New Orleans House Project

Monday, July 31, 2017

July: 17ufosin2017

The end of July means it's time for another 17ufosin2017 report.
I missed reporting on my UFO projects at the end of June, but my July report will be identical to what I would've reported in June!

One of my most ambitious projects for 17ufosin2017 was to assemble all these Sawtooth Star and Uneven 9-Patch blocks.  I got that accomplished, only to realize the quilt was not going to be the size I expected.  What can I say, sometimes long-term projects play tricks on your memory!

I did not have the willpower to make another big batch of stars and 9-patches, so I decided to add a border of Flying Geese to help reach my desired size.  I made about 90 of these FG blocks, so now they need to be pieced together and attached.  I'll finish this quilt eventually!

Another 17ufosin2017 project is to get the binding on this Scrap Jar Star quilt.  I did get the binding made and machine-stitched to the front, but I still need to do the hand-stitching part.  I confess I have a mental block against stitching bindings down in the summertime.  My house is air conditioned, so I really can't say it's too hot to have a quilt on my lap.  Maybe it's the lack of appropriate television programming in the summer?  (i.e. I get lots of quilt binding done during American football season!)

I've also made some progress on the Nae Shawl over the past two months.  This one is kind of tedious, because it's mostly stockinette stitch and only gets decreased one stitch per round (front and back).  I'm down to about 40 stitches, so the rounds go quickly.  Once it's bound off I'll have to find a place to block it where the cat and dogs won't pester it.

I'm looking forward to seeing what progress others have made on their 17ufosin2017.  Check out the link-up at Meredithe's blog to see what's being worked on!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Summer Star Scrappy SAL: Nine Patches Without End!

I've made some progress on the steps for the Summer Star Scrappy SAL.  I'm not completely ready to start the latest step provided by Diane, but I'm not too far behind, either.  Participating in a SAL can be UFO-inducing, and I'm trying to avoid that!

This week, I finished all 48 nine patch blocks called for in step 1.  My stash of blue fabric scraps, chunks and yardage is deep and wide, so I had fun trying to put a dent in the collection.

I also made progress on step 2:  creating white and neutral nine patch blocks.  Today I was able to finish assembling all the 3-patch sections (180 sections!), so I can work on turning them into nine patch blocks this week.

Step 3 involves making split nine patch blocks, for which HSTs are required.  It just so happens I have a hefty stack of blue and white HSTs that were waste triangles from a big batch of Flying Geese blocks I just made.  The HSTs need stitching and trimming, but I'm just happy to have them waiting in the wings.  

Sorry to not have any pretty pictures this week; it's just all about the process right now.  It will be fun to start assembling the blocks when that step rolls around!  

Saturday, July 29, 2017

No Escape from the Blues

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge focus on blue is about to come to an end.  My stash of blue strips, squares and chunks has thinned and my RSC projects have edged closer to completion.  On the other hand, working with blue fabric this month inspired me to pull out a blue and white UFO and start another blue and white scrap quilt.  I think I'll be working with blue for more than just the month of July!

One RSC project I've been working on this year is 4 patches.  These were just a simple way to use up bits and pieces of strips and squares left over from other projects.  I don't have a plan for these right now; I think I'll just hold on to them until inspiration strikes.

Another RSC project has been Windblown Wishes blocks from Diane Knott's book Scrap Quilt Secrets.  When I finish all the rainbow colors, I'll have 16 ten-inch blocks.  I think I will stop there and turn them into a wall hanging.  Unless different inspiration strikes!

Now that all the RSC projects have their blue additions, I'll be back to working on my blue & white Sawtooth Star and Uneven 9-Patch quilt (aka Big Blue Monster).  I've decided the BBM needs a border of Flying Geese blocks, and I still need to make about 40 of them.  And when that's finished, I'll be working on Diane's Summer Star Scrappy Sew Along - in my case, another blue and white scrap quilt!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Summer Star Scrappy Sew Along: The Fun Begins

Several weeks ago, Diane Knott of Butterfly Threads Quilting queried her readers about their interest in a scrappy summer sew along.  At the time, I was trying to come up with a way to further decrease my blue scrap bin and I thought Diane's idea sounded interesting.  I decided to participate and started prepping a stack of blue scrappy strips.

Diane shared the first SAL step last week:  creating nine patch blocks with a variety of scraps.  The SAL directions call for using fabrics of all colors, but I'm planning to use only blue, white and cream.  These block components were made by sewing strips together and cutting them to the requisite size.  I pulled lots of pieces from my 2 1/2 inch strip bin - some short pieces and some long pieces.  Using smaller pieces made the block component creation take a little longer, but I was happy to be using up lots of scraps!

I've pieced about half of the required 48 nine patch blocks so far.  It was hard for me to piece the nine patch blocks randomly, instead of in the traditional dark and light patterns.  I knew the fabrics would need to have some contrast, otherwise the blocks would end up looking like mush.  I may go back and cut some more strips to add a little more contrast and fabric variety to the mix.

