Posts Tagged ‘hand piecing’

How-To Blog #2 – Little Boy Britches Quilt Block

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

Ready to finish your first Little Boy Britches quilt block?   This quilt block sews up so fast that just two “How-to Blogs” are really all that are needed.   Just imagine how quickly enough blocks for an entire quilt would sew up.  And I make no secret about the fact that while I love to hand piece quilt blocks, I have no desire to sew them together in row or sew rows together by hand.  Nope, I will piece the blocks by hand, grabbing snippets of time here and there throughout a busy day, or settling in with a movie at night, but when it comes to long straight seams I head to my machine.

And a lot of times an entire pieced border is sewn my machine and added.   It is hand piecing the blocks that gives me great joy and zen time.   So I am not a “purist” regarding an entire quilt being sewn by hand.  But I am good with that.  

Let’s get started.  

The next piece to sew is the corner squares (piece B) to the edges of the A/Ar unit just completed.  “

If your corner square (piece B) is to large this means that more than likely you sewed the wrong edges of A and Ar together in your first piecing.  Go back and check.  The smallest edge of the A/Ar units make the center seam.  The middle length edge is what will touch the edges of the square (piece B).

Pin the square into place on both edges and begin to sew your seam.   When you reach the opposite edge of your fist side you will encounter your first ROUNDABOUT in this block.   I am going to link a previous blog here that covers the roundabout technique in detail.   It is very simple and is the trick to making crisp points and corners, with no pin holes, in your block.   Just work your needle and thread thru two pieces of fabric at a time in a clockwise direction until you have gone around the entire intersection.  Then make a back stitch and begin sewing your next seam.   Repeat this three times.

One thing to note is I don’t usually press any hand pieced block until the end unless I find it will help in the sewing construction.  This is because my hand piecing is usually done away from an iron and blocks are constantly shoved back into small carry along containers/bags so pressing would be wasted energy.   But if you wish to press as you sew along please feel free to.  I will only give instructions to press when it helps in construction.

Next seams to sew are the triangles to the sides two of the pieced A/Ar/B units just completed.   If you have a color/texture pattern in your block you will want to make sure these triangles are sewn to A/Ar/B units that are opposite one another in the block.

And the remaining A/Ar/B units to opposite sides of the center B square.    These are all straight line seams, no roundabouts, just short seams.   Another reason why this block is so fast to sew.

Down to the final two seams.  And these may take a bit of concentration when you reach the center area because there are THREE roundabouts. 

And yes make the effort to do all three.  You may think the center one can just be skipped and sewn over as if you are machine piecing,  but your there and it will make the seam a bit flatter when pressing so do the roundabout.   It’s like veggies, you may not like them at meal time but they are good for you.

Viola! Your block is done!

I hope you enjoyed making your first Little Boy Britches block.  If you have any questions please free free to post them here or join me for the Facebook LIVE presentation at 11am central time on the MDQuilts page tomorrow.  I will sew a few seams live on camera, talking you thru a few more and will answer questions.

If you would like to order a set of Little Boy Britches hand piecing templates you can find them here in my webstore.  And note that all designs under the Mic’s Attic Pick’s series of blocks are available in hand piecing and English Paper Piecing format.

The next block in the series will be revealed on Friday, April 26th and preordering will be available with shipping happening as always the 2nd Friday of the following month.

Enjoy your day,



How-To Blog #1 – Little Boy Britches Quilt Block

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

Let’s start to handpiece a Little Boy Britches block today.

These are the ¼” windowed acrylic templates for the block.   I am going to link the first how-to blog for the Carolina Favorite (August 2018 release) here.   The instructions given in this blog will cover using the templates to mark your fabrics, filled with tips regarding marking tools used, etc.

I am going to make a scrappy blue block.   Note: the templates shown in the picture are in a hard plastic case.  Those cases were no longer available to my manufacturer at the time of release of these template sets.  

A supplier of hard cases was located and an order of them are on their way as I type.  Problem is they are coming from overseas.  And that takes time.  

