seams.

And the final long seam length down the center.  That middle roundabout is the toughest thing about this block, but go slow and aim your needle point to as close to the center of the corner points with each pass thru 2 fabrics and you will be fine.   Yes it will be bulky.   It is 8 pieces of fabric meeting.   But hand piecing allows you to the ease of being able to control your seam easier and bring them together in a nice crisp point.    Also because seams are NOT sewn absolute edge to edge (remember you end a thread or two beyond the find drawn guideline) your seam allowance is easier to manipulate for a flatter intersection of all 8 fabrics.  

And VIOLA!  Your block is done!

Join me on Tuesday for a blog filled with ideas for coloring and full quilt graphics using the Windmill block.

And if you wish to purchase Windmill templates or Perfect Pins you can find them in my store by clicking on this link or clicking the Store tab at the top of this page.

Enjoy the day,

Windmill Block – How To Blog #1

Friday, July 19th, 2019

It’s time to make a Windmill Block!   This is a very simple block and I chose it for the July release in the Mic’s Attic Picks series because of it’s simplicity.   It makes for an easy block to kit up and have for those snippets of time to sew up in the summer.  And with a rather large piece (or the two) in the block…well it sews up very fast.

It is also a great block for beginners but exciting for experienced hand piecers with it’s design/coloring options. 

Let’s talk about the templates.   These are ¼” windowed acrylic templates.  Which means you can mark your outside cutting line and your inside sewing GUIDELINE at the same time.   But take a look at Piece A of your set.  It looks a bit different then what you may of expected to see.   It is what I call a HINGED template.   That means that the template received is HALF of what is needed to make the shape and an alignment “hinge” is on one edge to help you line things up for successful tracking.

Why hinge the template?  3 reasons.  1. Acrylic is expensive and when block shapes are large it could add dramtically to the template set cost.  So hingiing a large template keeps acrylic waste at a minimum and cost down.  2. A large template can be very fragile so by hinging it we reduce the chance of breakage.  3. Hinging a piece can make a set fit in the lovely hard cases you will now find your templates shipped to you in. 

Let’s cover how to mark your fabric using a hinge template.   A set of general instructions covering HINGE templates are included with every template set, as are piecing instructions, but as they say- a picture is worth a thousand words.

I am tracing the template on paper using a marker for clear visability, you will be using a pencil/chalk pen/gel pen on the backside of your chosen fabric.

Trace both the outer and inner lines of the template on all side EXCEPT the HINGE.  Here you will only lightly mark the dashes indicated in the center of the hinge. 

Now flip the template over and line up the marked dashes and repeate the tracing of the outer and inner edges of the other sides of the template.

Your tracing should look like this.

I like to use my template edge as shown in the next pictures to fill in the missing lines.

connect the drawn lines
make the inner corner

And viola you have the whole shape and are ready to repeat this process 7 more times for the block.

You will notice that I indicate an Ar (meaning template A Reversed) in my written instructions included in the set.  I did this because I wanted it to be clear that the A pieces are meant to be at least TWO different fabrics.   I did not repeat this wil the B templates because I felt my point was made with the As.   The piece is truly not reversed but with only 2 pieces in the set I needed something to make the diagram make sense and not just be a sea of As and Bs.

Cut out all your pieces and lay them out in front of you. 

The first sewing that needs to be done on this block is all the B pieces attached to opposite ends of the A pieces.  These are short easy seams

Line up your pieces using a perpendicular pin thru each corner of the GUIDELINE and then pin directly on the drawn line in the center.   

This line is a GUIDELINE and not the line you will be sewing on.  You will be sewing a thread or two above the drawn line.  This is hand sewing a scant quarter of an inch and it helps recover the excess thread or two of seam width added by the drawn line as no pencil/etc. can get directly under the template to drawn the true line.  So you need to hover above the line/sew a scant quarter of an inch to get that measurement back.

This line is a GUIDELINE and not the line you will be sewing on.  You will be sewing a thread or two above the drawn line.  This is hand sewing a scant quarter of an inch and it helps recover the excess thread or two of seam width added by the drawn line as no pencil/etc. can get directly under the template to drawn the true line.  So you need to hover above the line/sew a scant quarter of an inch to get that measurement back.

Sew all 16 B’s in sets of two to each of the 8 A/Ar pieces.   This is where we will end today’s blog.   On Sunday we will tackle the next 3 steps of sewing that are all that is needed to complete this block.  

Please feel free to post any questions you may have in the comments.

If you haven’t ordered your set of Windmill Hand Piecing Templates yet you can do so by clicking this link. Or you can head to my store thru to tab above head to the Mic’s Attic Picks category to see all the blocks released.

