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The Summer Scrap Elimination 2022: Week 1

Good morning Summer Scrappers! It's a whole new summer of fun this year and we are kicking off the program with a truly great scrap buster. Some of you likely know that I don't really have a favorite color; I love them all. But I do have an enormous amount of green scraps in my drawers. So this year, I'm starting us off with a tree pattern that is so versatile. Whether you make this as a great couch quilt, a wall hanging, or a lovely holiday table runner (I'll be showing that version in the class on Saturday) this block makes a great project. I'm also one of those people that loves to see a block in different colors, so Saturday we'll be making blue trees instead of green and I gotta tell you, I love them in blue just as much.

If you saw our preparation video earlier this month, you know you can get all of this week's cutting out of 2 1/2" strips, which should help you to sort your scrap drawer.

Cutting for 1 Block (finishing 8 1/2" x 10 1/2"):

5 Light rectangles 2 1/2" x 4 1/2"

2 squares of color 2 1/2" x 2 1/2"

2 rectangles of color 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"

2 rectangles of color 2 1/2" x 4 1/2"

2 rectangles of color 2 1/2" x 5 1/2"

2 rectangles of color 2 1/2" x 6 1/2"

I decided that I wouldn't worry too much about value with this project, but I was happier if there was a lighter and darker example of each of the cuts of color. You can play around with this a bit if you like, but it works no matter what you decide looks best to you.

I also found that however I decided to make the project, I would want 1 block and one reversed block, which means I would always have an even number of blocks.

Step 1:

Layout all of your components so you can easily keep track of your construction.

Row 1 - 6 1/2" color - light rect. - 2 1/2" color

Row 2 - 4 1/2" color -light rect. - 4 1/2" color

Row 3 - 2 1/2" color - light rect. - 6 1/2" color

Row 4 - 3 1/2" color - light rect. - 5 1/2" color

Row 5 - 5 1/2" color - light rect. - 3 1/2" color

Step 2:

To create this block we are going to use a variation on flying geese. For those of you that learn better from watching a video, I've created one for you to show you both how you would piece the elements of this block with traditional methods or with seam guides from Sew Very Smooth, as I prefer. Click here to watch.

Getting started is straight forward. Beginning with the top row and the right side wing of the goose, bring right sides together. Draw a line as shown. Stitch on the line. Trim away the excess and press out toward the wing.

As you work your way down the right side of your rows, set up each of your longer colored rectangles as you see here.

Stitch exactly as you would a regular goose.

Always press toward the color.

Tip for working with elongated geese!

To make it easier to draw the line when you are working with a rectangle of color instead of a square, slide the rectangle over a bit, so you can see the light fabric. Draw the line while you can easily see where the corner of the piece would be if it were a square. Then slide the colored rectangle back into place on the far right. Stitch, trim, and press.

I'm also pressing my components on a wool mat these days, giving me flatter blocks and cleaner lines. If you haven't picked up a wool mat yet, consider using a bath towel folded over a few times to achieve similar results.

Of course, I also love my Oliso Pro for this or the Oliso Mini if you are pressing as you go at your sewing station. Don't miss out on Week 3 when we are giving away 2 of those beautiful Oliso Minis in the prize drawings!

Step 3:

With all of your right side wings attached, you should have rows that look like this.

Repeat the process on the left side, being sure to angle your stitching so that your geese are pointing downward.

Step 4:

Your block components will now look like you see here and each one of your units will measure 2 1/2" x 8 1/2".

Step 5:

Stitch all of your rows together, pressing each row downward towards bottom of the block.

Step 6:

Reverse the layout of the rows to created a mirrored image of the block.

As you stitch the rows together for the reverse block, press each row towards the top of the block.

Once you have the number of blocks you like (I made 36), begin to lay out your blocks and move them around until you partner them up in ways you enjoy.

This project goes together best when stitched in columns.

With your original blocks pressed one direction and your reversed blocks pressed in the opposite direction, you should be able to create neatly nesting seams.

For those of you that love to press your seams open, you should have no concerns with doing so in this project.

I ended up with 6 columns of 6 blocks each, which made for a beautiful forest of trees!

The more I look at this project, the more I love it and look forward to having it on the couch this winter for the holidays. I'm going to add a couple of scrappy borders to finish it off and create a fun quilting plan for it. To make it more festive you might consider adding appliqued circles, buttons, or wool balls for ornaments!

This week's blog is sponsored by Sew Very Smooth. I've been in love with their gauge and guides since they first developed this product. My favorite version to suggest to new users is their Student Edition set. It comes with two guides (one with that nice curved edge for curved piecing) as well as the gauge. LuAnn and Steve have arranged for the Student Edition to be 25% off until July 5th, so be sure to take advantage of the sale! Set it up and test it to see if the 1/4" set up or the scant 1/4" set up is best for your piecing style and then get ready to race your friends because this will speed up all of your projects!

What's that you say? How do you win a Student Edition set of your very own? It's SEW easy! Pick out a color stack for your trees and post a picture of in the comments of my Facebook post about this blog. Or post your picture on Instagram and tag me @SwanAmity and Sew Very Smooth @SewVerySmooth . I will comment on your post when I see it and add your name to the jar! We'll be drawing a winner live on Facebook on June 30th at 10 am Pacific Time. Get your name in the jar twice if you also post a picture of your first block and link the blog post!

This week's guest Designer is Debbie Wendt from Wendt Quilting and she is offering you another Christmas in the Summertime project! We didn't plan this I swear! You can find her blog HERE! I hope you also visit Debbie's Pattern Page on her website and check out some of her amazing ideas. I'm definitely eyeing her beautiful snuggle tails patterns for mermaids, orcas, and dolphins. Oh MY! Debbie's projects range from beginner friendly to the more complex, but they are all fun and so creative.

Need a little more instruction, it's not too late to sign up for the Summer Scrap Elimination Course Package and have access to all 6 classes for 1 hour every Saturday Morning of the program. Sign up today! I hope you enjoy this week and I will see you again next week with a new project and two new guest designers!


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