New Orleans House Project

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Teal Repro Crosses

I put some teal reproduction scraps to work this week - making quarter log cabin blocks for my Modern Crosses quilt.

When I started making these blocks, I had lots of neutral-colored fabric scraps (chunks) to use for the backgrounds.  I've just about run through the scraps and will have to start cutting yardage.

My design wall is currently empty, so I should pin all these blocks up and start thinking about the finished quilt.  I only need two additional color groups (orange and brown) to wrap up my plans for this quilt.

On a completely different note, I pulled out a UFO this week and made plans for finishing it.  I started these Grandmother's Choice blocks in 2012, a BOW created by Barbara Brackman.  All 49 blocks have been marinating since August of 2013, so maybe I can finish assembling them by August this year!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Scrappy Fabric Therapy

Today was one of those Saturdays when I was in serious need of some fabric therapy.  I did a lot of traveling for work this week, and that left me too tired to do much of anything in the evenings.  Happily, I was able to spend most of today sewing, and getting lots of good things accomplished!

I'm still plugging along on some Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects.  This month's color is teal (and similar variations), so I pulled some 1.5 inch strips and pieced two 49-patch blocks.
I'm still not sure what size quilt project I'll ultimately make with these.  They're only 7 inches, so I'll either need to make a lot more, or stop soon and make a small quilt.

Last year's block was made with random 1.5 inch squares; the Trip Around the World/strip method is much easier!

I've been feeling the need to finish up a number of languishing projects - so most of my current stitching focus has been on moving things along.

One of last year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects was making Windblown Wishes blocks from Diane D. Knott's Scrap Quilt Secrets book.  After I assembled my blocks, I took a little detour from Diane's pattern when it came to the borders.  I decided to make a half-square triangle border, again using rainbow colors.  

Today I added a narrow all-white border and stitched all the HSTs together for the next border.  If I'm lucky, I'll get to sew the borders to the top tomorrow.  I think I'll add a wider white border after the HSTs to finish things up.

I haven't been blogging much over the past several weeks, so I was surprised to discover Blogger had disabled the emailed comments feature.  I've switched to moderating all comments, so at least I'll get an email notification when comments are posted.  I do enjoy all the sharing that takes place via blogging comments, so I hope this helps keep the conversation alive!

*Edit:  moderated comments are not getting sent via email, either. 

There's more Rainbow Scrap Challenge inspiration at the weekly RSC link-up, so please stop by and see what other quilters are up to!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Checking In With a Few Finishes

Wow!  Where did the second half of May and the first week of June get to?  

I have been working on quilting projects, but feeling very haphazard in my use of time.  Sometimes it's hard to stay focused when your sewing time only comes in short spurts.   Summer distractions like gardening and family time seem to keep me away from my fabric therapy!

Since my last blog post, I managed to complete another block in the Gathered Harvest BOM I'm doing via my local quilt shop.  This one is called "Fresh Pineapple".  I'm prepping the appliqué shapes with freezer paper and starch, then using invisible thread to machine appliqué the shapes in place - using a narrow zig-zag stitch.  

Since this block had LOTS of leaves, I tried a new-to-me technique:  I made leaf templates using card stock, then used a running stitch in the seam allowance and gathered the allowance around the template.  Then used starch and a hot iron to press the seam allowance to the back of the leaf shape (i.e. the same idea as the "perfect circle" technique).  It worked like a charm! 

Another finish:  a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project made from pinwheel blocks.  I saw a quilt in this style in a decorating magazine, and since I love nine-patch blocks, I was smitten. 

I searched Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns and the Quilt Index - finally discovering the name of the pattern as Flutter Wheel.  I drafted my own pattern and made pinwheel blocks every month in 2017 as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  The original quilt doesn't have an outside border, but since the pinwheels tend to stretch, I decided a solid fabric border would help prevent wobbly edges to the quilt.

Close up of the pattern:  nine patch of pinwheel blocks with pinwheel sashing squares and plain sashing.

Non-quilting, but cooking related
Dear Husband and I are cookbook collectors.  Not only do we enjoy preparing new recipes, we both tend to read cookbooks like novels.  We've purchased many cookbooks for ourselves, and been gifted many more for holidays and anniversaries.  Needless to say, we have quite a cookbook collection.  Some are frequently used favorites and others are more for reference.

A few weeks ago, Dear Husband decided we needed to put the collection to a more frequent use.  He issued a family challenge:  Sunday night dinners must include a recipe from one of the cookbooks in our collection.  Since our oldest Dear Son is currently living at home, that meant 3 rotating Sundays of different cookbook recipes.

Today was my first Sunday dinner as part of the challenge.  I chose a cookbook from way back "in the day".  Long before the Food Network or HGTV, those of us who were interested in food watched PBS for cooking inspiration.  I remember watching The Frugal Gourmet on PBS - I was a SAHM with small children and always interested in new ways of preparing meals.  My inspiration for tonight was a Frugal Gourmet - Jeff Smith - book titled "Our Immigrant Ancestors".  My immigrant ancestors mostly come from the British Isles, but I chose a recipe from somewhere completely different - Thai Beef Salad.  Which, I'm happy to report, was a big success, and will probably enter the rotation as a frequent summertime meal!