New Orleans House Project

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Enjoying My Calorie-Free Chocolates

Today's entry for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge involves the monthly challenge color - brown - and the "finish it up" aspect of the challenge.

This quilt started life as a challenge/swap to create 9-patch blocks with brown and another color inspired by chocolate candy.  The swap took place between some chocoholics who were members of the Treadle On mail list - a group devoted to sewing with vintage and antique, non-electric sewing machines.  

The swap took place in 2007, but I didn't start playing with my blocks until 2012!  I made a few more chocolate 9-patch blocks and added snowball blocks made with chocolate candy fabrics.

Once the quilt top was finished, I handed it off to my local longarm quilter, Cindy Braiwick.  She had already done some fun, food-related quilting on my Ice Cream quilt, so I knew she'd come up with great ideas for this quilt, too.

She incorporated "I 💜 Chocolate" into the quilting around the borders.  

The 9-patch blocks are quilted with different types of candy, while the snowball blocks feature decorative hearts.

I didn't notice this quilting design until I was snapping pictures.  I guess those are supposed to be chocolate martinis!

This quilt has been languishing in the "needs binding" pile for a couple of years.  I finished the binding this week, washed and dried it and now have a the perfect guilt-free chocolate treat!

There will be more quilty treats at this week's RSC link-up - guaranteed to be good for you!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Rainbow Scraps Transformed

The happy result of playing along with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge every month is having a pile of colorful blocks to assemble into a quilt at the end of the year.  Sometimes it takes a little more than a year to finish up the quilt(s), but it's still a fun process.

Inspired by all the colorful houses in New Orleans, I started making Bonnie Hunter's Happy Scrappy House blocks in 2013.  It took some time to get these assembled because I kept changing my mind on what the final quilt should look like.  I thought I wanted to applique some words in the outer borders, but after experimenting, it just wasn't working out.  Eventually, I decided it was time to stop dithering and finish this quilt top!

For 2015's Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I used reproduction fabric scraps to make a Scrap Jar Stars quilt.  I finished hand-stitching the binding on this quilt recently and recruited my son to hold it up for photography.  Compared with an earlier Scrap Jar Stars quilt in bright colors, I love the softer, more subdued look of this quilt.

My local long-arm quilter, Cindy Braiwick, did a great job on the quilting design.   She used a multi-color thread that really added some pop to the background fabric.  I'd love to keep this for myself, but I planned it to be a gift it from the beginning, so off it goes!

There are still several more unfinished Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects in my UFO pile, but the year isn't over yet, so they may get transformed, too!

Check out more Rainbow Scrap transformations at the weekly scrappy link-up!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Dark Side of Burgoyne

This week's Rainbow Scrap project was to make some Burgoyne Surrounded blocks using dark scraps.  I started with scraps, but added fabrics from the stash to make everything work.  

The monarch butterfly and black fabrics were scraps, but the other two fabrics came from the stash.  I'm always happy to cut up stash and make more scraps!

The starting point for this Burgoyne was the brown floral fabric.  The scraps have been in my stash for years.  I love the print, but it's kind of a strange shade of brown and not easy to pair with other fabrics.  I was tickled to find other fabrics in my stash that pulled the block together.

After I assembled the block, I wasn't super happy with the red and cream print.  I thought it kind of overwhelmed the block.  I wondered if tea dyeing might help calm the red and cream fabric down a little.

I brewed up a small amount of strong black tea and did some experimenting.  Once I was happy with the process, I used a small paintbrush to apply the tea just were I wanted it.  I wasn't worried if the result looked a little streaky, I thought that just added to the effect I was looking for.  When the fabric was dry, I set the color using a hot iron.  I think the block looks much happier!

After stitching up a few 4-patches for the Parts Department, I'm done with my brown and black scraps.  Now I can turn my attention to finishing a few things here and there - if I can avoid starting any new projects along the way!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Wrapping Up the Scrappy Blocks

November signals a new month of scraps to use for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  The scrappy assignment this month is to use dark scraps: think black and brown.  I don't plan to add black or brown scrappy blocks to all of my RSC projects, so I won't be making a lot of blocks this month.  Maybe that will give me some time to start assembling some of this year's blocks into flimsies!

After using up lots of pink scraps last month, I still had a few bits left over to make 4 patch blocks.  These will be added to the Parts Department, for use in a future quilt (to be determined).

I've been making pinwheel blocks all year, following the RSC color challenges.  I had some brown and black scraps in the 2 inch strip bin, so it was easy to make more pinwheels for the collection.

I found some brown and black scraps and chunks that might work well in Burgoyne Surrounded blocks, so I'll give those a try before I wrap up my scrappy piecing this month.  After that, I've got plenty of unfinished Rainbow Scrap business to keep me busy through the end of the year!