Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Tiny Tuesday - Card Trick

Most of the patterns I have seen for Card Trick blocks are a combination of flying geese, half square triangles, and quarter square triangles.  It is a cute block,but it seemed like a lot of work to deal with all of those diagonal seams.  This version relies on squares and rectangles.  Then by setting it on point, it conveys a similar effect.  
 Start with strips of fabric cut 1 and 5/8 inches wide.  Each strip should be about 5 inches long.  You will need 4 different purples with a decent amount of contrast and a background fabric.
 Cut 4 squares from the background fabric.  Each will be 1 and 5/8.  Then carefully stack all 4 purple strips so that you can cut them at the same time.  Start by cutting a square at 1 and 5/8 inches, and then cut a rectangle which is 2 3/4 inches long.
 Now un-stack your purple squares and rectangles and start to arrange them.  The four squares go in the center, and the rectangles go in the center of each side so that the purples match the first square of each side of the center.
 Sew the center four patch first and then press it and set it back in the center.  Now you have a simple nine patch to sew.
 Press the seams away from the center section to reduce bulk.
Finally, make sure this one is set on the diagonal in the finished block.  

Saturday, September 14, 2019

ScrapHappy Saturday

Off to a late start this morning!  I slept in late and then we walked the dog through the howling wind.  Humberto is supposed to head out to sea, but it is windy right now.  We retreated quickly from the stinging sand on the beach.  Sounds like a perfect reason to stay in and sew.  Last weekend I finished off the purple bin.  It is waiting with the orange bin for some foam board for the base that I keep trying to remember to bring home from school. 

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Tiny Tuesday - Lantern

I'm stuck on one inch strips again.  Something about the math for this size block just makes it so easy.  Tiny pieces, but simple math.  Start with 5 purples and one or more background fabrics.  
 Cut one inch strips from each and trim them to the following lengths:
1 5 inch strip
2 4 inch strips
2 3 inch strips
2 2 inch strips
2 1 inch squares
I arranged mine from dark in the middle to lighter at the ends, feel free to mix it up to work with whatever scraps you have on hand.
From background fabric you will need the following lengths
4 2.5 inch strips
4 2 inch strips
4 1.5 inch strips
4 1 inch squares

 Arrange your purple strips with the long in the middle and the shorter strips stepping down in length on either side.
 Now arrange the background strips with the longest sizes on either side at the top and bottom and the shortest closest to the center.
 Sew the background strips to either side of the purple pieces.  Press the seams toward the purple.
Sew the rows together in pairs working from the top and the bottom.    Sew the pairs together, and finally sew each side onto the center purple strip.  That's it!  I know they are tiny pieces, but it came together so quickly.  I know I say this a lot, but I could easily make an entire quilt of this block.
I'm so glad to have a nice easy one tonight.  School has been crazy.  We are trying to squeeze in the three days missed from Dorian.  Three labs in 2 days and there is stuff everywhere!  I'll have to get it all cleaned up eventually, but for now it is happy chaos.  

Saturday, September 7, 2019

ScrapHappy Saturday

 It is September and I am so ready to dig into purple.  It is great to finally have access to all of my fabric as I start to get it all organized into my new space. 
 I got the rainbow scrap bins arranged onto a bookshelf.  First up, I want to add purple to the mix. 
The sunrise was late this morning so I am just now getting started.  We had a one day school week after the hurricane, so everything seems a little bit off still.  I was sure it was Monday all day yesterday.  Hopefully a nice regular weekend will reset my circadian rhythms. 
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Thursday, September 5, 2019

Tiny Tuesday - Storm at Sea

I really could not get the Storm at Sea block out of my head after we got back from evacuation yesterday.  I'm so thankful that Dorian was an out  to sea even for those of us in Florida, though it was quite different in the Bahamas.  Still watching and waiting for what will happen in the Carolinas after additional strengthening last night.  

As far as I can tell, the Storm at Sea works on a four by four grid.  That didn't really work with the Tiny Tuesday measurements, so I drew out a version with the center section based on 2.5 inches and each of the edges 1 inch.  That all adds up to the 4.5 finished inches we need for TT.  

