New Orleans House Project

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Some Rainbow Scrap Challenge Finishes

I've put the finishing touches on several Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts recently, but did not take the time to photograph all the results.  Since we spent the long Independence Day holiday at our camp last weekend, I packed up my finished quilts so I could hang them from the balcony for photos.

I started making the 9-patch variation blocks in 2015 and put the finishing stitches in the quilt late last year.  
Diane Knott of Butterfly Threads Quilting did the long-arm quilting for me - lots of swirls to counteract all the squares and angles on the front of the quilt!  
The handprint backing fabric has been hanging around in my stash for 20 years, at least.  This seemed like a great project to use it up!  I also shopped in my stash for the binding fabric - a purple cross-hatch fabric that worked perfectly.

Another long-running Rainbow Scrap Challenge project is this sampler quilt.  Our RSC leader, Angela Feldbush, shared block instructions every week throughout 2014, resulting in lots of scrappy sampler quilts.
My finished sampler top languished in the "Needs Quilting" pile for a couple years, until I had the great idea to ask Diane Knott to long-arm quilt it for me.
I spent some binge-watching TV time hand-stitching the binding last week so I could add this quilt to the Finished pile.
I was being optimistic when I put the finished date on my label!

Windblown Wishes was a more recent Rainbow Scrap Challenge project.  My inspiration was the Windblown Wishes quilt in Diane Knott's Scrap Quilt Secrets book.  I used a different border treatment than Diane's pattern, but I think it worked out well for the RSC format.
Of course I had to ask Diane to quilt this project!  Even the quilting reflects the "windblown" idea!
I used some leftover binding fabric to make a frame for the quilt label.  

So the UFO pile has shrunk a little, but there are still plenty of projects waiting for their finishing touches.  If I can tear myself way from non-stop weather coverage on television, I might actually do some sewing today.  And since our power is still on, I'm going to go look at more Rainbow Scrap Challenge inspiration at Angela's Soscrappy blog.

(FYI, we're still waiting for Tropical Storm Barry to make his presence felt in the New Orleans area.  Forget about the sensational coverage on the Weather Channel.  We've had minimal rain, minimal wind, and little storm surge.  Conditions are a little worse closer to the coast, but still not life-threatening.)

Friday, July 12, 2019

Drunk Uncle Barry or the "Half-i-cane"

Once again, the Louisiana coast is bracing for stormy weather.  This time, it's a weird system that started in Georgia, found its way to the Gulf of Mexico, and is now only half a hurricane (tropical storm, really), but threatening all kinds of havoc in the state.  

Of course, the national media have been breathlessly reporting on the potential, dire impacts on New Orleans.  To be honest, we had a flooding rain event on Wednesday, but that was nothing all that unusual, and not specifically related to the storm.  

I was amused to see the City of New Orleans official Twitter feed take the Washington Post to task for "fake news"!

We are not fleeing the city.  Like most of our friends and neighbors, we've taken precautions and prepped for the storm.  We will probably experience heavy rain, but our neighborhood is not flood-prone, and our house is elevated an additional 3 - 4 feet above street level.  Drunk Uncle Barry may become a full-fledged hurricane right before landfall, but the winds reaching us will not be all that forceful.  There will also be storm surge pushing water up our rivers and lakes, but the city is protected by levees to help mitigate that water.  Yes, we're collectively nervous about the levees holding back water (failed levees caused the massive flooding after Hurricane Katrina), but there have been serious upgrades to the system in the last 14 years.  

Hopefully, the worst that will happen is a power failure.  I can still use one of my people-powered sewing machines if that happens, but it's pretty miserable to be without air conditioning in New Orleans in July!

In other news, we spent a wonderful July 4th weekend at our camp, and I was able to take full-length pictures of some recent quilt finishes.  I'm going to be optimistic and save those for tomorrow's Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up.  

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Hospital Sketches BOM: Catching Up

Oh no!  Even using machine appliqué hasn't saved me from falling behind on Barbara Brackman's Hospital Sketches BOM!

The May block - Currants and Cockscombs - was a little intimidating.  Forty-eight 5/8-inch circles to prep!  Once all the pieces were prepped (freezer paper and starch method), I just needed some long stretches of uninterrupted time to stitch everything in place.

Fortunately, some of that time came my way this weekend.  I stitched and listened to a wonderful audiobook:  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
I highly recommend it!

Four blocks completed.  The June block, Pineapple, should go more quickly.  I already have the fabrics picked out, so I just need to make some patterns and I'll be on my way.  Maybe I'll even finish before the end of the month and can start on July's block - Mountain Laurel.  

Yes, I'm all about enjoying the appliqué process, but I don't want to get too far behind and run the risk of adding another UFO to the pile!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Quilt Block Fun on the Tiny, Scrappy Side

I'm still playing along with the Tiny Tuesday weekly quilt blocks - also known as the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler 2019.  

