New Orleans House Project

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Is 2020 Really Almost Over?

Here it is, the last day of 2020 - and I think most of us are wondering (anxiously?) what 2021 will hold in store.  I feel optimistic in general, but only time will tell if 2021 turns out to be better than 2020.

On a personal note, Dear Hubby and I have been left unscathed by our brush with the Covid-19 virus.  DH never had more than very minor symptoms, and his second Covid test (at the appropriate interval) was negative.  I never had any symptoms, and since he tested negative both times, it's safe to assume I was never infected.  DH's colleague - who was infected - has recovered enough to return to work, although he's still reporting fatigue.  The best news:  the hospital where my husband works got their shipment of vaccine, and DH has already received his first dose!

After sewing up a batch of 25-patch blocks at the beginning of our quarantine, I didn't have much sewing energy.  I came up with a mindless sewing project that took a few days: 

Yes - seven more Lego quilt blocks - another row!
These went quickly and I added them to the Lego quilt flimsy.  Now the quilt measures 70 inches by 80 inches, and I'm happy with the size.  Time for quilting. 

We had a very quiet Christmas.  Dear Hubby gave me a copy of Barbara Brackman's new edition of The Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.  I look forward to many hours of study.

Sometime after Christmas, I started having dangerous thoughts about a post-holiday T-shirt Quiltathon.

I had the makings of at least three large t-shirt quilts stored away in various bins and baskets.  

Some of the shirts have been waiting a long time for their day in a quilt.  I decided now was the time to get these UFOs crossed off the list.  This batch of dark/bright shirts were already cut and ready for fusible stabilizer to be ironed on.  I need some sashing fabric and I can start assembling.

The next batch of shirts still need trimming and stabilizing.
Some aren't in great shape, but they have happy memories, so they're going in a quilt anyway!

The third batch of shirts are from my youngest son.  I haven't even looked at them yet. šŸ˜±

I'll be happy when the quilt are finished - and when they're done, I don't plan on making any more t-shirt quilts! 

I decided it would be a good idea to organize my quilting thoughts for the coming year.  Life has a funny way of interfering with our plans, but I'm hoping I'll at least make a dent in the list!

Wishing everyone a healthy and uneventful 2021!

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Rainbow Scrap Update

I rifled through my drawer of Kaffe Fassett and tropical bright fabrics last weekend.  I was looking for bright prints to add to my 25-Patch Star quilt.  

Those fabrics and a few others added to the star collection, so I'm getting pretty close to having enough blocks to start assembling a quilt top.

I just need to finish hand-piecing the flamingo hexies together so I can clear off the design wall. 

 I've been hand-stitching the hexies together and binge-watching Netflix shows, although at times there's been more watching than stitching!  

Since I had to create new scraps to make more 25-Patch Star blocks, I went ahead and cut more Easy Breezy leader-ender parts.  I've assembled a few blocks, but there's also a nice big stack of parts sitting next to the sewing machine.

On the Public Health front:  we've had an ironic turn of events at our house.

Last weekend, our youngest son came home to officiate at/attend the wedding of a very good friend.  We were all very nervous about the situation, but he tested negative for Covid-19, guidelines were followed, masks were worn, distances were kept, etc.  

The wedding itself was very small, outdoors, and again, precautions were observed.  

It was wonderful to see our son for the weekend, but we breathed a sigh of relief when he left for home (where his job will require him to quarantine and have negative testing before he can interact in-person with the work environment again).

Imagine our surprise on Tuesday, when my husband's employer informed him a co-worker had just tested positive for Covid-19.  Dear Husband and co-worker had just spent the previous day working in very close proximity.  Fortunately, everyone was protected by masks and face shields at the time, and the employee with Covid was only reporting mild symptoms.

So, we are quarantining through Christmas.  I've moved into the guest bedroom.  Dear Hubby has tested negative and has very mild symptoms.  He'll be retested early next week.  Knock on wood - I'm feeling fine.  What a year!  

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Christmas Flurry and Sports Fan Pillow

 A few quilted gifts were given in the past week.

