New Orleans House Project

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Blue Burgoyne and Boo-Boos

One of today's projects was to stitch up a light blue Burgoyne Surrounded block to wrap up this month's Rainbow Scrap Challenge goals.  I had cut the pieces back at the beginning of the month, but got side-tracked by other projects.
I didn't realize the error of my ways until I looked at the picture just now.  The bottom right 9-patch block is upside down.  Time for the seam ripper!

Since the design wall was empty, I decided to pin up the other Burgoyne blocks so I could admire them.  More errors!  I always think I'm being so careful when I stitch these blocks together, but apparently I'm not careful enough!  Check out the beige block, the yellow/brown block, and the orange block.  I only need to make 16 more blocks - I hope I don't keep repeating this mistake!

I hope the other Rainbow Scrap Challenge participants didn't need their seam ripper this week!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

2018: The Year of Machine Applique?

One of my life-long quilting goals has been to become accomplished at the art of appliqué.  In my early years as a quilter, I did plenty of fused appliqué outlined with machine satin stitch, but the fusibles of 20+ years ago made for stiff and not very snuggly quilts.  I also learned the basics of hand appliqué, but never practiced much.  

Over the past 2 or 3 years, I've challenged myself to learn hand appliqué all over again.  I'm starting to feel somewhat competent at it, but there's still lots of room for improvement.  Besides perfecting the appliqué stitch, there are different techniques to learn for appliqué shape preparation, not to mention learning new ways to coordinate color and fabric styles.

Then there's the time requirement for all that hand-stitching.  I do enjoy the stitching process, but setting aside time for it is always a struggle.  With that in mind, I wondered if machine appliqué would be a way to create traditional-look appliqué in a more timely fashion.

Along came a BOM (Gathered Harvest) at my local quilt store, the Quilted Owl.  I knew a quilt from Blackbird Designs would be a good project to attempt machine appliqué due to the relatively simple appliqué shapes.  

The first block kit became available earlier this month.  I'm using freezer paper and starch to create my appliqué shapes.  So far, I'm just prepping the pieces - there are LOTS of leaves and berries still to prep!  For stitching, I'll be using invisible thread and a very small zig-zag stitch.  I've done a few practice pieces, and the look of the stitching is very much like hand appliqué!

At the same time, I'll be working on a quilt that's been in the UFO pile for far too long!
I started assembling these 3-D or Origami Bow-Tie blocks back in 2012, but they got set aside for some reason or other.  The blocks are from an exchange that happened in 2005, so they've waited long enough!

Fast-forward to yesterday, when I finally started to attach the appliqué shapes to the border!  I had prepped all the shapes in 2012, so now I just need to get everything in place and stitched.  The border is from the cover of Quick Quilts from the Heart by Liz Porter and Marianne Fons.

The shapes have been applied using SoftFuse, which is softer and more flexible than the fusibles from days gone by.  Instead of using the invisible thread technique, these shapes will be stitched using Aurifil 50 weight thread and a machine blanket stitch.  It will take some time to stitch everything, but it's still faster than hand appliqué!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Windblown Wishes Gets An RSC Update

During last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I used the monthly color challenge to make Windblown Wishes quilt blocks.  Once all the rainbow-hued blocks were done, I planned to assemble them much like Diane Knott's version in her Scrap Quilt Secrets book.  

Diane's pattern uses sashing and cornerstones to create secondary 9-patches between the blocks.  I liked the effect in Diane's quilt, but decided it just looked like random Starburst candies sprinkled on my quilt.  I think the difference is Diane's blocks contain random colors and mine are specific colors.  I tried organizing the cornerstones in a more color-specific way, but still didn't like the effect.

In the end, I opted for a traditional sashing and cornerstone layout. 

Now that I've changed direction from Diane's pattern, I plan to do my own border treatment as well.  There will be a 2-3 inch solid white border, followed by a border of RSC-themed HSTs to mimic the HSTs in the quilt blocks.  I'll probably add a final white fabric border outside the HSTs to stabilize them.  

The HSTs can be part of my monthly RSC projects.  I'll need around 15 of each rainbow color; that should be pretty easy to do using my already-cut strips and the handy-dandy Easy Angle Ruler.  

So, not much scrappy blue stitching here today, but if you check out today's RSC link-up, I'm sure you'll find plenty of inspiration!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Week of Scraps

A lot of scrappy stitching happened this week.  Not all of it was Rainbow Scrap Challenge related, but scraps got used and goals were reached.

