New Orleans House Project

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Dark Side of Burgoyne

This week's Rainbow Scrap project was to make some Burgoyne Surrounded blocks using dark scraps.  I started with scraps, but added fabrics from the stash to make everything work.  

The monarch butterfly and black fabrics were scraps, but the other two fabrics came from the stash.  I'm always happy to cut up stash and make more scraps!

The starting point for this Burgoyne was the brown floral fabric.  The scraps have been in my stash for years.  I love the print, but it's kind of a strange shade of brown and not easy to pair with other fabrics.  I was tickled to find other fabrics in my stash that pulled the block together.

After I assembled the block, I wasn't super happy with the red and cream print.  I thought it kind of overwhelmed the block.  I wondered if tea dyeing might help calm the red and cream fabric down a little.

I brewed up a small amount of strong black tea and did some experimenting.  Once I was happy with the process, I used a small paintbrush to apply the tea just were I wanted it.  I wasn't worried if the result looked a little streaky, I thought that just added to the effect I was looking for.  When the fabric was dry, I set the color using a hot iron.  I think the block looks much happier!

After stitching up a few 4-patches for the Parts Department, I'm done with my brown and black scraps.  Now I can turn my attention to finishing a few things here and there - if I can avoid starting any new projects along the way!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Wrapping Up the Scrappy Blocks

November signals a new month of scraps to use for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  The scrappy assignment this month is to use dark scraps: think black and brown.  I don't plan to add black or brown scrappy blocks to all of my RSC projects, so I won't be making a lot of blocks this month.  Maybe that will give me some time to start assembling some of this year's blocks into flimsies!

After using up lots of pink scraps last month, I still had a few bits left over to make 4 patch blocks.  These will be added to the Parts Department, for use in a future quilt (to be determined).

I've been making pinwheel blocks all year, following the RSC color challenges.  I had some brown and black scraps in the 2 inch strip bin, so it was easy to make more pinwheels for the collection.

I found some brown and black scraps and chunks that might work well in Burgoyne Surrounded blocks, so I'll give those a try before I wrap up my scrappy piecing this month.  After that, I've got plenty of unfinished Rainbow Scrap business to keep me busy through the end of the year!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday with Flamingos

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of work-related travel.  I'm still trying to get back into my usual routine and get some sewing mojo going again.  There are quilting projects clamoring for attention, but I just haven't had the time or energy to devote to them.

I did manage to do some fussy cutting yesterday so I would have some flamingo hexies to sew up today.  These are easy to pick up and stitch when time is short or your energy level isn't up to using the sewing machine.

I did manage to stitch some hexies during my travels.  These were fun to cut, especially the mini flamingoes with the pink and green swirls!  

This project was inspired by a Hex Vex kit I bought from Barb Vedder of Fun with Barb.  She no longer sells the kit, but it wouldn't be hard to get started without it.  This link will take you to a page where she discusses her original Hex Vex quilt and shares some other examples.  It's a fun project and great opportunity to play with fussy cutting and combing fabrics.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Disappearing Pink Scraps

The color for this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge is pink.  I didn't find a lot of pink scraps in my stash, but I managed to use them in creative ways (I think).  I'm not finished working on my round of RSC projects, but the scraps have decreased to the point where I may have to make some new ones!

I completed two Windblown Wishes blocks this afternoon.  Pink wraps up all the blocks I plan to make for this quilt, so the next step is getting a flimsy assembled.  Maybe that will happen by the end of the year?

All kinds of random scraps got turned into pinwheel blocks.  I've accumulated quite a stack of pinwheel blocks, but I'm going to keep making them through the end of this year's RSC.  I do have a plan for them, but I'm not ready to start assembling them yet.

The scant amount of pink scraps led me to try strip piecing a pink 49-patch block.  I used Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Trip Around the World piecing technique, but modified it for my needs.  I think this might be my favorite 49-patch block so far!  Since these are only 7" blocks, I'll be making more of them for next year's RSC.

For more pink scrappy fun, check out today's link-up at Angela's Soscrappy blog.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

This Week in Fabric Therapy

My sewing room has been in need of some serious re-organizing for several months.  All the flat surfaces were so piled with fabric and projects and storage containers there was barely room to do any work.  I started to tackle the mess last weekend, and have at least made some progress in tidying up a few areas.

