Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Sewing on the Road

 I am on the road for the rest of the week.  After two days of reading and editing test questions for the end of course exam, I am in need of some nice relaxing sewing.  Here is my portable design wall.
And of course, my portable ironing station.
Last night I finished these three Farmer's Wife blocks.  They were already  cut out.  After having a bit of trouble with the seam allowances on my back-up machine, I think everything is working properly now and I am ready to sew. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Packing for a Trip

I have a work trip next week.  This is the same state committee for the Biology End Of Course exam that I have served on for the last four years.  It involves traveling to Jacksonville and staying in a hotel for most of the week.  The days are full of reading and editing test questions, but the nights are open for sewing.  Last year I finished off the blocks for Mai Tai Sunrise.  The year before that I worked on Dear Jane Blocks.  This year I am planning on doing some Farmer's Wife Sampler blocks.
This is going to be a solid sampler quilt, and I have plenty of solids to get started, but I also wanted to use them for the back of last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler.  My Farmer's Wife 1930s book still hasn't arrived, but I have the original version with plenty of quilt blocks to keep me busy.  So far I have kept up with the gnomeangel blocks as she started with the easy ones that I can do without a book.  I ordered the Marti Mitchell templates too, or at least the ones that I could get on Amazon with free prime shipping.  I tried them on this block and it worked pretty well.  I don't like the idea of using lots of paper templates, but I do enjoy my easy angle ruler, so maybe the template sets will be the best of both worlds?  Time will tell.  
So this morning I tackled the stack and cut 100 10.5 inch squares of solid fabric.  I think that will be enough for the back that I have in mind.  The rest of the scraps are now liberated and ready to be used in the sampler quilt.  
Here are the blocks I've gotten done so far.  The colors are anything goes as long as it is solid.  Even though I have enough, I still couldn't resist hopping onto the Connecting Threads website this morning and widening up my selection.  Solids are always nice to have on hand after all.  There is something strangely exhilarating about a new project.  Maybe its the shopping?

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler 2015

Today's block is either a traditional eight pointed star with extra HST units in the corners, or it is Doris's Star, but with a plain center square.  I pulled the last few blocks from Rosemary Young's Quilt Bible, but this one is a variation on the star themes that I found there.  I suppose that I shall call it......Shadow Star.  
This block is on a nine patch grid.  That means that a 6 inch block will work out with 2.5 inch unfinished subunits.  I used three different browns and background fabric.  Find or cut 2.5 inch strips.  You could also do it with fewer colors, but there are only two sampler blocks this month, so you might as well go crazy.
Layer the lightest brown fabric right sides together with the background and use the easy angle ruler to cut 4 HST pairs.
Next, fold the darkest brown strip right sides together and cut 4 pairs of wings using the tri recs ruler.  You can also paper piece these if you don't have the tri recs ruler.
You will need 4 pieces of background fabric for the center section of the pointy star.  You may cut them individually, or double layer your fabric.
Finally, cut one 2.5 inch square of medium brown fabric.
Start by laying out your star points on either side of the background triangles.  Notice that they are symmetrical because you cut them in pairs.
Start with the right hand side.  The bottom edge has a blunted corner that lines up with the bottom edge of the background piece.  Sew and press the seams toward the brown.
After all of the right points are sewn, repeat the process for the left.
Next, sew your HST units along the hypotenuse.  Trim dog ears and press toward the brown.
OK, now that all of your subunits are done, you have a simple nine patch block.  Arrange the star points around the middle of the central square and fill in with the HST blocks circling the corners.
Sew the nine patch together and press away from the spiky star points.
Finally, add the sawtooth star points and your first brown sampler block is done.  

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Cherry Blossoms and Brown Fabric Giveaway

I got the blocks for Cherry Blossoms sewn together!  I worked the borders through as leaders and enders while the rows were being joined, and so those are almost done as well.  I think the pattern calls for both inner and outer borders.  Those will need some time to ponder I think.
In celebration of UFOs crossed off the list, I am going to open the giveaway for the brown fabric hand dyed just for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge by Vicki Welsh.  To enter, just leave  comment on this post with the name of the UFO you plan to finish off next.  I'll draw on before the next ScrapHappy Saturday.
To join in on the ScrapHappy Saturday linky party, just scroll down to the post below. 

