Posts Tagged ‘hand piecing’

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,

Nothin’ can be finer then a quarter Carolina

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Earlier this month while making workshop set outs for the Carolina Favorite block I had a light bulb moment.

First let me say that I will NEVER be able to make all the quilts I dream up using my hand piecing templates…but I can make the illustrations and share them with you in blog posts such as this.

There is no formal pattern. It is pretty straight forward in regards to construction.

My thought was….what if you treated the 6″ quarter section of the traditional block as a block itself. And set it on point. Hmmmmm.

Here is what I saw in my head.

I can see this layout done “scrappy style” too.

I truly wish there were 48 hours in each day at times, but I know that wouldn’t even be enough time to get it all done. So I hope you don’t mind the digital quilt shares.

Off to piece….

But as a treat if you have read this entire block post and are thinking of piecing your weekend away during snow or sunshine ….well guess what…the coupon code on this sale will work now. One day before I announce it to the world.

I am waiting for someone to make a Snowy version of Sweetwater Tiles.

It is on my someday list…again when I have a few spare minutes…lol.

Enjoy your day,

Stars of Twilight Quilt Block – Facebook LIVE schedule

Monday, January 7th, 2019
Stars of Twilight Quilt Block

Hello Everyone!

Just a quick run down of the schedule for the Facebook LIVE segments on the docket for this week.

These will cover the Stars of Twilight block.

Please note if you can’t make the actual LIVE presentation at 11am CST each day you can always watch the segment later. You will find them on the page front (the latest will be pinned to the top of the page) or under the Video category on the MDQuilts Facebook page.

Wednesday January 9th – Coloring options for the block, general template info, marking/cutting your fabric pieces

Thursday January 10th – general handpiecing instructions and using the roundabout technique to obtain a beautiful intersection/point in your piecing. I will be demoing the technique live.

Friday January 11th – another round of piecing tips and tricks

Saturday January 12th – final piecing and block pressing

I can’t wait to get started on all of this….see you Wednesday!

Enjoy the day,

How-To Blog #3 – Stars of Twilight Quilt Block

Friday, December 21st, 2018

Yay! Final How-To Part for the Stars of Twilight Quilt Block. This means you can kit up some blocks hopefully for yourself to retreat to and enjoy piecing after the fun and festivities of the upcoming holidays!

Let’s get started. We are on step #6 if you are following along with the instructions included in your Stars of Twilight Acrylic Template set.

It’s time to sew in Piece C (center) to one of the previous multi-piece units made in the last step. Now there are going to be a lot of roundabouts in this step. Don’t bypass any of them as they are important.

It’s time to sew in Piece C (center) to one of the previous multi-piece units made in the last step. Now there are going to be a lot of roundabouts in this step. Don’t bypass any of them as they are important.

Step #7 is a slightly longer seam that will bring both halves together as one unit.

Step #8 has you sewing in the final two four patches in the spaces created for them. Be sure to have them oriented correctly to match your other four patches. Trust me on this one…double check. Ask me how I know to make sure.

Ok we are in the homestretch now but it is very important not to loose focus. Make sure to read all the way thru this blog to avoid one easy “trip” as I call it.

First you need to piece 4 A/A units as shown in this picture.

Now here is where the tricky part comes in.

I have placed a pin in my center unit to help you see the orientation situation in each picture. Honestly either format is right for the block, it doesn’t change the end size. But it does change the look and lining up of pieces so if you choose to make your blocks using one center format (stay with me this will make sense in two more pictures) I would keep it the same for the entire quilt……or not…this certainly opens up some more design options.

Look at where

Look at where the pin is, the 12 o’clock position and the A/A units are place on each corner. The center C piece, brown square, is presenting itself SQUARE in the middle of the block.

Now look at the pin, located at the 2 o’clock postion. Just one twist of a four patch unit to the right…and the center piece C, the brown square, is now presenting itself as ON POINT.

So choose your orientation and be sure to be layout the corner A/A “brackets” in front you before piecing your first one to the block center. You can piece all four A/A brackets continuous around the block center. You should not be able to do it with one strand of thread (if so your thread is way to long and should be shortened in your needle to approx. 18-22 inches).

Pressing on this block can be individually decided but I tend to press one set of the B or Br pieces (which ever is lighter in color) flat. Meaning their seams fall into the other pieces. With the exception of the edge around the center square. The center square unit is also pressed flat with no seams towards it. The piece is to small and to many seams behind it will make it bulky and puffy in your quilt. Then let the block dictate what needs to go were in regards to seams from that point on, whether this is determined by how things naturally lay down or color shadowing behind the block.

