Posts Tagged ‘english paper piecing’

Michigan Beauty – Quilt Ideas

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Today let’s explore some quilt idea for the Michigan Beauty Quilt Block.  

Looking closely you will see that this block is basically a 4 patch.  Which means it is a repetition of squares, each composed of units.  These “squares” are rotated around the center much like a clock and thus create a lot of movement in a quilt by coloring the blocks and setting them in a ways to take advantage of that design element.

This quilt is composed of Michigan Beauty Blocks set directly next to each other with no sashing or border.  Sometimes a quilt doesn’t need anything but blocks.  They are stunning enough alone and on their own.   I would stay stitch the edges before quilting to hold all seams together and reduce bias edge stretch but other then that I would make this quilt.   And I may!   Notice I colored the Square Piece C’s (see reference to these units in Monday’s blog here) to elevate and celebrate the secondary pattern of the 4 patch that is formed with the blocks are set in this manner.   The actual center of the blocks (quarter triangle square) and the Square Piece C are colored in softer shades that make they naturally move to the background of the quilt.

Very same block layout, no sashing, no borders.  But the coloring is dramatically different.   There are several block coloring variations in this layout.  And it makes for quite a unique and movement filled quilt design.

On Point!   I can’t help myself I love a block on point!  And this block works well with being on it’s tippy toes as I say due to the strong Arrow C pieces in the design.

  This quilt has Little Boy Britches (March 2019 block release) in the center .  I played with the coloring of the block in a very untraditional way.   I accented the rings I saw develop with this setting. 

Then I placed Michigan Beauty blocks around the entire edge as a border.  I colored those blocks in a unique way also.   My graphic shows a small border on this quilt.  I think it needs one of maybe just an 1 wide in a strong color to hold it all in. 

Same two blocks as in the previous quilt, Michigan Beauty and Little Boy Britches, but this time sent in a vertical row layout.  These two blocks play very nicely together I feel.

I hope you enjoyed some of these ideas for quilts.  As the Mic’s Attic Picks series grow with blocks I will revisit some blocks combinations and create new ones in future posts.   

Friday will be the first of two “how-to” blog posts on this block.  It really is that simple to piece that two blogs will do it. 

My thoughts are to do a revisit to the tools used for hand piecing on Sunday and then the first “Sew Along” LIVE will happen on Tuesday night. 

Yes a night time LIVE segment!  Going to try a new time frame on the LIVE segments for this block.    Again keep an eye on the MDQuilts facebook page for announcements of exact times for each to be posted.

And if you wish to purchase the hand piecing templates for the Michigan Beauty block you can do so by clicking above   Please note that the block is also available in English Paper Piecing papers and templates for those who wish to make their blocks using that technique.  You can also find them in my store.  All the products are currently in the NEW category there.

Enjoy your day,

Michigan Beauty – Coloring Options

Monday, May 13th, 2019

It’s time to begin the Mic’s Attic Picks/Michigan Beauty Block blog series.  This blog is going to explore some of the coloring options for the block.  And Wednesday’s blog will go over some ideas for quilts using just the Michigan Beauty block and then combining it with a couple of other blocks from the series.

As you can see by the picture above the antique set of blocks was colored the same way as this purple version of the block.  With the same fabric being used in the C pieces that ring the center and form a square.   And then the same fabrics used in the C pieces that form arrows in the corner.   This is a very simple and elegant rendition of this block.   And can be quite stunning done in a monochromatic colorway as shown.  Just make sure to mix up the scale of print/texture so there is contrast.  This makes the block exciting to view.

In this version I did some shading of the Arrow C pieces and have opposite sides composed of same fabrics, same color, two values – light & dark. AND I made sure the scale of the print was also of different.   Then I applied this same concept to the Arrow C Pieces.   I really like this version of the block.  There is a lot of depth and movement.

Went TOTALLY scrappy here! 

I had to!  With so many pieces to the block it was a great design to play with.  Plus the pieces are just the right size for small prints like those in the 30s reproductions.

