New Orleans House Project

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Scrap Happy Saturday: It's Been a Long, Green Trip

Green was the scrappy color of the month for August, specifically light and bright green.  I already used light and bright green scraps when we visited green earlier this year, so I didn't have the range of scraps to make all of this month's Rainbow Sampler blocks.  
I did make the Bouncing Betty block with some light green scraps.

Still, I had no lack of green scraps to use up.  I finished piecing my green Trip Around the World quilt - and I still have lots of green scraps left!  It was raining yesterday, so I took pictures of the quilt top draped over my sofa.  Maybe I can get some outdoor pictures while I'm at the camp this weekend. 
The quilt is made of 36 twelve inch TATW blocks.  I added a one inch border and a six inch border of  half TATW blocks (which are really just 9 patches).  The finished size is about 86" x 86". 

As always, the Happy Scrappers are sharing their green scrappy adventures over at Angela's Scrap Happy blog.  And if you look carefully, you might see a hint about the scrappy color for September!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Keeping up with the Austens

I am caught up once again with the blocks for Barbara Brackman's Austen Family Album BOW.  I have been enjoying all the stories about Jane Austen's circle of family and friends.  There is also a Flickr group associated with the BOW, and it has been fun to see how different stitchers interpret the blocks.
The Lucky Pieces block is in memory of Jane Austen's Aunt Jane Leigh-Perrot.  Aunt Jane was accused of shoplifting some expensive lace and held in prison until her trial.  If she had been found guilty at trial, she could have been executed or sent to the penal colony in Australia.  Fortunately, she was declared not guilty when evidence turned up the shopkeeper and his assistants may have planted the lace in hopes of blackmailing Aunt Jane.  Lucky indeed!
The block Water Wheel commemorates Jane Austen's uncle and Aunt Jane's husband - James Leigh-Perrot.  Uncle James suffered from gout and spent a good deal of time in the English city of Bath, "taking the waters" in hopes of a cure.
Indian Star is meant to remember Austen family friend Warren Hastings.  Mr. Hastings was Governor General of India when Jane Austen was born and continued to have a close association with the family throughout his life.  
The Cross Patch block was chosen to represent Mary Lloyd, an Austen family neighbor and later Jane's sister-in-law.  
Martha Lloyd, Mary Lloyd's sister, was also a friend to the Austens and later became a housemate to Jane, her sister Cassandra and Mrs. Austen.  Her block is called Best Friend.
 The West Wind block was chosen to remember Cassandra Austen's fiance, Tom Fowle.  Mr. Fowle became acquainted with the Austens when he attended the school run by Jane and Cassandra's father.  Mr. Fowle became a minister for the Church of England, but he initially had no parish and no job.  He sailed to the West Indies as a chaplain, but died of a fever before he could return and marry Cassandra Austen.  

The Austen Family Album series will have 36 blocks when complete.  The current block is number 21, so the end will be here sooner rather than later.  I have been reading novels other than Jane Austen's - I shall need to redirect my literary steps in that direction!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Flamingo Fun!

Growing up in Florida, I was exposed to souvenir kitsch at an early age.  Back in pre-Disney days, Florida tourist attractions were smaller and had more local flavor.  Being a kid, I was always drawn in by souvenirs offered in the ever-present gift shop - seashell figurines, carved coconuts, postcards and snow globes - so many unlikely items to catch the eye!  
Musical pink flamingo snow globe

Years later, my nursing school roommate and I took great delight in bringing each other "tacky tourist" gifts whenever we returned from visiting our respective Florida home towns.

My delight in Florida souvenirs eventually focused on pink flamingos.  Such a beautiful bird and such a wonderful souvenir subject!
Pink flamingo nodder clock

  Eventually, Dear Husband built me a cabinet to house the smaller flamingos.

And the stuffed flamingos are on top of my quilting bookshelf.
So far, I only have one flamingo quilt though.

This quilt was made as part of a guild challenge.  We were to complete a UFO without buying any new fabric.  I had already made the attic window blocks featuring flamingo fabric, so I used the leftovers for an inner and outer border and found a coordinating print in my stash for the binding.  
I hand quilted sunbursts in the attic windows.
 And pink flamingos in the outer borders!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Scrap Happy Not-Sew-Saturday

For the first time in a long time, I didn't touch a scrap of fabric or a sewing machine on Saturday!  There was a beautiful breeze blowing at our camp and Dear Husband, Dear Son and I spent a huge chunk of the morning just chilling on the porch, drinking coffee and watching the birds.  Various other activities followed, including an ALS IceBucket Challenge.  After being doused by a bucket of ice water, it was too easy to jump in the river and spend some quality time swimming with the dogs!
Jozy, our youngest son's yellow Lab mix and Bailey, our black Lab mix.

