New Orleans House Project

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Flamingo-Inspired Multi-Color Fun

Keeping up the multi-color fabric theme for this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I pulled out a pile of flamingo fabrics I started cutting last year with the intention of making a Postcard Quilt.

These flamingos were my first postcard inspiration.  The remaining postcards came from the stash or from stash-enhancement.

At first, I wasn't going to use the flamingo print on the bottom left, but the more I played with it, the more I was entranced by the colors.  After arranging and re-arranging all the different postcard fabric possibilities multiple times I came up with my final arrangement. 

I finished assembling all the blocks last night.  The finished size is approximately 30 inches by 30 inches, so it will be easy enough to machine quilt.

I even had a piece of striped fabric in the stash that turned out to be perfect for the binding! 

Of course, cutting all those postcards created a pile of scraps.  Not to mention all the fabrics that got pulled but not used.  The more I looked at everything, the more I realized I wasn't finished playing with these fabrics and colors.  It dawned on me I had a great start on fabrics for a flamingo-inspired version of Barb Vedder's Hex Vex pattern.  
I've only got one hexie partially pieced, but I've got lots of inspiration for block combos! 

Looking for more multi-color scrap inspiration?  Check out the Rainbow Scrap Challenge linky party for today!



Saturday, April 8, 2017

Multi-color Moves

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge this month is to use up multi-colored scraps.  Multi-color scraps can be difficult to use in "rainbow" projects, because they don't always have one prominent color.  I've made multi-color blocks for some of my past RSC projects, but this year's blocks don't really lend themselves to the multi-color theme.  No worries, I've got several ideas for finishing multi-color projects that are already underway.

There was not much time for sewing this week, but I was able to get in some fabric therapy last night.  I pulled some multi-color brights from the selvage box and made Rail Fence blocks.  I had to add one not-bright block to make my design wall layout work...

Today we're hanging at our camp.  It's been a perfect spring day - probably one of the last days of wonderful weather before we start with the high temps and high humidity of summer.  All these great multi-color strips were also hanging out at the camp, so I assembled some more lego quilt blocks.  

Tonight my Dear Husband is making Jamie Oliver's Chicken in Milk for dinner.  It's a new recipe for us - I'll report back.  A little Radio Margaritaville and a bottle of bubbly - celebrating the first week of April is a long-standing tradition!

While dinner is cooking I'll be reviewing all the multi-color inspiration at Angela's Soscrappy link-up.

Friday, March 31, 2017

March: 17ufosin2017 Progress

My Quilting Muse must have taken a Caribbean vacation this month.  I have not had much motivation to work on any quilting projects, be they new or old.  I did make a little progress on my 17ufosin2017, so maybe seeing that progress laid out here will help inspire me!

My Quilty 365 circles are almost a flimsy.  I stitched all the 30 circle sets together with a narrow, light gray sashing.  I have 7 circles that didn't fit into the block scheme.  My plan is to add another row of sashing on the bottom, then a narrow row of the 7 circles and some words.  The gray sashing will get repeated on all the outer edges of the quilt.  I'm not sure if that will complete the flimsy - the quilt hasn't spoken yet.

I made the continuous bias binding for my Austen Family Album quilt and attached it.  However, I have yet to pick up a needle and start stitching the binding to the back of the quilt.  

March also found me stitching up another batch of string blocks for the Spring Clean quilt.  I now have 2 completed blocks - only 7 left to go!  I've been working on the string blocks on the weekends we go to our camp.  In the interest of speeding things up, I brought home all the strings so I could make blocks on weekday evenings after work - great therapy!  

Having the 17ufosin2017 challenge has helped with the quilting motivation, even if that doggone Muse went on vacation!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Last of the Red Hot Scraps

I had fun digging through the last of the red scraps (and a few fabric chunks) to finish up my Rainbow Scrap projects for the month.

One of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects is making pinwheel blocks.  I have a specific plan for them, but I need to have all the colors completed before I start putting them together.  

Some red selvages got sliced and diced into Rail Fence blocks.

Just for fun, I added some purple and aqua blocks from earlier RSC months.

I had to go digging through the fabric bins to find large enough red chunks to make the wonky borders for my New Orleans houses.  As I was choosing the fabrics, I was really pleased with how the reds "worked" with the house blocks.  But after looking at the bordered blocks on my design wall all week, I was a little worried about the border fabrics being too dark.

Last night, I pulled out some of the already bordered blocks to see if everyone would play well together.  I decided my worries were pointless.  I'm looking forward to the finish on this project!

That's the end of my red scrappiness for March.  Red was fun, but I'm looking forward to a new color and new scrappy challenges.  There's more red scrappiness on view at Angela's SoScrappy blog.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Old School Block Building with Red Scraps

It's not all that visually exciting to show this "old school" scrappy block-building, but I'm enjoying the process of using up lots of small scrappy bits.

