New Orleans House Project

Monday, July 28, 2014

Side Trip Into Upcycled Denim

This past Saturday I was inspired by the Rainbow Scrap Challenge to make this pattern using some red scraps.  My Dear Husband decided he would like an earbud case too, but he requested his be made from denim.

I have a huge tub of old jeans (waiting to be made into quilts, of course!), so I pulled out a likely pair and quickly cut out the needed denim pieces.  I found the perfect fabric for the lining in my stash and I also happened to have a dark blue zipper on hand.
The denim was heavy enough that batting was not needed, but I did use some lightweight fusible interfacing for a little extra body.
I also used some trusty fabric glue to help hold the pieces in place for stitching.
The process went a little more smoothly using an electric sewing machine with the ability to sew in reverse, but I still think the top-stitching done by my Singer Model 15 was prettier!
Dear Husband was tickled to have an earbud case made from his old jeans!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Scrap Happy Saturday: Red Rolls On

A few more days and our red creative playtime for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge will be over.  I'm not quite caught up with the Rainbow Sampler blocks and I still need to finish piecing this month's red Carpenter Star, but I think I can accomplish all that before the end of the week.  After playing with red fabric all month, I've decided a red and white quilt should be added to my Some Day list!
Elderly red scraps were used to assemble the RSC Sampler block called "Flock".
I grabbed these scraps to use for the sampler block Big Dipper, but realized too late I didn't have a Companion Angle ruler at the camp.  Instead, I made the Jewel Box block.  It's a little busy, but I think I like it!
Angela has made quite a batch of these little ear bud cases over the past few weeks.  I've had the pattern saved on Pinterest forever, so I decided it was time to make one, too.  I packed the materials needed and printed the pattern before leaving for the camp last night.  As luck would have it, I actually had a red zipper in my stash.
This is a fun pattern and easy to make!  I did it all on my vintage treadle sewing machine, which does not sew in reverse.  It worked OK, but it would've been easier to do some of the steps on a machine that could sew in reverse!  If I make the pattern again, I'll also use fusible batting as it would help keep the layers from shifting during sewing.  Like my turquoise ear buds?  I bought them cheap at Tuesday Morning 'cuz I go through ear buds on a regular basis.  These look good, but the sound quality is pretty bad!

I haven't checked out today's linky post at Angela's blog, so I'm heading over there next to see what all the other Rainbow Scrappers have been playing with this week!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Austen Family Album: For Family and Regent

Barbara Brackman's Austen Family Album BOW continues to educate and entertain!

The Waves of the Sea block was chosen to represent Jane Austen's brother, Francis Austen.  He had an illustrious career in the British Navy, including a knighthood conferred by Queen Victoria and ending his career as the Admiral of the Fleet.  I tried to use some of the text-themed fabric in my chosen collection - Curio by Basic Grey for Moda.  I think the block came out a little boring, but it fits in with the others nicely.
Another of Jane's brothers, Charles, also served in the British Navy.  The Crosses and Losses block is to symbolize his career; he remembered his sisters by buying them gold chains and topaz crosses.
Another of Jane's brothers, George Austen II, was born with some type of disability.  There is very little information available about George's life, but his condition prompted the family to board him with another family who cared for mentally disabled people in their home.  Thus, the block Home Comfort is in memory of George.
This is one of my favorite blocks so far - King's Crown.  The block was chosen in honor of England's Prince George, son of King George III.  Prince George served as the Regent during King George's periods of incapacity; his service gives name to the era of English history we now call the Regency.  I really enjoyed reading about Prince George and King George and especially the medical mystery that or may not have afflicted them.  I remember reading Regency novels by Georgette Heyer when I was a kid; now I understand more about the history and culture of the Regency!
The design wall was empty, so I was able to put all the blocks together - in no particular order.  Have I mentioned these blocks finish at 12"?  I'm going to run out of design wall space before the BOW ends!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Of Eagles and Blog Buttons

Audrey from Quilty Folk and I recently started an eagle quilt challenge/QAL to motivate ourselves and others to make that eagle quilt that's been on our quilting bucket list forever.  Quilt Like an Eagle was started over the July 4th holiday after a week of being inspired by patriotic quilts throughout Blogland.

Every good QAL needs a blog button to spread the word about the project of desire, so I dug through my collection of Victorian trade cards to find something worthy of button making.  I found a great illustration from a Davis sewing machine booklet.

