Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Tiny Tuesday #7

More 3 x 3 blocks are here this week.  I just couldn't put the 2 inch squares away without making a few more blocks.
First up is an Ohio Star that I saw on Quilting on the Crescent a couple of weeks ago.  So cute!  Generations Quilt Patterns has a perfect tutorial in their quilt patterns library.  Start with 2 3 in squares in yellow and in background.  Use the same draw a line and sew on either side method we used last week, but then repeat with the finished half square triangles to make quarter square triangles.  You will need to square them up to a 2 inch size as they are slightly oversized.  Do this twice to make 4 required half square triangle units.  Fill out your necessary nine units 2 inch squares, 4 background color and one yellow.  
Here is your 3 by 3 layout
And finally, your finished block!
Next up is a Friendship Star.  It uses exactly the same sub-units as the churn dash from last week, but with the triangles rotating around the center square.
It is a quick an simple variation on a theme.
Choose your favorite from the pair or feel free to make both blocks if you are hoping for a bigger quilt.  These blocks are set straight.  I promise I'll branch out a bit next week.  We can be done with the three by three grid for now..


Saturday, February 9, 2019

ScrapHappy Saturday - Yellow Begins


 

And so begins the yellow month!  I'm off to a slow start as it has been quite a busy week at work.  I made my Tiny Tuesday blocks of course, and dug out all the existing yellow bit I had left over from last year.  I also cut a nice stack of squares for sprouts and framed nine patches, but they have not made it all the way through to the end yet.  I hope that you are all finding some time to sew.  Misterlinky is below, please share your progress so far. 
    An InLinkz Link-up
   

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Tiny Tuesday #6 - Nine Patch and Friends

Nine patches are the ultimate all-purpose grid for quilt blocks.  It also just so happens that it is a size that works out beautifully for Tiny Tuesdays 5 inch blocks (4.5 inch finished).  Before you dismiss the humble nine patch, start to think about some of the classic quilt blocks that are built on a 3 by 3 grid.  Churn Dash.  Ohio Star.  Friendship Star.  The list could go on.  I'll show you the basic nine patch first and then Shoo Fly, which is a nine patch with half square triangles in the corners.   
 Start with 9 2 inch squares.  I did 4 light and 5 dark, but you could reverse that for a slightly different effect.
 Lay the two inch squares out in an alternating pattern.
 Stack row two onto row 1, right sides together.  Chain stitch the tree pairs together, keeping them joined.
 Open row 1 and 2 and sew the third block to the end of each block in row 2.  The webbing really helps to make sure all the blocks stay in the right order.
 You can press now or later.  I did it now so that you could see the seams pressed toward the dark fabric.  This will allow the seams to nest nicely.
 Press your final block while you ponder all the variations you could whip up starting with this simple block.
 Shoo Fly is another nine patch block.  Just with half square triangles in the corners.  There are so many ways to make a half square triangle.  I usually use my handy dandy easy angle ruler for large batches, but for just 4 HSTs, sewing larger squares along the diagonal and then trimming them to size seemed easier.  You will still need 5 2 inch squares (1 dark and 4 light).  In addition you will need 4 2.5 inch squares ( 2 dark and 2 light).  I had 3 inch squares on hand, so I used those.  They will be trimmed at the end, so the exact size isn't critical here.  The rule  says to add 7/8 an inch to the finished size or 1 inch if you plan to trim them down.
 Draw a line on the back of both light squares.
 Place light and dark squares right sides together.  Sew a quarter of an inch from both sides of that line.  Use scissors or a rotary cutter cut on the drawn line.
 Square your 4 HST units up to 2 inches.
 Lay all 9 squares out with the HST units in each corner.  If you moved the HST units to the center of each side you could also make a friendship star right now.  If you replaced the light squares on the edges with a set made from 2.25 inch strips, you could make a Churn Dash.
This time I pressed away from the HST units in order to reduce bulk.  You may choose either block if you are on schedule for the 49 block quilt.  Feel free to make both if you are looking for more blocks.  This week is a diagonal setting.  

