New Orleans House Project

Monday, January 30, 2017

17 UFOs in 2017 Report

Is it already the end of January?  The month has been crazy and I'm glad I had plenty of quilty therapy to help keep me sane!  I've given attention to a good number of my 2017 UFO projects, but most don't have a great deal of visible progress, so I'll just pick a few to focus on.

My Bind-A-Thon has slowed a little this month.  This is quilt #5 of 5 that started the Bind-A-Thon back in late November.  I'm about to turn the corner and start hand stitching the 3rd side of this quilt.  When this one is finished, there are 4 additional quilts in need of binding by the end of 2017.

I need to get started on assembling the Quilty 365 blocks if I'm to have anything to show for Audrey's final linky party in May!  I originally thought I would set the blocks on point, but after doing some math, I realized I didn't want a quilt that large (over 100" x 100").  Back to the design wall.  I'll be thinking about this one for the next little while...

I did enough knitting on the Nae shawl to convince myself I need to purchase more yarn in order to finish.  Usually I over-purchase yarn for a project, but not this time.  Fortunately, the yarn and colorway are still available online, so getting more shouldn't be a problem.  I'll wait for the new yarn before I continue, so I can mix the two yarns and avoid an obvious demarcation between skeins.

Close to a finish here!  I've got all the parts and pieces done for the Fig Tree Feed Sack bag, just need to stitch everything together. 

Last, but not least - a completed flimsy.  This was kind of a cheat, because I only needed to add the final border.  Adding this top to the UFO project inspired me to "get 'er done!"  The Maverick Stars were a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project.  I was inspired by Julie Sefton's "Just Wing It" quilt to use some string pieced alternate blocks.  And the selvage Square in a Square blocks were inspired by Diane Knott's book, Scrap Quilt Secrets.  After all that piecing, the quilt was a little short on size, so I looked for some great fabric to add a final border.  The picture doesn't do it justice - it's a gorgeous magenta batik!  This one isn't high on the priority list for quilting, so I'm calling it finished for now.

That wraps up my January 17 UFOs in 2017 progress report.  I'm glad I joined the project - it's really motivating me to stay focused on finishing! 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Plethora of Purple Piecing

Over the past two weeks I've spent a large amount of my sewing time playing with scraps and experimenting with ideas for projects I've had in mind.  Not everything I tried was successful, but that's OK - it was a learning experience!  On the other hand, I did make a serious dent in my collection of purple scraps (the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for January) and purple selvages.

I wanted to do another selvage project and used up most of my purple selvages on an experiment that didn't quite work out.  I salvaged the last of the selvages for these Rail Fence blocks.  I'll keep making these in the RSC colors through the year and see how many I have at the end.   

I really hadn't planned to start this project, but somehow I found myself making pinwheel blocks and I couldn't stop.  These finish at 3 inches.  I have a definite plan in mind for them, and will use the RSC as an opportunity to make more blocks as the year goes on.

After all that scrap cutting, I had quite a batch of purple 2 inch squares, so I threw them in a basket and began pairing them up as 4 patch block components.  Not sure where that will lead, but at least I have a good supply of leader-enders.

When I give quilts as gifts, I usually like to make a pillowcase for the recipient to store the quilt in.   For the recent t-shirt quilt I made, I wanted to try making a large drawstring bag for the quilt instead.  I found a pattern online for a lined drawstring bag, and decided to make a practice version using some purple scraps.  The bag went together easily and I loved the finished version!  I was able to adapt the bag "recipe" for a large version and gave it away with the quilt.

I spent a chunk of time this morning putting the finishing touches on an unfinished RSC project, but I'll save that for Tuesday's link-up.  Now it's time for tea and some time perusing other RSC projects at today's link-up.

Monday, January 16, 2017

String Star Progress

One of my goals for the 17 UFOs in 2017 challenge is to make significant progress on a string quilt that's been hanging around for awhile. 

