Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Sunday, December 31, 2017


A couple weeks ago, I wrote about playing around with Improv Stripes again, and starting out with blocks that looked like this :

After the Christmas busy-ness subsided, I got back to work on this project, and made several similar blocks of various sizes, and ended up making them into a mini quilt for my table.

I decided to stop at a mini for several reasons, but mostly because there are so many seams in this little piece, and it is stretchy!   I just wasn't interested in struggling with anything much bigger than this (about 16 x 20), although I know other quilters do!

I quilted it with randomly spaced, diagonal straight lines, criss-crossing every which way from top to bottom, using my carefully hoarded spool of Aurifil Jade.  (Thank you, Cyndy!)

A view of the back.  And then out in the snow, just for fun!

And because the 2 inch strips of this fabric were still out, I made a couple new coasters for us that match.  We can always use new quilted coasters!

I really love these colors - they are definitely a refreshing combination that I'll enjoy using going into the new year, and January!

Sharing at Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap.  Have a fun, safe, and happy New Year, friends!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Wrapping Up 2017

I've been enjoying all the year-end posts by quilt bloggers everywhere that show their accomplishments of 2017 and plans for the new year.  There is so much wonderful inspiration out there!

In thinking about my creating for the past year, I realized that most of what I've worked on has been inspired and influenced by the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and by scrappy quilting, in general.  Colorful, scrappy quilts are really my favorites - to make, to use, and to look at!

This year I finished four quilts that were started because of my participation in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!

Rainbow Log Cabin - February

16 patch quilt - March

Scrap Jar Stars - May

Rainbow Monkeys - November

Throughout the year, I've also finished up many small projects from RSC blocks or ideas - here are just a few!

Fall Maple Leaves and Nine Patch tablerunner -

From our multi-color month of April, a fun table-topper full of lady bugs - 

And many, many little things like these orange coasters in the month of September - 

Of course there are many unfinished projects I'll continue to work on in 2018, including getting my String Star quilted -

I definitely want to finish up this Spare Parts quilt, which I started in January of 2017!

This is one of those projects that I had fun "designing" and playing with the piecing, but then lost any motivation to finish it as the year went on, lol!  ;(

I'll continue making Bowtie blocks

and these Leader/Ender blocks that I started not long ago.

I'll also continue to play with my Floral Sawtooth Stars blocks -

And one new thing I'm adding to my list for now - I'm planning to do some scrap slab piecing right out of my scrap bins and make some new placemats for our dining room table.  Last year I was really inspired by the beautiful placemats Julie of Me and My Quilts created as her RSC project, and realized that I could make something similar!  Here is my prototype- pulled from the red bin as it happened to be quite full!

Although I know already that these won't be my only new projects for 2018 (my oldest son has requested a new quilt, and I have the fabric, just have get start on the cutting!), these are the the ones I'm definitely committing to!  I'll enjoy having lots of choices for working on throughout the year.

Happy New Year, scrappy friends!  Looking forward to seeing what everyone's got up their sleeves for 2018 over at the ScrapHappy Saturday link-up at SoScrappy.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

I Like Thursday #62 - almost the end!

There are only a few days left in December, friends - the end of 2017.  Has your year gone by fast?  Mine has!

It's just about Thursday again and time to share our likes for the past week.  Thanks to LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color for gathering us together every week to find and celebrate the positive.

I really like our "I Like" community!  I especially like it when blogging friends recommend books and I can find them in my library.  Last week, Roseanne at Homesewn By Us said she'd been reading a book by James Patterson, one of his Michael Bennett series.  I really like James Patterson, but had never read any of that series, so I went to the library and checked a couple out!  Thanks, Roseanne, I've been enjoying these books!

I liked our wintery backyard on Christmas Eve.

The temperature fell (from 65 on Dec 20) to the 20s and we got some snow, but it doesn't bother our backyard animals at all!  The birds and squirrels have been very busy at the "All You Can Eat Buffet!"

Some little critter was out early in our front yard, too - maybe a rabbit?

I like going to the movies!  My mom was here for a couple days, so she and my sister and I went to see "The Greatest Showman."

I would recommend this one, especially if you like a musical, because I enjoyed the music so much!  Also, it's a good story - about P.T. Barnum and how he started his circus.  (Although, in reading about his real life story afterwards, I'm not sure he was as nice and definitely was not as handsome as Hugh Jackman portrayed him in the movie!)  But I did like the message of appreciating our human diversity and celebrating all the different kinds of talents we all have.

A local quilty friend who is very talented and creative in many ways gave us a bottle of the wine she and her husband make, and I liked it!  :) She even creates her own labels and prints them - this one is called "Santa's Shiraz."

I also liked trying one more new treat for Christmas!

These are a copycat of the Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies - and only three ingredients!  Ritz Crackers, dark chocolate chips, and a tiny bit of peppermint flavoring.  A little messy to make, but so yummy!  There are lots of recipes for this type of thing out there, so I read them and then did my own thing!  Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, add 1/4 tsp of peppermint, and then dip the crackers in and cool on a cookie sheet with parchment paper on it.  I've been storing them in the fridge so the chocolate doesn't get melty.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are enjoying this week in between, before 2018 begins!  

Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Little Slow Stitching

This is my slow stitching project for today.  I get it out when all the "must does" are done.  It's a simple whole cloth piece with the design stamped on.  I enjoy putting a few stitches in it now and then!

Today it is a bit of sunshine for a cold and snowy Christmas Eve here in Colorado!

Linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.  Thank you, Kathy, for always reminding us to breathe and enjoy the day!

Merry Christmas!

I love Christmas trees!

The outdoor kind...

The indoor kind...

And the fabric kind, too!

The last few years I've made a Christmas tree mini each year - the one above is from December of 2015.  I wanted to try some modern hexies, and they worked really well for a tree shape!

Christmas 2016 - 

This is Kevin the Quilter's tree block.  I really love this one!  I should make more of these.

Here is my tree mini for 2017.  The trees are made from Sandra's Leaning Tree tutorial that I made a bunch of mug rugs out of earlier this month.

The darker fabric is really a dark green - a color I find hard to photograph accurately!  The text fabric says things like"joy to the world" and "merry and bright."  It was interesting when cutting into that one to make sure I had the text all oriented the correct way!  Let's just say I made a lot of scraps out of that fat quarter!  :)

I did have fun adding some buttons to the top of each tree, and some handquilting in white perle cotton around the outside of each block.

I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful weekend and wishing all my quilty friends the Happiest of Holidays!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas Bowties

While doing a little tidying up in my sewing room earlier this week, I decided to use up some of my Christmas fabric scraps to make some bowtie blocks.

I enjoy making a few now and then!

I do love these penguins in their hats and scarves!

I don't remember when I started making these 6 inch bowtie blocks - sometime earlier this year - but I have 42 of them now.  And that's pretty good since I only make four or so a month!  Not nearly enough for a good-sized quilt, but headed in the right direction.  I'll definitely continue making these into 2018! 

Back next Saturday with my Rainbow Scrap Challenge achievements for this year and plans for the next year!

Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

I Like Thursday #61 - Lots to Like!

We had a very enjoyable pre-Christmas weekend with our kids this last weekend.  The weather held for us so that driving was easy, and we shared lots of good food, conversation, and played a bunch of games - always one of our favorite things to do when we are together!

I liked seeing their cars parked in our driveway!

We got out the Wii while they were here, and bowled many games.

Another favorite game of ours is Blokus.  Have you played it?

My younger son is a master at this game!  We figure he must have gotten all the genes for spatial awareness.  :)

Meanwhile, this fun fat quarter bundle arrived in the mail!

Thanks go to my quilty friend, Vicki, of Vicki's Crafts and Quilting, who alerted me to the cute penguin fabric and the coordinating fat quarters at Connecting Threads!  The bundle is called "Penguins Love Colors."  I think this will be fun to play with in the new year!

I gave in to the urge to bake this week, and I like this recipe that I found for a small batch of cut-out sugar cookies.  For me, it made 1 1/2 dozen, which is a good size for us because then we won't eat too many!

I love this little pouch that a quilty friend gave me!

It's made out of two 10 inch squares of fabric, sewn right sides together, and then turned and top-stitched.  Then the corners are folded over and tacked down to make an opening to thread the drawstring through.

Happy Thursday!  I hope you're having a great week!  I'll be joining in with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color for I Like Thursday!

Improv Stripes Revisited

Ever since I made this little quilt back in the summer...

during Debbie's Improv Stripes QAL, I've known that I wanted to play more with this kind of sewing.

When a sweet friend gave me a bunch of Kona scraps leftover from a quilt she recently finished, I decided I would use them to create some more Improv Stripes!

Although this isn't all of what she gave me, this is what I started with.  I wish I knew the names of each fabric, but I don't!  Kona is so creative with their names.  There are two shades of blue - a royal and a periwinkle, two turquoise-y fabrics, and two greens - a darker and a lighter sort of lime.  They are really pretty together!

First, I cut a bunch of wonky, wedge-shaped stripes out of the 4 inch wide pieces.

Then, I began sewing stripes together, randomly matching colors until I had groups of seven stripes sewn together.  Two of these blocks were sewn together to form a roughly 5 x 6 inch rectangle.

I also added some longer, skinnier stripes to the sides of a couple blocks, just to see what might happen.  

This is definitely just meant for playing with, and is a "Who knows where it will end up?" kind of project!  The blues and greens are refreshing to sew with, after finishing up my Christmas projects!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

A Potato Chip Project

You know - where you can't eat, I mean *make* just one!

Back in November, I saw Sandra's tutorial for these adorable wonky tree mug rugs, and I knew they would be perfect for the gift I needed to take to my quilt group's December get together.

I had some fun fat quarters of holiday fabric with names like Cookie Exchange, Holly's Tree Farm, and Silent Christmas, which I thought would work really nicely for these mug rugs.

So I got busy!

Do you see the mug I found to go with the mug rugs?  It's so perfect for this fabric!  More inspiration!

But I couldn't stop at two; I had to keep going!

I had fun varying the backings and bindings for each front - each one had to be contrasting!

Four mug rugs, two for my quilt group gift and two gifts for family members.  Definitely fun to make!

And there are scraps leftover, too - I wonder what they will become!  :)

Sharing at Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap.