Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Laissez les bon temps roullez!!*

In several weeks, Ed and I will board the City of New Orleans and ride the rails on our way to Mardi Gras . . . Ed and I have attended Mardi Gras every year but one since Hurricane Katrina. It's been interesting and encouraging to see how much of the city has come back each year we go. And, riding the train has been a relaxing way to travel. This year, we got a roomette, with two facing seats next to a window, and berths (with pillows and blankets) at night. There's nothing like being rocked to sleep by the motion of the train . . .

Last year, I made our host, Johnny, a small wall hanging. It was the first "Mardi Gras Men" quilt . . . I liked it so much that I made another (larger) one when we got back home. I had a bit of fabric left over, so I cut it up and made kits which I gave to my dad to practice on . . . the idea was to improve his efficiency. Well, he did nothing with it, and I took the kits back over the holidays.

Originally, I was gonna make a series of small wall hangings for a possible quilt show. Then, I was gonna make a table runner for Johnny in New Orleans. First, I had to sew the squares . . . that took about a week to make 120 squares (60 each, right- and left-handed squares). This past week, I've made a series of 12" x 48" table runners (and one 18" x 48" table runner).

What do you think of 'em??

I broke two of my own rules in making these: do not work without a plan; and, do not color your tiles beforehand.

The design tiles are very versatile: no matter which way you put 'em together, you'll always get a pattern. This is why I call 'em "shape-driven patterns." This is why I recommend not coloring the tiles until you've arranged 'em. Otherwise, you're left with "color-driven patterns" and you miss out on the full effect of the arrangement of tiles.

Since all my squares were gonna be colored the same, I gave up trying to plan beforehand . . . all I did was try out different arrangements, knowing the colors wouldn't necessarily define any shapes. The exceptions were when I used mirror-image squares as well as regular ones.

(*Let the good times roll!!)

As always, thank you for reading my blog . . . please feel free to leave a comment and follow this blog!!


  1. I really like them on your office wall. Looks like an art gallery...

  2. I think in this case, having colored them in first does not detract at all from them. I love them all!

    Have fun in NO! I haven't been back in a couple of years, but I am sure the city continues to rebuild & renew!

  3. I love New Orleans, and have always wanted to go to Mardi Gras! And these designs are spectacular!!

  4. Great designs - love how they all came together!

  5. Great colors and designs -- love em. Would love to grab a coffee or something while you guys are in town for Mardi Gras -- or head over to a great quilt shop on the northshore? Let me know.