Saturday, June 22, 2024

ScrapHappy Saturday - Happy Blue Chaos


Blue has just always been one of those huge colors for me. I had plenty of giant chunks to dig through for sampler blocks, now it is just a matter of making some sort of sense of the rest. I got some of the tiny crumbs put together and then squared them up to 4.5 inches with the handy Go! cutter. Having it live conveniently under my new rolling kitchen island ironing board/work surface with built in outlets has been super quick and easy. Unfortunately the volume of blue scraps has limited the available work space. I guess that should be first on the list this morning? Second will be cutting star point for the crumb centers. Then I will have no choice but to deal with the chaos lurking in the rest of the room. I am running out of workspace, floor space, even trash space!  Hopefully a tiny cleaning spree will reveal where those extra pink star parts are hiding. What blue scraps are you playing with this week? MisterLinky is below, please share with us all.
I should have plenty of time in the sewing room this week. There is one quick work meeting to go to on Tuesday morning, but other than that, my days are wide open and looking relaxed. It is nice to be back home again, but we are already planning another trip to the mountains before summer rushes past. We have to check on the new trees, mushrooms, tomatoes and clover.  I also left the hallway half painted.  So many projects and only finite hours in the day.  

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Hen & Chicks Block 24 - Shiny Star


I feel like this one was called something else, but it is just a friendship star with an extra point added on to make it shiny. Using flip and sew triangles, it is easy and quick to achieve. 

Use the cutting chart above to get the pieces you will need. Notice that two shades of blue are used.  I have tried to minimize multi fabric blocks, but they are needed here to get definition in the points. Try to find two shades of blue with enough contrast that they don't blend visually. 

Use the HST sewing method of your choice, I gave the measurements for the method which uses two squares cut 7/8 of an inch larger than the finished size of your unit in the finished block. 
Next, take the dark blue squares and draw a line across the diagonal.  Layer these on top of the HST units so that the seams make an X with the seams headed in opposite directions. Sew on the drawn line. Make sure that the HST units are all facing in the same direction as you sew to avoid confusion. 
Open up the flip and sew corner and check for alignment of the fabrics before trimming away the extra fabric behind.  Double check the orientation of the triangles as they are easy to reverse. Consider making bonus HST units for the larger block sizes. 

Here are your 9 subunits ready to go. How cute are those shiny star points? 

Orient the star points in the middle and then fill in the corners with background and the center with the lighter square. 

Sew as any nine patch, pressing away from the star points to minimize fabric bulk. That is the last block of the blue month!

Hen & Chicks Block 23 - Rolling Stone


There are better ways to make the diamond center for the snowball squares, but they involve measuring things with eighths of inches which I hate! You can also paper piece them which would give you great accuracy. I chose to use the snowball corner method, which is wasteful, but when making sampler blocks with scraps, I worry less about that than ease of assembly. 

Use the cutting chart provided to get these pieces.  Go ahead and sew your two strip sets together and set them aside for now while you spend serious time snowballing corners!  Start by drawing a diagonal line through the center of each of your 16 small background squares.  I know this is tedious, but we are only making a few blocks, not an entire quilt. 
Sew a small background square to one corner of each blue square. Sew along the drawn line.

 Repeat for the opposite corner of the blue block ( You could work your way around the corners in order, but then you would need to press after each corner.  By working on opposing corners you can get away with fewer trips to the ironing board. After two triangles have been attaches, make sure your corners are straight and trip away the extra fabric behind your flip and sew triangles. 
Now repeat this procedure until all four corners of each blue block have these flip and sew corners. Press carefully before trimming away the excess bonus triangles. Now that you have four corner diamonds, go ahead and sub cut our strip set into squares that are the same size as your blue squares. (I forgot to take a photo of this step, but we have done it a time or two my now.)
Here ae your nine subunits. 

Arrange them with the diamonds in the corners, the blue rectangles facing the outside edges, and the extra background square in the center. 
Sew now as a nine patch and press away from the corner diamonds to get your points as sharp as possible. 

Hen & Chicks Block 22 - Grecian Block


This is really just a churn dash block with an alternate color arrangement.  It gives a completely different effect though, so I am including it as a separate block. 
Use the cutting chart provided for the size of block you want to make. I continue to make a block in the 3 inch and 6 inch size each month. I am seriously tempted to come back for the 5 inch blocks at a later date. 

Please use your preferred method for the HST units. I can't use my easy angle ruler enough, but I have provided cutting instructions if you are using the two at a time square method. As long as you have 4 HST units along with two long strips, then you are good to go. For the larger block sizes, feel free to use multiple shorter strips to get to the necessary length. I was cutting up tiny scraps and had to use two each of the strips, even for the 6 inch block. 

Sew two strips together and press toward the blue. 

Sub cut this strip set into squares that are the same size as your background center square. 

