New Orleans House Project

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!


  1. Your family cooking challenge sounds fun. I periodically try new things and am always happy to add a new favorite to the rotation. I do all the cooking, though, because Bruce isn’t very adept, although he says no one has ever actually DIED from his cooking, LOL. He is a master barbequer, though. Love your pinwheel quilt!!

  2. Your applique' block is so pretty. How clever you aer to make the card stock template work. The pinwheels made such a happy flimsy and it looks like a very nice size.

    I love this cooking challenge idea so we may try it too. I'm fortunate that my husband likes to cook too!

  3. Pretty quilt and love the cookbook challenge. I have quite a collection too along on a bookshelf in the dining room. I think I'll challenge the kids to do a meal from one of them per week this summer. They love looking through them (especially the boy) and reading just like me - and you as well! Thanks for the idea.

  4. I have a pretty big cookbook collection too and rarely use any of them. I may need to make a challenge for myself--lol! Your applique block is gorgeous and I love your fun pinwheels--so cute!

  5. Love your Applique' block and what sparkly pinwheels.
    I love your idea of having Sunday dinner from a cookbook. I have been using the computer to try new things, but thumbing through a cookbook sounds great to me ;)

  6. Love your pinwheel 9 patch. Our Sunday nights, the kitchen is 'closed'. I'd have to do the challenge on a Saturday night. Hubby just made me a new bookcase for my recipe books. Now I can get to them again (they were tightly shoved in haphazardly in the old, too small shelf). I plan on going thru my collected recipes (not in cookbooks) this winter. I'm sure we'll be trying lots of new things after that.

  7. A gorgeous pinwheel quilt!
    And what a fun idea for a cooking challenge!

  8. Love the BOM block and your pinwheels. Such vibrant colors!

  9. Your newest applique block is gorgeous. It's a beautiful block pattern. Then your pinwheel quilt is super fun with all the colors and fabrics. It will be fun to quilt. I love your Sunday dinner challenge. I might have to try that idea myself. It's a great way to add something different to the menu.

  10. Okay now I'm hungry reading about your delicious dinner! LOL
    That applique is amazing! It ALMOST makes me want to pick up an applique project, or maybe I'll just enjoy following your progress. ;)
    Love the pinwheels, they are so light and airy and pretty. "Flutter" is the perfect description.

  11. Love your applique block so much! And your cooking challenge sounds so interesting. I'm sure you'll be having fun for a good long while!

  12. I love that applique block!
    And as a fellow cookbook lover/collector, I'm wholeheartedly endorsing your cookbook challenge! Brilliant idea to take advantage of all that goodness just waiting between the pages!