New Orleans House Project

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween Scraps

One more week of working with black scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!  I saved these for the last Saturday of the month since they're Halloween-related.
I finished up my black leader-ender spools.  These Halloween-themed mini clothespins were perfect for keeping the spools clipped together!

This week's Halloween happy, scrappy  house is made from scraps from an October baby quilt.  My niece was born in October, and I thought she should have a Halloween-themed baby quilt.  I found some wonderful fabric based on old-fashioned Halloween postcards and used that as the main theme for the quilt.  Scraps from the postcard fabric are in the door and window.  For the quilt back I found a fun monarch butterfly print, which I used for the chimneys on the house.

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the quilt, although my sister promises me it was well-loved and well-used.  My niece is already 10 years old; it seems like only yesterday I was making that quilt!

My New Orleans house for the week doesn't exactly fit this month's color scheme (although it has black shutters!), but it was such a good mate for my scrappy Halloween house I had to share!  This is another one of those fabulous mansions on St. Charles Avenue, but the real treat is the Halloween decorations. If you click through to the slide show, click through the ads because there are 39 punny pictures in all.

This month has really helped me develop a new appreciation for using black fabric in my quilts.  I gained lots of inspiration from the other Rainbow Scrappers every week who linked up over at Angela's blog.  I see lots more black fabric showing up in future quilts!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween Fun

I have always been a fan of Halloween.  I think it's a nostalgia for the naive Halloween celebrations of my childhood.  Carving jack o' lanterns, roasting pumpkin seeds, trick or treating in a great costume - all these things are my idea of a fun Halloween!

I used to do a fair amount of decorating for Halloween, but now that my kids are grown, it's just not as much fun.  
I did bring out my collection of Halloween dolls and toys, though.

One of my favorite collectible toys (souvenirs, really) are push puppets.  You know - the little gizmos with a spring that collapse when you push the bottom of the figure.  I don't know why they appeal to me, but I always buy them whenever I find them.
Black cat push puppet.

I also collect wind-up toys.  They are irresistible!

Mr. & Mrs. Frankenstein - Madame Alexander dolls from several years ago.  It's hard to see, but they're actually joined at the wrist by a chain!

Some Madame Alexander trick or treaters.

More trick or treaters; the mini figurines are Madame Alex dolls that were in McDonald's Happy Meals many Halloweens ago!

My Halloween celebrations have grown pretty tame lately.  We have very few trick or treaters in our neighborhood, so Dear Husband and I often just go out to dinner and celebrate by having pumpkin creme brulee or pumpkin cheesecake for dessert!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Black Scraps for a Rainy Saturday

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain on the roof.  The rain, mixed with fog, has continued all morning - a great day to stay in and play with scraps!  
The Rainbow Scrap Challenge colors for October are grays & blacks, and I've had fun digging through the scrap bin to find just the right combos for scrappy house blocks and leader-ender spool blocks.

I found some bright colors on black backgrounds that made good spools.

The red pepper fabric has been in my stash for a long time.  I bought several yards of it and it has found it's way into many of my scrappy quilts!

I couldn't find a black or peppery New Orleans house to share this week.
On the other hand, a famous pepper-growing family is associated with New Orleans.  The McIhenny's recipe for pepper sauce, better known as Tabasco, is a world-famous condiment.  Members of the McIlhenny family have lived in New Orleans for years; the former president of the company was Rex, King of Carnival several years ago.
Tabasco peppers are grown on Avery Island, a salt dome in southwest Louisiana.  The pepper sauce has been made and bottled there since 1868.  I think it would be fair to say Tabasco sauce is part of the fabric of our life!

And on that spicy note, I'm going to go check out the other Rainbow Scrap inspiration at Angela's blog!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Inspiration from a Chalkboard

I always look forward to Scrappy Saturdays, because I never know how color, fabric and New Orleans houses will inspire me.  

This week I was inspired by a very unique house and some Moda Grunge fabric.

The Before I Die house was created by artist Candy Chang.  Her website does more justice to the story than I can, so I hope you'll take a look.  Scroll down to see the entire transformation process.

As always, the other Rainbow Scrappers will be sharing their inspiration today over at Angela's blog.  I'm looking forward to seeing their scrappy fun, too!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Scrappy Saturday: Playing with Gray, Ignoring the Weather

This month's color instructions for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge are to use gray to black scraps.  Since I only have a few gray fabrics in my stash (Oh No!  I had to make scraps for this week's block!), I decided to start there and challenge myself to make an interesting gray happy scrappy house block.

I expected my world would be full of gray today.  The weather pundits have been telling us to prepare for TS Karen for the past 48 hours, but my gut feeling was always that she would turn out to be a lot of nothing.  So, at noon on Saturday, the sun is shining and Karen is falling apart.  Still, I plan on staying home and sewing for as much of the day as possible!

After playing with the gray scraps for a bit, I realized a little pop of color was needed to perk things up.  Moda Grunge fabric to the rescue - a little bit of pink was just the ticket!  I also noticed photographing the gray blocks at an angle helped show off the color and fabrics better.  

I used up a few more scraps making leader-ender spool blocks.

I love the gray background in this Halloween wallhanging.  This goes back to my early days of quilting; the pattern may be from Better Homes and Gardens, but the memory is dim.  The instructions never called for any quilting, and the quilt is finished by sewing the backing and batting to the quilt top with wrong sides together, then turning right side out.  The pieced top has  always sagged a bit, and I keep telling myself to add some quilting to stabilize things.  I think that project will be another gray challenge for this month.

This week's New Orleans House Project subject is known as the Brown-Villere Mansion, a Romanesque Revival standout on St. Charles Avenue.  Even though the house is sort of a taupe-y gray, I wanted to share it because it's such a New Orleans landmark.  Plus, unlike all the houses I've shared so far, you can actually see some of the interior of this house!

Please stop by Angela's soscrappy blog to see how the color gray has inspired other Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilters!