Monday, February 20, 2012

Oodalolly

Oodalolly is the word I said when I first envisioned this quilt.  I knew I wanted to make a quilt version of Rainbow Road, one of my projects for Curves Class, so when I came across this rug (via Pinterest) my heart skipped a beat and "oodalolly" emerged aloud in (a most unusual form of) awe as the quilt came alive in my head.  Don't you love that moment?  When the quilt is born - just alive in your imagination, but alive nevertheless. 

from West Elm

Oodalolly it remains today... but more as an expression of long-suffering and dedication.  Perhaps someday, at the end of the rainbow, it'll be an "oodalolly" of awe again.  Let's see, the story begins with these Kona jelly rolls in Classic, Bright and Dark.  Between waiting for their arrival from Robert Kaufman and a little delay of my own ignorance (that quilt? no problem!) I only started piecing this quilt last week.

Kona Jelly Rolls

My first go at it was a complete, utter failure.  No pictures here (oh, the indecency!).  That failure landed on an otherwise difficult day last week, so I set the project aside for "later" not realizing that I desired to have the quilt top finished by today.   Today!

Oodalolly... version 2

Friday night I tackled version #2. Still trying to replicate the rug almost to the "T", this version adds layers of rainbow fun in the round.  Pretty, right?  What a pain!  Seriously, building matching curve sections and piecing them with Y-seams along huge curved edges.  Gah.  A few sections after this photograph I realized that I wasn't having fun.  My students just might hate me if I drop such a seriously challenging project in their laps for our last week of class - which is designed to be more of a celebration than a "new skills" week.  Plus, did I say I wasn't having fun?  Sewing is supposed to be fun, people.

 oodalolly 008sm

Deconstruct and start over.  And here we have version #3.  It's Saturday by now and I'm starting to get nervous.  Good thing I'm "focusing" this weekend - boy do I need it!  To simplify things, layers are added to this version like a giant log cabin block.  Rather than curving around the center, the new rainbow portions are added onto the side in an improv curve seam.

Easy enough? Check.  But, sadly, I don't like it.  Nope.  I don't like the way the sections are chopped off at the top and bottom when a new section is added.  I mean, this doesn't look  much like the original inspiration rug anymore, so why are we doing this?

Try not to panic

Saturday night... panic!  I need to start over and I'd like to finish this large quilt in a few days.  Why the pressure, you might wander?  Well, it'll be time for my class to make this project in 2 weeks.  I want to finish it so that I can present it to them along with the other final quilt option and complete supplies lists so that they can be prepared.  I started with 3 jelly rolls, wondering if they'd need 2 to complete the project.  By this time, I've burned through so much fabric in my cutting/trimming/deconstruct/start over that I don't know if 3 jelly rolls will be enough.  Of course I'm using previously pieced sections in each new version, but it eats tons of fabric nevertheless.

Well, I stopped.  Prayed.  Got out my sketchbook and would you believe it, but the answer arrived just like that!  What I needed was something easy, fast but still loads of fun.  I wanted it to be made with the attitude of Rainbow Road (and the supplies... hello, I have all this piecing started), but let's just say it should be nothing like that darn rug!  And ya know, my students want the same thing, because easy and fast is fun.

Oodalolly.... version 4

Ta da... Blocks!  Yes, what an original concept right (wink)?  Do the improv but square them up into blocks.   Nice, bite-sized, familiar blocks - how I love thee!  I'm thrilled to report that Oodalolly is more than half-way done.  Yay!  I'll be revealing the final week quilt choices and supplies lists to my students tomorrow.  Oodalolly might not be 100% finished by then, but I think 80% will be enough for them to take action.

Oodalolly at work today

So, this is me today... piecing in rainbows, reminded of why working ahead is my preferred way of living and giving myself grace for taking the long route to a simple destination. 

Shop Notes:  Kona jelly rolls are available at Canton Village, Fabric Envy, Mad About Patchwork and Fat Quarter Shop.

42 comments:

  1. Oh good lord Rachel..I love all of it!
    You are the inspiration!

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    1. Hand sewing would definitely be the way to really bring that rug-vision to fruition in perfection. Maybe you'll do it someday, Clare =)

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  2. I love your early attempts, but I wholeheartedly agree that if it's not fun, stop doing it! We craft for fun and as a creative release, not as an exercise in frustration. I am glad that you have found a middle ground that challenges you but still keeps you happy!

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  3. See, now why couldn't I have thought of that! Thanks Rachel! This will so go on my "Year of the Quilt" list.

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  4. I am STUNNED. That is an awesome design Rachel. Can't wait to see more :)

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  5. Having just finished my table runner, I am glad to see more rainbow colors! I can also see how the original idea would not have been so much fun. I tried to keep the curviness of my path for the runner, but after a couple hours of fiddling, decided that squaring off the sides was much better! I am excited to see what you have planned next.

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  6. oh I hope you kept that center curved piece you did up at the top! someday it may be fun again and you'll want that. I still want to do a piece like that myself...but I'm a little scared now. ;)

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  7. I LOVE Robin Hood!!!!! I may love that stunning quilt design more :o)

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  8. holy crap rachel! oodalolly is right~!

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  9. YOU are a mad quilt-making genius! I love the inspiration, and I can only imagine the final quilt will be stunning.

