Thursday, October 23, 2014

RSC Diagonal Strings

It has been a while since we did any string blocks. They are such a good way to use up scraps though.  There are lots of ways to make strings.  I enjoy sewing them on paper, and that would definitely work here, but I was trying to use up some charm squares again and so I cut them into widths from randomly ranging from 1.75 to 1 inches.  I had another charm square in grey and I cut it half from corner to corner along the diagonal.  If you don't happen to have charm squares, collect together some strings that are at least 5 inches long and cut a background square of fabric that is about 5 inches.  Everything is a bit big for squaring up, so don't stress to much about the exact measurements.
The strings in this block are going across the diagonal of a square.  So the length needs to be the hypotenuse of a right triangle.  Given the 6.5 inch unfinished size of the block,  I think about 9 inches will do it.  Go ahead and sew strings at least that long.  10 inches can't hurt.  Press the strings and straighten up the edges.  Mine ended up at a width of 4.5 inches after the trimming.
Sew a grey triangle on either side of the strings and press away from the strings.  Use your favorite 6.5 inch square up ruler to trim away all the extra.

Here's your finished block.  It is 6.5 inches unfinished but will be 6 inches in the finished quilt.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Design Wall Monday October 20, 2014

I am almost done with the Mai Tai Sunrise blocks.  Almost.  I have extras of framed nine patches, but it looks like I still need 5 more star blocks.  First I'd better get these picked up off the floor before the dog scrambles them though.  Each block is 7.5 inches, so this should be a nice twin sized quilt when it is done.  This is a Bonnie Hunter Pattern from Quiltmaker magazine.  Though, I also saw the star block in a Nickel Quilts book as well.  I didn't use nickel squares, I used 2 inch strips and easy and companion angle rulers.  These blocks have been Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks for about a year and a half I think, so it will feel great to get them finished off and sewn together.  Hopefully before the new mystery starts after Thanksgiving.
 Most of my sewing time this weekend was spent painting the girls bathroom, so not much was accomplished on the quilting front.
 The bathroom is now a cool and creamy shade of teal that reminds me of mint chocolate chip ice cream.
This is the fabric that they have chosen for curtains and shower curtains.  So no quilts on the horizon quite yet, but the sewing machine will get some action in any case.  I'm linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times, so feel free to head over and see what else is on design walls this week.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

ScrapHappy Saturday - Delving into Dark

I've been playing a lot with brown, but today I feel like black should get a turn.  Now that I'm home again, with all my fabrics and supplies available, I feel the urge to jump in and play.  What dark plans do you have in the works?   Use misterlinky below to share your projects.

RSC Sampler Chevrons

This one has lots of pieces.  It isn't hard, but it does take patience.
Each of the red rectangles is 2 inches by 3.5 inches.  You will need 8, mine are all different.  You will also need 16 black squares, each is 2 inches.  
You will need to sew the black squares on to the red triangles for "flip and sew" corners.  Notice that four angle to the right and four angle to the left.
Next, sew the other black squares to the bottom of each rectangle, with the angles parallel to the direction of the first seam.  Make sure everything is headed in the right direction before trimming away the extra fabric in the corners.  Pressing is going to be important later, so press the seams on the one set toward the black and the other set toward the red.
Pair and uphill and a downhill rectangle so that they angle up toward the center.
When you sew these together into pairs, the seams should nestle nicely if you have done the pressing just right.  If not, feel free to repress to help everything line up.
Now you should have 4 - 3.5 inch squares.
Sew the them into pairs to make two rows.  Press the seams on the top row to the left and the seam on the bottom row toward the right to help them nestle.

Finally, sew the two rows together to make a square.

Friday, October 17, 2014

RSC Sampler - Sickle

Here's a nice easy one.  Its just a four patch really, so the pieces are pretty big.
You could use the easy angle ruler for this one, but with just two HST units, I decided to use the old two squares method.  Also, I had a nice pile of charm squares in the brown bin to use up.  
The unfinished unit needs to be 3.5 inches.  So I think the traditional math says to cut the squares to 3 and 7/8s -- I just did mine at 4 inches, cause it gave me a bit of squaring up room.  For just two squares, it is just as easy either way.  
Anyway, cut two squares, one brown and one background colored.  
You will also need 2 inch strips in brown and background that are at least 8 inches long.  
The brown for the strips can be the same or different from the brown in the squares.     
Sew the strips together.
Place the squares right sides together and draw a diagonal line down the middle from corner to corner.  Sew a quarter of an inch on either side of the drawn line.
Cut along the drawn line on the sewn square to divide the two HST units.  Open and press toward the dark.  Remove the dog ears.
Press the strip set open with the seams going toward the brown.  Sub-cut the strips into 2 inch sections.  You will need 4 of them.
Sew the 2 inch subunits together to make four patches.  Arrange your blocks as shown.  Notice that the four patches don't go in the same direction.  This really bugs me personally, but it is the pattern.
Sew the four subunits together as shown.  Pretty quick, right?  

