Creativity Is Back Thanks to Brinton Hall!

Good afternoon and welcome to the 100 Weather Club here in beautiful South Texas – Time for those Summer Doldrums.  Time to stay in the 70’s with the A/C running at full blast.

I started Brinton Hall Quilt (Quiltmania #107) this week.  Lu Ann (Loose Threads Blog) inspired me to make this quilt and become more proficient with English Paper Piecing (EPP).  I really am enjoying Diane Gilleband’s book – what a find!  (Thx again LuAnn) What fun I am having with this project. I want to share the process I am using to make the center Blocks because most patterns in magazines leave out a lot of information.    The greatest thing about the Blogging world is the inspiration that we received from the Quilt Bloggers.

For my quilt, I  decided to use a beautiful Asian print that I had purchased years ago and had just enough to fussy cut the 7 – 10 1/2″ squares.  (Batiks will be used for the hexies in the Medallion).   I placed my template on the right side of each 10 1/2″ square and marked the fussy cut blocks with my applique pencil.  I did NOT trim the excess fabric because I felt I would need something to hold on to when I appliqued the Hexie Crown onto the block.  LuAnn had posted that she had an issue with the fabric not laying flat so I tried to think of a way to stabilize the center of the block.  I cut a large circle of freezer paper and pressed on the back side of the fabric.  I thought that it would be large enough, but I still had about an inch or so that was not supported when I appliqued the crown and I had to be very careful in that process.   I also had some problems in sewing the hexies together in the right place.  Here is my first block:

Block 1 of Brinton Hall Medallion
Block 1 of Brinton Hall Medallion

Of course, if you have read my Blog before you know that I am the “Ripper Queen of Quilting” and usually make a test block to make sure that problems do not arise.  Before I started this project, I read Diane’s book (well part of it) and studied Karen’s method to fussy cut the 10 1/2″ blocks for the Medallion and the placement of the Hexie Crowns  (check out the tutorial .  In making the template,  I counted  the number of hexie’s that Karen had used in her picture; placed them accordingly; and taped them together with “non-stick” tape that is used for paper piecing.  Then I drew around that group of hexies on heavy drawing paper to make my template to fussy cut the Medallion Center blocks.

Fussy Cut Template For Centers
Fussy Cut Template For Centers

This morning I started on Block 2 – I sewed 18 gold hexies and tried to think of a better way to put the crown together and to stabilize the block when appliquing the Crown.  I traced the template onto freezer paper (same size as the fussy cut block) cut it out and turned the block over and realized that I had another problem with my idea – it is called “no lines to follow” – PLACEMENT STUPID!  So I ran a basting thread along the lines on the front of the block which provided me a line to follow when placing the hexies and appliquing them to the 10 1/2″ block AND provide guidelines for pressing my freezer paper stabilizer to the back of the block.  I did have to  cut 1/4″ off my freezer paper template because it would have been in the way of my applique!  Here are some visuals in case my verbage has you off in never-never land!

Freezer Paper to Stabalize  Block Back
Freezer Paper to stabilize Block Back


Top Basting Stitches
Top Basting Stitches Using the Template Markings
Block back with FP Template and Basting Stitches for Guides
Block back with Freezer Paper Template and Basting Stitches for Guides
Front of Block with Basting for Guides for the Crown-
Front of Block with Basting for Guides for the Crown
Block 2 Brinton Hall Setting Sample
Block 2 Brinton Hall Setting Sample

One of the problems I encountered yesterday when working on the Hexie Crown, was “placement” of the hexies.  I kept having to look at the pattern to make sure I was sewing the accurately.  By doing the basting thread on the lines I originally drew from Karen’s template idea, and pinning each hexie to its appropriate position, and using the clips I will be able to complete the Crowns much faster.  NOW remember I am new to this so many of you probably already know these secrets…. if not, then I hope it helps another newbie to this technique.   Clear as mud – right?

Have a great week – and enjoy your work.  EPP is so relaxing – just as much as embroidery!




6 Replies to “Creativity Is Back Thanks to Brinton Hall!”

    1. Thank you Rosemary. I like your scrap project – I really do need to cut mine up. I am such a controlled scrappy quilter…. A friend told me to just through the scraps in a bag and pull them out – made one quilt that way……..hummm


  1. It’s absolutely gorgeous! But the process sounds so daunting–I’ve never done any of this kind of piecing and I’m not sure I would dare to try it!


    1. Well, this time I took a lot of time reading up on this technique and the pattern. I did not want to run into a mess. LuAnn and Karen really helped with their informational Blogs. I think this is what makes Blogging for Quilters so great. One thing I learned about in Diane’s book was the tack stitch when working with the EPP pieces – had no idea – thought I had to always baste through the fabric and paper piece!


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