New Orleans House Project

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Azaleas for March

This month's mini quilt was planned to use up scraps of New Orleans 1850 fabric from my Beautiful Crescent quilt.

I had picked up a copy of Doug Leko's Tabletastic at my Local Quilt Shop.  


 After looking through the patterns for months, I finally decided to give "London Wall" a try with the purple and gold scraps.


 However, when I pulled out the actual bag of scraps, I realized I had forgotten about the yards and yards of border print scraps from the New Orleans 1850 collection.  I decided these border print strips deserved to be the focus of their own quilt, and the other purple and gold scraps needed to stay with the border print.

It wasn't difficult to find some other happy fabrics in my stash that would work for the London Wall table topper.  

I was inspired by the current bloom of azaleas all over New Orleans.


Finished size:  18" x 18"

I call my version "Azaleas on the Avenue" - a nod to the masses of blooming azaleas all along St. Charles Avenue.  St. Charles is one of the main thoroughfares of the city, lined with historic homes, universities, and parks.  It's also the path of the iconic St. Charles streetcar line




Thursday, March 24, 2022

Finishing Details

I'm still feeling too distracted to work on any quilt projects that require major concentration, but I have managed to add some finishing details to a couple of items.

Our recent weather has not been conducive to quilty glamour shots, so I resorted to indoor photography. 

Harmony Flannel Quilt 
Finished size:  70" x 70"
Quilting by Diane Knott of Butterfly Threads Quilting.

Note to self:  avoid black binding (even if machine-stitched) on all future quilts!
The quilt is already winging its way to my oldest son, who lives in Denver.  Their spring weather is still a ways off, so I think he'll get some good use out of it.  As much as I disliked working with the flannel fabrics, the quilt turned out very snuggly - and it's heavy! 

The New Orleans 1850/Pyramid quilt is finally finished!
Fabric:  New Orleans 1850 by Jean Ann Wright for New Castle Fabrics
Pattern:  Pyramid by Monique Dillard
Finished size:  54" x 68"
I love that purple paisley fabric!

And the border print is really amazing, too!
The backing fabric came from my stash.  It features antique maps of New Orleans.  We are blessed to have a regional fabric design/manufacturing firm - Fabric Finders - that specializes in fabrics with regional themes (and their fabrics are 60" wide, so they come in handy for quilt backs!).
I decided "New Orleans 1850/Pyramid" wasn't a particularly good quilt name, so I labeled the quilt as "Beautiful Crescent".  New Orleans is known as the Crescent City because the original city was founded at a sharp turn - or crescent - in the Mississippi River.
I also finished up another Goody Goody Binding Kit.
The fabrics are from a collection by Lella Boutique called Farmer's Daughter.  They play together so nicely for these binding kits, I think I'll have to make a couple more and use up more of the fabrics!
The original Goody Goody Binding Kit was designed by Vanessa Goertzen of Lella Boutique.

 Sherri McConnell (A Quilting Life) asked Vanessa if she could make the binding kit just a little bit bigger, which resulted in a taller version.  Sherri calls her version a Simple Sewing Kit, and she put together a video tutorial demonstrating how she made it.

Now that I've made two of these, I think I can quickly stitch up a few more and keep them on hand as gifts.
If you're still reading - thank you!
You may have heard that New Orleans was hit by tornadoes on Tuesday night.  
Thankfully, the primary storm was not particularly organized as it passed near us - we just had lots of wind and some rain.   As the storm moved east, it jumped across the Mississippi and now more organized, did plenty of damage to a downriver suburb called Arabi.  As many as 150 homes and businesses sustained damage.  With the storm coming at night, it's amazing there weren't more fatalities, but only one death has been reported.  
Thank goodness weather forecasting has gotten better at predicting severe weather, so communities can at least be aware of what's brewing.  Our cell phones blasted out the tornado warning, and since the power didn't go out, we were able to tune to local TV stations for real-time mapping of the tornado!
As always, folks in south Louisiana are resilient and the community is already pitching in to help clean up and take care of those affected by the storm.  

Sunday, March 13, 2022

March Comes in with the Scraps

 I don't know about you, but for the past two weeks I've been struggling to stay focused on long-term or complicated quilt projects. It's not that I've lost my sewing mojo, just that complicated pattern instructions or large piecing projects just seem overwhelming.  Simplicity has been the rule of the day.

In that case, hurrah for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!

Antique Tile blocks couldn't be simpler.  A couple of squares, a couple of rectangles, sew everything into 9-patch components - pretty soon you have a finished 12-inch square.  

BTW, this month's color for the RSC is yellow. 😎

 I was able to use up some vintage scraps here - the blue and yellow print is 20 years old.

 The sunflower print is another vintage fabric.  I'll be sad when I've used up the last of these scraps!

The Blackford's Beauty blocks require a little more concentration, but after you've made a few of them, they're not that difficult.  Just assemble the pieces into 9-patch units and sew everything together as you would a 9-patch block.

 After making a BB block in bright yellow scraps, dig out some reproduction yellow/gold scraps and make another block.  I think most of the scraps here were generated during Barbara Brackman's Stars in a Time Warp BOW.  Which reminds me I still haven't assembled my SIATW blocks.


 You may recall a few weeks ago I was working on a tulip block project for my quilt group.  Tulips are not traditional spring flowers in New Orleans because our climate is not all that favorable to them.  However, they can be coaxed into blooming, and we love the results.

The largest park in New Orleans - City Park - shares a tulip garden every year on the shores of their Big Lake.  This is just a small slice of the scenery, taken the Saturday after Mardi Gras.  Happy Spring!