Home with a Sunrise

As much fun as it is to go away, even for work, coming home again always feels SO good!  We finished up with our work around lunch time today while I was getting a text from Kurt with pictures of the kids at Universal.  It was a day off school for teacher inservice and they took advantage.  Knowing they would be busy for a while, I ate a leisurely lunch before starting my drive home.  It was a nice uneventful trip and I arrived at about the same time as the rest of the gang.  Anna and Sydney were both busy with craft projects of their own, so I though I'd put out the star blocks I made this week with the framed nine patches from earlier.  I do need just a few more star blocks to round out the collection, but it is almost ready to be sewn together.
This block, called Mai Tai Surprise, is a Bonnie Hunter pattern.  It was posted on her Addicted to Scraps column in October of 2012.  I also think she used it as the quilt pattern for one of the quilting cruises she hosted at about the same time.  I did change out the color placement just a bit, and made monochromatic blocks instead of the scrappy ones she showed, but I really do love the effect.  The stars have partial seams, which do take a bit of concentration, but the effect is totally worth in my opinion.  Anyway, mine is called Mai Tai Sunrise and I really love how it is coming together.  
So now I'd better do the normal home after a trip things, like unpacking and laundry.  After that though, I'll whip up just a few more stars and get this guy all ready to sew together.  Such a nice way to jump start the weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2014


 I finished up all the star blocks that I could make with the bits and pieces I brought along.
After that, I thought that I would switch to cutting and organizing some scraps.  I have 1 inch strips, with me, but without my "good" machine, I think my seam allowance is overly generous to be working on the teensie bits.  Maybe I can play with those this weekend.  Tonight is the last hotel room night I have to enjoy, though, and cutting up scraps is also a fun way to spend  some time.    

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Hourglass

I cut this one out during the pink month, and put it in a baggie for later. Note to self: when putting things away for later, always include a note as to how things are supposed to go together. Things that seem simple today, are complicated later.
Start with 5 inch square of pink fabric, you will also need 2.5 inch strips in brown and pink.
Cut the following pieces:
2 - HST units made using the easy angle ruler to cut brown and pink fabrics which have been placed right sides together.
4 - single layer pink HST units also cut with the easy angle ruler
1 - 2.5 inch brown square.
Sew the HST along the diagonal and press with the seam facing the brown.
The HST triangle blocks will make the top right and bottom left corners of the block.  The solid brown square goes right in the center.  Fill in the middle strip using the pink triangles, making sure the long side forms the outside edge of the center section.
Starting with the bottom left corner, sew a pink triangle to the top edge.  Repeat with the middle brown square.  The upper right hand corner square should have a pink triangle sewn to the bottom edge.  I laid these out and sewed and pressed each before putting it back to check placement.  
Now the two corner sections are done, you just need to attach another triangle to the bottom of the center square.
Match the seams where and sew the three center subsections together.  Press so that the seams lie as flat as possible.
Next, begin attaching the two large pink corner triangles, being careful not to stretch the bias edges on the small pink triangles.  Press away from the bulky middle section.
There you go.  A nice simple block really, as long as you can get everything oriented properly.  Measure it to make sure that it is 6.5 inches unfinished and you are done.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Starry Starry Night

I've been making nice progress on the star blocks for Mai Tai Sunrise.  I was even able to come up during the lunch break today and sew a few blocks before the afternoon session started.  It has been nice to relax and sew the evenings away, though I was feeling a little guilty leaving Kurt to handle everything at home.  I called earlier tonight though, and he was home alone while all of the kids were scattered about at different activities.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hotel Room Quilt Retreat

I'm all settled into my hotel room with my sewing machine and all the supplies I will need.  Ready to do a little sewing -- on a school night!  I am at the EOC Item Specification and Review Committee, and though the days are full of question editing, the nights are open for quilting fun!
Deb has been kind enough to write up 2 block tutorials to fill in during my absence.  Be sure to head over to her blog, and tell her I said THANKS!  I'll be sure to put up some more blocks when I am back home again, until then, I'm sewing stars.