Diane is sponsoring a weekly link-up on Sundays so participants can share their progress.  I can't wait to see what scrappy colors and fabrics other quilters will be using!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

My (Scrappy) Dreams Come True on Blue Bayou

Whenever the Rainbow Scrap Challenge focuses on the color blue, I seem to spend the month humming songs with "blue" in the title.  This gives me a great excuse share Youtube videos like this one:
"Blue Bayou" was a big hit for Roy Orbison, but I love this version with Linda Ronstadt and the Muppets, circa 1980!

OK, now that we've had our musical interlude, I'll start the quilting part of our program. 😎

Here's a blue 49-patch block, made with all scrappy 1 1/2 inch pieces.  This did a pretty good job of cleaning out all the smallish blue scraps.

Since we've gone half-way through the year, I decided to contemplate all the previous blocks together.  Once I finish the RSC colors for the year, I'll have to decide if I want to keep making theses scrappy blocks piece by piece or resort to strip piecing.  Since the blocks only measure 7 inches when finished, I'll need quite a few more blocks to make a quilt. 

Blue selvage blocks were also completed.

And all the selvage blocks were duly contemplated.  The individual selvage blocks measure 4 inches finished, so this is another project that will need many more blocks to reach a respectable size.  I'm thinking this might become part of a large selvage sampler project (i.e. make more selvage blocks in different styles/patterns next year).

A few more house blocks got wonky borders.  

Here are all the Happy, Scrappy Houses so far (I jumped ahead and did some pink wonky borders, too).  Once all the wonky borders are added, I'll be making some appliquéd words to mix in with the houses.  Maybe this will get finished by the end of the year?

Last - but not least - a scrappy blue Burgoyne Surrounded block.  That blue fabric with dragonflies has been hanging around in the stash for over 10 years.  I keep trying to use it up, but the scraps never seem to diminish!  

All the Burgoyne blocks are trying to play nicely with each other.  I love the colorful funkiness going on here!  Check out Cathy's finished Burgoyne top or the original pattern from Becky - I think they'll bring a smile to your face!

Now that I've brought all my RSC documentation up to date, I'm off to do some more stitching.  There are still more RSC projects to work on, as well as Diane Knott's Summer Scrappy Sew Along.  In between, I'll be playing with all the dogs (aka the Swirling Dog Mass) and humming more songs with "blue" in the title!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Blues Go On Forever, and the Cutting Never Ends

Most of my  blue Rainbow Scrap Challenge sewing this week involved the assembly of a lot of Sawtooth Stars and Uneven 9-Patch blocks.
This project has been floating around for a couple of years, and I decided 2017 was the year to finish it.  This is only about a quarter of the blocks.  The rest were assembled into similar-size sections, which will get sewn together before the weekend is over.

Another element of the Sawtooth Star quilt will be a border of Flying Geese blocks.  I've got about 50 FG blocks made (upper left), but I need about 40 more.  Hence the pile of 3 1/2 inch strips on the cutting mat.

While I had the blue fabric chunks and yardage out, I also cut a big batch of 2 1/2 inch strips to add to the collection in my bin (top right).  I'm succumbing to temptation and joining Diane Knott's 2017 Summer Sew Along.  I've been thinking about projects that would use up more blue scraps, and this seemed like a great idea.  I'll be using blue and white and cream as my color combination.

Dear Hubby and I were out and about for a bit this morning and dropped into a couple of our favorite treasure-hunting places.  A fun time was had by all!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

It's All About the Blues

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for July is blue.  Since we in the northern hemisphere are about to find ourselves in the hottest time of the year, maybe playing with blue scraps will help us stay cool.  I'm going to keep that idea in mind while I try to use up as many of my blue scraps as possible!

In the U.S., it's also our nation's birthday weekend, aka the Fourth of July.  That means we've packed ourselves off to our camp for the next several days, where we'll enjoy all kinds of outdoor summertime activities.  It's not a good time for sewing, but I did bring lots of scraps to prep.

I pulled several stacks of strips and squares from the 2 inch scrap box.  These will get prepped for a variety of RSC projects.  I also need to make almost 100 Flying Geese blocks for another scrap quilt in the works, so I brought the prepped pieces for those - maybe I'll do a little sewing...

Some folks refer to this time of year as the Dog Days of Summer.  This year, I have a new understanding of the Dog Days.  
Our oldest son, Andrew, is off exploring a host of national parks and will eventually wind up in California, hiking the John Muir Trail.  He's been planning the trip for the past year and is anticipating lots of good adventures and photographs.

While he's off adventuring, we're taking care of his dog, Moose.  

That's in addition to our two dogs, Bailey & McKenzie.

In about two weeks, we'll add another dog to the menagerie, as our youngest son's dog will come for a visit.  Every summer, youngest son David's job takes him to California for a month, so we take care of his dog, Jozy, while he's gone (Jozy and McKenzie are siblings).  

The end of the Dog Days of Summer signal the beginning of the worst stretch of Hurricane Season.  I think I'll still be glad to see the end of the Dog Days this year!

I'm curious to see what all the Rainbow Scrappers are dreaming up for their blue scraps.  There's a linky party at Angela's blog - will there be virtual barbecue and fireworks in honor of the holiday?!