Saturday, July 24, 2021

ScrapHappy Saturday

There is STILL one more Saturday left in July. Hopefully you will be able to catch up on any colors you missed along the way. I've been sewing a combination of purple and black so far, my sewing room looks like a big healed bruise!  There isn't a lot of black up on the wall quite yet, but everything is cut and organized.  I should also use today to get a head start on August blocks.   School is just around the corner and things are sure to get crazy in a hurry.  I've been in for meetings already and people are looking a little frayed around the edges.    Our COVID numbers in Florida right now are pretty similar to the same point last year when we had half as many kids all wearing masks.  Just hoping enough of us are vaccinated to make up for all the extra humanity I will see on a daily basis.   

Saturday, July 17, 2021

ScrapHappy Saturday - Lazy Days of Summer


\ I never seem to get as much done over summer break as I had hoped. We spent last weekend visiting family in Georgia and doing a few college tours. Add in doctors and dentsists, and another week has come and gone. There is stil time though, before the shift to back to school and I hope to get in some more fabric play time. I hoepe you are making progress on your projects this weekend.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

ScrapHappy Saturday - Dark and Dreary


There has been a lot of car sewing going on as we are doing college visits right now.   Here are a few hexies that got finished on a road trip to Georgia to tour with our cousin who is also graduating this year.  

We spent the 4th of July in the ER with a massive back spasm.   Still trying to get Kurt to relax a bit and let things heal. 

Friday, July 9, 2021

#FullStop July Block: Colon

A colon is a punctuation mark used to precede a list, quotation or description within a sentence. It is adds a pause to spoken English which is intermediate in length between a comma and a period.   Generally, the fragment that precedes the colon is a complete sentence.  The portion of the sentence after the colon is often an aside and does not need to be a complete sentence.   A colon is also used to separate the speaker from the dialogue in a play.  Mathematically, it indicates ratios and has several computer programming functions.   It is also used to separate minutes from hours in time and to separate chapter from verse in quotations from the Bible.  
This month's block will be a simple one.   Start with 2.5 inch strips of dark and background.   Cut 2 squares of dark and a rectangle of the background that is 3 by 2.5.   
Sew one dark square onto either end of the rectangle.  Press toward the dark.   Next, add a 7 inch strip of background to separate the blocks from one another.   
This will be a short row.  I had two navy blues, two browns and one black to use.   Here they are sewn together.   


Saturday, July 3, 2021

ScrapHappy Saturday - The Dark Side

I am excited to dig into navy blue, black and brown this month.  I tend to shy away from the darker shades, although I do enjoy how they add dimension to finished quilts.   I have used a lot of black and white prints in backings lately, so I should have some extras to play with. 

 This was the back for the Soul Searching quilt from last year.  It made quite a dent in the dark stash.  Hopefully the little bits that it liberated will make fun blocks this month.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

July is Blue again

 I promised that blue would have another turn.  If you are done with blue, feel free to dig into the dark neutrals as well.  This is a chance to play with black and brown if they fit into your plans.  The #FullStop block will be a colon.  Much like the semi colon of last month, but even easier.  

Saturday, June 26, 2021

ScrapHappy Last Purple Saturday


(Random Purple Frog)

It is the last purple Saturday, though the new month won't start until midweek.  I plan use the next few days to get caught up again.   Poor purple has been the victim of a busy beginning of the summer.  I'm back though from my week in St. Pete and AP Bio reading is done. This week should be nice and calm!  I am looking forward to lots of fun purple blocks to come!

Misterlinky is below.  I know he has been temperamental lately and I will work on the switch to a different service.  

Saturday, June 19, 2021

ScrapHappy Saturday - Purple Pursuits

 I have been looking forward to purple for so long!  Its been crazy busy so far, but it will be very calm in a couple of weeks and I hope to dig in more then.  I got as far as a nice stack of purple crumb blocks before getting sidetracked with log cabins.  These are extra strips from the Soul Searching quilt of last year.  If there are still more after this I might go with a courthouse steps block.   

This will not be the week for sewing though as it is AP Biology reading week.   I am also traveling over to Tampa St. Pete for the end of course question review that usually happens in October.   After that though, things will calm down considerably.  I think I have a meeting scheduled with the librarian during the second week of July, other than that, the schedule remains wide open.   

