Saturday, April 10, 2021

ScrapHappy Saturday - Blue Skies

Welcome to the weekend!   Just three more weekends before AP testing starts, and 8 more before school ends.  The seniors had their "prom" last night.   It was a formal dinner with speeches and videos.  No DJ or dancing allowed.  What a long strange year this has been.   
We saw the first sea turtle nest of the season today!   The sea turtle preservation group is out on beach buggies every morning scouting for them, but this is the first marked nest we have seen.   



I plan to sort through some more blue scraps this morning.   If I can get some leaders and enders set up, then I can work on those between sewing the rows together for the red lightning quilt.  


The garden lattice blocks might be first up.   I didn't make any flower blocks in green, but blue will make a nice addition to the collection.   
How are your blocks coming along?    The linky tool is below, so please share your progress and plans.  

 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Bricks

 

I keep seeing this quilt on Pinterest and Etsy, but I can't figure out how to make it other than in long rows.  I hate sewing long rows.  There must be a way to make it, but with blocks.    

So I grabbed some graph paper during my lunch today and started figuring out how to make it in blocks.  It isn't exactly the same, and the diamonds will be in two sizes, but it would be much easier to put together.   I was thinking of trying it out with some two inch bricks and squares this weekend.  
One more lacrosse game this week to get through.   We lost on Monday and won on Wednesday, tonight is another likely loss, and then it is on the district matches next week.  What a strange season it has been!  We have three injured girls and two out on quarantine, so there aren't many subs, but everyone is hanging in there with a good attitude so far.   

Monday, April 5, 2021

After the Long Weekend

I thought that I might get this top finished up over the long weekend.  It is SO close though!   I will be able to polish it off as soon as there is an evening at home.  I think that Sydney has 3 lacrosse games this week though, so that might not be soon.   


We went on a family hike yesterday, and the weather was glorious!   Lots of flowers and bees and gators splashing in the distance. I keep thinking that it will be too hot soon, but we keep having these lovely cold snaps of 60 degree days.  Perfect hiking weather!  We also had ham for lunch in honor of Easter Sunday, so there will be ham sandwiches to enjoy all week.   

Everyone is eligible for be vaccinated in Florida now and lots of people are getting appointments.  I see a vaccinated return to normalcy happening soon!   I'd love to see a vaccine approved for the kids below 16.  Maybe before school starts next year?  It would be fabulous to ditch the mask and work on labs in groups again.  At this point, I would just be over the moon to see all of my students in person again and give up on the Zoom synchronous sessions.   

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Slow and Steady on a Sunday

My design wall is starting to shift from green to blue.   I am thinking of shortening the yellow row for #Fullstop and beginning the process of sewing the rows together.  I might cheat and make a few rows ahead of time so I can verify the layout.  
I outgrew the tiny bowl from last week and moved my hexie collection to a larger version.  There is something so relaxing about mindlessly prepping these little guys during movies.  They are slowly filling  a wooden bowl that my great grandmother Nora used to mix bread in the 1920s.   
And finally, I am still making progress on the Lightning quilt.  I added one more column, and might do just one more before I finish. I already have the backing fabric picked out.   
 I am linking up with Slow Stitching Sunday and Oh Scrap! today.  Be sure to drop by and check out handwork and scrappy projects.  

Saturday, April 3, 2021

ScrapHappy Saturday - And so Begins BLUE

 

I got a couple of blocks up on the blue wall.   It is fun to switch over to a new month.   There are so many blue scraps!  I could do three months of blue and still not use them up.  Dark blue will come back again and green-blue will get its own month, so that will help with not having to use up everything right now.   

The sunrise was late this morning due to lots of clouds on the horizon.  A cold front has moved in again and it is quite chilly.  Sounds like a good reason to stay inside and start to fill up the blue wall.  


Friday, April 2, 2021

Full Stop April Block - Asterisks

An asterisk is from a word root meaning star.  When used in writing, it is often a reference indicating that something has been omitted or requires more information or context.  I often tell my kids not to worry too much about their standardized test scores right now because everything we do this year will have an asterisk by it.   To understand why their AP scores were strangely low for this year, the asterisk would go with a footnote to explain that we are all learning in a hybrid environment during a pandemic, and the results might not be consistent with their usual performance.    I think the movie profits will all need and asterisk this year because most of the theaters were closed for so long.   I hear they are open now, but I'll keep enjoying new releases on HBO max for now.   There is an aster flower, asteroids in the sky, and the word disaster is derived from the same word root.  It refers to an unfavorable aspect of a planet or star.   
I plan to end up with a 6.5 inch block in the end, so I chose to start with 7 inches in order to leave room for squaring up. This is not strictly necessary as the width of the strips will add enough extra size into the block to give you some wiggle room.  So feel free to start with a 6.5 inch block if you prefer.  
For the oversized ready for trimming version, start with:
  • 1 - 7 inch square of background fabric
  • 2 - 1.25 by about 10 inch strips of blue
  • 2 - 1.25 by about 8 inch strips of blue. 
The exact lengths of the blue strips are not important, as long as they are a bit longer than the background strips, the rest is all going to be trimmed away at the end.   
Start by slicing your background square from corner to corner along the diagonal.  Insert a long blue strip and sew to one hypotenuse of the triangle.  Always press toward the blue.   
Now add the second triangle to the other side of the strip.  Try to line up the middle corner with the middle of the block.   Remember to press toward the blue.  I feel that this makes the star "pop" in the finished block.   
Now repeat the same treatment along the other diagonal.   Cut corner to corner, insert the other long strip.  Sew on one side, press.  Sew on the other side, press again.   
Now you have a big "X" going on.   You will need to cut the block in half again, but this time, vertically.   Each side should be about 3.5 inches, but worry more about cutting through the intersection of the existing strips than about the exact size of the background.   
Insert a short strip and sew on one side of the background unit.   
Add the other side of the background square and repeat the process of sew and press.    
Rotate the block 90 degrees and repeat the sewing in of the strip.   
Your block is now just a bit bigger than the starting size of 7 inches.   Use a square up ruler to trim it down to 6.5, taking care to try to center the corner strips along the diagonal.   It doesn't have to be perfect, so just do the best you can.   You can see how much extra fabric I have on all the sides, so feel free to start with a slightly smaller block to produce less waste.   

Tada!  Here is your finished block.  Make 6 of these and sew them into a strip with a 6.5 by 1.5 inch strip of background fabric between each block.  
There are so many ways to work on variations of a theme with this block.  It is easy to make them larger or smaller of course, but you could also just use wider or narrower strips.  I think it would look great with solids in the diagonal and various fun prints in the horizontal and vertical strips.   Wonky blocks would be lots of fun with the same idea as well, just cutting on slightly different angles would give a nice fun feel to the finished quilt.  

Kathy did an entire post with the asterisk quilts she has made over the years.  




Thursday, April 1, 2021

Happy April

April will be about bright and light blue.  If you have to many blues to handle in one month, feel free to save the darker hues for later.   I've been too tired in the evenings this week to do much more than prep a few hexies.  They are living happily in a little salad bowl on my coffee table right now waiting to be sewn together.   
We are spreadsheeting in school right now and my daughter shared this with me.   The kids think that I am doing it just to torture them, but they are all learning so much though their productive struggle.   

One of my younger kids brought me this treat in celebration of the Easter holiday.   We have the day off of school tomorrow and are all looking forward to some relaxing time at home.   I will be finishing up the tutorial for the April Fullstop block which will be an asterisk.  I am looking forward to this one almost as much as the hashtag!