New Orleans House Project

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.