New Orleans House Project

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Let the Summer Fun Begin!

Hi blog!  I've missed you!  Life has been keeping me away from you, but I'm back and ready to share some stitching fun.

Summer started out with a family trip to Wisconsin.  Even though I grew up in Florida, I was born in Wisconsin, and both my parents have extensive family history there.  Somehow, I wrangled both boys and my dear hubby into making this trip to visit family and family history sites.  We had a great trip and made lots of great new memories!

Once we got back from our trip, it was back to work and back to stitching.  I needed to make a fourth orange Tiny Tuesday block.  I struck off on my own for this block, as this Hayes Corner block (upper left) tickled my fancy.  

Once the orange Tiny Tuesday blocks were wrapped up, it was time to dig into a new batch of scraps.  Dark blue is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for June, and I jumped in and made a blue Burgoyne Surrounded block.  

Next up - Ring of Stars blocks.  They look pretty good in dark blues!

Sugar Bowl blocks are still on the menu, too.  After finishing these RSC blocks, there was a noticeable decrease in the pile of dark blue scraps and chunks!

And so my RSC blocks for the month are done.  There are still Tiny Tuesday blocks to make each week, but now I can direct my stitching time to catching up on my Hospital Sketches blocks.  Of course, there's always temptation inspiration to be found in the weekly Rainbow Scrap link-up!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Orange Scraps Are Very Appealing!

Fabric therapy time has been in short supply the past few weeks.  Happily, I was able to rummage through the orange scraps and put together some blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!

Two orange Sugar Bowl blocks were added to the collection.

I set them together with Sugar Bowl blocks from last year.  The plan is to set the blocks in groups of four like this.

I used some scrappy chunks to make more Ring of Stars blocks.  I'm definitely planning to gift this quilt to a friend when it's finished, but I might have to make one of these for myself!

Bits of this and that got turned into 4-patch blocks.  These go in the Parts Department for now.

One all orange Burgoyne Surrounded block used up a good hunk of scraps.  

I wanted to see how all my Burgoyne colors were balancing out, so they all went for a spin on the design wall.  I still need some pink blocks, more blue blocks, and maybe another purple.  I only need seven more blocks before I can start the assembly process.  The final quilt will have sashing and 9-patch cornerstones (already complete).  

Now that the Rainbow Scrap projects are wrapped up, I'm ready to focus on my Hospital Sketches BOMThis month's block is a challenge, for sure!

If scrappy quilts are appealing to you, check out the Rainbow Scrap Challenge weekly link-up.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Tiny Tuesday: The Road To [Insert Destination Here]

I've been enjoying the Tiny Tuesday Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler project, and have found myself looking through quilt block anthologies for blocks to adapt to the TT format.

My source calls this block the Road to the White House.  I'm not having any of that.  What we need is a block to commemorate the cultural phenomenon of HBO's Game of Thrones series. 😀With that in mind, I'm calling my block the Road to the Iron Throne.   If you're not a fan of the show or George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire books, I'll leave you to decide on your own destination!

This block is pretty straight forward, and based on a 9-patch grid.  When complete, the block will measure 5 inches, but will be 4.5 inches when sewn into a quilt.

For your Road To [Insert Destination Here] block, you will need scraps in light, medium, and dark values.

From the light value fabric cut: 
2 - 2 3/8 inch squares
4 - 1 1/4 inch squares

From the medium value fabric cut:
2 - 2 inch squares
2 - 1 1/4 inch squares

From the dark value fabric cut:
2 - 2 3/8 inch squares
6 - 1 1/4 inch squares

Sub-cut the 2 3/8 inch squares (light and dark) diagonally into 4 triangles.

Assemble the 1 1/4 inch squares into 4-patches as shown above.
Assemble the triangles into half-square triangles as shown.

Arrange the pieced units and medium value 2 inch squares as shown.  Stitch the block components into rows, then stitch the rows into the finished block.