Viola! A finished Stars of Twilight Quilt Block. And at 16″ it covers a lot of ground quickly in quilt making. Just 16 blocks, set 4 x 4 with some simple sashing (2″) and an 8″ border will make a 88″ square quilt.

I can’t wait to see the Stars of Twilight blocks start to appear online. Please be sure to share them either with me on the MDQuilts facebook page or the Piece & Hexiness facebook page. The later page is my “open quilt guild” type of page where you can share any and all your quilting projects or questions with one another. You are asked to join, this has kept that group troll free for years online, but you are not limited to just discussing my patterns, blocks etc. It’s your group….enjoy and share all you want.

If you would like to purchase a set of Stars of Twilight Acrylic Templates for hand piecing you can do so by clicking here and heading to the NEW category in my store or by searching Stars of Twilight I the store search engine. You will also find all the other blocks in the Mic’s Attic Picks series and several others.

And as always please feel free to contact me via email, or a message from Facebook or Instagram with any questions you may have. Note if you are looking for a lengthy replay I ask that you email me as it is much easier to answer via that format then the others.

Watch for the Facebook Live sessions for piecing this block to begin after January 1st. A bit delayed from the unusual format but I am sure you understand. If you are stuck and really want to do some piecing over the holidays don’t be afraid to send an email/message. I may not get to it immediately but I will get to it.

Enjoy your day,

How-To Blog #2 – Stars of Twilight Quilt Block

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

Time for part #2 of the How-To series of blogs for the Stars of Twilight Quilt Block. 

Let’s start today’s How-To blog with the simple sewing together of a B/Br Unit.   

Place pieces B and Br on top of one another with right sides facing.   I place a pin (white)  at the beginning and end of each seam.  This pin is stuck thru both fabrics perpendicular lining up corners.  Then using Karen Kay Buckley Perfect Pins (which really are perfect for hand piecing) I pin thru both pieces of fabric directly on the drawn line. 


Start your line of sewing a thread or two outside the corner point towards the seam allowance.   In order to get back the thread or two in width lost when tracing (pen/pencil lines add width) you should sew your block together using the drawn lines as guides.  And sew hovering above the drawn lines.  Think of it as hand sewing a scant quarter of an inch.   NOTE: you never sew fabric edge to fabric edge in hand piecing as you would in machine piecing.  

sew your seam hovering above your drawn line

One done – repeat three times! 

Now join a B/Br unit to another B/Br unit as shown in the picture – twice.

The final step in today’s blog is to sew three 4 patch units to each of the B/Br/B/Br units just completed.   This will involve the Roundabout Technique in the convex  AND concave corners.  By doing this you will obtain nice crisp intersections.  

This is where we are ending for today.  You will need two units exactly like this finished before Friday’s blog to follow along.  

If your intrigued and what to join in on the Stars of Twilight fun you can find templates for hand piecing and papers for English Paper Piecing  (and EPP templates) in my store by clicking here.   Or just click the product link below and head to the NEW category in the store for everything mentioned. 

Enjoy the day and see you on Friday for the final part of this “How-to” series, 

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!

 

Tennessee Circles – The Block Name

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018

Hi Everyone, 

 

 

 

Just a quick post to clear up some questions I have been getting regarding the name of the latest block released under the Mic’s Attic Pics line. 

Tennessee Circles is the given name of this block in the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman.   I always research the blocks extensively and use a given name if found.  If I can’t find a block in any of the resource materials I have I will let you know when the block is released and on the eventual Mic’s Attic Picks page that is being developed for the website. 

Yes, I do love Tennessee but this block was not renamed by me as a tribute to my admiration of this great state. 

Also, yes there is a similar block by the name of Royal Cross, but it is different as the center square is many times larger in that rendition.  

And yes you can place an order for any templates or EPP papers during my time away from my office and they will be processed and shipped directly from my manufacturer. 

Ok back to watching the leaves turn for me, 

 

 

 

 

p.s. For those new to hand piecing you can find several “how-to” videos on my facebook page MDQuilts.  These videos will also be docked to the Mic’s Attic Picks page in time. 

 

How-To Blog #2 Tennessee Circles Quilt Block

Friday, October 26th, 2018

Let’s dive right in to the next steps in hand piecing your Tennessee Circles Quilt Block. This is truly a very simple block to piece. It is a skewed nine patch in it’s format.

We left off with the completion the D-E-D unit and the B-C unit four times each.

Now we want to sew those units together along the straight line indicated in the graphic to the right.

Note the Roundabout move (see previous blog for a step by step instruction of this technique) will happen at the intersection of C-D-E-D. This will be a FOUR fabric roundabout, take your time, move the needle thru two pieces of fabric at a time.

You will repeat this seam 3 more times between the remaining units to make a total of 4 units.

