Posts Tagged ‘Castle Wall’

The Castle Wall BURSTS- Part Two

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

Castle Wall Burst TemplatesI am so excited to get this second in the series of how-to blogs posted.    The response to the template set has been wonderful, I am down to just a handful in stock but more are on their way.   I will leave the orders open on this product and will ship as soon as the next batch is received sometime this upcoming week.  I will get all fillable orders out as soon as that is.   You can place your order here.

For those who have inquired regarding EPP sets of the Castle Wall Burst Expansion they are on their way.   I  will not be able to add them into the store until August 1st due to my heavy travel schedule the last two weeks of the month.  But EPP fans keep an eye out for a special EPP sale I have scheduled to start on July 16th on all other blocks in stock.  And yes there will be a special introductory price on the EPP Castle Wall Burst Expansion pack when released in August.

Now let’s get sewing the Castle Wall Burst!

I have my Castle Wall center done minus the half square triangles (template C) for an overall octagon shape.   Again I will refer you to review the Castle Wall blogs that are linked on the Castle Wall page for piecing this block and general hand sewing tips when working with any of my templates.

sidebar: I am scheduling to post at least two if not more updated general hand sewing tips and tricks blogs in early August.   Please watch for these posts.  They will also be linked on the Castle Wall page soon after posting.  These will cover all the basics for those who are new to hand piecing.

Now back to our block.  Yes I am that excited my head is running in so many directions with so many ideas…this time at home is just what my muse needed.   Ok back to sewing.

The Castle Wall center of this block is sewn in a bulls eye manner, by adding pieces in a circle around the center.   The Burst expansion is sewn by breaking it down into two units, UNIT 1 & UNIT 2.

UNIT 1:  MAKE FOURCastleWallBurstUnit1sewingguidev2

This unit consists of three pieces, C-F-C.   Piece C template can be found in your Castle Wall block template sets.  It is the discarded half square triangle shape.

*design note- I have chosen to use two fabrics in my rendition of the Castle Wall Burst block for piece C.   You can do so also or use the same fabric for all pieces. 

There is just one continuous sewing line to make these units and one roundabout intersection.  Roundabout intersection tips can be found in the previously mentioned Castle Wall posts and a general blog about roundabouts will be posted in early August for those new to my blog.   This illustration is your guide to sewing UNIT 1

UNIT 2: MAKE FOURCastleWallBurstUnit2sewingguide

This unit starts off with sewing four more UNIT 1.  This is where I made a design choice and used a second fabric in my C pieces.  I liked the bit of depth that this brings to the block.

The next step is to add G-H-G to each of these UNITS.   This is also done with one continuous sewing line and 5 Roundabout intersections.


Finally, pressing.  While the Castle Wall center is best left unpressed until all rounds are PatrioticCWBurst2completed, meaning the center is fully sewn, UNITS 1 & 2 should be pressed after each line of stitching is completed.  This will help in obtaining the sharpest of points.   Also as in the original block the diamond shapes should be pressed flat or open for the best results.   And a bit of Best Press used at this stage really helps set the seams.

Next blog…putting it all together in a few days.

See, I told you this Burst Expansion is really quite simple.  And the resulting block is quite spectacular if I say so myself.  I have so many ideas for this block in projects.   Now I just need to look into obtaining 48 hour days.   🙂

Enjoy the day,







The Castle Wall Block BURSTS!

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

CWBurstgreycenter2copyrightI have had this crazy idea of BURSTing the Castle Wall block for over a year now.  Think “biggie” size.  I wanted to keep most of the original Castle Wall Block ,just drop off the half square triangles, and expanded to a much larger block.

I played and played with the design while traveling and then would put the files back in my folder in my computer and think maybe in a few months.

And on a trip to Texas in April I opened up the folder again, tweaked my design thought it is time.

So off went my idea to Paper Pieces and they provided me with a sample set of templates lickety-split, they were excited as was I.

AutumnCWBurstBlockBut my schedule was a bit crazy and so I didn’t get to fabric pulling and sample block making until late May.  And then I sewed.  Here is the first sample block of what is being called Castle Wall Burst.   It finishes at 18″ square.  That’s a lot of block with a lot of bang!  At that size just 16 blocks with sashing and border and you have a queen size quilt.

