Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Handwork Hexies

I've been thinking lately that I need a new handwork project.  Though hexies seem like an obvious choice, I wasn't sure where to go with them.  I planned out several fabulous medallions for later.  For now, I want something simple and discrete.  After much pondering and pinteresting, I decided on some 9 patch diamonds in the colors of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Check out this Simple Things blog post for and idea of where my diamond hexie blocks are headed.   There was a larger rainbow diamond block on pinterest that was tempting too, maybe next time. 
On Sunday I dug out some light blue to put together my first diamonds during Victoria.   I'm enjoying this show as a replacement for Downton Abbey.  It is on in the same time slot on Sunday evening, which is a great time to settle in for stitching and TV viewing.
Before the speech last night I found enough fabric for 5 blocks of lavender.  Unfortunately, I couldn't start watching the speech until after the 9 pm robotics pickup up, and I was fast asleep on the couch before the second standing ovation.  Kurt has been out of town this week though, and I'll take advantage of the alone time after the kids have disappeared upstairs to sew a bit more.  Right after banana bread that is,  it is fresh from the oven and smells so good!  Hopefully I'll make it awake past 9:30 tonight.  

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

New Month, Purple is Coming out to Play

Purple and lavender are the colors for February.  With some careful digging, you can find enough variety to get contrast in your blocks between light and dark shades of purple.  I'm planning to go and dig through mine a bit to find some fabric to play with during the state of the uniom.  I can't sew for long though, Ryan is at robotics and I'll need to go and fetch him right in the middle of the speech.  There is an super blue blood moon tonight.  I might set an alarm to get up and look at it early in the morning.  It is really cold right now though, so maybe not.  

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Puttering Away a Sunday

I've been pondering the border for this four squared quilt.  After much stewing and sitting, it decided to ask for an extra round of four patches all the way around.  I scrounged up this many in random colors, but was reluctant to make more.  I always seem to gravitate toward monochromatic blocks now.  
 A little more digging led to another bag of 16 patches with 20 extra four patches saved for the alternate blocks.  Not quite enough, but a pretty good start.  I could easily disassemble some of the 16 patches for the rest.  As much as I hate to unsew, I also love to put what I have to good use.    If you are one of those use what you have kind of quilters too, you are sure to enjoy Oh Scrap! at quilting is more fun than housework. 
My next task is to find a new long term hand sewing project.  I've got a few bits of applique hanging around, but those always seem to get bogged down in the preparation stage.  I thought I would try some LeMoyne Stars with Inklingo, but they are very preparation intensive too.  I want something I can keep ready to go for whenever hand sewing time might pop up. 
I've been admiring all the hexie quilts and thought about starting a medallion quilt of my own.  Though I've sketched a few ideas of graph paper, I've not settled on anything quite yet.  If you are thinking about hand work, be sure to visit Slow Stitching Sunday to see what long and slow projects other quilters have in the works.  

Saturday, January 27, 2018

ScrapHappy Saturday - Last Light Blue Day

I'm really enjoying light blue.  It is going to be a shame to put it away to move on to the next color.  That is all part of the fun though, there are plenty of other colors waiting to come out and play.  I worked this week on a few more mini log cabin blocks.  Each one will be 2.5 inches in the finished quilt, so it is going to take quite a while to get enough.
The last time I was playing with layout ideas I think I settled on a streak of lightning setting.  Its going to take quite a while to get enough for a nice big quilt though, so I'll just keep adding to the stack for now.  
Misterlinky is below.  I look forward to seeing what everyone else has been working on this week.  

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Slow Sunday Scrappy Roundup

 I'm chipping away slowly at the Dear Jane border triangles.  This is block 13 from the bottom row.
 Here is block 1 from the right side.  Pretend that the bottom isn't all wonky.  Or better yet, pretend that it is supposed to be.
 Here is 13 from the right side.  I've saved it for slow stitching on Sunday.  I had printed out paper  piecing templates, but somehow the bottom part was not included.  Lacking any clue as to how to get the triangles to all fit together, I decided to just prepare some applique bits to sew on top of the block.
 I've been rounding up lots of leaders and enders lately and had plenty of random and 16 patch blocks to put together this four squared flimsy.  Maybe some more dark four patches for a border?
 Lizzie seems unimpressed with the decision making process.
 I was on amazon a few days ago and saw a lightning deal for sewing clips.  These are so handy for bindings and such that I couldn't resist picking them up for $11.84.  There are 160 clips in there!  Even at the regular price, it is still a great deal. It is nestled in the middle of my favorite quilting hoopKathy asked us all to talk about our favorite quilting tool and this one has been around for quite a while.  I broke a couple of wooden hoops before switching to this plastic version and it works quite well for the center of the quilt.  I usually switch to a rectangular PVC frame for the borders, it seems to work much better near the edges. 
We had to tidy up a bit for the progressive neighborhood party last night.  I was quite happy to have a reason to convince Anna to finally clear off the dining room table now that her science fair project is done.  Ryan is upstairs finishing his data off right now and Sydney is supposed to go in this afternoon to count bacteria for her results.  I can't say that I will be sad to see the end of science fair season.  All my students are frantically work on their projects at the most inappropriate times.  I've found the first two episodes of Victoria on, so I'll be streaming that while I catch up on a bit of sewing.  I think there are some tiny log cabin blocks in the works. 
I'm linking up with Slow Stitching Sunday as well as Oh Scrap!  be sure to visit and check out every some great quilts in progress.  

