New Orleans House Project

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Still on the Finish It Train!

I have not been blogging much recently, because most of my quilting activity has involved hand-stitching bindings.  I've finished the binding on one quilt and started another, but there are still FOUR more in the pile of un-bound quilts!  

And why have I been focused on all this binding?  Because I'm still on a kick to finish up some UFOs!

This quilt got finished up earlier this week.  It's had a final trip through the washer and dryer and I'm more than happy with how it softened up and got crinkly.

The weather is not conducive to outdoor pictures today, but I wanted to document the quilt before mailing it off to a family member.  This quilt started out as an effort to use up a big stock of red, white and blue scraps from a previous quilt.  First I made the 16-patch blocks, then added the pinwheels (inspired by a Bonnie Hunter quilt).  Next, a red border followed by an HST zig-zag border (maybe my favorite type of border?!) and another dark blue border to frame everything.

My local long-arm quilter, Cindy Braiwick, had fun adding some patriotic quilting elements.

She added lots of stars, some words, and other patriotic symbols.  The quilt is a gift for my uncle, who is retired from the US Air Force.

The quilting showed up better on the back of the quilt, although I had to tweak the color to improve the visual.

And yup - I remembered to add a label!

Another quilt on the Finish It! list is Modern Crosses.  I should probably call this Not Modern Crosses, as I used reproduction fabrics instead of modern fabrics.  These are blue blocks for September's Rainbow Scrap Challenge color.

I needed five more blocks to complete the setting, so I chose some multi-color florals.

I wasn't in love with just arranging the blocks in a straight set, so I looked online to see if anyone else was making the pattern and how they were setting the blocks.

When I saw several versions of the quilt using this half-drop setting, I knew I had a winner.  Now to cut some half-size pieces for the side blocks and stitch everything together!

I also did a little experimental sewing.  I needed a clear vinyl bag of some sort to carry necessities to an upcoming American football game.  Any bags being carried into American sports stadiums need to conform to a specific size and be see-through.  I knew I could probably make something from materials I had on hand, so I went looking for inspiration online.  Diane Knott at Butterfly Threads had recently made a bag of her own, and I also found this tutorial which got me started.

I didn't want my bag to be team-specific, so I chose some stash fabric with fall colors.  I already had some vinyl on hand, and some lightweight fusible interfacing for the handles.  Not bad for an afternoon's sewing!  Now I'll have something to tote my wallet, sunglasses, reading glasses and lip balm - all things I hate to be without!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Carpenter's Wheel - Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2018

I thought I would join the fun and share a quilt for the Blogger's Quilt Festival.
I started this quilt in 2014, making one block each month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.   I had wanted to make a Carpenter's Wheel quilt (also known as Carpenter's Star) since my earliest days as a quilter, and I figured one block per month was a good way to accomplish the dream.  I drafted my own pattern using half-square triangles so I could avoid the dreaded Y seam in my blocks.

After completing eight blocks, I needed one more for a nine-block quilt.  Going back to my scrappy inspiration, I made the final block using all the previous colors.

I have a great working relationship with my local long-arm quilter, Cindy Braiwick.  She did a great job of adding more spark to the quilt with her quilting.

I finally put the final stitch in the binding and pronounced the quilt FINISHED early in 2018.  Right now it's hanging on the wall in my dining room where I can enjoy it every day!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Flamingos and Football

It's football season again in the U.S.  

I was never a huge football fan, until my sons got old enough to appreciate the sport.  They both played football for a few years in school, and developed a love of the game that persists to this day.  My hubby was a life-long fan, so I had to learn to love the game in self-defense.  

Now it's a given that my family will gather together for any opportunity to watch football on television - be it college or professional.  That means I need stitching projects to keep my hands busy during the games!

Just as the season was getting started I realized I had run out of flamingo hexies to hand-stitch.

I started making these hexies about a year and a half ago, using Barb Vedder's Hex Vex pattern.  It's been a great adventure in fussy cutting!  Just when I think I've run out of ideas for fussy cut blocks, I'll get a new inspiration.

I've been taking stock of my completed blocks and thinking about what styles and colors I need to make a nicely balanced finished quilt.  These hexies are all created from three 60ยบ diamond shapes.

Inspired by Cathy's All Creatures Great and Small, I added some hexies made from equilateral triangles.

It helps to have some plain (not pieced) hexies in the mix, too.

The hexie stars are probably the most satisfying block for fabric play.  They've got the most pieces/seams, but they're so much fun!

