Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Best of 2015

Cheryl, over at Meadow Mist Designs, is having a Best of 2015 Linky Party!  After checking out many of the other blogs who have linked up, I was inspired to write up a post for myself.  So here goes!

1.  I've discovered that I love small and useful finishes, like bags and pouches, and have tried several different types this year.  Here are two of my favorites!

A "Two in One" pouch from Sotak Handmade - two zippers and velcro!

A "Pyramid Pouch," pattern by Sandra at Musings 
of a Menopausal Melon - equilateral triangles!

2.  My little blog was featured on Oh Scrap! over at Quilting is More Fun than Housework, back in February, where I showed how I make small, scrappy, table runners and mug rugs.

Thanks, Cynthia, for the opportunity to do that!

3.  I tried something new with English Paper Piecing, and created a new favorite, this Christmas Tree wall-hanging.

4.  My favorite big quilt finish of the year, Into the Woods.

5.  And finally, I completed my Scrap Vortex flimsy, which right now I'm madly working on quilting and finishing it up!  I have long admired AmandaJean of Crazy Mom Quilts, and when she started a Scrap Vortex QAL, I knew I wanted to join in.  This was also my most viewed and commented on post for the year!

As for 2016... what might it bring?  I am still getting the hang of being a retired teacher, and having more time for my favorite activities!  It is wonderful to have hours everyday to sew and create.  Along with quilts and small projects for myself, I am hoping to do more charity quilting.  And I am finally going to take some time to figure out free motion quilting!  A Craftsy class is definitely in my future!

Happy New Year to all of you, and may it be all you hope for!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Scrappy and Small

In between visits with family and friends over the holiday, I've had the chance to work on several small scrappy projects.

Some tiny patchwork pincushions, made out of these fun sewing-themed fat quarters, gifts for some local quilty friends:
These pincushions finish at about 4 1/4 inches!

A zipper pouch for my sister:

I followed this video tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company, and I think I had my most successful zipper experience yet!

Keeping up with my Quilty 365 orange peels:

I've also been working on a scrappy backing for my Scrap Vortex quilt, which has turned out to be somewhat labor intensive! :)  Hope to be posting more about that next week!

Happy Sunday!  Hope you are enjoying a day of sewing or whatever makes you happy!  Linking up to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is more fun than Housework.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

There is something about sewing with Christmas fabric at Christmas time that always entices me!  So, I made a couple of mug rugs using Diary of a Quilter's Modern Christmas Tree Quilt Block tutorial.

They are fun and easy to put together, and I love how you make two at one time with opposite fabrics.  I can definitely see myself making something larger out of this pattern in the future.

To all of you who visit my blog, I wish a very happy Christmas, and hope it is filled with the love of family and friends.  You are a gift to me everyday!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Scrap Vortex Flimsy

I am so excited this week to have finished up my Scrap Vortex flimsy!  It has actually been quite challenging for me and a good learning experience!

I started it way back in June with these little bits:

And kept going throughout the summer and fall a little at a time:

And now I have this:

It measures about 50 x 62, and will be the perfect size for snuggling up with a good book in my favorite chair!

It has some of my favorite fabrics from other quilts and projects in it, which makes it so fun to look at.  Kind of a grown-up I Spy quilt!

It also has fabrics I don't ever recall buying, but there they were in my scrap basket.  I bet we all have some of those!

When I first started this quilt, I didn't expect it to be as challenging as it was!  I mean, all I was doing was sewing bits and pieces together, and trimming them up so I could sew more bits and pieces together, right? It was really a lot like putting a puzzle together.  Lining up bits and pieces with each other so they could form bigger and bigger blocks, and then rows, and finally become something that is rectangular and "square" and a size that would be useful.  I sewed the blocks I made into four rows about 50 inches wide, but since it still wasn't long enough, I ended up making two narrower rows that I attached to the top and bottom to reach my goal of 60 inches or a bit longer.  And I am so pleased with the result! 

Now to find the perfect backing material and get it ready to quilt!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

This week in orange peels...

For a retired person, I have had the most hectic week!  We spent three days traveling to have a belated Thanksgiving with our sons, and then I had three days of substitute teaching scheduled.  That kind of thing really cuts into my sewing time!  I did manage to keep up with my Quilty 365 orange peels.

Highlights of the week definitely included finally getting to see my boys for a turkey dinner, our favorite games, and good conversation.

Substitute teaching is nothing like having your own class and getting to know the kids, but it does have its moments!

Here is a note I got from a sweet second grader!

One of the days I was gone teaching, I came home to a lovely care package from my friend, Cyndy, and it included a big pile of her Tula scraps, which I just love.  I had to make an orange peel to celebrate that!

My quilt group met Thursday for our annual Christmas gift exchange, which included much stealing and hilarity!  We were the very definition of jolly that evening!

And, for a good end of the week, my husband and I went to one of our favorite local wineries for some wine tasting.  One of our favorite things to do!

Yesterday I was able to spend quite a bit of time on my Scrap Vortex top, and it's ALMOST DONE!  Yay! Hoping to post about that this coming week!  

Linking up to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  Go check out all the scrappy goodness!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Almost Done and Starting New

A few weeks ago, I showed a picture of these granny square blocks on my design wall.  This week I am finishing up a baby quilt using those blocks.

These blocks needed something to tie them together (an organizing fabric!) and I found a bunch of 4 inch strips of Kona Maize in my stash which seemed like it would work!  I also noticed that there were a lot of scraps left from the Kate Spain Honey Honey jelly roll I bought a couple years ago in the granny squares, so I used a few more of those for some corner stones in between the blocks.

I backed it with some leftover mint green Into the Woods dots, and used some strips of Hello Sunshine for the binding.  This quilt finished up at about 36" x 36."  All that is left is to finish hand sewing the binding. I may save this sweet quilt for a future baby, or donate it.  I haven't decided yet!

I have also been enjoying seeing the posts about Quilty 365, and decided to join in with my own take on it.  I am making orange peels (using this tutorial) and backing them with charm squares of Modern Backgrounds in Paper by Zen Chic.

The idea is to make one block a day that represents something from that day, such as an activity, a feeling, etc, for a whole year!  I started on December 1st, so the first block has the Number 1 in it.  My husband and I enjoy going to a local coffee shop many mornings to begin our day, little penguins (because... that's me!), and some fun Christmas fabric to remind me of attending a holiday show at the local dinner theater with a friend.  I think this will be quite fun, and hopefully, something I can keep up with!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!  My husband and I are off to see our sons for a belated Thanksgiving. We had to stay home last week because of crummy weather.  Looking forward to some turkey leftovers!