New Orleans House Project

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!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Blues Go On Forever, and the Cutting Never Ends

Most of my  blue Rainbow Scrap Challenge sewing this week involved the assembly of a lot of Sawtooth Stars and Uneven 9-Patch blocks.
This project has been floating around for a couple of years, and I decided 2017 was the year to finish it.  This is only about a quarter of the blocks.  The rest were assembled into similar-size sections, which will get sewn together before the weekend is over.

Another element of the Sawtooth Star quilt will be a border of Flying Geese blocks.  I've got about 50 FG blocks made (upper left), but I need about 40 more.  Hence the pile of 3 1/2 inch strips on the cutting mat.

While I had the blue fabric chunks and yardage out, I also cut a big batch of 2 1/2 inch strips to add to the collection in my bin (top right).  I'm succumbing to temptation and joining Diane Knott's 2017 Summer Sew Along.  I've been thinking about projects that would use up more blue scraps, and this seemed like a great idea.  I'll be using blue and white and cream as my color combination.

Dear Hubby and I were out and about for a bit this morning and dropped into a couple of our favorite treasure-hunting places.  A fun time was had by all!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

It's All About the Blues

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for July is blue.  Since we in the northern hemisphere are about to find ourselves in the hottest time of the year, maybe playing with blue scraps will help us stay cool.  I'm going to keep that idea in mind while I try to use up as many of my blue scraps as possible!

In the U.S., it's also our nation's birthday weekend, aka the Fourth of July.  That means we've packed ourselves off to our camp for the next several days, where we'll enjoy all kinds of outdoor summertime activities.  It's not a good time for sewing, but I did bring lots of scraps to prep.

I pulled several stacks of strips and squares from the 2 inch scrap box.  These will get prepped for a variety of RSC projects.  I also need to make almost 100 Flying Geese blocks for another scrap quilt in the works, so I brought the prepped pieces for those - maybe I'll do a little sewing...

Some folks refer to this time of year as the Dog Days of Summer.  This year, I have a new understanding of the Dog Days.  
Our oldest son, Andrew, is off exploring a host of national parks and will eventually wind up in California, hiking the John Muir Trail.  He's been planning the trip for the past year and is anticipating lots of good adventures and photographs.

While he's off adventuring, we're taking care of his dog, Moose.  

That's in addition to our two dogs, Bailey & McKenzie.

In about two weeks, we'll add another dog to the menagerie, as our youngest son's dog will come for a visit.  Every summer, youngest son David's job takes him to California for a month, so we take care of his dog, Jozy, while he's gone (Jozy and McKenzie are siblings).  

The end of the Dog Days of Summer signal the beginning of the worst stretch of Hurricane Season.  I think I'll still be glad to see the end of the Dog Days this year!

I'm curious to see what all the Rainbow Scrappers are dreaming up for their blue scraps.  There's a linky party at Angela's blog - will there be virtual barbecue and fireworks in honor of the holiday?!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Clean Up with Yellow

For this week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge stitching, I dug into the last of the yellow scraps and made some small building blocks.

It only takes 2 inch strips and an Easy Angle ruler to make scrappy pinwheel blocks.  I have a design in mind for these, but I'm waiting for all the RSC colors to finish up before I start assembling anything.

The last of the yellow 2 inch strips and pieces got assembled into 4-patch blocks.  No specific plans for these, but I'm sure inspiration will strike at some point.

I also tried my hand at making two more Burgoyne Surrounded blocks.  
The yellows don't balance out too well in this block, but I think it will be OK when combined with more blocks in a quilt.

I think this one balanced out a little better.  I was inspired by Cathy's Burgoyne blocks; Cathy was inspired by the pattern here.  If you are intrigued by this block, I encourage you to give it a try.  Choosing the fabrics is fun and the cutting and piecing are not difficult - not quick, but not difficult!

I've enjoyed all the yellow fabric play this month, but my yellow scrap bins are pretty empty and I'm ready for a new color.  To see more yellow scrappiness, check out the weekly Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Flamingo Hexie Progress

On my recent trip to Florida, I procured some new flamingo fabrics for my collection.  Some of these will get used for flamingo hexies, the rest will wait for other inspiration to strike.  I have to give a shout out for one of my favorite fabric stores, A & E Pharmacy in Pensacola, Florida.  Yes, it's a real pharmacy, with a ginormous fabric store attached!  If ever a trip takes you to the general vicinity, it's worth the drive to check out the shop (hint:  it's not too far off I-10).  