I am loving this idea!

Castle Wall Burst TemplatesThe initial run of templates where produced and landed on my doorstep on Friday.  Just in time to kick off the holiday weekend!



The Castle Wall Burst Expansion Pack has three templates.  You will use the C template from the original 9″ Castle Wall set with the new templates F, G, & H to create this  border ring around a Castle Wall center (minus template C in the center).CWBurstlettered2copyright

The Castle Wall Expansion Templates

are available in my web store under the New! and Acrylic Templates Section

at an introductory price of $15 until July 15th.

Now to the tips and tricks of sewing this expansion ring of the block.


I took pictures as I pieced the sample above and was ready to use them for the “how-to” blogs.  But then I spotted my stash of patriotic fabrics while straightening up my studio and like every other quilter I know I figured…well let’s start a new project!     I am going to make 16 Castle Wall Burst blocks in a scrappy patriotic fashion.   I don’t have the full quilt setting figured out yet.  I will design this hopefully this autumn sometime when my travel schedule is full force again.   A lot of computer designing happens when in a hotel room on the road.

Over the next week or so I will post detailed how-to blogs for this expansion.  But for now I will refer you to the original Castle Wall blogs (you can find links to all blogs on this page) to refresh yourself in piecing this center and the Roundabout Technique for making sharp points!  Eventually links to these Castle Wall Burst blogs will also be found there.




I have my center done sans the half square corners and all my pieces cut and ready for the Burst Expansion.

Watch for a blog in 2-3 days breaking down the next round of sewing into units, a review of pinning, and sewing guide illustrations.

Over half the original order of Castle Wall Burst Expansion Templates have been spoken for and shipped out this morning, hoping to have a few of you sewing along with me on this fun block by this weekend or next week.

Enjoy your day,





P.S. All the graphics you will see in the blog(s) are included in a guide sheet packaged with the templates!

Castle Wall Table Runner Pattern

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

CWTablerunnerPic2Yes!  The free PDF pattern to the table runner is now on the Castle Wall page.    Please note that actual yardage used is not given in the pattern as there are so many variables regarding length and color placement that there is just no way I could cover them all.  I can say that based on my coloration of the project no fabric was over 1/4 yard used and many under 1/8th of a yard.

I hope you like it and will share your table runner pics with all of us either by emailing them to me at or posting them to the Facebook page MDQuilts.




Castle Wall Gallery is in the house!

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

wpid-IMG_20140216_061957.jpg A quick post to announce that if you click on the Castle Wall – The Block tab, up at the top of this page,  you will find a sub page pops up for the Castle Wall Gallery!  Over 100 blocks!

It looks awesome if I say so myself!  And this chick has learned alot in doing this and is setting the same for Paris Flight blocks this weekend.

If you shared your Castle Wall blocks with us on Facebook you will find it here.  If I missed anyone, my apologies, just send me an email and we will get it in the gallery.

Facebook doesn’t always tell me your home location due to your privacy settings so if you would like either your full name (I defaulted to first name – last initial) and/or your state shown please let me know.  It’s easy fix on my end.

Another project off the to-do list.  😀


Happy! that Wheels are Turning!

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Whew!  I finally feel like I have gotten my bearings this year and things are starting to get done around here.

Well around here meaning on the website.

There is still a page length of “to-do” items on my desk but this is down from the THREE pages that I started the day with yesterday!

One thing that happened a bit over a week ago was the addition of the sign up form (look to your right it’s right there!) for the monthly newsletter that is on the horizon.   This is Emily’s (dear daughter) brainchild and since she will be visiting later this week I am hoping we can put all our ideas into motion and see the first newsletter in February.

One thing that the newsletter will do is give you a 3-4 month heads up on my schedule.

…and rumor has it there may be a free pattern, block, quilt, pillow, table runner, stuffed in there.   You will have to sign up to see!CastleWallBlock1

Another major thing that got done on the to-do list was all the workshop supply lists were “revamped”.   Several workshops are retiring to give room for the 10+ new workshops I will be adding over the course of the next three months.   Don’t worry if your guild as a soon to be retired workshop on their contract I will still teach it …I just won’t book the retiring workshops anymore.


