New Orleans House Project

Saturday, May 5, 2012

One Scoop or Two?

Chocolate?  Peppermint?  Pistachio?
Does this quilt remind you of ice cream?
The ice cream connection was a happy accident that occurred as this mystery quilt was put together.

I participated in Bonnie Hunter's Orange Crush Mystery Quilt back in 2008.  Bonnie's color choices for the quilt involved lots of orange, accented with blue, red and black.  I wanted my quilt colors to go in another direction, and started with a collection of chocolatey browns with pink and green thrown in for contrast.  Since the project was a mystery quilt, I wasn't sure how my color choices would work out until the quilt was fairly well under way.

As more and more elements of the quilt were assembled, I became more and more pleased with the results.  Although not as obvious in the photos, the variety of green fabrics add a lot of visual interest.  And I love how the pink and brown dots add some punch!

Here's most of the quilt, hanging from the balcony at the camp.  I opted for a plain chocolate brown border to visually frame all the blocks.  Of course, that border is also great for showing off quilting - and that's where the fun really begins!

When I took the quilt to my local longarm quilter, Cindy Braiwick, I didn't have any specific ideas for quilting.  We talked about the genesis of the quilt and how the results reminded me of ice cream or candy.  Cindy used my thoughts for inspiration and quilted ice cream cones all over the quilt!

Of course, being a New Orleanian, Cindy couldn't use just any ice cream cones.  Her cones referenced Brocato's, a legendary New Orleans confectionery, beloved for Italian ice cream!  

Brocato's was severely damaged in the flooding caused by failed levees after Hurricane Katrina.  When the store opened about a year after the flood, it was heralded emotionally as another sign New Orleans was on the road to recovery.  So while this quilt reminds me of one of my favorite treats, it is also a symbol of the love and hope New Orleanians (native-born and transplants!) have for their home.