Friday, February 28, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Sampler - Friendship Star

This one is another block based on a nine patch grid.  Just replace a few solid squares with HST units and you are ready to roll.
 I like using the easy angle ruler for HST blocks because they can be cut from the same strips as the solid squares.  It is much easier to put blocks together from precut strips if they can all be the same size.
 First you will need one square of dark fabric and four squares of background fabric.  Then you can place your strips right side together and use the easy angle ruler to cut four pairs of triangles.
Sew the triangles together, remove the dog ears and press the seams toward the dark fabric.
 Next lay out your squares as shown.  There is no photo of actual fabric here because I realized as I was sewing my squares together that  one of my HST blocks was rotated.  Check the placement of the HST blocks carefully.  Notice that the dark fabric always touches the dark center and the seams all run parallel to one another.
 Sew your rows together and check your block placement again.  It is easier to fix at this stage than at the next.
Sew your rows together with the seams in the top and bottom row going away from the center and the seams in the middle row going toward the center.  Getting the seams headed in the right direction helps your block lie nice and flat.  Check your final measurements.  It should be 6.5 inches unfinished.
Congratulations, another lovely addition to the Rainbow Scrap Sampler Quilt!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Almost the Weekend

 It is never a good sign when you are counting the minutes until the weekend during work.  I really do love my job on a regular basis, but this week is sucking the life right out of me.  I am already starting to look forward to spring break at the end of this month when Kurt and I will be celebrating our 20 year anniversary.  In celebration of our holiday, this month will be the teal of the Caribbean sea.  Anything between blue and green will work.   

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Baby Quilt Done!

 It can be so hard to make quilts for other people.  Trying to figure out what they will like always leaves me second guessing my choices.
Here is her nursery set though, so I think this will go nicely without being too matchy matchy.
I just finished the quilting and will get the binding sewn on this evening in time for slow stitching Sunday.  

Last Pink Saturday

 Can you believe that the pink month is almost over?  Friday is the last day of the month, so feel free to spend a few days finishing off the odds and ends and getting ready for a fresh start.  Because it is the last pink Saturday, it is also giveaway day!  Our very kind sponsor, Vicki Welsh, sent me a lovely collection of her beautiful hand dyed fabric to share with all the lovely people who are participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  To enter the giveaway, just comment on this post telling me what the temperature is where you are.  I will choose a random name from the list and announce the winner at the same time I announce the new color for March.  A front moved in yesterday and we got some rain, but while I was walking around the University of Florida campus with my students on Thursday it hit 81 Fahrenheit (27 Celsius) and we all got a little sunburned.  Given that we had frost only a few weeks ago, it would be fair to say our weather has been crazy lately.

Don't forget to link in and share your rainbow scrap challenge progress.

I was a little sad to only get 6 RSC Sampler blocks done this month.  I will definitely try to get a few more in before Friday.  It has been unusually busy here though.  Given our typical routine of carting around three kids, that is saying a lot.  I'm taking Anna to Lacrosse practice today while Kurt runs Odyssey of the Mind practice for Sydney.  Ryan has his turn tomorrow with playoffs for his flag football season.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler - Basket Block

