Monday, January 21, 2019

Long Weekend

It was so nice to have an extra weekend day.  I did a bit of sewing and cleaning, got a haircut.  All sorts of nice weekend things.  This evening I started ironing interfacing onto the back of Ryan's shirts for his graduation quilt.  So far I've finished the front and back of shirts for grades one, two and three.  I have to keep the backs, that is where their names are.  I'll have Ryan sort through some of the shirts.  I think that there are way too many.  Some of them are just ugly, and some of them probably aren't that important to him.  The ones with the little names on the back are important to me.  Those are definitely going to stay. 
It is so cold here that I had to turn on the heater!  It makes me just want to curl up in bed and stay put.  I felt that way every day of winter when we lived up north.  Kurt is in DC and it was hovering around 0 when he landed.  Brrr!  Glad that it is him and not me. 
I think that all the links are up to date on the RSC19 Tiny Tuesday Sampler blocks.  There is one scheduled for the morning, but the PDF is available on the RSC19 Sampler tab right now.    

Saturday, January 19, 2019

ScrapHappy Saturday #3

 I've got a few string blocks to add to the growing collection of red this week.  One more sprout block and few donut 16 patches that I found while clearing out a bin.  I need to frame my Tiny Tuesday blocks so that I can add those as well. 

 First, I need to start on a shirt pillow that I promised to make for a work friend who's husband passed away this summer.  She wants to send it with her youngest daughter who is returning to college next week. 

I hope you had time on Tuesday to check out our third Tiny Tuesday block.  It is available as a blog post or as a PDF.  It is a straight set block.  Directions for that are here and here.
Let us know about your plans and progress as the red month moves closer to the end.  The linky tool is below,
    An InLinkz Link-up

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Tiny Tuesday #3

I'm so excited to welcome our first guest designer this week.  Sally Trude blogs at The Objects of Design, and she always has adorable animals coming to visit.  She has been working on kitty blocks for several quilts now and has been kind enough to rework one into a 4.5-inch finished size for Tiny Tuesday.  Be sure to check out her micro cats if this seems too big for you.  Here is a link to her block tutorial and another link to the PDF file.  I'll post links on the RSC19 Sampler tab as well when this post goes live on Tuesday.  This one needs to be set straight, otherwise, the poor kitty would be quite confused.  Be sure to come back on Saturday for ScrapHappy Saturday to see some finished kitties coming out to play. 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Still Tidying in Sunday

 The new year cleanup continues! I started to look at quilts and freshened up the quilt rack on display a bit.  My favorites live here.
All the others were stacked awkwardly in the master bedroom closet.  It was hard to know what was there or to get to it at all.  I tried rolling them, we'll see if that makes it easier to access particular quilts.  The corner closet organizer isn't the ideal arrangement, but at least there is plenty of space. So the master closet is done, along with the space under the sinks.  That leaves the drawers and the linen closet.  Slowly, I will get to it all.  The girls needed to go shopping this afternoon and I was ready to rest by the time we finished all the running around.  

I am so ready now to settle in for the evening and get a bit more done on my August block from Leap Year.  I tend to have several threads going at any one time as I work my way down and across each month.  The quilting pattern is pretty simple and straight forward, and the Pearle cotton goes really quickly too. Maybe this won't be another 3-year hand quilting project.  Head over to Kathy's Quilts to check out other hand quilting projects.  

Saturday, January 12, 2019

ScrapHappy Saturday #2

I hope you are all off to a great start with RSC19.  I know I've been spending some time sorting and organizing, I'm sure I'm not alone in my preoccupation with having things tidy at the start of a new year.
There has been some sewing too of course.  As soon as all the scraps were organized it was time to put some of them into blocks.  The 2.5-inch squares went into scrappy sprouts blocks.  I really like how they came together.  This block has been on my list for quite a while now.  I think that I will need about 5 of each color to have enough for a nice sized quilt by the end of the year.  Then the 2-inch squares went into some 9 patches which I framed in alternating black and white.  Each color will make a column of 10 blocks and 8 colors should be enough for a quilt.  I might combine orange and yellow.  I never seem to have much orange on hand.  I'm just starting on the strings, so that might be my project for the afternoon.  We have been looking at condos and townhouses on the beach and are meeting with a realtor after lunch.  It is starting to sink in that we will have only one child left in the house when school starts again next fall.  Where did the time all go? 