Saturday, June 12, 2021

ScrapHappy Saturday - And so Begins Summer


It doesn't feel like summer quite yet. As soon as school ended we were shuttling Anna off to the airport for camp and them jaunting away for a grown up getaway. We are back home today and starting to reassemble everything again. Why is it that everything seems to break when you leave for a few days? The dryer isn't hot and the van won't start. Those should both be fixable, but there were 22 dirty towels and it will take a while to dig out of that. First though, is turning Anna's room back into my sewing room again.  It looks like a strange mashup of sewing studio and college dorm room right now.   That situation is easily remedied.  
I also start teaching the first of two online summer classes that I am signed up for this summer.   I'm not sure how it will all work out, but I have a bit of organization to start to get that all arranged.  I am also looking forward to digging out my purple scraps though.  Even though there is plenty going on around here, there should still be some sewing time in there somewhere.   
Misterlinky is being difficult today and not uploading images consistently. I tried to do what I could from my end, but was unsuccessful. I have turned in a help request and hope to have the issue resolved soon. Feel free to leave a link in the comments until the issue is resolved.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

ScrapHappy Saturday - Purple Month Begins

 I love purple.  As I kid I always wanted a purple bedroom and my mother would never let me.  Apparently she had a purple bedroom as a child and got tired of it quickly.  That never happens to me.  Purple comes in too many fun shades from lavender to violet with all the shades in between.  I pulled the sewing machine down onto the kitchen table yesterday to whip up a couple of  #FullStop blocks and worked up tutorials for a blocky and fancy version of this month's semi colon.  (scroll down for those).  Anna also wanted 4 new masks for camp as kids under 12 are not yet vaccinated, they are still taking precautions.  She will leave for the summer tomorrow, and though I will miss her, it does mean I will have a sewing room again.   She is SO excited to be back teaching sailing again.  Ryan and Sydney will still be here though, so it isn't quite an empty nest yet.  

Friday, June 4, 2021

Semi Colon - Fancy

The fancy version of the semi colon uses a lot of flip and sew triangles.  It is a little bit fussy, but I think it is worth it for the final effect in this case.  
Start with three purple squares which are 2.5 inches each.  In addition to the the purple, you will need grey squares: 7 that are 1.25 and 2 that are 2 inches.  Finally, you will need a 2.5 by 1.5 inch rectangle
Though that seems like a lot of little squares, sewing them is super quick.  Just layer the grey squares on top of the purple and then sew along the diagonals, working yourself around in a circle.  I just needle down and pivot at each top center point.  One purple square will get 4 grey squares sewn on top, while the other one will get three.   Notice the placement of the three grey squares, semi colons are directional so it does matter.  The bottom right corner is left uncovered.   Next, place a two inch grey square in the upper left hand corner of the final purple square and sew from corner to corner.   
Here are the three purple squares, each with grey squares on top.  The bottom square with the two inch square will need another round, you will need to flip open the first square to make room for the second.  

Here is the second grey square added to the opposite corner.  Now go to the ironing board and press all the squares open, making sure the top triangle covers the purple before trimming away the waste triangles behind.  
Here are all three subunits ready to be sewn into a row with the extra grey square to separate the period from the comma.  Sew them together and press toward the section with the fewest seams.  
These are the two blocks side by side for comparison.  Notice that the fancy block is a little bit longer than the blocky version.  I went with the block version for the quotation marks eelier this year, but I am seriously enjoying the fancy blocks this month.  Now I just need to dig deeper and find enough purples to make 5 blocks.  This will be a short row, but I feel the need for a little negative space right now.  

Semi Color - Blocky


There are two choices in semi colons this month.  They are the same as the quotation mark from February but with the addition of a period above.  As with the quotations, there are two versions available. I am calling them block and fancy.  This post will discuss the blocky version, and I will be back shortly with the fancy.   The dimensions are slightly different, but it is really a matter of taste and preference.   

Start with a 2.5 inch strip of purple.  From this strip, cut one square and one rectangle which is 4 by 2.5.   In addition to the purple, you will also need a 2.5 inch square of grey and a 2.5 by 1.5 inch rectangle of grey.   (two purple squares are pictured, I was making both blocks at one and didn't realize I would only need 1)  
Start with the rectangle and place the grey square along the bottom edge.  
You can draw a line on the grey square from corner to corner, or just "eyeball" it.   Notice the the line goes from upper left to lower right.  The semicolon is directional.  Sew along the drawn line, or from corner to corner with the "eyeball" method.  
Press the grey triangle open toward the bottom left and trim away the bonus triangle behind.  Feel free to harvest this by double sewing if you are a fan of bonus triangles like me.  

