Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Thursday, August 25, 2016

August and the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

When I wrote my last post, I was anticipating my mom's visit, and now she has come and gone!  It was a very nice time, and I know she enjoyed everything we did.  Here is how I was feeling the next day after we took her to the airport for her flight home -


My husband took off for the golf course, and you know where I went!  Just for fun, I stitched up a few monkey blocks - 


One with a cardinal preparing to ride a bike, and one that's full of flowers!  Fun little blocks!  That brings me to 20 monkeys.

At this time in the month, it's always fun to take stock of where I am with my other Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks as well, so I had fun laying them out this afternoon to see how things were progressing.

16 Scrap Jar Stars!  Love!


And 48 16 - patch blocks.  A checkerboard of scrappy goodness!


I can tell already that the finished layout of this quilt will be a bit challenging to figure out.  This layout that I played with this afternoon looks pretty good to me.  I'm going to try not to overthink it!  

Check out what lots of other quilters have been up to with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge over at So Scrappy on Saturday.  See you there!




Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Scrappy Things

My mom is coming to visit tomorrow - she comes every year about this time to celebrate her birthday with the family.  So instead of much sewing this week, you know what I've been doing!  Yes - cleaning... although I would much rather be sewing!  I have had the time to work on a couple of small things - blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and my Log Cabin Loonies project.

I finished up my six 16 patch blocks for August in shades of light purple and gray with a few other little colors thrown in.


I was just doing a little math and realized that I now have 48 of these sweet blocks!  It's going to be fun to lay them out again and see how this quilt is looking!

I also wanted to finish up a few more of my 12 inch log cabin blocks because the full moon is coming up! There are 9 of these blocks now.


This month I added 3 new blocks - a turquoise one and a black and white one - 


and an orange one.  Before I made this orange block, I was looking at the other eight, and I just knew it needed an orange one.  I love orange!



While my mom is here, I don't know if I'll make it into my sewing room, so I'm going to need a hand sewing project to work on while we sit and visit.  I'd better go see what I can dig up!

Later this week, I'll be linking up with my favorite places:
ScrapHappy Saturday at SoScrappy
Log Cabin Loonies at JulieK Quilts.

See you there!



Saturday, August 13, 2016

Decisions, Decisions

When I broke my wrist back in April, and had to slowly get back into sewing again, I had to decide what to focus on and what to let go.  Ultimately, I ended up trying to stay current on my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks, plus a couple of gifts I had been working on.

What I ended up letting go of was my Quilty 365 project.  I had been making orange peel blocks for that project since December 1, 2015, and I think I was up to about 180 of them!  It was an interesting project, but even when all my body parts were in tact I had a hard time keeping up with making a block a day.

So, since April they've been sitting there, nagging at me. "What are you going to do with us?"  It has taken me almost four months to decide.

The other day I got out all of my orange peel blocks.


It was fun to sort through them and remember why I had made each particular block.


I made piles of them - holiday blocks, favorite colors, favorite fabrics, pieces from projects I had been working on.  And made a decision.

One of my piles turned into the blocks that are most meaningful to my husband and me.  We love wine tasting and coffee dates.


We enjoy bird watching.


We are supremely entertained by the squirrels in our yard, even though my husband spends hours trying to keep them out of our bird feeders.  "Squirrel wars," I call it!  The little bit of red heart fabric tells that we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary this year!


And best of all, last December my husband got the All Clear from his oncologist, and we said goodbye to him, hoping never to return!


I sewed 12 of these orange peels together into four patches that measured about 9 1/2 inches- 


and have put those together with some black polka dots for a border and sashing to make a special table runner, just for us.  I might add another border of my leftover Kona Crimson. 


Next step - batting, backing, and quilting it - coming right up.  

As for the other orange peels, I'm thinking they could become mug rugs or pincushions.  I think there might even be enough fun orange peels to make a quilt for a child that I could donate.  Many of them were fabrics I had worked with that day, leftover blocks from a project, or orphan charm squares - not as meaningful to me as some that I made - so I won't mind not having them in a project I would keep for myself.  I think all of this will satisfy me just as much as the 365 orange peels sewn together that I had originally planned.

It's hard to abandon a project, but it's not the first one!  I have other WiPs and plans for quilts that inspire me more, so on I go!

Linking up to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Sunday's scrappy inspiration!







Thursday, August 11, 2016

Inspiration

One of the best reasons to be part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is for all of the inspiration you can get when everyone is linking up their posts each Saturday.  I was challenged by the August colors of pale purple/gray and evergreen, until I spent some time looking at what others in our group had accomplished. Suddenly, I knew what I could do with my Scrap Jar Stars.

I have to admit, I did have to do a little stash enhancement , which involved finding a couple of light purple fat quarters.  I can justify this by saying that I can get quite a lot out of two fat quarters, and then have more scraps to add to my stash!  Nothing wrong with that, right?!?!  :)

I ended up with these two stars - one in pale purple and gray together, with a few little pops of green and other colors.  I love the green and purple apples, but the red one in the center is especially fun!


The other is mostly gray with a smidge of yellow - a cool, cloudy day with a bit of sun shining through.


They look good together - 


and it is also fun to see them contrasted with the bright yellow and purple stars I made earlier this year.


To see what other scrappy quilters have done with our August colors, check out the ScrapHappy Saturday link at SoScrappy.  See you there!


