Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

August 2016 – Whistlestop Quilt Retreat TN

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

391x294_img_6765jpgHere is the info about the quilting retreat in August 2016!

Whistlestop.Quilt.Retreat PDF


No formal classes, just bring your machine, bring your projects, bring some laughter and let’s spend some time sewing together.

I long for just “sewing together time”.


In the world we live in today Facebook kept throwing the Whistlestop Quilt Retreat center into my feed after I posted about my quilt “Whistle Stop” that is in the soon to be released Half Scrap Quilts.     So I clicked on the link and promptly knew that I must visit this retreat center and just veg…with my machine…and other quilters.

330x248_img_2608jpgI posted this wish and well here we are with a weekend set up.   I sure hope some of you will want to join me and just spend a weekend sewing.  New projects, old projects, let’s just veg and sew.  And of course do some walking and adventuring….but always sewing.

Jodi/Whistlestop Quilt Retreat is handling this event so if you wish to join in on the fun you will need to contact her directly.  I am just showing up and sewing like everyone else.225x300_img_7121jpg

I plan on bringing a machine but will have some hand sewing with me also.   And even though I am not formally teaching a class I will always be happy to answer a question or two about any of the hand sewing blocks or quilts in my books.   🙂

Hope you can join me for 4 days/3 nights of fun filled sewing!

See you in August!,


Lady of the Lake – How to Part #2

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015


Ok let’s tackle the rest of the block today.  Here is the breakdown of the block again in sections.  We tackled the B-A-Br (r meaning reverse) section last blog, and you will need 4 of those units for this block.


Now let’s tackle the center  C-E-F-E-C section.  There is just one of these and since there are only single seam sewing there are no roundabouts to do.  The hardest part of this section are the slight curves in the seams joining E & F but you tackled those in the first sections so I am sure you are a pro by now.


The next section is the D-C-D-E section.  Two units to sew.  Everything thing gets sewn to E.  Start on either D, continue to C and finish with D.


Remember the trick to nice tight intersections and sharp points is the “roundabout move”.  This has been covered at length in previous blocks (Castle Wall, Paris Flight) so I won’t go back over it here, you can easily refer back to the blogs for a refresher.  But quickly a roundabout is all about passing your needle thru TWO pieces of fabric at a time and making a continuous stitch thru an intersection pulling all the intersecting fabrics together.  An example of this sequence if you started with the right side D piece in the image below, the roundabout would be finish with a backstitch at the end of D/E.  Pass thru D/C, then C/E, back to D/E and finish with D/C again.  Make a back stich and continue sewing C to E.


All units done.

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Now let’s join the two D-E-C-D units to the center unit of C-E-F-E-C.

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Because this entire length of seam is a curve you must pin.   I pin vertically at each end, at each intersection and then twice, splitting the length, in each D section.   Don’t forget your roundabouts at those two center intersections.

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Now on to the sewing the four corner units.  Yes you can sew these in one big circle around the block.  But that’s a lot of thread to load into your needle.  Too much thread to have a successful and zen sewing time.  So I have decided to just sew each seam individually as I would if I was at my sewing machine.
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Pin your ends and intersections.  Since there is no curve you shouldn’t need to pin your lengths in the B/Br edges.  But if you feel you need to then by all means do.

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The red circles indicate the roundabouts.


Two more corner units to go!

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And now when joining these units note that there will be NEW roundabouts as indicated by the green circles at the beginning and end of the block.  While some might think these are overkill I feel that in the long run they will make for crisper block when sewing rows together.   And what the heck it’s not like you aren’t a pro at these now to…so sew the roundabouts I say!


Ta-Da!  Your Lady of the Lake block is done!

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So as mentioned before, all my blocks will have red fabric in the area (piece D) indicated as a way of pulling my scrappy row by row quilt together.


and I have started kitting the remainder of my blocks for the next two months of travel.

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Join me tomorrow for some inspiration quilt settings with the Lady of the Lake , Paris Flight, and Jim Dandy blocks!

On the homefront I will be shoving off to my guild visit with the Gems of the Prairie in Peoria, IL tomorrow morning.   This being said any orders that come in for templates by midnight tonight I will get them in the mail before I shove off…if not orders won’t go out until Monday, May 11th.

Off to finish packing!



A Test Post.

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

We are having some internet difficulties.  Testing an upload.


