New Orleans House Project

Friday, May 29, 2015

Finish Your Veggies!

I did a little happy dance earlier this week when I finished a quilt that has been a WIP for far too long!
The fabrics are from a collection by Kathy Hall for Andover Fabrics which was released in 2008.  The designs are woodblock prints made with vegetable-based dyes.  I started piecing the quilt in late 2011 and put the finishing stitches in the binding this past weekend.
My local longarm quilter, Cindy Braiwick, used an all-over paisley-like design.
I didn't get a great photograph of the quilting, but I thought you might like to see the backing fabric, a beige background with gold-ish script handwriting.
The finished quilt only measures 54" x 54".  I wish I could've made it bigger, but I didn't have any more large pieces of fabric to make the snowballs.   The pattern is still available on the APQ website - it's great for showing off fabrics without cutting them into small pieces. 

The good news is I have lots of scraps,
including a bunch of bonus triangles, so there's definitely another Vegetable Dye quilt in my future!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

RSC 15: A Binding Trip Around the World

My Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects for May are wrapping up.  There is still a week's worth of time to play with green scraps, but sewing will take a back seat to other priorities over the next few days.  I'm looking forward to visiting with family in Florida and when I return, I'll be busy with an assignment for work.  By then it will be time to contemplate the RSC color for June!

My RSC accomplishment for the week was to make 10 yards of continuous, double-fold bias binding for my green Trip Around the World quilt.  I used up a big hunk of that leafy fabric for the binding, so there are only a few scraps of that left.  I attached the binding to the quilt last night, so now I'll need to stay focused on doing 10 yards of hand-stitching!

Binding isn't all that exciting, so do check out Angela's SoScrappy blog for plenty of green, scrappy inspiration!

Organized for Road Trip Stitching

I tote hand stitching supplies and projects back and forth to our camp on a regular basis.  
I've been using a see-through plastic food storage container for about a year.  It's handy, but everything rolls around and gets disorganized when I pack it in my tote bag.

I wanted to make something that would help keep my supplies a little better organized for travel, so I searched online and studied all kinds of ideas and patterns.  I eventually settled on the Road Trip Case by Anna Graham - aka Noodlehead.

I already had all the required supplies in my stash, including a zipper and some clear vinyl.  The pattern also calls for double fold bias tape, but I just made my own.

The case has a large, see-through zippered compartment which is perfect for holding all kinds of little stitching accoutrements.  The opposite side has 4 fabric pockets with velcro closures.  I attached some felt pieces in the center for needle holders.

I'm pleased with how this project turned out.  My sewing stuff is better organized and isn't rattling around in a plastic box!  I'd definitely make the pattern again - the case would be a great gift item.  A version with two clear zipper compartments would be great for organizing supplies for English Paper Piecing!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

RSC 15: Scrap Jar Stars in Repro Greens

This week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge project was to make two Scrap Jar Stars in reproduction green fabrics.  I have really enjoyed making these stars using a distinctly "un-modern" approach to color and fabric!

And since the design wall was empty, I pinned up all the previous Scrap Jar Stars to admire.
(Click on the picture for a larger view)
I was planning to make the usual Scrap Jar Star pattern, with sashing and cornerstones to create a secondary 9 patch where the blocks meet.  After looking at the blocks arranged this way, though, I might just do a straight  set without sashing and enjoy the secondary 4 patches at the intersections.  Time and inspiration will tell!

There's lots more green, scrappy inspiration at Angela's Soscrappy blog today, so join us in celebrating scrappy quilts!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Stars in a Time Warp: Finally Caught Up!

I have finally caught up with all the Stars in a Time Warp blocks.  Mother's Day provided an opportunity to spend most of day sewing, so I had a little stack of 4" stars as my Mother's Day present!
From top to bottom:  ombre' prints, conversational prints (a weakness in the collection - I'll be watching for more of these fun fabrics!), chrome yellow, purple, paisley and over-dyed green (L) and green calico (R).   If you want to see a closer view of the fabrics, click on the picture for a larger version.
The latest Stars in a Time Warp fabric color/style is called California Gold - a chrome orange or yellow in fine lines on a white background.  I happened to have a couple of these in my stash, so it was easy to make two blocks this afternoon.

I have not yet attempted to play with any block arrangements.  Every week Barbara Brackman offers new suggestions on how the blocks might be set and every week I change my mind about what I want to do with my stars.  