Be sure to check out the second Tiny Tuesday block.  It is applique.  Don't be afraid to try it.  They are just scraps after all.  Everything that seems hard now will be easier with practice.  I'll try to introduce several methods of applique prep this year.  You just never know what you might end up enjoying.  There is an ongoing list on the RSC19 Sampler tab in case you are looking for a specific block. 

    An InLinkz Link-up

Thursday, January 10, 2019

New Year Projects

I've been on a bit of an organizational spree lately.  There was the pantry, then the spice cabinet.  Yesterday was the closet in the master bedroom.  This usually happens to me around this time of year.  Obviously the sewing room could not be left out of all the fun.  
 I had just finished making new nine patches in red for this year's 2 inch rainbow scrap project when I realized that I already had lots of leftover nine patches from last year.   So I started by sorting those.  Many of them were monochromatic.  They will all be put to good use with no problem.
 But then there were all these mixed color blocks.  I think that there are enough here for a quilt.  I just need to decide on setting.  I'm thinking two solidish colors to tie it all together a bit.  Maybe red and blue?  I could go with red and green and call it a Christmas quilt.
There were also these partial blocks which I wanted to use for something interesting.  
I decided to reconfigure them into the beginnings of a Double Irish Chain.  
 I also made it out to the Hundred Acre Hollows at the beginning of the week to help train some new people to monitor the camera traps.  It had fallen off of the bottom of my priority list lately.
School is finally back in session again and I'm afraid that the sewing will slow considerably.  It will be as big of an adjustment to me as to the kids to have to do work again.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Tiny Tuesday - Block 2

I'm trying to work in some applique blocks this year.  I know that not everyone likes applique, but we will start with something nice and easy.  Just a circle.  There are A LOT of ways to do applique.  I'll show you a few options as we work through the first simple blocks, but you should feel free to use the technique of your choice.  

 Rather than fussing with a printed template right away, you need to find something circular to use as a pattern.  Something with a diameter between 3 and 4 inches will work perfectly.  I found a drinking glass that worked form me.  In addition, find some light cardboard to use as a template
 Trace the circle onto your cardboard.  Mine ended up at 3.75 inches.  Cut it out on the drawn line.
 Now find a scrap of fabric that is just slightly larger than your template.  Use a pencil or erasable pen to trace the shape onto your fabric.
 Trim the fabric a quarter of an inch outside the drawn line.  No need to make it perfect.
 With a hand sewing needle and heavy thread, run a gathering stitch around the outside of the drawn line all the way around the circle.
 Place the cardboard circle on the wrong side of the circle and use the thread to draw up the edges evenly around the template.
 Use an iron to press the circle.  You may use spray starch or sizing if you like to keep things firm.
 Turn the circle over and press on the other side to make sure that you have a nice sharp crease.
 Temporarily pin your circle down to a 5 inch square of background fabric.  You can sew the circle down by hand or machine.  I like to use a nice small blind hem stitch.  You could try a blanket stitch if your prefer.
 When the circle is sewn down, turn it over and trim away the background fabric behind the circle to reduce bulk.
Here is your finished circle.  Block #2.  If you are adding the setting fabric now, use the directions for a diagonal setting located on the RSC19 Sampler tab.  I'm still waiting for my background fabric to show up, so I'll catch up to that part soon.  

Tiny Tuesday - Diagonal Set #2

If the smaller setting squares seem like too tight of a fit, you might want to try this slightly larger version.  It will leave you about half an inch on each side to play with.  

  • 1 tiny Tuesday sampler block - 5 inches unfinished
  • 2 squares of background fabric 5.5 inches each
Cut the background squares in half along the diagonal.  

 Find the center of the sampler block and each of the triangles.  There are several ways to do this.  You may fold each in half and finger press or iron to mark the middle.  You can measure and mark the middle with a pin or a light pencil mark in the seam allowance.
 Match the center of a triangle to the center of the block.  Pin it in place.  Sew a triangle to opposite sides of the sampler square.
 Press the seams away from the center.
 Trim the dog ears of each triangle even with the sides of the sampler block.
 Match the center of the next two triangles to the center of the sampler square and pin.  Sew both triangles to the opposite sides of the sampler.
 The block should be about 8 inches square.  This will leave you plenty of room to trim it to the final size of 7.5 inches.