Next Up! Sondra Stars

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Blog 12.1401These are my Pieced Hexie Sondra Stars.   They are a free design that you can find under the PDF page on my website. You can find the tab to get you there at the top of this page.   You will need my book to actually learn how to make the Pieced Hexies but there are many free PDFs on the website to take the designs beyond the rosettes shown in the book. The star idea had been percolating in my brain right after the release of Pieced Hexies and then my friend Sondra sent me a box of batik scraps from her studio.   I truly was in the midst of designing the first “Star” (ok, I know they are more like snowflakes as they have 6 points but I am taking creative license…plus the name Sondra Flake just isn’t right.) and had decided to grace them with lady names, Sondra was the very first star born.

sidebar:Sondra dyes fabric, and it is so very very awesome, and she is going to have a book released in mid summer 2015 on her process…check out her blog for details

That was all my creative brain needed.  I tossed in a yard of the black on black polka dot fabric and the piecing began.    And over the course of a few months when I could sneak in time I created NINE Pieced Hexie Sondra Stars.

Five are “cool” and four are “hot” in coloring, look at the centers. Making them was so fun just concentrating on tone and letting colors play amongst themselves.   And then the stars sat as my travel schedule and book schedule ate up lots of time in my life. But now with the new book almost “put to bed” as they say in the publishing world and not releasing the next book until 2017 I have a bit of breathing room in my life.  And so my vow to use the time between Thanksgiving and New Years to put a dent in the projects in flux living in the studio. Blog 12.1402All these stars need is a background and then a border.

After a bit of play on the design wall I like this layout. And I decided to really go simple on the background.   Two fabrics, 2 -one yard cuts of each, sewn together in a large four patch style.  This gives me a grid to use for setting this design. Initially I thought whites with some soft  texture in a second color to give the background some life.


Off I went to shop at Quilters Quest as I don’t have many two yard cuts of backgrounds in my scrappy stash. I pulled whites, nope didn’t like.  Then I pulled soft greys, no they didn’t work for me either.   Then I say this creamy light yellow with the soft orange texture…WINNER!  Found a butter yellow to compliment and I was raring to get home to sew them together. Next step is paper removal from the back of the Star.

Blog 12.1404Some stars have all the papers removed except for the outer ring and others have all the papers still in.   Life was just too frazzled some days to remove papers when the star was done. My trusty seam ripper and my beloved bottle of Best Press and papers are removed and edges are pressed flat as pancakes.

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Using the center of the background four patch I lined up the star points on the top and bottom and centers on the sides.

Love my little applique pins.   A movie later the center star is in place.

Blog 12.1408Next star. Remove papers.

Blog 12.1410Line up using the horizontal seam and 2″ of space looks appealing to my eye. Pin…and pin some more.  When appliqueing my motto is “more pins is more better”.

My goal is to have all 9 stars appliqued down by New Year’s Day.  It is the perfect holiday project for me as I can pick it up and work on it while watching movies, hockey games and just hanging with my kids when they arrive home celebrate.Blog 12.1411


Speaking of movies….that is the theme for this years “SEVEN DAYS OF SWAG GIVEAWAY” that starts tomorrow.   Catch the blog in the morning for how to enter.  The Swag Bin in the office was quite full this morning and I have bundled up 14 packages to give away!

Enjoy your day,


Paths Crossing Cyberly

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

When I arrived home yesterday I was greeted with…”I’ve got something kinda weird to share with you”.

This is rarely a good thing.

After getting all my stuff in and once cozy on the couch Paul began his story.


Seems he was doing some Christmas shopping while I was away.   The Depre family loves a good book and so he was wandering thru (not we don’t care if the book is new or not it’s all about the content) when he came upon one of his Aunt Cyndia’s book.


Yes I am not the only author in the Depre clan…in fact our nephew Joe is also an artist/author.   But back to the story.



Well Paul was feeling nostalgic as unfortunately his Aunt Cyndia lost her battle with cancer earlier this year and so he went into the reviews.

And guess what he found.


Now Bonnie is not absolutely positive she wrote this review back in 2005, but the genre of the book, lite murder mystery, is to her liking.

We chuckled this morning during a conversation about paths crossing cyberly before “in person”….look at us…friends meant to be.

My plan today is to get the Castle Wall quilt off to the longarmmer’s and fill all the orders that have come in during my two days away.


I posted on facebook and here is your “TAKE NOTICE” here.


The Castle Wall Arcylic templates will have a new price of $25 a set vs. $20 effective January 1st.   Any ordered by December 31st 11:59pm CST will be honored at the $20 price.

I had an order come in and over half are already reserved but that means half are available for immediate shipping.

I am also working on the border pattern this week…watch for an announcement here and on facebook.

