Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Tale of Three Quilters

Okay - maybe four quilters were technically involved in this quilt.  Because - the whole thing started when Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun than Housework held her twice a year Quilty Orphan Adoption, and I commented on Susan's post about a project she didn't want to work on anymore.

Well, pretty soon a package came in the mail for me, and it was Susan's project - all cut out and organized perfectly to make it easy to finish up.

I started with this -

and had a finished flimsy in January.

Meanwhile, I won a prize of long arm quilting from Carole at From My Carolina Home

so I sent the flimsy and backing off to Carole to be quilted.  It came back last weekend, and this week, I stitched on the binding to finish everything up.

I'm so pleased with this finish!  The quilting is perfect for it - hearts and swirls in a pretty brown thread that has a bit of a shine to it.

I had told Carole that this quilt was going to be donated to a Silent Auction to benefit a local charity - the B.A.B.Y. Foundation.  And, surprise to me - she generously included a second quilt when she sent this one back to me, another one that can go to the silent auction.  Thank you, Carole!  It's such a cute one - an ABC I Spy quilt. 

I'll be passing these two little quilts on to my friend (who is a quilter, too, by the way!) who volunteers for the B.A.B.Y. Foundation and in April I'll get to see them on display at the dinner and silent auction.  I think we'll make some money for them, don't you?

Sharing at Cynthia's Sunday link-up, Oh Scrap!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Drop Everything and Make It - or at least Try!

I love the term coined by Sandra at MMM! Quilts, that some projects are DrEAMi moments - Drop Everything and Make It!

I'm admitting right now, though, that I am more of a Drop Everything and TRY it kind of gal.  My squirrel moments don't always end up in completed projects.  (Like last month's DrEAMi project.  Still mulling over where I want that one to go!)

So this month, I decided to participate in a new QAL, the PlayImprov QAL over at Elm Street Quilts.  This seemed tailor-made for someone like me who has been fascinated by improv quilting, but just didn't know where to start.  I posted about my initial block making try in this post, and you can read lots more about this QAL at Elm Street Quilts here.

The first block we made was a wonky log cabin.  Here's mine -

This week's prompt was to make improv triangles.  The idea is to NOT use your rotary cutter and rulers, but to cut odd shaped pieces with your scissors, or even to use leftover bits and pieces to create these triangles.

Since I'm using a set of Kona solids for this project, I just cut a few triangular sort of pieces, and stitched away!

I'll admit to some measuring and trimming up, but I didn't know any other way to make these fit into this - 

Because one decision I did make about this QAL was that I didn't want to end up with another set of blocks that required more work to become something finished!  Lol!  So, I thought, why not start with my log cabin as the center, and add on as I tried new things each week?  I think this will work!

Trying something a little out of my comfort zone - without a real plan - who knew it could be so much fun?!  

Linking up with Sandra at MMM! Quilts for her monthly DrEAMi linkup.  See you there!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Working on a Finish

When I was making the blocks for this 16 Patch quilt last year, during the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2016, I knew it wasn't going to always belong to me.  I didn't know who it was for yet, but sometimes quilts take awhile to let you know who needs them the most.

I enjoyed everything about making this quilt - the simple patchwork, my favorite fabric scraps, using low volume backgrounds, and the challenge of deciding how to lay it out.

This week, I know who this quilt belongs to.  So it is time to finish it up!

I chose this gray pin dot for the backing - 

and got the layers put together and basted - always my least favorite part of the process.

I'm quilting it with my walking foot in my go-to quilting "design" - diagonal cross-hatching.

(Note to self - it's time to dig into your new book, Walk, by Jacquie Gering - and learn some new walking foot quilting techniques!)

I'll be giving this quilt to my sweet sister-in-law, who lost her husband in a very tragic accident last summer. When she reminded me that their wedding anniversary was coming up, I knew it was time to finish this quilt and get it to her.  Maybe it will give her some little bit of comfort.  I hope...

