New Orleans House Project

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Finished Flimsy: Treadle On Origami Bow-Tie Blocks

I finished machine-stitching the appliqué border on my Origami Bow-Tie blocks this week.  Once I started the machine stitching, I kind of got into a rhythm and just kept working at it until it was finished.  I don't have any solid plans for the quilting yet; I'm just happy to have the finished flimsy!

I used Soft Fuse to hold the appliqué shapes in place (fabric glue for the vines), then machine-stitched a blanket stitch edging on all the shapes.  The border design is from Fons and Porter's Quick Quilts from the Heart.  The stitching was not difficult, but I did find I needed to be careful to use good posture, remember to breathe (!) and take frequent breaks to stretch and rest my wrists and hands.

The Origami or 3-D Bow-Tie blocks were from an exchange among antique and vintage sewing machine users from the Treadle On mail list.  The exchange requirements included using reproduction quilting fabric and stitching the blocks on a pre-1900 people-powered sewing machine.  

These blocks will always have a special place in my heart because I received them during my exile from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  My son and I were living with my sister's family in Florida so my son could continue to attend high school - his school had taken on over 12 feet of water and was in no shape for classes.  My husband had gone back to New Orleans to work, because his hospital was one of the only functioning hospitals in the metro area.  I looked for a job in Florida, but although folks were sympathetic, they weren't interested in hiring a temporary employee.  I didn't have any access to Fabric Therapy, so I spent my days reading and trying not to watch television coverage about the flooding in New Orleans.  When my package of blocks arrived in the mail, it was a harbinger that life might eventually return to "normal".  Not long after that, we learned electricity had been restored to our neighborhood, my son's school had arranged for classes to be held at an alternate location and we would be able to go home!


14 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful piece--love that border--nice that your machine does the blanket stitch--mine doesn't have that option, but I fudge and use another one that is almost, but not quite the same...wonderful job !! hugs, Julierose

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  2. Beautiful quilt and so glad that you and family survived Katrina - that was so bad. My Chopin ancestors were buried there - I am thinking they are floating in the Gulf somewhere now!

    When will you be able to come over and teach me how to machine applique? LOL - I only do needle turn and I do believe at one point in my life the hands may just not want to cooperate anymore! Have a great day!

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  3. Wow - this quilt top is pretty on its own merit, but its dual story adds so much more to its enjoyment. I would love to have a top created within such parameters - a historically oriented piecing is extra valuable. But the poignancy of the blocks' timing makes it priceless.

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  4. P.S. I'm really sorry you had to go through that awfulness, particularly that nobody would hire you short-term.

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  5. Wonderful border you have added. I can't believe you can machine stitch applique pieces so nicely on a sewing machine.

    And the story behind the quilt...priceless. Will you add that to a label on the back? I can't imagine Katrina's destruction and the displacement of so many families.

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  6. What a treasure that quilt is, and such a valuable piece of your family history. And beautiful, too! A total winner!

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  7. The quilt is certainly beautiful, and all the more so because of the story and memories behind it. I hope you will add that in some way to the back of the quilt (perhaps a note in a pocket?) I remember talking about the scope of Hurricane Katrina’s damage with colleagues at work. It was mind-blowing, and we all mostly felt that it would be a long time, if ever, before N.O. got back to normal. So glad we were wrong in underestimating the resilience and determination of Louisiana!

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  8. Lovely finish. The signatures make is so special. The borders are lovely.

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  9. What a wonderful quilt and such a memorable story attached to it. It is so easy to forget the hardships others have endured when it is all over. Those painful memories never go away. Nice to have something to commemorate the happy moments! Thanks for sharing.

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  10. It's a beautiful finish. The border looks great with all those bow ties. All those blocks certainly have a tie with a challenging time in your family's lives.

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  11. A wonderful quilt with great memories connected to it!

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  12. Katrina caused such a mess. I see you have a block from Captain Dick. I got to meet him at a RRTOGA in 2013. I didn't start collecting machines till a couple years after Katrina.

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  13. Oh yea, LOVE how you finished the quilt top!

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  14. Beautiful! Lovely blend of traditional and fun, whimsical elements.:)

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