I've made a little progress on my flamingo hexie project.  I'm really enjoying all the fabric play and fussy-cutting!

Fussy cutting might be my new fabric addiction.  I use templates cut from card stock to help me figure out which designs I want to feature in fussy-cut pieces.  I should probably re-cut these in template plastic, so they hold up longer.

Cathy was inspired to start her second hexie quilt:  All Creatures Great and Small.  She has lots of great fussy-cutting! 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Yellow Takes Over the Neighborhood

The New Orleans House Project, aka Happy Scrappy Houses, came out to play this week.  As I made house blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge several years ago, I tried to share a New Orleans house in a matching color.  It was fun searching for just the right house to inspire or match my weekly RSC house block.  

Now my weekly RSC project is to go back and add RSC-colored wonky borders to each house.  This week, several houses joined the yellow neighborhood.
I'm happy to report the wonky borders used up a lot of yellow chunks from the scrap stash.

I miss sharing pictures of New Orleans houses each week, but my job doesn't have me driving around the city as much as a few years ago.  If you're interested in seeing more New Orleans houses, check out the following Instagram folks for lots of great photos from the Crescent City!

If you're interested in scrap quilts, check out all the Rainbow Scrappiness at Soscrappy!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Windblown Yellow

I did a lot of yellow scrappy prep work this week.  Lots of parts an pieces were cut, although not all were sewn.  Amazingly, I made a huge dent in my yellow scraps! 

The first blocks I assembled were Windblown Wishes from Diane Knott's Scrap Quilt Secrets.  Every time I make these blocks, I want to jump ahead and make all the other RSC colors just to see how they all turn out!  

I didn't have room to put all the Windblown blocks on the design wall today, but here's a sample of how the RSC blocks look so far.  Diane's quilt has sashing with cornerstones, which creates a secondary 9-patch between the blocks.  I will definitely be setting my blocks that way!

That's all the yellow scraps I have stitched to date.  There are still pinwheel blocks, 4 patches and Happy Scrappy House borders.  Maybe even a Burgoyne Surrounded block.  If you're a fan of scrap quilts, check out the Rainbow Scrap Challenge link up for this week!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Austen Family Album Volume 1 - The Complete Story

I briefly mentioned my Austen Family Album quilt last week.  It was a finished object I noted as part of the 17ufosin2017 challenge.  I thought the quilt deserved to have its entire story told, so here we go with its biography!

I started making the Austen Family Album blocks in April, 2014.  Barbara Brackman provided the patterns and I used fabric from one of my all-time favorite collections - Curio by Basic Grey (Moda).  When the BOW was complete, I had a wall full of 12-inch blocks.  I decided to split the colors into groups, with yellow, pink and turquoise fabrics in one group and the brown and orange fabrics in another.

I put the final stitches in the binding at the end of May, just in time for a trip to Florida.  I planned on giving the quilt to my sister, and I knew I would see her during my visit.

My local LAQ, Cindy Braiwick, did a fantastic job on the quilting.   

The finished quilt measures out at 74 inches by 88 inches.   My sister was excited to have such a "literary" quilt (she was an English major in college).  She said she was looking forward to re-reading some Jane Austen while snuggled under her quilt!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Here Comes the Scrappy Sun

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for June is yellow.  Thank goodness for some sunshiny yellow scrappiness this week, as our weather has been rainy and dismal!

I started with my smallest scraps from the 1 1/2 inch scrap bin.  

These blocks are fun to play with, but at only 7 inches in size, it will take some time to accumulate enough of them for any type of project!

I also made some yellow selvage blocks.  

There are still lots of yellow scraps in the bins, so I'll keep working on scrappy projects.  And for more scrappy inspiration, check out the RSC weekly link-up at Angela's blog!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May: 17ufosin2017

Time for another 17ufosin2017 report.  I missed last month's link-up, mostly because I posted my only progress for the month as a link to Audrey's Quilty 365 wrap-up post.  

I'm so glad I pushed myself to assemble all those Quilty 365 blocks into a top - otherwise I'd probably still have a basket full of blocks 5 years from now!  My son came up with the name "Full Circle".   I don't have a timetable for the quilting, but it will happen eventually.

Another of my 17 projects for 2017 was to simply add borders to a scrappy RWB quilt that has been in the making for a year or two.  
The photograph makes the border look very dark, but in person it's a great frame for all those red, white and blue fabrics.  At some point later this year, the top will get quilted and gifted.

Once the red, white and blue quilt was off the design wall, I started pinning up these Sawtooth Star and Uneven 9-Patch blocks.  I've had the blocks made for several years, so it was a priority for me to get them assembled into a top this year.  I still have a lot of stitching to do on this project, but 17ufosin 2017 will help keep me motivated!

Last, but not least, I finished hand-stitching the binding and label for one of my Austen Family Album quilts.  It was gifted to my sister just this past weekend.  I think she liked it!

That's all my progress to date.  It's been very satisfying to check off projects on my 17ufosin2017 list, although there are still some very large projects left to complete!  Meredithe has a linky party over at her blog, pomegranate and chintz, so do check out all the other ufo progress.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Big Blue Monster

One of the projects I am aiming to finish this year is a blue and white scrap quilt I planned with my guest room bed in mind.  The guest room never seems to have a decorating scheme or quilts of its own - maybe because my kids keep moving home and setting up camp in there!

Back in 2014, the guest room was vacant, so I decided to make a quilt for that room.  The room is painted blue, so I knew a blue and white quilt would be perfect.  I decided to make Sawtooth Star and Uneven 9-patch blocks, inspired by a quilt on Barbara Brackman's website.  I cut parts and pieces from my very large collection of blue fabrics and used a white on white fabric for the background.

My original plan was for 100 eight inch blocks.  When I reached that goal, I decided the quilt wasn't big enough and added more blocks until I had enough for 11 rows by 11 rows.

Last weekend I started pinning the blocks to the design wall.  I chose an uneven number of rows so there would be a Sawtooth Star block in each corner.  

Once I had all the blocks pinned up, I did the math and decided the quilt STILL wasn't big enough for a queen-sized bed.

Fortunately, I still had my cutting instructions, so I quickly cut and pieced another row of blocks, making the quilt 12 x 11, or 96 inches by 88 inches.

I've dubbed the quilt the Big Blue Monster because it fills the design wall and I'm feeling overwhelmed about stitching all those 8 inch blocks together!  I didn't even add the new row to the design wall because I'd have to climb up and down the step-stool or crawl on my knees to get it pinned up.

If I were staying home this weekend (Memorial Day observance in the United States), I could probably get lots of stitching done.  I'm off to Florida to visit family, though, so all those blocks will just have to chill until I get back.  This project has been underway since 2014, so I guess it can wait a little longer!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Green Scrap Therapy

A little more green scrap therapy happened this week.

These Rail Fence selvage blocks barely made a dent in the green selvages.  I may have to make more!

Some Happy Scrappy House blocks got green wonky borders.  This project is starting to speak very loudly about being finished, so I might have to move ahead and make more wonky borders without waiting for RSC inspiration.

I hand-pieced a few green scrappy pieces, too.  These are for my Hex Vex project.  One trick I learned for piecing hexies is to use tape to hold the hexie parts together for flat back-stitching - note the tape on the flamingo block.

This also happened:
I had admired and been inspired by Cathy's Burgoyne Surrounded blocks for several months.  Then Gayle acted on her inspiration, so I decided to challenge myself to try making a block.  I like the kind of low volume way my block turned out, but what I really like are Cathy's bright color schemes.  I don't think my stash will support that look, so I'm not sure I will keep making these blocks.  I left this one pinned to the design wall to see what inspiration will flow from it!

For more green, scrappy inspiration, check out the link-up at Soscrappy today!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Green Scrappy Bits

I'm off to a slow start on Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects this month.  There was this little distraction called the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (Jazz Fest for short) which was entertaining, but exhausting.  We had friends visiting from out of town, so prepping for that took time away from sewing, too.  It felt good to have some fabric therapy time today, as I dug through all the green scrap bins to make up some RSC blocks.

First up were some Windblown Wishes blocks from Diane Knott's book, Scrap Quilt Secrets.  These made a pretty good dent in all the lighter varieties of green in the scrap bins.

I also made some pinwheel blocks.  I need 15 of these, but I ran out of workable combos.  Time to make more scraps!

This 49-patch took every little green scrap in the bin.  I wasn't sure I could get all the different shades of green to play well together, but it's not too bad.

I've only made 4 of these blocks so far.  I'm not sure what the final plan for them will be.  They only finish at 7 inches, so I'll need a lot more of them if I want a quilt.

I also had enough bits of green to make some 4 patch blocks.  Again, there's no specific plan for these, I'm just trying to use up scraps.  I've started a notebook (in Evernote) of 4 patch quilt designs.

I still have some other Rainbow Scrap projects in need of green scraps.  I hope I'll have time for more fabric therapy this week so all my RSC projects get their infusion of green.  There's more green inspiration at the RSC link-up today.