New Orleans House Project

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Hand Quilting the Eagles

It looks like 2021 will be a year of hand quilting.

I started this four block eagle quilt in 2014.  Once the quilt top was complete, I procrastinated on the quilting because I was intimidated by all the hand stitching needed.  I knew I wanted to hand quilt the top, I just didn't trust my hand quilting skills.

I decided 2021 was the year to finish this project, so with a little inspiration from some dedicated hand quilters like Barb and Deb, I jumped in and got started.

First, I finished marking the cross-hatch design for the quilt's background.  I don't know where I read about this marking pencil - General's Sketch & Wash - but I've been pleased with it so far.  I tested the markings on some fabric scraps, and they wash out easily.   Some of the marked lines have gotten lighter as the quilt is handled, but I just lightly re-pencil them before stitching.

It took a few days to hand-baste the quilt - perfect for the Polar Vortex weather we had earlier this month.  The hand basting reminded me of fun afternoons spent with members of the Pensacola Quilter's Guild in my early days as a quilter.  Frame basting was a service provided by guild volunteers.  After the monthly guild meeting, basting frames were set up and members shared bag lunches and quilting fellowship while basting quilts.  It was a great learning experience!

I started with the background quilting this past Tuesday.  I've finished about half of the background around the center crowns.  I know there's a LOT of quilting ahead, but I'm really enjoying it!  In fact, I've neglected other stitching projects this week and focused almost exclusively on hand quilting.  I'm still working on having consistent and straight quilting stitches, but practice makes perfect (or so I'm told). 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Quilt Whatcha Wanna

There's a popular song in New Orleans - performed by the ReBirth Brass Band - called "Do Whatcha Wanna".  It's about getting ready to hit the streets on Mardi Gras, where the day holds the promise of all sorts of fun.  The rhythm of the music gets your feet moving and your spirit soaring.  I always wind up dancing and singing along whenever I hear it.

Since we're not celebrating Mardi Gras this year (well, almost - more on that in a minute), I turned my Carnival energy to quilting what I wanna!

Final t-shirt quilt.  Just needs outer borders and cornerstones.  I'm procrastinating - can you blame me?

Finished hand-stitching the binding on Ring of Stars (pattern by Nancy Rink).  It's too cold for outdoor photographs right now, so this one will have to wait for warmer weather before I take some glamour shots. 

We had to do some weather prep at our camp in Mississippi, as a hard freeze was predicted beginning Sunday night.  Dear Husband wanted to spend the night, so I knew I needed something to work on while we were there.   I prepped block #5 from Poppy's Polka Dot Garden to work on during the evening.  After spending the morning taking precautions to protect the plants and pipes at the camp, DH decided we should head back to our warm(er) house in New Orleans!

The weather has been so rainy, cold, and nasty I wanted a bright and colorful quilt to cheer things up.  I hung the 2014 Rainbow Scrap Sampler quilt on my dining room quilt hanger, and now I smile every time I walk through the room!

I made some more 25-Patch Star blocks.  I haven't decided on a final layout, but I know I need a dozen or so more blocks to have a decent-sized quilt.   More block parts are cut and ready for stitching.

OK, there's more quilty stuff to talk about, but I'll save it for another post.

In the meantime, it's Mardi Gras y'all!
I need to make more Mardi Gras quilts.  This wall-hanging is all I've got so far!  Purple, green, and gold are the colors of Mardi Gras, so it's not even difficult to come up with a quilt color scheme.

This year's Mardi Gras celebrations (at least in New Orleans) were all cancelled long ago due to the pandemic.  It's hard to keep New Orleanians from observing one of their favorite holidays though, and enterprising and socially-distant alternatives started popping up all over.

One of my favorites is the idea of House Floats.  Instead of having parades with floats and marching bands and hordes of participants (Mardi Gras parades are not for genteel observing - you have to participate in them!), folks took to decorating their houses like parade floats.

One of my favorites is Saint Dolly - Dolly Parton as the patron saint of Covid-19 vaccines.  It's hard to see in the picture, but she's holding a vaccine syringe in her right hand.  The sign on the left side of the yard, "Vaccine, Vaccine, Vaccine, Vacciiiine!" is sung to the tune of her song, "Jolene".

Another favorite is the Mystic Krewe of Unicorns.  I don't think there is an actual Krewe of Unicorns, but if there is, I want to be a member!

If you have a few spare minutes, do a Google search for New Orleans House Floats and click on the Images option - guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

Sunday, February 7, 2021

T-Shirt Quiltathon Update

 The end of the T-shirt Quiltathon is in sight!

Back on New Year's Eve, I decided to tackle several bins full of t-shirts that had been waiting to be made into quilts.  I had saved enough t-shirts to make four quilts:  one for me, one for my youngest son, and two for my Dear Husband.

Fortunately, most of the t-shirts for my quilt were already cut apart and backed with fusible stabilizer.  I also found some fabric in my stash that worked great for sashing the t-shirts.  This got the quiltathon off to a good start. 

Here's my t-shirt flimsy.  The sashing fabric looks a little washed out in the picture - it's a little more vibrant than what you see here.
I even found backing fabric in my stash.  It's pink flamingos on a black background - what could be more perfect?!

Dear Son's flimsy is also finished.  His sashing is the same as mine, just a different colorway - Kaffe Fassett Paperweight.  Sigh - no backing fabric in the stash for this one.

One more completed flimsy - DH's sports-themed quilt.  

My stash supplied the light blue sashing fabric, and I had a big chunk of the darker blue (Grunge-Navy), so I knew it would work for the borders.  I had to order additional fabric to have enough for the borders, but it arrived last week and I was able to get the borders done yesterday.
The fabrics remind me of a comfortable, well-worn pair of blue jeans, which is perfect for my hubby!

I don't have any full-size Valentine-y quilts to decorate with for February, but I did pull out this mini (15 inches square) heart quilt I made in 2013.  

I didn't have any pink vintage tableware to display with the mini, so I pulled together some vintage sewing items instead.  I miss being able to hit up the flea markets and antique malls on the eternal quest for treasures!

In honor of Super (Something) Sunday, DH and I decided to have our own Super (Something) Party!  We'll be the only guests, but that's how things roll right now. 
We don't really care who wins the Big Game because both teams feature players from New Orleans.
Reminiscing back to times we actually could entertain at home, I pulled out a big flamingo platter and filled it with veggies.  Instead of ranch dip/dressing, we've got Avocado-Cilantro dip - yum!

Also on the menu:  chicken wings cooked in the crockpot (lots of garlic and ginger) and Loaded Sheet Pan Nachos.  Since it's just the two of us, I reckon I'll have leftovers to last for a couple of days!