I've been doing a lot of cutting and playing this weekend, so now I've got a stack of block components that should keep me busy for at least part of football season!  (Haha - if I run out of hexies, I've always got quilt bindings that need to be hand-stitched!)

Are you still reading?  You must like flamingos!  I've been collecting them for many years, so I'm attuned to all things flamingo.
You can imagine how tickled I was to receive this picture from my youngest son this week.  I'm glad to see he doesn't fall far from the tree!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

In Praise of Dark Blue Scraps

There's a new page on the calendar and a new color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  This month's challenge is to use the dark blue and dark neutral scraps in the bin.  I have a never-ending stash of blue scraps, so it was short work to pull some strips for a 49-patch block.

With this block completed, I now have 24 of these seven inch beauties.  

I think this may be my favorite block arrangement so far!  I love the effect the white squares create.  A large quilt in this style, made in rainbow colors, would be wonderful.  Unfortunately, I don't want to make any more seven inch blocks, so this will be the extent of this project.  Maybe I'll tackle a larger version - with larger blocks - at some point in the future.

These sailboat blocks were a souvenir from the Pensacola Quilter's Guild Show of 1993.  They sat around in a drawer until 2016, when I decided to assemble them as part of the blue Rainbow Scrap Challenge month.  All the assembly fabrics came from my scrap stash.  

After the sailboats were assembled, they languished some more because I couldn't decide how to quilt them.  Finally I decided to just "get 'er done" and added batting and backing and started hand quilting.  The quilting isn't fancy, but it holds the layers together and was good practice.  

The backing is scraps of lobster fabric from another quilt.  I even added a hanging sleeve!

I'm adding my blue scraps to the RSC link-up - always fun and always inspirational!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Scraps of Summer

Here we are, almost to the end of August already!  Local schools are already back in session and it's starting to get dark just a little earlier every night.  We even had a "weak cold front" (as the weather prognosticators called it) roll through Wednesday night, which at least dropped the humidity for about 36 hours.  Even though the daytime temperatures were still in the 90s, the low humidity was heavenly!

I am still on a Finish It Up kick, trying to get some project boxes emptied out and reduce the mental fog caused by too many UFOs.
These blocks were started in 2012 for a BOW by Barbara Brackman:  Grandmother's Choice.  The blocks commemorated the push for voting rights for women.  My original plan was to set the blocks with blue cornerstones, but about a third of them were not quite the right size, and I was afraid it would be too hard to get everything to come out straight if I used cornerstones.  This actually turned out straighter than I thought it would - although I felt like I was wrestling the quilt as I worked on it!

I think it needs a little extra oomph, so I'm going to add a narrow dark blue border, followed by a wider blue and red floral border.  I didn't buy enough of the floral fabric - bad math on my part - or I would've finished the quilt today.

In between wrestling with the Grandmother's Choice blocks, I also finished some Modern Cross blocks using orange (cheddar!) reproduction fabrics.  I think I've finished the RSC colors for this project, except for a few dark blue blocks.  

Next up:  binding this 16-patch and pinwheel quilt that started life as an RSC project.  It's still too hot to sit under a quilt while hand-stitching the binding, but I'll just crank down the air conditioning while I'm sewing!

More scrappy stitching can be found at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Summer Stitching

Today was the first time I've touched my sewing machine in about two weeks!  I felt kinda rusty, so I started out with simple 49-patch blocks.  Since the month just started, there's a new color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge - orange.  

I pulled out the box of 1.5 inch strips and pulled enough strips for two 49-patch blocks.

I've been using Bonnie Hunter's Trip Around the World technique to make these blocks.

Throwing in last year's 49-patch - now there are three.  When dark blue comes up as an RSC color, I'll have three blocks in each rainbow color.  Then it will be time to assemble these somehow or other.

Even though I've neglected my sewing machine, I've still been plying my needle.  These sailboat blocks were souvenirs from a quilt show many years ago (1993!).  I finally assembled them about 2 years ago as part of an RSC project, then let them languish because I couldn't decide how to quilt them.

I few weeks ago I figured there was no time like the present to get the batting and backing together and baste the layers for hand quilting.  I still didn't know what I was going to do for quilting design, but I figured I could at least start by quilting around all the blocks.  I just kept adding quilting here and there and before long it was getting done.  I'm still not completely finished, but the end is in sight.

Need more orange scrap inspiration?  Check out the weekly Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Red Repro Returning

This week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge project was to use some red reproduction fabrics for quarter log cabin blocks.
It's sad that reproduction fabrics don't photograph easily.  This is a nice group of different red fabrics, but you'd need a real close-up shot to see all the variety.  I'm contemplating setting these blocks on point for the final quilt, so I keep experimenting to see how I like that arrangement.

