Posts Tagged ‘antique quilt’

ReIntroducing Carolina Favorite Quilt Block

Saturday, July 28th, 2018

About a year ago I pulled out all my vintage quilts and quilt tops that I have collected over the past few decades and decided it was time to make good use of them and give them a new life. The only problem is I was deep into the design work on the Border Options line of English Paper Piecing products (and now hand piecing also!) and so the idea for a line of templates was born, but couldn’t become reality for awhile. I am an army of one and some days off and sleep are needed. 😊

But with Border Options now out in public and doing it’s thing I decided that it was time to begin working on what I am calling “Mic’s Attic Picks” collection of quilt block templates for hand piecing. I dove back into my stack of vintage and antique quilts and instantly knew what quilt block I wanted to share first.

Most of my antique quilts are tops for two reasons. The cost of a top vs. a quilt is significantly lower and when my collecting started many moons ago we had two young mouths to feed and clothe so my budget was very small. Plus tops obviously take up less space, and with a small abode (under 1200 sq ft!) I could collect 4-5 tops in the space of one quilt on my shelves. Tops it is! Now back to the inspiration top itself.

Isn’t it just striking! I remember the block caught my eye. But it was the use of the red background that sold it. WOW! What a bold and daring choice for the era. I am not a certified quilt historian but I know enough info to be dangerous and so I can state with confidence this quilt was most likely finished in the early 1940s based on the youngest fabric in it. And I think the red background supports that. Again…who would of thought to go red. But I love it. And I will say it has me looking at my red fabrics a bit differently with consideration of red background of my own one day.

So I grabbed my Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman (did you know you can get this as a digital book now from the AQS website – I love now having all these blocks with me in my laptop) and set to work looking up the block. As a lover of history, I am determined to find a block’s given name if possible. Only when I have exhausted all possible avenues of knowledge will I give a vintage block a new name and then will let you know this when released. This is important to me.
I found the block. It is #1536 in the encyclopedia. It has just one name attributed to it.

Carolina Favorite

The block was a mail order pattern released in the 1930s by the Old Chelsea State Needlecraft Service under the designer name of Laura Wheeler. This company is know for it’s complex quilt block designs and advertised in newspapers across America selling patterns for a dime.


Carolina Favorite Hand Piecing Templates are now available for preorder in my webstore. You will easily find them under the NEW! Category as they are the first product. There is a preorder special available until August 7th, you can find all the details there in the product description in the store. Orders will begin to ship out on August 10th in the order in which they were received.

All template sets will come with basic hand piecing guidelines and tips. I will also be posting detailed how-to blogs full of step by step pictures starting mid August. And if you follow me on Facebook (MDQuilts) you will see numerous LIVE posts of sew-a-longs also covering block construction.

Hand piecing is very relaxing and I can say over the years I have taught thousands to hand piece both thru blogs and workshops, both beginners and experienced quilters and have never lost a student.

The gentle curves of this block are easily obtained with hand piecing and before you know it you will be breathing easier and enjoying the ability to be creative even while “on the go” as piecing by hand is so portable that a sandwich bag of “stuff” is all that is needed. blog…let’s look at some coloring variations for this block. 

‘til next time.
Piece & Hexiness,

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.



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,


Pyramid Hexies

Friday, April 5th, 2013

I love a good treasure hunt. 

The latest find has arrived home and I am so happy to share.

The minute I saw it on eBay with a “BUY IT NOW” option it was all over.  The ebay app strikes again.   A bit more than I usually part with for a top but it is a setting I have never seen before and I am loving the Red, White and Blue solids.

Just rows of triangles/pyramids.

Simple and Dramatic.

Straight to the point as they say.

By the slight sheen to the fabric and a touch of age smell I am thinking a bicentennial quilt.

It is pretty big at 80 x 82 at this time.  The edges have been cut straight so I can easily add a border.  I am thinking some 6” Sawtooth Stars in patriotic fabrics will do the trick.

Looking closely at the setting I see some inspiration for other settings.

I am loving this quilt top!  

And also in the genre of a treasure hunt, the following landed in my email inbox this morning to share.

Looks like Craftsy is having their seasonal “BIG SALE” this weekend.  This one is with a twist.  New classes will be on sale each day.  Friday thru Monday at midnight. 

You can click on the image all weekend to check out what the new offering is.

Craftsy Spring Sale: Select online classes up to 75% off. Sale ends Monday, April 8th, at midnight! 

Today there are some goodies.  Fabric Patterning with Wax Resist and Celtic Cables (knit class) are in my basket!

A great way to spend my evenings during next weeks trip to Arizona.

Arkansas Meadow Rose

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

eBay is my friend

Mobile App eBay scares Paul.

I surf for quilt tops and blocks whenever a few moments of time happen in my life. Found these blocks when I was in the airport in Dallas two weeks ago.

The design made me take a second look…the block name sealed the deal.

A set of 32 Arkansas Meadow Rose quilt blocks.

The blocks measure roughly 10″x10″

Arkansas Meadow Rose was a block that Kansas City Star published on October 9, 1935.

I think I will play with these blocks on my upcoming retreat in Nov. Some block sashing to true up their size and a pieced border to set them off is what I envision.

Then I have an idea to modernize the block and it’s construction. Another new workshop is in the making.

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There is life after manuscript!

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Pieced Hexies is in the hands of my editor/team at Kansas City Star and they are literally “going to town”.  With so much completed they have pushed the release date up….waaaayyy up!   At this time the scheduled release date is September 1, 2012!   I am so very very excited! 

I will hopefully have a snapshot of the cover to share with all of you shortly.  At that time I will begin to take preorders.  I do know that price which will be $27.95.   There is a lot of photography in this book!  I sent them 130+ samples! and all will appear!  WOW!

But now it seems there are a few extra hours in the day.  And it is quite nice.  Been on the book treadmill since February.   And yes I am starting the next book actually in just a few days, the pace will be much much slower…at least on my end.  I figure start now so when that next deadline looms I am ahead of the game.  At least that is the plan.  We will see how this works.


I did get some quilting in this last weekend.  It has been decided that Whist Jubilance will make an appearance in Pieced Hexies – this is not your Grandmother’s Flower Garden, but there will be no pattern…but truly it’s easy peasy and I am sure most will figure it out.  

So while there are a few other things on the “to do” list I am giving myself a week of puttering around the studio to decompress.  I will tackle a few things as I know myself too well and I hate having things “hang over me” but I will play a bit…I promise. DSC06041


I might play with some orphan blocks that have made their way to me.



I have several batches of orphan blocks that are truly enough for entire quilts they just need some sashing and  borders.

Then there is always this quilt top that is a recent find at the Kane County Flea Market for $40!


There’s the background to complete for the next Pieced Hexie quilt.


…and then there is this obsession that has creeped back out of my travel bag and is begging for attention….what to do ….what to do.