New Orleans House Project

Sunday, August 30, 2020

August Wrap-Up

It feels like August has been the month of scattered sewing efforts.  Plenty of projects worked on, but few completed.  Distractions aplenty - in life and in the sewing room.  I'm hopeful September will allow for more focus, and maybe fewer distractions!  Hahahaha!

One project I've spent numerous hours with this month the blue and white Variable Star/Uneven Nine-patch quilt.  

The quilt finished up at a generous 88 inches x 93 inches, so hand-stitching the binding has been a PROJECT.  Happily, there's only about 40 inches of binding left to stitch!  I will get some glamour shots of the quilt when it's complete.

Another hand-stitching project that's gotten attention this month is Flamingo Hexies.  I took stock of what blocks/fabrics/colors were already made, and made a plan for wrapping up the quilt.  I cut and prepped lots of new blocks, so I'll have them ready and waiting to be stitched.

I got distracted by a mini charm pack that I received as a gift earlier in the month (Le Pavot by Sandy Gervais).  I had seen this table runner pattern on Nell's blog several years ago, and thought it would be a perfect use for the charm pack fabrics.  

I used some Moda Grunge (Vanilla) I had in my stash, and cut 2 inch strips for the setting, which is based on Bonnie Hunter's Dancing Nines quilt pattern.

I was ready to layer the finished top using batting scraps and backing fabric from the stash, but I didn't have enough batting scraps to do the job.  This is on hold until I can get some appropriate batting.  Did you know some batting manufacturers make table runner sized batts?  I believe I will be giving that a try!

Don't you have a stash of worn-out denim jeans just waiting to be recycled into something new and useful?  I decided it was time to attack my stash and start a utility quilt for one of the beds at our camp.  I'm keeping it simple with Rail Fence blocks.  This will be a long-term project, something I work on when we're at the camp.  I haven't decided if it will be quilted or tied. 

I procrastinated on the August block for Barbara Brackman's Cassandra's Circle BOM.  The appliqué prep work is almost finished and I will wrap things up by stitching all the pieces by machine.  It's been awhile since I've done any machine appliqué, so it will be good to put that skill to use.

Another distraction:  my local quilt store posted a picture of this new fabric on Instagram, and I knew I needed to have some!  I have no plans for it right now, but it will join the other Hawaiian-style fabrics in my stash.

And now I'll wrap this up with good wishes to everyone for a safe, healthy, and stitch-ful September!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Scraps and Hurricanes


OK, I've weathered a lifetime of hurricanes, but I've never seen TWO storms in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time!  
As my friend Karen (@kareylou on IG) said: "Who had double hurricanes on their 2020 bingo card?!"

We are making the usual preparations, but the storm situation is very fluid.  I don't think we will have an accurate forecast for the storm tracks until Sunday evening or Monday morning.  The waiting is the hardest part!

In the meantime, fabric therapy helps.

The Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for August is purple, so I found some purple prints and stitched up some 25 Patch Stars.

From a distance, this print looks more like pea soup, but it's definitely got some purple!

Since I didn't start the 25 Patch Stars until the middle of the year, I decided to work backwards and pick up some of the previous RSC colors.  

I also pulled out an RSC project from 2019 - Ring of Stars.  When I finished all the rainbow scrappy blocks, I wasn't sure if I should add the border as given in the pattern, so I put the flimsy away to marinate.  

I brought out the quilt top this week and after laying it out on my bed, decided the border was definitely needed.
The border is made of partial block sections.  I finished up the sections yesterday morning; now I just need cornerstones for the four corners of the quilt.  Solid fabric squares would work, but maybe mini stars would look good, too.  More fabric therapy!

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Dawg Daze of Summer, Chapter 2020

This is the time of year I'm usually the headmistress of what I lovingly call Doggie Day Care.  

My two sons rely on me to help them care for their dogs in August, while they are traveling for work and/or recreation.  In addition to their dogs, we had two dogs of our own, so there were frequently four large dogs at my house for several weeks.

This year, there is only one dog - McKenzie, our lab/golden mix.  Covid-19 restrictions kept my sons' dogs at home with them, and my older dog, Bailey, died last December.  It's been a quiet month so far, but McKenzie does love having all the undivided attention!

After putting the final stitches in my Grandmother's Choice quilt, I found myself (temporarily) without a hand-stitching project.

Out came the flamingo hexagons!  I've been using Barb Vedder's Hex Vex pattern to make flamingo-themed hexies for a couple of years now.  I'm getting close to having enough hexies for a wall hanging, so maybe this is the year this project will get finished.

I had a half-dozen blocks already prepped for stitching, so I finished those up and cut some additional blocks.  The fun thing about making these blocks is the more you play with the fabrics, the more ideas you get for fussy-cutting and fabric placement.

Another quilt project came out to play this week:  the "Lego" quilt.  This has been an on-going project for several years - a way to use up lots and lots of 1.5 inch scraps.

I needed four more blocks to be able to construct a 7 x 7 quilt.  I already had enough strips pieced for the blocks, I just needed to assemble the strips into blocks.

Then assemble the blocks into rows, and the rows into a quilt top.  I posted a picture of my progress on Instagram, and my sister said, "That's a lot of sewing!"

The flimsy measures about 70 inches by 70 inches at this point.  One more row would make the quilt a rectangle instead of a square, but I don't have it in me right now to make seven more blocks.   Maybe I'll feel differently at some point in the future.

At the beginning of the month, I changed out the quilts on display in my house.  It's difficult to get good photographs, as the interior of my house doesn't have a lot of natural light, but I did want to show of my newest quilt hanger, built by my Dear Hubby.
This quilt is a sentimental favorite, with friendship blocks from members of my Florida quilt guild.   The blocks date to 1997, but the quilt wasn't finished until 2006.  It was the subject of my first blog post!


Saturday, August 1, 2020

Finely Finished: Grandmother's Choice

As July wound to a close, I put the finishing stitches in a quilt that has taken eight years to reach completed status.  On the other hand, the subject of the quilt - women's suffrage - took an equally long time to come to fruition in the United States!

Grandmother's Choice was a block of the week project created by Barbara Brackman to recognize the years-long struggle for women to win the right to vote.  The BOW started well before the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment (June 4th, 1919) to illustrate the time and effort involved in passing that simple amendment:  

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Most of the fabrics used in my blocks were from a collection called "Alice's Washday Blues" by Blue Hill Fabrics.  I wound up adding lots of other fabrics, but Alice was my inspiration.

I wasn't gung-ho on sampler quilts when I started the BOW, but I learned to appreciate the fun of making just one block of a particular pattern.

I finely (finally) finished the quilt by using simple sashing and two borders - narrow and wide.  
The long-arm quilting was done by Diane Knott of Butterfly Threads Quilting.
Finished size:  84 inches by 84 inches.

The label features one of my favorite prints from Alice's Washday Blues.  

The label also includes the date the 19th Amendment was ratified by enough states to become law:  
18 August 1920.  I guess I finished my quilt just in time!

As you may recall from civics class, Constitutional amendments require approval by 2/3 of the states in order to become law.  In 1920, Tennessee was the approving state that put the 19th Amendment over the threshold.  Interestingly, my state, Louisiana, rejected the amendment in 1920 and did not (belatedly) pass it until 1970!  If you're curious about when your state approved the 19th amendment, you can find out at this National Park Service website.