Now back to work!  Linking up to ScrapHappy Saturday over at SoScrappy.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I Like Thursday #19 - Hiking

Living as close to the Rocky Mountains as I do, hiking has always been a favorite activity of mine to do with my husband or friends.  Sometimes, though, there isn't time to drive a ways for a hike, and something a little closer will have to do.  Lucky for me, our town has turned a set of old gravel pits into a natural area, and the other day I enjoyed an afternoon hike there.

It was a beautiful day, probably 65 degrees out, in February!  Other people were there, too, enjoying the sun, walking their dogs, fishing, or just sitting on a bench and enjoying the view.

I'm always on the lookout for birds - on this day I found geese and ducks.

There are always interesting sights - this log reminded me of a pelican!

This time of year, the grasses and reeds are dried and brown, but still beautiful in so many ways.

And someone had created some Valentine art!

I sure enjoyed my walk at River's Edge.  A little bit of nature in the middle of the city!

Thanks for visiting my I Like Thursday post!  For more Thursday inspiration, be sure to visit LeeAnna's post at Not Afraid of Color, and also check out the other blogs she has linked at the bottom of her post.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Couple of QALs

I always enjoy seeing the different kinds of Block of the Week or Month projects and Quilt Alongs that my quilty friends are participating in.  Although I don't join in very often, I came across two in the last week that I couldn't resist.

Patty, over at Elm Street Quilts, is hosting the Play Improv QAL, and it sounded just enough different from anything I've ever done that I knew I wanted to give it a try.  

This is a QAL where the goal is to play with color, shape, and fabric, but without patterns or any other specific requirements.  Patty is giving a prompt every Monday, and from there, it's up to the participants to decide where to take it.

Improv piecing is still pretty new to me, and I've been wanting to dig into it a little more, as well as play with solid colors that are a bit different from what I usually sew with.  A few weeks ago, I picked up some fat quarters of Kona Pool, Ruby, Sprout, Canary, and Cream.  (There's some navy in that pile, too, but it's for something else!)

The first prompt, from this past Monday, was to make a wonky log cabin block.  Patty included some examples and tips for this type of sewing, and then it was up to me to see what I could do.  This was fun! My first attempt at a wonky improv log cabin measures about 10 x 12 inches.  

I'm looking forward to seeing what's coming up for tomorrow's prompt!

I also decided to join in with Jen and Jan's Mini Blog Hop and QAL, because I always love to make minis and this one looked like a fun one to try!  This one is hosted by Jen of A Dream and a Stitch and Janice of Color, Creating, and Quilting.  You can read about this QAL at either link.

Jen has created an adorable pattern called Quilter's Laundry Day for us to make, and then the plan is to share it in a Blog Hop on March 10.

This pattern looked perfect for me to pull fabrics from my scraps and stash, which is my favorite way to create, so I got started right away!

One of the first steps is to make a mini quilt that hangs on the line - 

and not long after that, Section A was complete!

I'll be back with my reveal post on March 10th!

Looking for more fun sewing inspiration and ideas?  Check out the link ups over at Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework today!

Friday, February 17, 2017

My Week in Aqua and Purple

 This week in my sewing room has been all about bits and pieces.  

I started off the week thinking about my String Star design - 

I actually didn't plan to make any aqua blocks for this quilt, but it did need a few more purples, so I finished up making those.  Now I have the eight purple blocks needed for the four corners of the star.

I also just counted up that I'll need 20 low volume string blocks for this plan, and I've only made one!  Guess that would be something to work on next!

Meanwhile, since I seem to be making different 6 inch blocks in various colors, I decided to try a bow tie block.  Here's an aqua one to add to my collection.

And then I added a purple bow tie to the mix, too.

I'm not sure where this collection of blocks is going, so I guess I'll just let it evolve and see what happens!

What have you been up to this week?  I'm looking forward to finding out at Scrap Happy Saturday over at SoScrappy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I Like Thursday #18 - the heART edition

It's just about Thursday again, so time for another edition of things I like on Thursday!  Hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day!  I live in the (not so small anymore) town of Loveland, Colorado.  With that name, you can imagine that we have special things going on around here when it comes to Valentine's Day. Actually, there are lots of things I like about Loveland, and the one I'm thinking about right now involves our public art program that is evident just about everywhere you go around our town.

