Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Friday, September 29, 2017

These monkeys want to dance!

Four orange-ish monkeys were made in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge orange month way back in 2016, and they have been patiently waiting for me to get them back out again so they could play with their friends.

I *finally* got some more Kona Maize which I have been using for the sashing between these very scrappy blocks!  (the scrap quilter's dilemma - when your scraps run out and you need more!)

I needed to cut some more scrappy cornerstones, so I went to the orange box first.

And a few more in some other colors.  I loved finding the last tiny bit of one of my favorite text prints!

Unleash your creativity and be inspiring!  :)

And here we are - all the monkeys playing nicely together!  But...

They said, "No way!  This traditional setting is boring!  We want to dance!"  Of course, I'm thinking, "How do I do that?"  And then I thought about Bonnie Hunter's tutorial for the Dancing Nine Patch quilt, and wondered if I could make that work for my monkey friends.  

And I think I figured it out! I already had the sashing sewn on, so it was just a matter of turning the blocks correctly, like this!  And I do like the way the cornerstones meet in the middle every so often.

Here is the layout as it is now - just a bit more fun!  (And it also has the benefit of giving me way fewer seams to match up, yay!)  After sewing the blocks together, I think a narrow inner border and wide outer border will be just what these monkeys need!

Sharing at So Scrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday. and
                Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

I Like Thursday #49 - Some Miscellaneous Likes

So this was happening at our house the other day -

The tree guys came to take down an old, dying Russian Olive tree in the next-door neighbor's yard.  You can see that the tree is very close to the fence between our yards, so some of the action was also in our yard.

I was kind of sad about it at first because this tree had been there for a long time and gave us a lot of shade, but it had actually gotten pretty ugly and dangerous to the houses because of a big split in the trunk.  I don't know if you can tell, but there is a beautiful green tree just on the other side of the old tree that has become the view from our window, and I'm loving it!

I liked their truck (it's purple!) and their business name, too!  We Love Trees!  I also liked seeing Mike "supervising!"

The other day we went to Boulder and drove past this painted cement wall.  I made Mike go back for a photo!  I like all the painted designs - they remind me of EPP projects I see people doing.

I've been enjoying this book, No Scrap Left Behind, by Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts.  She is the guru of scrap quilters and I love all of her projects.  I want to make one of each!  

I also like that I could check this book out of my local public library before deciding if I will buy it or not.  It does look like one I might want to own so I could refer back to it whenever I want.

I like planning a trip!  It's fun to send away for information and pour over the map.  You can find a lot of good stuff for traveling online, too, so I have lists of things to do, restaurants, etc.  I like looking forward to visiting one of my favorite places in the world!

Happy Thursday, friends!  I'm joining in with the I Like Thursday bloggers over at Not Afraid of Color. Thanks, as always, to LeeAnna, for gathering us together!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Still playing...

There was something I just had to try this week, after reading a tutorial on Improv Spikes by Debbie from A Quilter's Table.

I still had a pile of pink and peach Kona Cotton solids out on my cutting table, so I gave these fun little blocks a try.  All you really need are a print rectangle scrap and a neutral background rectangle scrap, and the spikes are born!  (I didn't take any in progress photos, but check out the tutorial to see Debbie's.)

I added one piece of bright green and one piece of peachy polka dots to my original plan, just to make this project more interesting.

This little mat ended up to be about 9.5" x 10.5", and although it looks a bit wonky in the photo, it is pretty close to square!

I love these pinky-orange bricks that made the perfect backing!

Maybe it would be fun to use this little piece to hold some hand stitching tools!

Hope you are enjoying a great weekend!  I'll be linking up to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework to see what other scrappy quilters have been up to this week!

Friday, September 22, 2017


One last little bowl of delicious orange cherry tomatoes from my garden before the end of the season - so yummy!

Every time I work with the color of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I look through my scraps and stash and have the same question, "Is this orange (or purple, or red, or...)?"

For example, this one - is it orange or is it brown? Or orange-ish-brown? :)

I'm not sure where this fabric came from.  I don't think I would have bought it, and it definitely isn't in any of my other projects.  Maybe someone offered to give it to me, and I just couldn't say no.

This week, I was making some of the September blocks for Kat and Cat Quilts' Covered in Love Block Drive (click HERE for more info), and I pulled this one out.  I thought it might be one of those that would look good paired with other fall fabrics, in a small amount.