My quilt was inspired by Brioni Greenburg's Spring Clean Quilt*.  I love string quilts and was quite taken with this block arrangement that created stars.  I purchased the pattern and decided to use fabric scraps and strings leftover from making memory quilts from my late father's shirts.  I knew my quilt wouldn't be as bright and colorful as the inspiration, but it would be full of memories.

I can't say for sure when I started constructing blocks for the quilt - definitely over a year ago.  I decided to use white cotton fabric as foundation for the blocks instead of paper.  Once I got the foundation blocks cut, I dug through the shirting scraps and started slicing pieces into strings.  I didn't think I'd have enough fabric variety, so I threw in some sliced up novelty fabrics I had also purchased with my dad in mind. 

All the string components and blocks are at our weekend camp, so I only get to work on construction occasionally.  This weekend was one of those occasions.  I finally finished enough blocks to lay out my first star.  Only 8 stars left to complete!   

As I worked on the individual blocks (light blocks, dark blocks and half & half blocks), I was concerned that some of my "light" fabrics weren't light enough.  I think I will have to be careful in how I use some of the lights, but when the quilt is done and quilted, I don't think it will matter all that much.  I'm looking forward to making more string blocks next weekend!

*The Spring Clean Quilt was published in Issue 8 of the online sewing magazine Fat Quarterly.  I've tried to find an active link for the magazine, or a stand-alone publication of the pattern, but so far I haven't been successful.  Apparently there are some issues with Fat Quarterly's website, and it's currently inaccessible.  I'll keep checking so I can add an active link to the pattern in case anyone is interested in making the quilt.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Scrappy Houses: Adding Wonky Borders

One of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects in 2013 was making house blocks using Bonnie Hunter's Happy, Scrappy Houses pattern.  I called my efforts the New Orleans House Project, and as I made my blocks, I tried to find New Orleans houses in the monthly challenge colors.  At the end of the year, I wasn't ready to assemble the blocks into a quilt top, so I put them away while I thought about how I wanted my New Orleans quilt to look.

These are my purple houses from 2013.  As you can see, I did not add the wonky borders Bonnie used on her blocks.  I finally decided those wonky borders were in keeping with how I wanted my finished New Orleans House Project quilt to look - so that's one of my RSC projects for this year. 

I don't want the wonky borders to be the same color as the house block, so I'll be picking the borders based on each month's RSC challenge color.  I looked through my purple scraps and matched scraps to houses.  I cut rectangles 3 inches by 12 inches for the borders.

The rectangles are cut diagonally lengthwise to create the border pieces.  The direction the lengthwise cut is made determines if the house runs "uphill" or "downhill".  The straight of grain side of each triangle gets sewn to the block.  

Plainly I need to be more careful about how I cut the border triangles if I want my houses to go uphill AND downhill!

There is more scrappy inspiration at the RSC weekly link-up.  I haven't had a chance to check out what everyone is working on, so I've got my evening's entertainment planned!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Rainbow Scrap Challenge: Beginnings and Endings

It's the beginning of another year for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  The RSC has had a great deal of staying power, thanks to hostess Angela and the scrap-loving participants.  This year's challenge will continue the theme of using up scraps following a monthly color dedication. 

Since I've vowed to try to finish a flock of UFOs (or at least make progress on them) this year, I'm keeping my RSC plans on the simple side.  I'll definitely be working on finishing some RSC projects from previous years.  However, I can't stay out of the boxes of scrappy strips and squares, so there will be at least one new RSC project, too!

I knew I wanted to use 2 inch squares for this year's RSC project, as I have a large box full of 2 inch squares and strips (see Bonnie Hunter's Scrap Users System).  I originally thought I'd do postage stamp blocks, but I wasn't happy with lack of variety of light and dark fabrics in the stash box.  Next I tried white/light fabrics mixed with the purple squares and liked the result much better.  

Then I remembered Diane Knott had a fun pattern based on squares and HSTs in her book Scrap Quilt Secrets.  The quilt is called "Windblown Wishes".  Diane uses strip-piecing to make her 25 patch block centers, but the same look can be accomplished with scrappy squares.  I used my scrappy 2 inch strips and the Easy Angle ruler to make the HSTs.   

