Posts Tagged ‘hand piecing’

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,

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, 

 

How-To Blog #3 – Carolina Favorite Quilt Block

Sunday, August 19th, 2018

Let’s finish the block!

You should have four of each of the “Half Square Units” shown in the picture to the left.

 

Sew them into squares down the center “half square” seam line. I always start from the outer corner and sew towards what will be come the center of the block. You will have two roundabout intersections (see detailed instructions for this technique here).

After sewing this seam a total of  four times, you will have four quarters of your block completed. YAY! Truly the hard stuff is done. The next three seams are all straight seams.

                                                                                  Layout the blocks as indicated in the picture.

Sew the vertical seam between the top two squares, and the same seam between the bottom two squares, to form two rectangle halves of the block.

 

One LONG straight seam to go!

Right down the middle. The most difficult part of this last seam is that you are starting and ending with a Roundabout. There are a total of 7 of them. Don’t worry you got this. Just go slow. Before you know it you will be at the center and then it’s coasting to the other end for the finish!

 

YAY! Look at that! The block is finished.

Now regarding pressing the block. I did a Facebook LIVE segment all about pressing this block yesterday.

Head over to my facebook page – MDQuilts and take a look at it. I will have it pinned to the top of the page for the next few days.
Eventually several if not all the Facebook LIVE How-to segments will also be available on a special page on this website. Working on creating that now. When it is done I will give you a heads up in a blog/facebook post.

I hope you enjoyed making your first of what will be many Carolina Favorite Quilt blocks. I would love to see yours so please feel free to post them on either the Piece & Hexiness Facebook Page. That is the easiest page for everyone to see them immediately. Otherwise if you post them to the MDQuilts page I have go thru an acceptance and sharing task to get them to public view (it is a first generation professional page that has it own special set of rules…ugg)
And if you haven’t joined in the Carolina Favorite fun you can click below and I will get a set of templates out to you pronto!

Piece & Hexiness,

How-To Blog #2 – Carolina Favorite Quilt Block

Friday, August 17th, 2018

Are you ready to piece?

The Carolina Favorite block is actually just an elaborate four patch block. Meaning it is composed of 4 alike units (pieced squares) that are slightly oriented differently around the center. This means everything we cover in today’s blog you will need to repeat a total of four times for the entire block.

I am going to follow the piecing sequence I provided in your instructions that came with the templates. When I write block piecing instructions I first look for any combination of seams that could be sewn in thread length. As a handpiecer it is best to sew as much as possible before knotting off and starting again. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you wish to look at it there are no long combo lengths of sewing that can be done on this block. So things will be strictly one seam and  start anew for all that is going to be covered in today’s blog.

This is what makes this very complicated looking block actually very easy to hand piece. So see that is the fortunate part. It just may take a few minutes longer then if you could sew a long a winding path combining several pieces together in one thread length. That is the unfortunate part.
First up you will want to sew Piece C to D. Now here is the magic of my pinning method. Normally if we were machine piecing we line up our edges and let whatever tool we have on our machines help guide us to the perfect quarter inch. And for many that is how they have tackled hand piecing in the past.

I want you to ignore the cut edge of your pieces and use the drawn inner line to line things up. And this is how you are going to do that.

Using any pin that is at least an inch in length poke the pin straight thru the corner of piece C and also the corresponding corner of piece D. Your pieces will be right sides together. Normally I would just poke straight thru and push the pin down to the head and leave the pin dangle. That works on a straight line of sewing. But this is a gentle curve so I do bring the pin back to the front as you see in the picture, back thru piece D and then C to just hold it in place.


Now do the same on the opposite end of your seam.

Next you will want to use the finest pins you have available to you. I use Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Pins for my hand piecing, you can find them in my store or check your local quilt shop. Remember no shop can truly carry everything but most put in weekly orders for supplies and if your willing to wait a bit I am sure they will be happy to order them for you. We must support our shops! (in fact please them about my templates because they are available for wholesale orders for shops!)

