Posts Tagged ‘Mics Attic Picks’

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, 

How- To Blog #1 – Stars of Twilight Quilt Block

Monday, December 17th, 2018

Yay! The templates are on their way and some have even reported receiving them already! 

Stars of Twilight template set & my fabrics

Paper Pieces/Quilt Exchange which is the manufacturer of my templates did it again with being able to fulfill all orders and get them out the door a day prior to the stated December 14th date.  A round of applause to them! 

 

The format of announcing the block and taking pre-orders gives them the manufacturing cushion to make this happen so it is a format we will keep for the new year.

Yes more blocks will be released in 2019!   I have 6 more designs on the horizon…and maybe a surprise or two. 

But today let’s begin to tackle the Stars of Twilight block and it’s construction.  As before I am not going to tackle tracing instruments (pens, gel and chalk) and the actual tracing guidelines.  Those instructions were covered in depth here in the first how-to blog for Carolina Favorite.  I will touch on them in the Facebook LIVE segments that will begin the first week of January but you can also look back at other Facebook Lives for that info.  I suggest the first how-to’s for Carolina Favorite LIVE segments from August.   You can find them under the videos tab on my MDQuilts Facebook page. 

Ok let’s look at the templates.  Just three shapes in this block.   A square (c), a petal shape (B) and a trapezoid (c).   It’s the trapezoid shape that looks different from trapezoids of the past, ie Castle Wall Quilt block.  This trapezoid is only half it’s size needed with a thicker edge in the center.  It is what I have named a HINGED Template.   And the name says it all.   When picking out blocks, and knowing this would be a larger size at 16″ vs the 12″ of the previous blocks I knew we would have to address the size of the trapezoid template.  It needed to be smaller for several factors, fragility (the larger they are the easier to break in shipping), wanted the templates to fit in the plastic case, and cost, less acrylic used the end price reflects that savings. 

How to use Hinge Templates instructions included with templates

Cut out all your pieces and lay them out in front you checking orientation of the four patch fabrics.   Keep in mind that half your template B pieces will be the reverse of the template (Br) , meaning you will flip the template over and trace with the words that are engraved on template itself touching the backside of the fabric.   And check back in my previous blog on coloring the Stars of Twilight block for some ideas. 

I am going to end today’s blog with making of the EIGHT four patches in the block.   I know some will say why hand piece a four patch?  Well because it is needed in this block and there is nothing wrong with hand piecing a four patch.  They sew up so quickly they are almost instant gratification.   You hand piece them just as you would on a machine with the exception that you don’t sew thru seam allowances to the edge with hand piecing. 

  

Four Patch Unit – make 8

This fact plus using the ROUNDABOUT technique in the center will give you a nice crisp intersection.    Again I will LIVE demo that technique after the holidays on Facebook but you can catch it on previous videos and the written instructions enclosed with your templates.  They actually use a four patch as the general unit in the instructions so very easy to follow along and learn.

Ok that is all for now.   Choose and cut your fabrics and get the four patches done.   On Wednesday  I will tackle steps 3-5 of the Stars of Twilight Quilt Block.  

If you are interested in joining in the fun you can place an order for either the Hand Piecing Templates discussed in the blog or English Paper Piecing packs and EPP specific templates from my webstore here.   Just head to the NEW category and you will find all thing Stars of Twilight there at this time. 

See you Wednesday, 

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!

 

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,

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,