Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fall Patchwork

I haven't had much time to sew this week, but I did decide that my dining room table needed a little something to celebrate fall.

I cut 3 and 1/2 inch squares out of 6 different fabrics and did a very random placement.  The quilting is simple straight lines on the diagonal - my favorite right now.  I love the combination of oranges and greens!  Unfortunately, the lighting in my photo leaves something to be desired.  I couldn't quite capture the true colors, whether I tried inside or outside. 

The orange with fall leaves is my favorite fabric:
I had just enough of the green left to use it for the binding, and I'm so glad I did!  It's perfect!
As simple as this is, it's fun to have something new decorating my table.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A lot of firsts!

This week I finished the slab baby quilt that I've been working on for awhile.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  It's so much fun to look at!  Just like my Scrappy Trip Around the World, almost every scrap in this quilt has a story to tell.

This is a quilt of many firsts for me.  It was my first slab/improv quilt.  I had seen several quilts using these techniques on other blogs, so I decided it would be fun to try.  I'm really drawn to scrappy. patchwork type quilts right now, and it is so fun to pull scraps out and come up with something that is basically your own design!  It is also my first pieced back.  I really did that out of necessity as I didn't have a piece big enough for the whole back, but it was fun to try to put together fabrics that could really make this quilt reversible.  This quilt holds my first attempt at FMQ, which I blogged about here.  It's far from perfect, but you have to start somewhere!

It is also my first time using a fabric for the binding that isn't also somewhere in the quilt.  I chose some black and white polka dots, something I've never worked with before, and it makes a beautiful frame for the colorful slabs and white sashing and borders. 

Also a first for me - I'm going to donate this quilt!  I'm embarassed to say I've never done that before with a quilt of my own, although my quilt group has worked on group projects that we've donated over the years.  This quilt is going to A Mother's Hope for a new mom who is struggling with postpartum depression.  I learned about this through the blog Margaret's Hope Chest, and I'm happy to be giving a little support to someone who needs it.  Even though my sons are grown-ups now, I remember those stressful days all too well!  I hope a new mom will enjoy snuggling her precious baby with this colorful quilt.

And last, but not least, my husband said to me this morning, "You're giving that away? Because I really like it."  How's that for a compliment?  I couldn't ask for more!

I'm linking this quilt up to 100 Quilts for Kids at Swim, Bike, Quilt. and later in the week to Needle and Thread Thursday.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I have a confession to make...

I'm afraid of free motion quilting...  I want to learn how to do it, and I keep trying little practice pieces, but I'm not sure I'm getting the hang of it.  I really should take a class on it, but before trying that, I decided to read up on it, and watch Leah Day's videos, and practice.  It still scares me!

So... I decided the only way to get over my fear was to finally commit to FMQing a whole quilt.  I've been working on a slab baby quilt completely out of my scraps, and it seemed like the perfect project to finally take the plunge.   Yesterday, I did it.  I FMQed the whole thing.  I'm not ready for stippling yet, so I decided to try loops meandering all over the quilt.  And I have to say, I got better at it as I went along.  Once I figured out the right speed at which my machine and I would work well together, and how much space I could cover at one time, I felt pretty successful.  That's not to say I don't have a LOT of practicing to do still, but I don't feel too bad about my attempt.

It mostly looks like this:
and this:

or this:

with a little of this:
I might need to rip that one out and redo it!
Unfortunately, I noticed some of this on the back.  I know that has something to do with my tension, but I'm not sure how to fix it.  Raise the tension?  Lower it?  Any suggestions?
Thanks for being a witness to my first attempt at FMQing a whole quilt.  Honestly, I'm pretty proud of myself.  But, I'm still a little afraid of it...
Linking up this week with Needle and Thread Thursday and Really Random Thursday.  Thanks for the fun linky parties!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Little More about Slabs and a Thank You!

Yesterday, I finished a baby quilt-sized top that is made out of 4 - 15 1/2 inch improv slab blocks.  It was fun finding all kinds of pink, green, yellow, and purple fabrics to try the slabs with.  I think my favorite is the purple, which I didn't think I would have enough of since I hardly ever work with purple.  Who knows where it came from?  I think my stash is reproducing on its own!

With the white sashing and borders, this quilt has ended up to be about 40" x 40".   It was fun to just start sewing pieces together without a real plan, other than the size of the blocks.  My plans is to practice some FMQ on it, and I want to donate it somewhere, so I can participate in 100 Quilts for Kids by the end of September.

On another note, I was the lucky recipient of a prize from the August Linky for the And Sew ON BoM.  I got my choice of three patterns from Kristy's (of Quiet Play) Craftsy Shop.  Of course, I had to ask for the Just My Type letter blocks.  I can't wait to try them out, maybe for a wall-hanging or a gift for a friend.  Thanks, Kristy!

I'm linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sewing Room Re-do and Slabs

I decided recently that I needed a larger table for my sewing machine if I was going to do more machine quilting.  We found the perfect table/desk at Ikea and put it together last Sunday.

I love the white table top!  It looks so clean and neat! (Right now anyway...). It gives me lots of space to lay blocks out as I work on them.

I've also been trying some improv/slab blocks for a baby quilt.  I'm working on pink, green, yellow, and purple 15 1/2" blocks.  I know I'll need some sashing or borders for this quilt, but haven't decided what to use for that yet.  I'm wondering about using some black and white with it, like the cat material I used for the backing of my Scrappy Trip Around World quilt.  

Since this is totally an improv quilt, I guess anything goes!  Finding that fabric will be my next step.
I'm heading over to My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday - so should you!