You are going to gently maneuver the edge of piece C until it looks to be about right, and then pin directly on the drawn line. You will check where the pin falls on piece D and make any corrections you need to so that it also falls on the line.

These pins are short and so two are needed. I actually would like you to use two pins regardless of the length you have as it will make it easier when you are sewing. Repeat this process with a second pin. Use my picture as a guide.

 

Right now your piecing should look a little like a porcupine. That is normal. Now load up your needle with 18-22” of thread single strand, knot one end. I like Aurfil Mako 50wt. Be good to yourself and use a good quality thread when hand piecing. It will make a world of difference in your experience. The needles I use are Hemmings Milliners size 11. The milliners needle is going to be a tad bit longer then a sharp but not as long as a straw needle. If you are more comfortable with either of those needles then use them. I have had students use quilting betweens because they were comfortable working with that length of needle. Use whatever helps you be successful.

NOW THIS IS IMPORTANT! You are not, I repeat NOT going to sew directly on the drawn line that you pinned on. You are going to sew a thread or two above that line, or a scant quarter of an inch. This will compensate for the thickness of your marking pen and the fact that no one/thing can get a line drawn beneath the inner edge of the template. This is also why you want to make sure whatever you are marking with does not show on the front of your fabric.

I begin with a backstitch slightly above and one or two threads to the right of the first orientation pin. You will want to remove this pin at this time but keep a firm hold on your pieces to keep them in place until you can get a few stitches made. It is a running stitch that is used in hand piecing with a back stitch every 3-4 stitches is my style. If you stitches are longish at this time, based on your skill set (note they will get smaller and you will get faster the more you stitch) you may wish to bump up your backstitch to every other stitch. Basically you want a backstitch in every quarter inch of stitching.

 

Since I am using very fine pins I can actually leave them in and stitch past them, I am hovering above them. This is a great reminder to stay off the line! Stitch across following the gentle curve until you reach the opposite orientation pin. End as you began, a thread or two into the left hand side seam allowance and always end with a backstitch.

Knot.

Clip you thread.

VOILA! You first seam is done!

Since this is a curved seam you will need to clip some ease into the seam. Three or Four snips about slightly over half the width of the seam allowance should do it. Open and finger press. Look how nice that curve is.

You did it! Be proud!

 

 

 

Ok on to the next piece. No resting. Your fingers are warmed up.

 

 

Pin your seam following my image as a guide.

 

 

Don’t catch the seam allowance of the intersecting seam in any of your pins.

 

 

It needs to be free to allow you to make the roundabout move (RED CIRCLE in illustration) . This move is what will make all your points nice and sharp in the block and no pin holes at your intersections.

You have a page of general instructions included in your templates and I have been and will continue to demo the roundabout move on Facebook LIVE for the next week or so. I am going to dock one of those instructional videos onto a special page on my website so it will available to you for viewing whenever you need a refresher very soon.

 

Sew this seam. Make your easing clips. Finger press.

The final part of making this unit, UNIT 1, is adding piece A. You will see in my next image I lost my mind and actually added it to UNIT 2 (which is the mirror image of UNIT 1). It really doesn’t matter which unit you put A on just make sure 4 of them are sewn to one or the other.

 

 

Get yourself to this point where you have 8 “halves” totally, 4 left and 4 right, with the A piece sewn somewhere and we will tackle the rest of the block in Sunday’s blog post.

Piece & Hexiness,

How-To Blog #1 – Carolina Favorite Quilt Block

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

It’s finally time to get to the “HOW-TO” blogs for the Carolina Favorite block. I am loving seeing the excitement of receiving the templates and some who are experienced hand piecers are already posting block for all to see on the Facebook page – Piece & Hexiness. That is the group page that acts like an open forum in connection to my professional page of MDQuilts. By joining the Piece & Hexiness page you can partake in the posting there. And when you do so ALL can see your posts vs waiting for me to share them on the MDQuilts page. Here is a link to the Piece & Hexiness page.

