New Orleans House Project

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Catch-All

I was a little pre-occupied with blogging about Ste Anne this month, and didn't get around to sharing a few other projects that were also underway.

I was all caught up with Barbara Brackman's Grandmother's Choice blocks at the beginning of the month.  Here are blocks 42-45.  Two of my favorites, in terms of the story associated with the block, are Gentleman's Fancy (bottom left) and Cats and Mice (bottom right).  Of course, now I'm behind again; there aren't many weeks left in the BOW, so I better focus on getting caught up!

I also got caught up in some Pinterest-inspired furniture painting.  This Ikea shelving unit was part of the furniture that came with our camp.  I have a growing collection of cobalt blue glassware at the camp, and needed more display space.  Cobalt blue just doesn't show up against black, so I decided the shelves needed paint.
It only took two coats of primer and two coats of white latex paint to get everything covered!  I'm more than happy with the results, though.  Not all the glass is on display yet and I haven't re-hung a quilt on the wall, but I can check that painting project off the to-do list.

I found this vintage sewing machine on Craigslist a few months ago, but it's been sitting, unloved, in my dining room since then.  I really just wanted a vintage Singer sewing machine cabinet for one of my other Singer machines, but this was a deal I couldn't resist.  The machine was in good condition and the cabinet and bench were included.  The bench was full of vintage scraps, but nothing worth saving.
I needed a machine set up to do some heavy-duty sewing, so I went to work on cleaning and oiling my new baby.  It's amazing what a little sewing machine oil can do to clean off gunk and rust.  I oiled her up and let the machine run for several minutes.  The cord is in excellent shape and I didn't smell anything burning, so I think she's ready to sew!
She's a Singer Model 15-91 - a real workhorse of a sewing machine.  The serial number dates her to around 1955, but she looks great for her age.  I can't wait to thread her up and take her for a spin! 

Monday, July 29, 2013

St. Ann Wrap-up

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the Celebration of Sewing in honor of St. Anne's feast day!

I learned a few new things and had fun sharing some of my Vive Ste Anne postcards with all of you.

If I host another Celebration next year, I think it might involve a quilt-along.  I have a few ideas, but would love to hear your ideas, too!

I enlisted my Dear Husband's assistance to draw the winners for the Celebration of Sewing give-away.  I wanted to drop the participants' names in my gardening hat, but I couldn't find it.  That says a great deal about my gardening activities of late.  I grabbed this sunflower watering can as a stand-in.

And the lucky winners are:
Missy in TX
Teresa in Music City

Please drop me an email (use the About Me link) with your mailing address and I'll pop your charm packs in the mail.

Thanks again to everyone - and now I'm off to work on my jar quilt!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tantalizing Teal

It's been a teal'icious month for Rainbow Scrappers!  We have been creating all sorts of inspired blocks using our not-blue, not green scraps.  This week's happy, scrappy house looks a bit blue, but it's honestly teal all the way!

My New Orleans house for the week is turquoise rather than teal.  It's a perfect example of a shotgun house, and it appears to be well-loved, too!

I hope you'll also take a few moments to visit my linky party to Celebrate Sewing with St. Ann.  The link-up closes on Sunday evening, so you've got plenty of time to share a sewing project in honor of St. Ann, the patron saint of seamstresses!

Last but not least, please stop by Angela's blog to see what the other Rainbow Scrappers have been up to this week!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Happy Feast of St. Ann!

Today is the feast day of St. Ann, the patron saint of seamstresses.
For the past few weeks, I've been sharing some postcards featuring vintage sewing machines and the women who are inspired by them <g>.  The common theme of the cards is the celebration of St. Ann.
Vive Ste Anne!
I thought it would be fun to host a celebration of sewing in honor of St. Ann's feast day.  Please join me in sharing a sewing project as part of the celebration.  Use the InLinkz gadget below to link up a celebratory blog post observing St. Ann's feast day.  Share any current sewing or quilting project:  the idea is to celebrate sewing!

For my St. Ann project I wanted to share something that tied into my interest in vintage sewing machines.  I dug way back into the UFO drawer and pulled out a project from the early days of the Treadle On mail list.  Treadle On is an email forum for folks who collect and use antique and vintage sewing machines.  From the inception of the mail list in 1998, a favorite activity has been quilt block exchanges - with the blocks being made on non-electric or "people powered" sewing machines.
This particular block exchange occurred in 1999.  The object was to make quilt blocks based on the "bug jar" block pattern.  The completed block resembles a glass jar filled with...something.
The block exchange instructions allowed for the jars to be filled with whatever the maker chose.  Unlike most Treadle On block exchanges, there was also a great deal of leeway allowed in pattern and size choice.
One member even used vintage buttons to created a button jar!
It has been great fun reminiscing about the early days of Treadle On as I worked on assembling the blocks this week.  It's a good thing there is a lot of nostalgia associated with these blocks, because the multiple sizes and styles make for a very fiddly assembly process.  I received about 40 blocks in the exchange; I plan to assemble them in rows and add woodgrain fabric to make shelves for the jars to rest on.  It will be a happy quilt when it's finished!

