Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Friday, October 30, 2015

A Quest!

I have been on a quest for quite awhile to cover some boring gray pillows I have for my couch with something much prettier.  Earlier pillow covers I made were just a little too big, so I ended up buying pillow forms for them.  This time, I was successful with my finish!

Also, awhile back, I decided I wanted to try some English Paper Piecing.  Except for quilt bindings, I don't do a lot of hand stitching, but it was fun just to experiment with some hexies this way.  I used up the last of the leftover Color Me Happy charm squares from my Charm Park Cherry quilt to sew together three hexi flower shapes and then appliqued them to a fun gray and white background that I found in my stash.

I've also been trying to use up scrap pieces of batting that I have, so I zigzagged together three smaller pieces for this project.  

Besides the stitching on the hexies, I also echo quilted around them a little.  That seemed like enough quilting for a project this size.  All in all, "Color me Happy" with this finish!

To continue another scrappy project I have in the works, last night I made Block 2 of the Fresh Spools paper-pieced blocks that Faith of Fresh Lemons is sharing on her blog.  This time, I went with yellow for my spool fabric.  It seemed like a good contrast for the muted blues of the first block.  It will be fun to see how this little project grows as it moves along!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Finally... a Design Wall!

I was so excited this week when I finally figured out how I could incorporate a design wall into my sewing space.  I sew in the basement of our little house, a room that used to be our family room, but which I took over after our boys left home and it was no longer needed for a teenage gathering place! Although I am still working on getting better lighting for it, I love this space because there is lots of room and no need to clean up every mess I make!  (I do clean it up once in awhile, I promise!) The one thing it has always been missing is room for a design wall, and I have always made do with the design FLOOR instead.  It has worked for me, but with wanting to spend more time working on my Scrap Vortex quilt, a place to lay everything out and be able to leave it up and mull it over on a daily basis was sorely needed!

So what did I figure out?  We still have a fairly large wooden entertainment cabinet down there, and I realized I could drape a king-sized flannel sheet over the top of it, pin back the sides, and set a couple of heavy items on top to hold the sheet on, and it worked!  Below you see my Scrap Vortex as it is right now, and I have loved being able to leave it up all week as I've added blocks to it so that I can see how it is developing.  

My Scrap Vortex quilt is coming right along, and is about 40 x 50 right now.  Still not big enough, so I keep working on adding on to it.  I think of it as "building" a quilt!

This week, I also decided to join in a little paper-pieced quilt along with Faith at Fresh Lemons, and it will be a great use for scraps!  She is generously sharing several paper-piecing patterns for some adorable spool blocks in a series she is calling "Fresh Spools."  Week 1's block looks like this:

These blocks are finishing at 6 x 6 inches.  I haven't done any paper-piecing since I finished up my And Sew On BoM quilt with Quiet Play back in 2013, and I had forgotten how fun it is!  I'm looking forward to experimenting with different low volume backgrounds and colors for the spools themselves.  I started with the blue for this spool because I have so much of it, and love the way it turned out!

Happy Sunday sewing to everyone!  Linking up to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Winter in the Woods

Winter in the Woods

I think this quilt is one of my favorites that I have ever made (originally blogged about here), so I decided to enter it into the Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side in the Large Quilt category.  Winter in the Woods measures 62 x 62.

This quilt is made from a jelly roll of Into the Woods by Lella Boutique for Moda, and a jelly roll of Kona Snow, using the video tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company for their Summer in the Park quilt.  I named mine "Winter in the Woods" because I put the rows together (originally by mistake!) differently than the tutorial showed, and ended up liking the result!  I do love the warm colors of this fabric line mixed with the snowy white.  

I even made a pillow to go with it out of a few leftover blocks.

Checkout the link-up for the Blogger's Quilt Festival for lots of quilty inspiration!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Scrappy Birds

This week I have been on a mission to finish a WiP, and I succeeded with my Scrappy Birds.  It began with just playing with various scraps of black, white, red, and teal, and deciding on a plus quilt design which would become a wall-hanging.  I ended up with this:

Since I quilt mostly with my walking foot, I usually quilt mostly with straight lines, but I have experimented with some curves.  I wanted to try a curving design on this quilt to soften up all the squares a bit.  That meant a visit to my favorite walking foot quilting resource, 31 Days of Walking Foot Quilting, by Petit Design Co. I decided to try a continuous curve design which ends up looking like circles, but is done by stitching a curve along each seam line, first to the right, then to the left.

At first, I wasn't sure how I would mark my curves, but then decided to buy myself a Clover Hera marker, and give it a try.  And it worked pretty well!  My very scientific method involved tracing around a bowl from the kitchen cupboard which turned out to be the right size for my pieces, and then stitching along those creases.  While I couldn't see the creases perfectly on every piece of fabric, I was able to follow the pattern, and I know I will use it again!

I bound the wall-hanging in the same gray that I used for this table runner earlier because I also included some squares of that fabric in my plus blocks.

And here it is, hanging in our living room!

Happy Sunday, everyone!  I'm linking up with my favorite Sunday inspiration, Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Best Souvenirs!

The best souvenirs from a vacation are the ones you can bring home and use over and over again!  I took the four Finger Lakes wine fabrics (they are really from Timeless Treasures!) and designed a simple table runner out of them, which I finished up last week but have just now had a chance to write a post about.

I made three simple blocks based on 2 1/2 inch dimensions and used bits of all four fabrics in them.   Each block finished at 12 inches.

I used up the leftovers to make a scrappy binding.

And, you can't see it, but the batting is even scrappy, leftover pieces, sewn together.  I loved using up a couple smaller pieces of batting for this small project!

To top it all off, the case of wine we ordered arrived just the other day.  Cheers!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Fall Fun

No sewing, scrappy or otherwise, at my house this week!  My husband and I took a fall vacation for the first time ever, to New York State, and just returned yesterday.  The fall scenery, wonderful wineries of the Finger Lakes region, and the quilt shops, did not disappoint!  So, instead, of sewing, I added to my stash, and along with it the fun of contemplating what this fabric might eventually be used for.

Some of my purchases were fabric lines I've looked at online and was able to pick up on the trip, including a charm pack of Holly's Tree Farm, and one of Moda Modern Backgrounds in Paper.   Others were just fun fat quarters that will go into my stash.

Love the color combo in the photo below!  I might need to collect some more of this!

At the last quilt shop, Carriage House Quilts, in Naples, New York, I picked up some novelty fat quarters, which I don't buy very often.  But these I had to have, a fun souvenir of our wine trip to the Finger Lakes!

I'm thinking of a mini/table topper for my dining room table - one of my favorite kinds of quick projects!  I think I'll get started on it right away!

Happy Sunday Sewing to all of you!  Linking up with Oh Scrap at Quilting is More Fun than Housework!