New Orleans House Project

Friday, May 31, 2013

Visions of Things to Come

Sewing/quilting time has been in short supply this week - isn't that the story of quilters everywhere?  However, the design wall was empty, which gave me the opportunity to play with some Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks.

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for April was green.  As I played with green scraps (and yardage) I realized I had some OLD, DARK green fabrics.  Bonnie Hunter's scrappy Trip Around the World seemed like a fun way to use up a bunch of green fabric that was past its "use by" date.  This is a mere 16 blocks; I have fabric for an additional 20 blocks cut and waiting!

During last year's RSC, I was totally inspired by Cathy Tomm's scrappy rainbow log cabin quilt.  I didn't realize I'd soon be attempting my own scrappy log cabin blocks, but I found I needed some log cabin therapy earlier this year and pretty soon I had a batch of blocks.  I threw these at the design wall to see the overall effect; I'll eventually tweak the placement of blocks and colors.  I did decide the quilt needs to be 10 blocks wide instead of the 9 blocks pictured.  

As luck would have it, DH and I were treated to a double rainbow as we drove out of town this afternoon!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Little Blue House

As I've been working on blue scrappy houses for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this month, I couldn't  help but have music going through my head from this recording by one of my favorite artists.  Piano player extraordinaire Marcia Ball released Blue House in 1994.  It's a fun combination of blues, swamp pop and dancehall tunes.   I especially like the Day of the Dead iconography on the cover - a  very special "blue house"!  

This week's New Orleans blue houses are a collage of some from earlier in the month and others I've been saving.  I hope we have a month of light blue scrappiness, as I have a bunch more blue houses to share!

My blue scrappy house is inspired by Kaffe Fassett's Blue Paperweight fabric.  I just happened to have some scraps handy, as I had used a chunk of it for binding on the Granny Square Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt.

Blue scrappy leader-ender spools were also made this week.

I also managed some log cabin therapy with blue scraps.  Since the month doesn't end until next Friday, I imagine I'll have more blue log cabin therapy before all is said and done.

I'm looking forward to seeing what other blue scrappy beauties have been created this month - Saturday is sharing day for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, so please join us!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Grandmother's Choice: A Little Improvisation

I've been continuing to catch up with stitching Grandmother's Choice blocks from Barbara Brackman's latest BOW.  I'm happy to report I'm now caught up and have finished the most recent block - Nonsense (lower left).  The top star block - a seven pointed star in honor of Australia (who granted women the right to vote before England and the US) - is still in the process of being appliqued, but that will soon be complete.  

If you're following the Grandmother's Choice BOW, you may notice I added a block that is not part of Ms. Brackman's scheme.  I substituted a block called Miller's Daughter for the Sunbonnet Sue block.  I've never been a fan of Sue and could not bring myself to have her in my quilt, despite the wonderful story accompanying the Sunbonnet block.  I chose the Miller's Daughter block primarily for its visual appeal, not because it had any particular link to women's suffrage.  If you're interested, I used the piecing instructions from Marcia Hohn's Quilter's Cache.
Coincidentally, I just finished Ken Follett's Fall of Giants, historical fiction about Europe prior to and during World War I.  The book touches on the suffragette movement in England, but really encompasses the all social and political tides that brought about the war.  I listened to the AudioBooks version (so I can sew and "read" at the same time!) and really enjoyed it.  Highly recommended - and it's the first book of a trilogy, so there are 2 more installments to follow.  The second book of the trilogy is about World War II (Winter of the World) and the third (yet to be published) will be about the Cold War.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cobalt Blue

Last week I mentioned my affinity for blue and white transferware china.  This week I'm focused on cobalt blue glass.  I'm drawn to blue glass of any sort, from blue nazars that ward off the evil eye to blue glass bottle trees to gorgeous blue glass tableware.

I keep a cobalt blue glass ball on the window ledge above my sewing machine.

I scored a beautiful blue pitcher and a flock of glasses at an estate sale yesterday.  I have a small but growing collection of more blue glass at the camp - I'll have to remember to photograph it next time I'm there.

So this week's house is inspired by blue glass.  And dragonflies!

