New Orleans House Project

Saturday, October 3, 2015

RSC 15: Scrappy Sawtooth Stars

October will be a month of brown and gold scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge participants.  I don't have a lot of specific plans for how I want to use up my brown scraps, but several ideas are percolating in my head.  I hope I can make the time to do lots of scrappy sewing this month!

I started out the week with a few more orange Sawtooth Star blocks.  It was fun to fussy cut some University of Florida fabric scraps for the center block. 

And I cut parts and pieces to make some more 4" Sawtooth Stars.  Just need to cut the white background fabric and these will be ready to go.  In case I haven't mentioned it before <g>, my favorite method for making Flying Geese blocks is "Speed Piecing Method B" in this tutorial from Quilters Cache. 

I'm about to head out with Dear Husband to enjoy the gorgeous Fall weather that has finally arrived in South Louisiana.  I'm hopeful there will be time for some stitching and RSC blog reading later today. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

RSC 15: Orange Sugar & Mavericks

I've been making Sugar Bowl blocks as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, so I added two orange blocks to my collection.  

I also pieced up some scrappy Maverick Stars using orange parts and pieces.

Last year's RSC Maverick Stars + this year's Maverick Stars.  Getting close to having enough stars for a quilt!

I have a day full of errands ahead of me, but I'm hoping I can spend some quality time stitching later this evening.  You'll find more orange scrappiness at Angela's Soscrappy blog today!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Slow Stitching Football Sunday

It's that time of year:  American football season is in full swing!  That means some slow Sunday stitching as I watch football games all afternoon and into the evening.

I didn't grow up as a fan of football, but I became one in self-defense when my two sons developed an interest in the game and even played for a short time.  My youngest son went on to choose sports journalism as a career and he has covered professional football since graduating from college.  On top of that, watching New Orleans Saints games - in person or via TV - is a de rigueur community activity here!

These Grandmother's Flower Garden hexies have been my football Sunday stitching project for a couple of years now.  I haven't made as much progress as I'd like, so this year I'll have to stay focused and try to make more measurable progress.  Part of what slows me up is prepping the green hexies for stitching.  These aren't paper-pieced hexies, they're just marked, cut and stitched.  You can read the back story here, if you're interested.  It's good to remind myself how long I've been working on this quilt!

I'd like to press all the pieced hexie parts before I start sewing this afternoon, but my ironing board is out of commission for now.  I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I tossed my ironing board cover in the washer last night, planning to wash out all the built-up starch residue.  This is what happened - the batting attached to the cover completely shredded in the wash.  Duh - uncovered, un-quilted poly batting is not going to survive even the gentlest wash cycle!  I think I can salvage the cover by trimming off all the batting.  I have stacks of old mattress pads that I save to cut up for padding in various projects, so I should be good to go with just a little work.  If not, it's a good thing Target is open on Sunday!

I hope everyone enjoys their Slow Sunday Stitching!  I'm linking up with other slow Sunday stitchers over at Kathy's Quilts.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

RSC 15: Another Take On Scrap Jar Stars

Thanks for all the lovely comments on my Scrap Jar Stars quilt last week!  I'm a big fan of this scrap-busting pattern, and I usually always provide a link back to my inspiration source when I show my SJSs.  I omitted the link last week but since I received so many comments, I just wanted to remind everyone the pattern was created by Amber Johnson who blogs at A Little Bit Biased aka Gigi's Thimble.  You can find her Scrap Jar Star tutorial here.

Since I already made one Scrap Jar Star in bright rainbow fabrics, I decided to make another one using reproduction fabrics.  I used lots of wonderful cheddar scraps for this week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks.  

I also stitched up some Sawtooth Stars (4" variety) as Leader-Enders for the Scrap Jar Stars.  

I think this kitten must be a graduate of Kitten U

For more orange scrappiness, be sure to visit Angela's Soscrappy blog.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

RSC 15: Never Tired of Nine Patches

It was great to celebrate Labor Day with a 3-day weekend, but the following 4 workdays seemed even longer and more stressful than usual!  I was more than happy when Friday afternoon rolled around, even if it was stormy & rainy.  We are anticipating the first wave of cooler weather here in the Gulf South, and the weather forecasters are saying temps will be in the 50s tomorrow morning here at the camp.  Porch-sitting weather, for sure!

Despite my orange block prep of the previous week, only 9 patch blocks were finished this week.  Even though they are simple and humble, I never get tired of 9 patch blocks.  In fact, I have an entire Evernote notebook devoted to 9 patch quilt variations.  I already have 2 or 3 new 9 patch quilts designed in my head! 

Even though I mentioned working on my Happy, Scrappy House blocks during September, I knew I needed to add a finishing touch to these Scrap Jar Stars first.  When I finished the initial block and border assembly on the quilt top, I thought it was too small.  I wanted to add a border to increase the quilt's size, but I didn't have enough of the multi-color dotted background fabric to create a larger border.  I experimented with quite a few different fabrics, but nothing looked right.  After some consideration, I decided the quilt would never be used on a bed, so the smaller size wasn't as important as I was making it out to be.  I had just enough of the dotted fabric to make a final, narrow border that completed the 9 patch block secondary effect.  The final size is about 59" x 72".

We are having friends over for dinner tonight, but thankfully the menfolks will be doing most of the cooking.  I just need to clean the house and set the table.  I will be enjoying my sewing vicariously today via the Rainbow Scrap link-up!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Spider Web Blocks: Is the End in Sight?

The long Labor Day weekend gave me some extra sewing time at the camp.  I've been working on these string-pieced triangles since at least 2012, but it was more of a fabric therapy project than a planned quilt with a finishing date in sight. 

Earlier this year I decided on a plan for the blocks, and cut enough light yellow center "kite" shapes to finish piecing all the triangles.  This weekend my trusty Singer Model 15 (treadle) and I stitched the last of the purple and gold strings onto their foundations.  Now I just have to piece the triangles into squares and rip off all the foundation papers.  Maybe I can still finish this top before the end of the year?!

I still had a big collection of strings left after piecing the triangles, so I took a few minutes to tame them into some additional useful quilt block parts.  The longest strings were trimmed to 1 1/2" width and will go in the bin for 1 1/2" strips.  Smaller remnants were trimmed to various lengths and 1 1/2" width for Lego quilt blocks.  The remaining bits will go in the crumb bin for further adventures in crumb and string piecing.  Very satisfying to have everything neatly wrapped up!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

A Little Less Porch Time

Dear Husband and I have taken the four-legged children and escaped to our camp for the holiday weekend.   Part of me would rather have stayed home where I could spend hours buried in my sewing room, creating and stitching to my heart's content.  On the other hand, it's always wonderful to get away and enjoy nature while at the camp.  Sewing definitely takes a back seat while I'm here, although I can usually find time to put needle and thread together somehow.

I was up before sunrise today and discovered we may have a colony of bats living nearby.  I was out on the porch and noticed a half dozen black shapes swooping through the predawn light.  My hopeful identification was bats and I silently thanked them for devouring mosquitoes and other pesky bugs!  By the time the sun came up, they were gone, so I'm assuming my identification was correct.

My plan was to enjoy some porch time while I hand-appliqued the second (cheddar) crown on my 4 block eagle quilt.  Unfortunately, my neighbor also planned to barbecue and fired up his smoker just as I finished my first cup of coffee.  The smoke hung over both of our yards and irritated my eyes and throat to the extreme.  I had to give up and come inside.  It's OK, as the outdoor temps were climbing and outdoor comfort was about to be over.  And I love barbecue, so I don't begrudge anyone creating a little smoke.  I'll just sit in my rocking chair and do some Slow Sunday Stitching while I enjoy some air conditioned comfort!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

RSC 15: It's All About the Prep

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for September is Orange.  I've come to love working with the color orange; I have the RSC to thank for challenging me to use this color successfully in my quilts!

I haven't done much block construction so far this month, but I did get all my prep work done.  Having my scraps cut into commonly-used size strips and squares and sorted by color makes scrappy block prep go quickly.

These will become 9 patch variation blocks.  I like to lay out a block next to my sewing machine and use the pieces as leader-enders while working on other projects.  They go together quickly!

I also cut the parts for two Sugar Bowl blocks.  I'm looking forward to assembling all these blocks in a quilt.

Orange bits for 4" Sawtooth Stars.  These will be assembled with white background fabric; I have the strips cut, but not the individual pieces.

And for something completely different - cheddar!  These parts will become Scrap Jar Star blocks.

I also dug through the orange crumb jar looking for pieces to become Maverick Stars.   

I'm hoping to have lots of glorious sewing time this weekend.  It's a holiday weekend here in the US, so there should be plenty of opportunity to sew between now and Tuesday morning.  My Dear Husband has already announced plans to do most of the cooking, so I'm looking forward to some stitching therapy!  

My first stop will be Angela's Soscrappy blog to see what orange fun the other Rainbow Scrappers have cooked up.



Sunday, August 30, 2015

Stitchin', Reminiscin' and Daydreamin'

I'm enjoying some porch time and hand applique again this Sunday.  This morning's temperature was a lovely 62 ยบ F (16.7 C), definitely porch-sitting weather in this part of the world!

I'm working on hand appliqueing one of the circular "crowns" on my 4 block eagle quilt.  Despite my new-found appreciation for the back-basting applique technique, I used a freezer paper template and starch to prep the crown.  The stitching is going remarkably fast, so I may be finished with this crown before the day is over!

Hand-stitching time is perfect for listening to one's inner thoughts, and I've been indulging in that this morning.  We attended a wedding in Tampa, Florida last weekend, and I have been going through my catalog of memories from the occasion.  It was wonderful to see old friends and reminisce about past adventures.  It was also delightful to see children grown to young adulthood and now with children of their own!

Many of the wedding activities took place in Ybor City, an area of the city once famous for cigar-making.   The area is also home to the Columbia Restaurant, the longest continually operating restaurant in Florida.  What I found inspiring about the restaurant were the fabulous tile images adorning the outside of the building.  I snapped pictures of my favorites, all the while day-dreaming about creating an applique quilt to reflect my Caribbean Soul!

I'm linking up with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, so if you're a fan of hand stitching, check out the links for some inspiration.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

RSC 15: Goodbye to August

I'm happy to see the end of August approaching!  The days are getting shorter, the shadows are changing and the outdoor temps are actually even cooling down (a little).  After August ends, we'll be another month closer to the end of hurricane season and American football season is right around the corner. 

I'm also happy the incessant media focus on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina will end soon.  It's great to highlight the positive things that have happened in South Louisiana since the failure of the levees after the hurricane, but the constant bombardment of horrific images is just too painful, even at this distance of time and healing.  I turned to quilting as my therapy for coping after the floods and I'm thankful for the solace it provided.  In fact, I'd say the aftermath of the flooding was a rebirth of quilting focus for me and quilting therapy has become ever-important to me over the past 10 years.

Inspired by all the colorful houses of New Orleans, I made these Happy, Scrappy House blocks as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge in 2013.  While driving around town this week, I was struck by inspiration for assembling these blocks into a quilt.  I hope to focus on that this week while the inspiration is hot! 

I also focused on one of this year's ongoing RSC projects:  4" Sawtooth Stars.  I found enough scraps to make gray & black stars to add to the collection.

And in case you missed it, August 26th was National Dog Day - a social media invention if there ever was one!  We appreciate our four-legged kids every day, but they tolerated our cell phone picture snapping on Wednesday and even gave us a few smiles.  The dogs in the front of the photo, Bailey & McKenzie, live with us; Jozy (in the rear) visits with us each August while his human is away for work.  Jozy & McKenzie are from the same litter.  

And now I've wandered on enough, so I'm heading over to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up to see what colorful stuff everyone else has been up to this week.