Posts Tagged ‘english paper piecing’

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

 

 

 

 

 

Limbo Time on a Drunkard’s Path

Monday, January 13th, 2014

I’m in this weird limbo time.

I’ve been home since late November…and while I had grand ideas of sewing each and everyday during my “break”…that didn’t happen.   But lately I have been getting to the machine more and stuff is being created. I am actually into quilt #4 of the next book.  The next book will be a traditional pattern book that will totally show my eclectic nature.  It will have quilts for several styles and lots of diverse fabric choices.   I do truly love it ALL.

I am getting ready for my first gig of 2014.  All of 13 miles downtown to the Omni Hotel to teach for Sew Many Place’s Chicago Winter Retreat.  So while it is “back in the saddle” time it really isn’t back on the road yet.  After the retreat I have 10 days of sewing planned for myself.  That means lots of takeout dinners and I plan to be in the zone.

AND I am sitting and waiting for the delivery of my boxes of Pieced Hexies Deux.   Why do I have the sinking feeling that they will show up on Thursday morning.  And if they do I will put a box or two in the jeep along with my preorder binder so I can sit and sign them in my hotel room if I have time.   I will do everything in my power to get the books out to everyone ASAP I promise.

But in the meantime.

One project that I pulled out over the Holidays was my 4″  Drunkards Path blocks done English Paper Piecing (EPP) style.   Now as I mentioned above I love ALL kinds of fabric styles…but rarely do I absolutely fall in love with an entire line.  I know the last time this happened was back in the 90’s with the Fons & Porter Cumberland line in the French Blue colorway.  I drove my friends crazy with my love of that line of fabric.  And yes some still lives in the stash.

jpg_mod-centurycollageBut it has been awhile.  That is until I saw MOD Century by Jenn Ski for Moda.

YUM YUM

So I bought a charm pack (this way of purchasing a little bit of an entire line was not available to me in the 1990’s…it took awhile to save up to buy the entire line in FQs).  As I was thumbing thru the charm pack it dawned on me that these 5″ square are perfect for the 4″ Drunkards Path papers.   I quickly purchased 5 more charm packs and a project was born.

Jan13-3Every few weeks I break it out and set a goal of basting up all the templates I have which is 24 sets of blocks.   Then I sew together 8 blocks and return to basting those papers back up and so on.  This keeps the variety of my blocks very scrappy even for working with just one fabric line.   And it keeps me doing different aspects so it does not get boring.

The biggest trick when working with one fabric line is to make sure you really pay attending to contrast both in color and print.  Otherwise things can get to blurring and you lose all the detail of your work.Jan13-2

I just cracked the seal on charm pack #3 I am starting to get antsy to play with layout patterns.  I have resisted until now knowing that dangling that creative  carrot in front of me will keep me going on this project.  After 47 yrs I am finally figuring myself out.  LOL.

So to the floor I went with my pile of blocks and some quick fabric choices from the studio.

I know I need a solid.  Somewhere for the eye to rest in this quilt.   And I know I am going to use the Circle Layout of the blocks as I love my circles.   This will be a fairly simple little  nap quilt.  Nothing over the top design wise.

Jan13-1But I do think this fabric from the beloved Dogma fabric line by In The Beginning (which came very very close to being another I have to have the entire line fabric) will be the spark this quilt needs.

This pic is truly too much of the Dogma fabric.  The scale I am thinking of is just 1″ line with the solid(s) on either side in a thin rail fence sashing.

Jan13-5That’s better.

Now let’s bring in a few more solids so that portion of the quilt doesn’t look so flat.Jan13-6

POW!

Hmmmmmmm…..

Simple quilts can be spectacular with there is an unexpected fabric that really just punches it up.

Can’t take this to EQ7 for another pack..my guest that will be around March.

Enjoy your day,

MickeySignature