Now you just need to sew the three pieces together in a row (purple square, grey rectangle then pieces purple rectangle) and press toward the grey.   You will sew your individual semi colons together with 1.5 inch wide dividing strips, but don't start yet until you see the fancy version and decide which you like better.  

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Purple for June


The new color for June will be purple!  The new blocks is semi colon.  Tutorial coming soon, but it is basically just the quotation with a period over it.   

Saturday, May 29, 2021

ScrapHappy Saturday - End of Red

Welcome to the last weekend of red! Just a few more days to finish off all the odds and ends. My red plans came to an abrupt halt last Saturday when Anna came home from college. Her bedroom is also my sewing space at the moment. She swears that she told us all when she would be back, but nobody had a clue! So hasty cleaning was inspired. Since then I have been happily hand stitching some red hexies to round out the month. Now she wants some more facemasks for camp, so I will have to haul the machine down to the family room for a quick sewing session.
We used date night last night to celebrate my birthday and our anniversary.   It is nice to be able to go out and start doing normal things again.   

 Tuesday we had teachers over to celebrate the retirement of two of our science teachers.   Linda and Paula are both done.   I think the official count is 8 teachers so far from our school, but there are lots of rumors of others who are making other plans.  It has been a hard year in the classroom.  It is going to take a long time to recover from all of this for everyone associated with the school system.  
We do have a vacation coming up, so I will mention now that June will be purple!  I know that some of us have been anxiously waiting for it to come up and I can't wait to see a new color.  


Saturday, May 22, 2021

SrapHappy Saturday - Red Rebel

 I am still adding little log cabin blocks to the red wall.  It is a slow and steady process.  Other than a few more Sister's Choice blocks, think that red is ready to go.   I will need to clean everything up again for my oldest who will be home from college for a very short stay before heading off to summer camp.  The middle child is back and working for the summer.  That just leaves the youngest with one more year of high school.  

Just 8 more school days and teachers are running away like rats from a drowning ship.  I volunteered to host a retirement party on Tuesday for our exiting science teachers.  Each day there is a new rumor of someone else leaving.   It is easy to be unhappy right now, but things can't stay this way forever.  

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Wrapping Up

I took a personal day yesterday and used the time to add some red blocks to my design wall.   Crumb blocks are such a mess, but getting them trimmed and framed is always make them seem so organized and tidy. I got a few more little loggies added to the collection as well.   They take a long time to sew and trim, but they are so adorable!    
It has been so windy for the last few days.  Seaweed is piling up on the beach and the wind just whistles all night long.  I just cleaned the windows, but they are already coated in salt and grime.   There was a rocket launch on Tuesday, but I was at school.  Ryan and his coworkers went to a rooftop restaurant and watched from there.   Just 9 more school days!   Things are winding down quickly.  


Saturday, May 15, 2021

ScrapHappy Saturday Red-y for Summer


There are some red blocks getting added to the wall. I got sidetracked last Sunday organizing neutral scraps, but today the reds are calling to me.  How are your blocks coming along this month?  School is all about testing right now.  My big kids had their AP test yesterday and the little ones will do an end of course next Friday, after that it will be fun learning time with no stress.   

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Red Letter Day

 Just 18 more school days.  Not that anyone is counting.  15 before graduation and 4 before my big AP test.  Again, not that we are all counting days. I always tell the kids that they should try to just enjoy where they are now and  not wish their lives away.  Still, I have to believe that next school year will be more normal.  

I did some sorting and organizing of red.  Looks like I have plenty of variety to play with.  
I haven't gotten much sewing done yet.  Just some exclamation marks and a few crumbs.   Today is pretty wide open though.  Some weekend cleaning and laundry of course, but plenty of time to putter with fabric.  