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  10. Flipping awesome. I want to make it right now. And I love your curved 'log cabin' piecing! Certainly opens up a can of great experiments! Can't wait to see the whole quilt!

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  11. Oh my, I love version #2!!! But if it was driving you mad then it must not have been meant to be... dying to see the final product- the rug is certainly a terrific inspiration! You have such an eye...

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  12. I LOVE how you took your inspiration and rolled with this baby!
    The thinking behind all of this... the problem solving and the results of each attempt are fabulous. And I am thrilled that you wound up with a solution that you LOVE.
    YOU are an inspiration!!

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  13. Well now that took my breath away! I love all your versions! Absolutely amazing work there Rachel. I love your persistance. I don't mind a challenge every now and then but you are right, it has to be fun. Can't wait to see it finished. Thanks for sharing your frustrations, do you still have any hair left?

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  14. Oh I can't wait! My rainbow road was one of those cursed projects from the first start to the final finish (on the second try project!!!!). I hope to redeem myself with this one!

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  15. Sometimes, a project just will not come together the way we imagine, but I'm loving this. Such a lovely array of solids you're using!

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  16. talk about a challenge! I like the blocks better too! Can't wai to see the rest...

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  17. wow, you are so talented (and ambitious!) ~ although I am glad i do not have to attempt that curvy spiral one! Because I totally would have! The blocks of curvy bits look amazing, I am totally doing that project.

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    1. Haha, yes, I'm convinced that the curvy spiral project would have been quite the sour note to end on. Glad you like the new version!

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  18. Phew, glad you conquered it in the end!

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  19. Ooh....tomorrow. Yay! I like the other versions as well, but I don't know that I would have been choosing either of those. Rainbow Road is taking me long enough. I do appreciate you giving the supply lists to us early. I have to order.

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  20. I love the way things develop. What you're ending up with really looks fabulous and inspiring. I can't wait to see the finished product, and I know they'll be a scuttle to enjoy creating something similar on your readers end just like everything else!

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  21. wow! we get to make that in two weeks?! I'm excited already (and just a little bit scared...)

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  22. I've not yet made a quilt in solids...have been only thinking about it and scanning designs. But you have just cemented it -a quilt in solids in now on the list! I adore it. Thanks :)

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  23. What's that old saying...something like "It's not the destination, but the journey?" There ya go!

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    1. Oh, gosh... this one felt like it was about the destination. Maybe that was the problem!

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  24. Okay, well, both versions 1 and 2 blew me away, and version 3 looks lovely as well! Can't wait to see the end. So much eye candy in those colors in curves...

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  25. Such dedication ! I must say that I do love your version 3 best actually but I am sure the final version will be easier to follow. Great colours too !

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  26. I loved to read your story. I hope you get the quilt finished and like it. All the work you put into it. Maybe someday you make a quilt similar to the rug. Maybe this time it wasn't the time. Go, Rachel, go!

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  27. I love them all - each is fabulous in their own way. They are similar to Sherri Lynn Wood's Modern Mood Quilt. Perhaps you would like your first two versions more, once you added rainbow quilting into the mix.

    Katrina

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  28. WOW! Well, no matter how it gets finished it will be fabulous! How could it not be!!

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  29. wow! I like the progression of the quilt in the pictures! It is definitely a challenge, but much easier to do that I would have first thought! I like it. . . it is GREAT

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  30. You took a lot of time and effort to come up with a product that your students would be able to duplicate. Very nice. It may not look like the original rug but it will be a more doable project.

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  31. I must say I quite like all the versions! I think the one you ended up with in the curves class is lovely. As for reproducing the rug, that's not really necessary, inspiration is a starting point that could lead you anywhere!

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  32. OODALOLLY...golly what a day (or days) you've had! Seriously they are all beautiful but I think the final project will be worth it! Thanks for all of your time. WE really appreciate it!

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  33. wowza ... wonderful process post! I love how the solution came to you in the end! This is going to look wonderful. Just wonderful.

    I'm still a bit scared of curves, (I seem to be able to do them fine when I'm NOT planning to LOL) but psychologically, just seeing them contained by nice right angles in a square makes them seem much less daunting!

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  34. whoa, a lovely adventure. i'd definitely also recommend you check out Sherri Lynn Wood's mod mood quilt instructions. her design is much like your rug shot.

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    1. Thanks, Cauchy. Yes, I was definitely inspired by Sherri as well and neglected to mentinon that here - my bad! I shared her inspiration with my students at Curves Class and kind of forgot with the two conversation threads (two blogs) that I haven't mentioned that quilt here lately.

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  35. That is the most beautiful abstract art. I cannot wait to see the finished piece.

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  36. It looks absolutely awesome!!! Just one question; when you are cutting the pieces, do you pay attention to the way the fabric was woven? I mean, you know, when you pull the fabric from a particular direction, say right-left, it stretches. But when you pull it tot-bottom direction, it doesn't. This is an important point when sawing clothes so I just wanted to ask you how you do it. And do you normally wash the fabric before cutting your pieces for a quilt? Many many thanks!!

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    1. Many of these fabrics are cut off grain, and the curves definitely are! It does make the sewing more difficult since there is a potential to stretch.

      And, yes, I prewash and machine dry all of my fabrics.

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