New Orleans House Project

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February: 17ufosin2017 Progress

First item to report:  A Finish!  
All I needed for this finish was to complete the hand stitching on the binding.  Completed that today while recuperating from the flu and watching Mardi Gras festivities on TV.

The quilt was an attempt to use up a large portion of my purple and gold fabric scraps.  I still have a lot of purple and gold fabric (scraps and yardage), but that's OK, purple and gold are the school colors for Louisiana State University and there will probably be other school quilts in my future.

The back of the quilt features a purple bandana print.  Now that it's finished, it will go to my youngest son.  He asked for the first LSU quilt when he was in college - even designed it - so it's only fitting he gets a quilt made from some of the scraps from his quilt.

Now it's on to binding the next quilt in the pile/on the 17ufosin2017 list!

Next up:  Another Finish!
I have had this Joanna Figueroa pattern for over a year, and the fabrics (not hers) longer than that.  I put this project high on my 2017 UFO list hoping I would get motivated to finally turn the fabrics into a tote bag.

I was able to finish the medium-sized Feed Sack in early February.  The result is as cute as I expected, but for the next bag I think I'll make a few changes.  The outer pocket is too small to hold much (see the top picture of my iPod peeping out of the pocket).  The pattern included directions for a matching (half-round) inner pocket, but I didn't make that.   The next bag will have a deeper outside pocket and one or two inside pockets as well.  I already have the fabrics cut for the large version of the bag, so maybe I'll have that to show next month.

OK, that's enough with the Finishes.  
I've been working on assembling my Quilty 365 blocks.  I grouped the blocks into sets of 30, so they resemble calendar pages.  The last seven blocks (I made a few more than 365) will get spread out across the "bottom" of the quilt.  

I can't fit all the sets of 30 on my design wall at one time - here are the other 6 sets.  I'd like to get this to the completed flimsy stage by the end of March - wish me luck!

I'm still finding Meredithe's challenge inspirational and I'm excited to see what progress the other participants have made!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Last of the Aqua?

It's the last Rainbow Scrap Challenge Saturday for talking about aqua scrap projects.  I feel I've gone a long way toward emptying the aqua scrap bins - at least for now! 

As I was digging through the aqua scraps,  I found some chunks of this Natural Effects collection by Michele D'Amore.  I used the collection for the above RSC project in March of 2014 (still unquilted, BTW).  I really wanted to finish off the scraps, but I needed something that called for fairly large pieces of fabric to make the most of the designs.

I finally settled on a tote bag.  I wanted to keep a big piece of the multi-color floral intact, so I cut large strips for the top of the bag.  The body of the bag is made of 3 inch squares and the bottom and lining were made from a piece of Grunge (by Moda) yardage.

I used both fusible fleece and fusible interfacing on the body of the bag, then added straight line quilting to hold everything together. 

There was enough fabric to add a good-sized interior pocket.

I like long handles on my tote bags so I can sling them over my shoulder.   The finished bag measures 14.5 inches high and 16 inches wide.  This could become a go-to gift project, especially using slightly smaller dimensions.

I also made some aqua pinwheel blocks this week.  Here they are laid out with last month's purple blocks.  My ultimate plan is to mix up all the colors, but since I only have two colors so far, I just color-blocked them. 

I'm ready for the next round of color, but in the meantime I'll be checking everyone's Rainbow Scrap Challenge entries for today!



Saturday, February 18, 2017

Aqua Bits

It seems this may be my year for really using up small scraps.  Two Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects this week involved finding uses for some of the smaller scraps in the scrap boxes.*

I have a lot of two inch strips and squares left over from various projects or just cutting up scraps into usable pieces following Bonnie Hunter's Scrap-Users System.  Last month I pulled a lot of purple squares and started piecing 4-patch blocks.  I did the same for aqua squares this month.  I don't have definitive plans for these right now, but 4-patches are a versatile quilt building block and I'm sure they will find a happy use eventually. 

This is a small portion of my very large collection of 1.5 inch strips.  Several years ago, I decided to start piecing 1.5 inch strips in anticipation of making a "Lego" quilt (tutorial by Tonya Ricucci).

Piecing bits of 1.5 inch strips into longer sections is great mindless sewing, and before long I had a laundry basket full of pieced strips ready to be assembled into blocks.

I finally stitched up some blocks last summer.  I came to the conclusion this was going to be a very long-term project, because assembling the blocks was just not that much fun.  Those pieced strips are going to age for awhile longer.  And in while they're aging, I'm going to attempt to use  up some of the un-pieced stash of 1.5 inch parts and pieces.

I pulled the shortest bits of aqua 1.5 inch strips I could find, sliced them into squares and arranged a 49-patch block with white squares on the diagonal.  Despite the number and size of squares, the block went together quickly.  I decided to go back and repeat the process for last month's RSC color.  Once I use up the short bits of 1.5 inch strips, I can do some speedier piecing by sewing longer strips together and slicing them up.  

For more scrappy aqua inspiration, check out the link-up at Soscrappy.

*Disclaimer:  I don't really like working with scraps smaller than 1.5 inches, so my version of "small" may not be the same as yours!


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Aqua Wishes

I managed to do some serious depleting of my aqua and teal colored scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this week.  I don't have a big collection of blue-green fabrics in my stash, despite several years of stash enhancement for the RSC.  That sounds a little backwards, but you gotta have stash in order to make scraps, right?

This week's scrappy block was Windblown Wishes from Diane Knott's Scrap Quilt Secrets.  These are fun blocks to make and I look forward to having a pile of rainbow-colored Wishes at the end of the year!

In other news, I have been assembling my Quilty 365 blocks more rapidly than I thought possible.  I started assembling on Monday evening and I'm halfway through already!
I decided to set them in chronological order in sets of 30 - kind of like a calendar page.  The RSC color of the month often influenced which fabric got chosen on any given day, although apparently not often enough you'd be able to guess that month's color by looking at my blocks!

My plan is for narrow, neutral sashing between the 30 block sets.  Right now I'm auditioning 2 different gray fabrics.  The one on the right is a Riley Blake Blender and it's a bit on the taupe-y side.  The gray on the left is a Grunge fabric from Moda and definitely reads as more of a true gray.  I'm leaning more toward the Riley Blake right now...

Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Little Aquamarine to Soothe the Soul

It's Rainbow Scrap Challenge check-in day, and I have a few modest efforts to show.  Angela, our fearless RSC leader, used the word aquamarine to describe the color she wanted us to aim for this month.  I found that color to be a perfect description of the scraps I pulled to start my blocks. 

I started with the easiest of all projects:  selvedges pieced and cut into Rail Fence blocks.  Sally of The Objects of Design sent me a large box of selvedges last year.  Somehow it must be a magical box, because there never seems to be a dent in the contents! (Thanks, Sally!)

 Next I turned to the pile of Happy, Scrappy Houses I made as an RSC project several years ago.  My goal this year is to make wonky frames for all the house blocks so I can finally assemble them in a quilt.  I don't have a real plan for this, I just look at the blocks each month and try to find some that would look good with that month's RSC color as a frame.  I'm pleased with this month's results AND I got all the houses to go "down hill".  You may recall last month they all went "up hill" and not intentionally.

That's all my aquamarine until next week.  I spent most of today doing some long-neglected chores (yuck!) and now I'm too tired to be playing with sharp objects.  I think maybe a glass of wine and reading about everyone else's RSC adventures this week sounds like a good idea!