Saturday, January 31, 2015

ScrapHappy Saturday - Winding Down Blues

What a great start we have had for the RSC this year!  I am so excited to see all the great projects each week and it is keeping me motivated to turn my own scraps into quilts, one block at a time.  I didn't put up all the crumb blocks or the orange peels now that I think about it, but I did pull out all the other blue I've been working on this month.  Starting with the upper left and working clockwise: leftover nine patches from Mai Tai Sunrise last year, new nine patches for the framed nine patch this year, two Sawtooth Sampler blocks, one alternate block, one New York Beauty block, four postage stamp stars and finally, one white star on a blue background.
For those working on the Sampler this year, there have been two blocks, the Whirling Geese and the Card Trick.  I have also posted background fabric requirements, alternate block directions and how many blue blocks will be needed to make the alternate blocks in blue.  All the links are located on the RSC15 Sampler tab at the top of the page in case you missed any posts along the way.
If you didn't see the last post about the February giveaway of hand dyed fabric by Vicki Welsh, please scroll down or follow the link to enter for your chance to win.  We were up to 75 comments last night! I am excited to get ready for another great month of sewing with scraps.
How are your blues wrapping up?  
Use misterlinky below to share your progress:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

February Color Annoucement

The new color for February will be pink.  Technically this Saturday is still part of January, but I'm posting now for those of you who would like to get started on a new color.  Along with a new color comes a brand new fabric giveaway!  This is the pink pack of hand dyed fabric  from the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Snack Pack.  Vicki Welsh dyed it for our challenge, and I will be using mine for the sampler blocks this month.  If you would like to be entered to win, just leave a comment on on this post with your favorite shade of pink.  I've always liked ashes-of-roses since I read The Thorn Birds in junior high.    

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Crumby Sunday

 I pulled out the crumb jar today and just played.  It was glorious!  As busy as it has been lately, having a bit of mindless sewing was just what I needed.  I squared up the bits that were big enough to 6.5 inches, and the ones that weren't are all 4.5 inches or diamonds now.  Maybe next year I'll try tumbler blocks?
 There were a few more postage stamp stars sitting by the machine, so I worked them in as well.
 Kurt made it back safely from India.  With very careful planning, he managed not to get sick, but even so, he came home tired and hungry!  He said there were cows everywhere, wandering the streets and blocking traffic.  It is wonderful to have him back again, not just because he mowed the yard today either.  He has another quick trip tomorrow, but hopefully after that he can stay home for a bit.
We've been having marathon sessions of Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit.  I had to sneak out to work yesterday morning and Anna sent this photo of everyone in jail.  Such a bunch of criminals!  It is 9 here and everyone else is already off to sleep.  I don't think I'm long behind, but I'll enjoy the rest of Downton Abbey first with a bit on applique to keep my hands busy.    

Saturday, January 24, 2015

ScrapHappy Saturday - Still Chipping Away at Blue

 Last week was my overbooked crazy frenzy of fun.  Science Olympiad finished 12th and are done for the year, but my little Lego guys rocked.  They took home the grand champion trophy and the prize for high score on the robot run.  The egg shirts were adorable with the egg hats, and they went crazy with egg puns and snacks.  So we have just one more week to get ready for the regional tournament in Jacksonville.  We are all EGGcited about it.
My AP class also went to Gainesville on our big overnight field trip this week.  Such a fun time!  We saw a basketball game, did two DNA labs and spent lots of time walking around exploring campus.  All of that was slightly complicated by the fact that Kurt has been in India all week for work.  He is on the way home now though, and we can't wait to see him again.
There are still lots of odds and ends left in blue.  I'm wondering what to do with this collection of blue crumb diamonds.  I was thinking of stars?
There are plenty of crumb blocks for later, but I was hoping to make some string blocks as well.  This is a long month though, and there is still one more blue Saturday for finishing off all the leftovers.  Sometimes the Saturdays just work out that way.  How are your blue projects coming along?  Use misterlinky below to share with us all.  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Background Fabric Requirements

I've had several questions about requirements for background fabric.  You are welcome to use a variety of background fabrics, but for those who would like to use one fabric throughout, I've done the math for you.  There are 25 star blocks, and for the background on those you will 2 yards of fabric.  There are 24 alternate blocks and they need 4 yards.  So if you are planning on one background fabric, 6 yards will be necessary.
This does not include the background for the center of the stars, as these are sampler blocks, that have not been announced yet, there is absolutely no way to know how much is needed for those.  So I would definitely suggest scrappy for those.  Definitely.
Now on to backing fabric.  This will also need 6 yards.  The finished quilt will about 90 x 90 depending on what you decide for borders.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.  I'm sorry to have left you all hanging for so long, the last couple of weeks have been lots of fun for me, but without lots of time for sewing.  Thankfully, and three day weekend should help all that and give me a chance to get a little bit done.  

Cleaning up Blue

Unfortunately, we aren't quite ready to make alternate blocks yet.  Most of them have at least two colors in them.  They were designed to help transition between the star blocks, and so having multiple colors is quite important.  We can however, get the cutting done ahead of time and sew together some of the subunits.
So, to mark the end of medium blue in the sampler quilt, start by cutting your extra blue scraps into 24 squares that are each 2.5 inches.  You may use 16 of these squares together with 16 background squares to make 8 four patches.  You may use 6 squares to make 3 two patches of blue and blue.  The last two squares can just hang out alone for now.
Anything that is left can go back into the scrap bin or get used for something else.  Blue will come back again later this year, so if any of your scraps seem "light"  or  "dark" you might want to move them to those piles for later.
Coming up next?  Background fabric requirements.  I'll be adding links to all of the directions to the RSC15 Sampler tab at the top of the page, so feel free to use it as a handy reference guide.  

Alternate Block

The alternate blocks for the sampler quilt are simple nine patches made with four patches and background squares. The subunits will be collected throughout the year, and as all the colors for each block come up, I'll post directions for how many of each color combination you will need to make. The colored squares are all 2.5 inches, and I'll let you know how many of each color you will need to save each month.
Each block will require the following pieces:
12 - 2.5 inch squares of colored fabric.
8 - 2.5 inch squares of background fabric
4 - 4.5 inch squares of background fabric
Take 4 squares of each color and combine them with a background square to make 4 two patches.  Take the remaining 2 squares of each color and sew them to make 2 more two patches.  
Combine the two patches together to make four patches.  Two each of two colors with background and one with just colored blocks.
The four patches will be combined with the large background squares to make nine patches.  Four patches with background fabric will form the corners and the dark square will be in the center.  
This is your finished nine patch.  It should measure 12.5 inches unfinished and will finish at 12 inches in the final quilt.  24 blocks are needed for the quilt, and we will be putting them together throughout the year as the appropriate colors are revealed.  

Saturday, January 17, 2015

ScrapHappy Saturday - Blue Man Group

I'm not sure why I was thinking of it, but Kurt and I went to see Blue Man Group on my birthday a few years ago.  I'll be in Orlando today, not to see Blue Man Group, but to see my students compete at Science Olympiad.  So not a lot has happened on the sewing front this week, but I'm taking some hand work tomorrow to keep me busy while the kids are all scattered at their events.  It is a three day weekend though, so I'll take full advantage of the extra day to catch up a bit.
I hope your blue blocks are coming along nicely.   I'll be checking in between events to see all the wonderful projects that are being created by all of you.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Alternate Blocks

The alternate blocks for the star quilt are easy peasy.  It would be easy enough to do them all at the end, but I am going to try to work them in slowly throughout the year for those who aren't big on procrastination.  Unfortunately, the blocks contain more than one color, so they can't get finished until both of the adjacent colors have come up.  I will post the number of squares to save each month though, and give partial assembly directions.  Then, as soon as ALL the colors in the block have been announced, we can finish up the alternate blocks along the way.  So step 1 is to save 25 blue squares from this month.  They should be 2.5 inches each.  I'm off to make a quick tutorial for the alternate blocks and do a bit of math for the background fabric usage.  It's been on my MUST DO list all week, but things have been a bit frantic lately, fabric fun is next on the list though, so I'll be back soon with photos and instructions.  

Saturday, January 10, 2015

ScrapHappy Saturday -- Still Feeling Blue?

I had SO many blue scraps that I started out by sorting them into three piles.  Baby blue, regular blue, and indigo blues.  Then I stuck the light and dark piles back into bags to think about later and nicely ironed the regular blues.  I trimmed what I could into 1.5, 2 and 2.5 inch strips and squares and then tossed the rest into crumbs or strings.  So many fun blocks are hiding in these piles.  Can't wait to start playing.  I've seen lots of beautiful blue blocks coming out so far.  It is one of those colors that tries to take over the stash and the scrap basket.  I hope everyone is making a dent and taming the piles.
Just in case you need some more blue fabric to play with, I've done the random drawing for January's hand dyed blue fabric from Vicki Welsh.  There were 102 comments on the color announcement post!  A brand new record for sure.  Thanks to the kind folks at, Pamela Arbour is the lucky winner this month.  She is new to the challenge, which is great.  Welcome!  Pamela, please e-mail me directly with your snail mail, and I will ship off your envelope.

I'll be sewing tomorrow, today I'm at school with this basket of toys so the kids can prepare for science olympiad next weekend.  So many fun things they could build.
Use misterlinky below to keep us all up to date on your progress.