New Orleans House Project

Saturday, December 31, 2016

One More 2016 Finish: Ole Miss T-Shirt Quilt

Chalk up one more quilting finish for 2016!

I finished hand-stitching the binding and label on this quilt earlier this week.  It's a t-shirt quilt commissioned by my good friend for her daughter and son-in-law.  The t-shirts represent memories of their school days and courtship at the University of Mississippi, better known as Ole Miss.

The quilt's recipient requested all the t-shirts be the same size, and she selected the sashing fabric (Kaffe Fassett's Paperweight in cobalt blue).  BTW, "Hotty Toddy" refers to a famous cheer at Ole Miss, not a warm alcoholic beverage! 

I made a small label, commemorating the wedding - which followed graduation (names covered for their privacy).  It's hard to believe they've been married almost 20 years - it seems like the wedding was only yesterday!  I saw their oldest daughter two weeks ago - she'll be a college freshman this coming fall.  Her parents aren't too happy - she's going to Louisiana State University, not Ole Miss!


Friday, December 30, 2016

Last Vintage Montage of 2016

I find most types of traditional shopping tedious:  groceries, clothes, shoes, home decor - all boring!
 On the other hand, antique malls, flea markets, thrift stores, estate sales...and fabric stores - I'm in shopping heaven!  Dear Husband and I enjoy the hunt for treasures in all these places (he's not crazy about fabric stores - probably just as well!) and have had some good finds lately.
This log cabin cream and sugar set in cobalt blue glass caught our eye in an antique mall near my mom's house in Florida. 

More cobalt blue glass - a calf on a lidded dish.

Vintage sewing items always catch my eye.  The needle packages are from an estate sale.  The Clover sewing tin was an unexpected surprise.  Clover makes all kinds of sewing, knitting and crochet notions, but their modernist take on design made me think the company was a twenty-first century production.

Apparently not - as the interior of the sewing kit is definitely mid-century modern!  That sassy, sewing cat is a hoot!

Also tucked into the sewing kit was this store guide to a Japanese department store.  It's a little surprising the guide is in English - were Westerners common visitors to Japan in the 1950s?  Was the kit purchased by an American visiting Japan at that time?   

Lots of vintage linens have come home with me in the past few weeks.  These Scotties are my favorite!

I found this fabulous sewing machine cabinet and chair at an estate sale in my own back yard!

The sewing machine is one I've had for a number of years.  It's a Model 201k from the 1950s.  Unlike the traditional black cast iron models, this one is made of aluminum, so it's not quite as heavy.  It still sews like a dream and can sew through just about anything.  I look forward to using this machine on a regular basis now that it has a permanent cabinet!   


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Spools & Binding & Scrap Jar Stars

I'm sure by now most of you are sick of hearing me talk about The Bind-A-Thon.  I'm kind of sick of it, too, but I persevere!  The T-Shirt quilt is almost finished - one long side to complete - and then I can start binding the next quilt in the pile. 

I did take a little break from binding this week to make some Spool blocks.  I pulled strips from my 1 1/2" strip bin and got the components cut early in the week.

It didn't take much time at all to stitch up the blocks using speed piecing.

Now I have an even 300 blocks for my RSC Spoolin' Around quilt top.  I don't know when I'll actually get around to piecing all the blocks together, but they're ready and waiting. 

I actually finished this Bind-A-Thon entry a week or so ago, but didn't have an opportunity for photography until today.  

 I started making the 16-patch blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt sometime in 2014.  The 16-patches morphed into Scrap Jar Star blocks, and the entire quilt was finally finished this year.   

I really enjoyed this pattern - what a fun way to use up lots of scrappy parts and pieces!  My only regret was that I ran out of the background fabric (I was working from my stash) and didn't have enough to add a final, outer border.  It would've stabilized the edges of the quilt and added a little extra width & length.  

As usual, my LAQ Cindy Braiwick, did a fantastic job with the quilting!  I suggested something with circles, and this is what she came up with.  The heart-shaped flowers line up with the 16-patch blocks and the circles fall into line in the sashing and cornerstones.

It's difficult to see the binding, but the fabric looks like it has water droplets on it.  I've washed and dried it so it's nice and soft, but even with color catchers, I see a little bit of red bled through from one of the red scraps on the front.  This is going to my mom - she has several quilts I've made for her, but all of them are hanging on the wall.  I wanted to give her something she could wrap up in and think of me! 

I'm writing this on Friday, anticipating lots of activity tomorrow - the RSC link-up AND Christmas Eve!  Wishing everyone happiness and plenty of time with family and friends as we all enjoy this special time of year!


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Breaking from Binding . . . For Spools

Folks, the bind-a-thon continues, but I took a break today to play with some spool blocks.  After seeing Kathy's wonderful top, I was inspired to dig out my spool blocks.

