New Orleans House Project

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Au Revoir April!

Greetings from New Orleans/South Louisiana, where new cases of Covid-19 have slowed and hospitals are less overwhelmed.  Still, our governor has continued shelter at home orders for an additional two weeks.  I'm thankful for that, however painful for our economy, because I don't want to see a spike in new Covid-19 cases and subsequent deaths.  Our local hospital (where my husband works) was hit hard by the virus and is still struggling to keep up with the patient demand.

This time of year New Orleans would be in the middle of festival season, specifically our beloved Jazz and Heritage Festival - fifty years young this year.  Of course this year's Fest was cancelled, but in the spirit of resilience, local community radio station WWOZ has been broadcasting previously recorded Jazz Fest performances, so we can have a bit of escape from day-to-day reality.  Jazz Festing in Place follows the timetable of the real fest, broadcasting from 11 am to 7 pm from now through Sunday.  Tune in via if you need a little musical escape!

As for quilting therapy, I seem to be taking comfort in wrapping up UFOs.

This Sawtooth Star and Uneven 9-Patch quilt has been kicking around the studio for several years.  At this point, the quilt was just shy of being queen-sized, and I kept looking for fabric to add as a final, un-pieced border.  Earlier this month it occurred to me I just needed to add some additional Sawtooth Star and Uneven 9-Patch blocks, and the quilt would be the size I wanted.

I cut twenty-four additional blocks and stitched them up.  Then I removed two of the borders and added an additional row and column to the body of the quilt.  I made a few additional Flying Geese blocks for the outer border, stitched everything back up and soon had a finished flimsy.  

I also finished hand-stitching all 350-something inches of binding on my Full Circle quilt...and made a label.  Full pictures of the quilt coming soon!

I need to stop digging around in the UFO bins.  I pulled out this stalled project and decided it would be a quick finish, if I would just focus on it!  Lots of the small four patches were already stitched, so it was a matter of cutting more of the larger squares to make double four-patch blocks.  These are all leftover fabrics from my Grandmother's Choice quilt - so should I call this Grandmother's Choice Leftovers?

I've also been trying to do some hand-quilting on this Schoolhouse quilt every day.  I enjoy hand quilting, but I really struggle with trying to improve my stitches.   Practice makes perfect!

Gardening and yard work have taken up lots of my shelter at home time, too.  These shots are from the containers at our camp (note: we shelter in place at our camp, just like at home and the camp is only an hour from New Orleans).  We already have lots of tomatoes that are close to being ripe.  I picked quite a few of the jalapeƱos in the picture above, and made pickled jalapeƱos with them last week.  Mint seems to almost grow wild at the camp, and we use it for Mint Juleps as well as Thai and Vietnamese dishes.

At home, we demolished our 30-something year-old in-ground swimming pool earlier this year.  Now we have an amazing patch of lovely green grass (lower left pic).  Dear Husband built the rolling planters in the top picture, and I filled them with Knock-Out Roses, Agapanthus, and Bird of Paradise.  The round terracotta pot is full of basil - we've already made our first batch of pesto! The hibiscus bloom is from plants along the back fence, and the remaining pictures are the newly re-done front yard landscaping - lots of daylilies!

And now to wrap up the month with good wishes for everyone.  I hope you all continue to stay safe and healthy and take comfort in your stitching!