And WOW!  Castle Wall – The Block is truly pulling out ahead in my most popular workshop.   In fact I put in queue this week the making of 3-5 more samples as more are needed.  THANK YOU!

I am so happy that so many are loving the idea of slowing down and enjoying some hand piecing of this wonderful block.   And if your a Facebook  friend you have been seeing the sharing of blocks over there.  One thing that is still on the to-do list is to make a gallery page of everyone’s Castle Wall Blocks to share here on the website.   I some time home in the month of February so hoping to get that “To-DONE”.

And finally yesterday there was some updating of the web store with items that I have been wanting to add since before Christmas.  I can hardly believe myself that February is less than a week away.


Here are the new items in the store.

Castle Wall EPP 6 blocksKaren Kay Buckley Perfect PinsEasy Angle Rulers













.  AND

the pattern for HAPPY! is also in the store

Happy! Pattern

I received word from my publisher that it will be shipping to me next week so if you would like to receive a copy in the first mailing out on February 10th place your order now!

Happy! will also be a 6HR workshop.

I am thinking today I am going to spend some time putting needle thru fabric both by machine and hand.  I have Season 7 of Mad Men in queue on Amazon and I think I just need to slow down myself and enjoy the day.

For my east coast friends…I hear it’s time to bunker down as mother nature is going to be blowing hard and furious with the snow these next few days.  I am jealous.  Our snowfall here this winter has been nada.  I raise my coffee mug to you today….why don’t you join me in a day of sewing and enjoy the “pieceful” calm that a blanket of snow brings.

Take Care,






Finally…the Castle Wall border pattern

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

Blog11.26015The quilt is done.  The binding has all been turned, the hanging sleeve and label attached.

But picture taking of the full quilt will have to wait just a few more days as a plan to free up a full wall in my living room for permanent “big quilt” picture taking is in the works.

TravelersWallQuiltBORDERSBut I did get the pattern PDF done so here it is.    Note you will need to download the separate Diamond Foundation PDF also.

I am loving seeing everyone’s versions of the Castle Wall block on the Facebook page  and there are plans to put together a gallery page of the blocks here on the website.   Even though we are marching full steam ahead into 2015 and a new “On The Road” project I will always welcome Castle Wall posts, questions, etc. to the blog and or Facebook.

This project has morphed into it’s own popular workshop and I see another Castle Wall quilt in my future…so in other words, don’t worry if you are new to the Castle Wall, it and my help are not going away.



And just a reminder.  We are truly in the final days of the introductory price of $20 for the Castle Wall Acrylic Template set.  Over 2/3rds of my New Year’s order are already spoke for but if you order by midnight CST 12/31/14 the introductory price will be yours!   You can order your set of the templates (or EPP papers…or both…so many like to use the templates for fussy cutting even if using the EPP method) HERE.


Now off to move some furniture here at Chez Depre,


It’s time to turn the binding.

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Merry Christmas Eve Everyone!

This will be a quick photo heavy post as Paul Jr surprised me this morning by knocking on the door (he forgot his keys!) at 8am vs the 3pm I expected him.   He went into work at 3am to finish off his last few reports and hit the road in the early hours to make the 2.5 hour drive home!

Our true celebration won’t begin until tomorrow late afternoon when Paul Sr is home from work (yes working on both Christmas Eve and Day…the railroad never closes) but tonight will be filled with game playing and laughter I am sure.

In keeping with a family tradition there will be no meat  served today.  So dinner is easy peasy as it will be filled with smoked salmon, shrimp, and potato pancakes!  YUM…I can hardly wait!



I did want to share with you all the Castle Wall quilt as I picked it up from “Longarm Bob” on Friday.   He did an awesome job on it!   I was able to get into the studio two days ago and got the binding in it so it’s all ready to sit and flip while watching movies with the kids.

I hope to have it finished so we can sleep under it on New Year’s Eve to bring 2014 to a close.  Quite appropriate for my 2014 On The Road Project don’t you think.  It doesn’t always work out that way.  This quilt just has that “kismet” going.

Just a reminder that this is the final week to order your Castle Wall Acrylic Templates at the introductory price of $20 a set.  You can find them in my webstore here. 

The Castle Wall project really was great fun and I am going to be making another quilt with the blocks I make along with students while teaching hand piecing.

