Archive for the ‘Midwest Star’ Category

Midwest Star – What if? MORE!

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019

Just uploaded a FREE 5 page PDF to the Midwest Star hand piecing items in the store based on the last What If? blog and expanded with new ideas for variations that have come to fruition since.

I will be emailing all that have already purchased templates with the PDF also. If you have not heard from me by Friday night please email me.

Or you can download the PDF by clicking here.

I will be covering the new variations in tonight’s Let’s Sew Together LIVE episode on the MDQuilts Facebook page at 6pm ct.

Have a great day everyone,

Midwest Star Block – What if?

Sunday, October 13th, 2019

I was cleaning up my studio last week when I unearthed these two extra Piece B – Triangle Units that I made when working on the Fric ‘n Frac pattern using the Midwest Star Block.

I somehow miscounted and landed up with two extra units when all the piecing was done. And they just got pinned to my design wall in a corner… and then something got pinned over them…and they sat for a few months in hiding.

Then I found them. And as soon as I unpinned them and set them on my cutting table this happened.

Oh hello future row quilt.

I went to bed…but my brain was on fire and I did the math and yes the triangles from the 12″ and 8″ blocks would sync up. More on that later.

In the morning I raced back to the studio to see if this would work for squaring up the end. My brain said yes…but my eyes wanted to see it.


Now here is the math part. I did a same to scale drawing and found the syncing of the two different sized triangle units ( 8″ & 12″ templates) match up at 32.5″ inches in length. So you can double or triple this depending on the total you would like for your quilt.

NINETEEN – 8″ triangle units = TWELVE – 12″ triangle units

I am not thrilled by the non matching edges. To be honest if using the two different size triangles I may just cut the edge triangles in half at both ends for the finish.

But then I got to thinking what if I just used one size of triangle. (the graphics were make using the size 8″ units but obviously you can use the 12″ units if you wish).

This would make the edges be a reflection of themselves and I would use the hinged C piece to square them up.

Now what if I reflected the triangles in coloring to make diamonds.

Oh boy….I see a lot of design opportunity with these templates! I hope you agree.

If you were still on the fence but now truly want to give this great block a whirl – well here is the link to the templates in my store.

Have a great day!

Midwest Star Block – Quilt Ideas

Saturday, October 12th, 2019

I must confess the coloring/quilt ideas blogs are my favorite. I find myself playing and coloring for hours. And so many ideas percolate during the making of graphics for these posts that I wish I had more time with each block to play.

If you have purchased a Midwest Stat Quilt Block template set you already know that you received a free “pattern recipe” for the quilt I made using both sizes (12″ and 8″) of this block.

Free PDF color Pattern/Recipe included in purchase

Now let’s see what other quilt ideas I have designed.

A simple 3 block x 3 block setting. But by coloring 4 of the inner Piece C you can create a spotlight on the center block. Then more coloring magic of additional Piece C and all of the sudden there is a “halo effect” around that center block and a secondary star pattern.

Repeat the Nine Block pattern shown in the first graphic four times and you have a full size quilt (72″ x 72″ using the 12″ Midwest Star Block).

A more traditional two coloring block setting.

This unique coloring gives the block almost an abstract log cabin feel. I really like this setting…there may be another Midwest Star quilt in my future.

If you would like to join in the fun and play with the Midwest Star block you can place an order for the hand piecing templates by clicking below. And yes the block is also available in English Paper Piecing! You can find everything by searching Midwest Star in my store.

Don’t forget I will be on Facebook LIVE under the MDQuilts page at 11am ct today!

…and wait til you see what I have cooked up in tomorrow’s blog!

’til then,

Midwest Star Block – How to Blog #2

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

Let’s finish up our Midwest Star Block.

Here is where you should be at the end of the first How-To blog that posted on Tuesday.

It’s time to add sew Piece C (background) to each side of the B – Triangle Units.

Each of the lengths will have a Roundabout in the center of your seam line.

Let’s tackle the roundabout in still pictures.

