Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

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!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2016 - July

The month of July has been a fun and productive one for me for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks and other sewing!  And my assorted collections of blocks are starting to look like quilts in the making!

I have 42 sixteen patch blocks!  I love how they look, all laid out together.

Last week, I showed off my 14 Scrap Jar Stars, but here they are again, just because I really love them!

I have 15 little monkeys  - because this little guy just demanded to be made with a Hawaiian shirt!

I also added to my double four patch collection of blocks, as well as made myself a new, summery tote bag, and some coasters.  There are piles of blocks everywhere in my sewing room, just waiting to find out what will happen in August!

See you over at the ScrapHappy Saturday link-up tomorrow at SoScrappy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Midweek Miscellaneous

I've been cleaning my sewing room today...  Not my favorite job, but something I promised myself I would do before I sat down to work on anything.  And, of course, I am always so proud of myself after I've gotten it done.  The space looks so much more inviting now!

This is only one end of the room, and there is still more to be done.  When I turn around and look the other way, I see my sewing machine table and its mess of thread spools that need to be organized.  Maybe tomorrow!  Plus (not shown) there are still bins of books I brought home a year ago from my classroom after retiring from teaching.  Still not sure what's going to happen with them, so there they sit!

Last night this was hanging on my design wall - 

Today, it looks like this - 

I've been participating in the CrossCut Quilt Along over on Instagram with Debbie of A Quilter's Table. We've had steps to follow each day since Monday and I've been keeping up!  I'm not always that efficient! But this has been fun, using just some layer cake squares of Modern Background Paper I had leftover from another project and 1" strips of a couple different dark red fabrics to create the original cross blocks.  I'll post more about this later in the week, after I decide on my final layout and sew the blocks together.  If you're curious to know more, a link to her tutorial is here.

Happy Wednesday!  I think I'll link up with Let's Bee Social over at Sew Fresh Quilts because I haven't in a long time!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Bonus Triangles

Inspired by Crazy Mom Quilts and her quest to make a pincushion for every day of the month of July, I realized that was something I could do with a few of the bonus triangles that have come from making the blocks for my Nighttime Blossoms quilt.

While continuing to work on cutting for that quilt...

I took a few of the bonus triangles and made up a tiny HST block... 3 1/2"...

and turned it into a pincushion!

The back is a bit of the gray flowers from the Good Neighbors fabric line.

And now I have my own (little) pincushion collection!  I've made two of these; the rest have been gifts.

Can you tell which one of these I use the most?

Since I still have 12 more blocks to make for the Nighttime Blossoms quilt, there will be lots more bonus triangles.  Any ideas about what I else I can make out of them?

Looking forward to Scrappy Sunday sharing over at Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Scrap Jar Stars for July

To keep with my plan for the Scrap Jar Stars quilt for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I have made two star blocks each month and tried to make one in with a lighter set of fabrics and the other with dark.  For July, that meant one of my blocks is mostly bright pinks, and the second block is reds.

I did manage to include some of my watermelon fabric in the pink star, and both blocks have a bit of lime green, if you look closely!  I didn't add any lime green fabric to either block because I used lime green for a previous star, and they are going to be fun together!

As always, I enjoyed laying out all of the blocks to see what they look like together!

I'm definitely thinking some white sashing and cornerstone blocks will finish off this quilt perfectly!

Linking up with ScrapHappy Saturday at SoScrappy tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Rainbow Log Cabins

I've added a few more rainbow log cabin blocks to my collection this month.  I decided to work on a pink one and a purple one as leaders and enders while working on other projects.

I'm using strings out of my scrap bins to create these blocks.  They finish at 12 inches.

Starting with a 2 1/2 inch square gives me the chance to do some fun fussy cutting!

The rainbow is forming!

I started on a black and white block and a turquoise one, too.  Orange is next on my list along with brown.

After that, hmmm?  Maybe I'll repeat some colors, or make some rainbow blocks with all of the colors in them.  I'm letting this quilt evolve slowly!

Be sure to check out more Log Cabin Loonies over at Julie K Quilts.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A New WiP

Sometime last year, probably in the late summer, I bought the Fall 2015 issue of  "Easy Quilts."

I bought it because of a specific pattern that was included in this issue, but when I got the magazine home and was reading through it, look what I found!

"Nighttime Blossoms" is a quilt pattern by my friend, Cynthia Brunz at Quilting is More Fun than Housework. Right away, I knew I needed to keep this one in mind to make someday.  

Now, I am a s-l-o-w quilter.  I don't finish a lot of big quilts in a year.  That's why small projects like table runners and wall hangings work well for me.  Also why I have loved participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this year, where I just make a few blocks each month in a certain colorway.  Someday these will be a completed quilt!  But this week, I decided I was ready to make some progress on my version of Nighttime Blossoms.

I definitely wanted to make a quilt that had a gray background.  Also, last fall, I purchased a bunch of fat quarters of Amanda Jean Nyberg's new fabric line, Good Neighbors from Connecting Threads.

