New Orleans House Project

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Few More Sawtooth Stars in Aqua...and Napkins

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge is still focused on aqua, teal or turquoise - colors that remind me of past trips to islands in the Caribbean!  I stitched up a few more Sawtooth Stars this week, thanks to the parts and pieces I prepped a few weeks ago.
I think I've just about used up all the bits of that brush-stroke aqua fabric in the upper left.

And here are all of this month's stars together.  My current plan is to set all these 4" RSC stars medallion-style, maybe with some bright folk-art applique in the center.

My sewing plan for today was to make some new cloth napkins.  I've been making and using cloth napkins since my boys went off to college.  I try to keep a good stash on hand, but lately my oldest son's dog has been stealing them from the table and chewing them to bits.
The stripe and paisley fabrics had been in the stash for a long time, and I decided I'd probably never use them in a quilt.  The moose novelty fabric was at my husband's request.  My weekday dishes are a brown transferware, so these colors all work just fine.   If you're interested in making your own napkins, a good tutorial can be found here.  Starch is very useful in making crisp mitered corners on these!

Time to go help DH with dinner preparations - we're making pizza on the grill tonight with basil and tomatoes from our garden.  In between preparations, I'll be checking out all the other aqua RSC inspiration at Angela's blog.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Scrappy Red, White & Blue

Since I had an unexpected all-day sew-a-thon on Saturday due to rainy weather, one project that got some attention was a scrappy red, white & blue Scrap Jar Star quilt.  I started cutting up scraps and piecing the 16-patch centers last July, but the project got stalled after I pieced a huge batch of HSTs to form the Sawtooth Star portion of the block.

For past SJS blocks, I made totally scrappy stars, pairing fabrics for the star points, but using different fabrics for each set of points.  To my dismay, that really didn't work with all the RWB prints.  The resulting stars were just way too busy and jarring to look at.

Since I already had a huge pile of HSTs made, I decided to make the star points match on each block in an effort to tone down the craziness.  I also decided to use consistent fabrics for the corner squares in each block.
I'm happier with the result, but it's still on the busy side.  The 16-patch centers don't look like they belong.  I'm not crazy about the center fabric for the secondary 9-patch where the block corners meet, either.  That will probably be easy to fix.  I'm not sure about the SJS blocks themselves.  I'm going to leave them pinned to the design wall for now and see if they grow on me.  Since I only have 4 blocks pieced so far, I figure it would be easy to swap out the 16-patch centers with a simpler block (pinwheel?) and go from there.

Any thoughts or ideas cheerfully accepted!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Rainbow Scraps and Selveges

I've been utilizing spare moments over the past few weeks to work on border blocks for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge Maverick Star quilt top.  I was determined to finish all the piecing before this weekend ended and when I woke up to thunder and pouring rain today, I knew I had the perfect opportunity for guilt-free stitching!
 So now my quilt top is a little too large for a wall hanging, but a little too small for a twin-size quilt.  I'm thinking of adding a 4" white border and finishing it off with a scrappy, pieced binding.  
Since the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for June is aqua, I did add a few selvege blocks in that colorway. 

And while I was working on the borders for the Maverick Star quilt, I stitched up a few aqua Sawtooth Star blocks as leader-enders.  These will go in the collection of Sawtooth Star blocks and eventually become another starry quilt!

I thought the thunderstorms were about to end, but now the sky has clouded up again and I'm hearing thunder not too far away.  I have to decide if I'm going to stay home and sew some more or pack up and go to the camp.  I think the storms are percolating up there, too, so it will be a rainy afternoon wherever.  That will be a good excuse to spend lots of time looking at other RSC projects over at Angela's blog.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Prepping Aqua Sawtooth Stars

Not many aqua scraps were transformed into quilt blocks this week.  The Maverick Star quilt and Quilty 365 blocks have been taking up my daily sewing time.  All fabric therapy is a good thing, right?

I did sort through the box of 2 1/2" strips to cut some pieces for Sawtooth Star blocks.  I didn't have any aqua stars from last year, so I tried to come up with a good number of blocks for this round.  It takes a lot of 4" stars to make a quilt!   These parts will get stitched up as leader-enders through the rest of the month.

The Rainbow Scrappers will have more aqua inspiration over at Angela's Soscrappy blog.  Hop over there if you're wondering what to do with your scraps!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Aqua to the Nines

It's June and Crescent City weather is heating up.  Already we've had days where stepping out the front door feels like entering a sauna.  For that reason I'm glad the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for the month is aqua.  Aqua is evokes a sense of coolness and relaxation, so I'm going to focus on those qualities when I'm sewing my RSC blocks this month!

 I actually had to attend a job-related activity today, so my sewing time was limited.  Fortunately, I had lots of parts and pieces already cut for some 9 patch blocks, and was able to finish these up quickly.   There are only 3 more colors left to complete for this project, so maybe I'll be able to assemble a 9 patch quilt top before the end of the year.

I know many quilters enjoy listening to audio books or podcasts while sewing - I'm definitely in that number.  My son told me about the podcast Presidential from The Washington Post last weekend and I started listening to it immediately.  I'm only up to the 7th president, but it's been a refreshing alternative to the surreality show surrounding the upcoming U.S. election.

