New Orleans House Project

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Rainbow Scrap Saturday: Green in Retreat

I had something of an unplanned quilt retreat this week.  It was not how I originally planned to spend my week, but I managed to go with the flow.

The House of Crescent Quilting was in need of a large swath of flooring replacement.  The stars aligned and everything was set for the new floor to be installed this past week.   I took the week off from work so I would be able to be home while the workmen were here.  I also figured it would be a good opportunity to work on some other DIY projects around the house.  Wrong.  The house was so torn up and disarrayed after emptying closets and rooms where the flooring was to be replaced, it was impossible to carry out any other projects.  The floor prep also created a HUGE amount of dust, so I wound up staying in the sewing studio with the door closed most of the week.  The flooring install took four full days, but finally wrapped up late Thursday afternoon.  

We replaced trashed laminate wood flooring with ceramic tile that looks like wood.  The floors look great!  Now I just need to put my closets and rooms back together and get the dust cleaned up.

During my retreat, I did lots of green stitching for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.
I worked on Rainbow Scrap Sampler blocks in bright greens.
And Rainbow Scrap Sampler blocks in dark greens.  I just noticed one of the sections of the Nelson's Victory block (lower right) is reversed.  I'll have to fix that or it will bug me forever!
Sampler blocks so far.  I have the Broken Dishes Star cut out and ready to sew.  I don't love most of my green scraps, so I may go back and make a few more purple blocks.
Green 9 patch in bright greens.
Green Maverick Stars.
I went ahead and assembled the green 16 patch blocks into stars,  as I had been planning since January.  
These blocks are great scrap-busters!
And of course, a green Carpenter's Wheel.  I also finished putting last month's purple Carpenter's Wheel together as well.  If I ever get the design wall cleared off, I'll have to put them all together for further design consideration.

I worked on some other quilting projects as well, but I'll save those for another post.  Today could be another quilting retreat day - it's been raining since around 4 AM and doesn't show signs of stopping.  Perfect weather for more stitching! 

First, another cup of coffee while I enjoy the links at Angela's Soscrappy blog.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sewing Studio Update

My sewing and quilting activities have been slower than usual lately.  This past week I was away from home for job-related travel.  My sewing studio has also been in disarray for the past two weeks as Dear Husband and I set up space for a new addition.  
I had been thinking about a new sewing machine for some time.  I certainly didn't need a new machine, as I have some wonderful workhorse vintage machines, but that didn't stop me from daydreaming.  I first read about the Juki TL-2010Q on Kim Brackett's Magnolia Bay Quilts blog.  I was intrigued enough to search for more quilter reviews on this machine.  After a fair amount of research, I thought this might be an affordable option to dedicate to quilting.  I filed the idea away for "someday".
I bought a Pfaff 7550 for sewing and piecing over 20 years ago.  It was a big investment at the time and has served me faithfully since day one.  It's just not real friendly for free-motion quilting.  In fact, it gets uncomfortably hot just doing straight-line quilting.  Hence, the wish for a more quilting-friendly machine.

Thanks to the salary bump from my new job, I decided I could celebrate a little and get the Juki machine.  It didn't hurt that my birthday coincided with the first increased paycheck!  By happy coincidence, I discovered a sewing machine dealer very close to our weekend camp, so I was able to test drive the machine before purchasing.  Even more fortuitous, the dealership is also a full-fledged quilt store - so now I also know about a quilt shop near the camp!
I knew I wanted the new machine to have a permanent set-up in the studio, so it would be ready to use at any time.  I shared some sewing table tutorials with Dear Husband, and he agreed to do the construction chores for me (this tutorial was our prime inspiration).  It took a little shopping to find the right table, but we lucked out and bought this farm table from K-Mart, where it was seriously marked down as the style was being discontinued.  
It took some moving and re-arranging, but now both machines are set up side-by-side.  I still need to put away fabric and projects that were moved during the re-arranging, but I should have time for that this week.  What I'm really looking forward to is having some free-motion quilting play time - soon, I hope!



