New Orleans House Project

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Orange You Glad It's Pumpkin Spice Season?

When the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color is orange, it's hard to resist making puns based on that hue!

I like pumpkin spice flavoring, but its use does seem to have gotten a bit out of hand in the last couple of years.  I try to have at least one Pumpkin Spice Latte' before they disappear for the season, but other pumpkin spice treats seem to elude me.  What's your favorite specialty pumpkin spice treat?

I whipped up this little pumpkin spice Burgoyne Surrounded this week.  

The happy, scrappy house blocks continued to call my name this week, too.  
I made four new house blocks to bring my total to 49.  Last night I started sewing all the blocks together, so it won't be long until I'm on to the next step on this quilt journey: a border full of words.

We're hanging out at our camp this weekend.  The weather is not at all autumnal, so the dogs are still enjoying their doggie pool.
Here's Bailey, cooling off after a hard morning of Chase the Tennis Ball.

I'm linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge today - looking forward to seeing more pumpkin spice er, orange inspiration!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Slicing Into Orange

I managed to use up a few more orange scraps this week, slicing them up into components for different Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects.

Orange Windblown Wishes blocks from Diane D. Knott's Scrap Quilt Secrets.

Windblown Wishes number two.  I only want to include rainbow colors in this quilt, so once the RSC gets to the color pink, I'll be finished making blocks.  

Ditto for orange Pinwheel blocks - just rainbow colors planned.  Almost time to start assembling these into a quilt top, too!

I meant to share this picture last week - the reunion of my son David and his dog Jozy.
Jozy stayed with us for a good chunk of the summer while David was out of town for work.  My husband and older son (Andrew) drove up to Dallas last weekend to take Jozy home.  Do you think they were happy to see each other again?!  BTW, Jozy is a boy dog, named for American soccer player Jozy Altidore.  There's a pun in there, of course:  Jozy Labrador.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Summer Star Scrappy SAL: Finished Flimsy!

Thanks to some dedicated sewing time last weekend, I was able to finish piecing my version of Diane Knott's Summer Star Scrappy Sew Along quilt.

The SAL appealed to me because it was a scrappy project and I felt the need to make use of more fabrics and scraps from the blue stash.  My blue fabric stash is huge and never seems to shrink, so this seemed like a good way to try to make a dent.

This did help me use up lots of blue scraps and when the scraps were used up I cut into yardage.  The blue fabric drawers now have a bit more room, but they're far from empty!  I also made a big dent in my collection of off-white, cream and white scraps and yardage.

This is not a complicated pattern, and Diane's instructions are very clear.  The assembly went quickly, especially since I had a stack of ready-cut blue strips left over from other projects.  The finished quilt is about 90 inches by 90 inches.  I will have it quilted by my local long-arm quilter - there's no way I want to attempt to quilt this on my sewing machine!  

And...amazingly - I just noticed a mistake in the top row.  I never even saw this when it was pinned to the design wall!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Distracted by Scrappy Houses

My goal for the month is to use up lots of orange scraps, making blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I decided to start by making wonky borders for my New Orleans-inspired Happy, Scrappy House blocks.  That's when I got distracted.

After making orange wonky borders, there were only a few borderless blocks left.  I picked out border fabrics for those blocks and have completed most of those, as well.

After pinning the blocks to the design wall (not all of them are visible in the picture), I counted up and decided I liked the idea of a 7 x 7 arrangement.  I'll need to make a few more houses to get to the magic number of 49.  I also need to trim all of these blocks to get them to a uniform size.  I was hoping the wonky borders would allow me to cut the blocks to 10.5 inches, but no luck.  The trimmed size wound up being 10 inches, so they'll finish at 9.5 inches.  I'm trying to decide if I want to add sashing and cornerstones, but that much orderliness is out of character for New Orleans.

I thought it might be fun to incorporate some sunflowers into this quilt.  After the flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina, volunteer sunflowers popped up all over the city and became kind of an unofficial harbinger of the city's rebirth.  I found a picture of this block on Pinterest, and last night I tried my hand at re-creating it.  This block won't go in the quilt, but I think I will make some more - maybe putting a block in each corner.

Speaking of hurricanes, I hope all my Florida quilting friends have finished their evacuations or preparations and are ready for Hurricane Irma.  My family and my husband's family all live in Florida, so we've been watching and worrying along with everyone else.  Here's hoping (and praying and maybe even using a little gris-gris) that Irma fizzles before inflicting too much damage on the Sunshine State and all her inhabitants!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Burgoyne Surrounded by Neutrals

Most of my sewing time in August was wrapped up in completing a Sew Along, so I didn't spend much time playing with neutral scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

However, I really wanted to see if I could make a Burgoyne Surrounded block using neutral scraps.

I don't know if this block will fit in with all the rainbow-colored Burgoyne Surrounded blocks, but I'm sure happy with how it turned out!

I made five additional Pinwheel blocks for my collection.

That brings my total of neutral Pinwheel blocks to fifteen.  It's almost time to make a quilt from these three-inch blocks!

A few weeks ago, I shared a picture of a quilt made by Alex Anderson using neutral fabrics.  I've admired that quilt for years, and thought about trying to make it just by studying the picture (there's no pattern in the book featuring the quilt).  Thanks to some Google-searching, I discovered the quilt pattern is included in a "vintage" Alex Anderson book.

There are several fun quilts in here, but I'm all about the Stars and Pinwheels quilt (Alex is resting her arm on it in the book cover shot).  I won't be starting the quilt any time soon, but it's definitely on my Bucket List!

All good neutrals must come to an end.  The Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for September is orange.  Here's just a sample of some orange scrappy strips that will get made into Pinwheel blocks and Four-Patch blocks.