The RSC color for January is light blue.  I pulled several 1.5 inch strips to make a 49-patch block using Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Trip Around the World technique.  

I also stitched up 2 quarter log cabin blocks using repro light blue fabrics.  

Best of all, I finished stitching all the string blocks needed for my memory quilt version of the Spring Clean Quilt.  I needed to make 144 blocks for this version of a string star.  Earlier this week, I decided I was tired of the stringy mess on the sewing table and pushed myself to finish stitching the remaining blocks.  If you've ever stitched a long-term string project, you know how messy all those strings and bits can get!  As soon as I finished the blocks, I tidied up and snapped a picture of my milestone.  Now I need to assemble the blocks, but that won't come until a little later this year - there are other projects clamoring for the space on the design wall.

I haven't had a chance to look at this week's Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up yet, so I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone was stitching up this week!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Rainbow Scrap 2018 Kick-Off

So it looks like much of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge activity this year will involve pushing ongoing projects toward the finish line.  I plan to continue working on some previously started RSC blocks, but I'll also add at least one new project.

From the Wrapping Things Up Department:  assembling last year's Windblown Wishes blocks into a flimsy.  I'll be adding sashing and rainbow-hued cornerstones, followed by at least one fabric-only (not pieced) border.  The pattern can be found in Diane Knott's Scrap Quilt Secrets book.

Another ongoing RSC project will be to make more of these 49-patch blocks.  I started making them last year with random, 1.5 inch squares.  When I had used up all the squares, I started using Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Trip Around the World technique for piecing the blocks - as evidenced by the pink block.  These finish at 7 inches, so I'll just keep making them until I decide I have enough for a wall hanging or small quilt.

Another carryover project from last year:  scrappy pinwheels.  The plan is to assemble the pinwheels into 9-patch blocks, with a neutral background.  I guess I'll try to assemble a few blocks each month as an RSC activity.  I haven't done any math on this project, so I may wind up needing more pinwheels...time will tell.

One more ongoing project:  scrappy selvage blocks.   I'm still not sure how I want to use these blocks, but I plan to continue working on them this year.

I plan to keep making Burgoyne Surrounded blocks in 2018, also.  I picked out these scrappy chunks for a light blue block, but haven't gotten the parts and pieces cut yet.

Last, but not least, I've added a quarter log cabin block to my Rainbow Scrap Challenge repertoire.  I only chose 2 light blue scrappy fabrics for this month; I figure I'll use lots more darker blue scraps when we get to that monthly color choice.

Wow.  Now that I've put all that in writing, it sounds like a lot of work, fabric therapy!  I think there's plenty here to keep me happily stitching for the coming year.

For more scrappy inspiration, be sure to check out the weekly Rainbow Scrap Challenge link-up page.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Good-bye 2017, Hello 2018!

It's a windy and chilly New Year's Day here in the Crescent City.  The temperature is hovering in the upper 20s (-2º C), but at least the sun is shining!  Dear Hubby and I are recuperating from a rather whirlwind trip to the mountains of North Carolina to see family and friends.  All in all, the perfect day to take stock of what's happening in my quilting studio and make plans for the coming year.

For the past several years, I've made a list of quilting priorities - based on WIPs and UFOs - for the coming year.  I keep the list pinned to a bulletin board in my studio and refer to it when I need to stay focused.

Last year, I joined in with Meredithe's 17UFOsin2017 project, which was a challenge to at least move 17 UFOs a little farther toward the "complete" category.  
I tweaked my notecard list and compiled 17 projects to work on during 2017.  (Many thanks to Kyle for the fancy stationery!)  The new list helped intensify my focus on UFOs and I managed to finish many of my projects and move some others along.  Unfortunately, there were still several projects that went untouched for the entire year!

Of course, one never knows when inspiration will strike, so several projects were begun in 2017 that weren't on any list!
Diane Knott's Scrappy Star Sew-Along called my name during the summer of 2017.

Inspired by Cathy and Gayle, I was also bitten by the Burgoyne Surrounded bug - as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  If you find yourself being tugged toward Burgoyne - here is a link to the great free pattern by Becky of Quilted Twins.

Flamingo hexies also crept into my 2017 quilting world.

Then there are all of the quilts still hanging out on my Quilting Bucket List.  
I've had this pattern by Edyta Sitar for years.  Will 2018 be the year I tackle it?

Or how about a Double Wedding Ring style quilt, like this one by Diane Knott?

I still haven't decided on my final list of quilting priorities for 2018, but I'm sure whatever piques my imagination will be colorful, challenging and great fabric therapy!