On that note, I'm heading back to my sewing room to see what other stitching I can accomplish before my eyelids get too heavy.  And of course, I'll be checking in on all the aqua accomplishments the other Rainbow scrappers have achieved this week.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Quilty 365 Loves Flowers that Bloom in the Spring

Another month has passed, so it's time to report on Quilty 365 progress.  I always seem to be several days behind in stitching my circles, although I do choose each day's fabric in a timely fashion.  I've been making circles since early November which gives me a stack of 209 circles so far. 

May has inspired the most romantic group of circles yet!  I was inspired by all the wonderful flowers in bloom this time of year.  One of my favorite flowers - agapanthus, also known as Nile Lily - is having a banner year in the Crescent City, with massive blooms everywhere you look!

Agapanthus in bloom on the grounds of Newcomb Art Museum

This year's month of May contained a Friday the 13th.  I decided games of chance and skill were a good theme for the day! 

My Baby Sister also celebrated a natal anniversary in May.  She has recently re-discovered the joy of sewing.  She bought an embroidery machine and has been turning out all kinds of monogrammed and otherwise decorated tote bags and purses.  She's having a blast with it, so I thought this fabric snippet was appropriate!

I'll probably be the last Quilty 365 stitcher to add my monthly report to Audrey's linky party - but better late than never!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Am I Ready for the End of Green?

We've had almost a month to play with our green scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I've faithfully worked on all my scrappy projects, adding green blocks to each mix.  I've enjoyed it so much I'm not really ready for the month to end.  I've had all kinds of inspiration for green quilts - especially green and white quilts - but not enough time to get anything started.  So many quilts - so little time!

The Sugar Bowl blocks came out to play this week.  I added two new blocks using Kaffe Fassett fabrics.
I'm still not sure how well the Kaffe-inspired Sugar Bowls will look with last year's plainer SB blocks, but we'll see how everything shakes out at the end of the year. 

I also managed to do some prep work for the selvage border for the Maverick Stars quilt.  The green selvages will be the centers for square-in-a-square blocks that will be the border.  I need to do the math and figure out just how many of these blocks I need (in multiple colors).

It's been an errand-filled day up til now, so I'm looking forward to some quality sewing time in just a few minutes.  If you are starting to think green and need some inspiration, check out the RSC link-up at Angela's.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Time for Green Scrap Jar Stars

I made Scrap Jar Star blocks in reproduction fabrics for last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  At the end of the year I decided I didn't have enough blocks for a good sized quilt and planned to make more SJS blocks in 2016.  I've been adding a block whenever the RSC features I color I need for the quilt. 

I definitely needed another green block, so the green reproduction scraps came out to play this week.

I pulled out last year's green SJS blocks so I could admire them all together!

I only need 3 more Scrap Jar Star blocks to meet my goal: red, pink & gold.  It will be good to finally finish all the blocks for this quilt!

I'm thinking I need some new Rainbow Scrap inspiration - a new block or plan to use up more reproduction scraps.  Maybe I'll find The Very Thing at the RSC link-up today.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Green Stitching on the Porch

Who'd a thunk it?  Our amazing spring weather continues - it's cool and breezy this morning - and I'm enjoying some hand stitching on the porch at the camp.  The trees have really leafed out and the magnolias are in bloom, which means there is sweet scent on the breeze.  We have a lot of bird feeders here, so in spring we always have a parade of birds - locals and transients. 
One of our local woodpeckers

This week I pulled out green scraps for some 4" Sawtooth Star blocks.  I use scrappy strips from my 2 1/2" strips/squares box for these.  One block only needs about an 11" strip of the main color. 

I finished up with 6 new Sawtooth Star blocks to add to the collection.   

I hope I'm able to stay outside for the rest of the day today.  Soon summer weather, with its attendant heat and humidity will set in, so enjoying these wonderfully mild days is a priority!  I've got a batch of Quilty 365 circles to stitch, and then some EPP for Barbara Brackman's latest BOW



Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Greening of the Quilts

It's a new month and a new color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  The official color challenge is Evergreen Forest - forest-y greens with a little brown for accent.  I will definitely be using some of that color idea later in the month, but for today it's more of a spring-y green.
I pulled out the white-centered green 9 patches from last year's RSC.  It was quick work to make some coordinating green-centered 9 patches from my 2 1/2" strips & squares scrap box.

That left me lots of time to continue working on last year's Maverick Stars quilt top.  I have one seam left to stitch up and the stars will be set.

I also did some more playing with ideas for a border.  Thanks to Sally, I now have a never-ending stash of selvages, so selvage playtime happened.  This is my current working plan, although I have yet to figure out all the math.  

We are enjoying one of the last wonderful days of Gu'f Coast spring weather at our camp this weekend.  It has been a marvelously long and cool spring here - the morning temp at the camp was 49ยบ F.  Usually we blink and spring is over and searing summer weather is upon us.  The birds have been visiting the feeders and a great blue heron even stopped for a visit on our neighbor's dock.

My goal for this weekend is to mark my Eagle quilt top for hand-quilting.  I might have to set up a table outside for marking - I don't know if I can bear to be inside the house today!