Monday, June 30, 2014

Scrappy Happy Summer Sew Along - Summer Skies Block!!! ...

Yay!…it's Sew Along Monday
and time for a new
 Scrappy Happy project:)

This next project is a 9 block quilt!
It's perfect for using up 
leftover yardage from another project.
Maybe you have a favorite collection
 of fat quarters that you
 have been hoarding or even 
been afraid to cut into.
Be brave quilters!
Now is the time:)

Summer Skies 
88" x 88"
24" blocks

So lets talk about yardage and fabrics.
I'm using my Vintage Happy 
Cloth Yardage #DC3781 in green 
for my background.
Background needed - 5 1/4 yards

 I decided to use fabrics
 from a few of my collections
 along with my stash of 
Denyse Shmidt fabrics.
They play so well together!

Colors I used; aqua-blue-orange-yellow-pink-green.
I used 9 fat quarters (or 1/4 yard cuts will work too)
27 fat eighths (or 1/8th yard cuts will work too)

Our manual for the sew along is my pattern

We are using the Scrappy Happy block in the 24" size.
My pattern includes cutting for a 6" - 12" - 18" and a 24" block
and directions for sewing all four sizes are the same.

I chose 9 of the fat quarters and cut 9 sets of the (S) rectangles.
Then I chose 9 fat 1/8th's and from each I cut;
 1 - (R) square and 4 (V) squares
From the remaining fat 1/8th's (18 of them);
I cut the (T) and the (U) squares

When I was finished…
I had 9 - 24" Scrappy Happy blocks cut and ready to sew!

Now here is where the fun begins!
At this point my block is not sewn together all the way.
I have sewn it into the 9 sections right before
 completion and laid it out on my design board
just like the block in the pattern.
But wait!!!! …
Remember that I told you we would be doing
 four different settings during our sew along?

Of course I like this setting but the point of this
 sew along is not only to play with
 scraps and colors from our stash…
and also to play with my Scrappy Happy block settings.


And just by simply turning the 
rectangle sections upside down …
a star is born!!!

It's amazing how the look of a block can change
by just a slight turning of the pieces:)

So this is my Summer Skies block
in a 24" finished size…
Just  8 more for the Summer Skies quilt:)
Easy Peasy!
I'll be showing you the rest of my
 blocks over the next few weeks-
and of course posting them onto our 
Scrappy Happy Summer Flickr group:)

But wait!!!
What about the 
Easy Corner Triangle trimmings?
Of course I have 
saved those for our next
Scrappy Happy project…
and here is how I did it.
Before I sewed my ECT's…
I did a little marking:)

I used my 1/2" wide ruler and marked a line 1/2" away 
from the center line that goes point to point like this.

I marked my lines in the direction that
 they needed to be sewn to form the block:)

I sewed directly on both of my marked lines...

and cut them apart which left each
 with an exact 1/4" seam allowance.

Then I pressed the ECT out as usual.

For the part you cut off…
 you will need a 3 1/2" square ruler.
Either one of these will work…
it just needs a diagonal line going across the center.

Place the diagonal line of 
the ruler onto your

And trim off all excess fabric like this.
Using a mat that turns 
makes this little job fast and easy.
My favorite is this cute pink round one by 
Busy Fingers. (Sue Daley)

After trimming…press these seams open.

You will end up with a 
3 1/2" half square triangle
from each one of the ECT trimmings!!!

YaY again!
I LOVE not wasting fabric:)

This is all the waste that there is…
impressive to say the least!

So now that you have an ECT on
 one end of the rectangles...

Go ahead and do the same thing when you add the ECT
onto the other end.

And you will have 8 more
 3 1/2" half square triangles:)

Continue doing the same thing with 

And press the seams open on all of them.

Because you will get 24 from each block ...
By the time you have your 
9 Summer Skies block finished ...
you will have 
216 - 3 1/2" half square triangles
 for our next Scrappy Happy summer project:)

I can't wait to show you
 what we will be doing with them:)

Are you having fun yet?
Do you like my Summer Skies block?
I love seeing your photos on
keep them coming!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Scrappy Happy Summer Sew Along - My Design Boards Tutorial! ...

Over the weekend I made a few more of my
 design boards for our 


Because we are making my 
Scrappy Happy block in 4 sizes…
I thought I needed a few more boards:)

I've been going to make a really large one 
ever since I saw that Hobby Lobby now has
the foam core boards in extra
30" x 40" gia -bungo size!!!

I bought 2 of them and made one large one…
 and then cut the other one into;
2 - 20" squares
4 - 10" squares

Even though I already have 6 of the 10" size…
I was needing more because not only
 do I use them for small blocks…
I use them when cutting to keep my
 pieces separated and organized.
I also stack them on top of each other after they have
 the cut pieces on them to save counter space:)

So now I have a total of ten small ones…
I know they will come in sew handy 
and that I will use them every day!

Just to show you how large the biggest one really is…
I took a pic of my new boards next to my machine.
(i made the green rectangle one a few months ago:)
The large one fits there perfectly on my counter.
It's really going to come in handy when designing 
little quilts or the 24" Scrappy Happy blocks:)

The two 20" square ones are perfect when 
making the 12" or 18" Scrappy Happy blocks:)
And also…
because they are the same size,
I can sandwich my finished blocks between them 
for protection when traveling to Sew Day or retreat!