I was so pleased with the outcome I was ready to start making more "Windblown" blocks in other colors, so I think this project will be a keeper.

This week Angela has also invited RSC participants to share previous scrappy rainbow projects.  

I have posted about unfinished RSC projects in the past, but I've not taken a look back at completed projects.  I counted up seven quilts that were a direct result of RSC inspiration.  All but one of these quilts (the green Trip Around the World) were gifted to family or friends.

I also counted up six flimsies that were created as a result of the RSC.  I hope to have the Scrap Jar Star in reproduction fabrics (top left), the RSC Sampler (top right) and the Carpenter's Wheel (bottom left) quilted and complete by the end of 2017.

I worked on the New Orleans House Project in 2013.  The blocks have been waiting for attention since then.  One of my 2017 goals is to get these blocks moving toward a finished quilt.

These 4 inch Sawtooth Star blocks were an RSC project from 2015-2016.  I want to set the blocks medallion-style with an appliqued piece in the center.  The applique center has yet to be started, so this probably won't get finished any time soon. 

There are a few other RSC-inspired projects floating around in my studio, but I don't have up-to-date pictures OR plans for finishing them right now.  

As always on Saturday, it's Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up day.  I can't wait to see all of this week's RSC inspiration!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 UFO Goals

For the past two years, I've created a quilting focus list to help me remember which projects need attention in the coming year.  The list is not about new projects I want to try, just unfinished projects that have accumulated.  Some of the unfinished projects have been languishing for years, others are more recent.  It's been a successful plan - as long as I don't get too distracted by new projects!

This year I'm planning to join in with 17 UFOs in 2017, sponsored by Meredithe at pomegranate and chintz.  The goal is to make substantial progress on at least 17 UFOs.  The UFOs don't have to be quilting-related.  Meredithe mentioned knitting and crochet, but I imagine any hand-work project would count.  There will be a monthly linky party for everyone to share their progress.  Finishing projects is not required, but is a happy side effect, if achieved.

My list has quilts in various states of UFO-ism.  Some only lack binding, others need design planning as well as assembly.  I even have a knitting project that needs to get off the needles.  I may add or remove projects as things evolve - I have plenty of UFOs that need attention.

1. Purple and gold string quilt - complete binding & label
2. Austen Family Album straight set - binding & label
3. Repro Scrap Jar Star - binding & label
4. Chocolate TOBE - binding & label
5. Carpenter's Wheel - binding & label

   6. Red, White & Blue Scrappy - complete piecing 
                                               7. Maverick Star Scrappy - complete flimsy
8. Origami Bow Tie - fuse applique' border design and do machine blanket stitch
9. New Orleans Houses - add wonky borders (RSC project?)
10. Blue Sawtooth Stars & Uneven 9-patch - assemble blocks
11. Fun w/Barb 9-Patch swap blocks -  assemble blocks (Tanganoxie 9-patch setting)
12. Grandmother's Choice BOW - plan block arrangement, acquire fabrics PRN, begin block assembly
13. Quilty 365 - start assembling blocks

14. Mark, baste & hand quilt 4 block eagle quilt

  15. Fig Tree Feed Sack bag(s) - make at least 1 size 

 16. Finish knitting Nae shawl

17. String stars made w/Dad's shirts and novelty fabric - keep making blocks during weekends at the camp.  I don't have any pictures of ~my~ string blocks, so I'm using a picture of the pattern - Spring Clean Quilt by Brioni Greenberg - to give you an idea of what's in progress.  

Focusing on 17 UFOs sounds a little intimidating, but many of these projects just need a little work to get them to the completed stage.  Others will require more intensive attention, but that's OK, as long as they get at least a little TLC this year!  I look forward to blogging about each individual project during the coming year.  

I'll be adding my list to the 17 UFOs in 2017 linky party as soon as it's published.  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's projects and progress.