Saturday, January 20, 2018

ScrapHappy Saturday

Pardon me if I'm a little bleary eyed this morning.  I was up late watching the government shut down.  I'm not going to go off on a political rant.  I think it is safe to say though, that everyone in Washington is pretty bad at running the government.  We have an air force base here, and NASA, so there will be quite a few people not going to work on Monday.  Hopefully they will figure out something soon, I'd hate for the Giant Panda Cam to go down. 
Today though, I will sew a little bit and clean a little bit.  Our neighborhood is having a party tonight.  Each house makes some appetizers and then everyone parades around from one house to another. The neighbor planning it is retired military and he has a schedule all planned out with a timer to keep everyone moving.  Kurt has a pork butt on the grill and we will make barbecue pork sliders.  First though, he's off to take Ryan to a math competition somewhere near Orlando and I need to take Sydney to school to finish off her science fair.  January and February are going to be a little bit frantic, but maybe it will slow down after that?  I always think it is going to slow down later, I'll let you know when later gets here. 
Hopefully you have found some time to play with your blue bits this month.  Misterlinky is below, please share with us all.  I've been playing with strings again, so everything is a happy scrappy mess at my house. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

ScrapHappy Saturday #2

Already two weeks in to the new year!  Where does the time go.  It is a three day weekend for us for MLK on Monday.  I am looking forward to an extra day to sew.  The boys are gone all day at a robotic tournament, so it is just us girls hanging around in our pajamas. 
These blue 16 patch blocks will be my leader and enders.
I think that the main project will be some more blue Dear Jane Triangles.  I would be really fabulous to get them finished up this year.  How are all of your RSC project coming along?  I am hoping for a year with lots of fabulous finishes.  As much fun as starting new projects is, it can get ahead of the finishing of old projects in a hurry.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Slow and Scrappy Sunday

 It is the last vacation day before school starts again.  That seemed like the perfect time to pull out Dear Jane again and try to make some progress toward finishing the last three borders before the end of this year.
5 blue triangles seemed like a great place to start.  I picked this one because it needed some applique work on the melons.  Applique is the perfect activity for Slow Stitching Sunday.  
The last three days have been busy madly stitching on Squared Away.  With those blocks all done for the year, I am ready to catch up again on all of the scrappy leader and ender blocks produced along the way.  I'm linking up with Oh Scrap! and with Slow Stitching Sunday today.  Then I guess it is back to reality and I'll start thinking about lesson plans again.  

Saturday, January 6, 2018

RSC18 First ScrapHappy Saturday

For all the people joining in to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for the first time, welcome.  To everyone else, welcome back.  A new year is always a great opportunity to think about what you have done and what you want to do.  Hopefully you finished off a few projects last year.  Maybe that leaves room for something new this year?
My new project this year is the squared away sampler.  Mari and I worked together to plan a sampler quilt of 5 by 5 blocks.  She has posted a tutorial for making the block in the 10 inch size.  
I made test versions in 5 inch and 7.5 inch  sizes before deciding to make the quilt with 7.5 inch blocks.  Mari has more information on a tab on her blog as do I.  So feel free to read more about it if you are thinking of joining in.  
 I used a slightly different color arrangement, but here are a couple of charts to let you know how many squares and half square triangles you will need for each block.

Mari's color placement
first blue
5 squares
second blue
16 HST
4 squares

Angela's color placement

first blue
4 squares, 4 HST
second blue
1 square, 12 HST
4 squares
 Here are my three finished blocks.
If you would like the directions in a handy PDF, that is ready to go, and at the RSC18 Sampler tab above, you can find a link of all the block tutorials for the year.
Misterlinky is below.  Share your progress on squared away or your other Rainbow Scrap Challenge Projects.  Light and medium blue are the colors for January.  Please let us know if you are new so we can welcome you on board.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Sewing in the New Year

 I have been frantically sewing for the last two days, but not on a project that I am ready to share yet.  Instead, here are the leader and ender blocks that I have accomplished along the way.
 There is always a stack of 2.5 inch squares sitting next to the machine, and eventually, they turn into bigger blocks. 
At some point I will put these together into quilts, but for now, I will just let the collection grow. 
This morning I went to the dentist and had to scrape ice off of the windshield!  I don't have an ice scraper!  We tried to buy one once for a fiend moving to Colorado, but no luck.  So I used my handy library card.  That and a few minutes waiting for the defroster to kick in had me on my way.  Hard frost doesn't happen here very often, so it is always quite an event.  We had to bring the tortoise in and I'm sure the palm trees are not happy. 
Here is a photo of our recent ski vacation.  We were waiting for our time on the tubing slope.  I think that might have been everyone's favorite day.  Kurt is back at work this week, so it is just the kids and I bouncing around the house.  The girls want to see a moving this afternoon and Ryan has a potluck party to go to.  I will wrap up my sewing and be on my way.  

