New Orleans House Project

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Waiting on Zeta

 Of course it was bound to happen.  Six times this hurricane season, storms have threatened the New Orleans area, only to change course and go elsewhere.  The seventh time is our lucky time! šŸ˜
Hurricane Zeta, now a Category 2 storm, is approaching the coast of Louisiana and will be affecting the New Orleans area by dinner time.  The main threat expected here is 70 - 90 mph winds.  Good news:  the storm is moving quickly, so it should be gone before midnight.

We have made all our preparations and are now in waiting mode.  We've been through hurricanes many times before, so we know what to do and what to expect.  We'll probably lose power, so I may be offline for awhile.

In the meantime, I'm trying to stay focused on some stitching projects.  

I started a practice block from Poppy's Polka Dot Garden.  I'm still an appliquĆ© novice, and I've never attempted a block this small (9 inches finished).  I wanted to see how difficult the appliquĆ© stitching would be with pieces this size.

I decided to try using the back-basting appliquĆ© technique for the practice block.  It turned out to be pretty easy, although I need to be careful not to distort the background fabric too much.  I did try a freezer paper and starch prep for one of the green flower buds, and that worked pretty well, too.  Since this was just for practice, I probably won't finish it, but will start again once I figure out what fabric(s) I want to use for the background.

The background fabric in the practice block goes perfectly with the quilt name!  It's a Thimbleberries fabric from many years ago called "A Gardener's Touch".  I have at least a yard of the fabric, so I may use it for a couple of blocks - if I can find another background fabric that compliments it.

In cleaning out and organizing drawers and bins last week, I came across these sunflower blocks and sunflower fabric.  

The appliquƩ blocks were practice blocks (I like to practice!) from when I made my New Orleans Sunflowers quilt.

The sunflower fabric was purchased years ago just because I love sunflowers.

This morning it occurred to me I could combine the two of them into a project.  Maybe a table runner? 

As luck would have it (better than lucky hurricane number seven), I had enough of the appliquĆ© sunflower fabrics left to make a third block.  I prepped another sunflower and it's just waiting for some hand stitching.

So that's what I'll be doing while waiting for Zeta!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Still Playing With Blocks

 This week found me playing with blocks again.  I don't know if the practice blocks will ever lead to finished quilt projects, but I'm enjoying the process of constructing different star-style blocks!

I decided to keep making the practice blocks using the blue starry fabric I'd used back in July.

This is the six inch version of the Wreath Star block from Moda's Countdown to Christmas BOM from last year.  The six inch size was a little fiddly, but not difficult.  Instructions are also provided for a twelve inch block, which would be great for a table runner or wall quilt project.

The next experimental block comes from 501 Rotary-Cut Quilt Blocks by Judy Hopkins.

The instructions for this block use the traditional square-in-a-square piecing:  adding the white triangles to the blue center square, then adding additional blue triangles to the white square.  

I've made lots of square-in-a-square blocks in the past, and I always struggle to get the points to come out evenly.  As you can see above, my points were OK, but not perfect. šŸ˜€

As with everything in quilting these days, there are other options for making this block!
Here's experiment number two, which uses a completely different construction technique.  For this block, I used Hourglass blocks, made with three different fabrics.  For a brush-up on this technique, I used this tutorial.  The Hourglass blocks are then attached to the center square.  The corners of the block are completed with blue and white HSTs and solid blue and white squares.

Both of these blocks finish at twelve inches.  The block has lots of different names, but you'll most commonly find it called Union or Union Square.  

There are lots of design possibilities for this block.  It makes a striking two color quilt, or can be all scrappy, with different fabrics/colors for each element of the block.  I haven't decided for sure on a project using this block, but it's been fun experimenting and thinking about what might be!

Friday, October 23, 2020

AppliquƩ Update


I chose to use reverse appliquƩ for the center heart - because I've never really done reverse appliquƩ on a project. I figured the heart would be an easy intro to the process, thanks to the generous size, easy curves and only one point.

I did do a quick practice piece, just to get the right sequence for using freezer paper to prep for the appliquƩ.

