Thursday, 21 April 2016

scrap jar stars

I had a hard time deciding on a bee block for when I am Queen bee next month. I entertained lots of possibilities, but dismissed each one for a variety of reasons; too big, too fiddly, too difficult, it had already been chosen by someone else or would probably require a fabric purchase by those who would be making it for me (I would prefer participants to be able to use what they already have).
I love scrappy quilts, so I finally settled on the scrap jar star block by Amber who blogs at Gigi's Thimble. 

Here is my version of the block; I decided to resize it to use 2.5" squares in the centre 16-patch. I also changed the making of the half square triangles to a method that I prefer (because it makes two and doesn't require any sewing on the stretchy bias of the fabric).

Scrap Jar Star
This block measures  16.5" x 16.5" unfinished.

Fabric Requirements

White fabric
8 @ 4 7/8" x 4 7/8" squares
12 @ 2.5" x 2.5" squares
4 @ 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles

Bright scraps
12 @ 2.5" x 2.5" squares
8 @ 4 7/8" x 4 7/8" squares (for 8 different star points) OR
4 @ 4 7/8" x 4 7/8" squares (for star points with repeated fabrics)


Making the centre 16-patch:
1.  Sew a 2.5" x 2.5" white square to a 2.5" x 2.5" scrap square. Do this another 7 times for a total of 8 pairs. Press seam open towards the scrap square.

2.  Sew two pairs of white/scrap squares together. Do this another 3 times for a total of 4 strip sets.
3.  Lay out the strip sets in four rows so that the white and scrap squares alternate.
4.  Sew strip sets together. Press these seams open. Set aside.

Making the star points: 

1.  Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of each of the 4 7/8" x 4 7/8" squares.

2.  Place a white 4 7/8" x 4 7/8" square and a 4 7/8" x 4 7/8" scrap square right sides together. Sew 1/4" either side of the diagonal line. Cut along the diagonal line. Do this another 7 times (or 3 if you are using 4 different fabrics) for a total of 8 half square triangles (HST's).
3. Press the seam towards the scrap fabric. Trim the little white 'ears'. ***Put aside one of the HST's  
    from each pair if you have chosen the 8 square option so that the star points are each a different fabric (you could use these to make two scrap jar star blocks at the same time!).

4. Sew two different HST's together. Press seam open. Do this another 3 times for a total of 4.

 Making the corner blocks:

      3. Sew a scrap 2.5" x 2.5" square to a white 2.5" x 2.5" square. Press seam towards the scrap square.
     2. With the scrap square at the top, sew a white  2.5" x 4.5" rectangle to the left of scrap/white        square unit. Repeat with another unit for a total of 2.
3. With the scrap square at the top, sew a white  2.5" x 4.5" rectangle to the right of scrap/white  
square unit. Repeat with another unit for a total of 2.

Assembling the block:
1.  Sew two of the sets of HST's to opposite sides of the 16-patch.  Press seams towards the 16-patch.
2.  Sew a corner block to each side of a set of HST's. Ensure that the scrap square is in the outer corner. Repeat for the remaining set of HST's.
3.  Sew a HST and corner block set to the top of the 16-patch. Repeat for the bottom of the 16-patch.
And you're finished!

Let me know if you make my version of the Scrap Jar Star block. I would love to see photos.

So, what are you working on at the moment? Something sewing related? A project at work? Something for your family? Or perhaps something for yourself!

Saturday, 5 March 2016

1960's dress ups

Before my mum moved into a care facility I was at her house sorting through a few things when I came across some dress ups that we had as kids. I am one of four children and I was born in the 70's, so I don't know exactly how old these are. What do you think? The 60's? 50's? I have a feeling these belonged to my grandmother. I should ask my mum!
Is this a dressing gown? I'm guessing you wouldn't want to forget to put your pj's on first!
Both are a little worse for wear play, but I love them! They brought back some childhood memories that made me smile. I remember dressing up in these quite a lot during my younger years.

That lime green colour is making a comeback!
Thank you to Lily for (reluctantly) modelling these precious items.
As a child I would always choose to wear a head scarf or fabric hair band if I didn't have to tie my hair back. How groovy is that print? I really wish that I still had all my child hood hair accessories. I'd love to wear them now.

Do you have any items of clothing from your parents or grandparents era? I just remembered a 1970's Robin Hood Green stretchy polyester number hanging in my wardrobe that I feel like putting on...