I have been keeping tabs on all of the Stars in a Time Warp blog links using my favorite quilt catalog program - Evernote.  OK, actually Evernote is a great program for keeping track of all kinds of things, not just quilts.  The best part about it is that it syncs across all my electronic devices: computer, tablet and smartphone.  I can access my "notes" from just about anywhere!  If you're interested, I wrote a more in-depth post about it here.  I'm finding it handy with the Stars in a Time Warp blog entries, because I can go directly to the blog entry I want to review without having to scroll through numerous blog entries to find it.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

RSC 15: Sugar and Stars

I've been trying to get my usual RSC blocks finished early this month, as I will be traveling during the second half of the month.  Angela's instructions for this month of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge are to use dark green scraps, but I pretty well depleted my dark greens making a Trip Around the World quilt last year.
I guess these are dark and light versions of my Sugar Bowl block.  I'm only planning to have two blocks of each RSC color in the final Sugar Bowl quilt, so this is a good compromise.

I also put together 2 Maverick/Liberated Stars from scraps in the crumb jars.  

They joined the two Mavericks from last year's RSC.  There are only 3 colors remaining in last year's stack of stars that need partners:  aqua, red and orange.  Once those colors come up for this year's RSC I'll be ready to assemble these blocks.

Today is Rainbow Scrap link-up day, so go feast your eyes on lots of green scrappiness at Angela's SoScrappy blog!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Stars in a Time Warp: Playing Catch Up

I have been faithfully cutting parts and pieces for my Stars in a Time Warp blocks, but actual stitching proceeds slowly.  During some free time this week, I got 8 blocks assembled.
From left to right:  foulard prints, woven plaids, printed plaids, overdyed green (top) and green calico (bottom).  A couple of these don't have a lot of contrast, but I think I'll leave them that way.  Making these blocks in the 4" size is a bit more of a challenge when it comes to choosing the right size fabric designs!

Speaking of Civil War fabric styles and cotton fabric in general, Dear Hubby and I made a trip to the heart of U.S. cotton-growing country last weekend.   We went to meet up with some friends for a cooking class at the Viking Cooking School in Greenwood, Mississippi.  I had never visited the Mississippi Delta, so it was fun exploring and learning about the history and culture of the area.   BTW, the Mississippi Delta is distinctly different from the Mississippi River delta - worlds apart, in fact!

As luck would have it, the local independent bookstore, Turnrow Books, happened to have a copy of Empire of Cotton: A Global History, which I had just read about on Barbara Brackman's Material Culture blog.  I have only read the introduction to the book thus far, but I am looking forward to delving into it this weekend.

Dear Husband also did his part, picking up this cookbook by a former chef at the Viking Cooking School.   I've paged through it, and it looks like one of those cookbooks where you want to try each recipe, starting at page one!

Our cooking class was excellent fun!  We have cooked together with our friends many times over the years, but we're no longer next-door neighbors so our cooking opportunities are few these days.  We had a great time learning new kitchen tips and tricks from our chef-instructor and enjoyed a delicious meal with our other classmates.  I would definitely recommend a trip to Greenwood and the Viking Cooking School!  I'm hoping for a return trip to the Delta in the not-too-distant future - I have yet to find a quilt store in the area!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

RSC 15: Green Dreams

Angela, our ringleader for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, announced the color for May earlier this week:  GREEN.  I immediately started pulling green scraps, thinking about green WIPs and even dreaming about green quilts-to-be.

I started with a rummage through the bin of 2.5" strips and blocks.  It was easy to make six 9 patch variation blocks just from scrappy pieces in the bin.  I still need to make two more blocks, but I'm off to a good start.
Just for fun, I laid out all the 9 patch blocks I've made so far this year!  

As luck would have it, my local long-arm quilter, Cindy Braiwick, finished my green Trip Around the World quilt this week.  This quilt will need MILES of green binding!  I'm thinking I may need to make a scrappy binding for this - just to keep up the plan of using up older green fabrics on this quilt.

I also consulted my Fabric Collection to see if there were any green fabrics calling out to be used up.  I've been collecting fabrics with doll images for a number of years, but I have yet to cut into any of them.  This one is technically not dolls, but it reminded me of the paper dolls I played with as a girl.
I pulled a bunch of fabrics from stash that might (or might not) go with the ballerinas.  My dream is to make something fairly simple, along the lines of Happy Zombie's Patio or Terry Atkinson's All About Me -i.e. squares and rectangles of the feature fabric and all the complementary fabrics.  There may not be enough time to get this idea off the ground this month, but it's still fun to think about!

It's linky Saturday for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, so there will be lots of ideas to fire up green dreams of your own!