I will apologize ahead of time today for a slightly more complicated block than usual.  I think it is worth it though, and variety is nice in sampler quilts.  I wanted to get it posted earlier in the month, but never quite got around to editing the directions.
I used four different pink fabrics for my block.  Mostly it was just to make the best use of the scraps I had available.  It would be very nice with two or three pinks as well.
Parts list:
1 - 3.5 inch square of light pink
1 - HST unit cut with the easy angle ruler from a 3.5 inch strip of light pink
2 - 2 x 3.5 inch rectangles of light pink (I forgot to put these in the photo above)
2 - 2 inch squares of light pink fabric.
2 - 2 x 3.5 inch rectangles of darker pink fabric
1 - 2 inch square of a different pink fabric
2 - HST units cut from 1.5 inch strips using the companion angle ruler.  (I have to be honest here and admit that I used the same 2 inch strips that I used for the rectangles along with the easy angle ruler.  It puts the bias along the hypotenuse, but I just pressed gingerly)
2 - 1.5 inch strips cut on the bias of a 3.5 inch strip
Here is how I got a bias strip.  It would have been easier to cut a single strip from a larger piece of fabric, but I had to use what I had.  I established a 45 degree angle with the easy angle ruler and then cut two 1.5 inch strips.  The bias part is important because this will be the handle of the basket and it needs to be curved.
Take two squares of the background pink fabric and use a pencil to mark a diagonal line.  Place them, right sides together onto the darker pink rectangles.  Notice that there is one uphill block and one downhill block. This is important for the symmetry of the block.  Use the sew and flip method to make your rectangle subunit with a light pink corner.
 Each of these dark units will get sewn to a light rectangle.  This is where sewed mine wrong and so don't have a picture of the square the right way.  Notice that the long dark side of the angled block is sewn to the light pink rectangle

Now take your contrasting pink square and partner it with the dark pink triangles.  The legs of each triangle are sewn to adjacent edges of the square so that the hypotenuses of each square form a new hypotenuse for the larger triangles.  Hopefully this new pieced unit will be the same size as the HST triangle that came from the 3.5 inch strip of light pink.
DARN.  This is where I realized that I sewed the rectangles together with the short dark side to the center instead of the other way around.  I don't have a picture of the block at this stage after I unsewed it all.  But honestly, the block would work this way too.

Now sew your two bias strips together to get one long strip.  In order to turn this into the handle, sew it with right sides together along the long side to get a long skinny tube.  Turn this right side out and press in a gently curved shape.  I had never made bias strips before, but it wasn't too bad really.  
To get the handle attached, I did a tiny bit of seam ripping where light and dark pink met along the angle.  I slipped the bias end into the open seam and then sewed it back together again.  The handle then gets hand stitched down.  

No sewing tonight

Off with my AP kids to Gainesville.  Basketball tonight and DNA labs in the morning .

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler - Jacob's Ladder

Another classic block based on simple subunits.
This one has half square triangles made from 2.5 inch strips and four patches made from 1.5 inch strips.

The HST units were made using the easy angle ruler again.
Layer light and dark pink fabrics, right sides together and cut 4 triangles.
I think about 6 inches in length for these fabrics should be enough.

For the four patches, layer dark and medium 1.5 inch strips of fabric together and sew into a strip set.  You will need 10 - 1.5 inch segments which will require at least 15 inches of fabric.  This can be in one long strip or two 8 inch strips

While you are at the machine, go ahead and sew the HST units together along the hypotenuse.

 Press toward the dark fabric in both cases.
Take the strip set and sub cut into 1.5 inch segments.
Remove the dog ears from your HST blocks.

Sew the four patches together and rotate the seams for pressing.  Make sure they are 2.5 inches unfinished.

Here is the block layout.  The dark corners of the four patches are all pointed in the same direction and the HST units are pointing toward the center of the block.
Sew the subunits together as you would for a nine patch.  When sewing the rows together, make sure to nest the seams.  If find it easier to press the seams away from the HST blocks to make it possible to try to get decent points.  Perfect points aren't really my thing, but I do try to make an effort.
Here it is all pressed and ready to add to the ever growing collection.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler - Bowtie

It seems like ages since I've had a chance to make a rainbow scrap challenge sampler block.
I thought I'd jump back in with something nice and simple.  For this block you will need:
2 - 3.5 inch squares of light pink fabric.
2 - 3.5 inch squares of dark pink fabric
2 - 2 inch squares of dark pink fabric.
Draw a line diagonally corner to corner on the back of the small squares.

Place a small dark square, right sides together on the large light pink square and sew on the drawn line.  Repeat for each square and press the squares using the "sew and flip" method.  Assuming all the edges line up, trim away the bottom triangle.
Arrange the light pink squares as shown in the picture with the dark corners pointing in toward the middle of the block

Sew the four patch together and press.  Your finished block should be 6.5 inches unfinished.  