Now it is just a matter of arranging the nine patch so that the HST units are the same as they would be for a churn dash or shoofly, but the dark rectangles are on the outside edges of the block.  Such a simple swap to make a completely different block!

Sew as you would any nine patch and press the seams away from the HST units. This helps reduce bulk under the points which will help the block lie flat. 

Hen & Chicks Block 21 - Spools

Another simple and quick block to start the blue month!  This is a classic that can be made lots of ways, so I chose to minimize seams.  

You will need one blue rectangle and two of background along with 4
 blue squares. Use the cutting chart to determine sizes. 

Start by drawing a line diagonally through the center of each blue square. Line them up on either side of the background rectangles so that they both point up toward the center of the unit. Sew on the drawn line. 
Flip and sew the corner squares to make triangles. I like to check the alignment along the back of the block before trimming away the bonus triangles behind. You can turn these into extra HST triangle units to save for later depending on the size of the block you are making. 
Now just arrange the background rectangles on either side of the blue rectangle so that long side of the blue triangles touch the center blue and point down toward the center of the block.  
Press the seams toward the center of the block and you are done!  That one went fast!

Saturday, June 15, 2024

ScrapHappy Saturdy - Mountain Edition

It was a fun filled week in the mountains! After watching the newest season of Clarkson's Farm, we decided to grow some mushrooms. Based on the fallen tree varieties this winter, and ease of growing, we chose Shitake mushrooms which are a two on the difficulty scale and grow on oak logs.
Anna drove up from Virginia Tech and was willing to help out with a few projects around the property. We also hauled some rocks and logs from place to place with the ATV which was so satisfying and planted some tomatoes and herbs. Today we want to try to finish staining the deck. It rained last nigh though, which is good for the tomatoes and mushrooms, but not for getting an early start on the deck.
Wait, you say this is a quilting blog?  There were several long hours on the drive up to work on hexies in the car. We visited Kurt's dad on the way through North Carolina as I hand stitched the day away. I will work on the connecting blocks on the drive back. There are both light and dark rows for blue and each needed just a few more diamonds to get to the desired length, which I think was a lucky 13.  

Saturday, June 8, 2024

ScrapHappy Saturday - Blues

It is officially summer vacation! I finished my college bootcamp yesterday and we are headed to Virginia for a bit.  There are lots of  projects planned, so I made sure to to finish the blue blocks.  I still need to put the directions together, but I didn't want to try to figure out which fabric and supplies were needed.  Instead I focused on portable handwork projects to bring along for the trip. 

Saturday, June 1, 2024

It's June

 I absolutely adore new months.  So maybe every bit of pink wasn't used up in May. That's OK, I packed it up and grabbed the blue bin to celebrate June.  I can already see a lot of potential in the blue scrap basket. There are not two blue months this year.  Sometimes I separate blues into a light blue and a dark blue month, but this year I saved them for summer so that I could try to tackle all the shades of blue at the same time. What are your plans for June? 

The linky tool lives below, please share your progress and plans with us all. 

Monday, May 27, 2024

Happy Memorial Day

 Friday was the last day of class and today if officially a holiday! Tuesday is counted as a workday, but most of our teachers tried to rush through and get everything done ahead of time so that they don't have to come back after the long weekend. I have a few things to do to get ready for camp, but I certainly won't work a full day.  

I spent most of my sewing time yesterday piecing a back for the tiny nine patch leftover quilt.  Leftover orphan blocks seemed fitting for a quilt of leftover blocks. This one is now ready to load onto the frame. I will have to see if I have any batting that I can cobble together. I had a giant roll that ran out and my attempt to order online appears to have been unsuccessful. 

I hope those on holiday will find some time for relaxing and enjoying the lovely weather.  

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Last Gasp of Pink

It is the final pink weekend!  Next Saturday will be the first and time to put away the rosy hues in favor of blue for June.  I have just a few pink star blocks to finish. The geese are cut and ready for assembly, so that should not take long at all. Yesterday was the last day for students! I will go in next week to wrap up a few odds and ends and then there will be a short week of camp, but there is a light nearing.  Sydney popped home for a weekend so we will enjoy spending some time with her, when she is not hanging out with her friends. It looks like a beautiful beach day and I am guessing we will be finding some aloe for sun burns before it ends.  

Kurt had her room completely torn apart and ready for painting when she surprised us by coming home for the weekend. He was able to get everything reassembled enough for a few days though and I will have a time after she is gone to do things properly. I really do love painting, the mood is sure to be more conducive now that summer has properly arrived. 

I pulled a tiny leftovers quilt out last weekend to see if I could cross something else off of the list. There are some leftover green binding strips that I might auditioning as an inner border and then perhaps a lighter wider green outside of that. I hope you are finishing up your May blocks and finding some time to play with your scraps. Misterlinky is below