Press and admire! 
(I pressed my final seams open to help decrease bulk)

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Tiny Aqua Tuesdays

And here we are at the beginning of May.  Time for a new Rainbow Scrap Challenge color!

Before things start cooking with orange scraps around here, I need to share my Tiny Tuesday blocks featuring April's lovely shades of aqua.

We started the month with a scrappy Shoo Fly block.  

Some aqua strings got put to good use in a Courthouse Square block.

I've always been intimidated by these Spinner blocks, but Mari's directions made it a snap!

Another spinning block - this time a Spinning Star.  

And a little reverse appliqué to wrap up the month.  Yes, I used machine appliqué!

I still haven't decided on a setting fabric for my Tiny Tuesday blocks.  I made a trip to my local quilt shop, Mes Amis, to look for some fabrics to audition.  Rather than set the blocks with a solid neutral, I was hoping to find something with some color...maybe some dots.

This is a multi-color floral.  I love the fabric, but I think it's a little too busy for all the scrappy blocks.

Multi-color text print.  Less busy, still not in love with the look.

When all else fails, you can usually count on aqua to work well with almost every other color.  This aqua fabric has tiny, random white dots.  It may be a contender, but I've used aqua before with multi-colored blocks, so I feel like it's the easy way out!

Now that the aqua Tiny Tuesday blocks are complete, I will start digging through all the orange scraps and planning my RSC blocks for May.  
More scrappy inspiration can be found at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge weekly link-up.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Antidote for Age-Shock: April Aqua!

I think most of us would agree that quilt-making equals Fabric Therapy and Fabric Therapy helps us deal with the stresses of life. 💖 Since the beginning of April, I have been using Fabric Therapy as an antidote (or celebration?!) to the observation of another trip around the sun.  

I managed to finish up my Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects using this month's soothing color of aqua.
I made two Sugar Bowl blocks to add to the collection.

It was easy to pull together six Ring of Stars blocks using chunks of fabric left over from previous projects.  

An aqua fleur de lis Burgoyne Surrounded block

And an aqua and pink Burgoyne Surrounded
Only seven blocks still needed to complete the requirements for the Burgoyne quilt!

I also pulled out a long-term UFO and decided it needed finishing - now!
The pattern is Merry-Go-Round by Sandy Klop (American Jane Patterns - be careful if you go here - it's a rabbit hole of great pattens!).  It's a fun take on hexagons using fabric strips and an equilateral triangle ruler.  The triangles are assembled in half-hexagons, then sewn into strips, matching hexagon tops and bottoms.  

 I was inspired to try the pattern using a fat quarter collection of tropical brights I purchased at a quilt show many moons ago.  I started the blocks at least ten years ago, but put them away when I needed the design wall for another project.  I "found" the bag of blocks and and scrappy strips a few weeks ago and decided it was time to finish things up.  Since I made my blocks using fat quarters instead of jelly rolls, I had a more limited amount of fabric to make hexagons.  There were enough hexies for a wall-hanging, and that was good enough!  I've gotten all the hexie parts sewn into strips and now need to sew the strips together.  Another UFO will be crossed off the list!

And now that it's Saturday, it's time for the Rainbow Scrap link-up AND more Fabric Therapy!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Hospital Sketches: Virginia Cockscomb

The February block for Barbara Brackman's Hospital Sketches BOM was Virginia Cockscomb.  The inspiration for the block was Robertson Hospital in Richmond, Virginia and its matron, Sally Louisa Tompkins.

The cockscomb pattern has been on my appliqué bucket list for some time.  I'd still like to make an appliqué quilt with several cockscomb blocks - Anita Shackelford's Cockscomb Variations (scroll down to view the book) has been calling my name for several years.  

My fabric choices didn't work out as well as I thought they would - the white background fabric in the circles gets kind of lost against the light blue cockscomb fabric.  It's a learning experience!

