New Orleans House Project

Saturday, January 24, 2015

RSC-15: Still Playing with 9 Patches and Flamingos

It's another blue Saturday for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. 
I didn't have much scrappy playtime this week, but I did make an additional batch of 9 patch blocks -  meeting my goal of 8 blocks per month.
The blocks will eventually be arranged in a pattern like this, only the colors will be random.  I can't wait to see what next month's RSC color will be so I have more blocks to play with!
I never did find a happy group of fabrics to make a "modern" quilt using the bottom flamingo fabric in this stack.  That's OK, I have lots of flamingo fabrics (this is a small sample!), so maybe a different RSC monthly color will bring about the right fabrics and inspiration.  Or, maybe I should make a Postcard Quilt featuring several different flamingo fabrics.   I think I need to keep bringing out these fabrics and keep the inspiration muse on her toes!

There's plenty more colorful inspiration over at Angela's Soscrappy blog, where all the Rainbow Scrappers are linking  up today!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

RSC-15: Cleaning Up Drywall Dust Blues

I'm so happy I got to play with my scrappy blues earlier this week, because there was no sewing time today.  I spent the day cleaning drywall dust caused by some recent repairs/renovations instead of indulging in my favorite obsession pastime.  I still have a big plateful of cleaning to do tomorrow, but I think the worst is behind me.

This week I played with the blue strings and crumbs, finding enough goodies to create two Maverick Star blocks.  They are laid out on a piece of Moda Grunge fabric I am auditioning for another project.  I love Moda Grunge - it's such a neat fabric for adding color and texture!

I do have a blue project to focus on tonight - if I can stay awake long enough to do some stitching.  This is Minick & Simpson's Paisley Parade quilt.  It has been patiently waiting for the binding to be stitched down, so I'm anticipating a nice stitching session in my new recliner!

I haven't even looked at today's Scrappy Saturday link-up, but that's on the agenda too.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Hand Stitching to Stay Sane!

My house has been torn up for the past two weeks while some long-postponed repairs and remodeling were done.  We needed to update the lighting in our kitchen, which necessitated some drywall installation.  While the contractor was working with drywall, we also needed to have some repairs done in the great room where water leaking around the chimney damaged the ceiling and wall.  On top of that, the shower plumbing in our bathroom also needed repair/upgrading.  Since the bathroom was going to be torn up anyway, we pulled out the bathtub and had a walk-in shower installed, along with new cabinets and counter top. Between the drywall dust and construction noise, it's been a long two weeks!

Fortunately, I was able to use some hand stitching to help me keep my sanity. 

I started this mini eagle quilt last July, as a kick-off to the Quilt Like An Eagle Quilt Along.   I thought it would be a quick project, but it wound up taking more time than I ever expected.  This week gave me the opportunity to finish the quilting and binding.  The fabrics are all scraps from Minick & Simpson's Paisley Parade.  The Paisley Parade quilt also needs some hand-stitching love - the binding is attached and just needs to be stitched to the back - it's definitely next in the queue!

Tomorrow I have lots of cleaning to do - there's drywall dust inside my kitchen cabinets! - but tonight I think I'll relax and enjoy some more hand stitching time.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

RSC-15: Repro Blue Stars and Blue Flamingo Playtime

It's Saturday, which means scrappy playtime for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  This year I wanted to try using some reproduction fabric scraps for one of my RSC projects. 
It's my old friend, Scrap Jar Stars!  This is such a great block for using up scraps, I figured I'd use it again and enjoy the challenge of using reproduction fabrics.  I found a big chunk of off-white tone on tone in my stash, so I decided to use it for the 16 patch blocks as well as the remaining background pieces (the fabric is not quite as bright as it appears in the picture).
I think I will have to do some experimenting to get good photographs of these repro blocks.  The sun is shining here, but it's too cold and windy for outdoor photography today!

Another idea that's been kicking around in my head this week is to try to use up some of my big chunks of novelty fabric using the RSC color of the month.  As I was re-organizing my fabric closet this past fall, I decided it was time to start using some of the theme fabrics I've collected over the years:  flamingos, dolls, cats, dogs, etc.  There are so many great patterns and ideas for using large print fabrics now, it wouldn't be difficult to find the right inspiration and pull additional yardage from the stash.  That's the idea, anyway. 
Just for fun, I pulled this yard of flamingo fabric with a rich blue background.  I was thinking of using a pattern similar to the Modern Teal quilt I made last year -  largish pieces of fabric with white sashing.  Some of these fabrics work well with the flamingos, but I don't have big pieces of any of the pinks and the Kaffe Fassett is not quite the right shade of green (it's much greener than it appears in the picture, but it just doesn't work that well).  I hate to go shopping for more fabric when I'm supposed to be doing this as a scrap challenge, so maybe this idea will have to go on the back burner for now.  With all the theme fabrics I have stashed, there's bound to be at least one month in the RSC when I can put them to good use!