Tiny Tuesday - Diagonal Set #1

The math on diagonal set blocks is always a little tricky.  Because of the angles involved, they don't tend to work out to nice even sizes.  Either you can cut the inside square to an odd size and have and nice even size on the outside -- which doesn't work out well when you are working with a pieced inner block.  The other option is to use an even size on the inside and have an odd size for your finished block -- this option tends to make everyone a little bit cranky.  I'm going with option #3.  I'm using an even sized inner square and leaving it "floating" in the middle of an evenly sized outer square.  Setting option 1 uses even sizes to get almost exactly to the right finished size.  There will just be a tiny sliver to trim at the end.  If you block seems a bit small or you aren't getting enough breathing room, try out setting option #2 which uses larger squares for extra squaring up room at the end.  
1 finished Tiny Tuesday sampler block unfinished at 5 inches
2 squares of background fabric cut to 5 inches 
Cut the two background squares from corner to corner to yield 4 triangles.  
Mark the center of the sampler block and of the triangles.  There are many ways to accomplish this.  You can fold them in half and finger press.  You can iron them to get a nice crease in the middle.  You could measure them and mark the middle with a pin or a disappearing pen.  I chose to crease mine gently with an iron.  
Match the center of two triangles to the center of the block.  Pin the center and sew one triangle to each side.  Press the seams away from the center square.  
The triangles are oversized, so trim them so that the edges are even with the edge of the sampler block.  

 Repeat the same procedure with the other two squares on the other two sides.  Pin the center to make sure they go on evenly.
 Press the triangles so the seams go out away from the center block.
Your finished square should be just barely a smidge larger than 7.5 inches.  Carefully square up your block to the desired size of 7.5 inches.  

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Slowly on Sunday

 I saw my cardinal again today after my run.  We tried out a new trail that connects our houses and the local zoo.  It was beautifully brisk and sunny.  So nice to get in a few miles since I haven't been running much since the last half marathon.
 Here he is hiding in the bushes, though he didn't stay away for long, he was back up and pecking at the side mirror as soon as I was in the car.
 May is all quilted up on Leap Year, and I'm ready to start hand quilting August.  Still green, but it will be nice to get closer to the edge.
 I've made a nice start on sorting through the red scraps and managed to make more in blue from recent quilt borders and backings.
 The strips and squares are all beautifully tidy and being put to use already, but large chunks and strings are still in need of attention.
I used a nice stack of crumbs to make a storage box for red scraps.  I had made one earlier for green and blue, so red makes a nice addition to the collection.  I've dumped all of the small strings and crumbs in these, so they should be handy.
I'm linking up today to Slow Stitching with Kathy and Oh Scrap!  

Saturday, January 5, 2019

ScrapHappy Saturday #1

It is a brand new year at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and I am so excited to get started!  I've been getting organized this week and doing some preparation for the new year.

There is a Tiny Tuesday Sample block available for those playing along.  You can read the original post here.  Or go to the RSC19 Sampler tab at the top where there is a link to the PDF file if you are saving it for later.  There are setting instructions as well.  This one is planned as a straight set.  Next week I will have directions for the diagonal setting. 

I've also sorted through my red bin and pre-cut stacks of 2 inch and 2.5-inch squares.  I'm making 9 patches with the smaller squares which I will frame with black and white to make another quilt like this one from 2017.   The larger size is for sprout blocks which I have been pondering for many years.    I'm also continuing on with my string blocks from last year.
What are your plans and schemes for 2019?  Mister Linky is below.  Please share with us all.  If you are new this year, also feel free to introduce yourself.  We love having new scrappy projects to enjoy.

    An InLinkz Link-up

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Helen's Quilts

I got a lovely e-mail from Helen who does not have a blog and wanted to share them with you all.
 First, this table runner with so many beautiful flying geese.
 Then this set of blocks which have given me inspiration as to how to finish some of my 16 patch leader and ender blocks from last year. 
And finally, this beautiful setting for Squared Away.  I love anything with stars. This layout really ties all the blocks together beautifully.  
Thanks for sharing Helen!  I hope that you are able to continue your scrappy sewing in the new year.