Saturday, May 30, 2015

Last Green Saturday

Last weekend I pulled out my little bin of 1 inch strips and just started to sew.  It was entirely relaxing.  These are the green blocks that came out of Memorial Day Weekend.  The blue month doesn't officially start for a few more days, so I'm going to finish off a few odds and ends in green before putting them away.  Sydney has an all day Lacrosse tournament in Orlando, which Kurt has kindly volunteered to take her to.  That will leave me home with my scraps.  I can't wait.  There is just one more day of school to finish off with one day of post planning and then one day of meetings.  After that I will officially be switching into summer vacation mode.  Can't wait!
What are your plans for the weekend?  Use misterlinky below to share your rainbow scrap progress.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

June Color Annoucement

The color for June will be light blue.  We've already taken care of the darks and brights, so what is left should be the light and happy shades.  Feel free to dip into the green shades of blue, they don't get their own month this year, so pulling them out this month would be just perfect.  

Monday, May 25, 2015

Design Wall Monday May 24, 2015

 It's been ages since I posted on Design Wall Monday.  Darn job keeps getting in the way of my sewing!  Just 5 more days of school though, so sewing time should be plentiful in the near future.  Yesterday I worked on the OMG blocks.  I didn't actually complete any new blocks, but there are lots of pieces in the pipeline.  I decided to go ahead and put everything up on the wall to see where I need to focus my energies.  So far nothing in the red or blue area has made it all the way to the wall.  That goes on the list for today.
Also for today is to work on some alternate blocks for my RSC15 Sawtooth Sampler.  These 12 inch blocks seem absolutely giant next to the itty bitty OMG with 9 patches made from 1 inch strips.  For Memorial day, Kurt put a pork butt on the grill overnight and Anna has invited River's family over to eat with us.  I'll try to convince the kids to bring swimsuits and entertain themselves in the pool.  First though, I think I can spare a little bit more time for the sewing room.  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Party and After Party

 Yesterday was our big group birthday party.  They didn't have our usual slide, but this one was brand new.  It was really tall and very fast.
They set it up first thing in the morning, so we all had time to go down before it started to get crowded.
 Since it was a group party, everyone tried to segregate.  Ryan's friends showed up early.  He hangs out with a lot of girls at school.  You would think that I would know them all, being at the same school, but it was a blur of new faces.
 Sydney's friends came later.  She also hangs out with a lot of girls.  Them I knew, either from the neighborhood, or girl scouts or school functions.
 By the end, it was just one giant free for all.
This is all that was left at the end: A swimsuit coverup, shorts, flip flops, goggles, and a bikini top.  
Also, a giant whole in the yard where the entrance to the water slide used to be.

So today will be a quiet day.  I am sure that sewing will be in there somewhere.  The t-shirt quilt got picked up yesterday just in time for graduation on Wednesday.  I think with the money I will buy some more fabric.  I've used up so many scraps lately, that having something new would be really nice.  Best of all, it is a long weekend, which means more time to sew.  

Saturday, May 23, 2015

ScrapHappy Saturday - 3 Days of Green

I haven't sewn a stitch all week, so I thought I'd go back to the archives to pull something fun.  This green and yellow quilt started with me wondering what to do with a random collection of crumb blocks.  After framing them on two sides with a wide yellow, they got a nice green border to finish it all off.
Just 5 more school days, so I am thinking that I will have more sewing time very soon.  I got a burst of end of year energy after AP and EOC testing finished.  Updating lesson plans and web sites has been a priority in the evenings lately, but I can sense that shift will occur soon.
Believe it or not, there is still one more week of green to enjoy, so go ahead and share your progress so far, but don't panic if things aren't all wrapped up quite yet.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler 15 - Green 2 Churn Dash

