New Orleans House Project

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Scrap-Busting Block Bonanza, Round Two

I managed to stay focused on using up blue scraps for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge again this week - and there now seems to be a little wiggle room in the storage drawer for blue fabric chunks and yardage.  

Most of my stitching time was spent on putting together blocks for the Irish Chain quilt I started last week.  I started stitching the blocks into rows, but only made it through three rows before I was distracted by something else.  The rows stitch up easily, so it shouldn't take much longer to turn this into a flimsy.

As I was working on the chain blocks, I used some other bits to put together a few of Bonnie Hunter's latest leader-ender challenge blocks.

I'm still in block experimentation mode.  I wanted to try this variation on our old friend the Variable Star block.  I found a nice-sized chunk of this dark blue fabric with silver metallic sparkles, which made a good practice fabric.  This version finishes at 12 inches, but it would be easy to increase the size to 16 or 20 inches - which would be perfect for a pillow!

Another version of the Variable Star block involves flipping the fabrics for a negative image.  I think this would be much more interesting with some variety in the background (in this case, white) fabric, but I was being lazy and just grabbing fabric that was already out.  These blocks measure 6 inches, and again, could go together in different multiples to make pillow covers.  Yup, I'm still thinking about Christmas gifts!

So much for working with blue scraps this month.  Next week will be a new RSC color and new inspiration will surely follow.  More Rainbow Scrap inspiration can be found at the weekly link-up!

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Scrap-Busting Block Bonanza

I've been digging through the blue chunks, strips and scraps this month to fulfill the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for July: dark blue.  

I have an abundance of blue fabrics of all types and sizes; revisiting them this month was enough to create a desire to do some serious scrap-busting.  I've played with several block patterns, looking for good candidates to use up lots of scrappy chunks and bits.  I haven't completely decided on a plan of action (I find it hard to stay focused on anything for long these days), but I've had fun playing!

One block I played with is called Wishing Ring in my resource book (501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks by Judy Hopkins).  I started with the large size, trying to use up bigger scraps of fabric; it finishes at 10 inches.  Maybe it was the fabric choice, but I didn't love the 10 inch block, so I tried the smaller size (finishes at 7.5 inches).  I'm putting this idea on the back burner for now, but will probably return to it at some point.

I started making these blocks as a prototype for a much larger version of the block I was mentally visualizing.  I pulled some 2 inch strips to cut for the HSTs and 1.5 inch strips for the center parts.  After making a couple of these, it occurred to me they looked like a Bonnie Hunter pattern.  Turns out I was making Little Monkey blocks.  

I may keep making these as an RSC project, but I really want to try making a larger version, maybe something in the 10 - 12 inch finished size.

Speaking of Bonnie Hunter, I also made a few Carolina Chain blocks with dark blue scraps.  This block has been a leader-ender project for me for the past year or so.  I have more than enough blocks to make a quilt, but I don't have a complete set of rainbow colors yet, so I'll keep making these a little longer.

Now here I may have found something that will keep me occupied for a little while!  I found a big chunk of scrap fabric with blue and white seaside scenes.  They're the perfect size for the center of an Irish Chain alternate block.  There's enough fabric to fussy-cut 20 or more of the vignettes, and I have some other fabrics I can use to fake it if I need to.  The Irish Chain blocks go together quickly using strip piecing, and I have lots of light and dark fabric combinations to use up.  This could be the Project of the Week!

For more scrappy quilt inspiration, check out the Rainbow Scrap Challenge weekly link-up.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

An RSC Finish and Quilt Nostalgia Comfort

Yay for quilt finishes and sunny days and doggos!
This was a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project I started in January, 2018.  My goal was to use reproduction fabrics to make these quarter log cabin blocks, although they were inspired by a quilt from Modern Log Cabin Quilting.  My final version measures 84 inches x 84 inches.

It was fun picking out repro fabrics to meet the monthly RSC color challenge.

Diane Knott did the long-arm quilting for me.  I hand-stitched the binding in air-conditioned comfort while binge-watching an old, favorite TV show.  Thank goodness we have modern conveniences to make our quilting easier! 😃

I'm sending the quilt off to my former neighbor and all-round good friend, who has moved to Texas to be nearer her family.  We had a lot of adventures together, and I miss having a "partner in crime"!

And speaking of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge....
I haven't been doing much to bust my scraps lately.  I decided I wanted to tackle some of the print fabric scraps that don't seem to make it into my RSC quilts.
For some reason, I was inspired to look back at some of my early quilts, and consult several of my early quilt resource books.  After much consideration, I decided to go for this block (again). 

The block has many names, but the first time I used it in a quilt, I was following a design called 25 Patch Star from Lap Quilting with Georgia Bonesteel.  Her books have always been a great resource for traditional quilt blocks, and even included full size templates for the block components - you know, back in the day before we cut our fabrics with rulers and rotary cutters and stitched them with sewing machines!

I decided I liked the comforting idea of revisiting this quilt block and promptly used my rulers (especially the Easy Angle ruler for the HST blocks) and rotary cutter to prep some scrappy strips.
The RSC color for July is dark blue.  No problem finding plenty of scraps to fill the bill.  I still have a couple more blocks cut, but not sewn.  I'm having so much fun, I may have to work backwards and fill in the previous month's RSC colors.  

Are you feeling the need to make nostalgic or comforting quilts during this crazy time?