ScrapHappy Saturday -- Now in Shades of Chocolate

 As the year starts to think about winding down, I am assessing the state of my ongoing projects.  I don't want to rush them to be done before their times, but I do want to work a finish in from time to time.  Every long term project can't go on indefinitely.  I think the tiny nines are within reach soon.  Browns are strangely lacking though, so that will go on the list for this month.  
 Firs up though.  I think I need to tidy up a bit.  How does this happen.
A project box here, some fabric pulled there.  Before you know it, there isn't any room to work anymore.  I guess putting some things away will be first on the list.
What is on your list for this brown Saturday?  Misterlinky is below.  Please share your RSC projects, and take a few minutes to visit the other scrap challenge sewers.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Sewing on a School Night

It has been one of THOSE weeks.  I'm going as fast as I can, but not moving forward.  Finally, I just had to take a breather and do something other than grading essays.  So here is Bonnie.  She is block number 16 from the Farmer's Wife 1930s sampler quilt.  Gnomeangel is having a quilt along which just started this week.   I don't actually have the book yet.  It has been on order for a while, but isn't due for a while longer.  I guess that is the problem with ordering a book while there is a quilt-along going on.  Fortunately, the first few blocks are easy enough to figure out without the book.  They even have a tutorial available for people like me still waiting for the books to come in.  I had already figured out the measurements by the time I found the tutorial, but it was nice of them to offer it.  I will try to keep figuring things out until my book shows up, but if I can't, I do have the original Farmer's Wife sampler book from which I can substitute.  

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Cherry Blossom UFO

This quilt has been abandoned since the start of school in 2012.  Yes, 2012!  The start of school seems to encourage UFOs.  The pattern is Bonnie Hunter's Crabapple from her first Adventures in Leader's and Enders book.  Mine is mostly red though, so I am calling it Cherry Blossoms.
Yesterday it was time to pull it out again and finish it up as I ponder whether or not to start a new project. When I grabbed the container from the closet, there were 12 finished blocks and plenty of nine patches for the rest.  This morning I finished up the paper pieced tree bases and added the tops.  It didn't take very long at all.  Whenever I pull out an abandoned project, I am always amazed at how quickly an unloved box of bits and pieces can turn into a quilt.  So now that the 25 blocks are done, it shouldn't take long to cut out some more sashing strips and cornerstones.  I hope to use up the rest of the nine patches in the border.  After that I can decide what is next.
In honor of this very scrappy project, I am going to link up with Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap.  Go check it out for more scrappy Sunday fun.  

October Color Announcement

The color for October is brown.  I know a lot of people are hesitant to include darker hues in a rainbow quilt, but I encourage you to give it a try.  Why not play with ALL of your scraps?  Dig out everything from the paper brown beige lurking in the background pile to the almost black that will really give your brown blocks some depth and variety.  They are all just scraps after all, what it the worst that could happen?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Weekend Fun

 I'm hanging out at home with Sydney ready to sew some binding.
 Anna is off to the homecoming dance with River.
 Ryan is going too, with a group of friends.
I was puttering around pondering whether or not to start a new project.  A Farmer's Wife quilt along is going to start on Tuesday.  I was thinking about joining in, but my book is the original Farmer's Wife quilt, and not the 1930s version.  Still, I picked a few simple four patch blocks to play with this morning.  For now I'll sew some binding and keep pondering.  

ScrapHappy Saturday

My big news this weekend is that I have finished the Sawtooth Sampler Blocks!  I was on a role last Sunday and powered through the last four blocks.  Still feeling strong I puttered around a bit more until the rest of the alternate blocks were on the wall too.  That will leave me free today to play with the last of my orange scraps.  Next Saturday will start a new color!  I hope your orange blocks are coming together nicely.  Misterlinky is below so that we can all come and visit your progress.