Sunday, May 18, 2014

Austen Family Album: More Family Introductions and World Events

For what it's worth, I have been keeping up with Barbara Brackman's Austen Family Album BOW, but I keep forgetting to post my progress on the blog!
 Cross in Cross block, chosen in recognition of Jane Austen's father, the Reverend George Austen.  Again, I did some fussy cutting of a fabric collage stripe. 
Next we were called upon to be Thrifty, to honor Jane's mother, Cassandra Austen.
Jane's brother James is remembered with Village Square.
 Empire Star remembers Napoleon Bonaparte.  Although he is not directly mentioned in any of Jane's books, he loomed large in current events during her time.  I was tickled to be able to use the bee print - one of Napoleon's symbols - in this block.  
My goal for this week is to really go through my stash and pull any fabrics that may work with Curio, the fabric group I initially chose for my blocks.  I really need some other types of prints to add some variation to the blocks!  If the stash doesn't yield much, then I'll have to make a visit to the Quilted Owl for some stash enhancement.
As for enjoying Jane's books, I've finished Pride & Prejudice and Northanger Abbey.  I think Emma will be next up in the queue.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Scrap Happy Saturday: Spring Green All Around

We're enjoying an unexpectedly fine Spring day at the camp.  Usually by this time in May, the thermometer and humidity have begun their climb to summer levels.  However, we've had a reprieve and this morning's temp was 60 degrees (F) with very low humidity and a pleasant breeze.  I've been sitting out on the back porch enjoying my coffee, the neighborhood birds and shades of spring green.
View from the back porch
 I did have some time this week to play with scrappy greens, and was able to catch up on several blocks for the Rainbow Sampler. 
Bento with some old fabric scraps!
Bright greens in a Courthouse Steps variation.
Stacked Coins
More bright greens for Roman Steps.
I also pulled some fabric choices for a green Carpenter's Wheel.  I'll have to make scraps for this block, as I don't have enough bright green in the scrap bin for all the pieces required.  Not sure if I'm happy with all these shades, but I still have time to make changes.

I also got the HSTs for my purple Carpenter's Wheel assembled.  I just didn't have the time or energy to sew the blocks and rows together this week.  I didn't want to bring it to the camp, so it may stay unfinished a bit longer.  

My goal for this weekend is to prep several projects for binding.  I'll be on the road for work next week, so I thought it would be good to have some hand-work to occupy my hotel room evenings.

There's lots more green to see as the Rainbow Scrappers show off their work on Angela's blog today!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

ScrapHappy Saturday: Catching Up!

I'm looking forward to having a wonderful time sewing today!  Work and life have kept me away from my favorite activity, and I need a Saturday to get caught up on various projects.  

I was off to Florida last weekend for an early Mother's Day celebration with my mom (and sisters) and I didn't have time to set up any blog posts before I left.  So - I'm jumping backward and talking about the color purple.

I really liked the Antique Tile block for the Rainbow Sampler.  I could see a whole quilt of this block, either in a rainbow of colors or a scrappy one-color version.  
Cracker is a fun traditional block.  I have a vintage cracker quilt made by one of my grandmothers.  I've also used the block for a wedding memory quilt.
Ceiling Fan was also fun to assemble.  I really like pinwheel-style blocks; this one would make a great scrappy quilt set on-point!

My purple Carpenter's Wheel block parts are still in need of sewing.  Project Number One for today!

Jumping a little farther back in time - I finally finished another Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt from 2012.  My very first RSC blocks were 16 patches, and I'm delighted with how the quilt turned out!
My fence wasn't quite high enough to display the whole quilt, but you get the idea.
This one shows the quilting nicely - many thanks to my local longarm quilter, Cindy Braiwick!
I made a storage pillowcase with leftovers from the backing.  This quilt goes to my sister-in-law, so I need to make time this week to get it shipped.

The Rainbow Scrap color for May is green, another huge component of my scrap bins.  Indeed, I have an unfinished green project from last year's RSC - a Trip Around the World quilt using only green fabrics.  I'm going to try to work on that when I have some free time this month.  Hahaha!

ScrapHappy Saturday means lots of colorful, scrappy links, so do stop by Angela's blog to see what the other Rainbow Scrappers have been up to!