This house isn't nearly as dark as cobalt blue, but it's still an ethereal shade of blue - maybe almost a Haint Blue!

Lots of lovely blue fabric to be seen at this week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up, too!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Go Granny, Go!

I had the opportunity to visit one of my local quilt shops, The Quilted Owl, recently.  I found some new fabrics to add to the Grandmother's Choice BOW stash.

I've fallen way behind on stitching up my weekly Grandmother's Choice blocks.  Last weekend DH had to work, so I promised myself I'd spend some time attempting to get caught up.  
I finished six blocks and have two additional ones prepped for hand stitching.  Each of these blocks were fun to make, although I'm kind of partial to Mr. Roosevelt's Necktie (center left), Contrary Husband (center right) and Coffee Cup (bottom right).  Besides the two that need hand-stitching, there's only one more block to finish and I'll be caught up.  On the other hand, Ms. Brackman will publish a new block tomorrow.  I wonder if I can sew into the wee hours tonight and completely catch up?

The design wall was empty, so I pinned up all my Grandmother's Choice blocks so far.  I'm liking the result; just wondering what fabrics I'll use for setting all the blocks together!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

For the Love of Blue & White

Blue and white has to be my favorite color combination.  I mentioned it during last year's RSC month of blue scraps.  Blue and white transferware china is one of my favorites; I can waste hours drooling over transferware on Pinterest and eBay! 

This week's happy scrappy house is inspired by transferware china - the main fabric of the house is Ginger Jar by Timeless Treasures (an oldie but goodie!).

I thought this New Orleans house was a good display of blue and white together.  It's an example of a double gallery house.  Notice the floor to ceiling windows on the front of the house?  Those are meant to be opened from floor to ceiling to catch as much breeze as possible.  You'll notice the house is also raised slightly off the ground; this was also to help keep the house cool by allowing air to circulate during the heat of the summer.

A few more blue spools were added to the leader-ender collection this week.  Otherwise, I was occupied by another RSC quilt from last year.

Do check out more installments of blue scrappiness over at SoScrappy's blog today!

Friday, May 10, 2013


I'm so happy to finally have this top pieced!  The 16-patch blocks are from last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I knew I wanted to use an hour-glass alternate block, so I cut some of them as the challenge went along.  But since the quilt had so many colors,  I couldn't assemble them until I had the blocks in the final layout.  It seemed to take forever to get everything sewn together.  

At this point, the top measures about 60" x 60".  I'd like it to be a little larger, so I'm auditioning border fabrics.

I found two great fabrics hiding in the stash.  They're both 1995 Alexander Henry Fabrics and I have plenty of yardage for borders.  Did I mention this quilt is for my sister-in-law, a former pre-school teacher and now child advocate?

I like the colors in this one, but since it's an obvious Easter fabric, I think it will stay in the stash a bit longer.

This is OK, but the border fabric doesn't have anything to do with the main quilt, so I think it looks a little awkward.

I also have some of this Project Linus fabric in the stash.  It might work as a narrow border.

This is working out better.  AND I have enough of the red fabric for borders.

A little investigating with my nieces and I found out their mom likes green and teal.  I found a neat piece of Stonehenge fabric in shades of teal.  I like it - I think it adds a calming influence to the quilt.  Unfortunately, it's only a half-yard piece, so I may be making a trip to the LQS tomorrow!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Scrappy Saturday Wrap-Up

It's a new month and a new color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Angela has challenged us to use our bright blues, or in her words - sapphire blues - this month.  On top of that, I spent the earlier part of the week playing with last month's color - green.

The scrappy Trip Around the World blocks (from Bonnie Hunter's pattern) will be an on-going project.  I've got a big stack of strips ready to sew together, so I'll keep making these throughout the year.

Digging through the strips and strings from the month gave me enough for some wonky log cabin blocks.  I'll be glad to see the end of some of this dark green fabric!

This morning I started playing with blue fabrics.  One bright blue house and some scrappy blue spools were soon added to the collection.

As for the New Orleans House Project, bright blue does not seem to be all that popular as a house color.  But doesn't that front porch look like a great place to relax and sip lemonade?

If you love blue, then be sure to stop by and see what other blue scrappy surprises are on display at SoScrappy's blog!