New Orleans House Project

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!


  1. Oh my goodness Angie - it's so fun and happy and bright! I just love it! I considered doing a granny square rainbow project with black as my background this year, but in the end I had too many projects to choose from :*D

    Thanks for sharing some of the local story from New Orleans too. I think all the Carnival activities are fascinating, but I know very little about them or their history.

  2. Your quilt is fantabulous! Love all of it, especially the checkerboard border and confetti sashing and borders. Thanks so much for sharing a little of New Orleans with us! Love hearing stories of this great city!

  3. Oh how I miss King Cake! Growing up near New Orleans, we had a King Cake party every Friday at school during Mardi Gras. So many fun memories of waiting to see who got the "baby"! Your quilt is wonderful too! That pattern is on my list of "one day" quilts. Enjoy a piece of King Cake for me!!

  4. What a fun post -- yum, wish I had a slice (or several) of King Cake!
    That confetti fabric and the border are just right for your fun quilt.
    Jeanne :)

  5. Your rainbow scraps from last year turned out beautiful and what a perfect backing! That King Cake sounds yummy!

  6. Wow! I love all these bright colors! Reminds me of my favorite Fiestaware dishes.
    Thank you for showing all the cute pink houses.