Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I Like Thursday #45 - This and That

Thursday has rolled around again, and I'm joining in with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color in celebrating the good things in our lives.  Here's my list of likes that I've been compiling this week!

It seems like the big thing for the more well-known quilt bloggers to do nowadays is to write a newsletter once a month or so, and get readers to sign up for it.  Have you noticed that, too?  I've subscribed to several, but most of them I never read, except for "The Scrap Basket" which is sent out by Debbie of A Quilter's Table.

Debbie always showcases a certain type of quilt technique and includes lots of examples to check out.  Plus she links up interesting articles to read.  Recently I read this one - Colour Post: A Glossary of Colour, in Pincushions.  This post comes from Andrea Jackson, and her blog is called 3rd Story Workshop.

I learned a lot from reading this article about color theory, and LOVED the pincushions she made to illustrate all the concepts!  So, of course, I had to make one of these little pincushions for myself -

I dug into my growing collection of solid scraps, and chose (what I think are) three analogous colors to make this quick and easy little project.  Here's the back - it's kind of fun, too!

I definitely like my quilty friends and blog readers, too, because - 

In other likes this week - I liked this book that I just finished.  The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown.

It's about three grown-up sisters who have all returned home to help out their mother and father while their mom is going through cancer treatment.  Their father is an expert on Shakespeare, so there are all kinds of Shakespeare references throughout the book. Because I grew up in a family of three sisters, I could relate to a lot of the relationship dynamics that these women struggled with.  I enjoyed finding out how their stories resolved at the end of the book!

I also like this way of grilling veggies and fish that my husband and I devised this week!  These foil "boats" make clean-up so easy, and cook the veggies, peppers, and fish perfectly.   Everything was very tasty!

I like this fun photo of my mom and her friend who came to visit, when we took them to the sculpture park that I've shared here before.  This is the place in our town where you take all of your out-of-town visitors! :)

I like my oldest son's new car - a Kia Soul.  Don't you love the color?!

Our younger son bought one of these a couple years ago, and we all liked it so much that Older Son decided to get one, too, when he needed a new car.  Now we are a family with "soul!"

Hope you are having a good week!  Of course, I have been glued to the Hurricane Harvey news and keep everyone affected in my thoughts and prayers.  I've been trying to decide what would be the best thing I could do to help.  I know there are quilt and blanket drives going on, but there are also quilters online who say quilts aren't helpful at this time.  What do you think?

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Monday Minis Update

I've been having fun all summer sewing along with Temecula Quilt Company and their Marvelous Mini Mondays!  It has at times been a challenge to sew with such tiny pieces, but I've been pretty happy with my results.

Most of the blocks have had a traditional center block that measures 2 inches, then surrounded by two 1 inch borders.  You can see below that this block turned out a bit wonky after I added the borders - 

but I'm just going to be okay with that because, after all, these little bits and pieces are leftover from who knows what that I would not have used otherwise!

Last week we made a log cabin block that I really like!

I've made a total of 17 blocks so far, and I'm thinking 16 would make a nice mini of some sort.  We were supposed to make five 36 patch blocks, but I've only made 2 of them.  I'm hoping the suggested setting will be shown soon so I can make a decision about whether or not I will make the rest of the 36 patch blocks!  

I'm enjoying these colors and working on getting a balance of orange, turquoise, light blue, and lime green throughout.  Hmmm - if we need sashing, what might work?  I'll be thinking about that!

Linking up - Quilting is More Fun than Housework - Oh Scrap !

Friday, August 25, 2017

This rainbow has two sides...

This garden of bright and happy marigolds grows in front of my house every summer - the marigolds reseed themselves and I love their color and smell.

 The table runner I decided to make with the brown/red/orange/yellow/ and low volume maple leaves and nine patches I've been making this year as a part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge comes from these "late summer" colors.  Thanks to a commenter on my post from last Saturday for suggesting that is what I should call this!

At first I thought it might need a border, but then decided I was happy with the size and shape of the table runner as is - about 12 x 30.

When I was looking around for backing and binding, I remembered the crumb blocks I've been making each month, and realized that they could make a fun backing!

So this table runner is reversible - and there's a rainbow on the other side, too!

The binding is from a red with tiny stars fat quarter that I found at the quilters' garage sale a few weeks ago.

Quilting with a diagonal grid following the shape of the blocks gave the table runner a nice texture!