I used Bonnie Hunter's Spoolin' Around block in 2013 as a leader-ender project.   I didn't plan or color-coordinate anything, just tried to use up small scraps.  I finished up 270 blocks.  Not sure why I stopped, but I could use more yellow, aqua and brown blocks to make an even 300.

Since the blocks are so random, I think I'll use a random layout for them.   And I'll definitely set them on point, even though the assembly is a little more time consuming.  These are only 3 inch blocks, so the quilt top won't be huge - once I get it assembled I can decide if more blocks or some borders are needed.

The bind-a-thon has not made much progress in the past two weeks.  I needed to finish the Scrap Jar Star binding so I could give the quilt to my mom in person last week.  I didn't finish the binding before leaving for Florida and I didn't have many opportunities to work on it while visiting family.  It came back home with me and I'll have to ship it to her when it's finished.

I did finish binding the memory quilts I made for my nieces.

My local long-arm quilter, Cindy Braiwick, did a fantastic job with the quilting.

I especially love how she quilted the gold borders.   The girls loved their quilts and immediately wrapped up in them, even if it was a balmy 75 degrees outside!

I'm linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge one more time this year, as the spool blocks were inspired by the RSC.  And now I'm done spoolin' around - it's time to get back to binding!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Bind-A-Thon Continues

Over the past few months I have accumulated quite a pile of quilts in need of binding .  It's hard to get motivated to hand stitch binding when the weather is warm.  Even if the air conditioning is running, it's uncomfortable to have a quilt draped on your lap for hours on end.

Now that our Gu'f Coast weather has cooled off, I don't have any excuses to keep procrastinating on finishing these quilts!  I've completed hand-stitching the binding and labels for the two memory quilts on the top right; next up is the Scrap Jar Star quilt on the upper left.  Dear Husband and I have planned a driving trip to Florida to visit family, so my goal is to finish those top three quilts by Wednesday so I can deliver them to their new owners. 

Since I'm not working on any new quilting projects, I thought I'd share my latest sewing machine project.  I had been looking for a Singer sewing machine cabinet to house one of my favorite vintage machines.  I found this cabinet AND Singer sewing chair recently, and even though delightfully shabby, it came home with me.  My plan is to remove the veneer and stain the top, then paint the rest of the cabinet.  The chair cushions just need new fabric.  It should be a pretty easy project, right?

The cabinet will eventually hold this machine - a Singer 503A, sometimes called a Rocketeer by sewing machine enthusiasts.  It's a machine that can handle heavy-duty stitching and do zig-zag.  I haven't played with this machine much, so I'm looking forward to getting everything set up for some sewing fun.


Friday, November 18, 2016

A Tale of Broken Dishes

I recently participated in Barb's (Fun with Barb) Broken Dishes block swap.  I chose the red reproduction fabric group and wound up with 80 fantastic red and white blocks.  My design wall was empty this week, so I pinned up a batch of them to see how my setting idea would work.

I was hoping I would have a red and white toile fabric in my stash that would work for the alternate blocks.  I have a lot of toile fabric, but alas, not one that played nicely with the Dishes.  I auditioned this foulard print, but the background is too yellow.

This is more the idea I have in mind.  Unfortunately, I only have a fat quarter of this fabric and haven't had any luck finding more online.  I'm sure I'll be able to find something similar at my LQS, which specializes in reproduction fabrics.  There's no rush - I won't be able to do any assembly on this quilt until the first of the year.  Until then, I think I'll leave the blocks hanging for now, so I can enjoy all the different red fabrics!

Many thanks to Barb and all the swap participants for such a fun project!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A Rainbow Nine Patch Flimsy

I'm excited to have a finished Rainbow Scrap Challenge flimsy to add to the stack!  I had a few distractions, so it took a couple of weeks to get all the nine patch variation blocks sewn together. 
I assembled the blocks in sections instead of rows, but there were still some long seams to pin and sew before the entire top was assembled.

The flimsy measures out at 60" x 72".  I'm don't think borders will add anything, so I'm stopping there.  I'm contemplating some bright polka dots or a stripe cut on the diagonal for the binding.

Now that our weather has finally cooled off, I can no longer procrastinate on binding some quilts.  I've got 4 quilts that need the binding completed in the next 4 weeks - if I stay focused, I can get 'er done!

Somewhere in Blogland, I read about wrapping bias binding around a cardboard tube to help prevent tangles while stitching.  Since I usually struggle with a wad of binding and throw it over my shoulder as I sew, this idea sounded promising.  I pronounce it very useful - just unwind the binding as you stitch.  Of course, it also helps to have a sewing machine with a built-in walking foot - my favorite feature on my trusty Pfaff!

I can't wait to see what finished project the other Rainbow Scrap Challenge stitchers have to share today!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Quilty 365 Loves Halloween

October's Quilty 365 circles had a lot of Halloween influence!  Here they are, laid out to mimic October's calendar page.  I started making circles for Audrey's project last November, and as of October 31, I've completed 362 circles.  I thought I might sneak my last few circles into October's post, but decided to wait and officially finish in November.  Maybe I'll even have time to do some block layout before it's time to post November's results!