Let’s get on to the block.

This is a 4 piece template set. Three of the templates, B, C, & D, will be used also in reverse position. A template is right side up if the wording on it can be read. You will have a brown backing paper adhered to your template. That is left on for shipping purposes and you can remove it if you would like. But I have found most people like the paper left on the template as it provides a crisper edge to see when marking on light fabrics and easier to orientate between right side and reverse. There is no correct decision regarding the paper. The choice is yours.

These are the marking tools I use. Either some form of pencil, traditional #2 or a mechanical pencil, or a gel pen. I like the Sakura opaque white pencil for use on dark colored fabrics or any other fun color that shows up. ALWAYS test your gel pen on a scrap of the chosen fabric. There are several factors that can be detrimental to your success. As we all know not all cotton fabric is of the same caliber and a loosely woven fabric will have allow the gel ink to seep thru to the front making it visible. And the longer you use a gel pen most tend to bleed out their ink faster. It has to do with the warmth of your hands. So if your going to spend a day marking and kitting up blocks please keep this in mind. I tend to used 2-3 different pens on that day and change them out. I have also found a quick pop in the freezer (5mins!) tends to slow them down for use.
Once you have chosen all your fabrics and how you wish to have them appear in the block (see my previous blog here about coloring options) go ahead and trace the required number of each piece on the BACKSIDE of the chosen fabric. When tracing be sure to angle your marking pen/pencil so that you get as close to the edge of both the inside and outside. If you wobble a bit on the outside edge don’t fret it but try to keep that inside line as clean as you can. And make sure you get your corners clearly marked. That inside line is the more important line. It will all makes sense tomorrow when I go over pinning.

 

 

Cut out your pieces, again don’t worry if you wobble a little but do try to give yourself the full ¼ seam allowance to avoid any fraying of your fabric as you handle it.

 

 

 

Once you have everything cut out I always lay my block out to check my piece count, my fabric placement and then I take a picture of the block for future reference.

I usually kit up several blocks at a time and work on them over a several weeks, sometimes months, so having a reference photo in my phone is helpful. Especially when I am piecing on the go and cant have the block in front of me.

 

 

 

 

If you are interested in joining in learning how to hand piece you can order your set of Carolina Favorite Acrylic Templates right here!

That’s it for today.
New blog on Friday –  we pin and sew!

Carolina Favorite Quilt Block – Quilt Ideas

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

Let me go on record with the statement that I am a fast handpiecer. Speed comes with years of practice. It is like anything else in life, the more you do it, the more accurate you become and speed picks up.

BUT…there is no way I can ever make a quilt of each block I intend to share with you in the next few years, let alone 3 or 4 showing different layout and coloring ideas.

This is where my computer and skill with programs such as EQ8 and Adobe Illustrator allow me to bring to you some visual images and then send you on your way with ideas sparking inside your head.

Here are some easy quilt designs I came up with for the Carolina Favorite block.

 

1. SIMPLE SIMPLE SIMPLE. That is what this layout is. Just side by side rows of the block sans sashing. I colored this image as 2 color but I think this would be a great layout for scrappy Carolina Favorite blocks.

 

 

 

 

 

2. The same simple layout with a thin sashing and cornerstones. Add some fancy coloring of the D pieces (see previous blog for block lettering) and sashing/cornerstones to make a soft textured secondary design in the background.

 

 

3. On point and colored to resemble flowers. YES! I say. This may actually happen someday in my studio. Note the two-toned D pieces again for depth.

 

 

 

 

4. On point again but this time different values of background are used to draw attention to the center blocks. A strong color (black in the image) used on every other A piece gives the block a twirling movement.

So there you have it. I hope some of the ideas in this blog and yesterday’s have you thinking …hmmm…I really like this block and I think I can do this! Because let me tell you I know you can. I have taught hand piecing to hundreds if not a few thousand, over the last 5 years and I haven’t lost a student yet. And this block truly is much easier then it looks as the curves are quite gentle.