And finally some more modern fabrics.  The square C pieces follow the example of the 2 block discussed here in the blog but the sides are composed of two fabrics.  Because I was working in a line of fabrics I was able to use the same print, just different colors, which seemed to help the look of this coloring.  I applied the same concept to the Arrow C pieces and used two different colors but the same in all 4 sets.    Note that I took the time to make sure my directional prints used in the center triangles all orientated in the same direction.  Little things like this can make it much more pleasant for the eye to view the block.

Wednesday’s blog will cover some ideas for quilt patterns using the Michigan Beauty Block and the “How-to” blogs will post on Friday & Saturday.    And it looks like the first Facebook Live segment for this block will be Sunday.   Keep an eye on the MDQuilts page later in the week for the exact time.  I will begin posting that at least a day early.

If you haven’t joined in yet with a purchase of the hand piecing templates for the Michigan Beauty block you can do so by clicking below.   Please note that the block is also available in English Paper Piecing papers and templates for those who wish to make their blocks using that technique.  You can also find them in my store.  All the products are currently in the NEW category there.

That’s all for now. Check back on Wednesday for some quilt ideas using the Michigan Beauty Quilt Block.

Enjoy your day,

Introducing – Michigan Beauty Block

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

YAY! It’s May! And it is time for the next block in the Mic’s Attic Picks series. I have been so patiently waiting to share this block with you. It is a personal favorite ….. (don’t tell the others).

I remember buying the inspiration set of blocks at a flea market in Wisconsin about 10 years ago. The kids were in college and Paul and I set off for a day of adventure. Isn’t that how we mark time on most things in life against what age our kids were at the time? Or is that just me?

Anyway, there sat the stack of blocks on a table tucked back into a seller’s booth. And it was quite a stack. Approximately 25 blocks. I was like a homing pigeon as soon as they were spotted. I think I may of pushed Paul out of the way. But upon approach I noted how threadbare the blocks were, with a few actually falling to pieces. My face must of expressed my feelings as the seller called over to me…I’ll sell you the whole stack for $5.00 if you want them young lady. I think you will cherish them. This made this sale memorable. I have bought my fair share of items over the years, but this sale I remember.

I wanted them. I knew they would never become their own quilt. There is not enough stabilizer in the world to save them. But I knew they would become “something” at some time. I just loved the design of the block. Simple yet complex all rolled into one.

My research shows it is a variation of a block called many names in the Brackman Encyclopedia, and one name stuck out. Michigan Beauty. And with so many names (7 in that source alone) I decided not to invent a “new name” for this variation but to just call it Michigan Beauty.

Perfect name for one of my favorite states. I love Michigan. So much so that I would move there in a heartbeat. It has everything to make me happy. Water, Forests, Great People, Small town, Big Cities, Northern Temperatures, Fishing, and Snow. Yay Michigan!

This 12″ block is available for pre-order in both Hand Piecing Templates and English Paper Piecing format with shipping beginning on May 10th. Orders will be processed/shipped in the order received.

FROM NOW UNTIL MIDNIGHT ON MAY 8, 2019 – there is introductory pricing of $20.00 for the Acrylic Hand Piecing Template Set. You can place your order by clicking here! Then search for Michigan Beauty in my store or head directly to the NEW category!

This is a very easy block to piece and it is full of so many coloring options as you can see by the pictures in this blog.

I will post some quilt layout ideas in a blog next week and the “How-To” piecing blocks and Facebook LIVE segments will begin May 15th. The exact times for the Facebook LIVE segments will be posted at a later date. Watch for them here and on the MDQuilts Facebook Page.

I hope you love Michigan Beauty as much as I do, and will join me in hand piecing this great block . (Or EPP if you desire). At the pre-order price of just $20 for the hand piecing set it is a great block to start that journey.

The hand piecing template set includes instructions that are both written and full of graphics that are easy to follow. The HOW-TO blogs and Facebook Live segments will also take you thru the process step by step. No one gets left behind. Everyone can enjoy the ZEN of hand piecing and this block is a perfect block to jump in and give it a try.

Easy piecing – dynamic design ~ that is Michigan Beauty!

Enjoy your day,


Introducing – Little Boy Britches Quilt Block

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

So you may of noticed there was no block release at the end of January in the Mic’s Attic Picks series. That is because I decided to shift the block releases to the ODD months of the year vs the even months. This schedule will be much easier with holiday’s, quilt community events, and honestly it worked out well with our son’s moving to Sweden adventure!