 

Next you will want to join Piece A between to of the units to make the long (corner to corner) center stripe of the block. Set this aside for now.

 

 

 

Each of the remaining units will be have a Piece B sewn to the corresponding long curved edge. There are two Roundabouts as indicated by the red circles in the graphic. After sewing each seam you will find making a few easement snips of the fabric will help making this long curve lay down nice and flat. Don’t clip to deep. Leave some intact fabric close to the actual seam so it can hold.

 

 

 

Sew F-Pieced Unit-F twice and lay your block out in front of you using the picture as a guide.

Just two long gentle curve seams to go. Each is has 6 roundabouts. Whenever I am sewing a long seam I always do so with a fresh length of thread (measuring 18-22”) in my needle to remove having to start a new thread anywhere along the seam line. Go slow. And clip a few easements after your done. Repeat for the second side.

 

 

After all pieces are sew together is it time to press. I press with the consideration of light fabrics needing seams pushed away so shadowing does not happen. And viola your Tennessee Circles block is done!

 

I hope you agree that this block really is simple to make and yet there are so many secondary design possibilities. If you missed my blog earlier this month going over a few ideas you can get to hit by clicking here.

 

 

 

And because it just keeps calling me I played some more with it and have this possibility to share with you.

The next Facebook LIVE segment on this block will happened tomorrow, Saturday Oct 27th at 11am cst.

See you there!
Enjoy the day,

How-To Blog #1 -Tennessee Circles Quilt Block

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

It is time to tackle the Tennessee Circles How-To Blogs!

I am going to skip the detailed marking your fabric instructions as I will be covering that in the first Facebook Live segment. And I have covered it many times in the past with the last being for Carolina Favorite block blogs that you can find just by scrolling back to the August blogs. I am working on a general “how to mark” your fabric video that is going to be on the Hand Piecing page that this being created for the website as I type. This page is going to host links to all How-to blogs for each individual design and a host of other info. But as a “one woman” operation here I can only create so fast. It will happen soon. I have the holiday season into January off and I have quite a list I am determined to see thru to finished.

So here are my fabric pieces and here is the general template identification graphic that is included in your instructions in your template package. Just remember when tracing your templates, both inside and outside lines, on the backside of your chosen fabric you want to be as precise as you can on the “inside” line. Tilt your marking pencil or pen, at an angle so that the tip is as close to the template edge as possible. I pretty much use a #2 pencil about 90% of the time for marking. I keep my lines fairly faint, but have stepped up the pressure on them for the blogs so you can see them. I also use a Sakura White Gel Pen for making fabrics with a dark color. Always test your marking tool on a small corner of your fabric to make sure it does not bleed thru to the front.

I usually spend a day tracing and then have a cutting fest in the evening with a good movie on Netflix. Individual block pieces are then stored away in sandwich bags at the ready for piecing at a moments notice. Prep work makes hand piecing happen frequently and thus blocks truly get done faster then you imagined.

 

 

Let’s start with the piecing of the corners on this block. The D-E-D unit.

 

 

 

Using two pins (white in my picture) you are going to line up your drawn sewing guideline corner. In hand piecing we never line up pieces by using the fabric edge as we do in machine piecing. This is because we are human and cutting on a hand drawn line with scissors. Sometimes we wobble. So we use the inside line that we traced from the template. The line that we took the most care to trace and did not cut. By doing things this way our accuracy improves greatly.

After lining up my corners with the white headed pins I then pin on the drawn line. I use Karen Kay Buckley Perfect Pins for hand piecing, they come in two lengths, 1” (seen here) and 1.5”. They truly have changed my hand piecing for the better. So lightweight and easy to sew around which will make more sense in a moment.

Check the back of your pinning to make sure everything is indeed lined up.

Now it is time to sew. I used a Hemming Milliners needle size 11 and Aurifil thread. You can use any needle you like, sharp, applique, milliners, even straw, just make sure it has a sharp point. Hand needles can dull out just like machine needles. And they bend. I have never found one that doesn’t. So if you needle is pointing in the opposite direction as your needle eye it is time for a new needle.

Back to sewing. A simple running stitch with a back stitch every 3 stitches is what I use.

And this is IMPORTANT>>>

I DO NOT SEW ON THE DRAWN LINE.

I hover a thread or two above it into the seam allowance. Think hand sewing a scant quarter of an inch. Because my templates are ¼ seams and windowed (so you can mark both outside and inside edge in one setting) we need to reclaim the bit of space that is lost by the width of whatever marking tool you use. You are also going to want to start and stop your seams a thread or two also into the seam allowance.