Now that Emily is in the house the border pattern will be written and up on the Castle Wall page before year end, I needed her help on a few graphics on the pattern.  And just wait to I tell you of some of the ideas she has for 2015…wow it’s going to be an awesome year!

I can hardly wait to January 1st when I will show you what I have planned for my 2015 On The Road Project!

In the meantime here’s some more Traveler’s Wall (the quilt name) pics to enjoy!


Paisley is the panto name! Perfect for this busy quilt.

Blog12.2403 Blog12.2404 Blog12.2406 Blog12.2407




I was able to turn about two feet of binding last night. Lookin’ Good!




I wish you all the very Merriest of Christmas’!    May your holiday be filled with Love and Laughter!




p.s. As soon as Pauli gets up from his nap I will post on Facebook a pic of him in his crocheted Viking helmet hat!  Be sure to “like” the facebook page (see link on the sidebar) to see!

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,



Castle Wall Arcylic Templates are in the house! (Part Three)

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

It all started innocently enough this morning at 4:30am when my eyeballs opened on their own.  I was going home on a 10am flight out of Dulles, landing in Chicago at 11:05am, and was going to get home and immediately tackle the third installment of the blog.  My alarm was set for 5:30am but my eyes weren’t waiting.  So up I got and worked on the current Castle Wall block in my backpack.



Shannon, my lovely host with the Cabin Branch Quilters was picking me up to 6:30am (morning traffic is rough in the DC area…I was shocked at back ups at this time)  so there would be no running thru the airport to my gate.

I got there in plenty of time and found a cozy spot and finished off this block.

Yes that is my Barney Purple luggage (carry on) and if might make you smile and even giggle but that luggage proved it’s worth again today.   Read on.


At the appropriate time out gate agent had us line up.  I was a happy camper with my A20 spot.  As a frequent flyer with Southwest I have been finding myself in the first 30 positions as of late.  This perk I will take.

and then…uh oh.   Our gate agent is instructing us to take a seat.  Looks like we have a flat tire. Sept23pic1

I do not grumble.  I am most happy to wait for the plane to be fixed.  I like my planes to be feeling good and all systems working.  So much better to have a flat tire here then when landing in Chicago.

Others were not so happy.

I pulled out another block and started in.

About 1.5hours later the tire was changed and it was time to line up again.  But now with so many passengers being switched to other flights due to missed connections…well this was the roomiest flight I have seen in awhile.

This was my view at approx. 1:20pm today. Sept23pic01

I love Chicago.  I will always be a city girl.

Ok..just a two hours off schedule.  Not bad.  Off to get my luggage.

Only just one purple piece of luggage comes off the conveyor belt…not two.

uh oh.    We wait around for about 15-20 more minutess and then begin to seek help.   Just as I got to the counter at the baggage area when I heard a radio call to the agents that a lone purple bag was discovered at gate 15 that didn’t make it to the cart for the carousel from my flight number.    “That’s mine!” I say.  and the agent chuckles and says…well that was a quick fix.  Yes I agree.

Only problem it took them almost an hour to get my bag from the gate to the baggage claim area and someone “special” had to walk it over.

Seems that someone special got their wheels rollin’ after I tweeted to Southwest 45 mins into the wait that this was crazy.   Even the baggage agent agreed and she cut me a voucher for a future trip (hello Emily!)

Finally on my way home.   After answering  email, processing orders (those not with Castle Wall templates…those will go out on the 29th) and general stuff I finally got to head to the studio and take the pics for this blog.


(Disclaimer…I did not realize my lens was smudged until I loaded the pics in to the computer to write this blog.  But I figure it’s kind of par for the course today and hope you will give me a pass)

This is what a block looks like after sewing it together.  Since it is hand work they can get pretty wrinkled.  Of course I am usually stuffing them into my backpack so mine are always wrinkled.  Thus I give them a few sprays of  Best Press when it’s time to press.


Here is the back.  Not pretty.


But I start in one corner and press the corner triangle out and then move over to the nearest diamond and press it’s seams away from it.

The top and bottom seams of the squares naturally fall in the out position when pressing this way.

I continue around the block pressing the diamonds in this manner and the corners when they are encountered.

Finally I give the center a press and it all starts to look very nice.


Flip it over, give a final press from the front and VIOLA!  The block is done!