This household is learning that given Paul Jr’s boxes of personal items was a at his overseas shipping company on January 23rd and as of this posting he still has not received his items in Sweden.  Last he heard the boxes were in Germany and would be there soon….two weeks ago.  Define soon.   Not two weeks. 

As soon as the new hard cases are in stock I will be selling them in units of three (not absolute on the number right now) for anyone interested in obtaining them for past block sets.

Onward!

As you can see by this diagram, taken from the instructions included in each set of templates.  The A template is used in reverse in this design. 

Be sure to note that the two shorter sides of the A templates are NOT the same length.  There is definitely a correct orientation to the shape. The shorter side, marked with MDQuilts.com, is the center seam of the britches.  The longer side, marked with Unit A/Ar,  is the side that matches up to the corner square, piece B.   

Make sure you remember to flip the template over when marking for the Ar pieces!

I always cut and lay out all my block pieces to make sure I am happy with my choices and orientation before I begin to sew.

The first seam sewn is the center seam that joins piece A/Ar.  I am again linking a previous blog here that covers all the tips and tricks for lining up your pieces and sewing them together.

Let’s Sew!

Repeat this for the remaining 3 sets of A/Ar pieces and join me on Friday for sewing the rest of the block together in a how-to blog.

Tomorrow I will go LIVE on Facebook at 11am central time.  This LIVE will cover marking your fabric pieces, cutting them out, and sewing your first seams.  

The LIVE segments for each and every block released under the Mic’s Attic Picks series are hosted on the MDQuilts Facebook page and easily found by clicking the videos tab there.

If you have any questions please feel free to post them here and I can cover them in tomorrow’s LIVE segment and reply here if they are posted after that event.

Happy Sewing,

Block Discussion – Little Boy Britches

Monday, March 18th, 2019

This block will cover some samples of different options for coloring the block and how it can change how you look at this simple yet unique block for a quilt.

Let’s get started.

This is the most traditional version of Little Boy Britches I feel.  The vintage quilt top I own has the “britches” part of the block done in all the same fabric (red) and that does create a unique lattice type of layout in a quilt. I would need variety to keep it interesting for me in construction.   So I made a block sample showing both parts (A & Ar) of each britches made of the same fabric in pairs each pair of britches in a block are different. Make sure you have different scales of print so each fabric can be see as separate.  This would be a great way to use up lots of scraps and make a fun quilt.

This version of the block takes scrappy to the next level in this block.  Well actually you could scrap the background fabric also.  But I like to have at least one constant in a block to give the eye some where to rest.   Again..scraps could really be used up.  Imagine an entire quilt done in all blues, or make two color quilt making half your blocks blue and the other half yellows.   Or what about just making blocks using the same color in each block and then just setting them together in a scrappy fashion.  

In this block I used brights and hand-dyed fabrics and went for a 2 color block with the A and Ar pieces in different yet constant fabrics.   Now what if you did this for entire quilt.  Let’s see what that would look like.

same fabrics in same position

Or what if you flipped the fabric positions for half the blocks.

changing up the A/Ar fabric position every other block creates this woven look

And recolored SOME of the corner squares to make 4 patches. 

WOW! I really like this idea.

Or what if you colored the block as such to create a 3-D effect.

I hope you can agree that Little Boy Britches maybe a very simple block when you first look at it, but does pack a design punch when you begin to play.

This is the schedule I have set up on my end for this block.  

How-to blog(s) will post Wednesday, March 20th and Friday, March 22nd.

Facebook LIVE Sew-a-longs will happen on Thursday March 19th and Sunday March 24th.  The times for these will be announced the night before on the MDQuilts Facebook page but I am shooting for Noon Central time for each.  And of course they will always be available for viewing at anytime under the video section of the Facebook page.

You can order your set of hand piecing templates or papers for English Paper Piecing, if you prefer that method of construction, by heading to the Store (see tab above in website header) and going to the NEW category.

Have a great 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,

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.