Saturday, February 2, 2019

ScrapHappy Saturday #5 -- Sunshine Coming My Way

Look at how organized my yellow scraps are!  I almost hate to mess them up.  Almost.  I will need 2.5 and 2 inch squares along with enough pieces to make some Tiny Tuesday blocks.  Those will make a bit of a dent I hope.  Ryan is off at robotics all day and Sydney is at a sleepover, so it should be calm for the most part.  
I used up a ton of crumbs and orphans in this yellow scrap bin.  
 It makes such a nice addition to my slowly growing collection of rainbow scrap bins.  Wouldn't it be nice if someday I could get all my scraps to fit in these and downsize the ugly plastic drawers?  Time will tell. 
 I'm so happy to have a weekend!  We've been working to get our house ready to put up on the market and shopping for new houses on the weekend.  We put an offer something we thought would be perfect and then got outbid by snowbirds paying cash.  That happens a lot around here.  Then they got cold feet and almost backed out, which gave us hope again, but I think they've officially closed now so we can move on from that.  We have our eye on another property now that is in terrible shape, but we think it would be fun to redo it.   While all of that is going on, we are slowly working on getting our house ready.  I cleaned the grout in the kitchen.  It is so shiny and clean!  That is just one on a long list though. 
Digging in to the yellow scraps will definitely go first on the list.  I could use a bit of sunshine and happy right now. 

   
   

Thursday, January 31, 2019

February is Yellow

Yellow might seem like a bit of a bright and happy color for such a dreary month, but I am hoping that it will bring a little warmth to us all.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Tiny Tuesday #5


Cynthia Brunz at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework is our guest designer in this last Tiny Tuesday for January.  Perfect for red and just in time for Valentines Day, she has posted a tutorial for a  Heart ❤️ .  There is a PDF file available here.  Thanks Cynthia for such a sweet little block!
This one will be set straight.  We are alternating straight and diagonal, hoping to end up with an equal number of both at the end of the year.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Scrap Sorting Box

As promised, I worked up a tutorial for the fabric scrap boxes.  Please let me know if anything is unclear or if you need any additional pictures.  
Gather together your scraps.  I'm working with yellow this time, but choose your color and then gather together everything that you think might work.  Leftover triangles, odd ends from strip sets, orphan block, anything goes!  In addition to the crumbs and strings, you will also need a few larger bits for lining.  Don't worry about choosing your prettiest scraps for these, they won't show.  
 First step: make fabric.  Start with small bits of fabric and leftover chunks of whatever you have on hand.  Sew similar sized units together and then sew those to others.  Keep going until you run out of bits that fit together nicely.  Straighten up an edge and then use a long strip of fabric to join two of these chunks together.  You are aiming for two rectangles about 8 by 11 and two squares of about 8 inches.  Keep that in mind so you don't go overboard and make enough fabric for an entire quilt.  Press and straighten edges with a rotary cutter as you go to keep joining chunks together.

 When you have two squares and two rectangles of crumb fabric ready to go,   dig into your batting scraps to find some batting to cut into two squares and two rectangles as well. They are about the same size as the crumb fabric you just made: 2 rectangles 8 by 11 inches and two squares 8 by 8 inches.    Try to find a batting scrap that is fairly flat and even.  Warm and natural works well or something low loft -- heavy on cotton and light on polyester.  Everything so far is slightly over-sized, so don't worry if it isn't quite perfect.
 Layer the batting with the crumb fabric, wrong sides together.  You can trim them to the same size now or later.  The lining comes later, so it is just a two layer quilt sandwich for now.
Secure your quilt sandwich together with a few straight pins as a very temporary measure.  You will be quilting these and each is quite small, so the pins won't be around for long.  Please don't poke yourself.  Use safety pins instead if you are accident prone.
Quilt  each section as desired.  I like to use a matching thread and just go crazy with lots of different quilting patterns.  You can use a walking or darning foot if you have them.   Feel free to try out the fancy decorative stitches that come with your machine.  If you don't have any of these, don't worry.  My main machine is in the shop right now, and I quilted these up with a regular foot on a cheap backup machine and had no problems.  Just work from one side to the other methodically and smooth the fabric as you go to avoid puckers.  With just two layers, shifting and puckering shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Now that you have made your quilted fabric, you are ready to cut out the rest of your pieces.

1.  Square up your quilted crumb fabrics:  2 rectangles 7.5 by 10.5 and two squares 7.5 by 7.5.
2. Cut your lining fabrics to the same sizes : 2 rectangles 7.5 by 10.5 and two squares 7.5 by 7.5
3.  Cut two rectangles for the bottom inside and outside, they are also 7.5 by 10.5.  
4.  Cut one extra piece for the handle, it is 6 by 7.5
5.  One piece of firm cardboard or foam board which is cut 7 by 10 inches.  