Saturday, February 15, 2014

ScrapHappy Saturday - Still Pink

Just two more Saturdays remain in February.  I hope you are all making good progress on your pinks.  I have a stack of baby nine patches that I am hoping to turn into nine patches this morning.  Double nines for me.  How about you?  Share your progress so far using the linky tool below. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Slowdown Sunday

After a super busy day of excitement yesterday, I am so happy to be ready to settle down to some reverse photo applique today.  Handwork and couch time sound just about perfect right now.  There are just a few more photo blocks to sew together and a handful of alternate blocks to cut out before this top is ready to go together.  I will be so happy to have this one done.
I have yet to see any substantial portion of the Olympics.  This might just be my excuse!  Kurt is getting anxious for me to finish this quilt so sooner would be better than later.  What is it about deadlines that suck the fun out of hobbies?
To see what other slowdown slowpoke sewing people are up to on this day of rest, head over to Kathy's blog and check it out.  

Science Fair

 Anna had an amazing night at the science fair awards!  Lots of specialty awards including money, certificates and plaques.  Two invitations to compete in further contests, and a second place ribbon.
Here she is in front of her board.  Her project?  Using oyster shells to reduce the nitrates and phosphates in the Indian River Lagoon.  We are so happy that she had such a good night.  It was so much fun to see her keep going up to walk across the stage.
Poor Ryan wasn't quite as lucky and failed to get a bid to state for Legos.  I keep reminding him that he is still going to state for Mathcounts, but he is still sad.  Good lessons to learn.  

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler - Broken Dishes

This one is a classic.  You can think of it as a four patch or a 16 patch.  It uses a 2 inch subunit as its base.
 Start with two contrasting 2 inch strips.  I chose a dark and light pink.  They will need to be fairly long, if your strips are shorter you might need more than one of each color.  to get the 16 triangles you will need at least 32 inches.
 Place your strips right sides together and cut using the easy angle ruler.
If you don't have an easy angle ruler, try one of the handy tutorials found here.  Or the printable paper method using templates found here.  There are lots of ways to make half square triangles, use the one that works for you.

Your units will be 2 inches unfinished or 1.5 inches finished.
 Cut 16 HST units.  Sew along the hypotenuse and trim the dog ears before pressing toward the dark.
 Your block will be made of four identical subunits which will each be 3.5 inches unfinished.  Look carefully at the layout of the blocks.
 Although it looks confusing, each pair of HST blocks is actually put together identically.  Notice that the top block just gets rotated to make the diamond pattern in the center.  Press each pair carefully toward the dark triangle.
 Assemble the four patches making sure the seams nestle.  The junctions tend to be bulky, so alternating seam allowances are important.
Your block should measure 6.5 inches.  Cute and classic.

If you would like, you can also rearrange the subunits to get a star.  Same pieces, just turned slightly differently.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

ScrapHappy Saturday - Tickled Pink

I went a little crazy with pink postage stamp blocks.  I am actually thinking about breaking some of the giant blocks down into 36 patches.  First though, there are two deadline quilts that need work.  Probably not today though.  Regionals for Lego Robotics AND Science Fair are both today.  We got lucky though, they are both very near each other, so there will be quite a bit of driving back and forth in my day.
How about your day?  Hopefully it will be full of pretty pink fabrics?  Maybe while enjoying some of the olympic games?  Use the linky tool below to share your progress so far.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Design Wall Monday

It is an unexpected three day weekend due to the flu.  Kurt was SO sick all weekend, I was honestly looking forward to leaving him home and escaping to work.  First thing this morning though, Sydney started hacking and was feverish and headachy.  I didn't think Kurt could keep track of her in his current state, so I went in to school to get things set up for a sub.  It was a movie day today as it turned out, so it will be an easy day for the sub.  Sydney is having some soup now and Kurt is comatose on the couch.  I will head off for a few minutes of work on the anniversary quilt.  I got a few more photo blocks appliqu├ęd during the Superbowl last night, but I think I will need a few more light colored blocks and then some more of the brown from the outer border.  It will be a treat to be able to visit Judy's Design Wall Monday.  I'm usually off at work and too busy to remember.  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Superbowl Slow Stitching