All the convex (outie) curves in this block almost did me in!  I was struggling to get even curves on the light blue frond - too many pointy edges instead of smooth curves.  I was ready to give up on freezer paper prep for machine appliqué and resort to hand appliqué for this block.  As I contemplated switching techniques, I did some online research on hand appliqué and discovered I should not be clipping the outside curves.  Instead, the curves should be trimmed close to the seam line and the fabric smoothed around the outer curve.  I tried that technique on my freezer paper templates, and was able to get much smoother curves.  Like I said - a learning process!

Now that I look at my finished block, I think it looks a little bare.  Some quilters added additional items to their cockscomb blocks - birds being the most popular addition.  I may have to go back and add a bird to my block, too!


Saturday, March 30, 2019

Green Wrap-Up: Tiny Tuesday

I'm not a huge fan of small quilt blocks with tiny pieces, but in the spirit of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I've been playing along with the Tiny Tuesday blocks published each week.  My scrappy green results this month were mixed.

Multiply is the clever Tiny Tuesday block from Jo at ButterZ.  The smallest pieces start at 1 1/4 inches before sewing, and the resulting 4-patch gets trimmed to 1 5/8 inches.  My fingers struggled with that a little!

We also did a wonky Log Cabin block.  My light greens didn't all have the same level of lightness, but, I got 'er done.  I did get to fussy-cut the cute ladybug in the center!

Sally Trude offered one of her great flip triangle owls for another Tuesday block.  I have to confess, I punted on Sally's block.  I suck at doing flip triangles.  So I did an appliqué owl instead.  I did find some large dot fabric so my owl could have googly eyes, though.

The last Tiny Tuesday project didn't get posted on Tuesday, so I went looking for something on my own.  When I saw this block at Generations Quilt Patterns, it reminded me of a Burgoyne Surrounded block so I knew I had to make it!  The 9-patch sections get made by strip-piecing, so the block is not too fiddly.  I also switched the color/fabric orientation so it seemed a little more Burgoyne-like.  What name would you give this version of the block?  Un petit Burgoyne?  Faux-goyne?  

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Scrappy Ring of Stars

I've been wanting to make a quilt for a friend of mine.  I almost gave her my Windblown Wishes quilt when it was finished (pictures coming as soon as we have some decent weather for photography), but decided I couldn't part with that particular quilt.  I find it easier to give away a quilt if I have a certain person in mind from the get-go.

I thought about quilt blocks/patterns on my bucket list and finally focused on star blocks made with the Tri-Recs ruler.   Back in the early 1990s, my quilt guild made an opportunity quilt based on the Fifty-Four Forty or Fight quilt block.  At the time, there were no specialty rulers to help in the construction of the blocks, so we all learned to paper-piece the blocks required for the quilt.  I loved those spiky star blocks and always wanted to make a quilt of my own featuring them.  I'm so happy I can now use a specialty ruler to make the blocks rather than paper piecing!

Ring of Stars by Nancy Rink
This quilt caught my attention several years ago when I did a Google search for starry quilt patterns.  It's kind of a deconstructed Fifty-Four Forty or Fight block - with the 4-patches used in another block to make a secondary pattern.  I decided it might lend itself to a Rainbow Scrap Challenge treatment and downloaded the pattern from Connecting Threads.

I did some sketching and planning and figured I would need at least 3 sets of blocks in each rainbow color.  I also decided to make 9 inch blocks, so I could use scraps from my 3.5 inch strip bin.  I think this project may turn out to be a great scrap buster!

As always, there's more scrappy inspiration at the weekly RSC link-up!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Inspired by Rainbow Scraps

There's a new Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for March - green!  As always, I could jump in and make an all-green quilt just from scraps, but for now I'm going to stick to my 2019 RSC plans.

First up - some Sugar Bowl blocks and random scrappy 4-patches.

I'm adding to my collection of Sugar Bowl blocks this year - making two additional blocks in each of the rainbow colors.  I have a final layout planned once I finish all the needed blocks.