With seam allowances, each small corner is 1.5 inches.  Each rectangular edge is 1.5 by 3.  The center square is 3 inches.  I was trying to work out a plan for getting the entire thing done with flip and sew corner squares, but the rectangular sections would be tricky I think.  Instead I decided to go with paper piecing.  This is also a block that would work well with English Paper Piecing or even hand sewing.  
Step 1, print out the paper piecing pattern and cut it apart into 9 sections.
You can choose to use templates with or without seam allowances.  No seam allowances means you have "imagine" the extra quarter of an inch as you sew, but also that there is less paper to remove from under seams later.
Using the templates with seam allowances makes it easier to make sure your sections are big enough, but also leads to lots of paper later.  I chose this method, though I had regrets during the paper removal process at the end.
The choice is yours.
Paper piecing template 1 - no seam allowances
Paper piecing template 2 - with seam allowances
Find background fabric of approximately the required sizes.  The nice thing about paper piecing is that the sizes don't have to be exact because the paper template will make sure everything ends up perfect in the end.  Use a glue stick to temporarily attach some background fabric to the center of each template.
You will need lots of purple triangles as well.  I just made some slightly over-sized squares and rectangles and cut them in half to get lots of pieces.  These don't have to be exact, just cut two large squares at about  3 inches, 8 squares about 2 inches and 8 rectangles about 2 by 3 inches.  Bigger is better here as there will be trimming involved.
Take each template, with the background fabric attached, and fold down one edge along the diagonal like.  I like to use a thin ruler or a credit card to line up along the line and get a nice sharp crease.  Repeat with all 9 template pieces.  Trim the background fabric a quarter on an inch past the folded line.
Place a purple triangle along the newly trimmed side and hold in place while turning it over so that you can sew the two pieces together.
Sew with the template on top and the fabric sandwich below.  Press the purple triangle open.
Next, move on to the second edge and repeat the same steps.  Fold, trim, sew, press.
Here is what your sub-units will look like with two triangles sewn on.
Continue around until all four corners are sewn onto all nine centers.
Now trim the blocks to size, using the template and your ruler to make sure your units are the correct size.
Here is a long edge, it is 1.5  by 3.  The small squares are 1.5 and the center is 3.
Trim all your units and arrange them into a nine patch with the large square in the center.  You may remove the paper now, or wait until you block is done if you prefer.
I decided to wait until the end.  I've tried it both ways and there are benefits to either method.

Here is your finished nine patch.  If you have never tried paper piecing  before, this is a great chance to give it a try.  They are just scraps after all, what is the worst thing that can happen?
We walked the beach this morning and saw lots of erosion, but no structural damage was apparent.  Still watching as Dorian moves to the north and hoping for a favorable track.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2019


 We are safely tucked away in a hotel Orlando.  It is looking like Dorian will leave Florida mostly unharmed, but I wasn't willing to risk it with the new house being on the ocean.  I did bring some hand sewing along in case we get trappedS inside by squalls from the outer bands. 
This morning we made it out between rain bands to take the dog on a nice long walk.  I got a kick out of this nesting hawk sign along the way.  Sydney wants to go to Shake Shack for lunch.  We ended up on our third try at a very nice hotel in the heart of the tourist zone.  We had reservations at a Quality Suites to start, but it was scary!  We went to our room and turned right around and walked back out while I started calling for new reservations. That was after we evacuated earlier thinking that the storm would be here days ago.  So many new adventures!   I feel really lucky to be here.  So far everyone is happy and willing to go along with the ever changing plans depending on what the weather decides to do.  

Saturday, August 31, 2019

ScrapHappy Saturday

It seems really scary when the hurricane forecast puts a dot right on top of your house, but all the models are moving to the east and I am feeling optimistic.  It is entirely possible that we will avoid a direct hit.  

Our hotel reservations start tonight, and we'll be back when the storm has passed.  Until then, enjoy the end of blue and the beginning of purple.  

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Friday, August 30, 2019

Just in Case

We are currently preparing to evacuate for Dorian.  Just in case things get crazy, I wanted to let you know that next month is going to be purple.  We've all been waiting a long time for purple! 
I'm not really sure when we will be back.  Just in case it isn't before Tuesday, I'll make a Tiny Tuesday block when we are home again safe and sound.  It will be our first hurricane living beach side, so it is all new to us.  We found a hotel in Orlando with a special hurricane rate and they take pets, so we are going to try to pretend that it is a nice little weekend get away. 
 I was successful in getting all of the shutters down.  Kurt has been in Denver all week so it was just me. 
 Thankfully everything worked great and it was super easy. We will pull in all the furniture and batten the hatches when we both get home this afternoon. 
Even though I know Dorian is out there gaining speed, the ocean was beautiful this morning.  It is hard to imagine what it will look like in just a few days.  We are at school today, though not a lot of learning is going on.  Everyone is anxious and worried about what is going to happen next.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Tiny Tuesday - Hourglass Small

 Here are the Hourglass blocks in three sizes.   You may choose your favorite size or make all three if you have the motivation.  Scroll down for medium and large, this post is for the small size. 
 Start with 3 inch squares.  You will need 5 of blue and 5 of background.  This will make 10 hourglass units so there will be one extra in case one gets wonky.  Wonky can happen when things get tiny. 
 Place background and blue squares right sides together and draw a line down the center. 
 Sew on either side of the drawn line and cut the two halves apart.  Repeat for all 5 pairs of squares. 
 Press the seams toward the blue. 
 Pair the HST units together with the blue and white on opposite sides, and draw a line down the center.  Sew on either side of the drawn line and cut the two units apart. 
 Look at how cute those are!  Press each unit rotating seams and getting them as flat and square as possible.  Thankfully they are slightly over sized, so perfect is not necessary. 
 Now for the trimming.  Each unit will be 2 inches unfinished which means that the center for squaring up is at 1 inch.  Trim two sides. 
 Rotate the block and trim the other two side resulting in a 2 inch square
 Arrange your nine patch with the blues alternating. 
Sew the nine patch together and you are done.  Press the seams open as much as possible to try to get it all to lie flat.  Its a lot of seams, so don't stress about it.