29 September 2017

Friday Funny

My brother and a longtime-friend, both language teachers, turned me on to this...

28 September 2017

Owl Be a Rainbow-Striped Jelly Roll Quilt

When I first began this quilt top, it wasn't supposed to be a quilt top at all. I intended to cut it up to make striped border bands and/or binding for Lyra's quilt.

The rainbow stripes are made up of almost every Kona solid in my stash. Some of the colors were yards, and some were fat quarters, so some of the jelly roll strips had to be pieced before assembling the entire color collection.

I ended up with plenty of rainbow scraps to form the triangle borders and scrappy binding for Lyra's quilt after finishing Kaela's quilt, so I ended up not needing the pieced rainbow jelly roll as border fodder after all.

I fantasized about making a quilt out of the jelly roll strips.

Deep down inside, though, I really wanted to try my first ever bargello quilt. But deep down inside, I knew I'd have to make a second panel identical to the first in order for it to be big enough to be a quilt when done.

As a result, the potential quilt top has been waiting on my WIP quilt rack for nearly a year.

I went through my WIP list on Jelly Roll Day (September 16) to see what I might be able to finish to commemorate the special day. Nine projects qualified. Leaf Me Alone features hand-dyes I cut into strips before I knew a jelly roll isn't just a pack of hip-busting calories. Welcome to the Jungle is almost entirely green floral batiks I cut myself because I didn't like ALL the fabrics in various precut collections. Hexie Booboo has some jelly roll strips I cut myself from two dresses I tore beyond repair. Goodbye Hollyhock Road is jelly roll strips I dyed myself. Twice. Snowflake Strip Bar, with a border made from leftover jelly roll strips I cut from my blue snowflake stash, is ready to be quilted. Lavender Sunrise, cut from my stash of Kona Purples, is ready to be quilted. Showcase incorporates jelly roll strips I cut myself. Cool Edge of the Rainbow is cut from rainbow fabrics in my stash, as is Rainbow Stripes.

And that doesn't even count the quilt tops I've started this quarter for my Christmas project...

Wow, I had no idea I had so many jelly roll projects! I thought there were only three before I looked at my list! I guess I could do Jelly Roll Month...

Because I'm trying to finish 15 quilts by Christmas (or Thanksgiving), I decided to pick a project that would be suitable for a kid on my list. And big enough... Rainbow Stripes won.

I had looked at other rainbow strip quilts for ideas, but not because I wanted to copy anything. I wanted to make something different, something no one else had done. I had already planned to slice off six inches or so and put a solid panel in between the two sections. But I didn't know what to put in the solid section. I could use up more of the jelly roll strips left over from the original project; there are plenty!

I could do some applique work with rainbow-hued flowers, smileys, hearts, diamonds, triangles, four patches or animal silhouettes. I was really leaning toward something with curves because of all the straight lines. Suddenly I realized I need to make it something a little girl would like. I can always make something else earth-shattering with another rainbow strip quilt top later.

Owls won the battle of ideas. Little girls love owls, I could incorporate hearts and circles, and I could even do mini orange peels!

I sliced off 6.5 inches of the rainbow panel, then four 2-inch slices. Hey, more jelly roll strips on Jelly Roll Day!!!

I cut a 6.5-inch strip of Kona eggshell leftover from Citrus Whip. Then I cut the remainder of the eggshell into 2-inch strips.

I drew an owl motif on paper to use as a template, then cut out all the little owl parts from rainbow Kona colors used in the panel except for the eyes, which would be made from black and white. That's all I got done on the official Jelly Roll Day.

The following Monday, I glued the owl pieces in place on the eggshell panel and took some black and white scraps to work to cut out 36 eyeballs during my lunch hour. I didn't get a lunch hour on Monday. Then I didn't get one on Tuesday. I wanted to finish gluing the owls together so I could assemble the quilt top and share it on my blog last week. But the stars just weren't aligning properly.

I got off work late Tuesday night, and the bus I have to catch at the end of the train ride after work to return to my car had gone to once per hour instead of every 30 minutes. I had to wait about 40 minutes for the bus, so I started cutting out the smaller parts, the little black pupils. By the time the bus arrived, I was working on the white circles, which were easier to cut, thank goodness! I finished cutting them on the bumpy bus!

Wednesday morning I glued the eyeballs in place before work, and I didn't get another chance to work on the quilt top until last Sunday, when it finally became a flimsy! Bonus points because I don't think there's another one like it anywhere. At least for now...

Now I just have to figure out what to put on the back of this baby. I wonder if I can finish quilting it by the end of the month? Ha ha! That's a pretty big order! Good thing I can laugh at my goals every now and then.

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

26 September 2017

Remnants of Summer

A touch of fall definitely is in the air, but a few flowers in my garden (and in my house) are still pretending it's summer!

The indoor babies...

The dahlias I planted indoors back in early spring died or fried during Ride the Rockies in June. I bought new bulbs at the local grocery store for $2.99 each and planted them in the same pots. Plants grew, but they did not bloom. (They're still growing, so I haven't completely given up hope...) The first set of bulbs seemed to be fine, so I transplanted them to the garden. The one that received the most sunshine (the white one with blossoms I'd died blue with food coloring) eventually bloomed again!

The last daisy of the year came up after I trimmed down all the spent daisies. I guess it just needed a little sun of its own.

Marigolds are the harbinger of autumn, and portions of my garden are teeming with orange and red. The one plant I put in my whiskey barrel planter next to the garage, far from the main garden, resulted in hundreds of plants all over the place, including in the French drains where nothing is supposed to grow!

I spent one evening after work de-flowering every single marigold in my yard for a dye pot and to attempt to make sure the entire garden isn't all marigolds next year. Two weeks later, I had just as many new blossoms, so I made a second jar of marigold dye, which currently is solar-cooking on the patio railing in the sun every day. I'm trying to eek what color I can out of the first jar, too, after preparing my first jar of marigold dye.

I would not have expected the color I seem to be getting! I think it looks a bit like spaghetti!!!

I also attempted to pollinate my new giant hibiscus, which Lizard bought for me at the Farmer's Market about six weeks ago. It's the showpiece of the neighborhood, and passersby frequently ask if they can photograph the tremendous blossoms.

Alas, my pollination efforts seem to have been for naught. But that's okay. Now that blossoming is done, we're transplanting the huge plant into the backyard next to the itty bitty hibiscus that came with the house.

Both hibiscus varieties got a dye jar of their own.

All I need now is some time to wind some new hanks of white prepared-for-dyeing yarn!

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