The RSC Tiny Tuesday blocks have been a fun diversion during the week!  These wrap up the yellow scraps from last month, along with more random 4-patches.  I still haven't decided on a setting fabric for the TT blocks.  I'd love to find the perfect multi-color fabric, 'cuz I'm kinda bored with using white.

Believe it or not, this Postcard Quilt was inspired by the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!  I started it in April of 2017 and put the final stitches in it last week.  The inspiration was multi-colored scraps, which got me looking through my collection of flamingo fabrics.  The top went together quickly, but languished for lack of quilting.

I decided it was time to try some of the built-in quilting stitches on my sewing machine, so I layered things up and went to work.  I used this wavy quilting pattern to mimic postal cancelation marks on the postcard "backs".

For the postcards themselves, I improvised with free-motion quilting around the motifs on the fabrics.  This isn't a great picture of the quilting, but I guess it gives you the idea!

I even made a flamingo postcard label!  

As always, there is more scrappy inspiration at the weekly Rainbow Scrap linky party!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Hospital Sketches: Periwinkle Wreath

So...Barbara Brackman is doing another BOM on her Civil War Quilts blog.  

The theme for this BOM is Hospital Sketches - looking at the roles of women in Civil War hospitals.  

I knew I would be participating, because - historical appliqué patterns AND a hospital setting!  

I don't think I've really talked about my profession on the blog.  Yup, I'm a nurse, and I originally trained at an old-fashioned hospital-based nursing school about 100 years ago.  That's my graduation picture - we had finally given up wearing starched white pinafores and graduated to more modern nurses' uniforms.

While I waited for the first BOM block to be published, I debated over what type of fabrics to use.  My love for blue and white quilts was my final inspiration, because I've never done a blue and white appliqué quilt.
I assembled a basket full of potential fabrics, some of which were leftovers from other projects and some new and uncut fat quarters.  I also decided to keep my background fabric fairly simple and purchased yardage in a cross-weave type off-white fabric.

The first block, Periwinkle Wreath, was a tribute to Louisa May Alcott, who served in a Union hospital during the war.  I won't give away her story, because you should hop over and read it!

As much as I'd like to be doing hand-stitched appliqué, I knew I'd NEVER finish the blocks in a timely fashion.  I used freezer paper and starch to prep the shapes, and machine appliqué using invisible thread to stitch them in place.  Yippee for finishing!

FYI, if you have a Facebook account, there is a Facebook group for the BOM if you want to see all the different blocks.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Meanwhile: Red Schoolhouses

The last time I wrote about my red schoolhouse quilt blocks, they looked like this:

Shortly after posting that picture, I went ahead and added white sashing between all the blocks, creating a small quilt top with six schoolhouse blocks.

Then I was stuck.  I auditioned several red fabric borders, but didn't like the look.  I also tried some red and white HST configurations, but I didn't like those, either.

I sat back and pondered my original idea for the quilt: it was meant to be a wallhanging for my sister.  She has several of my quilts already, but says she doesn't have the wall space to hang them for display (forget the fact they are all bed-sized quilts and should be used on a bed - she wants to hang them, instead).

The schoolhouse wallhanging is already well over 40 inches wide, and any added borders are just going to make it bigger and more difficult to hang on a wall.  What if I (gulp!) cut off two of the schoolhouse blocks and made a four block quilt?

It only took a matter of minutes to rip out a few seams, stitch up a few injured seams, and press everything into shape.

Now the red border looks fine, and the quilt is a manageable wallhanging size.  

Since my inspiration quilt was hand-quilted, I decided this one should be hand-quilted as well.

After visiting one of my favorite quilting resources (Quilting with Style by Gwen Marston and Joe Cunningham), I designed a simple cable design to fit in all the sashed areas.  I also worked out a fan design for the borders.  Everything else will be outline quilted, with maybe some improv quilting here and there.

Now to get the quilt marked and basted.  Should I start quilting it immediately or put it in the queue behind some finished quilts that need binding?  Thoughts to ponder...