Today is also my 200th blog post - another good reason to celebrate!  
OK, I'll admit I'm not the most prolific blogger, but I've stuck with it for almost 2 years - more than I ever imagined when I first started out.  Blogging has been an amazingly fun experience, full of inspiration and friendship.
To mark this momentous occasion, two Celebration of Sewing participants will be chosen to receive one (each) of the two Moda charm packs pictured above.  I'll place all the participants' names in a hat and have my DH draw the winners on Sunday, July 28th.  I'll post the winning names on Monday so the winners can send me their mailing information.

And now - on with the celebration!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Trade Card Tuesday: Vive St. Ann & a Giveaway!

The last postcard in this month's St. Ann series features a lovely seamstress with a green sewing machine.  Once again, I'm not able to identify the sewing machine, but the clues (clothing, hairstyle, non-black sewing machine) in the vignette all point to post-WWII.  

The card was printed in France by Editions Superluxe - Paris.  Never used, so no postmark to help determine the date.

With St. Ann being the patron saint of seamstresses, I thought it would be fun to observe her feast day - July 26th - with a sewing-themed linky party.  Please join me on Friday and share a blogging post about your current sewing project or any sewing project you feel is appropriate for the day.  It doesn't have to be quilting related, but it should be sewing related.  

And - because Friday will also be my 200th blogging post, I'll also be giving away some French-themed charm packs.
 Chateau Rouge by French General
Paris Flea Market by 3 Sisters

Just join in the linky party with a new blog post about your St. Ann project - it doesn't have to be a new project, just a new blog post to celebrate sewing in honor of St. Ann.  I'll draw the winning names from the proverbial hat and announce the names on Sunday evening.  The Celebrate Sewing linky party starts Friday morning and ends Saturday at midnight.  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Aqua Under the Sea

I used up some turquoise scraps left over from a baby quilt to make this week's Rainbow Scrap house.  The remaining scraps went into the wonky log cabin pile; I hope I have a chance to work on those this coming week.

Five leader-ender spools also got completed this week.
I was sorry to hear Bonnie Hunter's Spoolin' Around Challenge has come to an end.  As for me, I'll keep making rainbow spools at least until the end of the year!

I found this fun turquoise house near Bayou St. John.  I love the two "eyes" on the second story!

That wraps up my turquoise inspiration for today.  I'll be linking up with Angela's Rainbow Scrap Challenge, so do check out more turquoise/aqua/teal inspiration over there!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tradecard Tuesday: Vive Ste. Anne & Hand Sewing

Continuing our celebration of St. Ann, today's photo postcard is a little more modern than previous examples.  The card was printed in France, but there is no clue to the date of creation other than the young lady's clothing and hairstyle.  I'd guess late 1940s to early 1950s.

I have no clue as to the type of sewing machine, although it appears to be a transverse shuttle style of machine.  If anyone can identify the machine for me, please let me know!

Today's seamstress seems to be enjoying her hand sewing, too.  I wonder what a young lady of that time and place would be likely to hand stitch?

Since we're getting closer to St. Ann's feast day, I thought I'd point you to a North American landmark famous for venerating St. Ann.  Or Ste. Anne, to use the correct French spelling.  The Basilica of Sainte Anne du Beaupre is located in Quebec, Canada.  Originally a shrine to Ste. Anne, there has been a place of worship in this location since 1658.  Do check out the photo gallery of the basilica for some Ste. Anne inspiration.  Indeed, if you go to the History of Ste. Anne page and scroll down just a bit, there is a photograph of a wonderful (quilt-like!) mosaic on the vault of the Basilica.

The linky party for Ste. Anne's Feast Day is rapidly approaching!  Do join us on July 26th and share your current sewing project - or any special sewing project - in honor of Ste. Anne.  And since it looks like I'll be making my 200th blog post sometime around the Celebration of Sewing, I'll be giving away some fabric in celebration of Ste. Anne as well.  Vive Ste. Anne!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Aqua Under Construction

I spent lots of time doing prep work last weekend.  I got all of this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge scrappy houses cut out and ready for sewing, along with a big batch of leader-ender spools.  When Friday afternoon rolled around, I had my weekend sewing all packed and ready to go to the camp.

Unfortunately, I must've been in a daze when I cut the pieces for this Happy, Scrappy House!  The window and two of the "sky" pieces are missing.  The block will have to remain Under Construction until I get home and cut the missing pieces. 