After reading Kathy's post this morning about taking care of our hands, I was snipping some crumb blocks apart at the ironing board and snipped right into the tip of my finger.  Thankfully it was my left hand, so I will still be able to spend the Superbowl stitching away on these reverse applique photo blocks.  I got them all packaged up to take to Matchcounts yesterday, but got caught up doing the math instead.  I did pretty well too, except for a problem with factorials and fractions that had me puzzled.  Ryan explained it to me on the way home though, so the mystery was solved.  I hope you are all finding a way to slow down this Sunday before starting all over again tomorrow.  

Off Task

I was looking forward to playing with pink scraps today, but instead I was sidetracked with these yellow crumb diamonds for the anniversary quilt for my MIL.  I would have gotten them done had I sewn the day away, but life got in the way.   Kurt came home from work Friday feeling tired.  He has already been sick once this year, so I was sure he would be fine.  I guess I was wrong.  By today I was really worried about him.  Fever, coughing, shaking, hardly able to stand up.  So off we went to the urgent care to confirm the flu and get a prescription for Tamiflu.  He's been passed out all day long, leaving the rest of the usual weekend stuff up to me.  So the girls and I are planning to watch the Superbowl together.  Strange choice, but it was already the plan before Kurt got sick and Ryan abandoned us to hang out with his friend.  We're having appetizers and soda and ice cream!  I'll switch to Downton after bedtime.  I'm sure nobody would mind.
So here is Ryan and the Mathcounts team yesterday.  He was 6th overall.  The highest ranked 7th grader I think.  His entire team took 1st and so they are headed to the state competition next month.  They will take the top four from the team and he is ranked 3 in that group, so he will be off to Orlando for an overnight trip.  He doesn't want me to come with him. 

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler - Four Corners

Does anyone know if this block has a real name?  I found a line drawing, but it didn't come with a name so I made one up.
 This is a simple and quick little block.  You will need four 2 inch squares of light fabric, four 2 inch squares of dark fabric and four 2 inch by 3.5 inch rectangles of medium fabric.
 First sew two dark and two light squares into a four patch.
Next sew one medium rectangle to each side of the four patch.
You will also need to sew one dark square and one light square to each end of both rectangles.
Press the seams away from the four patch in the middle and toward the rectangles on the sides so that your seams will nest nicely.
Sew the three sections together, making sure that the dark squares and light squares line up as shown in the picture.  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

ScrapHappy Saturday -- Pink Pretties

First, let me announce the winner of the hand dyed fabric from Vicki Welsh.  I used this handy random number generator to choose Kathy S. from Kathy's quilting blog!  Congratulations Kathy, I can't wait to see what you create with your new fabric.  Please send me your snail mail via e-mail and I will drop your package in the mail.  Many thanks to Vicki for sponsoring the giveaway, because creating new scraps is almost as fun as even more fun than using the ones you already have.  Everyone else please check back next month for another giveaway.
My pink Mai Tai blocks got this far last year as leaders and enders during the pink month.  Today I will take them to the next step.  It looks like there is a nice stack of nine patches ready to frame as well as some of the split half triangle blocks ready to be put together to make the star units.
First I'm dropping Ryan off for another math competition.  This one is local though, so I can come home and sew in between.  This afternoon will be the quiz bowl part of the competition and I will go up and watch.  He was third in his school competition last week, I was pretty proud as he was the highest ranked 7th grader.  Even though it was at the school where I teach, I had to teach all day and didn't get to see any of the matches.  I'll feel like a better mom If I can watch him, even though as a typical 12 year old boy, he just doesn't seem to care.
Looking forward to seeing the begining of your pink creations.  Use the linky tool below to lead us to your post.  Don't forget to visit other people and give them some support and encouragement.