New Orleans House Project

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Civil War Appliqué BOM Update

I've been participating in Barbara Brackman's Civil War appliqué BOM projects for the past two years.  
In 2019, the theme was Hospital Sketches, featuring stories about hospital care during the Civil War.  This year's theme is Cassandra's Circle, focusing on the lives of Confederate women in the social circle of diarist Mary Boykin Chestnut.

I used stash fabrics (except for backgrounds) for the Hospital Sketches blocks, but found my stash lacking in appropriate sashing and border fabrics. 
Happily, I found some suitable fabrics this spring and completed the flimsy.  I had to tweak the exposure on the photo quite a bit to even get the outer border fabric to show up - it's a dark blue paisley.  

This project was a great experience in choosing fabrics for appliqué.  I still have much to learn, but I'm enjoying the process!

This month's block for Cassandra's Circle is called Texas Star.
Several options were suggested for the center star image.  I liked the crossed five-pointed stars.  I especially enjoyed cutting the wreath using a folded paper (freezer paper in this case) technique.

Non-appliqué department
We're having a really prolific year of jalapeños.  So far I've made pico de gallo and pickled jalapeños.  I chopped up another batch and froze them.  And more were split, seeded, and roasted, then frozen.  And still the peppers keep growing!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Lone Stars in my Eyes

One of my goals for this year is to rev up my Lone Star quilt making skills.  Ultimately, I'd like to have a stash of Lone Star pillows to give as Christmas gifts.  Most of the intended recipients are residents of the Lone Star State (Texas), hence that specific quilt block choice. 

I made one large Lone Star quilt many years ago.
It was a gift for my mom, completed sometime in the mid-1990s.  She decided it was "too pretty" to use, so it remained packed away for years until I convinced her to hang it on the wall of her new house.  Now I get to pet it every time I visit her!  

My guiding star for making that Lone Star quilt was The New Lone Star Quilt Handbook by Blanche Young and Helen Young Frost (1989).
The "new" in their technique was the use of strip piecing, followed by rotary cutting diamonds from the assembled strips.  After making that first Lone Star, I knew I wanted to make more.  I had no idea it would take so many years for me to return to this quilt pattern.

I have been thinking about Lone Star quilts since January.  Searching the internet, saving pictures to Pinterest, returning to my library of quilt history books - all looking for inspiration and motivation.

I already had a fat quarter bundle whispering to me about becoming a practice Lone Star block (Chesterfield by Studio RK for Robert Kaufman Fabrics).  And when yesterday turned into Waiting for the AC Repairman Day, I knew it was time to start practicing!
Since I knew I wanted a small-ish, pillow-sized star, I followed an online tutorial from the Hopeful Homemaker which used 1.5 inch strips.  The current star measures about 16 inches.  I imagine I'll add some type of border, but the general idea is for the finished quilt block to fit an 18 inch pillow form.

I hadn't given a lot of thought to the background fabric for the star, assuming I'd find something appropriate in my stash.  This is an off-white Moda Grunge fabric.  I'm not crazy about it, especially since there's not much contrast with the light-colored paisley fabric in the star tips.

Then I remembered I had this Color Weave fabric (P & B Textiles - alas, I don't think they're still making this line), which I think will be perfect.  Fortunately, I have at least a yard of the fabric, so I should be able to finish an entire pillow.  

On a completely unrelated note:
We have a bluebird family in residence at our camp!  We haven't had any bluebirds for several years, so we enjoyed watching them build their nest.  I'm going up tomorrow to check on the garden, and I'm looking forward to seeing them!

Friday, May 15, 2020

Full Circle: An Appliqué Challenge

I was finally able to take some pictures of my finished Quilty 365 quilt - aka Full Circle.  The quilt was the result of a challenge from Audrey of Quilty Folk to appliqué a circle every day for a year.  My circles wound up being sort of a fabric journal of the year, hence the calendar-like layout.  

Since the majority of the quilt was appliquéd in 2016, there are 366 circles, as that was a leap year.  As I did the stitching, I also kept a written journal of the rationale behind each fabric choice.  

Local long-arm quilter Cindy Braiwick really outdid herself with the quilting.  She came up with lots of special patterns for the circles, which really added a whole 'nother dimension to the quilt!

Not every circle has fancy quilting, leaving some circles to speak for themselves.

My son David suggested the name Full Circle.  

The finished quilt measures 76 inches by 90 inches.

Lots of memories in all those circles!

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Cassandra's Circle BOM Block Three

During April, I got distracted with face mask sewing and other projects, and didn't get around to stitching my Cassandra's Circle block until late in the month.  I managed to finish block three well before the end of the month, but I forgot about posting my results.

I added a Fleur de Lis to my block to represent my city - New Orleans.  I learned a lot about all the variations in fleur de lis designs as I was figuring out my block addition.  

The next block in the series - Texas Star - has already been posted, so I guess I better get busy choosing fabrics and stitching!