One of the main things I wanted to do was get this Spring Clean* string quilt project set up in an organized fashion, so I could whip out a string-pieced block whenever I had a small window of stitching time.  Now I've got baskets and bags of light and dark strings, plus a stack of ready-cut foundation squares.  This quilt requires 144 string-pieced blocks (I'm almost halfway there), so I need to stay focused if I'm ever going to finish it!

I started this Pumpkin Table Mat (Primitive Gatherings) several years ago in a class at The Quilted Owl.  I finished everything but the embroidered embellishments.  I found the storage container when I was re-organizing the sewing room.  I realized this might be my only taste of Fall this year, so I decided to get the embroidery finished and enjoy it.  I've been using a white chalk pencil to help with the stitching lines - I just haven't brushed all the chalk marks off yet.  The light-colored thread is actually gold - not sure why it looks white in the picture.

Another storage container re-discovery:  my hexagon creations from Barb Vedder's Hex Vex pattern.

I'll be traveling for work in the near future, so I decided to cut as many hexie parts as possible to give me something to work on while away from home.  I need to find a small Ott lite so I can see my stitches in the hotel room at night.  True confession:  I've been working on cutting these parts and pieces longer than just the past week!

Last but not least, the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for October is pink.  The re-organizing project kept me from digging out any pink scraps until yesterday.  I pulled some 2 inch strips to make squares and HSTs for some Windblown Wishes blocks, but I haven't had time to finish them.  I'm not finding a lot of pink scraps in my bins, so I may have to make some new scraps!

As you can imagine, all this Fabric Therapy was an antidote for stress this week.  Whenever a hurricane threatens the Gulf Coast, we all use our favorite coping mechanisms.  I'm glad Fabric Therapy works so well for me!  Hurricane Nate was pretty much a no-show for New Orleans, and although there was weather-related damage to other parts of the coast, it wasn't as bad as predicted.  I will be glad when hurricane season is over!

*The Spring Clean Quilt is a pattern by Brioni Greenburg in Issue 8 of Fat Quarterly Ezine.  

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Done With Orange Fun

How quickly we've arrived at the end of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge month of orange scrappy stitching!  I've definitely made a dent in my orange scraps, especially the scraps in the bin of 2 inch strips and squares.

I had a big stack of 2 inch squares in the bin, so I trimmed them down to 1.5 inches and made a 49-patch block.  I'll only have 8 of these blocks at the end of the year, so I think this project will carry over for at least another year.  The next round of blocks will use the same design, but I'm going to resort to using scrappy strips instead of individual squares.

I also had enough orange scrappy pieces to make some 4-patch blocks.  For now, these are for the "parts department", as Cathy calls it.  On the other hand, I was intrigued by a quilt in the latest issue of Quiltmania (121) called Four Patch Trip Around the World.  Unfortunately, there isn't a picture of the quilt on their website, so you'll have to get your hands on a copy of the magazine to see what I'm talking about.  No affiliation with Quiltmania, other than it being my favorite quilting magazine!

I enjoyed reading everyone's responses last week about their favorite pumpkin spice-flavored treats.  Since I had pumpkin spice on the brain, I did a search to look for treats that were new and different to me.  I had a huge fit of the giggles when I discovered this unexpected pumpkin spice product.  Go ahead & click on it - it's part of a Pinterest board I set up just to catalog pumpkin spice products!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Orange You Glad It's Pumpkin Spice Season?

When the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color is orange, it's hard to resist making puns based on that hue!

I like pumpkin spice flavoring, but its use does seem to have gotten a bit out of hand in the last couple of years.  I try to have at least one Pumpkin Spice Latte' before they disappear for the season, but other pumpkin spice treats seem to elude me.  What's your favorite specialty pumpkin spice treat?

I whipped up this little pumpkin spice Burgoyne Surrounded this week.  

The happy, scrappy house blocks continued to call my name this week, too.  
I made four new house blocks to bring my total to 49.  Last night I started sewing all the blocks together, so it won't be long until I'm on to the next step on this quilt journey: a border full of words.

We're hanging out at our camp this weekend.  The weather is not at all autumnal, so the dogs are still enjoying their doggie pool.
Here's Bailey, cooling off after a hard morning of Chase the Tennis Ball.

I'm linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge today - looking forward to seeing more pumpkin spice er, orange inspiration!

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!