I may toss up another blog during the week showing the final two sample blocks and keep an eye on August 15th for the start of the “How-to Piece” blogs.

Don’t forget the pre-order special on the templates ends at midnight on August 7th. You can find all the details and place your order by clicking here.

Enjoy your day!

Piece & Hexiness,

Carolina Favorite Quilt Block – Coloring Options

Saturday, August 4th, 2018

I think part of my attraction to the Carolina Favorite Quilt Block is the various coloring options that I see when I look at it. I realize that this is not something everyone can easily do.

So I was also excited when I wrote out an outline for myself on presenting these “Mic’s Attic Picks” blocks that numerous sample blocks would happen. I can play and provide what I hope to be jumping off points for your own creativity.

So let’s get started.

Here is the block as it was done by the maker of my vintage top. Very traditional two color/fabric palette. Simple and yet so very effective for this design.

 

 

My version using Civil War prints. Obviously the most important guideline with making a 2 color version is to have high contrast between your choices.  Both in color and scale of print. 

 

 

 

I want to share with you one of the graphics in the instructions you will receive with your template set. I have labeled each piece with it’s corresponding template letter. A small “r” behind the letter means the template is reversed for this piece. Having this key will help with descriptions of coloring on the next samples.

 

You can also see that this block is composed of 4 sections. And the sections are basically two units that mirror one another with the addition of a piece A on one unit. Now I hope you are seeing just how easy this block truly is to piece. And wait to we get the blogs showing the process with all the tips and tricks I have for you on that. (remember August 15th – How To Blogs will begin to post)

Here are four more samples I have made of Carolina Favorite

1 & 2. In these samples I decided to use the same fabric in piece A (center) and the same fabric in B & Br. Stay away from using directional prints in A when using this coloring variation (unless you are going to take the time fussy cut those pieces for a unique look). Using a fabric that melds with itself presents a nice look where the seams disappear and don’t distract. This coloring variation allows a larger print (sample 1) to be used in the B/Br pieces effectively. There is enough exposure that a large print does not lose impact of design. Choosing one fabric for C and one for Cr. gives some dimension/depth to the block as they appear to be coming from behind. The A and B areas can feel a bit “flat” when colored with one fabric each, using two fabrics in C/Cr gives dimension and life to the design I feel.

3. I made one subtle change on this block in that I brought my fabric choices for C/Cr to the center A pieces. Strong bold choices make the repetitive coloring very appealing. Note that my B/Br pieces are a softer fabric in print, a floral, even though it is still bold in coloring. That is also very attractive to the eye in any block, mixing soft prints with strong graphic prints.

4. This is the same coloring style as 1 & 2 but done in solids. This is the block you will see me making in in the How-To blogs. I like to use solids for teaching as they are easier to see and identify. I will also make a few more solid blocks during the Facebook Live segments so you can actually see the sewing and tips as I do them. Plus then these solid blocks will be the samples sent to guilds/shops who may wish to book the workshop.

Ok…that’s it for now. I do have two more samples I am making showing two more variations of coloring. I will post a blog on them later this month. But if you have been following me on Facebook this week you have already seen one being made!

You can order your set of Carolina Favorite templates here in my webstore.  Be sure to read about the pre-order special there that is available until August 7th. 

…tomorrow I will share some simple yet exciting ideas for block layout in a quilt.

Piece & Hexiness,

ReIntroducing Carolina Favorite Quilt Block

Saturday, July 28th, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Carolina Favorite

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

 

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

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

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

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


..next blog…let’s look at some coloring variations for this block. 

‘til next time.
Piece & Hexiness,

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.

PatrioticCWBurst1

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,

MickeySignature

 

 

 

 

 

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.

CWBurst1

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.

CWBurst3

 

 

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,

MickeySignature

 

 

 

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