New Orleans House Project

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Hospital Sketches: Virginia Cockscomb

The February block for Barbara Brackman's Hospital Sketches BOM was Virginia Cockscomb.  The inspiration for the block was Robertson Hospital in Richmond, Virginia and its matron, Sally Louisa Tompkins.

The cockscomb pattern has been on my appliqué bucket list for some time.  I'd still like to make an appliqué quilt with several cockscomb blocks - Anita Shackelford's Cockscomb Variations (scroll down to view the book) has been calling my name for several years.  

My fabric choices didn't work out as well as I thought they would - the white background fabric in the circles gets kind of lost against the light blue cockscomb fabric.  It's a learning experience!

All the convex (outie) curves in this block almost did me in!  I was struggling to get even curves on the light blue frond - too many pointy edges instead of smooth curves.  I was ready to give up on freezer paper prep for machine appliqué and resort to hand appliqué for this block.  As I contemplated switching techniques, I did some online research on hand appliqué and discovered I should not be clipping the outside curves.  Instead, the curves should be trimmed close to the seam line and the fabric smoothed around the outer curve.  I tried that technique on my freezer paper templates, and was able to get much smoother curves.  Like I said - a learning process!

Now that I look at my finished block, I think it looks a little bare.  Some quilters added additional items to their cockscomb blocks - birds being the most popular addition.  I may have to go back and add a bird to my block, too!


Saturday, March 30, 2019

Green Wrap-Up: Tiny Tuesday

I'm not a huge fan of small quilt blocks with tiny pieces, but in the spirit of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I've been playing along with the Tiny Tuesday blocks published each week.  My scrappy green results this month were mixed.

Multiply is the clever Tiny Tuesday block from Jo at ButterZ.  The smallest pieces start at 1 1/4 inches before sewing, and the resulting 4-patch gets trimmed to 1 5/8 inches.  My fingers struggled with that a little!

We also did a wonky Log Cabin block.  My light greens didn't all have the same level of lightness, but, I got 'er done.  I did get to fussy-cut the cute ladybug in the center!

Sally Trude offered one of her great flip triangle owls for another Tuesday block.  I have to confess, I punted on Sally's block.  I suck at doing flip triangles.  So I did an appliqué owl instead.  I did find some large dot fabric so my owl could have googly eyes, though.

The last Tiny Tuesday project didn't get posted on Tuesday, so I went looking for something on my own.  When I saw this block at Generations Quilt Patterns, it reminded me of a Burgoyne Surrounded block so I knew I had to make it!  The 9-patch sections get made by strip-piecing, so the block is not too fiddly.  I also switched the color/fabric orientation so it seemed a little more Burgoyne-like.  What name would you give this version of the block?  Un petit Burgoyne?  Faux-goyne?  

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Scrappy Ring of Stars

I've been wanting to make a quilt for a friend of mine.  I almost gave her my Windblown Wishes quilt when it was finished (pictures coming as soon as we have some decent weather for photography), but decided I couldn't part with that particular quilt.  I find it easier to give away a quilt if I have a certain person in mind from the get-go.

I thought about quilt blocks/patterns on my bucket list and finally focused on star blocks made with the Tri-Recs ruler.   Back in the early 1990s, my quilt guild made an opportunity quilt based on the Fifty-Four Forty or Fight quilt block.  At the time, there were no specialty rulers to help in the construction of the blocks, so we all learned to paper-piece the blocks required for the quilt.  I loved those spiky star blocks and always wanted to make a quilt of my own featuring them.  I'm so happy I can now use a specialty ruler to make the blocks rather than paper piecing!

Ring of Stars by Nancy Rink
This quilt caught my attention several years ago when I did a Google search for starry quilt patterns.  It's kind of a deconstructed Fifty-Four Forty or Fight block - with the 4-patches used in another block to make a secondary pattern.  I decided it might lend itself to a Rainbow Scrap Challenge treatment and downloaded the pattern from Connecting Threads.

I did some sketching and planning and figured I would need at least 3 sets of blocks in each rainbow color.  I also decided to make 9 inch blocks, so I could use scraps from my 3.5 inch strip bin.  I think this project may turn out to be a great scrap buster!

As always, there's more scrappy inspiration at the weekly RSC link-up!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Inspired by Rainbow Scraps

There's a new Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for March - green!  As always, I could jump in and make an all-green quilt just from scraps, but for now I'm going to stick to my 2019 RSC plans.

First up - some Sugar Bowl blocks and random scrappy 4-patches.

I'm adding to my collection of Sugar Bowl blocks this year - making two additional blocks in each of the rainbow colors.  I have a final layout planned once I finish all the needed blocks.

The RSC Tiny Tuesday blocks have been a fun diversion during the week!  These wrap up the yellow scraps from last month, along with more random 4-patches.  I still haven't decided on a setting fabric for the TT blocks.  I'd love to find the perfect multi-color fabric, 'cuz I'm kinda bored with using white.

Believe it or not, this Postcard Quilt was inspired by the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!  I started it in April of 2017 and put the final stitches in it last week.  The inspiration was multi-colored scraps, which got me looking through my collection of flamingo fabrics.  The top went together quickly, but languished for lack of quilting.

I decided it was time to try some of the built-in quilting stitches on my sewing machine, so I layered things up and went to work.  I used this wavy quilting pattern to mimic postal cancelation marks on the postcard "backs".

For the postcards themselves, I improvised with free-motion quilting around the motifs on the fabrics.  This isn't a great picture of the quilting, but I guess it gives you the idea!

I even made a flamingo postcard label!  

As always, there is more scrappy inspiration at the weekly Rainbow Scrap linky party!