And make note that every block is also released in an English Paper Piecing format. You will find all those products also in my webstore.

Enjoy the day,

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 Block – How To Blog #2

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

Let’s jump right in where we left off on the last blog. This is where your block quarter units should be. All diamonds and the lower half square triangle sewn together. Now we are ready for the multi piece complex length of sewing.

This length of sewing will attach three units to the diamonds and will complete the quarter square of the block. It will also involved several roundabouts that may test you but once you get into a rhythm you will see it looks much harder than it truly is. And the results are crisp points and beautiful set in squares.

Start with one edge of the first triangle. Use pins to line up the start and stop points. Place a pin on the guideline to assure that is matched up between the triangle and diamond. Sew you seam.

Now it is time to make a roundabout in the concave corner where the top point of the triangle meets the two diamonds. Once this move has been completed it is time to line up the next length to sew. I have taken to using my needle in place of the first pin in this exercise at this point.

Don’t forget to sew one or two threads above your drawn seam guideline. You are hand sewing a scant quarter of an inch.

The quarter unit of your block is done! Now make 3 more and let’s get to finishing this block.

This is where the remaining sewing takes on the sequence of making a 4 patch. Pin and sew (with roundabouts) the two shorter vertical lengths of the units

NOTE: I did press the units at this time to make for prettier pictures for the blog. I usually do not press any hand pieced block until the very end as it is a portable project and an iron is not always available.

Here is the backside of the block. You will note that I allowed the seams to fall where they did so naturally for pressing. But I did press the center triangles in a manner that would allow them to snuggle nicely when sewn.

And now for the final long center seam.

Pinned and ready to sew!

Michigan Beauty is done!

Hand Piecing gives you so much control that sharp points, y seams and complex piecing are a breeze.

You can purchase a set of hand piecing templates for the Michigan Beauty block in my webstore (see tab at the top of this page). Please note that this block and all the other blocks released are also available in English Paper Piecing products. Just click on that category in my webstore to see the list.

Later today, on my MDQuilts facebook page I will be doing a LIVE segment for all the new handpiecers who have found my page this month. The How-To sew-a-long LIVE segments will start next week. Be sure to watch the facebook page for event announcements.

Enjoy your day,

Michigan Beauty Block – How To Blog #1

Friday, May 17th, 2019

Let’s jump right in to the hand piecing this amazingly simple yet stunning block. If you are new to hand piecing and need some guidance regarding tools and marking your fabric please check out this blog for that basic info. Or tune in on Sunday (or check later for the saved video under the video tab on the page) to the MDQuilts Facebook page for a LIVE segment regarding the tools of hand piecing.

My pieces are cut and I am ready to sew.

Let’s look closely at this block. As I stated before it is basically a Fancy Four Patch as I call these styles of blocks. So in today’s blog we will be just addressing the sewing sequence of one quarter of the block. You will need to repeat these instructions 3 times to make all four quarters.

The first two lengths to sew is joining the diamonds into units of 2 diamonds. I strongly urge you to lay out the quarter block design in front of you to help in orientation of the diamond edges to sew.

Here I have placed anchor pins in the corners of the sewing line and a small Karen Kay Buckley pin right on the drawn guide line.

Notice how off my seam allowance is on the lighter diamond vs the darker diamond below it. This is why we always line up our seams for sewing by anchor pins (just push thru vertically lining up points) in the corners and placing a pin on the drawn line. DO NOT line up by matching your edges. As you can see if you are off on your cutting of a piece this will interfere with correct positioning. Here I squeezed in a diamond on a piece of fabric knowing the seam allowance would be a bit scant but would still be enough.

Time to begin so sew. You will be sewing a thread or two ABOVE the drawn line. This line is a guide line and not a sewing line. Think of this as hand piecing a scant quarter of an inch. This method reclaims the width of what ever marking tool you used to make the guideline and thus keeps your block on pace for a correct finished size.

Use a rocking motion to make a running stitch. After every 3rd-4th stitch make take a backstitch to lock your stitches. As you can see the KKBuckley pins are so fine you can sew right above them – thus they make a great reminder to hover above the line and not sew on it.

Finish with a knot that is just outside the insecting line forming the corner. Remember scant quarter of a inch sewing!

With this next line of sewing the 4 diamonds will become one unit.

NOTE: for those who have done some hand piecing with me prior you may question why a “roundabout technique” is not called for at the end of the seam where all 4 diamonds meet. I will explain in the next step. Just sew the straight line forming the unit for now .

We are on to the final seam we will tackle in the blog today. This seam contains the Roundabout Technique that is going to make your hand piecing blocks just sing!

Roundabouts are indicated by the RED CIRCLE in the directions packaged with your templates. There are also written and visual directions specifically covering this technique included.
This is the Roundabout area on the actual unit.