Saturday, August 6, 2016

A little bit of this and a little bit of that...

As seems to be usual for me these days, I worked on all kinds of different projects throughout the week.
Besides stitching up a few Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks...

I also finished my Crosscut Quilt - Cream and Crimson -



I finished cutting out the pieces and have been sewing together the first steps for the rest of my Nighttime Blossoms blocks - these actually worked really well as Leaders and Enders while working on other things!



And I made a couple of little things out of my favorite fabric find of the week. It's fun to see what you can make out of just a few small pieces of fabric and a bit of batting!


I've made these pocket tissue holders before - they are great for little gifts!  


Of course, I never made one for myself!  I used this tutorial to remember how to make them. So quick and simple!   The adorable, teeny, tiny zipper pouch is made from a tutorial that Svetlana at sotakhandmade just shared on her blog this week.  I knew I had to try it!  I have to admit, even after several years now of sewing zippy pouches, I'm still making mistakes with the zipper.  Wouldn't you think I'd have that technique down pat?  But no... not yet.  Fortunately, the zipper still zips, and this will be a fun little pouch to use, but I am going to make another one just to see if I can get better at it!

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been working on this week over at Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  There's always lots of good inspiration to be found at Cynthia's Sunday link-up!



Friday, August 5, 2016

These Monkeys are Party Animals!

Just as I have in every previous month this year, I waited excitedly to see what color(s) Angela would choose for our August Rainbow Scrap Challenge sewing.  And last Monday, when I read "hazy purple of a dawn sky with hints of evergreens," I knew it would be a challenge for me this month.  I don't have a lot of purple, and even had to do a little stash enhancing for our previous purple month, so hmmm...

Lately I've started every month by making some monkey blocks because they require the smallest of scraps, and are more and more fun the scrappier you get.  So I got out the purple monkeys I had made way back in March just to see how I could do something different this time.


They are definitely brighter, stronger purples with bright yellow as an accent.  This month sounds more like a muted purple with a bit of green as an accent.  In my purple and pink scrap bin, I found a very small piece of what you might call a lilac purple, and went from there for the pieces I needed to make some monkeys. That's where they went crazy on me!


Purple and green - grapes, wine bottles, glasses... even a little psychedelic!  Oh my!  One monkey keeps insisting on marching to the beat of a different drummer -


It's a good thing they all play well together!


The other thing I did that first day of August was shop my stash of fat quarters to see what was available there for this month's blocks.  And here is my fabric find of the week - I love this one!


If you look closely you might see a little purple and some evergreen in there, along with a lot of other fun colors!  I knew this would work to make a 16 patch block, and I also made one with a calm and misty gray that I found.


It will be fun to see how the month of August unfolds, here at Little Penguin Quilts, and with all the scrappy quilters who meet up on ScrapHappy Saturday every week!  See you there!







Sunday, July 31, 2016

Crosscut QAL

Last Monday I decided to join in on a quilt along happening on Instagram, sponsored by Debbie of A Quilter's Table, which she called the Crosscut Quilt Along.  I have admired Debbie's modern quilting designs for a long time, but never really thought I would try anything like what she does, until she offered to guide us through her process to make this mini quilt.  It turned out to be lots of fun!

It started with 9 pieces of low volume fabric, at least 9.5 inches square and a bunch of 1 inch strips of an accent fabric.  I chose some layer cake squares of Modern Background Paper that I had leftover from another project and strips of Kona Crimson which I pulled out of my scrap bin.


The first step was to cut each square on the diagonal one way, and insert the 1 inch strips of fabric.  Once you had done that in one direction, you crosscut again and inserted another 1 inch strip.


As I got going on the second cut and insertion, I could tell I was going to run out of the Kona Crimson, so I added in some strips of a couple of other dark red prints that I could find.


Those stars are one of my favorite all time fabrics, and I'm down to just some tiny bits after using them in several special projects.

Next step is to trim up the blocks you created to 9.5 inches and sew them together in a fairly traditional looking 9 x 9 grid.


Once you finish up that step, the REAL fun begins! Then you take a smaller ruler, at least 6.5 inches and start cutting this piece into 16 smaller pieces in any way that you desire!  Here's what I ended up with - 


After deciding on a layout I liked, I sewed the 16 pieces back together, and my piece now measures about 25 x 25 inches.


Of course, the final steps are to decide on a backing and batting, layer them, and quilt.  That's what I'm working on now!


I thought the red and cream flower print for the backing would be a fun contrast to all of the angles of the front.  I'm going to use some more Kona Crimson for the binding.


It's probably hard to tell from this photo, but I've started quilting with large V shapes in four different sections with a neutral colored thread, and I'm going to go back and add some additional quilting in between the V's with a dark red thread that matches the Kona.  Hoping to finish that up this afternoon and get the binding sewn on as well.

Impulsively deciding to join in a short QAL may have added some work to my week, but I have sure enjoyed creating this mini and trying something completely different from the usual that is found in my sewing room!  It was also a satisfying way to use some scraps!  (I even scrapped together the batting for it!  Win!)

If you are interested to see Debbie's daily posts about this QAL, just check out Instagram with the hashtag #crosscutquiltalong.  It's also fun to see all the different ideas that quilters had about color and final layouts.

For more scrap inspiration, head over to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework today.  That's where I'll be!