I decided it did work!

So it grew on me, and I decided to use it another little project.

(More about this one later.)

And then it dawned on me - orange-ish brown is PUMPKIN!  Perfect!

Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I Like Thursday #48 - Going and Doing

Happy Fall, everyone!  As I do every Thursday, I'm joining in with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color to celebrate things I've liked in the past week.

I know that the first day of fall is technically tomorrow, but it has been seeming like fall around here for quite a few days now.  Cooler mornings, leaves falling, the sun going down so much earlier. It's just about time to bring out the hot tea and the quilts!

I like my little September angel sitting on my fall leaves table runner!

Last week, when we had to drive to Nebraska to attend the funeral of one of Mike's cousins, I liked this field of sunflowers that we passed.  It is definitely a September field, and not a spring or summer field!

September is when the new season starts at our local dinner theater, and my group of friends and I have season tickets again this year.  I really liked the first show of the season, "Once."  Have you seen it? Evidently it won Best Musical at the Tony awards in 2012.  

All of the music is played by the actors on stage - guitars, violins, drums, a cello, mandolin - lots of beautiful music!

Edited to say:  LeeAnna taught me how to add a YouTube video, so I'm trying this and hope it works!  :)

The song is called "Falling Slowly" - one of the lines begins "Raise your hopeful voice..."

Also this week, my book group and I went and listened to an author talk, part of the "Loveland Loves to Read" program.

I loved that the emcee began the evening by saying, "Welcome, Loveland Loves to Read-ers!" I also really liked hearing Anne Hillerman speak about her book, Spider Woman's Daughter.

In case you aren't familiar with Anne Hillerman, she is the daughter of Tony Hillerman who wrote 18 mysteries set in the Navajo country of Arizona and New Mexico.  After he passed away in 2008, Anne took over the series from her dad, and has now published 3 novels that continue the stories and main characters of her dad's books.  I always liked his books (recommended to me by my dad) and have enjoyed reading two of her novels so far.  She described them as mysteries that a grandmother could pass down to her young granddaughter (good stories, but nothing "questionable" in them, if you know what I mean)!

Hope you are all having a good week!  We have been watching Hurricane Maria make its way across Puerto Rico, hoping my niece and her family are safe.  I'n sending out positive thoughts and prayers for them, and all the people of the islands who have been impacted by two storms in a row.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Rainbow Scrap Jar Stars

I'm joining in with the Blogger's Quilt Festival, sponsored by Amy's Creative Side, to share my Rainbow Scrap Jar Stars quilt.

The 20 Scrap Jar Star blocks were made throughout 2016 as I followed along with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge monthly color choices.

The quilt flimsy was finished in March of this year, and the quilting and binding were finished in May.

My hubby and I had fun photographing my Rainbow Stars at Benson Sculpture Park in the city where I live, Loveland, Colorado.

Thanks for joining me while I share one of my favorite quilt finishes one more time!  To see more quilters who are sharing their favorite quilts,  be sure to check out the Bloggers' Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Hand Stitching Project

Football season is upon us and that means if it's Sunday, and the Denver Broncos are playing, they are on at our house.  Sometimes I disappear into my sewing studio, but sometimes I want to watch, too, and that means some hand stitching is nice to have ready.

Recently I got started on a pre-printed whole cloth piece that I found at a local quilt shop.   I bought two, and here is one still in the package.

I layered the top with some batting and a piece of muslin, and have been using some variegated quilting thread to quilt along the lines.

Very simple, not much thinking involved in this, just stitching along and enjoying the process.  I've made several of these in the past, and with a small border, a backing, and some binding they make nice little wall-hangings to give as gifts to special people.

I think I will definitely be enjoying some slow stitching today!

Linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.

When life makes other plans...

The plan for this week was to drive over to Winter Park, Colorado, and meet up in real life with Cathy K from Utah of Cathy's Crazy by Design to enjoy the mountains and have a sew day.  We both have been looking forward to this trip so much, and I was in the process of getting everything ready that I wanted to work on while there.

Then the phone rang with news of a death in my husband's family and everything had to change.  We were needed in Nebraska (the opposite direction) to be with family instead.  Oh well.  You just can't say no to your family when they need you.

So, consequently, with plans changing, I was feeling a bit funky in the sewing room and had trouble settling on what I wanted to do with myself.  It became one of those, "I just need to sew, and who cares what it is" weeks.

For some reason, I had some Halloween fabric scraps laying on the cutting table, so one night I made this - 

It will probably turn into an October mug rug.

Another day, I uncovered a mini charm pack of Vintage Picnic by Bonnie and Camille, so I started sewing some of them together.

This will most likely become one side of a zipper pouch for a friend's birthday gift.

Then, digging around in a basket, I found that I still have some of that gray solid from Connecting Threads left (used in two different quilts, and still some left!) along with some leftover cut off triangles, out of which came this - 

This one turned into a little 12 inch pillow - 

I'd been saving a yard of one of the Good Neighbors prints that I got on clearance from Connecting Threads for something, and this must have been it!

I guess this week I just needed some scrap therapy!

Linking up with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Some more with orange

It is always fun sorting through fabrics to figure out what to use for a few new bow tie blocks.  This week I found bright tropical orange and dark red-orange, creamy peach and darker orangy-peach.  These blocks are so fun and fast to make.  

I have 28 bow ties right now - still need lots more for a good-sized quilt, but it's fun to look at my collection all laid out!

After finishing up all of the string blocks I needed for my String Star project, I realized I still have a lot of chunks that are 1.5" wide and various lengths.  Inspired by the way Cathy at Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting uses even the littlest of scraps, I started cutting these chunks into 1.5 x 2.5 inch pieces.

Sewing them into pairs makes a 2.5" square, and 25 of them will make a nice sized block!

        Whoops!  Need to turn this one right here so the ↑orange piece is on the bottom!

Right now, they are all being thrown into this little tin.  I've made orange ones, yellow ones, and black/gray/and white ones.  When I have a chance, I'll go back and make blocks of some of the other colors we've already worked on this year, but I'm sure this will be a long term project!

Linking up with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

I Like Thursday #47 - A Special Visitor

Over the weekend, we had refugees from Hurricane Irma staying at our house.  My husband's sister and brother-in-law were in the process of moving TO Florida and, watching the weather reports, realized they should probably wait a few days before heading out on the road.  Knowing they didn't have anywhere else to stay because they had closed on their house here in Colorado on Friday morning, we invited them to stay with us for a few days.

I love these folks as if they are my own sister and brother, but the most special visitor who came along with them was their dog, Ruby!

Ruby is a sweet, 3 year old Akita, very mellow and well-behaved.  She enjoyed nosing around in our yard and watching the squirrels!  (They were wondering what this creature was who had invaded "their" yard!)

At one point "mom" and "dad" had to go somewhere and left Ruby with us, and she wasn't too sure that was a good idea!

Where are you going, Mom and Dad?

They also took her to a self-serve dog washing place near our house, and Ruby came back looking just beautiful!

We haven't had a dog at our house for a very long time, so I enjoyed this visit with Ruby very much.  In fact, I think I'll miss her!

I hope you've been having a great week!  Along with my SIL and BIL, we spent a lot of time watching the Weather Channel and waiting for news from their daughter who lives in Puerto Rico, and their son who lives in Florida.  Everyone seems to have gotten through the hurricane with minimal damage to their homes and neighborhoods, so I'm really thankful for that.

I'm joining in with the I Like Thursday bloggers, over at Not Afraid of Color!  You should, too!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

A Tote Bag for Fall

A couple of years ago, I stopped buying purses when I wanted a new one, and started making tote bags from the Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial, "Make 3 Totes from One Charm Pack."  (This is easy to find if you go to their YouTube channel!)

Earlier this week, I decided it was time to retire my Watermelon Tote bag that I made in July of 2016 -

and make a new one for fall!  I made this one a little taller and a little wider than the original pattern, and I liked the size and shape it became, so I did the same with my new one.

I started with 16 red, brown, and orange charms from a charm pack of Miniature Gatherings by Moda and added some of the dark red with cream stars that I had leftover from my 4th of July projects as the top and bottom borders.  

Some simple quilting to a scrap piece of batting, a coordinating lining, and a fat quarter to make some inner pockets - 

makes a very functional tote bag/purse that will last me quite a long time!  This bag measures about 15.5" wide x 12.5" tall, and 3.5" wide at the bottom.

One thing I may add that I have found helpful in the past is a magnetic clasp to keep the top of my tote bag from gaping open.  I can recycle one from an older bag that I'm no longer using - that sounds like a good Sunday afternoon project!

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