I kinda wandered off on my own again this month, making some blocks that weren't part of the "official" challenge.  I've been inspired by Judy Hopkins' 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks.

I have found this to be a great resource for quilt blocks, with clear instructions for cutting and piecing the blocks.  Best of all, each block has multiple size options, so you don't have to do a bunch of math to get the block size you need!

The book has inspired me to attempt several of the 4.5 inch size blocks to see if I can:  1. accurately piece the block, and 2. successfully make the block using scraps.  My fingers still struggle with some of the fiddly bits, but I'm getting better at working at these TT blocks.

The first Tiny Tuesday block this month was the Block with No Name from Cynthia Brunz.  I was inspired by Cynthia's use of stripes for the center strips - I knew I had the perfect blue striped fabric in my scrap bins.

The following week, I decided to try the Great Blue Heron block from Judy Hopkins' book.  There is a great blue heron who is a regular visitor at our camp, so this is in honor of him.

The third week of June happened to include the Summer Solstice, which is marked by another Judy Hopkins block:  Summer Wind.

Since this is the last week for blue scraps, I wanted to try something red, white, and blue in honor of the approaching Independence Day holiday.  I love this fabric - it reminds me of fireworks - and I had enough scraps to put together this block called Gentleman's Fancy.  

That's my scrappy story for the week, but there's more scrappy fun to be had at the weekly RSC link-up!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Let the Summer Fun Begin!

Hi blog!  I've missed you!  Life has been keeping me away from you, but I'm back and ready to share some stitching fun.

Summer started out with a family trip to Wisconsin.  Even though I grew up in Florida, I was born in Wisconsin, and both my parents have extensive family history there.  Somehow, I wrangled both boys and my dear hubby into making this trip to visit family and family history sites.  We had a great trip and made lots of great new memories!

Once we got back from our trip, it was back to work and back to stitching.  I needed to make a fourth orange Tiny Tuesday block.  I struck off on my own for this block, as this Hayes Corner block (upper left) tickled my fancy.  

Once the orange Tiny Tuesday blocks were wrapped up, it was time to dig into a new batch of scraps.  Dark blue is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for June, and I jumped in and made a blue Burgoyne Surrounded block.  

Next up - Ring of Stars blocks.  They look pretty good in dark blues!

Sugar Bowl blocks are still on the menu, too.  After finishing these RSC blocks, there was a noticeable decrease in the pile of dark blue scraps and chunks!

And so my RSC blocks for the month are done.  There are still Tiny Tuesday blocks to make each week, but now I can direct my stitching time to catching up on my Hospital Sketches blocks.  Of course, there's always temptation inspiration to be found in the weekly Rainbow Scrap link-up!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Orange Scraps Are Very Appealing!

Fabric therapy time has been in short supply the past few weeks.  Happily, I was able to rummage through the orange scraps and put together some blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!

Two orange Sugar Bowl blocks were added to the collection.

I set them together with Sugar Bowl blocks from last year.  The plan is to set the blocks in groups of four like this.

I used some scrappy chunks to make more Ring of Stars blocks.  I'm definitely planning to gift this quilt to a friend when it's finished, but I might have to make one of these for myself!

Bits of this and that got turned into 4-patch blocks.  These go in the Parts Department for now.

One all orange Burgoyne Surrounded block used up a good hunk of scraps.  

I wanted to see how all my Burgoyne colors were balancing out, so they all went for a spin on the design wall.  I still need some pink blocks, more blue blocks, and maybe another purple.  I only need seven more blocks before I can start the assembly process.  The final quilt will have sashing and 9-patch cornerstones (already complete).  

Now that the Rainbow Scrap projects are wrapped up, I'm ready to focus on my Hospital Sketches BOMThis month's block is a challenge, for sure!

If scrappy quilts are appealing to you, check out the Rainbow Scrap Challenge weekly link-up.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Tiny Tuesday: The Road To [Insert Destination Here]

I've been enjoying the Tiny Tuesday Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler project, and have found myself looking through quilt block anthologies for blocks to adapt to the TT format.

My source calls this block the Road to the White House.  I'm not having any of that.  What we need is a block to commemorate the cultural phenomenon of HBO's Game of Thrones series. 😀With that in mind, I'm calling my block the Road to the Iron Throne.   If you're not a fan of the show or George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire books, I'll leave you to decide on your own destination!

This block is pretty straight forward, and based on a 9-patch grid.  When complete, the block will measure 5 inches, but will be 4.5 inches when sewn into a quilt.

For your Road To [Insert Destination Here] block, you will need scraps in light, medium, and dark values.

From the light value fabric cut: 
2 - 2 3/8 inch squares
4 - 1 1/4 inch squares

From the medium value fabric cut:
2 - 2 inch squares
2 - 1 1/4 inch squares

From the dark value fabric cut:
2 - 2 3/8 inch squares
6 - 1 1/4 inch squares

Sub-cut the 2 3/8 inch squares (light and dark) diagonally into 4 triangles.