Enjoy your day,

p.s. UPDATE!  I just created a page on my website called “CASTLE WALL – The Block & Quilt”.  You will find a tab at the top navigation bar.   This should help everyone  find everything they need.  I hope to add a gallery of everyone’s block pics from facebook soon…it’s on the “to do” list.

Cyber Monday..err Sunday too.. Deal

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

I have been a bit under the weather thanks to the giving nature of my dear husband.

I have “windows” of energy.   A headache like no other and a slight fever that comes and goes.   So this is a very strange bout of a cold, flu, whatever.   I am looking at it as I am winning as Paul was much worse then I have been, so that’s a positive!

I have one last gig to venture off to for the year later this upcoming week so I am pretty much laying low and making sure this “illness” doesn’t progress so anything more.

With this in mind knowing there is no way I can guarantee being up at midnight tonight to push the magical buttons for my Cyber Monday Deal I am posting it now and giving everyone an extra 12 hours of deal.

Nov.2014 Studio016Back when I showed everyone my recent studio redo on my blog I talked with Paper about a special deal for my readers/Facebook group on their awesome Polar Notions Fabric Boards.

So if you ever considered jumping in a organizing your stash for optimum visual impact now is the time!Blog11.30002


I cannot tell you how much just having all my fabrics visually available to my eyes, even for just about 6 weeks now, has made a creative difference.  So easy to just walk up to the wall and look for that perfect blue than digging thru a basket (sometimes neat…most times not) in search of what I wanted.

I told Paul that had I had this system in place that more than half the fabric I did buy for the quilts in my upcoming book I would not of as I actually had what I needed in my stash if I could of seen it.

(note I still would of bought fabric…just other fabric…because well I am all about buying fabric)

SuperSaleImageSo here’s the deal.Blog11.30003

Paper Pieces is putting together special 25 board packs just for this deal.

This number of boards I feel is the perfect amount if you just want to dip your toes and try them.  Twenty five boards make a lovely shelf of fabric that you can have for your current project(s).  A special fabric collection that you absolutely love with all your heart.

Or just a color….how fun to change out a spotlight color grouping in your studio every season!   Decorating with your stash!


Along with the special package number of boards they are allowing me to give you a special price.

LARGE BOARDS – meant for yardage – 25 pack – $32.00

SMALL (fat quarter size) BOARDS – can store up to a yard in fabric – 25 pack – $22.00

That is 20% off Paper Pieces sale price.  I can guarantee this is the lowest price you are going to find on these boards and thus why the deal is only good for such a short time.

In order for this price to happen the boards will be shipped directly from Paper Pieces to you so any order of boards thru my store must be BOARDS ONLY to get the special price.

One little hiccup in this system.  You will be charged a flat rate of $10 for shipping.  But on the store page you will see a breakdown of what shipping could be for multiple package orders.  Because this sale is only happening to midnight CST on Monday, December 1st.   It is much easier for me to bill you the additional shipping cost (if any) via a separate invoice rather than set up literally hundreds of variations in my shopping cart.  I hope you understand.  And please feel free to email me (mickey-at-mdquilts-dot-com) with any questions or for a shipping quote.



Blog11.30008I am off to the studio to attempt to sew three last long seams on my Sixty Scrap Dash quilt top and get this project off the “to do” list.

And I am baking some cookies.  So much tea is being consumed here that cookies are needed.

Happy Cyber Sunday-Monday,



Winner Winner Turkey Dinner!

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!

imagesCAQQ1QLH imagesCAWYSDJG  imagesCAZQX986








By random number generator the winners of a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 10 are:


Winner 1

Winner 1.1


Winner 2

Winner 2.1

Congrats to Amy and Pamela!


On the home front looks like another resident of Chez Depre has caught “the cold” as Molly woke me this morning sneezing and a bit glassy-eyed.

So on that note, since I will be nursing two sickies today,  I have just gone ahead and flipped the switch on the my website store to


which is my Black Friday /Small Business Saturday deal for you!



I hope your holiday is filled with Love & Laughter.  Even with two “sickies” mine will be because we are together!



A Winner and Borders Please.

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

First order of business.


We have a winner in the Polar Notions Board Giveaway!

The Random Number Generator picked…Winner

That made SHARON the Winner!Sharon Winner

An email has been sent …thanks all for participating!  Don’t forget the Polar Notions Boards are on sale until Midnight (12:00am CST) tonight on the Paper Pieces website that you can find HERE.

Oh and how many boards do I have on my wall.  980!

but honestly another 50 boards just arrived so I can truly finish the wall.  You will note that the lower middle had a shelf of solid reading prints that needed to be wrapped.  So the true total when I am done will be 1030.  Remember this is a stash almost 25 years in the making.  There are some golden oldies up there.   And of course my bins of Civil War Repros and 30s Repros are still alive and over flowing.

