Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Itsy Bitsy!

This week I've been working on a birthday present for a special friend.  I can't post about it just yet because she reads my blog once in awhile, but here is a bit of a hint.

I purchased four fat quarters of this beautiful fabric during my New York trip last fall.  After reading the one selvage that was included, and doing a little detective work, it looks like they are from a line of fabric called Woodlands, by Jo Morton for Andover Fabrics.

The pattern I'm making required a bunch of HSTs and I always make them bigger than I need, and then trim them down.  I ended up with a pile of little bits and pieces that looked like this.

Among them were a bunch of bonus HSTs which I decided not to throw away like I usually do!  :)  They were about 1 1/8 inches square!

Then this happened.  A crazy Colorado, spring snowstorm.  If you can't read that yard stick, it says 14 inches!  I was snowed in for the day.  What's a quilter to do?!

Well, make crazy, tiny quilt blocks, of course!

Here is my finished block, at 2 3/8 inches square.

I don't work with fiddly, little pieces that size very much, and ended up deciding four of them was enough!

I put them together into a mini that is now 6 x 6.  Although the blocks above appear to be square, they are not in the finished mini! Fortunately, wonky is "in" these days!  It was quite a challenge to keep everything square, and I didn't really achieve that.  But it is cute as can be, anyway!

Fun to challenge myself with, but I'm happy to get back to bigger projects now!  I'll be linking this project up with Oh Scrap! over at Quilting is More Fun than Housework today.  Looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been up to this week! 

Friday, March 25, 2016

I couldn't help myself...

I still have my pile of purple and yellow scraps out, and have been looking for some new inspiration for them.

So...after weeks of enjoying Gayle's blog, mangofeet, and looking closely at her monkey blocks, I realized I wanted to make some!  I commented on her recent post where she had made a few and asked for a tutorial. Gayle kindly pointed me to Bonnie Hunter's tutorial for Monkey Wrench blocks, found here, and away I went!  I made one in each of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge monthly color combos, and it turns out that they ARE cute and fun!

You're right,  Gayle - these blocks could be addicting!  They were also good for some fussy cutting...

I'm adding these to my March collection of blocks and definitely planning to make more!

If you're looking for some Rainbow Scrappy goodness, check out all of the links at So Scrappy on Saturday!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Pixie Basket

Like everyone else probably, I've been seeing the sweet little Pixie Baskets all around the blogosphere! They are the creation of Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt who has a great tutorial for making them here.  I had this adorable owl fabric in my stash which I decided would be perfect for this project, so I got busy cutting it up!

I used some dotty yellow for the upper accent fabric, and another blue and yellow dot for the lining.  The pattern calls for twill tape for the little handles, but since I didn't have any on hand, I made the handles out of the owl fabric.  Next time I think I will go get some twill tape, because my fabric handles created a thick bump to sew over when combined with the outer and lining pieces and their seams all at the same spot!

This pixie basket is perfect for carrying around things like my Wonder Clips, little scissors, thread, and needles which I keep together for hand stitching bindings.  Up until now they have been in a lovely plastic dish - this is so much more fun!

While, technically I didn't make this little basket out of scraps (I cut into fat quarters for my pieces), it would be a great scrappy project because the biggest piece you need is 4 x 8 inches.  It was a quick and easy finish, and would make a great gift, too!

Linking up with Oh Scrap at Quilting is More Fun than Housework for some Sunday inspiration!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Stitching Along

I snapped this shot of my sewing table earlier this week - looks like there's a lot going on!

Star blocks, four patches, purple and yellow scraps, even a pile of orange peels waiting to be stitched up for my Quilty 365 project.  I am definitely in the squirrel mode these days!

I finished my monthly goal of six 16 patch blocks this week -

I knew last week that I wanted to add some light blocks to the rest of my colors, and there they are!  It's fun to try a new layout with each new addition to the pile.

Somehow, a green block snuck its way in there - how did that happen?!  I must be ready for some green - both in my sewing and out in my yard!  Maybe in April?

I also added to my Double Four patch collection - 

I've been playing around with setting these blocks on point this week - but who knows what I will really end up doing with them.  They may not even end up all being in the same quilt.  Am I starting to see a little bit of a rainbow effect with each new block addition and layout?  Maybe! 

Maybe I will add some larger neutral blocks in with them before I am done.

Here and there you can see a bit of a pattern emerging, too.

I started making these as a way to use up smaller scraps, so I'll definitely continue that, and let the final layout sort itself out at the end of the year!

