29 June 2018

Friday Fortius

28 June 2018

Scrap Burner

All 517 3-inch triangle scraps have been made into 2.5-inch blocks. All have been pressed flat. Some still need to be trimmed, but all are sewn.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with them!!!

I'm leaning toward a HST sampler, but oversized rainbow themes, hunter's stars and carpenter's stars are calling out to me, too.

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict and My Quilt Infatuation.

26 June 2018

Time Flies

My Siberian irises didn't bloom well two years ago. Lizard and I dug them up in the fall and separated them a bit, hoping a little extra space might encourage flowering. We dug up all the other irises, too, and spread them out a bit more.

Last year none of my irises were very showy. I guess that's what happens the first year after you move bulbs around. Last year, I thought I'd ruined most of my irises. I've since learned they may be separated after blooming so the bulbs can rebuild until fall.

This year, my irises were magnificent after a whole year of bulb growth! Especially the Siberian irises!!! I had at least two or three a day every single day for about two weeks. I was in heaven!

The Siberica Strawberry Fair Iris is the most beautiful of my collection. I wish these babies could bloom all year!

I thought it might be fun to try another time lapse movie, this time, instead of a sunrise or sunset, I'd shoot one of my cut irises in a vase as the flower opened.

First tries sometimes produce significant fails. I didn't realize my Siberian irises take three days to open! I was shooting the blossom every hour I was awake the entire weekend. The flower bloomed while I was at work on Monday. Darn it!

Music is by Peter Hollens.

By this time, the chicory were blooming. Blossoms last only a day. I thought this might be the perfect experiment. I could correct one of the problems I had with the iris. I didn't realize flowers in a vase move and shift weight as they open. The following weekend, I cut a sprig of chicory and shot frames about every five minutes until the main blossom was fully open. I also adjusted the tripod and flash as necessary to keep the flower in the center of the frame and well lit.

Music is by Klaus Badelt from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Success!!! And with another gorgeous flower!!!

The next weekend, I tried again, this time with Cupid's Darts. I framed the shot so I (hopefully) wouldn't have to move the tripod or the strobe. I set the timer on my iPhone and fired photos with my D300 every minute for two and a half hours. I thumbed through about 18 old quilting magazines as the flower bloomed. Perfect way to stay awake while I photographed!

I do have a shutter release for the Nikon, and I should be able to set the camera up to fire by itself, but I haven't tried using the cable yet, and I'd rather experiment with it after I learn how to use it.

Music is by Lindsey Stirling.

Eureka! Blue Gold! I'm getting the hang of this!

25 June 2018

Snowflake Monday

This week's Moda Blockheads 2 project is Carrie Nelson's interpretation of the classic Pennsylvania block.

This is another 6-inch block with a tiny center block, and once again, I was seriously tempted to enlarge the pattern so I could design a bigger flake, but it all comes down to my excitement about making a quilt with blocks of many different sizes.

As an added benefit, there's nothing like a quick and easy pattern snowflake during the heatwaves of summer.

So then I thought... I've already done so many tiny flakes, I'm not sure I can do another one that would be different. I was about to flip through my Garden Snowflake patterns when I decided to peruse Alexey Kljatov's snowflake collection for inspiration. Today's snowflake is not a rehash of one of my Garden Snowflakes or modeled after one particular snowflake, but instead is a representation of a snowflake shape I admire.

Once again, I have loved seeing block interpretations by other Blockheads!

When it came time to type a name on the pattern below, Pennsylvania definitely did not stand out as a snowflake name. It took me all of about 3.9 seconds to figure out a Colorado name with a Pennsylvania flair or connection.

Pennsylvania is the Keystone State, and Keystone also is the name of a very popular ski area in Colorado. Plus, Keystone, in my mind, might look somewhat like the shape of today's snowflake.

I do have to throw a crucial fact out there, though... Pennsylvania also is known as The Chocolate State.

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: 1.5 inches from point to point
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

Keystone Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc and ch 1), * 1 dc in ring, ch 1; repeat from * 10 times for a total of 12 dc; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 3. Pull magic circle tight.
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 2: * 1 sc in next ch 1 sp, in next ch 1 sp work 1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc; repeat from * around 5 times; sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

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.

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict and My Quilt Infatuation.

21 June 2018

Double Delight

Back in about October, I bought a diamond paint-by-number kit for my eight-year-old neighbor to make for her parents for Christmas. She's been coming over for about an hour every Monday night (that I get off work in time) for about two years now to learn how to quilt (and help me use up my scraps). She'd already made a quilt for each member of her family and two for herself, and I thought she might enjoy doing something different for her parents for Christmas.

She was excited at first! Her family includes a pair of dachshunds (who don't have quilts of their own... yet), and she tried so hard to finish by Christmas. Diamond-painting is tedious, though, and by February, she had decided she would try to finish by summer and give the completed artwork to her parents on her birthday, which is tomorrow.

Every week we met, she would work on it for a few minutes, then hold it up to show me how much it sparkles when the sun hits it. Sometimes she would get discouraged because she couldn't finish a color in one night. When she started saying she was never going to do another paint-by-number in her life, I told her she probably will be the only eight-year-old in the world who has ever finished an entire diamond paint-by-number all by herself. That renewed her motivation and enthusiasm!

In May, I realized she might not make her revised deadline unless she had more than an hour every week or two. My husband had to work on Memorial Day, but I was off, so I invited her to come over the for the entire day. She got so much done! But it looked like she would need another entire day. So I took another Monday off, and she worked steady from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., with a brief macaroni and cheese break at lunch, and finished at last!

She rolled it up and wrapped it in my new owl wrapping paper.

I can't wait to see her parents' reaction! They think she has been working on a quilt all this time!

It was so awesome to see her mature through this project. She went from racing through each hour, caring more about speed than accuracy, to taking her time to make sure she was doing it right.

I saw the maturity in her sewing when she came over this week, too. All her quilts were at breakneck speed. She loves "driving" the sewing machine, and oh, how she loves to make it go fast! I've often had to help her gently remove stitches when she gets into too much of a hurry.

I wanted her to be able to finish a sewing project in a night to reward her for all her hard work. I thought she might like to make a pair of shorts she could wear and show off during her birthday party. She'd fallen head over heals for a Calypso jelly roll on my dining room table, where she sews, so on Sunday night, I spent two hours piecing and pressing about half the jelly roll into a mini race quilt top she could use to make a pair of shorts. Then I dug through all my old patterns from when my own kids were pre-teens, pulling out all the appropriate-sizes so she could choose what she'd like to make.

Before she finished the diamond painting, she kept asking if she could make a skirt next. Each week, she asks me what I have finished, and I have worked on or completed a few dresses and three pairs of shorts in that time. I think that's why she wanted to make clothing. I'd told her how easy skirts are, and she thinks my scrappy tropical shorts are awesome.

Her eyes about popped out of her head when she saw the fabric I'd "made" for her, and without even thinking about it, she wrapped the cloth around her waist to see if it was big enough for a skirt. I asked if she was sure she didn't want shorts, reminding her she could wear them to her birthday party, but no, she wanted a skirt!

One hour later, she was wearing her brand new skirt!

Happy birthday, my little friend!

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict and My Quilt Infatuation.
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