Tomorrow is another day.

But today I vow to get the final 32 diamonds done that I need for the borders of my Castle Wall Quilt.   I really do need to get this done as I am off again on Tuesday up to Janesville, Wisconsin  for a two day visit with the Rock Valley Quilt Guild and I would like to share it with them albeit in just top form.

It will remain in top form until my last gig of the year the first week of December then it’s off to quilting so it will be ready to travel off to California when I hit the road again in January.  Whew!

And just wait to you see what I have dreamed up for my 2015 On The Road Project.    There are 30 gigs on the books so lots of hand sewing time.

But for today I will be in my studio.  Working on the outer borders.   It involves foundation piecing (yes there is a difference…paper piecing is wrapping fabric…foundation is sewing on paper).

Castle Wall Quilt Inner Border

98 diamonds are needed.  I have 32 to go.


I hope you find time to sew today to!

Enjoy your day,



Feet on the ground.

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Been home from a trip to Kentucky for a week now and just finally feeling like my feet are back on the ground.   So much going on.  I start everyday with a plan…a goal..and lately if I get half the stuff done on that list I am calling the day a success.

I am really pondering hiring a personal assistant.   It’s in the pondering stage.  I am thinking a virtual assistant would work well.  Someone to just take care of some of the behind the scenes stuff…basically so I can just be able to create more.  After all that’s what it’s all about right? Like I said still in the pondering stage.

On the homefront we are counting the days to Em is back at Chez Depre for a glorious week.   We will further add to this joy by visiting Pauli for a few days .  Molly will hold down the fort with a house buddy.


This short time we are all together is all the four of us can talk about lately.   We truly miss each other.  I sometimes think about what life would be like if we didn’t have text, facebook, and even cheap long distance for traditional phone calls.   The ability to “touch base” with P & E in a moment’s notice is what makes them living in separate states bearable.   I know in years to come we are moving ourselves.  In fact it has become an almost weekly topic here as we near the “in 10 years” mark….and again I think of the freedom we have to make this move knowing we will still be able to communicate with the kids easily no matter where we roam.




Also on the home front I have finally gathered all the “loose books” (no not wayward..loose) from all my travels (17 trips since January!!)  and did an inventory count.   These books are the leftovers from visits that were shipped prior to my arrival by my awesome publisher Kansas City Star. They ship books in cases of 30 but the books are plastic wrapped into units of 10 inside.  This helps keep corners and covers pristine in shipping.   So when a “brick of books” (10 pack) is broken and not all are sold the remaining are shipped back home without that cover.  And they survive…but they are now awkward  to reship out so they become website shop order stock.

Well this stock needs to be depleted a bit so I can actually get them on the shelf.

So how does one do that quickly.   You hold a sale.



From the posting of this blog to the end of Sunday June 22nd the following items are one sale in my webstore.

Pieced Hexies DEUX (yes the new book!)  $20

Pieced Hexies (the original) $20

Ring Around The Hexies Book AND Boomer Template $20

SIDE NOTE: Decauter Quilters Guild that I am visiting next week…I will honor these prices to you girls in person when I am there so no need to order.  Since I am driving I can bring the loose books to you.

I am linking the #20 (which to me is June 20th is the start of summer) to this sale as I gave the season of Summer some grief earlier this week on my facebook page by stating that I just endure it to get to August.  I was a bit grouchy that day.  I do actually enjoy Summer…a bit.   So I am hoping to temper it’s anger (last nights storms were indication of it’s fury) and hold a sale celebrating it’s start.

Well that’s my story.

And finally…

The change of my name on my professional Facebook page has been approved.   It is now MDQuilts.

My dear daughter and her marketing knowledge is so very happy I did this …because after all in the long run everything is always about making your kids happy.  🙂

Now I am back to the studio…halfway thru QUILT #8  for the new book.   I do see the finish line.

Enjoy your day,


Sweet Home Chicago

Sunday, June 1st, 2014


It’s June 1st.
And I have just landed back home in Chicago from my visit to Wilmington NC   for the North Carolina Quilt Symposium.

Life is going to slow down a bit for the next three months.  Just 5 gigs between now and September….not 5 in a month.

There’s going to be alot of sleeping in…sewing late….and just rocking in the gazebo with Paul.

I am home for 7 days til I head out to Kentucky. 

It’s time to pause.  And snuggle Molly.

This Chicago Girl is home.  🙂