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

More Buttons

My previous button making went so well that I thought I should make one for the 2018 sampler quilt that Mari and I have worked together to plan.  As always, posting the image online is step 1.  So here goes.  (I'll be back shortly with step 2)

OK, that went so much better than last time.  The button will take you back to Mari's Squared Away BOM tab,  I have one as well, so be sure to check it out when you have a chance.  I tried to put in nifty tables and important information.   
I made the first few blocks today and they are fabulous!  I'll be back tomorrow with some assembly options for 5 by 5 blocks.  I learned a bit through trial and error and will be happy to share my new wisdom with you all. 
If you would like to join in the Squared Away block of the month, feel free to grab the button by copying the html code below the button into a widget on your own blog. 

Half Square Triangle Tutorials

Do you have a favorite method for making half square triangles?  I used to use the method of drawing a line down the middle of a square and sewing a quarter inch on either side of the drawn line.  It is easy and quick.  The only down side is that with squares cut 7/8 inches larger than the finished size of the square, they don't easily come from precut strips.  I love being able to cut all the pieces for a block from the same sizes strips, and so have been converted into an Easy Angle fan.  I don't use a lot of specialty rulers, but I have really gotten my money's worth out of this one.
Because this year's RSC Sampler quilt is limited to just three units: squares, rectangles, and half square triangles, I have been thinking of all of the different ways people make half square triangles.  I'm starting a collection of tutorials, so let me know if your favorite method is not on the list and I will add it.

Magic 8 Method - add 7/8 inches to your finished size and multiply by 2
Square Sewn in the Middle Method - add 7/8 inches to your finished size
   Two at a time without drawn lines - using a laser to mark the line
Printed Paper Method - Pattern is printed on paper then sewn and cut
Sew Around the Edges of a Square Method -  leaves lots of bias edges, but seems nifty otherwise
Specialty Rulers
    Fons and Porter  (video)- cuts both HST and QST as well as the strips
    Easy Angle (video) - cuts units from same strip size as the square units in your block

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year Organization

I started off the new year with a little bit of organization.  The strips weren't getting used effectively in a separate bin, so I pulled them out to integrate them back with their colors.  

Here are some of the newly tidied drawers of scraps.  I made labels!

 Then I spent some time taking in inventory of ongoing projects. They are now sorted into hanging flimsies ready to be quilted, bags of blocks ready to be sewn together....
 and best of all, project boxes of blocks being pieced for ongoing projects.  I have dutifully updated the My Quilts tab to list all the projects I found.
With the strips duly distributed, I had an open bin for the new RSC18 Sampler Quilt.  Here are some of the blue strips I was auditioning for "Squared Away".  Now that all of that is done, I think there might be some actual sewing on the horizon.
We had chicken pot pies for dinner and are waiting for  Anna to return home from her volunteering.  Ryan and Sydney were kind enough to join us for a family card game before disappearing again to the wilds of upstairs.  Kurt is back to work tomorrow, but the rest of us still have a week of vacation to enjoy.  Guess what I have planned? 

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2018!  

I am so happy to be starting another year as host of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  It all started as a personal quest to use up my own scraps.  Since then it has blossomed into an ongoing collaboration of quilters all working toward similar goals.  Every quilter makes scraps.  They tend to accumulate in bins and boxes as we move on to new projects.  The thought of using them can seem overwhelming and complicated.  Rather than deal with them all at once, we tackle one color each month.  Anyone is welcome to hop in at any time by simply joining in to the weekly linky party with a link to your own web post related to the color of the month or your ongoing RSC projects. 
Mari and I will also be making a sampler quilt this year called "Squared Away"  The directions will be posted for that on the first Saturday of the month.  She has an entire tab set up already, so be sure to visit her blog on the first Saturday of the month for complete directions.  I'll try to keep an updated list of links going to make it easier to find directions for each block.  We have chosen 10 blocks, each of which is built on a 5 by 5 grid.  All the blocks consist of simple squares, rectangle or half square triangles.
For January, we will be focusing on the color blue.  Try, if you can, to dig into the lighter side of your blue bin.  Dark blues and dark neutrals will get a chance to come out and play later in the year.  For most quilters, blue can be an overwhelming color, so having two chances to make a dent can help with the volume of blue. 
There is more information on the RSC18 page.  Just use the tab at the top if you are new. Most of all, welcome.  I hope you can find a few scraps and play along!