And for comparison, here are all the quarter log blocks together, in a straight set.  The blocks finish at 9 inches, and I plan to have at least 45 blocks when I'm finished.  

That's the extent of my RSC sewing for this week.  I'm still trying to finish some UFOs, so I'm keeping the scrappy sewing short and sweet for awhile.  There's lots of scrappy inspiration at the weekly RSC link-up, though!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Red Hot July Scraps

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge proceedeth, and the color for this month's scrapping is declared to be red.  Perfect for these record-setting hot July days!

A quick excavation in the box of 1.5 inch strips produced enough scraps for two 49 patch blocks.  I started making these blocks in 2017, using random 2 inch scrap pieces.  When the 2 inch squares were exhausted, I started using Trip Around the World style piecing to make these blocks.  

The design wall was empty, so I pinned up all the 49 patch blocks to date.  I've been aiming for 3 blocks in every rainbow color, so I need more orange and blue blocks.  There's a 3rd pink block, but I noticed the sizing was off, so it may have to get re-done.

That's the extent of my red-hot scrappy stitching so far this month.  For more scrappy inspiration, check out the Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up for today!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Call of the UFO

The UFOs stashed away in drawers, bins, baskets and closets have all been clamoring for attention lately.  This is not a bad thing.  Although I'd love to be starting any number of new projects, the UFOs won't leave me alone until at least a few of them are finished - or at least moved to the finished flimsy stage.

I finally finished the second (larger) Feed Sack Bag I had started a couple of years ago.  I made the smaller bag first and wasn't sure I wanted to make the second one, even though I already had all the pieces cut out.  Everything languished for over a year.  Finally, I decided to go ahead and make the second bag, and stash it away as a potential gift.

The pattern is Joanna Figueroa's Feed Sack Bag (go take a look at her pictures - much better than mine!).  It's a fun pattern:  well-written, easy to follow and a nice result.  The largest bag is perfect for jelly roll strips.  My only complaint is the outside pocket is not very useful and there are no inside pockets.  I could probably have added inside pockets, but I just wanted to finish up, not experiment with the pattern!

Another quilt that got some love this week was this ridiculously long-term medallion project.  Back in the early/mid 1990s, I amassed a large collection of cow-themed fabrics to make a quilt for a beloved kindergarten teacher.  Her classroom was decorated with all kinds of cow-themed items, so I thought a cow quilt would be perfect.  Before I could get started, she let me know she really didn't want a cow-themed quilt, so I had to revise my plans!

The center fabric panel was the inspiration for this quilt.  My original plan was to play with creating my own medallion quilt and to try to use as much cow-themed fabric as possible.  I made and discarded multiple borders before finally deciding I had to add some non-cow fabric to make the whole thing work out!

My favorite border is made of Ohio Star blocks with fussy-cut centers.  I think this is where my love of fussy-cutting was inspired!  The black and white fabric was an early text print; the text says "moo".

When I pulled the medallion out earlier this week, I wasn't sure if it needed more pieced borders or if it was essentially finished.  I looked at a lot of medallion quilts online and in quilt books and decided I really did not want to add more blocks.  I happened to have a chunk of very pale yellow fabric that would make a nice light-colored border and another chunk of scenic cow fabric that would make a good outer border.  Boom!  Finished top!

BTW, the fabric for the outer cow border has been hanging around for a long time, too!

Last week, I mentioned I wanted to work on finishing my Grandmother's Choice BOW quilt.  I haven't forgotten - just need to make a trip to the LQS before I can begin.  I looked through all the appropriate fabrics in my stash and didn't have any pieces big enough to make all the sashing needed for the quilt.  I hate when shopping in the stash doesn't work!  This was block 47 of the BOW - Heroine's Crown.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Teal Repro Crosses

I put some teal reproduction scraps to work this week - making quarter log cabin blocks for my Modern Crosses quilt.

When I started making these blocks, I had lots of neutral-colored fabric scraps (chunks) to use for the backgrounds.  I've just about run through the scraps and will have to start cutting yardage.

My design wall is currently empty, so I should pin all these blocks up and start thinking about the finished quilt.  I only need two additional color groups (orange and brown) to wrap up my plans for this quilt.

On a completely different note, I pulled out a UFO this week and made plans for finishing it.  I started these Grandmother's Choice blocks in 2012, a BOW created by Barbara Brackman.  All 49 blocks have been marinating since August of 2013, so maybe I can finish assembling them by August this year!