After a 4 week delay now…he is all good with the Swedish government and has been issued a work permit so he is off to Stockholm on Sunday. YAY!

But now let’s talk about the next block to be released. It is Little Boy Britches! Or Boy Britches, Little Boy Breeches, and even Lil’ Boy Britches/Breeches. I decided to use Little Boy Britches. This block is accredited to KC Star with a release sometime in the 1930s. Which is most definitely the time period for the antique quilt top in my collection that inspired this release.

We are back to 12″ finished size. Hand Piecing templates AND English Paper Piecing papers/templates are available. Shipping for the product(s) is March 8th.

Place your pre-order now and received FREE SHIPPING*. This pre-order special will expire on March 2nd at 11:59pm CST.

*Free Shipping is for Domestic US orders only. If you are outside the US I will send an invoice for shipping after your order is placed.

Looks like How-to Facebook Live events and blogs will post the week of March 18th for Little Boy Britches. This is such an easy block, I say it is great for beginners but with some play in coloration it will keep intermediate and experienced piecers intrigued.

Here are the links to the product or head to the store page and check the NEW category here!

I’ll be back next week with a blog to share some coloring/setting ideas I have for this block. First, I need to get dear son out of the country and then I suspect I may sleep most of Monday away. I have been living life in multiple “time zones” for weeks…this girl needs sleep….lol.

Enjoy your day,

Stars of Twilight Block – Coloring and Settings Options

Friday, December 7th, 2018

It’s time to play a bit with the Stars of Twilight Block. This 16” block is very simple in it’s design (and construction) but is full of coloring variations.

Let’s take a look at a few. Take note that I kept the center bloom petals as I call them in the same 2 alternating colors in each of the next three blocks and just concentrated on playing with coloring the four-patches and background.

 

 

This first coloring is what I would call the traditional coloring with the four patch blocks composed of 2 colors and the background is all the same color. By positioning the darker color of the four patches as shown a gentle ring happens around the center petals and give a nice soft secondary pattern.

 

 

 

 

This next coloring uses 3 colors in the four-patch units and moves the darkest color into the position closest to the center, a medium color is given 2 spots in the four-patch and the final spot is the lightest color directly across from the darkest color. This coloring plays up the twinkle effect that of the star. And a second color is brought into the background which really give the block some depth.

 

 

 

This final block goes back to using 2 colors for the four-patches, but in 2 different combinations. And the dark color is positioned radiating out from the center in both color combinations. The background also uses two colors but instead of alternating around the block they are grouped together in corners for a unique look.

 

 

 

 

Now let’s look at this block in a quilt setting.

All of a sudden this very traditional block has a modern and unique look when twisted so that the block background has a zig-zag look. I placed thin sashing between the blocks as I felt then needed to be separated a bit or it was looking a bit mushy to me. This quilt would measure 70’’x70’’.

 

This quilt is the first block color discussed and set with no sashing. The background becomes a secondary pattern and really ramps up this setting I feel. The trick is not to let either the block centers or the background dominate. The colors and textures of the chosen fabrics really need to play nicely with each other. This quilt measures 64’’x64’’

 

 

 

 

 

The final quilt pattern steps everything up a bit by placing the blocks on point and using an ombre look for the center petals. This quilt measures 76’’x76’’.

Thanks to everyone for the orders already received and the notes about how much you like/love this block. I am so excited to see your blocks soon!

The pre-order special of free shipping is good until midnight on December 10, 2018. Orders will begin to ship out on December 14th in the order they were received. You can click here to get to the NEW category in my store where you will find both the Hand Piecing and EPP papers/templates for Stars of Twilight.

You can find previous blocks released also in the store under the Hand Piecing and English Paper Piecing categories.

 

How-to blogs will begin posting on Monday, Dec 17th. I know you may not have your templates at that time but of course you can always check back for instruction at an time. This way I will be able to get all the how-to blogs posted before the 22nd for those who wish to make a few blocks during the holidays.

Ok…that’s all for now…off to sew up a storm for a few days in the studio!

Enjoy your day,

Introducing – Stars of Twilight Quilt Block

Saturday, December 1st, 2018

Yes it is that time again! A new Mic’s Attic Picks block release.