Saturday, 16 January 2016

finish along 2016 {quarter1}

2016 FAL

Well, I'm ready to get back into routine! This is the last day to declare my Finish Along list for the first quarter of the year so I'm scrambling a post together so as not to miss out.

I'm keeping it simple. Which hopefully means achievable.

So, this is it:
1. Grab bag. I cut out two and completed one for a friend. The second has been sitting next to my sewing machine waiting.
2. Star Wars Quilt. This quilt is going to appear on every list until it's done. I'm not going to say anything else. Just that this quilt is taking an embarrassingly long time to complete.
 3. Twirly Wirly flimsy. I really need to turn this top into a quilt. The flimsy and backing fabric are all ready for basting.
4.  Table tent. This is 99% finished. One window needs a border and then it's done!
5. Trip Around the World quilt. I am certain everyone is tired of seeing this one!

Well, I know this is not a terribly exciting post, but I am excited about the new year. I would like to finish these projects (and others) so that I can start some more!! 

I have caught up on my bee block commitments and look forward to receiving some blocks in the mail this month (I am Queen Bee!). 

I'll leave you with a Granny Square block and a Quatrefoil block.
Do you have any goals or hopes for 2016?

Saturday, 14 November 2015

It's been so long!

 It's been so long since I have been here that I'd almost forgotten I had a blog!

I am teaching a glorious year 2 class full time and I absolutely love it. It is a bit tiring though. And I have a lot less time for everything else. But I love it!

I have managed to do a few bits and pieces, including these two bunting blocks that I have chosen as my bee block when my turn comes up.

I have kept up with my monthly bee blocks for others, but I haven't kept up with downloading photos of each of them. I'll have to save those for later.

Instead, how about a few photos of things that I made before I became super busy?

 This grab bag was not my favourite bag during construction, but I loved it once it was finished. I gifted it to friend and have another part way through construction for myself. The outer fabric is organic cotton and feels beautifully soft.

 I also made two of the one hour baskets that have been popular recently (well, a while ago, but I'm always slow to catch up!). The fabric was gifted to me by a friend, so one went to her and one lives with me.
 During the last school holidays we made some pretzels. They were easy to make and absolutely delicious!

This is the video tutorial we used. We plan to make them again.

 Oh look! I managed to upload a photo of one of the bee blocks I recently sent out!
So, what's been taking up your time recently?

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

scrappy quilt

 Hello! Remember me? I recently returned to work and have been working as a relief teacher (substitute teacher for my international friends) at a lovely primary school. I love it!

I have had to reshuffle my time, so my sewing machine has not seen a lot of love lately. I have managed to finish a quilt that has been a long term UFO. Comprised mostly of leftover 5" squares, it is one of two projects on my Finish Along list for this year's third quarter.

I used minky as a backing for the first time. It is very, very soft and cuddly (and very popular with the kids!). I picked up the red minky dot in the fabric remnant basket at my favourite fabric shop and it is been sitting in the cupboard for quite some time. I think the slipperiness and stretch of the minky made me very hesitant to use it in a quilt. I am glad I did though! It really wasn't a problem at all, though I did keep the quilting simple and quilted organic, horizontal lines.
The quilt measures 45.5" (116cm) x 65.5" (167cm) and is bound using scrappy 2.5" strips.
This is one of my favourite squares in the quilt. 

School holidays have started (yay!), so I took the opportunity to make some Bee blocks in each of the Queen Bee's nominated design and colours. It felt so good to create these!
I really love school holidays. I think it's because I don't have to make four lunchboxes each day!

Monday, 20 July 2015

pinwheel cushion

 I finished the cushion that I blogged about here. It is number two on my Finish Along list.
Zoe chose the fabrics for this cushion and made the cushion top using the fast and easy pinwheels tutorial by Jenny Doan of The Missouri Star Quilt Co. The pink fabric used for the pinwheels and backing is Lecien's Folk Tale Flying Pixie Girl. The other pinwheel print is from Australian designer Sarah Fielke's On The Pond range.
I was responsible for quilting and constructing the cushion cover. Which is why it took so long to finish. But doesn't it look nice now that it is done! It is approximately 16" (41cm) square.

I love a covered, zippered back and always use Svetlana's tutorial. She makes it so easy!

I also completed some bee blocks which have now been mailed. I really like the feeling of mentally ticking these off my list.
 This is our last day of the school holidays. Oh how I have enjoyed them!

I will be back to show you some of the crafting we have been doing during the last two weeks. Some was planned and some was impromptu.
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