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Version 2 of the Exclamation point block

Today I learned that exclamation marks were originally known as marks of admiration.  What a nice idea.  You can end a sentence one of three ways, with a period.  Full stop.  With a question mark to indicate a query.  Or with an exclamation mark to indicate excitement, astonishment, surprise or admiration.    
My first version of the exclamation mark was simple but blocky.  I really wanted to have a more angular version though and had to dig in and experiment with several techniques to get it to work.  you could use templates of course, but the angles are still a little tricky.  Tricky angles make oversized pieces more desirable, and so I decided to look into paper piecing options.   I've done traditional paper piecing in the past in which the pattern is sewn directly to the pattern.  Given the fairly simple nature of the pattern though, I wanted to try out freezer paper piecing which allows the same template to be used again and again.   I have used freezer paper in applique quite a bit, but this was a new method for me.  
You can run freezer paper through a regular ink jet printer if you trim it to size but I chose to draw it instead.  
It is easy to do, and opens up so many new avenues for patterns.   I can see how much fun it would be to draft wonky log cabins or fun star blocks using the same method.  
1. Start with a piece of freezer paper.  Freezer paper has a slippery wax covered side and a regular paper side.  I think this is to keep moisture inside of frozen food, but it works so well for quilting!  If you can not find or do not have freezer paper, you can use regular paper and traditional paper piecing, you will just need to make a new copy of the pattern for each block.  
2. Draw a rectangle on the non waxy side of this paper that is 3 by 6.  This will be the finished size of the top part of the exclamation mark.  
3. Draw two small tick marks along the bottom, one inch from each side.  
4. Draw a diagonal line from the right top corner to the tick mark closest to the bottom right corner
5. Draw another diagonal line from the left right corner to the tick mark closest to the bottom left corner.
6. You may draw an extra line one quarter of in inch around the outside of your box if you like.  It is not mandatory.  
7. Trim your rectangle about one eighth of an inch outside the outer border.   It is important that you do not have a larger outside border so that you can trim your block without having to run your rotary cutter through the freezer paper which might dull it.  You will eventually trim your block one quarter of an inch outside your original rectangle.  
8. Fold along each diagonal line to crease the paper using a straight edge.  
9. Start with a square of red fabric at least 3.5 by 6.5.  It is Ok if it is a little larger as you will trim it later.   
10. You will also need two rectangles of background fabric for the two edges.   They should be at least 2.5 by 6.5, but with a slight angle which mirrors the angle on the template.  I found it easiest to lay the background fabric next to the template and use a ruler to follow the angle.  You could also cut an extra piece of freezer paper and use it as a template to cut the odd triangles.   When paper piecing, bigger is better, so make these side pieces extra large and trim away the extra later.  So much easier than worrying.

11. Press the red fabric to the wax side of the freezer paper , leaving at least a quarter of an inch extra around all outside edges.   The wax will melt just enough to temporarily stick the fabric and paper together.  It is like magic!   Best of all, it is reusable.   
12.  Now carefully pull up the corner and fold it back along the creased line.  
13. Trim away the red fabric one quarter of an inch beyond the seam allowance.  
14.  Now add the background fabric, right sides together to the red fabric.  Line up the edges
15.  Now the fun part.  Turn the whole stack upside down and sew through both pieces of fabric just at the edge of the folded freezer paper.   It is a little game to see how close you can get to the paper without going through it.   
16. Now fold the background fabric and freezer paper open and iron them together.  The drawn line should line up with the seam, but because you didn't sew through, you won't have to rip it off later.   

17.  Repeat the same process on the other side.   Notice the oversized nature of my side triangle.  It ended up big enough that I could use  the extra to cut my dividing strips in the end.  
18. After both triangles are sewn on, trim your finished unit to 3.5 by 6.5 inches.   The cutting should be just outside the paper portion of your template.  
19. Peel the freezer paper carefully away from the finished block so that you can use it again for the next block.  The wax will still be on the paper.   I was able to make all 7 of my blocks with just two paper templates.
20, To the top part with the jaunty angles, add a divider strip which is 1.5 by 3.5 inches
21. Finally, add the dot to the bottom.  This part is just two 1.5 inch squares of background fabric surrounding a 1.5 inch square of red.  Press the seams toward the red.   
Here is the new block next to the original blockier version so that yo can decide which you like better and if it is worth the extra effort to have angles.  They do end up at slightly different heights, but one inch won't make much difference in the size of the finished quilt.  
After trying out both patterns, I decided that I definitely preferred the second version.  You can still see the blockier version though, so you might like it just enough to avoid paper piecing.  I was shocked to find that I had 7 different shades of solid red. 
I made 7 blocks and sewed them together with dividing strips of 1.5 by 8.5 inches.  It is still a very short row, but I am trying to add in some variety of  lengths to add visual interest to the finished quilt.  The yellow quotation marks are still oddly long.  I might shorten that row later.