I decided that some of these fat quarters would be perfect for this quilt.  So... after making one trial block back in the winter, I decided this was the week to get going on this quilt.

I'm using the teal, pink, and lime green prints from the Good Neighbors line, plus a Gray solid also from Connecting Threads, and a pretty tone on tone white.

Since cutting is not my favorite part of the quilting process (second only to basting the layers together), I've been cutting some and then sewing some, and I have 4 blocks made so far.  The blocks are big, 16 inches finished, so the whole quilt only takes 16 blocks.  I love how Cynthia takes something very simple - 

and turns it into a really neat, larger pattern.  The big blocks go together very quickly!

It's fun to see the secondary patterns that are created!

And look at all of these little leftover triangles that I'm ending up with!  A scrappy quilter ought to be able to do something with them!

Now, if I just got going, finished all the cutting, and did a bunch of chain piecing... by the end of this next week, I'd have a finished flimsy!  Maybe I will!

Linking up with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework to see lots more quilty inspiration!

Friday, July 15, 2016

A Watermelon Tote

My sewing this week seemed to involve lots of ADD!  (Or is that QADD?!)  I decided it was time to get back to working on a larger quilt project I started back in the winter (more about that in tomorrow's post), so I did some Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sewing as leaders and enders.

I ended up with two Double Four Patches - a dark and a light.

And some Log Cabins to keep using those scrappy strings - a pink one and most of a purple.  The purple one is still in progress - it needs to have a few more logs added to bring it up to 12 1/2 inches!

But what I couldn't get out of my head was a comment "conversation" I had with someone last week about how I had enough of my watermelon fabric to make a new tote bag.  I guess as soon as I said that, I had to make one!

This is made from some charms of Hometown Girl by Pat Sloan for Moda, with the addition of some black and white polka dots and the watermelon fabric I showed off last week used for the straps and lining.  The Hometown Girl charms I chose were perfect for July's watermelon theme with dark pink and lime green prints.

I've made several of these tote bags in the last couple of years, based on a tutorial by Missouri Star Quilt Company (search their YouTube channel for "Three Totes from One Charm Pack").  I use them in place of a purse and I wear them out!  Every time I make a new tote bag, I change it up a little bit!  This time I wanted it to be a little wider and a little deeper, with shorter straps than I've made recently.

I added a divided pocket inside to hold things like my phone and keys, and all those little things that inevitably fall to the bottom of your bag.  This bag is really roomy enough to carry my tablet or e-reader, one of which usually goes with me wherever I go.  I just finished it up this afternoon, and I'm already enjoying it!

I also spent some time this week admiring the Monkey blocks on my design wall, and making sure they were behaving!

So far, so good!

Hope everyone is having a great July!  I'll be spending some time tomorrow at ScrapHappy Saturday over at SoScrappy getting some more Rainbow inspiration!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Wonky Stars

After finishing up last week's heart mini for my friend,

I decided to make a few red, white, and blue stars for Covered in Love.  You can find out more about Kat's July charity quilt/block drive at her blog, Kat and Cat Quilts.  I decided to make Wonky Stars (some people call them Maverick Stars - does anyone know the difference?), and used this tutorial just to make sure I was on the right track to end up with 12 1/2 inch stars.

These stars are fast and fun to make - so fun, in fact, that I decided I wasn't done making them yet!  So I made a couple more (6 inch blocks this time) - to go along with July's watermelon colors for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

Then I turned them into some summery new mug rugs for our morning coffee spot out in the family room.

Definitely fun!

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend! It's hot here - 97 degrees this afternoon - so I'm going to spend some more time down in the cool basement where my sewing room is!  And tomorrow I'll be linking up to Oh Scrap! over at Cynthia's blog, Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  See you there!

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Little Stash Enhancement

Okay, I admit it... I don't have a lot of pink (hot, cool, or otherwise!) in my scraps or stash for my RSC July blocks, so I've been shopping.

I found the watermelon fabric at Joann's - about 1 1/3 yards for $5!  Hooray for coupons!  I don't buy novelty fabric very often, but that just seemed perfect to include in some July blocks.  The other fat quarters came from one of my favorite LQS's.  I looked in the batik section thinking that the variegated colors of batiks would create some great depth and texture in a block or two, and found the pretty pink, and a darker red.  Since I make more than one of each of the different blocks for my RSC projects, I wanted to have a variety of choices available.

And I like how that turned out for my 16 patch blocks!  They range from really low-key...

to a hot pink...

to bright and bold!

If you look closely, you'll catch a bit of lime green in there every now and then!

I also stitched up one more Monkey block to go with last week's new one - 

I'm looking forward to seeing these new blocks laid out with my previously finished ones.  I think they will be great additions to each collection.  And now that I've cut into this new fabric, I've got scraps, right???!

If you are interested in more Rainbow Scrap inspiration, check out the linky at SoScrappy every Saturday!