Saturday, April 12, 2014

ScrapHappy Saturday - Purple Passions

So as you can see, not much sewing is going on for me today.  Academic Team has managed to make it to the semi-final round tomorrow and much buzzing in will be going  on.  We have spent the last two days hopping back and forth between matches and theme parks.  Yesterday was the Magic Kingdom and today was Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.  Epcot may sneak in tomorrow based on how the matches fall.  Maybe I will find my machine again on Sunday?  I hope to be able to at least live vicariously through your purple projects until then.
Please use misterlinky below to share your purple projects, plans and proceedings.  Enjoy.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The T-Shirt Quilt

A friend of mine has a son graduating from high school this year.  She wants to give him a T-shirt quilt as a graduation present.  I tried to convince her that she could do it with a little help, but she isn't crafty at all.  Instead she asked me if I could please make it for her.  What could I say?  I'm about 8 hours in so far -- stabilizing, cutting and laying out the shirts.  I cut them as rectangles this time and I am really liking the way it works.  Each shirt is cut at 14 by 18 which seems to work well for maximizing pattern placement.  Some of the shirts were a bit smaller, so I used the sleeves and pocket emblems to fill those out.  I'm waiting on fabric decisions next.  She wants masculine blues and greens.
Take a look at how big our neighborhood Sandhill Crane is getting.  He is almost as big as Mom now.  There is another family down closer to the main road with a tiny new chick.  It is so much fun watching them grow up each spring.  

Saturday, April 5, 2014

ScrapHappy Saturday - Parade of Purple

What a long strange week it has been!  Sorry for my recent absence from blogging and e-mail, and anything fun -- life has got me running to keep up.  This is always a busy time at school, but Lacrosse this year is pushing me past busy.  The recent business trip of my dear husband helped push me right to the point of wondering if I could get it all done.
It will, of course, all get done.  It always does.  April will be busy month, but after that things will be much calmer I hope.  So many apologies to the 153 people who sent e-mails.  I will try to start working my way down the list today.
There was absolutely no sewing for me this week.  Thankfully I had pre-scheduled of couple of blocks earlier this year.  You may have noticed the orange block on April 1 was one of those.  Ooops!  That was supposed to show up later, sorry for any confusion that it caused.  April is indeed the purple month.
To take care of a little business, I did the drawing for the March fabric giveaway of beautiful hand dyed fabric from Vick Welsh.  I had to draw twice because the first winner was a spam comment.  I really should go back and remove some of those.  So on try number two, the lucky winner was Sherrill who blogs at Quilting in my Sleep.  Congratulations Sherrill.  If you will send me your snail mail address, I will send off your fabric.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Rainbow Sampler - Depression Block

This one is called Depression Block. I would guess because it uses lots of little bits that might be leftover from other quilts? It is a nice one to use for those bonus bits form flip and sew corners.
Because it is a 4 by 4 block, the subunits are each 2 inches unfinished.  Using the easy angle ruler makes is easy to get your pieces the right size.  You will need 2 inch strips of light and dark fabrics.  I used a consistent light purple for the background and a variety of dark purples.
However you decide to do it, you will need 16 HST blocks.  Sew, remove dog ears and press toward the dark fabric.
Here is the layout of the block.  Basically the HST units are rotated so that they form bands of dark and light giving the block a diamond look.  It is really just 4 identical four patches when you break it down.
I sewed each four patch together and then pressed.  It might have been easier to match the seams if I had done it as one large block instead.
Here are the four patches sewn together to make a finished block.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler - Mock LeMoyne Star

I pulled out the easy angle ruler again for this block.  I am sure getting my moneys worth out of this gadget.  I used it to cut three different combinations of HST blocks.
I used three fabrics for my block, a yellow background, a light orange and a dark orange.
Put right sides together of two strips of fabric and cut 4 triangles from each of the following combinations:
light orange and yellow
dark orange and yellow
dark orange and light orange
In addition to the triangles you will also need four 2 inch squares of the yellow background fabric.
Sew the HST units together, remove dog ears and press the seams toward the dark fabric.

Lay your squares out as shown in the picture above.
Notice that the center portion is a pinwheel.  The background portions meet in the center of the block and like colors connect.
Traditionally this block is mad with parallelograms of fabric, but that method requires inset seams.  This "cheater" method avoids inset seams by breaking the parallelograms into half square triangles.

Sew your blocks together being careful to nest the seams as the rows are sewn together.

I now realize that this went up in April instead of waiting for the orange or yellow month.  It was a scheduling error.  I'll make sure to link back to it later.  It happened once earlier and I had to delete and rewrite the entire post, so this one is staying put!  So sorry for all the confusion!!!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Sampler - Saw Tooth Star

I couldn't remember the name of this block for the life of me.  The entire time I was working on it I called it a goose star because it has flying geese.  Then while cruising some blogs, I found someone else making it -- Sawtooth Star, that was it.
The companion angle ruler goes nicely with the easy angle ruler and will make the middle part of the goose unit.  Using two inch strips of background fabric, cut 4 goose middles.  While you have the light purple strip out, also cut 4 squares of fabric for the corners of the block.
Here is the ever hand Easy Angle ruler which makes the wings of the goose.  Also from 2 inch strips use this ruler to cut 2 pairs of triangles.

If you are not a ruler person, you can also cut rectangles 3.5 by 2 inches for the goose and use 2 inch squares for the wings.  Draw a diagonal line on the square and use a "sew and flip" triangle to make your wing.  There is a nice tutorial here that goes through some of the MANY options for making flying geese.  The key is that your goose should be 2 inches by 2.5 inches unfinished.