Several years ago this quilt was found during a trip to a flea market in Wisconsin.  I spotted it and new I had to have it.  The use of yellow as the prominent color in the quilt and lavender as the secondary just called my name as I love this color combo.  It ticks all my 30’s Girl Fan boxes.

The quilt was marked $225 and I remember I talked down the seller to $175. My entire “quilt budget” for that day at the flea market. I didn’t care. The quilt was mine. A very rare purchase for me, a finished quilt. Not a top, not a stack of blocks…a quilt. I think I smiled all the way to the jeep and then home. The yellow and lavender quilt was safely tucked into my shelves of my collection. Someday I envisioned it on a bed for a granddaughter. (I can now hear the rolling of eyes by Fric ‘n Frac -those are my soon to be 28 yr. old twins for new blog readers)

I have heard the request for a larger block, with larger pieces,and no curves.  A block that I would consider very easy for a beginner. This 16” block checks off all the requests and provides many coloring/design opportunities making it also very exciting for all skill levels. 

The following information about the block is provided by the Encyclopedia of Pieced Block Patterns by Barbara Brackman.

The historical name given to the block is Stars of Twilight by Home Art Studios.
Home Art Studios – A mail order pattern source from Des Moines founded by H. VerMehren. Patterns appeared under the names Nancy Lee, Colonial Quilts, Bettina, Hope Winslow and others in periodicals during the 1930s.


Stars of Twilight is available in Hand Piecing Templates and English Paper Piecing papers and templates. There will be several information filled blogs over the next week or so and then the “How To” blogs covering hand piecing will begin on Monday, December 17.

 

The Hand Piecing templates/EPP papers/EPP templates are all available for pre-order at this time with FREE SHIPPING. The Pre-Order special will expire on December 10th with the first wave of templates shipping out on December 14th. Place your order early to get into the first wave of shipping and have them in time for Christmas. You can find everything in the NEW category in my store or type Stars of Twilight in the store search engine.

Due to Christmas the Facebook LIVE segments for this block won’t happen until after December 25th.

And by the way Happy December!  I can hardly believe it is December already…my this year has flown by. 

Watch for another blog on Stars of Twilight in a few days!

 

October’s Attic Pick Block is….

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

SURPRISE!   I woke up this morning and thought why wait to release when wi-fi and time (very early morning flight home on Sunday) may be a stumbling block to a easy Sunday morning release.    So YAY! for a Thursday release!

 

…introducing the newest block in the Mic’s Attic Picks series 

                         TENNESSEE CIRCLES QUILT BLOCK 

Oh I have loved this block and it’s spectacular secondary patterns for many moons.    This top has been in my collection for many decades and I am so happy to share it. 

 

The name Tennessee Circles was given to the block in 1931 when it was published in a Prairie Farmer periodical.  This periodical was published out of Chicago and sold mail order patterns.  This pattern appeared in issue #1. 

The hand piecing templates and English Paper Piecing papers are now available for pre-order.   Shipping of the product will begin on October 12, 2018.   You can order up to October 10th at the pre-order special on the templates but they are shipped in order of receipt so if you wish to have them early place your pre-order early.   FREE SHIPPING is standard on the Hand Piecing Templates and some of the packages of EPP papers. 

All domestic order of $25 or more on any combination of hand piecing/EPP products from my webstore is FREE SHIPPING, $75+ for International orders.   If shipping is charged – I had to keep shipping on some items in the store – please note it will be returned as soon as the order is processed on my end. 

If your order includes items other than hand piecing templates and/or EPP papers/templates shipping will be charged for those items (first class shipping is always an option). 

I will post a blog or two next week sharing some coloring ideas and quilt designs for this block.   And the standard “How-T0” blogs and Facebook LIVE posts will happen beginning approximately Oct 19th.   I am in a heavy travel time on my calendar but this will allow everyone who preorders to have their templates in hand and ready to follow along. 

You can find the Hand Piecing Templates here in my store.   And the English Paper Piecing items here

OR just go to the store and check the NEW category! 

 

Ok, that’s all for now,

Have a great day, 

 

Border Options FREE How-To PDF

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

The FREE six page How to Use Bracer Bars and Corner Blocks PDF is now available in my webstore

Pages of FULL COLOR step by step instructions on how to attach an English Paper Piecing Border to ANY project. 

