Zig Zag Forever.

I almost can’t wait for 20 years from now when I look at this quilt (or pictures of it) and think, “Oh my goodness…I was totally into that whole zig-zag craze.” But you know…I’m a sucker for it. Bring on the freaking zig-zag chevron goodness. Lately, quilts have been the specific object of my chevron obsession. The ones that are all bright and cozy and perfect. Gathering up a barrel of scrap fabric, I decided to undertake one for myself. IMG_5967 IMG_6528 IMG_6527 IMG_6539 IMG_6537IMG_6190 IMG_6517 IMG_6451 IMG_6444Beside the obvious fact that it was time consuming, the pattern is relatively simple. Rectangles 3 1/4″ X 6″, sewn together into blocks with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Alternate blocks to make your zig-zag pattern and sew rows together on the diagonal. Then sew the rows together and trim it all down to square. Bam.

Zig Zag Quilt

I used up my scraps for the patterned sections, with a higher quality white cotton for the rows between. I found an old king-sized sheet with a nice, subtle, blue pattern at a thrift store that has that perfect sheet feel. Ya know, crisp and soft at the same time? I used that for the backing and binding. It’s 17 blocks across and 24 blocks down (12 rows of pattern, 12 rows of white). I honestly can’t remember what the final measurements are and I’m too comfortable on my couch to get up and measure it right now. It would qualify as a slightly small full. I lay it out on my queen-sized bed regardless of it’s smaller size, and it’s perfect.

Go zig-zag.

Pinterest Fail – Watercolor Streamers

Well it’s happened again. I turned to Pinterest for help with some cheap DIY party decor. And once again, I botched a project.

A dear friend of mine has a baby on the way. I was decorating for her shower at our church. Church baby-showers are not typically supported by big budgets. So I figured I would try out this streamer water color idea. Cheap, cute, unique. And I had several roles of white Dollar Tree streamers left over from who knows what. How could it go wrong?

Here is the original pin:

dyed-party-streamers7

IMG_8142Now I thought the outcome of the above project was subtle but cute. I bet I could make them more vibrant.

Here’s how it works:

Mix food coloring with water until you get your desired color.

IMG_2749Dip the streamer into said water. IMG_2750 Give it a second. Pull it out. IMG_2751 Let it dry. IMG_2753

Seems simple enough. I started this project 2 days before the shower. (The shower was on a Sat morning…I made these on Thursday morning). Who would have thought it would take 2 whole days for these to dry? Not I.

Well. It didn’t take two days to dry. It took 8. EIGHT WHOLE FREAKING DAYS.

In the original post, she mentions the whole drying-slow thing and she actually took a blow dryer to hers. I was not in the mood for blow drying streamers. HENCE why I gave myself 2 WHOLE DAYS of buffer time.

Beyond the whole drying thing…here’s how they turned out:

First off, they became really brittle and crunchy. And Secondly, most of them ended up looking more like something in a surgeons trash can. (Which I noted would be handy come October.)

IMG_2873The colors bled, which could actually look cool…
IMG_2874…IF the color actually soaked all the way through the streamer. Instead the colors ended about 12 inches into the darn thing.

IMG_2877

They also soaked up rust off my old-craft cooling rack I set them on. Good for the crappy cooling rack…bad for the streamer.
IMG_2875I even set them out in the sun at one point, to get them dry faster. One rolled off and landed in the dirt. Ugh.
IMG_2876All in all, the lessons I learned for this are as followed:

#1. Use less water. Like a 1/4 cup is enough. But you probably won’t see the color by the end of the streamer…I’m guessing. And I’m not going to do it again to find out.

#2. This will be most handy when you actually need a bloody-gauze look. Halloween.

#3. Buy colored streamers.

Color Removal Magic.

Last year, I went with my friend Lisby to a “clothing swap”. It’s the best concept on the planet. You gather all the clothes you don’t want/wear/need/like anymore and swap them for other people’s clothes which they don’t want/wear/need/like anymore. It’s brilliant.

I got a dress (which I don’t have a “before” picture of) at the swap. At the time I tried it on, I loved the fit. Light weight and summery. I didn’t so much like the bright yellow-ombre effect, but I couldn’t pass on the free dress. I figured I’d like it eventually.

This picture I found online, while a different dress, has the exact same coloring as my dress:

Yellow Dress

The summer came and went and the dress never left my closet. What I really wanted was this dress without the yellow. So I looked up my options. Welcome, RIT color removal. I totally assumed this stuff wouldn’t work. I figured I would end up with a urine colored dress or one that was just off-white enough to look dirty.

RIT color removal

I went for it anyway. Since I was treating just one small dress, I decided to try the stove top option. You basically heat the water, add the RIT powder and then throw your clothing in there. You stir and stir and stir until you reach the desired effect.

RIT color removal

After only a few moments, two things became astonishingly clear. Firstly, I had underestimated the absolutely intense odor that would be wafting through my house. Since it’s freezing outside I hesitate to open doors, but after the perm-smelling solution began to give me a headache, I decided to play it safe. So shivering and smelly, I stirred the dress for about 25 minutes. Secondly, I noticed that it was working. Within moments the yellow was fading quickly.

After an intensely smelly clean up, (you MUST wear gloves and carefully clean out your pot and everything the magic water touched) this is what resulted:

RIT color removal RIT color removalA perfectly perfect white dress. Well, if you look closely, the thread never did fade. Which I thought was very strange.
RIT color removal

So why should you care about this? Not only will RIT take out unwanted color, but you know those white sheets that have yellowed slightly? Those dish towels or bath towels that have lost their fresh white look? When bleach doesn’t do the job anymore, you can use the RIT wash machine application to make whites look new again! Technically this prepares items to be dyed with color, but I like white…a lot. Maybe someday I’ll try to color things up.

Any other RIT experiences out there?

Bigger, badder, stronger.

I love making clutches. You can whip them out fast and add fancy detail. But I’ve been getting lots of requests for a bag that meets the everyday needs of a lady-on-the-go (It holds a ton of crap). So here it is! In the next few months I’ll have some different options available for those of you who are afraid of color and stripes.

These are surprisingly fun to make. It’s an adaptation to a Simplicity pattern I got eons ago.  I was hard pressed to reproduce it, since I didn’t write down my changes anywhere or indicate on the pattern what I did differently. I tend to do that kind of thing, which is one reason I avoided doing this earlier in the summer. But alas, I figured it out, and here it is.

Check it out in my shop.

Happy Thursday!

Rawr!

Dear Calvin,

I’m so happy you’re coming into the world soon.

I hope you like the dino I made for you to snuggle with.

You should be super excited. Your mommy and daddy are some of the funniest and most genuine people I know.

I expect you to be just as charismatic as they are.

Also, if you’re anything like Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes you’ll be the cutest and wittiest kid on the block.

Just remember, your parents love you more than life itself.

Love, “Auntie” Haley

 

Some Calvin & Hobbes quotes for your enjoyment:

“Who was the first guy that look at a cow and said,” I think that I’ll drink whatever comes out of those things when I squeeze them?”

“Some days even my lucky rocket ship underpants won’t help.”

“What fun is it being cool if you can’t wear a sombrero?”

“Life’s disappointments are harder to take when you don’t know any swear words.”