Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Hodgepodge Quilt

My husband walked into my sewing room the other day and asked what I was working on.  I told him I was sewing together a hodgepodge of blocks to make "something."  So that's what I'm calling this quilt!  The Hodgepodge Quilt.

Inspired by Cynthia, and her quest to make orphan blocks into scrappy quilts the last few weeks, I decided to pull out some orphan blocks of my own and see what I could come up with.  Last year, for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I stitched up a bunch of Double Four Patch blocks using 2 1/2 inch squares and 4 inch squares.

I really struggled with what to do with these blocks, and tried lots of different layouts, but never really found anything I was happy with, and ended up just putting the blocks away again each time.

After reading some of Cynthia's posts about her orphan blocks, I got my pile out and sorted these blocks into warm and cool colors.  I decided to keep working with the cool colors, and set the warm colors aside.

Earlier this week,  I put these blocks up on my design wall.  I also added some 8 1/2 inch squares of light blue Pearl Bracelets, to make the layout 4 x 5.

So far, this measured only about 32 x 40, and I knew that just wouldn't be big enough for anyone to get any use out of.   So then I thought about my big collection of orange peel blocks, and wondered if they could become a border for this set of center blocks.

This was starting to look like something!  What about adding some sashing to that left side and bottom?


Trying not to overthink this whole project, I just started sewing, with the 4 patch blocks first, and then the orange peel borders.

Now it looks like I will just need to add something in that one empty space on the left.  A chunk of navy blue, perhaps?

I'm just going to keep stitching, and I'll show you how it all ends up next week!  Meanwhile, I'm linking up with Oh Scrap! at Cynthia's blog, Quilting is More Fun than Housework.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Purple Sewing for January

Purple has been the color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2017.  While continuing to work on finishing up last year's projects, I've had fun trying some new things for this year.

This week, I had a chance to draw up a design for a string quilt I would like to try making.

It will be helpful to have this plan for the different string blocks I'll need before I go too much farther with making them!  If I continue with this design, I only need four complete blocks out of red (for the center), and all the rest will be half of the color and half low volume neutrals.  The uncolored spaces are string blocks made entirely of my low volume scraps.

This month I've made four purple blocks, and I'm going to need eight.  I guess I'd better get back to work!

I also now have a small collection of Maple Leaves and Nine Patches, including some in purple.

I'm also still playing with monkey blocks this year, and here are my purples.

For more fun scrappy, rainbow projects, check out the Rainbow Scrap Challenge linky at SoScrappy every Saturday.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I Like Thursday #15 - the Texas Edition

This past week, my hubby and I took a trip to Texas!  We are both retired, and thought a mid-January get away sounded like a fun thing to do.  Since Mike's sister and her husband are living the RV life as "Winter Texans," we thought we'd check out what that was like.  

I liked Texas!

I liked visiting a place where flowers are growing, even in mid-January.

We spent a couple of days in San Antonio, where we wandered the Riverwalk, and enjoyed being out doors in 70-ish degrees!

I liked eating yummy Mexican food outdoors, and feeding the ducks.  One of them even came up right next to our table and pecked on my husband's pant leg for more food.  Obviously, this was not the first time some humans had fed him from their table!

We spent some time visiting the Alamo, and I liked learning a little bit about the history of this place.  It's interesting how the city grew up around the old mission, but people had the foresight to save the buildings and preserve them for us to see and hear the story of the famous battle.

The next few days we spent down at the Gulf Coast, near South Padre Island, where my SIL and BIL are camped out for a few months.  We went out on the water for dolphin watching, and saw many other fun creatures as well!

These pelicans know when the fishing boats come in, and they boisterously ask for food from the fishermen.

I liked this collection of carved wood pelicans I saw at a shop, and wished I had a way to bring one home.  I guess a photo will have to do!

We did see some dolphins, and some of the other creatures from the bottom of the ocean.  I even got to hold one!  I'm sure he was scared to death of me.  I was glad when they put him back into his natural habitat.

I liked this view of all the high rises along South Padre Island, and the people enjoying the beach - in January!

I liked putting my feet in the Gulf of Mexico!

And finding treasures...

It was a good trip, a nice get away, and now I'm glad to be home! ☺

Hope you've been having a great week!  Don't forget to check out more things to like on Thursday with LeeAnna over at Not Afraid of Color

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Oh, the lure of a new project...

I wasn't planning on this...

but one of my scrappy partners in crime, Cathy over at Crazy by Design, shared last week or so that she was going to make a Book Shelf quilt.  When I asked her about it, she sent me this link to a Craftsy tutorial for making a book shelf block.

