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Summer Scrap Elimination 2020: Week 3

Good morning Scrappers and welcome to Week 3! The bougainvillea in the front of my Studio is blooming such an amazing fuschia that I found it impossible not to share it with you. I went out to get a photo of it yesterday afternoon and the results were this photo and an unfortunate adventure I'll share with you a bit later in the blog.

When I buy fabric, I always think I'm just filling gaps in my stash, but when it comes down to it I inevitably end up with more green in my stash than anything else. I use green as backgrounds quite a bit and it works with all colors. You can put green with anything. If you think about it, nature sets us up for this happy fact. Flowers grow on green plants and there's just no color of flower that doesn't look like it belongs on green. However it works, I end up with a lot of green fabrics and I use them all the time. So every year, I think I'm cleaning out my green scrap drawer and every year I end up with a bulging green scrap drawer all over again.

So this week, I am working to eliminate greens from the piles and piles of fabrics I have threatening my sanity. I have a simple variation on the log cabin block for you this week. We did one last year too, so this one will be a little different, and still fun. Then we're going to look at three different ways to use your blocks and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

I'm calling this week's block the Log Cabin Jumble. It finishes 5" and uses smaller pieces, so it's great for left overs. I used a lot of green for the principle color and purples and magentas for the pop out color.

Cutting for 1 block:

2 1/2" x 2 1/2" square of a color you would like to pop

One 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangle of your principle color

Two 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangle of your principle color

Two 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangle of your principle color

One 1 1/2" x 5 1/2" rectangle of your principle color

I suggest thinking about what you want to do with your blocks in advance and cutting all of your pieces for as many blocks as you plan to make, so you can chain piece your blocks. Log cabins aren't hard blocks, but they are time consuming and chaining your piecing will save you a little effort.

Step 1: With right sides together, stitch the

2 1/2" x 2 1/2" square to the 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" rectangle of the principle color. Press toward the rectangle. Line up the next piece as show in the adjacent photo.

I love that I could do this with any color pop and any other color.

Step 2: With right sides together, stitch the 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangle on. As you can see in the photo, you can stitch it to either side.

Press towards the new rectangle.

Line up the second 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangle.

Step 3: With right sides together stitch the second 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangle into place.

Press towards the new rectangle.

Line up the first of the 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles.

My only rule for myself is that I'm not allowed to use the same fabric one after the other, so the effect is as scrappy looking as possible.

I like to tell my students that it can be hard to take 4 fabrics of one color and make them work together at times, but if you use 40 fabrics of one color, they all start to go together and their similarities will outweigh their differences.

Step 4: With right sides together, stitch the

1 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangle into place.

Press towards the new rectangle.

Line up the second 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangle.

Step 5: With right sides together, stitch the second 1 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangle into place.

Press towards the new rectangle.

Line up the1 1/2" x 5 1/2" rectangle.

Step 6: With right sides together, stitch the second 1 1/2" x 5 1/2" rectangle into place.

Press towards the new rectangle.

Your block will now measure 5 1/2" x 5 1/2".

Here's an example of what my pressing table looks like when I'm chain piecing.

I can stitch several new rectangles on and then press the whole group at once.

Look at all those luscious purples and greens! Aren't they gorgeous? They make me drool, I enjoy them so much. Quilts like this remind me of all the times I used those fabrics before I made a scrap quilt with them. Before this project, they were backgrounds in flower appliques, borders in my sister's wedding quilt, appliques in a math quilt, and ever so many other projects. Scrap quilts are like trips through time for quilters.

Once I have all my blocks completed, I lay them out to see how I can best disperse the different color pops.

In this version, I completed 63 blocks and decided I would love to make this as a baby quilt that would be large enough to allow a baby to have tummy time on the floor. I love the way this project reminds me of a blurred photo of a garden bed with pansies or a bush of lilacs perhaps.

I also like this variation on the block. The only change in the directions is to start with a tiny four patch using 4 squares measuring

1 1/2" x 1 1/2".

I made 35 of this version.

I used 33 of those and some left over 1 1/2" strips of navy to make this table runner. I plan to quilt it with a bright purple thread and I can't wait for it to grace my table for a big dinner party when we kick this virus to the curb and can have dinner parties again.

I used the other two blocks along with two

5 1/2" x 5 1/2" squares. I turned them into a 10 1/2" x 10 1/2" four patch and then framed them out with a 1 1/2" border.

I plan to layer this project with a heat resistant material and quilt this lovely small piece to use as a trivet for a warm dish or a topper for a bowl of hot biscuits.

Confession time about the bougainvillea picture at the top of this blog. Last week I promised I was going to give another free motion tutorial this week. I was all set up with the little project above to make a video yesterday afternoon, when I thought to myself, "Self, wouldn't it be nice if you took a picture of that pretty bougainvillea out front for the blog?" So I went outside, took one picture, moved back to take another, tripped over a rock at the edge of the sidewalk, fell on my left side where I'm still recovering from frozen shoulder and my arm is weak, collapsed my arm as I tried to catch myself, and landed in a whole bed of baby agave and echinopsis cactus with my face. So, a few hours later when I had finally removed all the cactus spines from my face and hands and the agave spikes from my knee and calf I decided that I had enough time to write the blog, but not enough time to make a new video. So I suppose it's good that first picture was a good one, because I sure as heck didn't get another one.

I know you will all understand, but still I apologize because I was really looking forward to making a new video for you. I will see how my shoulder feels this weekend and try to get a video make in the next few days.

What else do I have for you this week? Two things.

Last summer we did a block in week 6 of the Summer Scrap Elimination that I admit I fell in love with making.

I made 4 blocks for the blog that I had planned to make into a super pillow, but then I kinda just kept going. So now I have 20 0f them and 40 more that I'm about to finish. Aren't they awesome?! I'm honestly in love with this.

My plan is to finish this top and hand quilt it with french knots and little stitch in the ditch quilting. This will be my own personal lap quilt for my reading chair when it's done.

It has so many fabrics in it, that even though the piecing is small and the blocks are time consuming, I am just over the moon with all the color and the greens which just melt my heart.

By the time it's done I expect it will have at least a hundred or more fabrics in it.

And that brings us to the end of our fun this week! Except that you probably deserve a prize or two. You know you do! So here's how this week will work. Visit the Swan Amity Studios Facebook page or the Instagram page @SwanAmity and comment about the blog to be entered in the prize drawing. We'll hold the prize drawing on Sunday evening again, and announce on Monday morning, so make sure you comment before Sunday at 6pm Pacific time. This time your prize will be the pattern of your choice from the website! That's right! You get to pick your prize. Apparently I can fall into a cactus and still be in a decent mood at the end of the day. Hooray!

Have a great week, Scrappers and come back next week for another super project! Next time we'll be doing a little piecing and a little fusing as well as talking about decorative stitches. I'll see you all then! Happy quilting my lovely friends!

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