The leader-ender spools will have to wait until I get home, too.  The piecing feet on the sewing machines I have at camp are just not conducive to making those diagonal seams.  

Fortunately, I have other projects at the camp calling for my attention.  I see from a previous blog post this quilt has been under construction for over a year!  The above blocks are the last pieced border, so the finish line is in sight.  Not exactly scrappy sewing, but one has to improvise when away from home!

So I think I'll pour a glass of wine and go see what kinds of scrappy sewing the Rainbow Scrappers have been up to this week.  Have a virtual glass and join me over at Angela's for some scrappy show & tell!

Oh - did you think I forgot this week's New Orleans house?!  How 'bout a turquoise Bungalow-style double?  Wouldn't you have to smile coming up the sidewalk to this house after work every day?  I think maybe the front garden needs a few pink lawn flamingoes!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Trade Card Tuesday: Vive Ste. Anne & Durkopp

Continuing our study of St. Anne postcards, today's card features a little sewing machine romance!  This French postcard was probably produced sometime between 1910 and 1920.  Usually St. Anne cards depict a woman and a sewing machine, but occasionally a man makes it into the picture as well.  It's fun to imagine scenarios inspired by this photograph, although I hope the romance isn't meant to stem from the gentleman gifting the sewing machine to the lady - it would be like the modern equivalent of getting a vacuum cleaner for your birthday!

I used a magnifying glass to look for the name of the sewing machine.  It's not visible on the machine itself, but the treadle stand has the name "Durkopp" worked into the metal curlicues.  Durkopp was a German sewing machine manufacturing company founded in 1867.  They essentially copied American sewing machines.  They also branched out into making bicycles and automobiles.  The company persisted in spite of economic ups and downs and two World Wars.  In the 1960s, the company ceased production of household sewing machines and focused on industrial sewing equipment.  Most recently, a Chinese company bought controlling shares in the company.  

I'll be celebrating St. Anne through the end of July.  I hope you'll join me on Tuesdays for more St. Anne postcards and sewing machine history.  At the end of the month, in honor of St. Anne's Feast Day, I'll host a linky party where you're welcome to share any current or special sewing project.  
Vive Ste. Anne!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Rainbow Scrap Challenged by Teal

The latest color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is teal.  I'm going to put a broad interpretation on that color, so I can share aqua and turquoise houses, too.

To get myself warmed up, I started the week making leader-ender spools.

Pulling together a happy, scrappy house wasn't too difficult.  The fabric I used for the roof has been hanging around in my stash for at least 15 years.  I hope I can use it all up this month!

The teal house for this week is rather modern for New Orleans.  I spotted this house as I was on my way home from Mes Amis Quilt Shop.  The landscaping around the house blocked getting a full-on front view, so I snapped this side view which really showed off the wonderful paint color.  The house was probably substantially re-built after Hurricane Katrina, as this neighborhood had extensive flooding.

I had the pleasure of spending most of my day in the sewing room, so I'm late in checking out all the other teal scrappy quilting that's been happening today.  I'm going to toddle over to SoScrappy's blog and check things out before I lay my sleepy head on the pillow.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Trade Card Tuesday: Vive Ste. Anne!

I am no authority on St. Anne.
I only learned of her about 12 years ago when I began collecting sewing machine ephemera.  I kept finding postcards featuring pretty women with sewing machines, inscribed "Vive Ste. Anne".  This was in the early days of Google, but I still managed to use the internet to find out why ladies with sewing machines were fond of Ste. Anne.  Ah-ha - Ste. Anne is the patron saint of seamstresses!

Thus St. Anne became the theme for my early website sharing sewing machine trade cards and other ephemera.  How could one not want to celebrate the saint of sewing and other domestic arts?

Today's postcard is from France and is an unusual shadowbox style.  The card was never mailed, but  a note on the reverse is dated 1944.  There are no sewing machine decals visible, but I'd be willing to bet the machine is a Singer Model 15.  The wooden sewing machine case with extension table was made by Singer (I have one for reference) and the tell-tale tension mechanism on the back of the machine is a sign of a Model 15.  The model was introduced in the US in the late 1890s and was a staple of Singer production through the 1950s.  If you ever come across one of these machines, either as a treadle, hand-crank or electric - I strongly urge you to consider giving it a home!  Model 15s are workhorse machines and will prove a smart investment for care-free sewing.

I'm celebrating St. Anne through the end of July.  I hope you'll continue to join me on Tuesdays for more St. Anne postcards and sewing machine history.  At the end of the month I'll be hosting a linky party in honor of St. Anne - anyone is welcome to celebrate sewing and share their current (or any appropriate/special) sewing project.  Vive Ste. Anne!