I'm going to enjoy the Late Summer/Early Fall feel to this one!

Linking up at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday to see lots of rainbow inspiration!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

I Like Thursday #44 - Visitors

My mom is visiting this week, and while there has not been much online/computer time, there have been other fun things going on that I have liked very much!

Eclipse watching!  (Wasn't it fascinating?!  95% here in Northern Colorado!)

Peach pie baking! (and eating! Yum!)

Puzzle putting together!

We've also managed a round of golf, a walk around the sculpture garden here in town, and a picnic lunch in Estes Park.  Busy, busy!

All in all a good visit!  Hope you are enjoying your week!  Be sure to check out all the lovely I Like Thursday bloggers courtesy of LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Stripes in the Wild

My Improv Stripes quilt is finished, and I took it up into the mountains the other day to take a few fun photos of it.

I just love this little quilt - almost to the point of ridiculousness - is that a word?  I was trying to figure out why.

I love that it is made completely of scraps - including the batting, backing, and binding - from other projects. I started with the goal of using up some gray solid yardage that I had, and I mixed it with light prints in pinks, yellows, greens, and blues.  The backing is a lighter gray with tiny white dots and the binding is Kona Daffodil.

I had fun with the quilting.  It is my "modern" version of a Baptist Fan design - curves going one direction for awhile, and then turning and going in another direction.  My Hera marker and walking foot worked great for making this quilting easy.

I loved participating in the QAL sponsored and inspired by Debbie at A Quilter's Table.  It has been a lot of fun to see what other quilters have done with the technique that Debbie showed us - every project was so different and interesting to see!

My improv stripes turned out about 34 x 35 - just a bit more rectangular than square.  It would really make a sweet baby quilt, but I don't have any babies coming along at the moment who need a quilt, so I will set it aside until someone does!

And one more thing!  I love that I know I'm not done with improv stripes.  I want to try it again, with different fabrics, and making my stripes a bit more wonky and uneven for fun, inspired by all of the other Improv Stripes I've seen in the last couple of weeks!

Hope you are having a lovely weekend!  I'm linking up with Cynthia over at Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Sunday's Oh Scrap!

Friday, August 18, 2017

I'm not really ready for fall, but...

I started making maple leaf blocks last fall when I joined in with Carole at From My Carolina Home for her Autumn Jubilee QAL and made this mini -

After finishing that one up, I had a maple leaf leftover and decided to play with these blocks in a rainbow of colors!  So - they became one of my block projects for the 2017 Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

I started making nine patches to match the maple leaves after awhile, and this week I added some low volume blocks to the collection.  I love the look of these in the golds and light browns!

I had been trying to decide what I wanted to do with these blocks, and finally made a decision this week.  

The cooler and wetter weather we've been experiencing this month has made it feel very fall-like around here, so that got me in the mood to make a new fall table runner for my dining room table.

I started by dividing my maple leaves and nine patches into the fall-like colors and the "others."  

Maybe those others will become a project for next spring, or sometime in the winter when I'm tired of snow and brown grass and need some color!

Meanwhile, I'm taking the fall colors and stitching them together like this - 

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I Like Thursday #43 - Another Kind of Crafter

My husband, Mike, loves the game of golf.  He enjoys playing it, watching it on TV, analyzing it, talking about it.  His enthusiasm is contagious, so I have learned to play, too.  I enjoy playing, but my husband is Joyful about it!

An extension of his love of the game has been learning to make his own golf clubs.  I was thinking about his hobby recently, and comparing it to my hobby of quilting.

There are lots of catalogs and websites with golf components to pour over.  Which brand is better?  Is there free shipping?  What color shaft goes best with this club head?  Who has the best price on grips?

Special tools and a dedicated workspace are needed.  (He said to me, "Don't take a picture of this; it's messy!"  Guess what I replied?!)

Last week, he made me three new clubs, sure they will make a difference in my game!  Lol!  I'm glad I can enable him, since he is always supportive of me when I'm in need of new fabric for a project.

And just like with our quilts, these clubs are made to be used.  My pretty, shiny new clubs are full of grass, dirt, and even a few scratches now that I have used them a couple of times.  

I love them because Mike made them for me, and who knows?  Maybe they really will make a difference in my game! :)

I know this has been another tough and confusing week for many, and a hard one to find things to celebrate. Let's celebrate the people we love, and who love us.  That always helps me.

