New Orleans House Project

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Abundance Comes in Small Packages

I have been quilting along with Lori of Humble Quilts latest shared project, Abundance.  Here's my completed small quilt, which I made with some well-aged Robin Pandolph fabrics.  I guess I could have fussy-cut the large pink floral print a bit differently to get more pink showing in the outer flying geese blocks, but I'm happy with the final result.  I don't know when I'll start quilting it, as I'm currently working on hand-quilting a small Valentine quilt.  I do look forward to Lori's linky party where everyone shares their version of Abundance!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Trade Card Tuesday: Mainzer Cats

In the 1940s, the Alfred Mainzer Company (NY) began publishing a series of postcards featuring cats (and occasionally dogs) involved in human pastimes.  The cards proved quite popular and have come to be known as "Mainzer cat cards".  The name of the artist, Eugen Hartung, has been all but forgotten, despite his ability to charmingly depict cats enjoying human activities and displaying human traits.

The cards were published in Switzerland by the Kunzli Company.  Cards were also printed in Spain, Turkey and Thailand.  A quick Google search will turn up a number of websites sharing Mainzer cat cards; they're also easily found for sale online.

As far as I know, there are only three Mainzer cat cards with sewing machines.  The third card features a sewing class, although two of the cats look like they might be knitting!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Little Pink Houses

I'm kinda sorry to see the end of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge month o' pink!  It's been fun looking for pink houses and sewing through the pink scraps.  Unfortunately, I was unable to go hunting for this week's pink house - we're off on a wee trip and there was just no time before leaving.

I do have a house to share with you, although you'll have to use your imagination and maybe visualize "Barbie Pink".

This house is located on a quiet New Orleans street and reflects the dreams of its owner, who poured lots of sweat equity into creating her own Barbie Dream House.

This week's house block is inspired by my own "vintage" fabrics - some Marsha McCloskey Staples and Robin Pandolph fat quarters that have been marinating in my stash for waaaay too long!

All the pink house blocks together.  I can't wait to see what color houses I'll be scouting next month!

Last, but not least, the final batch of spool blocks a la Bonnie Hunter.

That wraps up my pink Rainbow Scrap Challenge entries. I'll be sharing my stuff over at Angela's blog along with all the other pink scrappers - do take a look and get a dose of happy from all that pink!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Shared Abundance

It's time for another quilt-along with Lori of Humble Quilts!  Her antique-inspired small quilts are always fun to assemble.  It's also fun to see all the quilts that result from the quilt-along, as Lori always hosts a linky party for everyone to show off their finished quilt.  

The latest quilt is called Abundance, and it's so charming I knew I wanted to quilt-along as soon as I saw it.

I really wanted to use reproduction fabrics, but no matter how much I played with fabrics in the stash, the color and print combinations just weren't working out.

As I was digging around in the fabric closet, I found this group of fat quarters that has been aging for an unknown number of years.  I knew these would be perfect for my Abundance quilt, even if they're not reproduction fabrics.  The collection is labeled simply "Moda by Robin Pandolph".  I think these may be well over 10 years old!

I finished Part 1 of the quilt last night.  My late evening photography doesn't do justice to the colors.  I'm looking forward to Part 2, which will be posted tomorrow.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

By the Way, Which One's Pink?

Happy scrappy pink Saturday, y'all!  It's time for the lastest episode in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge v.2013.  I hope you'll tune in over at Soscrappy's blog to see what all the other RSC quilters have been up to this week.

Continuing to look for rainbow-hued houses as part of my New Orleans House Project.  We've finally had some sunny weather, so I was able to snap a picture or two while out and about this morning!  

Both of these lovely pink homes are located in an area of New Orleans known as "Uptown".  It's a posh neighborhood located not far from the famous St. Charles Avenue streetcar line.

And here's this week's scrappy pink house.  I was going for a softer, more old-fashioned look.

Strictly speaking, this does not conform to this month's color, although it does contain a fair amount of pink.  However, the completion of this quilt WAS inspired by last year's RSC month of brown scrappiness.  The nine patch blocks are from a block swap I participated in several years ago.  I added the snowball blocks during last year's RSC and I finally got around to putting on the finishing border this week.  The theme of the block swap was to depict your favorite chocolate candy!