I call this quilt "Flurry" since it was made from Kate Spain's line of Christmas fabrics with the same name.  I gifted it to my next-door neighbors in Mississippi; they're all-round great folks and have been tremendously helpful this year with hurricane prep.

I'm not sure if there's a specific name for this pattern, but it was quick and easy to make using a jelly roll and some background fabric (Moda Grunge, which I happened to have in my stash).

Diane Knott of Butterfly Threads Quilting did the long-arm quilting for me, using a pattern of old-fashioned Christmas tree lights.  The quilt finished up at 58" x 75", perfect for snuggling under on the sofa on a chilly, damp Mississippi afternoon!

Another gift I finished recently was for my youngest son, the football fan.  

Several years ago, we collaborated on a quilt in honor of the football history of his alma mater, Louisiana State University.  Last year, LSU added a new national title to their history, and we discussed the idea of another quilt, but nothing was decided.

In the meantime, I made him a pillow for his upcoming birthday.
The pattern is from Amy Sinabaldi at the Nana Pattern Company.  Her version is for a Christmas pillow (aka the Merry and Bright Cushion Cover).

I used purple and gold fabrics from my stash, along with some snippets of tiger fabric.  The embroidered words refer to an LSU chant beloved by students but banned by the school administration.  I knew my son would appreciate the humor of it.

BTW, I learned something useful while making the pillow:  Google has a huge free font library.  

The pillow calls for using a font called "Sacramento" to do the embroidery.  Amy provided a full-size pattern for the phrases she used on her pillow, but directs users to the free font library in case they want to use their own phrases.

If you're like me and enjoy using different fonts for quilt labels or whatever, it's easy to download and install the fonts on your computer.  

And, if you want to add different fonts to your Blogger posts, you can also download and install the fonts using the Blogger toolbar.  
  • Look for the letter "A" in a dark box on the left side of the toolbar - aka "Font Type".  When you click on the box, you'll get a drop-down of choices - choose Add More Fonts.   
  • A screen of font choices will open; scroll through the fonts to choose one you like, then click the Select button at the bottom of the screen.  The font will be installed for you to use in Blogger.  
  • You can install numerous fonts using the same process for each font.
  • When you're ready to use the font, highlight the text you want to appear in the new font, open the Font Type drop-down box, and select the font you want to use.  Your text will change to the new font.    
I hope I'm not the last one to discover this feature in Blogger.  I never noticed it as an option before the recent "improvements" to the blogging interface.  Now that I know it's there, I'll be having fun playing with different fonts in my blog posts!

Quilting forever, housework for never!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

A Buffet of Stitching

 My sewing machine has been taking an unintended break from sewing.  Several hand stitching projects have demanded my attention, so the sewing machine has been neglected.

I guess this is one way to neglect your sewing machine.  
(can't you just hear a Disney song in the background?)

For example, there's the new free BOM from Sentimental Stitches - Poppy's Polka Dot Garden.
Poppy's Polka Dot Garden, block 1

Poppy's Polka Dot Garden block 2

I've finished the first two blocks using a combination of freezer paper and back basting techniques.  Blocks 3 and 4 are still in the planning stages.  Block 4 (and the pattern calls for two of these blocks) is an 18 inch block, so I may wind up using machine appliquĆ© to keep from getting too far behind.

Ok, I did use the sewing machine for the Cassandra's Circle Block #10.  Freezer paper and starch for prepping the pieces and invisible machine appliquĆ© made quick work of this block.

Last time I showed this project, there were only two appliquĆ©d sunflower blocks and an idea.  I hand appliquĆ©d another sunflower, then set the blocks together with some fabrics from the stash.  Now it is pinned and waiting for quilting (I'm waiting on some thread).

Last - but certainly not least - the hexie flamingos are being assembled into a quilt top.  I've been hand stitching the hexies into small groups in an attempt to avoid having to stitch long, awkward rows of blocks together.  I figure there will ultimately be some long rows or columns that need to be stitched, but I'm avoiding that for now.  I have to pay attention as I do the assembly - it's too easy to get mixed up and sew a hexie in the wrong position.  I'm keeping the blocks pinned on the design wall and only taking down two or three blocks at a time to avoid errors!