New Orleans House Project

Monday, August 30, 2021

Hurricane Ida Update and August Sort-of Mini

Hi Fellow Quilters!  I wrote the post below several days ago and planned to use the auto-post feature to publish it today.  That was before we evacuated ahead of Hurricane Ida.  

After securing our home in New Orleans and our camp in Mississippi, we loaded our vehicles with the usual evacuation goodies and headed for my mom's house in Florida.  We left in the very early hours of Saturday morning, so we missed all the traffic jams you may have seen on TV.

Several friends opted to stay behind and ride out the storm in the New Orleans area.  We have been in constant touch with them through text messages and social media.  Everyone we know has weathered the storm OK, although they're a little shell-shocked by the length and intensity of the storm.  As the roads get cleared of debris and downed power lines, we're hopeful someone will be able to check on our house.

Per the electric company outage map, our camp in Mississippi apparently still has power.  We know from our neighbor's outdoor camera that water came up under the house, but since the water is still rising, we don't know the extent of the flood damage.  Our camp is elevated about 17 feet off the ground on pilings, and our whole yard is about 7 feet above the river.  Probably only a couple of feet of flooding, but it will be a mess to clean up!

As of this morning, almost the entire state is doing damage assessment.  The areas passed over by the eye of the hurricane will be heavily damaged; I'm hopeful there will not be great loss of life as well.  New Orleans had "catastrophic" damage to major power lines, so the entire city is without power (except for those with generators).  It's going to be a long road to recovery, but thank goodness the levees didn't fail (at least that we know of!) and the city won't have post-Katrina type flooding.  

We are still in watchful waiting mode.  Without power it will be difficult to live in our New Orleans home, but we may be able to live at our camp.  Time will tell.

For anyone interested, I'm sure there will soon be lots of information coming through on how you can help with storm recovery efforts.  I'll be happy to share that information as it becomes available.

And on a happier note, one of our family friends has a front-page byline in the New York Times this morning!  I don't know if the Times is dropping their paywall for coverage of Hurricane Ida, but here's the link if you're interested.  

OK, yes, there's some fabric-related content here.  I didn't actually finish an August mini this month, but I did stitch up two bags.  Not exactly quilt-related, but it's all I got!

I have a small stash of Tula Pink's Hushabye fabrics.  I originally used them to make a baby quilt, and wound up with a fair number of scrappy chunks.  They don't really play well with other fabrics, so the scraps haven't gotten used up.

I had cut and prepped the fabrics for Sotak Handmade's Devon Pouch last fall, but came to a screeching halt when I didn't have the right size zippers on hand.  While I waited for zippers to arrive from Zipit, the project got pushed aside.  

One day this week provided the perfect opportunity to assemble the pouch, and following the great pattern instructions I quickly finished the project.

I love the owl figure in the pink and brown fabric!  This will go into the gift-giving bin.  
Just playing with the Hushabye scraps gave me some new ideas for using them up - hopefully it won't take me a year to cut into them.  

I've mentioned before I have a large bin full of worn and raggedy denim jeans.  I recently cut up some of them to make Rail Fence blocks, but there's still quite a bit of denim waiting to be used.
I had some big chunks of khaki and black denim, so I used them to make a large tote bag.  The finished bag measures approximately 19" x 16".  No pattern, I just looked at a favorite tote bag and used what I know about bag construction to make my own design.

I only used supplies on hand, so the handles are denim (as opposed to webbing) and the thread is 40wt cotton/poly.  I'd go with a heavier thread next time so the topstitching shows up better.

I didn't want a lining in the bag, so that meant no fusible interfacing on the denim.  The bag turned out soft and kinda floppy, which is great for folding and stashing it when empty.  

I also didn't want to wrestle with hemming the top opening of the bag, so I used bias fabric strips as a hem facing.  

Now I've got a sturdy tote bag for taking quilting projects on the road!


  1. So glad the storm hit away from the city. Fingers crossed the waters recede quickly and no damage to either property. Nice that you have one option with power... but I'm sure Mom is happy for the visit!

  2. Oh I am so thankful for this update! I had been worried. It must feel like a recurring nightmare after what you went through with Katrina. I am definitely linking you in as people will want to know how you are doing. Besides, bags are minis in my book, and these are really great! Stay safe and I hope you come back to find minimal damage.

  3. So good to know you are safe and sound, and that you may be able to return to your camp fairly soon. It sounds as if New Orleans may be without power for awhile. All the photos we see show a lot of devastation, I hope it isn't as bad in the residential neighborhoods. Take care and keep us updated. Sweet projects too. A tote is always useful, maybe especially now.

  4. Happy to hear that you are okay--unbelievable storm!! Cleaning up looks like it'll be a nightmare. Stay safe and sending prayers for not much damage to your home...hugs, Julierose

  5. I can’t even imagine going through a hurricane. Hopefully you will be able to return home fairly soon to minimal damage. I’m sure your mother was glad to have you safe and sound at her house. Great bags!!

  6. Thinking of you and your family and friends. Thanks for sharing your information. Your Aug project are sweet and a lovely distraction.

  7. Thanks for the personal note on how you’re doing. I had checked my Feedly to see if you’d posted when I wrote, but nothing was there at the time. So glad you “got out of Dodge” early and that all appears to be well. Please keep us posted. In the meantime, your pouch is adorable and your tote bag is impressive. Who couldn’t use more of those?!? Stay safe and dry. xo

  8. Oh my goodness, what a storm. I hope the levees do hold! I'm glad you had somewhere to evacuate and that your New Orleans home is OK. I hope your camp escapes flooding and that if you lost power that it will be restored sooner rather than later! Your bags are great and a resourceful use of fabric! I like how you added the bias facing to your tote.

  9. Which of the authors of the NYT article is your friend?
    Your bags are just beautiful, and since they're made of fabric, they totally qualify for "quilty" content! That fabric. I'm swooning.

  10. Glad that you are out of the water's way and are able to do some beautiful sewing.

  11. I'm glad you got to safety this weekend; I was thinking about you. I'm glad the levees held as that is always the worry here in Holland, and why they are constantly inspected for cracks, especially during dry weather.

  12. We have been on the road in the Northeast and only caught snatches of the news. Glad you are safe, and hope your property is, too.
    Your bags are each delightful. The small one is so attractive, and the large one had clean lines and is a size that will always come in handy. Nice use of scraps on each project.

  13. I'm praying that the power comes back on long before the time frame that they keep mentioning (weeks and weeks). Hopefully you will be back home (or at least at camp) soon.