New Orleans House Project

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.




Monday, July 31, 2017

July: 17ufosin2017

The end of July means it's time for another 17ufosin2017 report.
I missed reporting on my UFO projects at the end of June, but my July report will be identical to what I would've reported in June!

One of my most ambitious projects for 17ufosin2017 was to assemble all these Sawtooth Star and Uneven 9-Patch blocks.  I got that accomplished, only to realize the quilt was not going to be the size I expected.  What can I say, sometimes long-term projects play tricks on your memory!

I did not have the willpower to make another big batch of stars and 9-patches, so I decided to add a border of Flying Geese to help reach my desired size.  I made about 90 of these FG blocks, so now they need to be pieced together and attached.  I'll finish this quilt eventually!

Another 17ufosin2017 project is to get the binding on this Scrap Jar Star quilt.  I did get the binding made and machine-stitched to the front, but I still need to do the hand-stitching part.  I confess I have a mental block against stitching bindings down in the summertime.  My house is air conditioned, so I really can't say it's too hot to have a quilt on my lap.  Maybe it's the lack of appropriate television programming in the summer?  (i.e. I get lots of quilt binding done during American football season!)

I've also made some progress on the Nae Shawl over the past two months.  This one is kind of tedious, because it's mostly stockinette stitch and only gets decreased one stitch per round (front and back).  I'm down to about 40 stitches, so the rounds go quickly.  Once it's bound off I'll have to find a place to block it where the cat and dogs won't pester it.

I'm looking forward to seeing what progress others have made on their 17ufosin2017.  Check out the link-up at Meredithe's blog to see what's being worked on!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Summer Star Scrappy SAL: Nine Patches Without End!

I've made some progress on the steps for the Summer Star Scrappy SAL.  I'm not completely ready to start the latest step provided by Diane, but I'm not too far behind, either.  Participating in a SAL can be UFO-inducing, and I'm trying to avoid that!

This week, I finished all 48 nine patch blocks called for in step 1.  My stash of blue fabric scraps, chunks and yardage is deep and wide, so I had fun trying to put a dent in the collection.

I also made progress on step 2:  creating white and neutral nine patch blocks.  Today I was able to finish assembling all the 3-patch sections (180 sections!), so I can work on turning them into nine patch blocks this week.

Step 3 involves making split nine patch blocks, for which HSTs are required.  It just so happens I have a hefty stack of blue and white HSTs that were waste triangles from a big batch of Flying Geese blocks I just made.  The HSTs need stitching and trimming, but I'm just happy to have them waiting in the wings.  

Sorry to not have any pretty pictures this week; it's just all about the process right now.  It will be fun to start assembling the blocks when that step rolls around!  


Saturday, July 29, 2017

No Escape from the Blues

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge focus on blue is about to come to an end.  My stash of blue strips, squares and chunks has thinned and my RSC projects have edged closer to completion.  On the other hand, working with blue fabric this month inspired me to pull out a blue and white UFO and start another blue and white scrap quilt.  I think I'll be working with blue for more than just the month of July!

One RSC project I've been working on this year is 4 patches.  These were just a simple way to use up bits and pieces of strips and squares left over from other projects.  I don't have a plan for these right now; I think I'll just hold on to them until inspiration strikes.

Another RSC project has been Windblown Wishes blocks from Diane Knott's book Scrap Quilt Secrets.  When I finish all the rainbow colors, I'll have 16 ten-inch blocks.  I think I will stop there and turn them into a wall hanging.  Unless different inspiration strikes!

Now that all the RSC projects have their blue additions, I'll be back to working on my blue & white Sawtooth Star and Uneven 9-Patch quilt (aka Big Blue Monster).  I've decided the BBM needs a border of Flying Geese blocks, and I still need to make about 40 of them.  And when that's finished, I'll be working on Diane's Summer Star Scrappy Sew Along - in my case, another blue and white scrap quilt!


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Summer Star Scrappy Sew Along: The Fun Begins

Several weeks ago, Diane Knott of Butterfly Threads Quilting queried her readers about their interest in a scrappy summer sew along.  At the time, I was trying to come up with a way to further decrease my blue scrap bin and I thought Diane's idea sounded interesting.  I decided to participate and started prepping a stack of blue scrappy strips.

Diane shared the first SAL step last week:  creating nine patch blocks with a variety of scraps.  The SAL directions call for using fabrics of all colors, but I'm planning to use only blue, white and cream.  These block components were made by sewing strips together and cutting them to the requisite size.  I pulled lots of pieces from my 2 1/2 inch strip bin - some short pieces and some long pieces.  Using smaller pieces made the block component creation take a little longer, but I was happy to be using up lots of scraps!

I've pieced about half of the required 48 nine patch blocks so far.  It was hard for me to piece the nine patch blocks randomly, instead of in the traditional dark and light patterns.  I knew the fabrics would need to have some contrast, otherwise the blocks would end up looking like mush.  I may go back and cut some more strips to add a little more contrast and fabric variety to the mix.

Diane is sponsoring a weekly link-up on Sundays so participants can share their progress.  I can't wait to see what scrappy colors and fabrics other quilters will be using!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

My (Scrappy) Dreams Come True on Blue Bayou

Whenever the Rainbow Scrap Challenge focuses on the color blue, I seem to spend the month humming songs with "blue" in the title.  This gives me a great excuse share Youtube videos like this one:
"Blue Bayou" was a big hit for Roy Orbison, but I love this version with Linda Ronstadt and the Muppets, circa 1980!

OK, now that we've had our musical interlude, I'll start the quilting part of our program. 😎

Here's a blue 49-patch block, made with all scrappy 1 1/2 inch pieces.  This did a pretty good job of cleaning out all the smallish blue scraps.

Since we've gone half-way through the year, I decided to contemplate all the previous blocks together.  Once I finish the RSC colors for the year, I'll have to decide if I want to keep making theses scrappy blocks piece by piece or resort to strip piecing.  Since the blocks only measure 7 inches when finished, I'll need quite a few more blocks to make a quilt. 

Blue selvage blocks were also completed.

And all the selvage blocks were duly contemplated.  The individual selvage blocks measure 4 inches finished, so this is another project that will need many more blocks to reach a respectable size.  I'm thinking this might become part of a large selvage sampler project (i.e. make more selvage blocks in different styles/patterns next year).

A few more house blocks got wonky borders.  

Here are all the Happy, Scrappy Houses so far (I jumped ahead and did some pink wonky borders, too).  Once all the wonky borders are added, I'll be making some appliquéd words to mix in with the houses.  Maybe this will get finished by the end of the year?

Last - but not least - a scrappy blue Burgoyne Surrounded block.  That blue fabric with dragonflies has been hanging around in the stash for over 10 years.  I keep trying to use it up, but the scraps never seem to diminish!  

All the Burgoyne blocks are trying to play nicely with each other.  I love the colorful funkiness going on here!  Check out Cathy's finished Burgoyne top or the original pattern from Becky - I think they'll bring a smile to your face!

Now that I've brought all my RSC documentation up to date, I'm off to do some more stitching.  There are still more RSC projects to work on, as well as Diane Knott's Summer Scrappy Sew Along.  In between, I'll be playing with all the dogs (aka the Swirling Dog Mass) and humming more songs with "blue" in the title!