I am into the single digits of blocks needed for my quilt now so watch in a week or so for blog posts when I start to put all 56 blocks together.

You can order your Castle Wall Acrylic Templates Set (9″ finished block) in the store on my website.  The next shipment of templates are on their way and only half are spoken for again.  They will ship out on Monday September 29th.

Be sure to check out my professional MDQuilts Facebook page (see the link on the side bar) for daily posts of my blocks and now some of others….the color/fabric combinations are wonderful…sew much fun!

Take Care,



Castle Wall – Acrylic Templates are in the house! (Part Two)

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

WARNING: This is a very long and picture intensive blog.  

It’s time to begin to sew.

First thing is to get your supplies together.  I like to use Hemmings Milliners needles for my hand sewing.  I like the longer needle so that a few more running stitches can be made with each pass.  I am a big fan of Aurifil or Precensia thread for hand sewing.  I think when it comes to thread the saying “you get what you pay for” applies and I would rather work with a quality thread that will work with me than a thread that will work against me.


I think of the Castle Wall Block as a bullseye and I am going put it together working in rings.


Ring #1 = Squares

Ring #2 = Diamonds

Ring #3 = Trapezoids

Ring #4= Half Square Triangles


Begin by lining up the corner intersection on your first square with a corner intersection of the center octagon.  This is done by stabbing a pin thru both.


Then using a very fine pin (these are Karen Kay Buckley’s new pins) I pin right on the seam guideline.  I sew just a smidge above the guideline.  This takes in consideration of the fact that getting directly into the angle edge of the template when drawing this line is nearly impossible.


I always make three backstitches on every length of sewing done.  One as I begin, one in the center and the final at the end of the line.

My running stitches are about 10 to an inch in length.

Sew the first square to the octagon along one side.


And now you are at your first intersection.  An intersection is where three or more pieces meet.  The trick in hand sewing to accomplishing nice neat intersections resulting in sharp points and no pin holes is making a circle around each and every on when you reach it.

If you have roundabout traffic stops, or have ever encountered on, it’s like that.  You literally go around in a circle.


First you are going to line up Square #2 to Square #1 much in the same manner as you did in the beginning.  Note the first pin is between the corners of each square.  A second pin lines up the second corner of the new square to the octagon.  Once they are lined up I pin again on the sewing guideline.


Now I bring the needle & thread thru to the corner of the second square.


And now thru the square two and the octagon.


From the backside, the octagon to the first square. Sept21pic10

And back to from square one to square two.  Now take a backstitch at the start of square two.


Sew square two to the octagon.  Repeat this process until all squares are sewn to the center.

Don’t forget your backstitches and do circle the final intersection when the final square meets square #1 then knot off.


Ring #1 done.  On to the diamonds.


The diamonds are attached to the block by sewing two sides into the space between each square.  Basically a “V” shape.

Each of these “V”‘s are independently sewn, knotting off at the end of each diamond.

Apply the same methods for lining up the diamond to one side of a square .


Don’t forget to backstitch when you reach the end of the first length of the “V”.

Then you want to line up the second length of the diamond to the other square edge in the space.


This is an intersection as three or more units are meeting at that point.

2 Squares and a Diamond

So you circle the intersection.


At the end of the “V” you backstitch and knot off.


Seven more diamonds and you are done with round #2


I am going to end this blog here.   I am out the door tomorrow to Virginia and a quick less than 48 hour visit with the Cabin Branch Quilters.

So quick that I am not going to bring my laptop because honestly there will no time to do anything but teach, lecture, and sleep.

I will post the finishing up the block and pressing instructions either late Tuesday when I get home or early Wednesday morn.

Then I am out the door again.

I am sold out of the templates again.  (you like the Castle Wall block  you really like it!!)

I am ordering my next supply of templates (basically the waiting list and then some) on Tuesday.   So if you want to be guaranteed a set place your order off my website store (see the tab at the top) by Monday night .   The next shipping date out from my studio to you will be Monday, Sept. 29th.

Til Tuesday…or Wednesday,


P.S. I have received several inquiries asking if Paper Pieces makes a template such as these with the inside window for the Lucy Boston/honeycomb shape.

THEY DO!  You can order it by contacting Paper Pieces directly.  You will find phone number and/or email contact info here.