There's nothing more basic than simple 4-patch blocks, but they are a great way to use scraps.  And the design possibilities are endless!  These 4-patches were a good way to use up leftovers from the Windblown Wishes blocks I made last week.

These 49-patch blocks are using up some of the smallest scraps in my stash - 1.5 inch squares.  So far, the blocks have used up most of the already-cut square bits in the 1.5 inch scrap bin, so if I'm going to make more of these, I'll have to make more squares or do some strip and slice piecing.  For now, I'm just going to keep making blocks and decide how to use them later.

I'm linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge today:  lots of scrappy red inspiration to be seen there!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Red, Red March

It's been kind of a slow start for scrappy March sewing.  I'm still not functioning at 100% after a bout with the flu, so everything seems to be happening in slow motion.  After spending the morning getting long-deferred car maintenance taken care of, I managed to spend a few hours playing with the scrap bins.

Working on the red & pink fabric drawer
The Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for March is red.  I generally prefer using clear reds as much as possible for my RSC projects, and I found a lot of brownish red and maroon in the scrap bin.  That meant I needed to sort through the red yardage for some "new" scraps.  Sorting was a fun project, as the drawer of red and pink fabric has not been straightened in some time.   

After cutting some new scrappy 2 inch strips, I was able to assemble 2 Windblown Wishes blocks.  It was good to go digging through the red yardage and scraps; some of the fabric bits still floating around my stash are from my earliest days as a quilter!

Linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge party and enjoying everyone's red inspiration...

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February: 17ufosin2017 Progress

First item to report:  A Finish!  
All I needed for this finish was to complete the hand stitching on the binding.  Completed that today while recuperating from the flu and watching Mardi Gras festivities on TV.

The quilt was an attempt to use up a large portion of my purple and gold fabric scraps.  I still have a lot of purple and gold fabric (scraps and yardage), but that's OK, purple and gold are the school colors for Louisiana State University and there will probably be other school quilts in my future.

The back of the quilt features a purple bandana print.  Now that it's finished, it will go to my youngest son.  He asked for the first LSU quilt when he was in college - even designed it - so it's only fitting he gets a quilt made from some of the scraps from his quilt.

Now it's on to binding the next quilt in the pile/on the 17ufosin2017 list!

Next up:  Another Finish!
I have had this Joanna Figueroa pattern for over a year, and the fabrics (not hers) longer than that.  I put this project high on my 2017 UFO list hoping I would get motivated to finally turn the fabrics into a tote bag.

I was able to finish the medium-sized Feed Sack in early February.  The result is as cute as I expected, but for the next bag I think I'll make a few changes.  The outer pocket is too small to hold much (see the top picture of my iPod peeping out of the pocket).  The pattern included directions for a matching (half-round) inner pocket, but I didn't make that.   The next bag will have a deeper outside pocket and one or two inside pockets as well.  I already have the fabrics cut for the large version of the bag, so maybe I'll have that to show next month.

OK, that's enough with the Finishes.  
I've been working on assembling my Quilty 365 blocks.  I grouped the blocks into sets of 30, so they resemble calendar pages.  The last seven blocks (I made a few more than 365) will get spread out across the "bottom" of the quilt.  

I can't fit all the sets of 30 on my design wall at one time - here are the other 6 sets.  I'd like to get this to the completed flimsy stage by the end of March - wish me luck!

I'm still finding Meredithe's challenge inspirational and I'm excited to see what progress the other participants have made!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Last of the Aqua?

It's the last Rainbow Scrap Challenge Saturday for talking about aqua scrap projects.  I feel I've gone a long way toward emptying the aqua scrap bins - at least for now! 

As I was digging through the aqua scraps,  I found some chunks of this Natural Effects collection by Michele D'Amore.  I used the collection for the above RSC project in March of 2014 (still unquilted, BTW).  I really wanted to finish off the scraps, but I needed something that called for fairly large pieces of fabric to make the most of the designs.

I finally settled on a tote bag.  I wanted to keep a big piece of the multi-color floral intact, so I cut large strips for the top of the bag.  The body of the bag is made of 3 inch squares and the bottom and lining were made from a piece of Grunge (by Moda) yardage.

I used both fusible fleece and fusible interfacing on the body of the bag, then added straight line quilting to hold everything together. 

There was enough fabric to add a good-sized interior pocket.

I like long handles on my tote bags so I can sling them over my shoulder.   The finished bag measures 14.5 inches high and 16 inches wide.  This could become a go-to gift project, especially using slightly smaller dimensions.

I also made some aqua pinwheel blocks this week.  Here they are laid out with last month's purple blocks.  My ultimate plan is to mix up all the colors, but since I only have two colors so far, I just color-blocked them. 

I'm ready for the next round of color, but in the meantime I'll be checking everyone's Rainbow Scrap Challenge entries for today!