Assemble the 1 1/4 inch squares into 4-patches as shown above.
Assemble the triangles into half-square triangles as shown.

Arrange the pieced units and medium value 2 inch squares as shown.  Stitch the block components into rows, then stitch the rows into the finished block.

Press and admire! 
(I pressed my final seams open to help decrease bulk)

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Tiny Aqua Tuesdays

And here we are at the beginning of May.  Time for a new Rainbow Scrap Challenge color!

Before things start cooking with orange scraps around here, I need to share my Tiny Tuesday blocks featuring April's lovely shades of aqua.

We started the month with a scrappy Shoo Fly block.  

Some aqua strings got put to good use in a Courthouse Square block.

I've always been intimidated by these Spinner blocks, but Mari's directions made it a snap!

Another spinning block - this time a Spinning Star.  

And a little reverse appliqué to wrap up the month.  Yes, I used machine appliqué!

I still haven't decided on a setting fabric for my Tiny Tuesday blocks.  I made a trip to my local quilt shop, Mes Amis, to look for some fabrics to audition.  Rather than set the blocks with a solid neutral, I was hoping to find something with some color...maybe some dots.

This is a multi-color floral.  I love the fabric, but I think it's a little too busy for all the scrappy blocks.

Multi-color text print.  Less busy, still not in love with the look.

When all else fails, you can usually count on aqua to work well with almost every other color.  This aqua fabric has tiny, random white dots.  It may be a contender, but I've used aqua before with multi-colored blocks, so I feel like it's the easy way out!

Now that the aqua Tiny Tuesday blocks are complete, I will start digging through all the orange scraps and planning my RSC blocks for May.  
More scrappy inspiration can be found at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge weekly link-up.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Antidote for Age-Shock: April Aqua!

I think most of us would agree that quilt-making equals Fabric Therapy and Fabric Therapy helps us deal with the stresses of life. 💖 Since the beginning of April, I have been using Fabric Therapy as an antidote (or celebration?!) to the observation of another trip around the sun.  

I managed to finish up my Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects using this month's soothing color of aqua.
I made two Sugar Bowl blocks to add to the collection.

It was easy to pull together six Ring of Stars blocks using chunks of fabric left over from previous projects.  

An aqua fleur de lis Burgoyne Surrounded block

And an aqua and pink Burgoyne Surrounded
Only seven blocks still needed to complete the requirements for the Burgoyne quilt!

I also pulled out a long-term UFO and decided it needed finishing - now!
The pattern is Merry-Go-Round by Sandy Klop (American Jane Patterns - be careful if you go here - it's a rabbit hole of great pattens!).  It's a fun take on hexagons using fabric strips and an equilateral triangle ruler.  The triangles are assembled in half-hexagons, then sewn into strips, matching hexagon tops and bottoms.  

 I was inspired to try the pattern using a fat quarter collection of tropical brights I purchased at a quilt show many moons ago.  I started the blocks at least ten years ago, but put them away when I needed the design wall for another project.  I "found" the bag of blocks and and scrappy strips a few weeks ago and decided it was time to finish things up.  Since I made my blocks using fat quarters instead of jelly rolls, I had a more limited amount of fabric to make hexagons.  There were enough hexies for a wall-hanging, and that was good enough!  I've gotten all the hexie parts sewn into strips and now need to sew the strips together.  Another UFO will be crossed off the list!

And now that it's Saturday, it's time for the Rainbow Scrap link-up AND more Fabric Therapy!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Hospital Sketches: Virginia Cockscomb

The February block for Barbara Brackman's Hospital Sketches BOM was Virginia Cockscomb.  The inspiration for the block was Robertson Hospital in Richmond, Virginia and its matron, Sally Louisa Tompkins.

The cockscomb pattern has been on my appliqué bucket list for some time.  I'd still like to make an appliqué quilt with several cockscomb blocks - Anita Shackelford's Cockscomb Variations (scroll down to view the book) has been calling my name for several years.  

My fabric choices didn't work out as well as I thought they would - the white background fabric in the circles gets kind of lost against the light blue cockscomb fabric.  It's a learning experience!

All the convex (outie) curves in this block almost did me in!  I was struggling to get even curves on the light blue frond - too many pointy edges instead of smooth curves.  I was ready to give up on freezer paper prep for machine appliqué and resort to hand appliqué for this block.  As I contemplated switching techniques, I did some online research on hand appliqué and discovered I should not be clipping the outside curves.  Instead, the curves should be trimmed close to the seam line and the fabric smoothed around the outer curve.  I tried that technique on my freezer paper templates, and was able to get much smoother curves.  Like I said - a learning process!

Now that I look at my finished block, I think it looks a little bare.  Some quilters added additional items to their cockscomb blocks - birds being the most popular addition.  I may have to go back and add a bird to my block, too!