Yes, now you can finish any machine pieced, hand pieced, vintage finds, fabric panels, whatever your creative mind dreams up with an unique English Paper Pieced border. 

We all know that very intricate blocks/patterns/designs can be achieved using English Paper Piecing with greater ease and success  vs heading to your machine.  Now you can add that WOW factor anywhere.    

Head over to the FREE PDF PATTERNS & HOW TO subcategory under the BORDER OPTIONS portion of my webstore for your copy now. 

Enjoy the day, 

Two New FREE Border Options Quilt Patterns Release

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Two new quilt patterns made entirely with Border Options designs are now available for FREE in my webstore.  They are numbers #007 & #008.

Border Options Quilt Pattern #007

I just love playing with the designs in the Border Options series and creating these pattern ideas for you.  Make them as you see them in the “recipe” or use it as a jumping off point for your own idea.  The coloring is also just a suggestion…I can’t wait to see what you dream up!

Quilt Pattern #7 is a more advanced pattern if you decide to tackle it via hand piecing (did you know that all the Border Options designs are also available in hand piecing templates?) while pattern #8 looks complicated but truly is a made simply by using three designs in a row quilt layout. 

And #8 can be made in 3 different sizes, baby to full!   

 

 

Border Options Quilt Pattern #008

Head over to the store and download your FREE PDF recipe for these quilts today!  I will have bundle options for English Paper Piecing up soon in the Bundles category…or you can order just a few packs of papers and remove/reuse the papers as you build the quilt.   Just remember your order needs to be over $25 prior to any discounts….oh look further in this post for that….to receive FREE SHIPPING on Border Options products.  This free shipping applies to English Paper Piecing  papers, templates and Hand Piecing templates!

Oh and about the special coupon code…how about MAY15  for 15% off all Border Options orders from today until May 22nd. 

I am off to work some more on my version of Border Options pattern #005 today.  It’s perfect weather to sit out on the deck and listen to a book from Audible and do some English paper piecing. 

Enjoy your day, 

2015 On The Road – Paris Flight EPP Style

Monday, January 5th, 2015

WARNING THIS BLOG IS VERY PICTURE HEAVY FOR THOSE DOWNLOADING ON A MOBILE DEVICE

Ok let me answer a question I get asked a lot ….what does EPP stand for?

EPP = English Paper Piecing

Yes I know many of you know this but some don’t.

English Paper Piecing is wrapping fabric around a paper shape, basting it and hand sewing together.

Many people apply the generic term of Paper Piecing to this…I like to stick the word “English” in there to further define it from foundation piecing.   Foundation piecing is when you have a paper pattern and you are sewing fabric to it along sew lines, flipping fabric back and sewing another to create a block or unit of a block.   This is sometimes also referred to paper piecing.  And thus causes new quilters all kinds of rightfully so confusion.

So I will use the term English Paper Piecing or EPP for short.

Now let me say I will most likely be making 80-90% of my blocks via hand piecing (which I will cover in a blog tomorrow).   Hand piecing works best for me in this type of project as I am literally shoving my block into a small bag and into my backpack to work on while on the road.   I have found that even a hexie EPP project gets mangled with bent papers doing this.   And when working on book samples for the Pieced Hexies and Pieced Hexies Deux books on the road I was constantly ironing EPP hexies in my hotel room.   To avoid this snafu I am going to hand piece on the road and occasionally do an EPP block to share while at home…or if it’s a driving gig and I have the ability to pack things with more care.

So on to specifics about the Paris Flight EPP Block.

 

Four shapes of the Paris Flight Block

Four shapes of the Paris Flight Block

These two pieces will be used in the reverse also in the block.

These two pieces will be used in the reverse also in the block.

Lay out all the pieces in the block and mark the edges with hash marks.  Make sure these hash marks are at least 1/2 inch in length so they will be visible after fabric is basted.  I also mark the four quadrants of this block by number.  This helps keep things in order.

Lay out all the pieces in the block and mark the OUTSIDE edges with hash marks. Make sure these hash marks are at least 1/2 inch in length so they will be visible after fabric is basted. I also mark the four quadrants of this block by number. This helps keep things in order. MARKING THE OUTSIDE EDGE IS VERY IMPORTANT. THIS WILL BE A MAJOR HELP WHEN SEWING PIECES TOGETHER.

