New Orleans House Project

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Quilty Halloween Fun

On a recent trip to my local quilt shop, Mes Amis, I spied some fun Halloween fabric.  
I knew some of the fabric needed to come home with me, but it was such a large print, I wasn't sure how I would use it in a quilt.  

And really, who could resist this Halloween kitty?!

Of course my quilt shop pals came to my rescue, recommending a pattern called "Awry" by Mountain Peak Creations.  Not exactly the type of pattern I usually want to try, but perfect for the large prints in this group.

Here are a few of the prints from the same group

Yes, those are skulls on the fabric selvedge!

Not quite a quilt in a day project, but definitely a quilt in a weekend.  I stitched on the outer borders this afternoon in between NFL football games.  At this rate, I might actually have the quilt finished in time for Halloween!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Purple Patchwork

We're already half-way through the month of September, and I'm just getting around to playing with this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge color:  purple!

Two purple Sugar Bowls wrapped up the design plan for using these blocks in a quilt.  I won't be able to start assembling the blocks any time soon, but but I have a plan.  

I've really enjoyed this block style - I think I'll try a different basket-style block for a future RSC project!

Ring of Stars has been another fun block project.  I'm making this quilt for a friend, but I like the pattern so much, I might have to make another one for myself!

I'm always amazed by the varieties of the color purple.  Both of these fabrics are purple, but they look completely different!  

And...purples are hard to photograph!  This fabric is dark purple, but not as dark as the photo.

I'll save all my purple Tiny Tuesday blocks for a post later this month.  In the meantime, there's more purple inspiration at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up for today.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Dog Days of Summer, Chapter 2019

The Dog Days of Summer usually end in late August, but my dog days continue a little longer.
These four fur-children are my summer companions.  The black lab mix and light yellow lab mix (foreground) are my dogs, Bailey and McKenzie.  The dog with black spots is my son Andrew's dog, Moose.  The darker yellow lab is my son David's dog, Jozy.  Moose and Andrew have been living with us for the past two years while Andrew went back to school.  Jozy visits for about six weeks every summer while David is in California for work.  I call my house Doggy Day Care!

Tomorrow I get to drive to Natchitoches, Louisiana to meet up with David and hand over his dog.  Natchitoches (pronounced "Nack-a-tish") is about half-way between New Orleans and Dallas, where David and Jozy usually live.

In another week, Andrew will be taking off for Denver, Colorado and a new career since graduating from school (second time's the charm).  The plan is to leave Moose with us for a little while until he gets settled.  Then I guess another dog-delivery trip will be in order!

In spite of all the four-legged assistants, I did manage to do some Rainbow Scrap Challenge stitching this month.
For example, some Tiny Tuesday blocks with light blue or bright blue scraps.

Random 4-patch blocks that go to the Parts Department.

These Carolina Chain blocks look a bit chaotic, but they should be fine when all the scrappy colors are done and put together.

Linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this week.  Thinking of friends and family in Florida as Hurricane Dorian churns offshore, waiting for the forces of Mother Nature to figure out where the storm will land.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Hospital Sketches BOM: Never Give Up!

No surprise - I'm still trying to catch up with my appliqué blocks for Barbara Brackman's Hospital Sketches BOM.

The June block was Pineapple.  The pattern introduction also featured a great story about Walt Whitman visiting Civil War hospitals in Washington, DC.  Highly recommended reading!

My fabric choices don't look so great in the photograph, but the blue print on a white background does show up better in person.  If I were doing the block over, I think I'd choose a different fabric, maybe a with a light blue background.  Learning about appliqué fabric choices was one of my goals for this project, and I've already learned lots!

The July block was Mountain Laurel.  I finished prepping all the leaves yesterday.  I just need to make the bias stems for each batch of leaves and I'll be ready to stitch everything in place.  

The next block in the series is Tennessee Rose.  I doubt I'll finish Mountain Laurel and get a good start on the rose before a new block is introduced this coming Wednesday.  It's OK, I'll just keep working through at my own speed!  It's all about the process, not the result - right?

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Scrappy Times

I never get tired of making scrappy quilts!  I added a new project to my Rainbow Scrap Challenge list last month in an effort to use up more of the strips filling my 2 inch scrap bin.

Carolina Chain is a Bonnie Hunter pattern.  It's a variation on a 9-patch block which results in light and dark chains criss-crossing the quilt.  This makes a great leader-ender project, as the cutting and piecing are quick and easy.  I'll keep making these for the next year or so until there are enough for a quilt.  Hopefully, they will put a dent in the 2 inch strip bin!

I also paired up some random 2 inch scraps into 4-patch blocks.  These go into the Parts Department and will eventually become part of another scrappy quilt.

Tiny Tuesday blocks are great for using up small scraps.  I'm glad I tried my hand at intense flip triangles for Sally's pink piglet.  I chose the pink and brown fabric for the piggy body as it reminded me of chocolate-covered bacon!

No pink scraps were harmed for another Burgoyne Surrounded block.  I only need three more blocks for the BS quilt, so I'm looking through scrappy chunks of multi-colored prints on white backgrounds for block inspiration.  I love these little birds, so decided to give them their own block.

Ditto for this multi-colored fish print.   It is now part of the Burgoyne scrappiness.  Only one block left to make, and I'm having trouble deciding on colors and fabrics.  It probably won't be this month's RSC color, light blue, but who knows where inspiration will lead?!

More scrappy goodies to be seen at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

A Little More Pink

It was a fun Saturday!  My company sponsors health fairs around the state to help kids get back-to-school check-ups.  Today's health fair was here in New Orleans, so our local office team helped out.  We had a great turn-out, and lots of kids got check-ups.  I was on my feet for a big chunk of the day, so I was happy to get home, have a cup of tea, and then do a little sewing!

I'm still making blocks for a Ring of Stars quilt.  They go together quickly and use up lots of scrappy chunks.  
I didn't start making these blocks until March of this year, so I missed a few Rainbow Scrap colors.  I'll have to go back and catch them later.

I found enough pink chunks to make another pink Burgoyne Surrounded block.  I only need three more Burgoyne blocks, so I think I'll just go ahead and finish them.  Maybe I won't make any mistakes if I do them all at the same time!

The days of pink for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge are winding down, but there's still plenty of inspiration at the weekly link-up.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Making More Pink Scraps

Pink is the color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this month.  As I looked through my fabric bins, I realized my scrappy pink choices were getting a little thin.  That meant I needed to make some more scraps, i.e. indulge in a little stash enhancement.  Fortunately, I found some great pink fat quarters and have sliced most of them up into usable strips and chunks to feed the RSC fun!

Before I started on the pink scraps though, I was inspired by the Fourth of July to make a red, white, and blue Burgoyne Surrounded block.
I wanted to use that red, white, and blue print that looks like fireworks as the central fabric for the block.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!

I had already cut out this pink and green block last year, but never got around to stitching it.  It went together quickly, although I just now spotted two errors.  Just when I think I can finally make these blocks without mistakes, I mess up!

I used some of my new pink scraps and chunks for two Sugar Bowl blocks.

They will join previous Sugar Bowl blocks.  I think I only need two more colors to finish out all the blocks for this quilt.

There are still some more pink projects to work on this month, but first I need to go fix that &*@! Burgoyne block.  Go enjoy some pink scrappy projects at the RSC link-up while I practice my seam ripping!

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!