New Orleans House Project

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!


  1. Oh what a fun adventure it would be to drive around and see all those decorated houses!

  2. We all need to celebrate and what better way to celebrate Mardi Gras than house floats around the city! The American spirit rises through pandemics and official pandemonium. Lots of fun quilting projects happening in your quilting room! I like the 25 patch star blocks a lot. Will definitely need to remember them next time I'm ready for a big piecing project.

  3. I’ve heard about the House Floats and look forward to seeing more of them over the next week. What a clever and HAPPY alternative for Mardi Gras in these Covid times! I just learned that one of my new favorite artists, Jon Batiste, is from NOLA. (He’s not new, of course, but I’ve just discovered his music over the last few months). And your RSC quilt is so cute too - it makes me smile too. Hope you’re staying warm. We’re (finally) getting our winter snow, and I can’t tell you how glad we are to get it! xo

  4. Some people are so darned clever! Believe it or not, the "house floats" were on our local news channel last night in Maine! Of course we do have a large French population here being so close to Canada so it isn't that surprising. You have been quilting up a storm for sure. I'm happy to see the Poppy's Polka Dot block. I am tempted and have been printing out the patterns, but nothing so far. I love your Mardi Gras bird quilt. So sweet. Hope your weather improves soon. It's been crazy so far this winter.

  5. Yup. We all better be doing the things that make us happy. People are so innovative. The rainbow in your dining room can definitely make a dreary day brighter. Hope you haven't been too cold.

  6. The house floats idea is so awesome and WOW, those are so cool! So over the top, in the best way. I love scrolling through your projects. I am really enjoying working on Poppy's Polka Dot Garden (that's a mouthful) too. Hope your weather improves soon!

  7. I was reading about the house floats! I love how creative people are being. Beautiful quilts! Such a cheerful quilt hanging in your house - I can see why you smile every time you walk by.

  8. How awesome are those house floats. what fun and a creative way to celebrate during covid.
    Your rainbow quilt is so cheerful and happy it must be a joy to see everyday.
    thanks for catching us up on all your projects. The applique looks lovely

  9. Great rainbow star quilt. I'd heard of the house floats, but hadn't seen any. I hope you had power and water during the great freeze. I know many who didn't.