After I edited the picture a little, I was ready to deal with the blog button code.  I had made one blog button before, but I didn't remember anything about the process other than it was a pain in the neck. 

Fortunately, Google search came to my rescue!  I found a website, The Willingham Enterprise, with simple instructions on how to create a blog button.  The best part of the instructions was the link to a free blog button code generator!  Once the code was created, it was a simple matter of copying the HTML for the blog button and pasting it in Bogger's HTML gadget.
 I was so impressed with the ease of the whole operation I wanted to share the information in case any of you find yourselves in need of a blog button.  The finished product is easy to install on your blog and easy for friends and followers to "grab" and post to their blogs.  I give it a big thumbs up!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Scrap Happy Saturday: Red Scraps in the Sunset

It was a very long work week (I drove over 600 miles!) and I was delighted to have a rainy Saturday of fabric therapy.  First and foremost was playing with red scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.
I stitched up two red Maverick Stars to go in the stack of RSC stars.  The RSC sampler block for this week was also a Maverick Star, so I made a third star and kept the fabrics dark.
Once the stars were completed, I cut all the HST units for my red Carpenter's Wheel block.  I use 2.5" strips and the Easy Angle ruler to cut the the units.   Sticky notes and binder clips help me keep the cut fabrics organized until I can stitch them together. 
I've got a new leader-ender project going alongside all the red scrappy activities.  These 9 patch blocks are for a swap organized by Barb of Fun with Barb.  She shared a very handy technique for making 9 patches and fired up an enthusiastic group of quilters to participate in two different block swaps.  The swaps are full/closed, but if you want to look at all the blocks being created, check out the group's Facebook page.

I haven't checked out today's Rainbow Scrap link-up, so I think I'll make a cup of tea and go enjoy some scrappy red inspiration!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Log Cabin at the Camp

This past winter, my Dear Husband asked me to make him a log cabin quilt.  He showed me a red, white and blue LC quilt he found online and said he would like one like it.  DH has really never asked for a quilt before, so how could I say no?

I knew I wouldn't be able to start it immediately, but I did start pulling fabrics from the stash.  Since January's color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge was blue, I even started cutting a stack of 2 1/2" blue strips while I was playing in the blue fabric drawer.

I made a sample quilt block using 2 1/2 inch strips, but I didn't think DH would like it, as the quilt he originally showed me had smaller strips.
The second sample block used 2" strips.  Much to my surprise, DH preferred the larger strips.  Maybe he knew I would finish the quilt more quickly using bigger strips!
By the end of July 4th weekend, I was off to a good start.
By today, I had completed 30 12" log cabin blocks.  Now I need to put them on the design wall at home to play with an arrangement.  I'm planning on a barn raising layout, but I'll need to play with the blocks for an even fabric/color layout.
I use a Singer Model 15 treadle at the camp.  I love sewing on it - the motion of the treadle is soothing and relaxing.  It's a great addition to log cabin therapy!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Scrap Happy Saturday: Running with Red

Many of you have no doubt heard of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain.  I bet you didn't know New Orleans has its own running of the bulls, aka San Fermin en Nueva Orleans.  The participants are expected to dress in white and wear red neck scarves and sashes.  It's an amazing sea of red and white, running through the streets of New Orleans!

Unfortunately, my only running with red this week involves fabric.
A run of scrappy red geese that will eventually be incorporated into Scrap Jar Stars blocks.
A lonely red 9 patch.  Most of the pieces here are ancient scraps (greater than 10 years old!), so I'm glad they are on the run!
I ran through some more red scraps catching up with the Rainbow Sampler blocks for this month.
After I made the Nonesense block, I decided my fabric choices made it look like firecrackers!
I also ran across these cats in the scrap bag.  I thought they'd make a good Hashtag block, but I think I'll call mine "Cat-tag".  (sorry, I'm genetically wired to love puns!)  BTW, the background fabric is black and white, not black and pink.

My last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge was all about colorful houses in fabric and in New Orleans.  I recently ran across a photo essay of colorful New Orleans houses and thought you all might enjoy it.  My fabric houses are still warming up; I have lots of great ideas for assembling them into a quilt, but never enough hours in the day to do all the quilting I'd like!