Of course I will use all of my design boards…
old and new together.
One can never have too many:)
You can see that the new boards are
 clean white and thread free…
that won't last for long! (hehe)

Each board size serves its own purpose …
depending on the project I am making.

I wanted to post about these for this weeks
Scrappy Happy Summer post…
to encourage you to make some 
for yourself if you haven't yet…
and to make more if you already have!

These design boards are so easy to make…
and useful in "sew" many ways.
I promise that once you have used them…
you will wonder what you ever did without them!
They are also a good way to use up some leftover 
batting and 2 1/2" strips in your stash:)

 for my tutorial on how to make them
 and how and why I use them.

I also did a YouTube tutorial 
on them a long time ago.
 if you want to see that as well.

If you haven't joined the 
Scrappy Happy Summer Sew Along yet…
to add photos of your design boards…
we all want to see!

I'll be back next Monday with a new project
for the sew along!
Have a quilty kind of summer…

P.S.For those of you who have already 
made my design boards
I'd love to hear what you think of them!
It just might help those who haven't yet 
made one realize how helpful they are!:)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Scrappy Summer Sew Along - Sweet and Simple Runner Tutorial!!! ...

Good morning cute people!
I'm excited to show you my latest 
Scrappy Happy project 
that I made last week.

Last Monday we kicked off the 
sew along…
the button and the flickr group
 are now ready to go!
Add the above button 
to your blog and 
to join up for a 
summer of scrappy happiness:)

So remember when I showed you
 these trimmings off of the 
Easy Corner Triangles 
from last weeks
 Scrappy Happy Summer project?

I did NOT want to throw them out!
After all…
this sew along is about
 using up our scraps right?

 I cut them into cute little 1 1/2" squares:)

I have been wanting to make a runner to protect the 
top of my piano ever since I painted it 3 years ago.

I decided that these little squares would be the perfect answer!
So I measured my piano top and started 
playing with my squares to see what
 fast and easy runner that I could come up with.

I played with my squares in several different settings
 (on my design board)
rearranging them until they made me happy:)
I decided on this easy setting for my runner.

I liked this sweet and simple block!
Because the 1 1/2" squares were in matching sets of 4…
I decided to use the solid yellow squares for the centers
 and add 4 of the matching squares around it…
along with 4 background squares in the corners.
I also used 2 different backgrounds to add a little more interest
as I alternated the blocks for the runner.

Because my piano is 58" long…
I needed to cut a few more squares
 from my scrappy stash baskets.

I could have used my 1 1/2" basket of strips and squares
but I decided to use my 3 1/2" basket…
it was fast and easy to cut several more matching sets of 4 for each block.
You can cut a set from one 3 1/2"square!

Of course you could easily make 
a smaller runner or a doll quilt from your leftover squares…
this sew along is about deciding 
what YOU want to make…
you are the boss of your own scraps!

You could measure your piano or maybe
your sofa table or fireplace mantle and
 customize the size of your runner to fit.
It's easy using just simple math and graph paper…
all you need to know is that
 each little block measures 3" when finished:)

But if you want to make one like mine…
here is what I did. 
It measures 13 1/2" x 55 1/2" and 
consists of 51 sweet little blocks
in a setting of 3 across and 17 down.

For EACH of the 51 blocks I cut -
1 - 1 1/2" yellow square 
4 - 1 1/2" matching squares
4 - 1 1/2" background squares
I also cut border strips;
2 - 2 1/2" x 13 1/2"
and 2 - 2 1/2" x 51 1/2"

I used 1/4 yard of white background
just under 1/2 yard of the polka dot background.

I made 25 of the blocks with the 
pink polka dot background and
 26 of them with the white background.

I pressed all of my seams open 
so that they would lay nice and flat…
I do this whenever I am working with small pieces.

Pressing the seams open also makes it easy peasy
to line up the seams when sewing together.
I like to use these Fork Pins by Clover 
when I am sewing 2 open seams together.

Because a pin goes on each side of the seam…
there is absolutely no shifting:)

51 sweet and simple blocks all sewn:)
They each measure 3 1/2" at this point.

I sewed them into rows…
alternating the two different backgrounds.

And pressed ALL seams open.
You can't believe how flat it is for such tiny pieces!

Now it's time to add the border strips.

This is how I cut border strips when they
 need to be wider than the width of my fabric;

 I cut 4 - 2 1/2" x Width of Fabric strips 
from my pink polka dot fabric.

Cut off the selvedge...

and sew them together on the diagonal like this.
You can mark them…
or just use your Angler 2 lines that
 is taped to your sewing machine like I usually do:)

After sewing, trim off the excess leaving about 1/4" seam allowance...

and press open for less bulk.

Cut and sew on your side strips first…
(2 1/2" x 51 1/2")

And then the end strips last.
(2 1/2" x 13 1/2")
Press all seams towards the border strips…
and quilt your Sweet and Simple runner!

Next…choose your binding fabric.
I chose a yellow print in the same shade of my 
solid yellow for the center squares of each block…
so that the binding would coordinate nicely:)
I cut 4 - 2 1/2" x WOF strips
and prepared 150" of binding.
if you want to see how I further 
prepare my binding and bind my quilts.

Bind your runner and take
 a few photos to add to our flickr group...
We all want to see what you are making!

I'll chat at you next Monday 
when it's time for the next 
Scrappy Happy Summer episode:)

But if you want to see what
 I'm up to in the meantime …
and join me on Instagram:)

Have a quilty kind of summer…

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