New Orleans House Project

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Palette of Greens

Palette of Greens . . .
Sorry, I couldn't resist a little wordplay as we round up a month of green scrappiness.  But in all honesty, I've enjoyed playing with my palette of green scraps just as much as I'd enjoy a big plate of greens - with some hot sauce, cornbread and sweet tea to wash it down!

This week's green scrappy house is a vine-covered cottage.  

My green neighborhood.

Green leader-ender spools.  There are more at home, but I forgot to photo them before leaving for the camp.  Ditto the Trip Around the World blocks I've been working on - they're sitting in a pile on the worktable at home.  Perhaps next Saturday I'll still be showing more green scraps before diving into the color inspiration for May!

I thought I'd share two very special green New Orleans houses this week.  Known locally as the Steamboat Houses, these two gems are located next to the Mississippi River slightly downriver from the French Quarter.
The first house (top) was built in 1905 by a former steamboat captain, Paul Doullut.  The house was meant to mimic the style of Mississippi River steamboats.  The style is sometimes called Steamboat Gothic, and there are examples to be found around the US.  Several years later, Captain Doullut had a second house built across the street  (bottom) for his son, Paul Jr.  

As always, today is the day for scrappy inspiration, so do visit SoScrappy's blog to see what other Rainbow Scrappers have been up to this week!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Rainbow Scrap Quilt 1.0

Last night I put the final stitches in the binding of one of my 2012 Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts.

I used the blog-popular Granny Square quilt block and made multiple squares throughout the year, following the Rainbow Scrap Challenge monthly color inspiration.

The blocks were assembled with sashing and cornerstones.  I added a freeform pieced scrap border for additional interest and size.

My local longarm quilter Cindy Braiwick helped me out by quilting a flowery-feathery all-over design

Early on in the challenge, I decided this quilt would be gifted to my niece.  It was fun thinking of her every week as I constructed the various blocks.  I included this fussy-cut one to honor her profession of teaching.

I tend to be lackadaisical about labeling my quilts.  Not so with this one - although I've digitally removed the inscription 'cuz I'm funny about sharing personal info and mushy stuff.

Many thanks to Angela at Soscrappy for the year's worth of inspiration and to all the Rainbow Scrappers for their words of encouragement!  It was wonderful fun to share with everyone!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Trade Card Tuesday: Life after White

Victorian advertisers like using "before" and "after" illustrations to demonstrate the amazing qualities of their products.  Sewing machine advertisers were no different.  

The White Sewing Machine Company issued  several before and after trade cards to promote their machines. 
The adverts were actually four page booklets.  The front featured an idealized vignette of a happy family with a White sewing machine.

The reverse illustrated the dangers and disadvantages of the competitor's machines:
Flimsy, difficult to use - "Out with you!!!!"
Grandmama is attacking the machine with a poker and Madame is stabbing it with her scissors!

Another reverse image:
Pa has attached a crank to the machine - "Does the crank help?"
Ma - "Yes, a little.  But the old thing will kill us both!"
Jr - "Why don't you get a White?"
Apparently using the wrong sewing machine also makes one incredibly homely!

When the bottom half of the booklet is opened, the miraculous after-effect of the White sewing machine is visible:
Peace and harmony are restored!
Interesting note - the "We have a White" script on the card mimics a design feature found on some White sewing machine cabinets.  The White name is spelled out in raised wooden letters that resemble twigs.

And of course, the White sewing machine makes everyone and everything more attractive!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Remembering Avocado Green

Do you remember the decorator color Avocado Green?  It was all the rage in the late 1960s and my mom loved it.  As luck would have it, we moved into a new home during that time, and our house was full of avocado green.  I liked the color as a child, but by the time I was old enough to have my own home, it had become a frumpy cliche' of that era.

I was charmed by this avocado green house when I saw it last fall, though.  The avocado looks great with all the crisp white trim.  It got me thinking a little more kindly about that particular shade of green and noticing that there seems to be renewed interest in the color.  

So, of course, my house is inspired by avocado this week.

Other Rainbow Scrappers have been inspired by the color green this week as well.  Do stop by Soscrappy's blog to see what everyone has been creating!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Abundantly Complete

This week I added the final quilting stitches and sewed down the binding on my version of Abundance.  I enjoyed Lori's mini quilt along project and I especially enjoyed using some delicately aged Robin Pandolph fabrics from my stash! 

There's still quite a bit of those lovely fabrics left, so I decided to make another small quilt.

I turned to one of my antique quilt resources, Childhood Treasures:  Doll Quilts By and For Children by Merikay Waldvogel.  This charming book contains page after page of small quilt inspiration!

LeMoyne stars have been on my quilting bucket list for a long time.  There's no pattern for this quilt in the book, but I look forward to drafting my own.  I'm looking forward to this project!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

It's a Green, Green World

It's been a great week of playing with green.  Echoing the thoughts of other Rainbow Scrappers, I'm amazed at the range green hues, but frustrated they don't always play well with each other!  My stash of green fabrics seems to favor the lime greens and the olive greens, with a few blue greens here and there.  What's interesting is the limited number of primary green fabrics in my stash.  Is that because primary green fabrics are in short supply generally, or because I don't happen to choose them?

Just in case you want some green inspiration, I found two interesting web resources on the color green.  One is a Wikipedia entry which describes a large variety of green color variants.  The other is a green-only color wheel.