Wrapping things up today with some of this week's spool leader-enders.  Making these is kind of like eating potato chips - hard to stop at just one!

Hope everyone has had a great pink week.  I'll be sorry to leave pink behind after next week, but's it's always fun to see what the next color challenge brings!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Trade Card Tuesday: Domestic Sewing Machines Vol. II

In December, I shared some Domestic Sewing Machine trade cards along with some info about the company's history and their advertising themes.  Today I have some more Domestic cards, but they're more about charming illustrations than hard-sell advertising.

This is one of my favorite cards.  Do you think they're playing "house" under the sewing machine?  

Two young ladies making doll clothes with the Domestic sewing machine.

A paper doll and her outfits.

This card is dated 1901.  It is still considered a trade card, but about this time postcards started usurping the popularity of trade cards and this type of advertising started to fade away.  I think we can agree the advertising copy still rings true today.  Don't you agree having just the right sewing machine makes you a happy camper and in turn, makes your home happy?   

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Slow Sunday Playtime

Today has unintentionally turned into a quilting play day.  I have two projects that are now clamoring for my attention, but they're still in the planning stages.

My husband's niece is expecting her first baby in March.  I had always intended to make a baby quilt, but yesterday I finally got info from her mom about nursery colors, decorating ideas, etc.  Her color choices and design element (owls) reminded me I had some Tula Pink Hushabye fabric stashed for future baby quilts.  I have more colors than pictured above - go here if you want to see all the different colorways.  So sad this fabric is no longer in stores!

I thought I might make a baby-size version of this quilt by Roslyn Mirrington of Bloom.

But Kim Brackett's Picnic quilt from Scrap Basket Sensations would look really cool in the Hushabye fabric, too!

Then I got an email from my LQS announcing Kate Spain would be visiting and promoting her latest fabric line.  And oh, by the way, she designed a free pattern.  Hmm, couldn't I substitute a pieced owl for the bee in her pattern?

At the same time all those ideas are bubbling around in my head, I'm trying to decide what layout to use for my next set of Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks from last year.  These Greek Square blocks were fun to make and they used up lots of scraps!
I played with various arrangements and snapped quick pictures with my iPad.  A straight-up grid might work, IF I could find the right fabric for sashing.  I tried white and some colorful prints on a white background, but it's just too blah.  Maybe some Kaffe Fassett Paperweight fabric?

Colorblock layout?  Narrow dark colored border followed by Kaffe Fassett Paperweight?

I think turning the blocks on the diagonal is much more visually appealing.  Not sure what fabric to use for the  end and corner triangles, though!

I think this is my favorite, although I need to tweak the color arrangement a little.  If only I could figure out what fabric to use for the corners and ends.  I tried a few black prints, but that's too overwhelming.  I guess that means a fabric shopping trip is in the future!

Have you stuck with me this long?  If so, please feel free to share your thoughts on your favorite baby quilt pattern and/or Greek Square layout.

As for me, I need to settle my brain!  I'm going to go claim my favorite chair and do some hand quilting.  This little quilt is is begging for completion before Valentine's Day.  I'll be joining up with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, another source of inspiration!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Every Cloud Has A Pink Lining

This week I had high hopes I would be able to spend some time exploring New Orleans neighborhoods  and finding some more pink houses to  accompany my Rainbow Scrap Challenge houses.  Unfortunately, our weather has been most uncooperative:  rain, fog, mist, rain and more fog.  I was forced to resort to Google Street View to find some houses in the appropriate hue!
Here's one located in the Algiers Point neighborhood.  Algiers Point is across the Mississippi River from the French Quarter.  The neighborhood was one of the first suburbs of New Orleans and retains a great deal of its historic charm.

As an antidote to cabin fever, Dear Husband and I decided to head out into the fog this morning for breakfast and an estate sale.  Enroute to our breakfast destination I spied this beauty and DH obligingly snapped a picture for me.  Two houses in pink and green - it must be a sign!

This week's house is full of fabrics from doll quilts I've made for various young ladies over the years.  I'm not entirely happy with the roof fabric, but it was the best scrap for the job.

The inclement weather was a good excuse to stay home the rest of the day and work on quilt projects.  More pink leader-ender spools were added to the pile! 
I've not yet checked out today's entries for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I was saving all the pink links until I finished my own, so I'm off for some fun blog reading via Soscrappy's link-up!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

It's Carnival Time!

Today is Epiphany, or as it's better known in New Orleans - Twelfth Night.  Twelfth Night marks the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas, reminding us of the visit of the Magi to the Infant Jesus.  Twelfth Night in New Orleans has additional meaning - it marks the beginning of Carnival Season!
Carnival Season is celebrated with all types of festivities, from neighborhood crawfish boils to formal balls and city-wide parades.  Carnival Season culminates with one big day of merriment on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) - the day before the season of fasting and penance known as Lent.
Two of my favorite Carnival traditions are related to Twelfth Night:  Phunny Phorty Phellows and King Cake.  The Phunny Phorty Phellows are a group of Carnival enthusiasts who celebrate Twelfth Night by masking (costuming) and riding the St. Charles streetcar to usher in the season.
King Cake is a cinnamon-y pastry decorated with colored sugar in the Carnival colors of purple, green and gold.  A small, plastic baby is traditionally baked into the King Cake and provides a surprise for whoever receives the slice.  The King Cake baby recipient is either designated the king or queen of a Carnival ball, or at the very least has to supply a king cake for the next gathering of friends!

So what does all this have to do with quilting?  Not much really - only that I had a King Cake-fueled afternoon of sewing and have a finished Rainbow Scrap Challenge project to show for it!
I finally finished assembling the Granny Squares I made during the 2012 Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I had to remake several of the grannies as they just didn't fit right.  Then I decided the blocks and sashing alone did not make an adequately-sized quilt.  I added additional borders and I'm happy as can be with the result.  The picture doesn't do it justice (it's rainy and dreary here, so no chance of natural lighting), so just to help you visualize I also snapped a pic of the border and sashing fabric - confetti!
It's off to my local longarm quilter for some overall swirly quilting.  This will be gifted to a family member I will be visiting in February, so I now I have a deadline for finishing!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lookin' for Pink

Happy first Saturday in January!  It's been a cold, dismal day here in New Orleans, but I didn't mind as I've been sewing the day away.  As always, it's "So many projects, so little time!"

Today is the first link-up day for the 2013 Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I enjoyed this challenge a great deal last year so it was easy to plan on participating again.  Although I've been admiring and thinking about making a number of different blocks/quilts for the challenge, for now I'm keeping things simple.  I still have to make quilts from last year's RSC blocks, and that's a priority for the next several weeks (months?!).

Last fall I started making leader-ender spool blocks using Bonnie Hunter's Spoolin' Around block pattern.  This is a great pattern for using up small scraps.  I keep a stash of pre-cut blocks near the sewing machine to use as leader-enders when I am strip-piecing.  I knocked out six blocks in this month's color - pink - today while working on other projects.  I plan to continue make spool blocks for the rest of the year, using up scraps for each month's color.

My second Rainbow Scrap Challenge is what I call The New Orleans House Project.  During last year's RSC, Sheila inspired me to make some purple house blocks using another Bonnie Hunter pattern.  Making the purple house blocks reminded me that I had actually seen several purple houses in the city, and I was determined to find and photograph at least one purple house.  As these things go, pretty soon I was noticing houses of different hues all over town.  DH has learned to drive slowly through certain neighborhoods so I can attempt to photograph houses in any rainbow shade!

The house above is a classic New Orleans shotgun double.  It's called a shotgun house because if one fired a gun through the front door, the bullet would pass unimpeded down the side hallway and exit through the back door.  All the rooms of the house open off the side hallway.  This house is a double because there are two residences side-by-side.  I've always been fascinated with New Orleans architecture; if you are curious, check out the Preservation Resource Center's website (the link takes you to an interactive map; click on the Architectural Styles tab at the bottom).

I plan to make scrappy houses in each month's color AND find some New Orleans houses in the same color.  I look forward to sharing the results!