Lay them out on the fabric with enough space between to mark a 1/4 inch around each piece.

Lay them out on the fabric with enough space between to mark a 1/4 inch around each piece.  NOTE: I used a dot of glue stick, specifically sewing blue glue stick, to hold papers in place.  Just a dot.

I use several different marking pens and even a mechanical pencil to mark my cutting lines.  Match the best pen/pencil to the job for each fabric.   NOTE: you can use the Paris Flight acrylic templates to mark you fabrics for cutting and side step this process if you wish.

I use several different marking pens and even a mechanical pencil to mark my cutting lines. Match the best pen/pencil to the job for each fabric. NOTE: you can use the Paris Flight acrylic templates to mark you fabrics for cutting and side step this process if you wish.

 

Using a ruler I mark a 1/4 seam around the entire piece.

Using a ruler I mark a 1/4 seam around the entire piece.

To "knock off" excess fabric and make basting a bit easier I measure 1/4" flat from the paper point tip.

To “knock off” excess fabric and make basting a bit easier I measure 1/4″ flat from the paper point tip.

Here is the tip with the excess knocked off.

Here is the tip with the excess knocked off.

 

All ready to be cut out.

All ready to be cut out.

NOTE: if you are using a fabric with a directional print take the time to lay out your papers to use that print to your advantage.   This fabric has a nontraditional stripe print.  By laying out all the papers to flow with the strip it will be less chaotic on the eyes when the block is put together.  These "little things" can make or break a block.

NOTE: if you are using a fabric with a directional print take the time to lay out your papers to use that print to your advantage. This fabric has a nontraditional stripe print. By laying out all the papers to flow with the stripe it will be less chaotic on the eyes when the block is put together. These “little things” can make or break a block.

 

All pieces cut and laid out.  I do this with every block just to make sure I like what I have chosen.  Easier to trade out a fabric now then later when sewn together.

All pieces cut and laid out. I do this with every block just to make sure I like what I have chosen. Easier to trade out a fabric now then later when sewn together.

Basting done.  I won't cover basting here as it is covered in a tutorial on the paperpieces.com website.   Just remember to keep those point flags flying on these shapes!

Basting done. I won’t cover basting here as it is covered in a tutorial on the paperpieces.com website. Just remember to keep those point flags flying on these shapes!

 

Time to sew the four quadrants of the block  together.

Time to sew the four quadrants of the block together.

I sew the two halves of the square together.  And then the longer seam down the center matching up the intersections.

I sew the two halves of the square together. And then the longer seam down the center matching up the intersections.

All four quadrants are sewing together. Next step are to sew the squares together like a four patch.   But wait.....

All four quadrants are sewn together. Next step is to sew the squares together like a four patch. But wait…..

Look what happens if you twist the squares!  A whole new block!  Let's call this London Flight.   So here is another variation you might choose to use in your row quilt.  This project is going to be full of variations so truly it will become a very unique quilt of your own.

Look what happens if you twist the squares! A whole new block! Let’s call this block London Flight. So here is another variation you might choose to use in your row quilt. This project is going to be full of variations so truly it will become a very unique quilt of your own.

Paris Flight Block.   Now off to sew six more together for this row.  Four will have a red in the outside center triangle (see yesterday's blog for graphic) and three will have the red in the inside triangle.

Paris Flight Block.
Now off to sew six more together for this row. Four will have a red in the outside center triangle (see yesterday’s blog for graphic) and three will have the red in the inside center triangle.

Whew..that was a lot of pics.  But I didn’t cover EPP with the Castle Wall block so wanted to do so in detail with Paris Flight.   Tomorrow I will cover hand sewing a Paris Flight block.

I am busy kitting up five more blocks for on the road sewing as my 2015 work calendar begins on Thursday.

Beach Cities Quilt Guild in southern California here I come!

But first a Winter Storm Watch has just been issued for here at home.  Six inches of lovely snow.   I’m off to get these blocks kitted so I can sit and watch the snow fall later today.  I love it.

Enjoy your day,

MickeySignature