As with my last Cassandra's Circle block, I used machine appliquĆ© with monofilament thread to stitch everything in place.  I've been doing plenty of hand stitching on flamingo hexies and quilt bindings, so I didn't want to add more strain to my wrists by doing hand appliquĆ©.

I've been giving some thought to my next appliquĆ© project, and looking for inspiration online and in my quilt book library.  Last week, Lori from Humble Quilts mentioned a new (free) BOM from Sentimental Stitches:  Poppy's Polka Dot Garden.  
I went ahead and downloaded the fabric requirements and setting plan, along with blocks one and two.  I'm still in thinking mode though, as the blocks are only nine inches in size - smaller than what I've been stitching lately.  I do love all the designs in the quilt, so maybe I'll take the plunge - I'm always up for a quilting challenge!

Monday, October 19, 2020

Twister Give-Away Announcement


Cheryl of Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting is the lucky winner of the Twister Tool and red, white, and blue fabrics!  

Thanks to everyone who expressed an interest!
Stay tuned, I'm cleaning out the fabric closet - there may be more give-aways in the future.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Twisted Discovery and Giveaway!

I was digging through the closet last week - trying to make room for new stash enhancement acquisitions - and this quilt top reappeared! 

I made the top in 2012 using a stash of red, white, and blue fabrics, and the Twister Tool.  I was excited to use the RWB fabrics, but disappointed in how the quilt turned out.  It just didn't have the zing I remembered from the quilt shop example.  I put the top away, figuring I'd get back to it some day.

I guess I laid my hands on the quilt top on just the right "some day", as I was inspired to add two borders and call it a finished flimsy.  Both border fabrics were already in my stash, so it was quick work to wrap things up.  The inner border is a white on white featuring scattered stars, and the outer border is a medium blue Moda Grunge.

Once the top is quilted, it can function as a wall-hanging or a lap quilt, as it measures about 66 inches square.

Now that I've had the experience of making a Twister quilt, I don't really want to make another one.  It's not a difficult design to assemble, and the tool works as advertised, but one quilt is enough for me!

With that thought in mind, I'm offering my Twister Tool free to anyone who is interested. 

This version of the tool works with 10 inch squares of fabric (aka Layer Cakes), but of course, you can also cut the 10 inch squares from fat quarters or yardage.  

To provide some inspiration, I'll also include ten 10 inch squares of red, white, and blue fabric with the tool. 

Let me know in the comments (include your email address!!) that you are interested in the Twister Tool package, and I'll draw a name and announce the winner next Monday (October 19th).  United States residents only - sorry!  Postage and the postal system are just too crazy these days!

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Finished Lone Star Pillow & LePavot Table Topper

 Slowly but surely, projects do get finished up around here!

I made this Lone Star block earlier in the summer as an experiment for potential quilted Christmas gifts.  I decided against using Lone Star blocks as a jumping off point for gifts, but I did turn the block into a pillow.  I think McKenzie approves, but she'll never get to lay her head on it, so who knows?!

The pillow worked out great on the sofa at our camp!  To my eye, the pillow would look better with a larger border around the LS block, but I was using a pillow form I had on hand (16"), so I had to trim the border to fit the pillow.   Note to self: for pillows, choose a quilt block size several inches smaller than the desired pillow form, to allow for a larger border around the block.

This table runner was inspired by a blog post and a mini charm pack of LePavot fabrics.  I later learned this block setting is also called Patience Corners.

I used fabric from my stash for the blocks and backing.  Some straight-line quilting added the right amount of crinkly texture.  Binding also from the stash.

Dear Hubby made the oak ice box many years ago.  It's a great place for seasonal decorations!

Speaking of seasonal - I did not expect to be making hurricane preparations again in October!  Current predictions call for New Orleans to be on the outer edge of the storm, but we are told not to be complacent, as the forecast could change once the storm gets into the Gulf of Mexico.  The area where the storm is forecast to go ashore is still recovering from Hurricane Laura, so this is a double whammy.  December 1st (the end of hurricane season) can't get here soon enough!