Now it is time to add the second triangle to the D-E-D unit. Again pin the corners to align them. Make sure your right hand pin is only going thru the new triangle and piece E. The first triangle should be pulled out of the way. Now it is time to tackle the Roundabout Technique for making lovely tight intersections of fabric in hand piecing. Since you don’t sew out the edge of your pieces as we would do in machine piecing you need to make a Roundabout every time three or more fabrics come together to interlock the fabric and not have pin holes at your intersections.

You do have written instructions for this in your template box and I will be demoing this technique on Facebook LIVE this week. Look at the three fabrics coming together from the top and envision that intersection as a circle and you are going to go around it -TWO fabrics at a time. That is the key, you only move your needle thru TWO fabrics at a time.

 

 

 

 

So here we go – stab your needle thru the matched corners (you can remove the white head pin while holding your pieces in place) Triangle 2 to Square. Pull thread thru

 

 

 

Now Square to Triangle 1.

 

 

 

And finally Triangle 1 to Triangle 2. Make a back stitch and sew across to the opposite end of your seam line. Remember to HOVER over the line! Knot off and clip your thread.

 

Finger press (I rarely press any block until it is completely sewn) and viola your first D-E-D unit is done! Repeat 3 more times.

 

 

On to the B-C units. These are easy-peasy. One straight seam each! Make 4.

 

 

 

 

Here is where you should be.

The first Facebook LIVE segment is going to happen tomorrow at 9am. Yes it is early but remember you don’t have to be there at the LIVE time. It will remain on my Facebook Page so you can search it out whenever you can get to it or need it. I will cover marking your fabric and the Roundabout Technique.

The second half of the How-to Blog will post on Friday, Oct 26th with another Facebook Live happening on the following Saturday!

 

If you haven’t ordered your Tennessee Circles templates yet you can do so here or ask your local shop to contact me for wholesale pricing! And Tennessee Circles is also available in the English Paper Piecing format!

Have a wonderful day! 

Tennessee Circles Quilt Block – Coloring Ideas & Quilts

Friday, October 5th, 2018

Just the name of this block makes me smile from ear to ear.

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you know that Tennessee is where we wish to retire. Someday the dream is to find us at the foot of the Smoky Mountains. It all began when I visited the area a few years back to teach at the Pigeon Forge Quilt Show.  I  came home and told Paul that he must visit this area with me. I knew he would love it as much as I did. We went back less than a year later and both were smitten. Every year we count the days to our next visit. We move around in our cabin choices so we can experience different views, proximity to town(s) etc. We are even beginning to move the timing of our trips around the calendar to experience different seasons. Some day soon we will buy that house and begin the big move.


When I chose this quilt for #2 in my Mic’s Attic Pics series I didn’t know the name yet of the block. I just new I loved this top when I purchased it years ago and I wanted to play more with the secondary patterns it could make. When I researched the name of the block and found it to be Tennessee Circles it was kismet.

I was originally drawn to the quilt top makers placement of the bubble gum pink in the blocks and the pattern it made while also holding together the scrappy blocks of her quilt.

By using the technology available to use today I am able to easily play with color placement and secondary pattern of this block.
Here would be what I would deem the traditional coloring of this block.

 

And here is it set side by side with no sashing. Can you see the secondary pattern. The gentle round circles even with no play in coloring. I love it.

 

Now let’s play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditional block.

And what if we colored it this way?

 

Look what happens with 4 blocks are set side by side with a twist of each block so that the unique corner meets in the center. Oh yeah…this would be very fun!

 

 

And then I play some more, this time setting the block on point and playing with accenting the circles to determine the quilt center and border without piecing any other blocks but Tennessee Circles. You know I love my one block quilts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But then again what if we mixed Tennessee Circles with Carolina Favorite? 

Yes this would make a beautiful quilt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I have only made a few blocks, changing up coloring and playing with many different fabric genres I can envision them in the settings I just shared. Especially that combo of Tennessee Circles and Carolina Favorite…that one may have to happen.

If you would like to give a Tennessee Circles Quilt Block a try you can find BOTH Hand Piecing Acrylic Templates and English Paper Piecing materials in my webstore under the NEW category. You can click here for an immediate link. There is special pricing good until October 10, 2018 with shipping of product to begin on October 12th.

Note items will be shipped in the order received so it may take a few days after the 12th to see “shipped” on your status the longer you wait.

 

If you would rather support your local quilt shop, and I am all for that! Please let them know about the templates and ask them to contact me and I will provide them with the links to make a wholesale order. I am really hoping to get more shops interested in carrying hand piecing items. There are MANY quilters who love the zen of piecing by hand along with sewing on their machines, all we have to do is ask out shops and they will discover this too.

I am also writing the “how-to” blogs this week for this block and they are going to begin the week of Oct 22nd.

Have a great day,