Using a pin – line up the start and end of this seam. Then pin on the drawn seam line on both pieces.
Your sewing should float just above the drawn line. Think of it as hand sewing a scant quarter seam.
Here is the intersection of three pieces, time for a roundabout to pull all the points together for a crisp intersection with no pin holes.
You will be passing the needle thru each set of two fabrics, traveling around the intersection in a clockwise movement.
TWO pieces at a time is the key. Try to do then that and chances are you will end up with a pin hole.
OK – Needle thru Piece C to Piece B
Next move your threaded needle thru Piece B (burgandy) to Piece B (peach). Each move around the intersection will be using a new point (hole) at the apex. You can’t travel around thru the same hole as that will not draw the pieces together. So just move over a thread or two but keep as close to the apex of all the pieces as possible.
Now Piece B (peach) to Piece B (second burgandy)
Last move in this Roundabout. Piece B (second burgandy) to Piece C (background) and now you can continue with your running stitch (backstitch every 3-4 stitches) to the end.

If you wish to see the Roundabout Technique demoed LIVE join me on Saturday at 11am cst on my MDQuilts Facebook page.

Now repeat – joining another Piece C to the opposite side. Repeat both seams on another Triangle Unit.

Join the two Piece B – triangle units that do not have C pieces attached to opposite sides of the center 9 patch.

The final seams are two long lengths attaching the C-triangle B- C units to each side of the previously created unit. There are many roundabouts in these seams. Take the time to do them. You will be happy you did.

Ta- Da! Your Midwest Star Block is done!

A blog full of coloring and quilt ideas will be posting Saturday morning.

And another blog will post on Sunday with a unique variation of a quilt you can make using the templates from this block.

And don’t forget the Let’s Sew Together – Facebook LIVE event on Saturday that will cover this block.

See you then,

Midwest Star Block – How To Blog #1

Tuesday, October 8th, 2019

Well let’s just put it out there that September simply was lost in my life. So much travel and poof the month was gone. But it is now time to tackle the Midwest Star block.

A BIG thank you to all who have ordered the Midwest Star templates. I am excited that so many of you also are loving the dual size option of a 12″ and 8″ block being available.

A BIG thank you to all who have ordered the Midwest Star templates. I am excited that so many of you also are loving the dual size option of a 12″ and 8″ block being available.

Let’s get started on the how- to instructions for this dynamic block.

As you can see it is a 3 template set with piece C being a “hinged” template. You can find information about hinged templates covered in this blog.

How to use template C for Midwest Star block

Let’s get right to working on the block. I am skipping past the trace & cut instructions that can be found in past block How-To blogs and videos found on my Facebook page.

Fabrics cut and ready to sew!

The nine patch center is constructed in the traditional manner of joining squares into columns and then columns into block form.

Make note of the “roundabout technique” that is used (red circles in above graphics) when sewing your columns/rows together. This technique is covered in the written instructions included with each template set and will be demonstrated LIVE in the Facebook Live event announced at the end of this blog. You can also find it demoed in several other LIVE videos that are currently available under the VIDEO tab on the MDQuilts Facebook page.

Nine Patch center done!

Next up are the four triangle star points – composed of 4 triangles! These units sew up very quickly as they can be completed without a thread break. Just follow the arrows in the instructional graphic below.

First Side – two triangles joined
Second Side – three triangles joined
Third Side – unit done!

Center done.

Four Triangle/Star Point units done.

Next blog – we complete the block.

How – to Blog #2 will post on Thursday. Then watch for a special – “what if I did this” playing with the templates blog to post on Sunday.

A Facebook LIVE event covering the Midwest Star block is scheduled for 11am cst on Saturday, October 12th

You can find the templates for hand piecing (or machine piecing!) the Midwest Star block by clicking the link below. And as always all blocks in the Mic’s Attic Picks series are also available in English Paper Piecing format.


Thank you for stopping by and please feel free to send an email if you have any questions on any of the items you find in my store.

Each and every item is something I personally use in my studio and I am happy to share them with you.

~ Mickey

Please note that several categories will be disabled due to moving. If you are able to order a product then I am able to get it to you during this period. So please feel free to do so.

Thank you in advance for your understanding.

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Have a great day,

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!