Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Monkey Wrench


I have a plan laid out for a Monkey Wrench block this week.  I was going to get to it earlier, but I'm still waiting for everything to settle down.  I've managed to find all the essentials after the move.  Socks, underwear, toothpaste....  Things are still finding permanent homes, and I'm sure there will be a bit of rearranging as we figure out how to organize everything.  I'm working half days at school this week so I can't quite dig in and devote an entire day to anything.  It will all get done in time though.  For now everything is livable enough.  I'm sharing my sewing space with Anna for now, so she is going to let me move in for a few minutes and get everything sewn up.  Fortunately, tiny blocks don't take up much time at all, so I won't disrupt her for long.  I'll be back shortly with all the details and some step by steps.
 There are many options for making half square triangles.  I'm usually a fan of the easy angle ruler, but tonight I thought that cutting squares might be easier.  The finished sub-units will be 1.75 inches.  The official rule says that you should add 7/8 of an inch to that measurement for cutting size. I tend to cut in even sizes and square up later, so I cut mine to 3 inches instead.
 Cutting:
2 squares of blue fabric 2 5/8 inches
2 squares of background fabric 2 5/8 inches
one strip of blue fabric 1 3/8 inches by at least 6 inches
one strip of background fabric 1 3/8 inches by at least 6 inches
one square (not pictured) of background fabric 1.5 inches

 Draw a line down the center of each square of background fabric.  Place each square right sides together with a blue square.
 Sew a quarter of inch on either side of this drawn line for both squares.  At the same time, place your two strips right sides together and sew them together as well.
 Cut on your drawn line to separate your half square triangle blocks from one another.  Each set will yield to half square triangles.  If you cut yours over-sized like I did, trim them up to 2 1/4 inches square.
 While you are at the ironing board, pres your strip set open with the seam facing the dark fabric.  From this set, you will cut 4 pieces which are each 1.5 inches each.
 From this point you are just making a nine patch.  Arrange the HST units in the corners with the dark fabric pointing toward the center.  Place the 1.5 inch units along the edges with the dark fabric pointing toward the center.  The final piece is the 1.5 inch square of background fabric.
 Now it is just a matter of sewing these pieces together as you would any nine patch.  I like to fold the second row over the first and chain stitch by columns.  You could also sew it into rows instead and then sew the rows together.
Press the seams away from the HST units and you are all set.  That didn't take long at all!



Saturday, June 22, 2019

ScrapHappy Saturday

I am home again!  Last week I spent in Kansas City grading essays for AP Biology.  It was a long week, and it feels so good to come home again.  Home is a relative term these days.  Last night was our first official night as a family in the new house.  I even made dinner!  It was a frozen lasagna, but still, we ate at a table as a family.  Today we will clear the last debris out of the old house.  Then there will be plenty of time to get settled into the new place.  And to sew.  I sincerely hope that there will be time to sew.  

First though, I think I'll sit here for a few more minutes and wait for the sun to peek up over the horizon.  It should be here any minute.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Tiny Tuesday #25 - Basket Block

 First print out the template for the basket block from the PDF pattern
 You may either print the template on regular paper and then copy it onto freezer paper, or if you are industrious, you can run the freezer paper through your printer and save a step.
 Iron the freezer paper onto your blue fabric and trim, leaving a quarter inch seam allowance.  You can no use the applique method of your choice to prepare the basket and handle.
 Sew the prepared applique pieces onto a square of background fabric just slightly larger than 5 inches.

This block is meant to be set straight in the finished quilt.  A PDF file is available.


Saturday, June 15, 2019

scrap happy saturday - out of town

Angela is out of town for the weekend.  This is Angela's husband so I am posting scrap happy Saturday.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Tiny Tuesday #24 - Block with no name



Cynthia Bruinz is our guest designer this week.  She has designed this adorable little block with no name.  Perhaps you have a suggestion?
This block should be set on the diagonal in the finished quilt.  

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Grandmother's Fan


I finally finished LAST Tuesday's block!   Sorry to be so very late!   There is a PDF file as well.  This week we are having a guest designer!  I'll schedule that next as I'm going to be out of town all week grading AP Biology essays.  I'm really looking forward to having  break from all of the manual labor going on around here.