 This is another block that can be made from a few simple strips of scraps.  Since most of my scraps are cut into handy strips and sorted by color, I like to find blocks that work with my scraps.  Start with 2.5 inch strips of green and background and 1.5 inch strips of green and background.  I used two similar but different shades of green, but it doesn't really matter too much.  The 1.5 inch strips need to be at least 10 inches long.  I cut mine about 11 inches to leave a little room for squaring up.
Use the easy angle ruler with the 2.5 inch strips layered right sides together.  Cut 4 HST units.  While you still have your background strip handy, cut one extra 2.5 inch square.  
 Next layer the 1.5 inch strips right sides together and sew.  During the same trip to the machine, you can go ahead and sew your HST units together along the long side of the paired triangles.  Press toward the green in both cases and trim the dog ears from your HST units.
 Next, square off one end of your 1.5 inch strip set, which should be 2.5 inches wide now.  Double check and then sub-cut 4 2.5 inch squares.
 From here it is just a regular old nine patch.  The corners are HST units with the dark pointed toward the light center.  The sides also have the dark fabric facing the center.  Round all that out with your 2.5 inch background square right in the middle of everything and you are all ready to sew.
 A note on pressing.  I find the block presses best when the seams go away from the triangles as much as possible.  Take a peek at how that looks from the back.  All nice and flat and neat.  Tada!
 Here is the same block from the front.  The center seems large and light to me.  It would be nice with a light green worked in or even a tiny string block.
 Go ahead and add the star points.  The tutorial for those is found here.  This is the last of the green blocks for this month.  Lighter shades will come out to play later though, so don't  worry if you aren't out quite yet.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler 2015 -- Green Block 2 -- Split Pinwheel

This block will need a combination of 3.5 and 2 inch strips.  The darker green strip is 3.5 inches.  The lighter green is 2 inches.  Add to that a 2 inch strip of background and you will be ready to go.  
Start with the darker green.  Use the easy angle ruler to cut 4 HST units.  The sizing on these is always easy to figure out.  For whatever size square you are making, just cut strips the same size as the unfinished unit.  

Next you will deal with the 2 inch strips.  Figuring out the strip size for quarter square triangle units is a little bit trickier, but when using the companion angle ruler, they have given us some help.  This time you are dealing with the finished size of the square you will be making.  Because our subunits are 3.5 inches unfinished, that means 3 inches finished.  Looking at the ruler, just find the large number along the edge that matches your finished block size.  Notice that the three along the edge is on the same line as the 2 with an arrow in the middle?  That means that to make a 3 inch finished block with quarter square triangles, you will need to use 2 inch strips.  You can layer your green and background together if you are feeling bold, or cut each color separately.  Either way, you will need four triangles of each color.  
Here are your pieces ready to sew:
4 large triangles in dark green
4 small triangles in lighter green
4 small triangles in background color

For those of you who do not use specialty rulers, it is easy enough to cut these units from squares.  For the smaller quarter square triangle, just cut a square 4.25 inches and then cut it into quarters from corner to corner along each diagonal.  For the larger half square triangle unit, you will need two squares which are 3 7/8 inches, cut in half along the diagonal.  There is a complete tutorial and sizing chart here.  
There is also a method of sewing from corner to corner of uncut squares, but it yields two mirror image units which would result in your pinwheels spinning in opposite directions.  Here is a link to a youtube video which explains how it works.  
Start with the small triangles, layer them right sides together and sew along the short side of the triangle.  Make sure all the triangles go through the machine in exactly the same arrangement.  I did mine with the green on top.  If you do some with the green on top and some with the background on top, the final block won't come together quite right.  Trim dog ears and press the seams toward the green fabric.  
Your pieced units should be exactly the same size as your large green triangles.  Place them right sides together and sew along the long side of the triangle.  
Here are your four finished subunits.  Arrange them so that the long seams all point to the middle and the dark triangles rotate in a pinwheel fashion.  If you have sewn your light green triangles consistently, they should look like they make a square on point behind the dark greens.  
Here is your finished sampler block.  Notice how using two different shades of green gives it a dimensional feel?  
Now add your star points using the tutorial found here.  This is a three block month, so be sure to check back for the last sampler block and directions for alternate blocks.  

Saturday, May 16, 2015

ScrapHappy Saturday - Gone Green

It is only appropriate that I spent a week of the green month at ISEEEP (International Sustainable World Energy Engineering and Environment Project Olympiad).  Even the t-shirts were bright green.  It is wonderful to be back though, and I'm sure I'll be caught up again at school any day now.   With only a few weeks left in the school year, there aren't many other options.  As for home, I am so excited to be home again this weekend with a fairly reasonable amount of free time planned for sewing.  I think these green churn dash blocks will be first on my list.  Tiny little pieces take a different mindset than big giant squares, and I think it will be a fun way to enjoy the day.
First though, I did the drawing for the fabric giveaway for May, and Heather is the lucky winner.  She blogs at Peachy Pages and wasn't sure she had enough green scraps to work with for two months.  Congratulations Heather, if you will send me your snail mail via e-mail, I'll pop off to the post office with some beautiful hand dyes by Vicki Welsh that might someday yield scraps to add to your green collection.
As for everyone else, misterlinky is below ready for us all to share our progress with the darker or brighter side of green.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

