Archive for the ‘Vintage Quilts’ Category

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,


Cowboys & Indians and a mystery

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Just before I left for North Carolina my mailman delivered two new additions for the Depre Quilt Museum.

I had to have this hexie quilt.  Masculine hexie quilts are hard to come by and this one just screams “little boy”

Look at the darling 50s cowboy print throughout.  It is just the right size for a 4 year old’s nap and the fort in the living room.

I am loving the setting.  But I would never tackle a binding of a hexie quilt by going around each and every hexie.  For me it’s either applique to a straight border or cut it straight.  This lady is am better quilter than I.


Mr. Mailman also brought this treasure.  Just a top.  It was a steal at less than $25.  A very plain quilt top but with lots of clues to investigate.







What do you think these initials are”?


But the 1937 is clear as day and that makes me smile.

I might make some Pieced Hexies in my 30’s repros and applique them to the open white blocks and of course it will be quilted.   I am a big believer that quilting the top will provide it a longer life.  I will document that I added my hexie rosettes on the labeling so 100 years from now someone will realize this quilt spanned 76 years.

I wonder if Dorothy, Clark, Donald and Ralph would think that was a grand idea?

Today I travel home from spending time in North Carolina, first teaching at the retreat and then three days of sewing with Bonnie.   Ideas have been hatched, things are happening, projects have been worked on.   But the best part is the laughter.  We have laughed and laughed and laughed.

It has been a very good week.

Enjoy your day,


A Winner, A Quilt, and a Tease

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

….walk into a bar….LOL.

Doesn’t that title just feel like a set up to a bad joke.

Well no joke in this blog.

First a winner!

CAROL mom to Annie, Greta and Cadeau you are the Sit & Stitch pattern/fabric winner!

Now on to a quilt.  Or rather quilt top.

As I sit work on the illustrations for the next book I give myself incentive breaks.   For example:  When I finish this batch of 25 drawings I can peruse eBay for a $10 purchase or hold onto said imaginary gift certificate (gc), draw 40 more items and have a $35 certificate.   Or really push it and get a total of 100 drawings done for a $75 certificate.  But if I crack at $35 then it’s back to the beginning.  (note shipping is not included in said imaginary gc)

This helps when the days are long and tedious.

Last week I held out for the $75 gc….and I perused ebay.

And this treasure came home.  And it didn’t cost the entire $75 even with shipping.  (see Paul I am saving money!!…lol)




The box arrived yesterday and I didn’t open it until I was done for the day.

This provided the incentive to get done yesterday.  DOUBLE WIN!





Here it is in all it’s scrappy 30’s glory.

I am in love.  I can’t stop looking at it and all the wonderful feedsacks in the Lemoyne Stars.


Yes those solids are ….ahem…”packers colors”…but I am choosing to ignore that right now and just concentrate on it’s lovely scrappy goodness.




I will be adding a 3-4” border around the edges to stabilize and make it easier to quilt.  I know it will be a solid but still debating the color choice.  I am considering turquoise.  Any ideas?








96OK…blurry pic sorry. I can’t see to the find the one I took before sending this treasure on it’s way so this is swiped from the auction.

Side bar: also love ebay for quirky items.  Found this turn of the century Murad Cigarette Trading Card featuring Hendrix College.  This item is on it’s way to dear son for his office.  Image advertising a college on a pack of cigarettes in today’s world?



Now for the tease. Cathy's Booksmudged

Tuesday a book goes up for giveaway.

Cathy a friend of mine really loves her copy….she has gone thru it already and made all the blocks.  And she is sewing them together into a quilt as we speak…err..I type.

I will post a pic of her awesome quilt for ohhing and ahhing with the giveaway.  no pressure Cath.  Smile

Enjoying a cool and dare I say brisk July day,


Oh My Missouri Stars!

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Yesterday one of the things on the “to do” list was take the Brews4Drew quilt to a local longarmmer for quilting.

Normally I do all my own quilting but three factors are now part of my life and well it’s time to tap someone else’s talents and ease the stress.

a) No time…this is in part to the before mentioned book manuscript deadline AND all the bookings for teaching/lecturing.  As much as I love to machine quilt…well I love traveling and meeting new quilters more.

b)This bum ankle of mine is just not happy with the reverb of the foot pedal yet on my APQS George machine.  Thus giving machine quilting a break until late November when I am “done” for three months and can easily sit for a day with the ankle up if need be.

c)With travel comes many airport hours with the ebay app.  Let’s just say the vintage/antique quilt top collection has grown. And it is my personal goal to get this tops done and quilted so they can live even longer lives!

My good friend Cathy B. introduced me to her longarmmer and she was gracious enough to take on quilting the Brews4Drew quilt in the short time frame and thus saved my ….well you know.

Cathy and I have been spending Monday’s together quilting (a vow we made in June) and she had some tops to take in to Deb (longarmmer) too so off we went together.

After getting my quilt out of the way Cathy pulled out her tops.



I just about keeled over and immediately ran for the camera in my purse.









Now Cathy has quite the collection of antique quilt tops and quilts.  And I have see some but not all even though we have known each other for well over a decade.   Owning a multigenerational farm she has ample storage space and things kinds get tucked in all over the place.  But she is working on getting all the quilts together and I can’t wait to dive into the collection with her this Fall and begin documenting.  But that is another blog.

As Cathy is pulling out this top she explains it is a relative of a friends quilt top that the family just discovered and want finished.

OH MY!  Those are 4 inch Missouri Stars!!!  And it’s 30’s scrappy.  Can it get any better?!?.  Well not for me.  These are my most favorite quilts of all.   All hand sewn.

(just to be clear I am going to make a generous offer to the family just in case anyone wishes to let this treasure live with me)

Let the picture fest begin.  Trust me this is just a small portion.  I could of spent hours photographing each star.  And maybe I will on the flip side of quilting.

Dare I say another “quilt to make in my lifetime” has just been added to the list.



You can buy your EPP pieces for 4” Missouri Stars at

Let the madness begin.




Enjoy the day,