New Orleans House Project

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Hospital Sketches BOM: Shift Change

I finished up the last Hospital Sketches appliqué block - Star of the East - earlier this month. 

I used machine appliqué on the last block,  even though I re-discovered the joy of hand appliqué on this project.  Sometimes you just need to get things finished, and machine appliqué definitely speeds the process along.

Now that the blocks are finished, I'm a little stuck.  I need some yardage for sashing and/or borders, but I don't have anything suitable in my stash.  The two quilt stores closest to me don't really carry much selection of reproduction or repro-friendly fabrics, so I may be hunting for awhile.

In the meantime, I'll be contemplating Barbara Brackman's newest Civil War-themed appliqué project, Cassandra's Circle.  The latest BOM will have patterns for a much larger quilt - 97 inches - if one completes all the blocks and borders.  I'm not sure I want to undertake a project that large, so I'm not sure if I'll make all the blocks or pick and choose.  Either way, I know I'll enjoy the history lessons presented with each block!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Scrap Life

Angela of Soscrappy has been hosting the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for quite a few years now.  The challenge behind the project is to use up fabric scraps from prior quilt-making efforts.  Despite several years of RSC participation, my collection of scraps has not diminished.  Honestly, that's OK with me, as I don't participate to use UP scraps, but because scrappy quilts are my favorite type of quilt!  

In fact, this month, I decided some new "scraps" were needed, so I pulled lots of fabric bits (which were clogging up the fabric storage drawers) in the RSC theme for January:  light and bright greens.  I sliced everything into standard scrappy sizes:  3.5 inches, 2.5 inches, 2 inches, and 1.5 inches.  I keep all my scrappy strips in plastic bins, ready to be pulled for future scrappy projects.

While I was digging through the bins, I noticed my 1.5 inch strip bin was getting really full.  
That inspired me to start making new blocks for my Lego quilt.  I put this project aside two years ago because I thought my scraps weren't providing enough variety.  
Maybe the scraps of 2020 will be the boost needed to finish this quilt!  I'll keep slicing up new 1.5 inch strips in each monthly RSC color and working them into the Lego quilt blocks.

I started making Carolina Chain blocks last year as a leader-ender project. 
As I was cutting green strips, I sub-cut pieces for some green blocks.  I'll continue working on these blocks in 2020, too.

These Sugar Bowl blocks have been an ongoing RSC project.  My plan was to set the blocks in groups of four, with narrow sashing and a cornerstone in the center of each block.  I assembled a couple blocks in this manner, only to realize the cornerstone drew the eye and the blocks got completely lost.  Out came the seam ripper!

Instead, I opted for a traditional, on-point setting with alternate plain blocks.  I found the perfect fabric for the plain blocks in my stash - and I had enough of it for the entire quilt!
It's a fun fabric, and I'm so happy I found a great use for it!  Now comes the fun of stitching all those pieces together.  

If you love the Scrap Life, be sure to check out the RSC weekly link-up!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Unearthing Treasures

For the past several years, I've used the end of the year to review my quilting plans - past and future.  After digging through all the drawers and bins of fabric, thinking about patterns on my Quilting Bucket List, and taking a hard look at UFOs, I make a list of projects to focus on in the coming year.  I'm not sure this process improves my creativity, but it does help me focus on projects that need completing!

Before I could do any reviewing and planning for 2020, I needed to do some cleaning and organizing in my sewing room.  It took a couple of days to get the worst of the clutter tamed, but now I can access my fabric stash much more easily, and my main work table has been de-cluttered.

The floor of my fabric closet was so cluttered with tote bags, fabric bundles, and projects, I could barely walk around in the closet, much less open the drawers of fabric.  I found a new home for the tote bags, organized the projects into containers, and filed the fabric bundles in a new location.

Reproduction fabrics are stored in this bureau, so I cleared out some additional room and added the repro fabric bundles that had been stashed willy-nilly around the sewing room.  I re-discovered a couple of fabric bundles that are probably close to 20 years old themselves!  Non-repro bundles got stored in a plastic bin next to the bureau.

To help me keep track of all these treasures, I created a spreadsheet in Evernote where I listed info about the fabric collection, including pictures of the fabrics and any inspiration or pattern ideas related to the collection.  The beauty of Evernote is it works across multiple platforms, so I can access that information from my computer as well as any portable devices, i.e. my phone. (I have no affiliation with Evernote, just a satisfied customer.  The app is free, but if you want to use it on multiple devices, you'll need to pay for the Premium upgrade.  Not expensive and worth the investment.)

As I was cleaning up, I came across a couple of well-aged projects that needed scrutiny.  Both projects had started with good intentions, but gotten side-tracked for one reason or another.  

This Mary Engelbreit panel was the basis of a quilt kit I purchased to make for a friend.  That was in 2007!  I decided it was time to at least finish the flimsy and get it on the list of quilts waiting to be quilted.

It didn't take long to finish up - the green scalloped border was machine-appliquéd, as well as the flowers and "notecard" at the bottom right.

Close up of the appliqué.  I'm not sure when or how this will be quilted, but at least it's a flimsy!

Another buried treasure was this batch of antique Lemoyne Star blocks.  I had originally planned to stitch these blocks into a quilt, but on re-examining them I realized the fabrics were too fragile to support any type of re-stitching or quilting.  

Instead, I think I will use the blocks for inspiration and recreate them using current fabrics.  A quick check of the stash convinced me I already have fabrics that mimic the plaids, checks, and prints, so all I need are some solid background fabrics.  

I'd like to say this will be a project for 2020, but there are still more UFOs that need attention, followed by a new BOM from Barbara Brackman, and Diane Knott's sew-along, and Rainbow Scraps, and - well - you get the picture!