Sunday, November 15, 2009

Scrappy Christmas Ornaments

Really just scrappy hexagons with top and hook

So the swap was for themed 12.5 inch unfinished blocks. After looking at scrappy paper piecing I was itching for something to do, so why not jump in with both feet.

I have never designed a block before – I can follow directions fairly well. But design? Who me?? Then I realized that is what I do all the time. I cook without a recipe, I just created window quilts for my daughters drafty MN porch (boring as they may be – they should work), and when it comes to borders – I have no problem piecing at will -- so why not.

The idea was 2 ornaments on a scrappy background to create an unfinished 12.5 inch block. (From the beginning I had deceided that I was not going to try to do curves my first time out of the shoot – so it will have to be a hexagon. But for that rounded look, lets try to keep it small. )

Some searching on Bonnie Hunter’s website showed paper piecing and suggested phone book pages. Hum,,, there are 14 phonebooks on the counter at work waiting for someone to throw them out. Took one home and dove in.

A 5inch hexagon looks good – and I have a 5 inch wide ruler with a “turn table” cutting mat. That should make things easier. The hexagon sides are NOT even, but this is a scrappy block. I will NOT obsess, it will be fine.

So this is my setup. No sewing room in IL. We keep the house cool all day when everyone is at work, and I am not turning it up for an hour sewing. The dining room is next to the family room with the wood burner . My cutting “station” is the kitchen counter island behide. And a small tv tray covered with a hand towel is to the left as an iron station. See the pile of strips dumped next to my machine and paper patterns to work off of in the front. Lets get started!

First, choose 2 strips. With right sides together, place them in the center of a paper pattern, trim the strip ends and sew one edge. Press seam open. I work on 6 to 10 pieces at a time so that I can change sewing. Using leader and enders between steps I reduce thread clipping later…

After each added strip, press open the seam. Then lay the another strip next to one raw edge and continue sewing and pressing till the paper patter is no longer visable.

Once the paper pattern is covered. Take to the cutting and trim all excess fabric. Next sew cream tringles to form hexagon into a square. I’m using 2 inch triangles. Trim triangle tabs and don’t worry that things are not perfect. This is a scrappy block….

I add 1.5 inch strips to all for edges to create a block that is just over 6.5 inch square. Square unit to 6.5 inch. At this point remove the paper pattern. This is where the phone book idea shines! The paper comes off so easy. Messy but easy….

Now for Step 2
Scrappy units to finish the block or solid cream??? Check back to see which way I go. Not really sure yet.

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