Saturday, June 8, 2019

ScrapHappy Saturday


I am getting so much closer to being fully functional in the sewing department!  I've got the basic necessities set up.  As for the rest, the official movers are coming next Thursday.

We got a bit carried away with the refinishing of floors after I experimented a bit and realized I could lay down a new layer of polyurethane without completely removing the old.  So here is the master bedroom with newly shiny floors.
Here is the family room which was just finishes yesterday.  Now we need to try not walking on the floors too much until the movers show up next week.  We decided NOT to do the floors in my sewing room yet, so that is where I am sure to be spending some time today. 
I've got a Grandmother's Fan to make. 

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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Tiny Tuesday #23 - Grandmother's Fan


I am working on a block for Tiny Tuesday, but it isn't quite done yet.  I have a template ready, but need in progress pictures and more detailed instructions.  I'll be able to work on it in the morning when I can get back to my machine again.  I actually went back to the new house this evening expecting to have some sewing time, but the smell of fresh polyurethane had me laying down the next coat and heading back to the old house again.  The freshly finished floors are so shiny!  I'll take pictures tomorrow.  We are doing it in phases so that we can still get things done in other rooms while the fresh floors have a chance to cure fully.
While all of that is happening, I'll also go back and revisit directions for last week's block as sadly, I was informed it was a quarter inch too small.  Also the number of background squares was off.  I'll get those fixed so that everything turns out as it should.  Thanks so much to everyone who is proofreading for me and letting me know when my math is off.  It is a bit of a crazy time right now, but I see sewing in my future. Our two houses will be merged fully within the next couple of weeks and the old house will be someone else's new house before the end of the month.
 Link to block directions so far.  

Print out the template from the google document provided.  
Cut out the template and gather 8 scraps of dark blue fabric.  
 Find a scrap of blue fabric large enough to entirely cover one fan blade the fabric goes on the back side of the template.
 To make sure the fabric is positioned correctly, center the fabric over the center wedge and temporarily pin it in place.  By holding it up to a sunny window or a light source, you can see the fabric through the template.
 fold the template back on the top edge of the center wedge, creasing along the line.
 With the template folded back, trim the excess fabric so that a quarter inch seam allowance remains
 Place the next wedge, right sides together and sew along the line that you just creased.  Repeat this procedure along the other side of the center wedge.  The advantage of sewing to either side instead of starting at one end and working down is that you can sew two wedges at a time before going to the ironing board to press.
Continue folding and trimming before each new wedge is added.  
 When all 8 fan blades are sewn, you will have something that looks like this.  Trim the curved edge, leaving a quarter inch seam allowance.  Feel free to leave a tiny bit extra on the outside edges.  Turn the curved edge under to prepare for applique.  You can do needle turn, back baste or use the applique method of your choice.  I think I mentioned that I'm a freezer paper fan.

Place this fan on top of a square that is just slightly larger than 5 inches.  I like a little bit of wiggle room in my applique blocks so that I can square them all up later in case the edges get frayed.  I tend to carry prepped applique blocks along with me, so they can get a little wrinkled along the way.
Prepare a smaller quarter circle from the template and applique it on top of the fan blades.  You could also just trim this edge with a quarter in seam allowance just like the outside edge, I just thought the dimensional effect would be nicer if the center was visually on top.  
In case you don't like applique, you can also use curved piecing to sew the three pieces together.  I have been known to do curved piecing from time to time, but maybe not on this scale.  The choice is yours!
This block will be set straight in the finished quilt.

Here is a link to the PDF version

Saturday, June 1, 2019

ScrapHappy Saturday

Say good bye to orange!  It is time to start tackling blue.

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Friday, May 31, 2019

Cusp of a New Month

It is almost June.  I hope you have managed to make a dent in your orange scraps.  Start to think about tucking them away so that you can make room for the blue bin!  Blue is a big color, so it is going to get 2 months.  Start with the dark and navy blues this month and save the brights and lights for later.