29 February 2016

Snowflake Monday

When I discovered Leap Year Day would be on a Monday, I thought I should design something epic because the next Leap Year Snowflake Monday won't occur for 28 more years. Not likely happen again! At least not here.

Just to demonstrate the accuracy of things you read on the internet, I looked up "how long before the next Leap Day Monday?" One website I saw said 76 years. Pretty big difference! (I went year-by-year on calendars, writing down each leap day until I reached the next leap year Monday, which will be in 2044.) Of course, this pattern is on the internet, too, so do you trust it or not?!?

Today's pattern isn't epic, at least in my mind, but I did think it was pretty cool I could achieve different looks just by adding a center round. Sometimes when I work up a new flake, the rounds seem a little too bunched together, so I'll change single crochets on the first round to double crochets or double crochets on the first round to treble crochets. This is the first time, I think, I've added a whole round to the center to stretch out the stitches. Now that I've learned the magic, you probably can expect more such experiments in the future. But probably not into 2044. If my eyesight holds out that long, I hope I'm still quilting, riding my bike and taking pictures. If snowflakes are still on the hook then, well, that will be pretty darned epic with or without a pattern.

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Finished Size: 3 to 3.5 inches from point to point, depending upon how many Rounds are worked
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Leap Day Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in ring, * ch 5, 2 dc in ring; repeat from * around 4 times; ch 2, 1 tr in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 5 sp of Round. Pull magic circle tight, but leave opening big enough to allow stitches inside it to lay flat.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc over post of tr directly below, * ch 3, 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook (dc picot made), ch 5, sl st in 5th ch from hook, ch 3, 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook (dc picot made), 2 dc in next ch 5 sp, ch 5, 2 dc in same sp; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 2 dc and last ch 5 of final repeat; ch 2, 1 tr in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 5 tip of Round.
NOTE: Binding off here makes a cute little snowflake.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc over post of tr directly below, * ch 3, in next ch 4 loop work [1 sc, ch 5, 1 sc], ch 3, in next ch 5 tip work [2 dc, ch 5, 1 sc in 5th ch from hook, ch 6, sl st in sc, ch 4, sl st in sc (tri-picot made), 2 dc]; repeat from * around 5 times, omitting last 2 dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.
NOTE: Just look what happens to both the 2-Round and 3-Round snowflakes if you add a popcorn center as Round 1 and make it a 4-Round Snowflake with minimal adjustments to the existing Round 1 when worked as Round 2!

Finish: Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch the snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

26 February 2016

Friday Funny

Some of the funniest responses when Nikon awarded a prize to a composite photo... (I'm SO glad I did screen shots of my favorites because Nikon withdrew the entry after realizing what a mistake had been made.)

Of course, I had to toss my snowflake in the humor ring...

Oh, it just keeps getting better! I LOVE that Canon decided to jump in on the fun, even though I'm a Nikon enthusiast for life!

Some of the best from Canon users: (No offense, but Nikonians are funnier!!!)

Some Canon-users posted real, unedited awesome aircraft photos. I can do that, too!

25 February 2016

The Cool Edge of the Rainbow

A couple of months ago, The Lizard and I decided to design jelly roll quilts in tandem. He had some gorgeous Stonehenge Gradations he couldn't wait to dig into, and I had been wanting to recreate my Turtle Sherbet quilt with my own selection of floral batiks instead of what came in a pre-cut pack.

The Lizard wasted no time crafting a guy-flavored, country-inspired rag quilt with a checkerboard flannel back. I wasted no time capturing him and his quilt in some stunning locations!

My project took a little longer. I still had a snowflake lamp to finish. With my second annual special project finally out of the way on the second official Snowflake Day earlier this month, I went from chilly inspiration to tropical inspiration and began piecing. After the first five strips, however, I decided I didn't want a full rainbow after all. I loved the cool shades together, without the warmer shades, and I completely revamped my original plan.

Now I'll get to come up with an idea for the warm hue strips, plus, I still have enough 2.5-inch strips cut to proceed with another Turtle Sherbet when the motivation strikes.

Using up blacks, grays and whites from my stash to make my color strips really pop was easy for the first log cabin-like rounds. Then after the second round of rainbow halves, suddenly fat quarters weren't long enough for any more borders.

Oh, well. I hadn't pledged not to buy any more fabric, I'd only promised I wouldn't buy too much more unless I finished some of what I already had. I'd just finished piecing Teal Shadows, and The Cool Edge of the Rainbow flimsy would be done with just two more colors, which would rebuild my stash of neutrals after I'd blazed through them so efficiently. More Cosmos, more Essentials, and more Fairy Frost! Yippee!

If I knew what to use as backing for this quilt, I'd probably finish it next because the colors are so exciting for me. But I have yet to figure out what to do for the back. It may hibernate a bit while I finish two more flimsies. Or perhaps I'll use the warmer colors on the back and make yet another truly reversible quilt. Hmmm, now there's an idea!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

23 February 2016

Teal Tuesday

On Snowflake Day, I made a snowflake. But only one.

The remaining free time of the cold, windy day was spent on a special WIP, one I wasn't sure I'd ever finish.

The Block I Loved Best

Years ago, I bought a specific charm pack in a sealed plastic bag because I loved the fabric on the top. The collection was advertised as teal, and teal is the ribbon color for ovarian cancer. My very dear friend Shonna was going through chemo in the first of three separate valiant battles that began with ovarian cancer. Three years later, her tragic battle finally ended. Although I did make a quilt for Shonna before she died, the mini teal charms got put away.

A few months after I first joined the Ravelry quilt WIP challenge group a couple of years ago, I dug out every single quilt project I've started but never finished in the last 30 or so years to make a complete list, and I rediscovered the teal blocks.

I collected all my teal scraps and requested teal fat quarter rewards in the Ravelry challenge. After my first couple of teal fat quarter rewards arrived, I cut a few more charms from all the teals in my stash.

A few months later, I picked up three clearance shades of gorgeous Toscana, and two of them harmonized perfectly with my teal charms! So I began working on an illusion quilt.

When I opened the still-sealed mini charm pack (not realizing they were minis until I got them up next to the charm squares I'd cut), I was horrified to see some of the mini charms were not only ugly, but not even teal. Plus, my blocks were two different sizes!

So away the project went again.

Last summer I bought fabric for two new dresses. However, I had gotten serious about finishing quilts for all my nieces and nephews, and all personal projects got set aside. After delivery of the last batch of completed Christmas presents, I decided I could make something for me once again. I made my peacock dress, hoping to have a tiny bit left over I could incorporate into the teal quilt.

I then decided I needed to finish another quilt top before I could make another dress. My original plan was to finish The Cool Side of the Rainbow. It needs only two more rounds of jelly roll strip borders. As I set aside fabric to cut more jelly roll strips, I stumbled upon the teal Toscana one more time, and I changed my mind. I thought Teal Time would be a fun top to finish next, and I had a new idea for the varied-size charms. I decided to alternate them in a checkerboard style.

I didn't use any of the hideous blocks from the original package, and I ended up using leftovers from some of my favorite dresses, as well as a few scraps left over from Heart Strings.

Teal Time is still just a flimsy at this point, but I learned last year it's easier for me to finish up a bunch of flimsies than a bunch of unfinished quilt tops when I'm short on time.

I still have a few more completed teal illusion blocks, and I'm thinking they might be awesome incorporated into the back. So the back may be just as pieced as the front. I'm really excited about that because I just love the way this top looks!

Teal Time

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.
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