As always, I tried to have my daily circle reflect something that was going on in my life - even if it was only a weather update.  Since my memory ain't what it used to be, I've been writing snippets about each day in a journal, as well.

The weather this October has been unseasonably warm.  There have even been some record-setting temperatures during the past 4 weeks.  I'm ready for boots and sweaters, not more sandals and t-shirts!

There were lots of events to commemorate this month, too.  Birthdays, vacations, homecoming football games, Important Baseball Games and even a quilting trunk show and workshop.  Sadly, the entire state of Louisiana mourned the loss of the beloved LSU football mascot, Mike (VI) the Tiger.

And where would October be without Halloween?  It has always been my favorite holiday!  I love collecting Halloween-themed fabrics - maybe one of these days I'll actually make a Halloween quilt with them. 

I'm linking up with Audrey's Quilty 365 post for October.  I haven't checked it out myself yet, so I'm looking forward to seeing lots of fun circles!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Scrappy Nine Patches Never Fail

Thanks to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I've been creating scrappy 9 patch blocks every month for the past two years.  I'm pleased to have completed a rainbow collection of blocks, but now it's time to assemble them into a completed top.

I needed 8 blocks with yellow centers to round out my collection of blocks.  These went quickly, as I pulled the centers from my box of 2 1/2" strips and squares.  I've run through all my white on white fabric scraps, too.  I've been cutting yardage for the last few sets of blocks.

All the completed yellow 9 patch variation blocks.

The design wall was empty once again, so I quickly worked out an arrangement and pinned up all the 9 patches.  I color-blocked them in sets of four, which works out to a 10 x 12 block arrangement.  That should make a decent sized quilt, 60 x 72.  I'll decide later if it needs borders.  I started stitching the blocks together last night - working in blocks of color instead of sewing long rows.  

I still have another unfinished RSC project - the Sugar Bowl blocks I started a year or so ago.  I kind of came to a standstill on that one because I wasn't happy with how the different fabric styles were working out.  Maybe that will be an RSC project for next year.   

More Rainbow Scrap Challenge inspiration at this week's linky party!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

More Sawtooth Stars

The design wall was empty this week, so I pinned up all the 4" Sawtooth Star blocks I've been making for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Ninety-six blocks made it into this design, and I still have some left over!

As I mentioned last week, I want to do an appliqued block in the center, hence the large blank space.  I think I've decided on an applique design, but before I start that, I have several quilts that need their bindings hand-stitched.  If our weather would just cool off, I wouldn't mind having a quilt on my lap while I stitched on it!

More rainbow inspiration can be found at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Sawtooth Stars ISO Applique

I've been making 4-inch Sawtooth Star blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for over a year.  It's quite a nice collection now - lots of colors and fabric bits. 
I rounded out the collection with a few more yellow blocks for this month's RSC contribution.

When combined with blocks from last year's RSC, they make a happy group!

Since the other RSC color for October is orange, I grabbed the orange stars and laid them out medallion-style with some yellow stars in the center.  My plan for all these stars is a medallion setting - with an applique piece in the center.  I keep looking for the perfect applique inspiration, but just when I think I've found The Very Thing, I see something else that would make a great center!  Now that I have all the stars finished, I think I'll just have to make a decision and start appliqueing.  Whatever the design, it will be bright and colorful!

For more orange and yellow scrappy inspiration, there's a Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up at Angela's blog.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Quilty 365 Loves Autumn

Another month of Quilty 365 fun has come to an end.  I'm up to 331 blocks now!  I started my circular journal on November 4th last year, so the year-long journey is almost done.
I keep tweaking the exposure on this picture to get a better representation of the colors and fabrics, but it's just not helping.  I will admit I had Autumn on my mind as I chose many of my fabrics, so browns and reds and golds figure prominently.  As always, I tried to choose my fabrics to represent things that were going on in my life, but sometimes I just picked a fabric because I liked it!

The color red figured prominently in this month's circles.  It was the main color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this month, as well as the color for an online swap I'm participating in.  

September weather in south Louisiana tends to be a lot like summer weather - hot and humid.  On the days I was wishing for cooler fall temperatures, I looked for some autumn-inspired florals.

These circles marked some events - a birthday, a shopping excursion, getting caught in a downpour without my umbrella, a relaxing weekend at the camp.  

And of course, American football season really gets going during September.  Many of you know I'm a die-hard New Orleans Saints fan and their colors are black and gold.  My youngest son happens to work for a rival football team.  I don't have any of that team's licensed fabric, so I used an appropriate toile fabric to mark his team's season.  

I'm excited to start making October's circles; you can bet I'll be using lots of orange and Halloween fabrics!

Last but not least, I'm linking up with the other Quilty 365 stitchers at Audrey's Quilty Folk blog.