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.


  1. Sure turned out grand on that side. Fun how you made the eyes go many a way. Laughing at one's goals is a fine way to be too.

    1. Thank you, Pat! Do the eyes make you think of Brady Bunch?!? I'm about 1/3rd done with the quilting, so MAYBE I'll finish by Sunday... fingers crossed!

  2. Very creative thinking to make a very cute quilt.

  3. Oh my goodness! This is SO DARN CUTE. Those owls and their eyes! Looking everywhere . . . I love it. And, I'm going to PIN it because you deserve it being out there. You are the first! I can't wait to see how you finish it off. ~smile~ Roseanne

    1. Thank you, Roseanne! I wish I was adept enough at FMQ that I could do something fancier than straight lines. But I am practicing... :)

  4. That is lovely, rainbows are always a winner but the owls add an extra dimension. Look forward to seeing it quilted.

    1. Thank you, Lynn! I'm in love with those little owls, too. I finished quilting it last night, and I'm working on the binding right now!

  5. This quilt shows such creativity. I love those owls in their rainbow of color!

    1. Thank you, Shannon! I'm definitely going to have to try a second version of this one day!

  6. Wow! Those are some rockin' quilts! I especially love how you put the owls in. You know, you really should try making something bright now of these days! lol

    1. Thank you, Sandy! You really cracked me up! I think maybe I'll go work on something bright now... Ha ha ha!


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