Hope you have had a fun week of sewing with your scraps!  Linking up to the Scrappy Saturday party at SoScrappy!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Springy Finish

This week I have enjoyed finishing up my Maverick Stars mini!

I quilted it with a simple cross hatch through the centers of the stars, and bound it with some leftover gray and black polka dot binding strips that I had in my scrap binding bin.  It turned out to be perfect for a new dresser scarf!

Do you see the framed piece to the left?  It is a beautiful picture of a rocking chair and a quilt done with "Scherenschnitte," a German paper cutting technique that one of my local quilty friends enjoys doing.  I was lucky enough to get it in our quilt group's annual Christmas swap a couple of years ago, and I love it!  So amazingly detailed and perfect for a quilter!

Sharing this finish in a few different places this week: Sew Fresh Quilts, My Quilt Infatuation tomorrow, and Crazy Mom Quilts on Friday.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Maverick Stars

Whenever I am out and about online, reading blogs and getting inspiration, I make note of blocks and techniques I want to try.  I've been noticing the Maverick Star blocks at places like Nell's Quilts and decided it was time to make some.

I pulled out my tub of small cream and white scraps, and also used a mini charm pack of Prairie by Corey Yoder for Moda (another lovely prize from Linda's giveaway in January!) for these scrappy stars.

Following this tutorial over at Bonnie Hunter's blog helped me get started.  It was great fun to stitch the stars up without much need for cutting or measuring!  The sweet colors of the Prairie mini charms make me think of an Easter basket!

After making three stars, I added some sashing and borders from my stash, and this little mini now measures about 12 1/2" by 26 1/2."  The perfect size to decorate the top of my desk.

Next step: find some backing and binding, quilt it up, and put it to use!  I'll be back over at Oh Scrap! with Cynthia and all of our quilty friends today, looking for more scrappy inspiration!

Friday, March 11, 2016

A Little Bit of Purple and Yellow

After a long weekend trip to visit my mom in Phoenix, I came home itching to get back to my sewing machine, so among other things this week, I stitched up a few new blocks for my RSC projects.

I love 4 patches and 16 patches!  Sometimes simple patchwork is just what I need.

This is my favorite purple so far - I have enough to use some more of it in March!

My 16 patch collection is growing!  It definitely needs more yellow.

Time to get back to the sewing machine.  See you all over at SoScrappy for Scrap Happy Saturday!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Spring Ahead!

I've been having fun playing with the fat quarter bundle of Sweet as Honey that I won in Linda's giveaway back in January.  A couple weeks ago I made a bunch of Half Square Triangles out of it and then experimented with different layouts for a spring table runner.  HSTs have so many different possibilities!

I love the colors of this fabric line - rich, buttery yellow, light blue, charcoal gray, and a bit of pink.  It's filled with fun details, too - honey bees, beehives, flowers, and honey combs among other things.

I used some bigger chunks of the fabric for the backing.

And tried my own version of a Baptist Fan to quilt it, using my walking foot.  This design reminded me of the beehives in the fabric design!

For the binding, I decided to experiment with Susie's Magic Binding, which I just came across on someone else's blog last week.  Find the tutorial for it here.

I like the finish this binding gives to the edge of my mini quilt, although I think next time I would use a solid for the part that makes the small accent piece of the binding.  This time I used one of the Sweet as Honey fabrics that is mostly gray but does have some of the yellow in it.  Where the yellow meets up with the main binding fabric, the accent fabric gets a little lost.  But, that's okay for this project.  I like trying new and different techniques to see what will happen!

This mini is perfect on the dining room table with my favorite yellow candle.  (Really, it needs some daffodils to dress it up, but they aren't blooming here yet!)

Happy Sunday, everyone!  Be sure to head on over to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework, to check out what everyone else has been working on this week!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Beginning of March - RSC 2016

I was just like a little kid on Monday, when I checked in at So Scrappy to see what Angela had posted for the new color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!  When I saw purple with a dash of yellow, I was on it!   I knew I would be headed out to visit my mom in Phoenix for the weekend, so there wouldn't be much time to sew with purples, but I did get a Scrap Jar Star completed before I left.

I've noticed that purple is a hard color to photograph.  At least in my experience, it tends to look blue, but I can assure you that this block is made of purples - from very dark and rich to more pastel.  My favorite fabric (and one I only have a teeny, tiny bit of) is this one with pansies, and they have yellow centers!  So perfect!  I decided to be very careful how I use it, so that I can stretch it out as much as possible.

I had already made a yellow star way back in December, just to try out the block and see if it would work for this project, so here they are together.

And one more photo, just because!

Can't wait to see some more purple over at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday!