New Orleans House Project

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Scrappy Nine Patches Never Fail

Thanks to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I've been creating scrappy 9 patch blocks every month for the past two years.  I'm pleased to have completed a rainbow collection of blocks, but now it's time to assemble them into a completed top.

I needed 8 blocks with yellow centers to round out my collection of blocks.  These went quickly, as I pulled the centers from my box of 2 1/2" strips and squares.  I've run through all my white on white fabric scraps, too.  I've been cutting yardage for the last few sets of blocks.

All the completed yellow 9 patch variation blocks.

The design wall was empty once again, so I quickly worked out an arrangement and pinned up all the 9 patches.  I color-blocked them in sets of four, which works out to a 10 x 12 block arrangement.  That should make a decent sized quilt, 60 x 72.  I'll decide later if it needs borders.  I started stitching the blocks together last night - working in blocks of color instead of sewing long rows.  

I still have another unfinished RSC project - the Sugar Bowl blocks I started a year or so ago.  I kind of came to a standstill on that one because I wasn't happy with how the different fabric styles were working out.  Maybe that will be an RSC project for next year.   

More Rainbow Scrap Challenge inspiration at this week's linky party!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

More Sawtooth Stars

The design wall was empty this week, so I pinned up all the 4" Sawtooth Star blocks I've been making for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Ninety-six blocks made it into this design, and I still have some left over!

As I mentioned last week, I want to do an appliqued block in the center, hence the large blank space.  I think I've decided on an applique design, but before I start that, I have several quilts that need their bindings hand-stitched.  If our weather would just cool off, I wouldn't mind having a quilt on my lap while I stitched on it!

More rainbow inspiration can be found at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Sawtooth Stars ISO Applique

I've been making 4-inch Sawtooth Star blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for over a year.  It's quite a nice collection now - lots of colors and fabric bits. 
I rounded out the collection with a few more yellow blocks for this month's RSC contribution.

When combined with blocks from last year's RSC, they make a happy group!

Since the other RSC color for October is orange, I grabbed the orange stars and laid them out medallion-style with some yellow stars in the center.  My plan for all these stars is a medallion setting - with an applique piece in the center.  I keep looking for the perfect applique inspiration, but just when I think I've found The Very Thing, I see something else that would make a great center!  Now that I have all the stars finished, I think I'll just have to make a decision and start appliqueing.  Whatever the design, it will be bright and colorful!

For more orange and yellow scrappy inspiration, there's a Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up at Angela's blog.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Quilty 365 Loves Autumn

Another month of Quilty 365 fun has come to an end.  I'm up to 331 blocks now!  I started my circular journal on November 4th last year, so the year-long journey is almost done.
I keep tweaking the exposure on this picture to get a better representation of the colors and fabrics, but it's just not helping.  I will admit I had Autumn on my mind as I chose many of my fabrics, so browns and reds and golds figure prominently.  As always, I tried to choose my fabrics to represent things that were going on in my life, but sometimes I just picked a fabric because I liked it!

The color red figured prominently in this month's circles.  It was the main color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this month, as well as the color for an online swap I'm participating in.  

September weather in south Louisiana tends to be a lot like summer weather - hot and humid.  On the days I was wishing for cooler fall temperatures, I looked for some autumn-inspired florals.

These circles marked some events - a birthday, a shopping excursion, getting caught in a downpour without my umbrella, a relaxing weekend at the camp.  

And of course, American football season really gets going during September.  Many of you know I'm a die-hard New Orleans Saints fan and their colors are black and gold.  My youngest son happens to work for a rival football team.  I don't have any of that team's licensed fabric, so I used an appropriate toile fabric to mark his team's season.  

I'm excited to start making October's circles; you can bet I'll be using lots of orange and Halloween fabrics!

Last but not least, I'm linking up with the other Quilty 365 stitchers at Audrey's Quilty Folk blog.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Little Red & White Stitching

My recent blogging output pretty much reflects my recent quilting output.  I've been keeping up with my Quilty 365 circles and working on some red and white Broken Dishes blocks for Barb Vedder's current swap, but that's about it.  I haven't lost my quilting mojo - lots of ideas are percolating around in my head - but I've been short on stitching time.  I'm looking forward to next weekend when Dear Husband has to work and I can have a mini quilt retreat at home!

I made these Sawtooth Star blocks a few weeks ago for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  

They will join other red and white Sawtooth Stars I made for last year's RSC.  
My ultimate goal is to make a medallion-style quilt with these blocks.

I would like to report we've been having lovely cool weather here on the Gu'f Coast, but alas, Autumn is only teasing us.  We've been spending weekends at the camp, though, so I dug out my hand-crank Singer Model 99 to stitch some HSTs for a block swap.  I'm using Star Singles Triangle Papers to make my blocks - this type of sewing is perfect for using a hand-crank sewing machine.  

I'm using this wonderful empty candy tin to store all the parts and pieces for my swap blocks.   I thought it was The Very Thing for red and white blocks.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Nine Patch Finish in Sight

I believe I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with these 9 patch blocks!  This has been an ongoing Rainbow Scrap Challenge project.  I only need to complete the blocks for one more color - yellow - and I'll have all the rainbow colors represented.  

I finished the white/red center blocks last night.  I already had all the components cut, so it was a quick job to assemble the blocks.  

When I finish the yellow 9 patches, I'll have 128 blocks.  I'm thinking I may make a few more so I can do a 12 block x 12 block arrangement.  I already have lots of parts and pieces cut, so it shouldn't take much time to add the additional blocks.  Maybe I'll have another flimsy completed before the end of the year? 

There's more red Rainbow Scrap inspiration to be seen at Angela's Soscrappy blog.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Red, White & Blue Scraps Revisited

Back in June, I blogged about some red, white and blue scraps that were struggling to become Scrap Jar Star blocks.  My plan at the time was to find some additional fabrics that "read" as solids, in an attempt to calm down the busy-ness of the red, white and blue prints.

After hours of play and experimentation, I ripped apart all the SJS blocks and changed direction.
This medallion of 16 patches and pinwheels was the result.  

I still had a huge batch of red, white & blue HSTs, so I was inspired to do yet another zig-zag border.

Before adding the zig-zag border, I wanted to enlarge the quilt a bit and make the math for the zig-zags work out evenly.  I auditioned this red fabric with white stars, but it reminded me too much of Minnie Mouse's polka dots. 

This isn't a great representation, but the fabric is red with small dotted stars - it works much better as the inner border.  

 I still have to stitch all the HSTs together for the zig-zag border.  Although today is a holiday in the U.S., I won't get to enjoy it by stitching.  It's time to return my grand-dog to my son, so I'll be driving half the length of Louisiana to meet him.  

David & Jozy
It's been great having Jozy Labrador (named after a U.S. soccer player) visit with us this summer, but it will be nice to be back to our usual menagerie of just two dogs and one cat!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Quilty 365 Does NOT Love Rain

Quilty 365 circle stitching continues.  As of August 31st, I'm up to 301 blocks.  The end is in sight!

My fabric journaling this month focused primarily on bad weather.  There was the day I drove through a tremendous thunderstorm and skirted a tornado on my way home from work.  And then there was a week of almost constant rain - so much rain it seemed half of the state of Louisiana was going to wash away!*

On a lighter note, I added some pet-centric circles.  I felt my cat, Moxie, was getting short shrift in this quilt, as the dogs seem to get all the mention.  I made a cat circle just for her.  And in observance of National Dog Day, I used some dachshund fabric in honor of my mom's rescue doxie, Oscar.

I used a bit of vintage handkerchief for another circle.  I stabilized the lightweight hankie fabric by using some fusible interfacing.

One of this month's favorite circles: some blue & white teacups.  This marked a day I spent re-organizing my display of blue & white china and cobalt blue glass.

New Orleans had two somber events to remember this month.  Early in August, clarinetist Pete Fountain died.  Pete was often called "Mr. New Orleans", so I used some of this antique New Orleans map fabric to remember him.  The end of August always marks the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding that followed.  The dotted circles on navy fabric reminded me of the symbol for hurricanes, so that became my Katrina anniversary block.

There are still some resilient Quilty 365 circle quilters sharing their work at Audrey's Quilty Folk blog.  I'm linking up with them as we stitch through the home stretch!

*Louisiana has a history of floods and resiliency.  This song by Randy Newman is one of my favorites - I think almost every Louisianian knows this song by heart!


Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Days of August

My neglected blog has been calling my name all day today.  Stitching has taken a back seat to some other activities over the past few weeks, although the Quilt Muse has not been completely quiet.  In the meantime, I'll share some of the other miscellany that has filled my days.

We had a new floor installed at our camp.  Although we didn't do the actual installation, we had to pack up and move lots of stuff in preparation.  Now we get to put everything back!  The new floor is engineered plank, which I guess is the latest term for vinyl flooring.  It is supposed to be impervious to doggie wear & tear and if covered with flood waters, able to dry out and be re-installed without problem.  I hope I never have to report on how it holds up to flooding, but I will report on the doggie wear & tear in a couple of months!

Last weekend, while rummaging in the closet for Quilty 365 fabrics, I had a fit of organization and straightened several fabric drawers that had become totally unruly.  It was great therapy to pet all kinds of fabric and discover several forgotten friends!
The drawer of brights/tropicals was out of control, so I did my best to get everyone to play together nicely.
 I'm especially proud of the blue drawer.  This one is always overflowing, so I moved all the really dark blues to another drawer and sorted these by multi-colored prints and shades.  Woo-hoo! I can actually find what I'm looking for in this drawer now.

A little estate-saling happened last weekend.  I scored some vintage napkins, a linen tea towel with rabbits and a Lily Pulitzer drawstring bag.  The napkins could easily find new life as tote bags.  Not sure about re-purposing the drawstring bag, but Lily fabrics are a favorite, so it had to come home with me. 

It turns out one of my all-time favorite recordings was made 60 years ago this week.  Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong went into a recording studio on August 16th and along with some other extremely talented musicians, set down all the tracks for this recording in one live session!   There is really no video here, just the recording in its entirety.  Take a listen as you stitch or when you're unwinding from a long day.  They don't make 'em like this any more!

Are you still reading? Well thanks for sticking with me!

You may have heard we had some rain and flooding here in South Louisiana over the past week.  The flooding occurred (and continues to occur) to the west and south of New Orleans.  The areas hit by unprecedented rainfall are not prone to flooding - in fact, some of the areas are considered high ground - so most of the residents do not have flood insurance.  Not only have folks lost their homes and all belongings, but in many cases, their workplaces were severely affected, too.  

The company I work for is headquartered in Baton Rouge, one of the affected areas.  Fortunately, the company offices were not directly impacted, so employees all have jobs to return to.  Unfortunately, many of my co-workers have been affected and are dealing with ruined homes and vehicles, loss of simple necessities like clothing & food and the infrastructure of their neighborhoods is shot.  

Louisianians are tough and resilient folks.  We've been through this before and we'll survive, but it's going to take time to heal everything.  Please keep us in your prayers!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Quilty 365 Loves Summer Vacation

Many of this month's Quilty 365 circles are inspired by Summer Vacation activities.  Not that I actually did much in the way of vacation fun, but I was inspired by it nonetheless!  
And Pink.  Lots of pink inspiration this month - thanks to the color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

I've laid out my blocks to mimic the calendar page for July.  I started in early November and I'm up to 270 blocks now.

One reason I didn't have a lot of vacation fun of my own is that I did a lot of dog-sitting so my sons could vacation.  Hence the two circles with dog fabrics.

These two circles represent some July milestones.  My oldest son went hiking/camping along the Pacific Crest Trail in California.   This was his first really long-distance hike (he did about 70 miles) and he came home with a grin from ear to ear!  Another milestone was Dear Husband and I celebrating 37 years of marriage.  We had a wonderful dinner at a cozy French bistro here in town.

Summer vacation wouldn't be complete without 4th of July fireworks.  We had plenty of those, both in New Orleans and at our camp.  And we had added patriotic flourishes this year thanks to the presidential primary conventions.

I used lots of pink for this month's circles, but these are some of my favorites.  The pink sewing machine marks a Friday night I got to stay home alone and sew!  The sunglasses are a reminder of a fun Saturday DH and I had, crusin' the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  I always love a good pink flamingo fabric, and one day I just needed some nostalgic pink fabric therapy! 

Just a little more than 3 months left for Quilty 365.  I plan to keep going until the end, but almost all other hand-stitched projects have come to a halt while I focus on my circle journal.  I've been daydreaming about what hand-stitching project(s) I'll focus on next.

There are more Quilty 365 circles at the monthly link-up hosted by Audrey!