If you love orange, there's more scrappy inspiration at Angela's Soscrappy blog.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Summer Star Scrappy SAL: Obsession

Our cable and internet service was out for a good chunk of the day today.  That's probably a good thing, as I had been obsessively watching coverage of Hurricane Harvey and feeling depressed and hopeless.   Based on past experience, my best way to fight depression and hopelessness is to sew.

I've been working on completing Diane Knott's Summer Star Scrappy Sew-Along.  I finished most of the body of the quilt last week.
All that remains to be done is sew the four long rows together to complete the star.

Diane offered different options for the quilt borders.  I decided I wanted my quilt to look like her sample: double strips of pieced squares separated by a white strip.  
Diane came up with a great way to piece the borders, making strip piecing feasible.

So, I obsessively pieced border components yesterday and today.  
Here are the blocks for the border corners.  

And a stack of pieced strips that will eventually become the borders.  The strips are sewn together into blocks containing five strips, which are then assembled to become the borders.  I'm hopeful I will be able to assemble a block here and there during the week - keep the fabric therapy going!  (BTW, there are 180 of these strips.  I definitely made a dent in my blue scraps, chunks and yardage!)

If you have been watching news from Texas and are wondering how to help, I have a few suggestions.  Last year, when the Baton Rouge area of Louisiana had catastrophic flooding, local agencies seemed to provide the fastest and most useful services.  I'm not knocking the Red Cross, but I really prefer to give my money to hyper-local groups.  This link from Texas Monthly magazine has some good ideas.  

Whenever bad things were happening, a friend of mine used to say she was going to mix up a big batch of Voodoo Vinaigrette to make things right again.  I'm definitely going to be mixing up a batch of it myself, and including lots of prayers and Hurricane-Go-Away-Vibes as well.  I hope you'll join me!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Is it Low Volume or Neutral?

This month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge is to work with neutral value scraps.  Or is that low volume scraps?  Whatever you call them, they can add contrast to a quilt block or be used on their own for a muted, textural quilt.

Case in point:  a quilt in all neutral value fabrics by Alex Anderson (from Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! The Complete Guide to Quiltmaking by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes).  I love the soft texture created by the use of white and off-white in this quilt.  

The bad thing about neutral value quilts is they are very difficult to photograph!  This quilt was the result of a challenge among members of the Treadle On email list - a group of vintage and antique sewing machine enthusiasts.  

The challenge was to figure out how to use one or more of the antique attachments for our machines.  Inspired by Colette Wolff's book The Art of Manipulating Fabric, we used unbleached muslin for our challenge blocks.  Many participants created textured blocks inspired by techniques described in the book.

I set the blocks together using a variety of off-white print fabrics.  The fleur-de-lis block in the upper right corner is mine - I made it using ribbon and the under-braider attachment.

So today, as I made some Pinwheel blocks for the RSC, I couldn't help but think about making another low volume/neutral quilt!

For more neutral scrappy inspiration, check out the other RSC participants at Angela's SoScrappy blog.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Summer Star Scrappy SAL: Assembly Progess

There was no evening stitching after work this week, so I was happy to have some blocks of sewing time this weekend.  I focused on getting more blocks assembled for Diane Knott's Summer Star Scrappy Sew Along.
By this afternoon, I finally finished piecing all the half & half blocks.

Once the half & half blocks were complete, I was ready to start assembling the individual blocks into larger sections.

The neutral 9-patch blocks get assembled into larger sections - 3 blocks by 3 blocks.

Blue 9-patches and blue and white half & half blocks were assembled for another component.

Finally, I assembled these blocks - wrong!!  The colors are flipped - the blue triangle blocks should be white and the remainder of the block should be blue!  That's what happens when Dear Husband and Dear Dogs are clamoring for your attention at the end of the afternoon!

I'm enjoying the Sew Along, even if I don't have as much stitching time as I'd like.  Diane's design is pretty ingenious, and her directions are great!  I'm looking forward to seeing more SAL projects in the weekly link-up.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Summer Star Scrappy SAL: Neutral Nines & Split Nines

I'm doing my best to keep up with Diane's Sew Along, but stitching time was limited last week.  I spent a good chunk of yesterday stitching all my neutral 9-patch blocks together, and more time last night prepping for the split 9-patch blocks.

A few hours ago, I arranged everything for a photograph.  
All the neutral 9-Patch blocks are finished.  I had prepped some blue squares and blue and white HSTs for the Split 9-Patch blocks.  All I needed was some more blue squares and some white and cream squares.  I thought this might be my stopping point for today, but I managed to power on and cut the remaining required parts.

I decided to make one Split 9-Patch block just to see how they went together.  Before long I had four blocks assembled!  I have all the parts and pieces laid out on my sewing table, so it will be easy to pop in and stitch up a block this week when I have a few spare minutes.  I love it when prep work makes sewing simple during the work week!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Not Neutral About Neutrals

The Rainbow Scrap challenge for August is to use neutral or low volume scraps in our projects.  Not all of my RSC projects will benefit from an injection of neutral scraps, but I think I can still find enough design opportunities for the month!

I have a decent collection of 2 inch strips that can become 4-Patch blocks and Pinwheel blocks.  If I use up all these strips, I still have more neutral fabric chunks that can be cut up and used up.

There's also a good-sized stash of neutral selvages that can be turned into Rail Fence blocks.

And then there's the stack of components that need to be assembled into 9-patch blocks for the Summer Star Scrappy Sew Along.

I think there will be plenty of stitching inspiration for the month!  For more inspiration, check out the RSC link-up today at Angela's Soscrappy blog.