During spare moments this week I've been slicing 2.5" strips for Trip Around the World blocks.  I still haven't worked through all the greens in the stash, but I am making a small dent in yardage!  

I've squeaked in a few TATW blocks, too, but I'm saving those for a bigger reveal later this month.

This week's house block was inspired by the green palm-frond fabric.  It's a quilting cotton fabric, but the design reminds me of barkcloth.  As a fabric addict enthusiast, I am fascinated by barkcloth designs, so this fabric had to join my stash - and it makes a cool house!

I apologize for this week's funky Google Street View picture, but I really wanted to share this house.  I used to drive past the house every day on my way to work.  The owner (well, I always assumed he was the owner!) liked to sit outside on his tiny porch, watching the world go by.  The house wasn't always this color, but was always decorated to reflect the season.  This color appeared several years ago, and though it has faded a bit, it's still a neighborhood standout!  In case you're wondering, the writing on the walls says "Jesus Love You", "God Love You" and "I You".  

Don't forget - there's plenty more green goodness to be seen over at SoScrappy's blog, where all the Rainbow Scrap Challenge folks are sharing their green inspiration, too!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Re-visiting the Schoolhouse

"Made in the USA" quilt from Christmas Memories:  A Folk Art Celebration by Nancy J. Martin
Schoolhouse quilts and quilt blocks have been charming and inspiring quilters for years.  A quick thumb-through of some of my "vintage" quilt books turned up two very different interpretations.

"Schoolhouse Quilt" from Better Homes and Gardens America's Heritage Quilts
A Google search will turn up even more varieties of schoolhouse quilts.  So many, I had to start a new Pinterest board just to keep track of my favorites!  

I'm re-visiting the schoolhouse this week because a dig through my fabric stash last weekend reminded me of this quilted wall-hanging.  It was made circa 1990 and may have been from a Better Homes & Gardens pattern.  Machine pieced and hand-quilted.

As I look at this quilt now I'm amazed I used such plain fabrics!  If I made the quilt again using today's fabrics, I'd at least use fabrics with shading or texture rather than flat solids.  On the other hand, fabric selection was much more limited when this quilt was made, so my choices do reflect that era.  I may have been trying to use only fabrics in my stash, too!

One of the things I especially like about this particular schoolhouse block pattern is the use of negative space to create a stencil-like effect.  The basic block can be used effectively with just about any fabric and style of interpretation.  I think I see another schoolhouse quilt in my future - providing I can decide which style direction I want to take!

Just for fun - here's my family schoolhouse connection.  The schoolhouse was built on land donated by one of the farmers in Burns Township, Wisconsin.  Known as the Striped School, the building dates to 1859.  My dad's family were among the earliest settlers in Burns Township and several of my ancestors were schooled here.  It's no longer used as a school, but I understand community meetings are still held there on occasion.  


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Trade Card Tuesday: The American Singer Series

Now that Old Man Winter is finally on his way out, I thought it would be fun to look at a favorite harbinger of Spring!
(Remember, you can click on any of the pictures for a larger version)
The Singer Manufacturing Co. produced a series of advertising cards titled The American Singer Series, featuring watercolor paintings of birds.  The first set of cards were published in 1898, but became an advertising staple for Singer and were published for over 30 years.  
The early cards have a more painterly appearance and also have the earliest Singer emblem in the upper left corner.  The reverse of the cards have a description of the illustrated bird and some generic Singer advertising.

Another set of "bird cards" is also copyrighted 1898, but the illustrations look less like watercolor paintings.  The reverse of this series of cards carries advertisements for specific Singer products.

Here the Singer Model 20 - which was usually touted as a child's sewing machine - is advertised as a practical travel sewing machine.

By 1926 the cards were again more like watercolors, the Singer emblem returned and the series was titled "North American Song Birds".  The Singer emblem in the upper left corner is more modern.

This series also advertised specific Singer products on the reverse.

Singer sewing attachements.

A table for one's portable electric Singer.

This 1931 series card is titled "American Song Birds".  It also has the updated Singer emblem in the upper left corner.

Advertising on the reverse:  a Singer vacuum cleaner!

I'm not 100% sure when Singer stopped issuing these cards, but the 1931 examples are the newest I've found.  I enjoy collecting these for the naturalistic bird paintings, but also for the illustrations of Singer products on the reverse!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Time to Get Gone with Green!

Here we are, back at Saturday and talking about Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects.  I have not yet checked out this week's scrappy green sharing, so I hope you'll grab some sweet tea and join me!

My inspiration for today's house was this Creole Cottage in the Faubourg Marigny.  There are an abundance of lime green houses in New Orleans, but not many with purple doors and trim!  

My lime green happy scrappy house.  

I needed to use yardage instead of scraps to make this house.  So as I was happily digging through the green fabric stash I realized I have a lot of OLD green fabric!  

Some of it dates back to my earliest days as a quilter!  

I decided it was time to do some serious stash-busting of green fabric.  
What a great excuse to jump on the bandwagon and make a scrappy Trip Around The World quilt!  I'm determined to make a huge dent in my green fabric stash.  So far today I've put together 4 blocks,  but I also started cutting strips so I can just pick six and start stitchin'.  These blocks are quick to assemble and fun to play with.  I'm heading back to the sewing machine to see how many more I can make today!