In addition to the triangles for the goose blocks, you will also need four 2 two inch squares of background fabric and one (huge) 3.5 inch square of the darker fabric.  If you don't have a 3.5 inch square, you may also piece the center from four two inch squares of fabric.
Match the wings to one side of the middle pieces matching up the pointy ends.  Sew on all four right wings.
After sewing on the right side, finger press and line up the left side the same way.  Sew on all four left wings.
Press your geese units and remove the dog ears.
I like to assemble the rows individually on this block rather than webbing it as I would a regular nine patch.  See the little seam where the scissors are pointing?  If you can get your seam to line up here, you will get nice sharp points.
Sew one goose unit onto each side of the center square.  Make sure the wings are lined up with the wide base toward the dark center of the block.
While you are at the machine, also sew one light colored background square onto each end of the other two geese units.
Press the center portion toward the middle and the top and bottom sections away from the center.  This will allow the points of the geese to lie flat.
Sew the three rows together and press nicely.  Check your finished block to make sure it is 6.5 inches unfinished.  Add to your ever growing block collection and enjoy!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

RSC Sampler - Spinning Star

Stars are one of my favorite motifs for quilt blocks. There are so many different kinds.  This one uses flip and sew triangles.
You will need:
4 - 2 x 3.5 inch rectangles of dark teal
4 - 2 inch squares of accent fabric - I used teal flowers
8 - 2 inch squares of background fabric
Place one square of background fabric on the top of each teal rectangle and draw a line from corner to corner on the background square.  Sew on the line and then flip, press and trim away the extra fabric behind the seam.
Next sew the last 4 squares of background fabric to the 4 squares of accent fabric.  Press away from the background fabric.
Match each flip and sew rectangle to the two patch making sure the background fabrics touch one another.  Sew an press away from the dark fabric.
Arrange the four subunits as shown so that the star points rotate.  Sew as you would a four patch.
There you go -- another quick and easy block.  

RSC Sampler - Split Nine Patch

This one is super scrappy and an excellent way to use up those extra half square triangle blocks that keep showing up.  It is on a nine patch grid (of course) and so will use 2.5 inch (unfinished) subunits.
You will need
3 - 2.5 inch squares of assorted dark fabric
3 - 2.5 inch squares of assorted light fabric.
3 - 2.5 inch HST units cut from a light and a dark fabric placed right sides together.
Sew the HST units along the long side of the triangle and press toward the dark fabric.  You will now have nine 2.5 inch squares all together.
Line the HST units up along the center diagonal with the dark sides all facing toward the bottom and right of the block.
Fill the light squares in along the top and the dark on the bottom.
Sew together as a nine patch.
Press and enjoy!

RSC Sampler - Corner Frames

I had a kind of wild print that I got as part of a scrap exchange many moons ago. I was looking for something that would leave it whole when I stumbled across a post from Cathy's Sewing room while trying to catch up on e-mail from vacation.  She didn't give the block a name, but measurements were pretty easy to figure out by thinking about a 4 by 4 grid.
The large center square is 3.5 inches.  I chose to fussy cut mine, keeping in mind that the center point of the square is 1.75 inches.
In addition to that you will need:
2 - 2 by 3.5 inch rectangles of light fabric
2 - 2 inch squares of light fabric
2 - 2 by 3.5 inch rectangles of dark fabric
2 - 2 inch squares of dark fabric
I chose to use a lime green for the light, again keeping in mind that some transition blocks will be nice to have when putting the final quilt together.
Arrange a light and dark square to each side of the center square.  Notice that the dark square is on the top on the left but on the bottom on the right.
The rectangles will get sewn end to end to form the top and bottom.  Again, notice the placement of the dark rectangle differs on the top and the bottom.
Sew the squares together
Sew the rectangles together along the short side.
Press all four seams toward the dark.
Arrange the two patches to the left and right of the center square.  Make sure the dark square is pointing up on one side and down on the other.
Press the seams toward the center square.
Line the long rectangles up along the top and bottom.
Make sure the dark fabric touches the dark squares and the light fabric touches the light squares.
Sew one rectangle to each side of your center unit.
Press the long seams toward the center square.  TaDa!  A quick and easy way to show off a nice print fabric.  Impressive fussy cutting, right?

RSC Sampler - Darting Birds

This block idea came from Sophie at Block Lotto, though she used a different method to make hers.  Either way would work great, hers has fewer seams, but mine has simpler construction.
 This one is a nine patch, and so the subunits all come from 2.5 inch strips using the easy angle ruler.  It is handy that way.
 Using the easy angle ruler, take a dark and light teal strip and layer them right sides together.  Cut 4 HST units.  Now separate the strips and cut three dark squares and two light squares from the 2.5 inch strips.  I used a teal as the "dark" and a sky blue for the light.  I like the blue sky behind birds, but also think it will help with the transition between blue and teal in the finished quilt.
 Sew the HST blocks together along the hypotenuse and trim the dog ear.  Press half the seams toward the dark and half toward the light.
 Arrange the HST blocks together with the plain squares as shown.  If you are clever, you can get the seams on the HST blocks to nestle by pairing one pressed to the dark with one pressed to the light.  I wasn't quite that clever, but I would do better if I were to make this block again.  Notice that the dark squares form a diagonal line of head, body and tail while the HST blocks make up the wings.
 This is my favorite way to sew a nine patch without getting the pieces mixed up.  First flip the second column on top of the first and chain sew the three units together without snipping the string that holds them together.  Next open the second column up and add the third column to the end of each row.
 This allows you to check the block placement before getting the rows sewn together.  Looks good?  Now sew the row together, taking care to alternate the seams.
Press and enjoy.  A quick and easy, if somewhat geometric bird.