Saturday, February 18, 2017

Aqua Bits

It seems this may be my year for really using up small scraps.  Two Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects this week involved finding uses for some of the smaller scraps in the scrap boxes.*

I have a lot of two inch strips and squares left over from various projects or just cutting up scraps into usable pieces following Bonnie Hunter's Scrap-Users System.  Last month I pulled a lot of purple squares and started piecing 4-patch blocks.  I did the same for aqua squares this month.  I don't have definitive plans for these right now, but 4-patches are a versatile quilt building block and I'm sure they will find a happy use eventually. 

This is a small portion of my very large collection of 1.5 inch strips.  Several years ago, I decided to start piecing 1.5 inch strips in anticipation of making a "Lego" quilt (tutorial by Tonya Ricucci).

Piecing bits of 1.5 inch strips into longer sections is great mindless sewing, and before long I had a laundry basket full of pieced strips ready to be assembled into blocks.

I finally stitched up some blocks last summer.  I came to the conclusion this was going to be a very long-term project, because assembling the blocks was just not that much fun.  Those pieced strips are going to age for awhile longer.  And in while they're aging, I'm going to attempt to use  up some of the un-pieced stash of 1.5 inch parts and pieces.

I pulled the shortest bits of aqua 1.5 inch strips I could find, sliced them into squares and arranged a 49-patch block with white squares on the diagonal.  Despite the number and size of squares, the block went together quickly.  I decided to go back and repeat the process for last month's RSC color.  Once I use up the short bits of 1.5 inch strips, I can do some speedier piecing by sewing longer strips together and slicing them up.  

For more scrappy aqua inspiration, check out the link-up at Soscrappy.

*Disclaimer:  I don't really like working with scraps smaller than 1.5 inches, so my version of "small" may not be the same as yours!


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Aqua Wishes

I managed to do some serious depleting of my aqua and teal colored scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this week.  I don't have a big collection of blue-green fabrics in my stash, despite several years of stash enhancement for the RSC.  That sounds a little backwards, but you gotta have stash in order to make scraps, right?

This week's scrappy block was Windblown Wishes from Diane Knott's Scrap Quilt Secrets.  These are fun blocks to make and I look forward to having a pile of rainbow-colored Wishes at the end of the year!

In other news, I have been assembling my Quilty 365 blocks more rapidly than I thought possible.  I started assembling on Monday evening and I'm halfway through already!
I decided to set them in chronological order in sets of 30 - kind of like a calendar page.  The RSC color of the month often influenced which fabric got chosen on any given day, although apparently not often enough you'd be able to guess that month's color by looking at my blocks!

My plan is for narrow, neutral sashing between the 30 block sets.  Right now I'm auditioning 2 different gray fabrics.  The one on the right is a Riley Blake Blender and it's a bit on the taupe-y side.  The gray on the left is a Grunge fabric from Moda and definitely reads as more of a true gray.  I'm leaning more toward the Riley Blake right now...

Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Little Aquamarine to Soothe the Soul

It's Rainbow Scrap Challenge check-in day, and I have a few modest efforts to show.  Angela, our fearless RSC leader, used the word aquamarine to describe the color she wanted us to aim for this month.  I found that color to be a perfect description of the scraps I pulled to start my blocks. 

I started with the easiest of all projects:  selvedges pieced and cut into Rail Fence blocks.  Sally of The Objects of Design sent me a large box of selvedges last year.  Somehow it must be a magical box, because there never seems to be a dent in the contents! (Thanks, Sally!)

 Next I turned to the pile of Happy, Scrappy Houses I made as an RSC project several years ago.  My goal this year is to make wonky frames for all the house blocks so I can finally assemble them in a quilt.  I don't have a real plan for this, I just look at the blocks each month and try to find some that would look good with that month's RSC color as a frame.  I'm pleased with this month's results AND I got all the houses to go "down hill".  You may recall last month they all went "up hill" and not intentionally.

That's all my aquamarine until next week.  I spent most of today doing some long-neglected chores (yuck!) and now I'm too tired to be playing with sharp objects.  I think maybe a glass of wine and reading about everyone else's RSC adventures this week sounds like a good idea!

Monday, January 30, 2017

17 UFOs in 2017 Report

Is it already the end of January?  The month has been crazy and I'm glad I had plenty of quilty therapy to help keep me sane!  I've given attention to a good number of my 2017 UFO projects, but most don't have a great deal of visible progress, so I'll just pick a few to focus on.

My Bind-A-Thon has slowed a little this month.  This is quilt #5 of 5 that started the Bind-A-Thon back in late November.  I'm about to turn the corner and start hand stitching the 3rd side of this quilt.  When this one is finished, there are 4 additional quilts in need of binding by the end of 2017.