ScrapHappy Saturday - Green with Envy

 I found some sewing time last weekend to frame out 10 nine patches.  They are already sewn into a row and ready to go.  I won't put the rows together until all the colors are done though, so I can decide on layouts.  These went together super fast because I always have some 2 inch squares working through as leaders and enders.
Then, still going strong, I put the star points on these repurposed postage stamp blocks.  I had planned on ten of these as well, but it worked out to 9 instead.
It was nice to have plenty of sewing time this weekend, because today I am in Houston with Anna at ISWEEEP which is The International Sustainable World (Energy, Engineering, and Environment) Project Olympiad. Quite a name, but it is an environmental themed science fair and Anna got a bid during our local science fair.  She is so very excited.  We will have field trips to a science museum and the space center while we are there, and while the judging is going on today I will be on a walking tour of the city.  I did bring along my orange peels though, so maybe I will get a bit of handwork done on the plane.  How are your dark and bright greens coming along?  Use misterlinky to share with us all.  

Saturday, May 2, 2015

ScrapHappy Saturday - Welcome to the Green of Spring

May has begun and I have chosen green in honor of the emerald, this month's birthstone.  My birthday is in May, as was my mom's.  Both of my girls were born in May as well, so there will be quite a bit of birthday cake coming up in the near future.  I haven't had much of a chance to start on green yet, but I did find these framed nine patches and a nice leftover stack of blocks that will give me a nice jump start on the month.
School is starting to calm down a bit.  AP testing is just days away and EOCs will not be far behind.  Anna and I will head off to Houston next week for ISWEEEP, an international environmental science fair.   She is so very excited.  We will be there for her birthday actually, so I've promised that we will find a cake to share with the other science fair people.  Then June will take us to upstate New York for the Genius Olympiad and August is for Costa Rica.  Thankfully July is wide open though.  I am looking forward to summer vacation.  So many quilts to finish and so few days to sew!  One day at a time though, and today will be Lacrosse for Sydney and time to play with some green scraps.
Use misterlinky below to share your own May plans with us all.
We will also be having the May fabric giveaway, so please leave a comment on this post if you would like to be entered in a drawing for this beautiful bundle of hand dyed fabric by Vicki Welsh.  I've already cut into mine to make the first sampler block of the month posted yesterday.  There will be three dark green blocks this month, so be sure to check back often.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sawtooth Sampler - Green Block 1 - Sawtooth Star in a Star

It had to happen eventually.  I just couldn't make a Sawtooth Star Sampler without a Sawtooth Star as one of the Sampler blocks.

The smaller 6 inch version of the block will need 2 inch strips for the star points.  Use green strips together with the easy angle ruler to cut 8 triangles for the star points.  
 Use a 2 inch strip of the background fabric together with the companion angle ruler to make the geese bodies.  Go ahead and sew these together, you can use the directions from the Sawtooth star tutorial found here.
In addition to the four star points, you will also need 4 -  2 inch squares of background fabric and one 3.5 inch square of a different green.  I was really tempted to turn this square into another sawtooth star, but I restrained myself.  It would be a great place to showcase a novelty print or even a crumb or string block.
 Some people have been having trouble with the points of the star. It can be tricky to get everything to match up just right.  I have found that sewing with the geese on top is the easiest way to control the seams.  The top seam should cross exactly over the intersection of the two seams that form the tip of the goose block.  See the spot right there where the scissors are pointing?  Three seams all come together right there.  This, together with pressing away from the goose block, should give you lovely points.

 Go ahead and sew the star together as a nine patch.  Always press away from the goose units.
Next, add the larger star points using the Sawtooth Star tutorial found here.  

La Selva

In the last two months,  I put quite a bit of time into an application for summer study.  It included collecting together a team of 4 teachers from different schools in the district, completing an application, collecting letters of recommendation and preparing a written proposal of how we would apply what we learned.  So I just found out this week that the application was accepted.  I will be traveling to Costa Rica for two weeks this summer to stay at La Selva Biological Preserve.  While there we will learn about all kinds of ecosystem monitoring techniques.  From carbon sequestration calculations to quadrant counting and camera traps, we will spend days trekking around the jungle with 15 teachers from all over the country.  I'm so excited!