Well, that did it!  After checking out the tutorial, off I went to my scrap bin to pull out the strips that were needed to make one.

Okay, I made two!

These blocks are fun, and much simpler than I expected. I will definitely be making more of them!  After I got started, I began thinking about the different fun things that I could try - like how to make a book that is leaning, or books that are laying down versus standing up.  It might be fun to add some other items to the books shelves, too.  Maybe a plant or a stuffed animal?  (This could get way out of hand!)  

I know my blocks need more work - like something that actually looks like a shelf for the books to be sitting on?! - but I'm going to keep having fun trying different things!

For more scrappy enabling, I mean, fun, be sure to check out Oh Scrap at Quilting is More Fun than Housework today!

And since these blocks definitely represent a "Drop Everything and Make It" moment for me, I'm linking up with Sandra over at mmmquilts for her new DrEAMi link party on Jan 28th!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Snow Monkeys

Do flowery purple monkeys even like the snow?

I'm not sure!

This purple monkey joined his purple friends - 

in the monkey bin down in my sewing room.

There are 30 of them now!  This is probably a good place for keeping them out of trouble.

If you like rainbow scrappy inspiration, check out the link up at SoScrappy today, for ScrapHappy Saturday!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I Like Thursday #14 - the Colorful Edition

First of all, thank you to everyone for your good wishes and prayers for my MIL.  She is doing much better this week, and can express that she wants to get stronger and go home, and that is making us feel a lot better, too!

This week, I've been looking around for some color to brighten up the gray, brown, and white of the winter days here in Colorado.  And I didn't have to look far!

I love these little scissors!  I keep them in my little sewing basket next to the chair where I do my hand sewing.  They were a gift from a friend a few years ago, and they make me ridiculously happy when I have a chance to use them!

This morning I decided to clean out my sock drawer.  A silly little job, but one that really needed to be done! And I found these - 

Aren't they fun?  I can wear them for any holiday or celebration.   When I was teaching, my 5th graders loved it when I wore silly socks, especially these.

Speaking of my teaching career - I have a pretty big collection of picture books that I used for all kinds of reading and writing lessons.  I brought home all of the books that I purchased with my own money, thinking that there would be times when I would want them.  (One of these days I will have a grand-baby or two to read aloud to, but not yet!) I was looking through them the other day and came across this one - I Love You the Purplest!

It's about a mom with two little boys who are always in competition for which one is the best at one thing or another.  At bedtime, they each ask her which one she loves the most.  To one of them she replies -

Such beautiful language!  Love. It.

I also love the color of my red chair in the living room.

It's my first ever Ikea purchase!  (about 3 years ago or so, when Ikea came to Denver.)  It's so comfortable, bright, and happy.  And it looks great with Christmas quilts draped over it!

I have a small collection of houses that are fun.

They are all gifts from people over the years.  The littlest one is my favorite.  It's painted on a piece of old brick.  So creative!

And I really like my blue suitcase.

It's color makes it easy to recognize when we're at the baggage claim at the airport.  Plus, getting it out means we're going on a trip!  (which we are, this week! Yay!)  I'm sure there will be many things I find to like on this trip to include in my next week's post!

Happy Thursday!  I hope you're having a great week!  Be sure to check out more things to like over at LeeAnna's blog, Not Afraid of Color.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

I did it!

Back in September, I participated in Cynthia's Quilty Orphan Adoption, and shortly after that received a package from Susan at Mrs. Pepper.  The package included all of the pieces and parts to make a Schnibbles mini quilt called McGuffey.

Susan had done a wonderful job organizing all of the parts for the quilt with notes about what section they were for, and from her blog I found a picture of what the finished quilt should look like.  Then I started to put it together, pretty much figuring it out from her notes and the picture.

I started with this:

And, as of today, I have this:

Yes, I did it!  And I am pretty pleased with the result, too!  The next step is to get it quilted, and then in April this little project is going to a silent auction for a local charity that supports the medical needs of babies and children in our area.  This will be my third quilt to donate to this charity!

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

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Little Bit of Purple

There has only been a smidgen of purple sewing going on at my house this week, for one reason or another. I added a couple of half purple and half neutral string blocks to my collection.

To get the star design that I'm after, I think I will need more full color blocks than half and half, so it's a good thing I have lots more strings to sew up!

I definitely need to do some math and get a plan going so that I don't end up with unusable blocks!

I also dug through my collection of orange peel blocks for the purple ones I made last year, and put them together to make a little mini for my favorite snowman mug to sit on.