I need to get started on assembling the Quilty 365 blocks if I'm to have anything to show for Audrey's final linky party in May!  I originally thought I would set the blocks on point, but after doing some math, I realized I didn't want a quilt that large (over 100" x 100").  Back to the design wall.  I'll be thinking about this one for the next little while...

I did enough knitting on the Nae shawl to convince myself I need to purchase more yarn in order to finish.  Usually I over-purchase yarn for a project, but not this time.  Fortunately, the yarn and colorway are still available online, so getting more shouldn't be a problem.  I'll wait for the new yarn before I continue, so I can mix the two yarns and avoid an obvious demarcation between skeins.

Close to a finish here!  I've got all the parts and pieces done for the Fig Tree Feed Sack bag, just need to stitch everything together. 

Last, but not least - a completed flimsy.  This was kind of a cheat, because I only needed to add the final border.  Adding this top to the UFO project inspired me to "get 'er done!"  The Maverick Stars were a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project.  I was inspired by Julie Sefton's "Just Wing It" quilt to use some string pieced alternate blocks.  And the selvage Square in a Square blocks were inspired by Diane Knott's book, Scrap Quilt Secrets.  After all that piecing, the quilt was a little short on size, so I looked for some great fabric to add a final border.  The picture doesn't do it justice - it's a gorgeous magenta batik!  This one isn't high on the priority list for quilting, so I'm calling it finished for now.

That wraps up my January 17 UFOs in 2017 progress report.  I'm glad I joined the project - it's really motivating me to stay focused on finishing! 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Plethora of Purple Piecing

Over the past two weeks I've spent a large amount of my sewing time playing with scraps and experimenting with ideas for projects I've had in mind.  Not everything I tried was successful, but that's OK - it was a learning experience!  On the other hand, I did make a serious dent in my collection of purple scraps (the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for January) and purple selvages.

I wanted to do another selvage project and used up most of my purple selvages on an experiment that didn't quite work out.  I salvaged the last of the selvages for these Rail Fence blocks.  I'll keep making these in the RSC colors through the year and see how many I have at the end.   

I really hadn't planned to start this project, but somehow I found myself making pinwheel blocks and I couldn't stop.  These finish at 3 inches.  I have a definite plan in mind for them, and will use the RSC as an opportunity to make more blocks as the year goes on.

After all that scrap cutting, I had quite a batch of purple 2 inch squares, so I threw them in a basket and began pairing them up as 4 patch block components.  Not sure where that will lead, but at least I have a good supply of leader-enders.

When I give quilts as gifts, I usually like to make a pillowcase for the recipient to store the quilt in.   For the recent t-shirt quilt I made, I wanted to try making a large drawstring bag for the quilt instead.  I found a pattern online for a lined drawstring bag, and decided to make a practice version using some purple scraps.  The bag went together easily and I loved the finished version!  I was able to adapt the bag "recipe" for a large version and gave it away with the quilt.

I spent a chunk of time this morning putting the finishing touches on an unfinished RSC project, but I'll save that for Tuesday's link-up.  Now it's time for tea and some time perusing other RSC projects at today's link-up.

Monday, January 16, 2017

String Star Progress

One of my goals for the 17 UFOs in 2017 challenge is to make significant progress on a string quilt that's been hanging around for awhile. 

My quilt was inspired by Brioni Greenburg's Spring Clean Quilt*.  I love string quilts and was quite taken with this block arrangement that created stars.  I purchased the pattern and decided to use fabric scraps and strings leftover from making memory quilts from my late father's shirts.  I knew my quilt wouldn't be as bright and colorful as the inspiration, but it would be full of memories.

I can't say for sure when I started constructing blocks for the quilt - definitely over a year ago.  I decided to use white cotton fabric as foundation for the blocks instead of paper.  Once I got the foundation blocks cut, I dug through the shirting scraps and started slicing pieces into strings.  I didn't think I'd have enough fabric variety, so I threw in some sliced up novelty fabrics I had also purchased with my dad in mind. 

All the string components and blocks are at our weekend camp, so I only get to work on construction occasionally.  This weekend was one of those occasions.  I finally finished enough blocks to lay out my first star.  Only 8 stars left to complete!   

As I worked on the individual blocks (light blocks, dark blocks and half & half blocks), I was concerned that some of my "light" fabrics weren't light enough.  I think I will have to be careful in how I use some of the lights, but when the quilt is done and quilted, I don't think it will matter all that much.  I'm looking forward to making more string blocks next weekend!

*The Spring Clean Quilt was published in Issue 8 of the online sewing magazine Fat Quarterly.  I've tried to find an active link for the magazine, or a stand-alone publication of the pattern, but so far I haven't been successful.  Apparently there are some issues with Fat Quarterly's website, and it's currently inaccessible.  I'll keep checking so I can add an active link to the pattern in case anyone is interested in making the quilt.