Vintage Midnight Sun in Today's Fabrics

Antique Midnight Sun Quilt - 70" x 85"

I'm often asked where I get my inspiration from. I have to say: from traditional quilts! Why should I reinvent the wheel when there are so many glorious quilts that are timeless? All I do is just change out their clothes, giving them new colors. This quilt appeared in a magazine years ago and is called "Midnight Sun." It was probably pieced by hand and used carefully cut templates. How did I update it? So glad you asked!

Seeing Red - 38" x 38", Block Size: 15"

Well, here you have it. Seeing Red is my version of the Antique Midnight Sun. Four blocks and I was done (could that be because I also ran out of fabric?) Don't you love those sharp points? And don't you just love templates and hand piecing - NOT!!! All foundation pieced. This appeared in my 2013 book, Paper Piecing Perfect Points.

Yes, you can have blocks with VERY SHARP POINTS!

 I loved the block so much that I am almost finished with another 5 of 6 blocks, which I began almost 2 years ago. This time, they are in other colors. I will sew the blocks until I run out of fabric, then go looking for border prints. That's just the way I've always worked. I first love the block and sew up as many as I can. Then, and only then, do I determine what size the quilt will be. Crazy? Maybe, but hey, this is America (where I live) and so far, it's not against the law.

Here's my process, so you can see how easy - and PRECISE - foundation piecing can be. I shared these steps in 2013 and figured it would be nice to see the process again. And the finished quilt!

Select 3 fabrics; cut the  rectangles for paper piecing

Sew on the line, following the numbering sequence. Ready to trim.

Notice how the lines criss-cross IN THE seams. That secures the points so they don't "unsew" when removing paper

Look how many I've made! Aren't they beautiful? Sharp points!

Four units ready to be stitched together. Yes, there's a hole in the center. I'm not done!

 I love showing the back side (not mine; shame on you! the back side of the block!) Notice a few things:
  • Because of my method of trimming a patch, leaving 1/4" seam allowance BEFORE adding the next patch, it really looks like I've used templates. But you KNOW I didn't.
  • I pressed the four joining seams open; reduces the bulk.
  • It's OK to leave in the little snippets of my paper. It is pulp and won't hurt anything and will dissolve should the items be washed.
  • I covered up the center hole with a self-faced (non-fusible interfacing) circle and then machine appliquéd it on using a tiny zig-zag stitch and mono-filament thread.

Back side of the block so far

Front side of Midnight Sun block

 Here is the full block. Same size as "Seeing Red", but now wearing different colors.
I actually reverse appliqued the outside background piece to the center - not this way in the book!

I made enough paper pieced units for 3 more blocks. Had to dig through my stash for a substitute fabric for the outside floral print. Found something. These are 15" finished blocks so my new center of 9 blocks is going to be awesome!

Fast forward 6 years to 2019 and I decided that I would never put these together and so gave them to my local quilt guild to finish. They sewed them block to block and my friend Jeannie C. quilted it; I put the binding on. This went to our charity endeavors.

Updated Midnight Sun: 45" x 45"

I sell my book, Paper Piecing Perfect Points, as a 92 page digital pdf on a CD. It's exactly as it appears in print (since I wrote all the directions, designed all the art and templates and foundations, made all the quilts, etc). You can purchase it from me for $15 and $3 postage. Send me an email ( to find out how to do that (PayPal is best).

Take a visit to my Etsy shop to see several more quilts made using foundation paper piecing.