Yesterday, I took my husband Mike with me on a scavenger hunt for examples of the public art we like so much.  These photos are from his camera.

Found on an empty wall in our little downtown.  People have painted tiles to create this mural.

For Valentine's Day, you can order a heart to be painted with a special message and posted on a pole somewhere around town.  If you look closely, you can see several of them.  They are all up and down the main roads through town.  It's always fun to read the messages as you drive through town this time of year, although you have to be careful to watch the road and not get too distracted!

These hearts are sponsored by businesses around town.  There are many of them, and it's quite a scavenger hunt to find them all.  I love the fun differences between them all.
We have lots of public sculpture as well.  There is a park not too far from our house that is dedicated to sculpture, and it is one of our favorite places to go for a walk.  The sculptures range from modern to funny to sweet to whimsical.  Here are a few of my favorites:

This guy's tiny head and body, and giant legs and feet just crack me up!

This one is found in the Children's Sculpture Garden at the park, and has been there since 1992.

Love these rabbits! They were newly installed in 2016.

This one always makes me happy - children having fun.  It was sponsored by a family who lost their daughter in an airplane crash years ago.

And one last photo - we have painted utility boxes all over the place.  This one celebrates the history of the cherry orchards that we used to have around here.  I don't think there are any left, which is kind of sad, but we still have a summer Cherry Pie Festival that is fun to go to.

Years ago, Loveland citizens voted in a 1% tax for the arts, and that is where most all of this public art comes from.  I love that about our town, and really enjoy the opportunities we have to see all different kinds of art.

Hope you are having a great week!  Be sure to visit LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color for more I Like Thursday fun!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

I was in the mood for a mini...

So I made one!

It needed to be "sweet" for February, so I pulled out a mini charm pack of Vintage Picnic by Bonnie and Christine and a fat quarter of some Modern Background Paper.

The block is called "Circle of Squares," tutorial found here.  I got to it by way of Kathy who is making these blocks for her Rainbow Scrap Challenge project.  It's a block I've been wanting to try, and is super simple. I can definitely see making a whole quilt of these blocks, but I know I won't get to it anytime soon.

Another fat quarter from Bonnie and Christine worked for the backing and binding!

Happy Valentines Day!

Love to all of you, my quilty friends!  See you over at Oh Scrap! for some quilty inspiration today!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Aquamarine for February

Angela at SoScrappy has chosen aquamarine for February for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, so this week I added to my collection of maple leaves and nine patches.

I was having so much fun with these refreshing colors that I decided to make a 6 inch slab block to match them!

Making this slab block was kind of like stitching up a mini scrap vortex, all focused on one color, relaxing, and with no rules!  Just square it all up at the end.

So then I thought, why not make a few more to match my other leaves and nine patches!

Looks like I need to fill one more spot!

Sharing with the ScrapHappy Saturday linky over at SoScrappy!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I like Thursday #17 - the Sing Along Edition

Do you like Musical Theater?  I LOVE it!

Some friends and I have season tickets to our local dinner theater - a fun place called the Midtown Arts Center.  We've been members for years, and have attended so many wonderful performances there.  We've seen everything from "Cats" to "Aida" to "The Buddy Holly Story."  One of the things I enjoy about our dinner theater is that the actors are often also the wait staff, so you get to talk to them before the show and during the intermission.

Last week, we saw a show called "Million Dollar Quartet."

It's a show based on the true story of four famous musicians getting together in a recording studio for just one day back in 1956 and playing music together.  Even though quite a bit of the music was from "before my time" (lol!) it was still fabulous, especially because the four actors on stage played all of the music themselves and they were so good!!!

My husband doesn't go along for these shows, but I can talk him into getting tickets for other performances now and then.  Our favorite is Jersey Boys, which we've seen twice in Las Vegas, and also enjoyed the movie.

There is nothing like a show or movie that you can sing along with!  Here are a few of our favorites: 

Coming up this spring, Midtown Dinner Theater is performing the show, "Hair!"  This will be a first for me!  :)

As always, a big "Thank you!" to LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color for inspiring me to think about the good things in life and post about them every Thursday.  Be sure to check out LeeAnna's Thursday post, too!