A note on sizes.  This pattern can easily be modified to make a box in any size.  I looked at the shelf where I wanted the boxes to go and figured out what I thought would work there.  I've made smaller cubes before and they seemed too small to hold a decent amount of scraps.  Though they work great for notions and supplies.  Make something that will work in your space to hold the things you want to put in them.

Prepare the handle by folding two edges a quarter of an inch.  Press
Fold the top and bottom in to meet in the middle.  Press.  Fold in half again and stitch each end to hold it all together temporarily
Pick the prettier of your two quilted squares and call it the front.  Pin the handle so that the edges are about 1.25 from each edge.  Center it top to bottom.
Sew the handle down by making a square around each end and add another X down the center for added stability.
Sew the short end of each rectangle to the side of a square.  This well be sewn to the bottom, so it is important NOT to sew all the way to the bottom edge.  Stop a quarter of an inch before the edge and back-stitch.
Continue to sew the sides together until you have a tube with two squares and a two rectangles.  Make sure that the handle is oriented sideways -- not up and down.
Now the tricky part -- pin the bottom to all four sides of your quilted fabrics.  The corners should nestle in because you didn't sew the sides all the way to the bottom.  The right side of the fabric is facing to toward the right side of the quilted fabrics which are all on the inside of the box.   Match the raw edges together and pin liberally.
Start in one corner on a long edge, a quarter of an inch in from the end and sew straight down, stopping a quarter on an inch away from the other end.  Back stitch and remove the box from the sewing  machine.
Fold the sewn edge out of the way and line up the next edge, making sure that the raw edges are lined up and the corner not bunched under the sewing line.

Start where your stitching line stopped on the last seam.  Your stitching should not go out into the corner.  Repeat for the remaining sides.
Here is your finished box.  It is right side in, but you can see how the corners work.  
Repeat the above procedure for the lining fabric.  
Sew the two ends to the two sides and sew those together to make a tube.  Don't forget to stop sewing a quarter of and inch before you get to the bottom.  This will be somewhat flimsier than the outside, but the sewing is the same.  
Finally, sew the bottom inside to the sides of the lining fabric.  This works exactly the same as the outside bottom with one important exception.  Leave a large gap (at least 7 inches) along one long edge to insert the cardboard base and to turn the whole box right side out again in the end 
 Before any turning happens, we need to sew the inside and outside together.  With right sides together, nestle the lining box inside of the quilted box and pin the raw edges together.
 Sew all around the pinned edges, making a large circle.  Keep going until you get back to where you started.
 When you come to the corners, finger press the seams open and sew them flat to reduce bulk.

Now the moment of truth!  Turn the whole thing right side out by pulling everything out through the long gap that you left in the lining.  Poke out the corners to make them pointy and trim away excess bulk if you need to.  Press the top to make a nice crease where the inside meets the outside.  Stitch along the top edge about a quarter of an inch from the edge to add some stability and shape.  
Now is the time to insert the cardboard base.  Go ahead and tuck it in and take some time to get it nestled nicely amongst all of your seams.  You will need to sew up the gap that you left at this point.  Usually I would whip stitch by hand, but given that this is the inside and won't really be seen, I just fold a fake seam allowance under and sew close to the edge.
Now sit back and admire your box.  Find some scraps to fill it up

These make such a happy collection sitting together on a shelf.  Hopefully by the end of the year I will have a whole rainbow to enjoy.  

Crumbly Sunday

 I've been finding time in the evenings to slow down and enjoy some hand stitching.  Maybe because it has been unusually cold for Florida, or maybe because the husband was out of town all week?  Whatever the reason, I was able to finish off the first two months and get started on the third.  It was nice to switch to pink after so much green.
 I was also able to finish up another scrap storage bin in yellow to add to the collection.  I even took pictures along the way so that I can make a tutorial!  I have to take Sydney into school this afternoon to work on her science fair project, so I think that I'll work on it then.  I feel like I need to move up the handles on the blue and green bins so they are more centered.
I've even got the crumb fabric made for an orange version.  I was in the process of quilting it when life started happening around here, but I'll try to get back to it soon.  We were out looking at house again yesterday.  I think that we are starting to narrow things down now.  Before I get back to sewing this morning, I'll  check in at Oh Scrap! and Slow Stitching Sunday.