As is typical for me, it's hard to get the pretty purple color to come through in my photos.  ;(

I like to change out my mugs for the season every year.  After Christmas, I get out the snowmen!

This little guy has a cute purple, striped hat and polka dot scarf, so he gets the place of honor!

Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I Like Thursday #13 - the Hospital Edition

I have to admit this has not been the best of weeks for finding things that I like.  We have spent hours and hours with my MIL in the hospital, waiting for news, hoping they will figure out what is going on, with fingers crossed that she will get better and life can go on.  Some days she is better, and others - like yesterday - not so much.  I hope today the news is better!

So, how to go about finding things to include in my "I Like Thursday" post?  What about things I like at the hospital, in spite of the reason for being there?

I definitely like and appreciate the sweet nurses who have been caring for my MIL.  They speak to her gently, look her right in the eyes, call her by name, and tell her what they are doing.  They do their best to figure out how to help her when something not so great is happening, and they answer our questions, too.

When you spend hours upon hours, and days upon days, in the hospital, it's hard to eat right.  But we discovered that this hospital has a nice cafeteria with a great salad bar.  And inexpensive, too!  My husband and I both got a salad, and I bought a bottle of water, and it came to under $5!  

Hospitals these days, seem to have all kinds of interesting art work!  I found this on the wall of one of the waiting rooms we spent time in the other day.

I wonder if I could make a quilt that looks like this.  I've never done any curved piecing, but it is on my list to try this year.  I should probably start a bit simpler than this - but it is definitely some fun inspiration!

When we get home from a long day at the hospital, strangely enough, in spite having done nothing much more than sit, we are exhausted.  Although there is lots to be done around the house, we mostly veg out with something on Netflix. 

We just joined Netflix in October, so we're still discovering what we can watch on it, but a few of the things we like - No Commercials,  and a respite from this crazy political season!  (Although I have to admit, I am living in "The West Wing" fantasy world as I enjoy rewatching all the episodes of my favorite show.  I wish Martin Sheen could be the president! LOL!)

And one last thing I have found to change up our dinners a bit - veggie noodles!  Have you tried them yet?

My husband is diabetic, and carbs are not his friend, so we've been looking for ways to eat more veggies in place of carbs.  These zucchini noodles are perfect!  I have been sauteing them in a little olive oil, grinding some pepper in, and then finishing them up with a bit of water until they are the right consistency for noodles. Then we top them with homemade spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese, and yum!  I know there is a little gadget you can get that will take a zucchini and make noodles out of it, but I haven't purchased one yet.  It was fun to find that you can buy these already shredded zucchinis at our local grocery store!

Happy Thursday! Hope you are all having a wonderful week!  Please be sure to check out my friend LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color for more  "I Like Thursday" inspiration!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Some Hand Quilting and a Christmas Present

In our neck of the woods, it as been really cold and snowy this week.  Perfect for cuddling under a quilt and watching something on Netflix.  So, why not cuddle under a quilt that is being quilted?  Again, perfect!

I have finished the hand quilting on all nine blocks of my Log Cabin quilt and moved on to the borders.

I've never done very much hand quilting, so I put my stitches somewhere in between "Big Stitch" and "primitive!"  But it is definitely something I've ended up enjoying very much!

I've also loved revisiting every favorite fabric scrap that I made these blocks out of, as I stitch from one color to the next.

The 6 inch wide borders are made of the yellow and white polka dots that you can see best in the first picture.  I've been trying to decide on a design that I could quilt in the borders, besides more straight lines. Maybe some simple flowers?  I need to do some research and thinking about this next step!

This week, my Christmas present to myself arrived in the mail!  I've done a lot of quilting with my walking foot in the last few years, but I'm excited to learn more, from THE expert!  

Sharing at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching and Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  Check out those links for some quilty inspiration!

Friday, January 6, 2017

RSC 2017 - Moving Ahead

The stars have all been aligned this week, and while I don't yet have an actual finished quilt for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2016, my Scrap Jar Stars quilt is an "almost finished" flimsy, and it's looking pretty good!  :)

This just needs one last outside border to finish up the 9 patches, and it will be ready to quilt!

I also played with my Maple Leaf blocks a little bit this week.  I made a purple one, and then thought since I am in the nine patch mode, it might be fun to make a nine patch alternate block to go along with it.

These really are very pretty purple fabrics, but I have a hard time photographing purple, for some reason!  

After making these, I decided to make some more partners to go with my other Maple Leaf blocks.

This could be fun!  What have you been up to this week? For more rainbow inspiration, check out ScrapHappy Saturday at SoScrappy!