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

Friday, January 9, 2015

Memory Quilt #6

I have been making a series of memory quilts using my father's shirts.  When my dad passed away four years ago, I took all of his plaid and striped sport shirts with the intention of making quilts for his children (my sisters and me) and grandchildren (two grandsons & two granddaughters).  It has taken me a few years, but I've made quilts for everyone but myself.  I added the final border to quilt number six today.
The center of the quilt is a Carpenter's Wheel block with a nautical-themed antique map as the neutral fabric.  I used the same arrangement for quilt number five.
After making 4 of these HST zig-zag borders, I've got the process streamlined.  I still love zig-zag borders, I just don't think I want to make any for awhile!
Like quilt number five, this one also has a sand dollar print border, but in a darker shade of blue.  Quilts five and six are for my nieces who live at the beach, so I'm happy the quilt weaves their lives with his.
I love this picture - the girls are helping Poppy with his garden.  I think I will make a photo-transfer of this picture as part of the quilt label. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2015

It's the first Saturday of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, so I wanted to start off on a good foot with a post about my first scrappy efforts this year.  The challenge color for January is blue - which is not a problem for me as I have an abundance of blue scraps.

Since my overall quilting plan for the year is to finish projects, I started out by adding some 9 patch blocks to a batch I started during last year's RSC. 
These were made from strips and squares already in my 2 1/2" scrap bin.  The blocks finish at 6" and will be joined together to make 12" blocks.  I think I'll aim for at least 100 of the smaller blocks, so that means I need to make 8 blocks per month.  It's good to have a plan!

That's all the blue scrappiness I have to offer today.  It's been kind of a quilt retreat day, but I've been focused on finishing another quilt top and doing prep work for some other projects I plan to complete this year.  I've been taking a break and checking out this Saturday's RSC Link-Up over at Angela's Soscrappy blog, but now I think I'll try to get some more work done before I get too sleepy!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015: It's All About the WIPs!

Many bloggers have shared delightful quilt year retrospectives this week.  I was inspired to look back over my quilting year, and I was surprised to find I had only completed TWO quilts this year!

On the other hand, my collection of WIPs (works in progress) seems to just keep growing.  I did some cleaning and tidying in the sewing room this fall, and decided it was time to focus on finishing projects.  That's my goal for 2015 - to make a serious dent in all the projects in varying states of completion!
Both of this year's completed quilts were started as part of the 2012 Rainbow Scrap Challenge. 

I probably would have finished more quilts in 2014, but I developed a reluctance to begin that last step in quilting:  applying the binding.  Normally, I don't mind the binding process and actually enjoy hand-stitching the binding to the back of the quilt.  For some reason, I just could not get excited about binding for most of this year.  As a result, there are four quilts in the queue that need binding! 

I did manage to get a few flimsies completed this year.  There's also another plaid memory quilt - similar to the quilt top in the upper right corner - in the queue for quilting.

The biggest queue is quilt tops in various stages of piecing.  I'm embarrassed to fully enumerate all of the languishing projects, so I chose a few to really focus on for the first part of the year.  

The birds, flowers and stars are destined to be an applique border for the bowtie blocks below.  

The blue and white blocks were a year long leader-ender project of uneven 9 patches and alternate sawtooth stars.  All the blocks are finished now and need assembling.

Rounding out the projects are two samplers from 2014.  The Rainbow Scrap Sampler was offered by Angela at Soscrappy.  I've been participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for a couple of years, so doing the sampler was a fun project to share with online scrap-loving friends.  I also participated in Barbara Brackman's Austen Family Album, a sampler that focused on author Jane Austen and her friends and relations.  I need to finish another half dozen or so blocks for this project before it will be ready for assembly.
There's still at least one more memory quilt to make.  That will be a total of 6 quilts made from my father's shirts.  I made a good start on the center of the 6th quilt today.

So my goal is to avoid new projects and focus on finishing some of the quilts I've shared today.  It will be hard to resist the siren song of fabric and creativity, but I'll be much happier when some of these projects are off the "To Do" list!



Saturday, December 27, 2014

Scrap Happy Saturday: Lest Auld Scrappiness Be Forgot

I've come to the conclusion I should just take a vacation from blogging in December.  It's always a crazy month for me, as my husband and youngest son both have birthdays before Christmas.  This year has been even crazier, as my major project at work culminates on December 31st, and these past few weeks have been a mass of frustration as I try to herd cats to a successful outcome! 

Fortunately, I have had time to sneak in some quilt therapy here and there.  I've been wrapping up Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects from this year and contemplating what I will do for next year's RSC.  
Last weekend I immersed myself in all the episodes of Season One of the "Serial" podcast, and made the borders for the Carpenter's Wheel quilt.
The finished quilt measures 68" x 68".  No clue yet how it will be quilted, but I do plan to give it to my sister when it's done.  I really enjoyed challenging myself with this project and now I can cross this quilt block off my quilting bucket list!
While I'm talking about this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects, I'll mention this Scrap Jar Star quilt again.  I still need to add at least a bit more width to it, so I'll be looking for some appropriate border fabric as the new year begins.  I'm going to give this one to my youngest sister.
My Rainbow Scrap Sampler blocks are still waiting for sashing.  That will definitely be a project for 2015.
I made a few of these 9-patch blocks this year.  These are only 6" blocks, so I'll need more before I have enough for a quilt.  This project will continue through 2015.
Another RSC project this year was making Maverick or Liberated Stars.  Again, these are only 6" blocks, so I'll need to make more before I have enough for a quilt.  Channeling Bonnie Hunter:  I'm thinking of making string-pieced, low volume blocks for the alternate squares.
The RSC has really taught me to appreciate 16-patch blocks.  They are not only great scrap busters, but good building blocks for a variety of quilts.  This block was made in 2014, and the darker fabric shades inspired me to focus on reproduction fabric 16-patches for 2015.  

I'm really looking forward to the next round of Rainbow Scrap Challenge fun!  Many thanks to our fearless leader, Angela of SoScrappy, for all her work in providing inspiration for our quilt therapy!

Here's to the last Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up of 2014!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Scrap Happy Saturday: The Fruits of Scrappiness

Seems like I have been busy with things other than sewing - especially work - since Thanksgiving.  I haven't had much sewing time, but I'm getting things done in small batches.  I'm still focused on finishing several quilt projects so the slate is clear for the beginning of 2015.  It's a worthy goal, but I don't know if I'll achieve it!
I finished assembling all the Scrap Jar Stars.  The current measurement is approximately 55 x 70, which to my mind is a little narrow.  I have just enough of the dotty background fabric to add another round of narrow sashing to complete the floating 9 patches on the outer edges.  That will only add three inches to the width, so I'm still contemplating whether I want to try adding a multi-color print border for additional size.  I guess it would depend on whether I could find just the right fabric for another border.
I also spent some quality time with my Carpenter's Wheel blocks.  I needed one more block to make a three by three setting, so I made a color wheel version of the block.  
When the color wheel block was finished, I just randomly pinned all the Carpenter's Wheel blocks to the design wall.  I plan to add white sashing and cornerstones to the blocks so there will be a floating 9 patch secondary design.  I'll probably add a solid white border, a border of random colored squares and another white border.
I tried re-arranging the blocks into color wheel order, but I think I like the random arrangement better!

 I'm linking up with the other Rainbow Scrap enthusiasts over at Angela's SoScrappy blog today.  There will be lots of colorful inspiration, for sure!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

New String Piecing Inspiration

I have been a fan of string piecing since my earliest days as a quilter.  I love the economy of using scraps and the soothing therapy of piecing without much concern for accuracy and matching points!

A new book devoted to string piecing has been making the rounds in quilting blogland, and I ordered my own copy after reading the first online review I happened across.  Those of you who followed the New Orleans House Quilt Project will know I was immediately smitten with the string-pieced houses on the cover!  I see another set of rainbow-hued house blocks in my future.
Simply Strings: A Modern Approach to a Traditional Quilt Block by Rana Heredia has some wonderful new ideas for string piecing.  There are instructions for quilts in various sizes, table runners, wall hangings and even a tote bag.  There are new variations on the typical geometric string-pieced block, as well as modern, organic interpretations such as string-pieced leaves and pumpkins.
One quilt that caught my eye immediately is "Bee Yourself".  The quilt measures 34 x 37", but I could also see three of the blocks used as a table runner.  I might have to play with this over the Thanksgiving holiday!  Did I mention full-size pattern pieces are included with the book?

No affiliation with the author, just very inspired by her work.