Sew the seam line as you have done prior to just before you reach the intersection of all four diamonds and the half square triangle.

Now you want to work your way around this intersection by drawing the needle/thread thru two pieces of fabric at a time. You will work in a general area right at the point where all pieces intersect but not in the same “hole” as that would just pull the thread out without grabbing anything. So with each push of the need thru just move either to the left or right on thread. You will be working around this “intersection” much like you drive around a roundabout until you reach the jumping off point. In this case we need to get back to where we started so you can continue and finish the seam attaching the triangle to the bottom edge of the 4 diamonds.

pulling needle and thread thru one set of diamonds

Last two pieces to push thru and you are back to the triangle, take a back stitch and finish the seam

Look at the nice crisp set of points where the diamonds meet the triangle! This is the magic of the roundabout technique!

The finishing how to blog will post on Sunday morning. And at 1pm on Sunday central time I will be LIVE on facebook with a review and question/answer session of hand sewing tools that will I feel are worth their weight in gold. Then the Facebook LIVE sessions of actually sewing a block together will begin on Tuesday, May 21st. Watch for a time announcement on Facebook. I am hoping to do an evening session.

If you would like to purchase the templates to the Michigan Beauty block please click below to go right to the item in my webstore.

You may also wish to check out the other blocks already released and available in the Hand Piecing category.

Enjoy the 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,


How-To Blog #2 – Little Boy Britches Quilt Block

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Ready to finish your first Little Boy Britches quilt block?   This quilt block sews up so fast that just two “How-to Blogs” are really all that are needed.   Just imagine how quickly enough blocks for an entire quilt would sew up.  And I make no secret about the fact that while I love to hand piece quilt blocks, I have no desire to sew them together in row or sew rows together by hand.  Nope, I will piece the blocks by hand, grabbing snippets of time here and there throughout a busy day, or settling in with a movie at night, but when it comes to long straight seams I head to my machine.

And a lot of times an entire pieced border is sewn my machine and added.   It is hand piecing the blocks that gives me great joy and zen time.   So I am not a “purist” regarding an entire quilt being sewn by hand.  But I am good with that.  

Let’s get started.  

The next piece to sew is the corner squares (piece B) to the edges of the A/Ar unit just completed.  “

If your corner square (piece B) is to large this means that more than likely you sewed the wrong edges of A and Ar together in your first piecing.  Go back and check.  The smallest edge of the A/Ar units make the center seam.  The middle length edge is what will touch the edges of the square (piece B).

Pin the square into place on both edges and begin to sew your seam.   When you reach the opposite edge of your fist side you will encounter your first ROUNDABOUT in this block.   I am going to link a previous blog here that covers the roundabout technique in detail.   It is very simple and is the trick to making crisp points and corners, with no pin holes, in your block.   Just work your needle and thread thru two pieces of fabric at a time in a clockwise direction until you have gone around the entire intersection.  Then make a back stitch and begin sewing your next seam.   Repeat this three times.

One thing to note is I don’t usually press any hand pieced block until the end unless I find it will help in the sewing construction.  This is because my hand piecing is usually done away from an iron and blocks are constantly shoved back into small carry along containers/bags so pressing would be wasted energy.   But if you wish to press as you sew along please feel free to.  I will only give instructions to press when it helps in construction.

Next seams to sew are the triangles to the sides two of the pieced A/Ar/B units just completed.   If you have a color/texture pattern in your block you will want to make sure these triangles are sewn to A/Ar/B units that are opposite one another in the block.

And the remaining A/Ar/B units to opposite sides of the center B square.    These are all straight line seams, no roundabouts, just short seams.   Another reason why this block is so fast to sew.

Down to the final two seams.  And these may take a bit of concentration when you reach the center area because there are THREE roundabouts. 

And yes make the effort to do all three.  You may think the center one can just be skipped and sewn over as if you are machine piecing,  but your there and it will make the seam a bit flatter when pressing so do the roundabout.   It’s like veggies, you may not like them at meal time but they are good for you.

Viola! Your block is done!

I hope you enjoyed making your first Little Boy Britches block.  If you have any questions please free free to post them here or join me for the Facebook LIVE presentation at 11am central time on the MDQuilts page tomorrow.  I will sew a few seams live on camera, talking you thru a few more and will answer questions.

If you would like to order a set of Little Boy Britches hand piecing templates you can find them here in my webstore.  And note that all designs under the Mic’s Attic Pick’s series of blocks are available in hand piecing and English Paper Piecing format.

The next block in the series will be revealed on Friday, April 26th and preordering will be available with shipping happening as always the 2nd Friday of the following month.

Enjoy your day,