And now I've run out of corny ways to talk about this week's quilting marathon, so I'll stop and encourage you to stroll over to Angela's Soscrappy blog for some more scrappy red energy!


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Scrap Happy Saturday: Red Rules the Roost

I've been looking forward to playing with the color red as part of this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Finding red fabrics with enough variety in lights and darks to create interesting red quilt blocks is something of a challenge.  I certainly didn't have that much variety in my scrap collection.  But I've been picking up fat quarters here and there to add to my scraps.  Mainly fabrics with white background and red prints so they "read" as light in contrast with other reds in my scrap stash.  I'm looking forward to making this month's Carpenter's Wheel block with all my new varieties of red!

Because of the American Independence Day holiday on Friday, we took off for our camp on Thursday afternoon.   I didn't have time to throw a lot of scraps together to work on RSC projects, but I did complete my red 16 patch blocks.  These will become red Scrap Jar Stars before the month is over.

Thanks to all the wonderful patriotic (red, white and blue) quilt shows throughout blogland this week, I've been inspired to start a new project that has been on my wish list for a long time.  
Inspiration in red: eagle crib quilt from Skinner Auctions

I've wanted to make an eagle quilt for some time, but just never took the plunge and got started.  An email conversation with Audrey of Quilty Folk lit the inspirational fuse for both of us, and before you could say "firecracker!" we had designed and set up an eagle-themed QAL.  I hope you'll stop by our QAL blog, Quilt Like an Eagle and maybe get inspired yourself!

Looking forward to a lazy summer afternoon and lots of scrappy red inspiration from the Rainbow Scrappers!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!

July 4th - American Independence Day - has been my favorite holiday since childhood.  Family, food and fireworks - what could be better?! 

When I was a young child, our entire neighborhood gathered where a series of backyards came together around a giant oak tree.  Everyone brought food to share and the adults had a keg of cold Milwaukee beer (my early childhood was spent in Wisconsin).  We kids played all afternoon and someone's crazy uncle from Illinois always brought firecrackers - which were illegal in Wisconsin - to thrill us.  After sunset we gathered in lawn chairs and on blankets to watch the fireworks put on by our little town.  They exploded over that oak tree while we all ooohed and ahhhed over each successive rain of colored stars.

I have other wonderful July 4th memories, but that will always be my favorite!
I hope you have a day that makes wonderful memories for you!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mid-week Rainbows

Today has been designated Rainbow Scrap Challenge progress day - an opportunity for those participating in this year's RSC and RSC Sampler to share their scrappy rainbow progress.

Happily for me, my design wall has been empty for the past few days, so it was easy to pin up my various RSC projects and contemplate where my creative vision may be taking me.

First up, 6 nine patch blocks in rainbow colors.  These blocks finish at 6 inches.  I believe this will be an ongoing RSC project for at least another year, as it will take lots more blocks to make a quilt!

Other RSC participants inspired me to try my hand at maverick or liberated stars.  I'm still getting comfortable with improvisational piecing, but I'm glad I gave these a try.  I'm picturing these set with string pieced blocks in the alternate squares.  This will definitely require more creative playtime!

Sixteen patch blocks are one of my favorite scrap busters.  When I started the RSC this year, I only planned to make the 16 patch blocks, but several months into the challenge I decided I wanted to make these into scrap jar stars.   I didn't use any specific pattern, just made up my own components to fit.  I only recently started assembling the entire star block (the green and yellow blocks above), but I have the HST flying geese components prepared for the other colors.

When I pinned all of the RSC Sampler blocks on the wall, I was just trying to display them for the photograph.  I had been thinking of arranging them in a medallion setting after being inspired by one of the quilts from Barbara Brackman's Grandmother's Choice BOW.  However, looking at the photograph, it's kind of fun seeing them all together without any special setting style.  I'll wait until year is over before I make a decision on this one.

The only block I originally planned to make for this year's RSC was the Carpenter's Wheel.  I've wanted to make a Carpenter's Wheel quilt since my earliest days as a quilter, and I figured the RSC was a great excuse to play with color and piecing at the same time.  Using HSTs for the diamond shapes makes these blocks fairly easy to assemble.  I haven't decided how I will set all the blocks at the end of the year - more creative playtime needed!

That concludes my Rainbow Sampler update.  I'll be linking up with other Rainbow Scrappers over at Angela's blog - I'm sure there will be all kinds of scrappy inspiration!