I've about run out of appropriate light green and bright green scraps, so I may hold off on any new Rainbow Sampler blocks this month.  I'll keep the unused ones in mind in case I need extra blocks or colors when I'm assembling the final quilt.
I did make a light green and dark green 9 patch block to go with my bright green 9 patch block from earlier this year.  These blocks will continue to be an on-going RSC project.
After cutting a huge stack of green strips last weekend, I was able to stitch together a good number of Trip Around the World blocks this past week.  This is just a representative sample.  I need to make a few more blocks for the quilt top, and some half blocks for the border.  It could be a completed quilt top by the end of the month!

Despite my late entry, I'm still linking up with the other Rainbow Scrap Challenge bloggers over at Angela's SoScrappy blog.  It's always fun to check in and be inspired by everyone's colorful ideas!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Scrap Happy Saturday: Slicing Thru the Greens

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge directs us to play with light and bright greens.  There were two Rainbow Sampler blocks to inspire us this week, so that was a good opportunity to use light and bright green scraps.
The Dakota Farmer block was easy to create with left-over greens from other projects.
The Indiana Puzzle block is a Friendship star with 4-patch blocks in the corners.  My scrappy choices don't have much contrast, but I like the result anyway.

After making my Rainbow Sampler blocks for the week, I turned back to my scrappy Trip Around the World blocks.  I rearranged the blocks into diamond shapes (they are trip around the world blocks after all!) and decided I needed an additional 24 blocks to make a queen-sized quilt for one of the beds at the camp.  
I still have a large collection of green fabrics - many of which are quite vintage.  I spent most of today slicing these into 2.5" strips for  Trip Around the World blocks.
By dinnertime, I had a good selection of 2.5" strips and had started sorting them into stacks of 6 strips for TAtW blocks.  I'll continue setting up stacks of 6 strips so everything will be ready for piecing this week.

I'm linking up with the other Rainbow Scrappers at Angela's blog for lots of rainbow scrap inspiration.  Hope you'll join us!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Scrap Happy Saturday: Pondering Scrappy Greens

Green is the color for scrappy creative play for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this month.  We visited green earlier this year, but then the intent was to use dark greens.  Now the challenge is to use light and bright green.  I guess I got a little carried away using green the first time around, because I've already made light and bright green blocks for some of my scrappy projects.  I still have lots of light and bright green scraps, though, so I'm sure I'll find good use for them in more Rainbow Sampler blocks!

Before I could really get into playing with the green scraps, I had to finish up my red Carpenter's Wheel for July.  I had most of the block assembled, I just needed to stitch the rows together. 

I did finish the remaining red Rainbow Sampler blocks earlier this week.
The Big Dipper block used up some vintage scraps.
The Kaleidoscope block showed me how rusty my paper piecing skills have become!

All the red scraps went back into their assigned bins and the green scraps came out to play.  The first August sampler block was mini bow ties, for which I happily used up some Kaffe Fassett scraps.
As I pondered what other green scrappy projects I could work on this month, I remembered I had started a green Trip Around the World last year - specifically to use up some of the dark, vintage greens in my stash.  I had cut a large batch of 2.5" strips and sorted them into groups of six so I could pick up the project and work on it throughout the rest of the year.  When I pulled out the bag of strips this morning there were a dozen or so sets of strips still waiting.  I finished all of them and got the blocks laid out for viewing and arranging.  The setting is currently 6 x 6 (the blocks are 12") and I think I'll make at least one more row.  I'm glad to have used up some of these older fabrics!

I'm linking up with the other Rainbow Scrappers over at Angela's blog.  It's late, but I think a little scrappy inspiration sounds like good bedtime reading!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Side Trip Into Upcycled Denim

This past Saturday I was inspired by the Rainbow Scrap Challenge to make this pattern using some red scraps.  My Dear Husband decided he would like an earbud case too, but he requested his be made from denim.

I have a huge tub of old jeans (waiting to be made into quilts, of course!), so I pulled out a likely pair and quickly cut out the needed denim pieces.  I found the perfect fabric for the lining in my stash and I also happened to have a dark blue zipper on hand.
The denim was heavy enough that batting was not needed, but I did use some lightweight fusible interfacing for a little extra body.
I also used some trusty fabric glue to help hold the pieces in place for stitching.
The process went a little more smoothly using an electric sewing machine with the ability to sew in reverse, but I still think the top-stitching done by my Singer Model 15 was prettier!
Dear Husband was tickled to have an earbud case made from his old jeans!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Scrap Happy Saturday: Red Rolls On

A few more days and our red creative playtime for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge will be over.  I'm not quite caught up with the Rainbow Sampler blocks and I still need to finish piecing this month's red Carpenter Star, but I think I can accomplish all that before the end of the week.  After playing with red fabric all month, I've decided a red and white quilt should be added to my Some Day list!
Elderly red scraps were used to assemble the RSC Sampler block called "Flock".
I grabbed these scraps to use for the sampler block Big Dipper, but realized too late I didn't have a Companion Angle ruler at the camp.  Instead, I made the Jewel Box block.  It's a little busy, but I think I like it!
Angela has made quite a batch of these little ear bud cases over the past few weeks.  I've had the pattern saved on Pinterest forever, so I decided it was time to make one, too.  I packed the materials needed and printed the pattern before leaving for the camp last night.  As luck would have it, I actually had a red zipper in my stash.
This is a fun pattern and easy to make!  I did it all on my vintage treadle sewing machine, which does not sew in reverse.  It worked OK, but it would've been easier to do some of the steps on a machine that could sew in reverse!  If I make the pattern again, I'll also use fusible batting as it would help keep the layers from shifting during sewing.  Like my turquoise ear buds?  I bought them cheap at Tuesday Morning 'cuz I go through ear buds on a regular basis.  These look good, but the sound quality is pretty bad!

I haven't checked out today's linky post at Angela's blog, so I'm heading over there next to see what all the other Rainbow Scrappers have been playing with this week!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Austen Family Album: For Family and Regent

Barbara Brackman's Austen Family Album BOW continues to educate and entertain!

The Waves of the Sea block was chosen to represent Jane Austen's brother, Francis Austen.  He had an illustrious career in the British Navy, including a knighthood conferred by Queen Victoria and ending his career as the Admiral of the Fleet.  I tried to use some of the text-themed fabric in my chosen collection - Curio by Basic Grey for Moda.  I think the block came out a little boring, but it fits in with the others nicely.
Another of Jane's brothers, Charles, also served in the British Navy.  The Crosses and Losses block is to symbolize his career; he remembered his sisters by buying them gold chains and topaz crosses.
Another of Jane's brothers, George Austen II, was born with some type of disability.  There is very little information available about George's life, but his condition prompted the family to board him with another family who cared for mentally disabled people in their home.  Thus, the block Home Comfort is in memory of George.
This is one of my favorite blocks so far - King's Crown.  The block was chosen in honor of England's Prince George, son of King George III.  Prince George served as the Regent during King George's periods of incapacity; his service gives name to the era of English history we now call the Regency.  I really enjoyed reading about Prince George and King George and especially the medical mystery that or may not have afflicted them.  I remember reading Regency novels by Georgette Heyer when I was a kid; now I understand more about the history and culture of the Regency!
The design wall was empty, so I was able to put all the blocks together - in no particular order.  Have I mentioned these blocks finish at 12"?  I'm going to run out of design wall space before the BOW ends!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Of Eagles and Blog Buttons

Audrey from Quilty Folk and I recently started an eagle quilt challenge/QAL to motivate ourselves and others to make that eagle quilt that's been on our quilting bucket list forever.  Quilt Like an Eagle was started over the July 4th holiday after a week of being inspired by patriotic quilts throughout Blogland.

Every good QAL needs a blog button to spread the word about the project of desire, so I dug through my collection of Victorian trade cards to find something worthy of button making.  I found a great illustration from a Davis sewing machine booklet.

After I edited the picture a little, I was ready to deal with the blog button code.  I had made one blog button before, but I didn't remember anything about the process other than it was a pain in the neck. 

Fortunately, Google search came to my rescue!  I found a website, The Willingham Enterprise, with simple instructions on how to create a blog button.  The best part of the instructions was the link to a free blog button code generator!  Once the code was created, it was a simple matter of copying the HTML for the blog button and pasting it in Bogger's HTML gadget.
 I was so impressed with the ease of the whole operation I wanted to share the information in case any of you find yourselves in need of a blog button.  The finished product is easy to install on your blog and easy for friends and followers to "grab" and post to their blogs.  I give it a big thumbs up!