I'll be heading over to Not Afraid of Color to see what my I Like Thursday friends have been up to. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Scraps and Stripes

A big focus of my sewing this week was to get somewhere with my Improv Stripes blocks.  And I did!

It measures about 35 x 35, a small baby quilt size, and I think that's as far as I will go with it.  I met my goal of using up the gray solid that I started with, and combined it with "sherbert" colored scraps in shades of yellow, pink, green, and blue.

After making the initial few blocks, it was a good challenge to figure out how to fit them all together - the best kind of puzzle! You can see where I added a long stripe here or there, or sliced up a block I had made into smaller pieces to fill in a hole.  I definitely enjoyed this process! 

A little fussy-cutting makes a fun surprise here and there!

Today I pieced a backing for this quilt, and I hope to get the basting done tomorrow, so that quilting can begin.  

Yesterday I went to a garage sale and bought fabric!  I never do that, but this was being held by a local quilt guild which a friend of mine belongs to, and I knew everything there would be sewing related.

I got this gallon-sized Ziploc bag of fat quarters and yardage - anything I could stuff into it - for $10!

Here's what I found - 14 fat quarters - lots of neutrals plus a red and some greens.

Some fun Christmas trees on a light blue background - 

and this really cool piece - not sure what I'll do with it, but it will be fun to contemplate!

I don't have a huge stash, and I especially use up neutral/low volume fabric quickly, so I will enjoy having a few more choices for my next blocks and projects!

Linking up with Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun than Housework for her Sunday linky, Oh Scrap!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Low Volume Bowties

I've been using a lot of low volume fabrics as background fabrics for the various Rainbow Scrap Challenge
blocks I've been making this year.  I like the detail they add to a scrappy quilt, very different from using one constant background fabric.

So, using a low volume or neutral fabric as the star of the block sounded challenging to me!  What would you use for the background fabric so that there was enough contrast?

This week I pulled out a few low volumes to play with and decided to make some more bow tie blocks.

What seems to work for me is using a brighter white for the background so it stands apart from the neutral of the bow tie pieces.

These were relaxing and enjoyable to work on!  I like them mixed in with the more colorful blocks, too. There are 24 bow ties in my collection now - a long way from a quilt, but I'm not in a hurry.

Looking forward to seeing how other Rainbow Scrap Quilters have used their low volume fabrics this week at ScrapHappy Saturday, over at SoScrappy.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

I Like Thursday #42 - the sewing edition

This week I've been thinking about how much I like sewing!  I didn't use to like it at all, when I was growing up especially.  That's probably because I learned to make clothes first, and didn't ever enjoy it.  Getting involved in quilting changed all that, and learning how to make bags and pouches and mug rugs and coasters and... You get the picture!  I love all of it!

And the last few years, my sewing has taken me lots of good places.

Sewing even just a few minutes a day got me through my last (and most stressful) year of teaching before I could retire.  I'm thankful for that!

I've made lots of new friends through my quilt blog, and I'm enjoying meeting them, one at a time!

Hi, LeeAnna!
I really like participating in Kat and Cat Quilts' block drives for her charity, Covered in Love.  I don't finish big quilts very quickly, so contributing a few blocks at a time feels good.  If you're interested, here's a link to the July/August block drive details.

I like a challenge in my sewing now and then.  Here's one I've been participating in - the Temecula Quilt Company's Marvelous Monday Mini blocks.  These blocks are 4 inches square, so the center part is tiny! 1/2 inch HSTs can be very fiddly!  But I am sticking with it.  This week's block:

And a peek at my pile of pretty and scrappy tiny blocks!

I like my current Work in Progress, too - Improv Stripes, part of a quilt along with Debbie from A Quilter's Table.  I've posted about it a couple of times - it started with these simple stripey blocks.

Because it is an improv project, it looks different to me everyday, and every time I try a different layout! It is also challenging me because the blocks are all different sizes and require lots of thinking to figure out how they will go together!  I'm still working on that one hole you can see there in the photo below (where the carpet shows through), and then I think I will be ready to make these blocks into a quilt top.

I also wanted to do some embroidery this year, so I started working on this little sampler in April, and have made some progress!  I'm really liking it, and enjoying the slow-stitching process.  One day, it will turn into something, but I'm not in any hurry!

I hope you are finding things that soothe your soul this week (or mend it, if it needs mending)!  Join us at Not Afraid of Color for our Thursday celebration of things we like!