Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Hand-Pieced QAL -Block 2

This week's block for the Hand-Pieced QAL included half square triangles.  I could just imagine all the participants saying to themselves, "Oh boy, here we go.  Okay, I'll give it a try!"

I dug into my chosen fabrics for this QAL, and pulled out these two -

The print fabric is all about beachcombing, which is my absolute favorite thing to do whenever we are anywhere near the ocean.


Here is my finished block for this week - 

Even after watching Kristin's video on Facebook about how to make sure you get your blocks to the correct size: the right way to cut, marking the seam allowance with a mechanical pencil, and sewing a thread or two to the right of my drawn line, my block still measures 6 and 3/8 inches square.  Since that is the same as my first block, I'm going with it!  :)

So, now there are two hand-pieced blocks!

Thank you, Kristin and Patty, for organizing this fun QAL, and providing us with lots of learning opportunities!  

Linking up to the Hand-Pieced QAL party at Elm Street Quilts

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

I Like Thursday #119 - Birds and Paint

Happy Thursday, friends!  If you've visited my blog before, you know we like birds, and we keep the feeders filled to attract as many as we can to our yard.

Last Thursday morning we woke up to a snowstorm, and that seems to be the only time we see the Dark-eyed Juncos in our yard.  Sure enough, there they were!

They don't come to the feeder, so you have to look out the window and down on the ground under the feeder to see them. They are a beautiful bird - dark above and light colored underneath.

There is a much better picture of a junco here at Tales of Birding.

Mike also caught some nice pictures of a couple of other birds we saw at our feeders the other day - 

a male American Goldfinch who was interested in our thistle feeder, and

a White-breasted Nuthatch who likes the suet.

My main focus this past week has been the sewing room re-do, and progress has been made! 

Besides getting rid of more unwanted items that had piled up, I also cleaned the room out, so that we could paint.

How's that for a nice clean room?!  My fat quarters and larger stash are stored in those black DVD shelves.  They were easy to carry into the guest bedroom as is, to get them out of the way.

In the interest of honesty (wink!) - here's what the guest bedroom looks like right now.

And that's only about a third of it all...

We painted the room on Tuesday!

I can't say that I really *like* painting, but I do like what a fresh coat of paint does for a room.  The color I chose is definitely brightening up this room!  It hadn't been painted in a very long time, and as we took things down and pulled furniture away from the walls, we could tell how badly the paint was needed!

Today, I get to put things back, repurposing a shelving unit for better storage, and creating a design wall.  I know I will like that!

My favorite mug for this season!

Hope you're having a great week!  Thanks for joining me for "I Like Thursday." You can find more positive posts over at Not Afraid of Color!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Hand Stitched

I decided this week that it's a good thing I've gotten more into hand stitching projects recently, since my sewing room is out of commission for awhile.

Besides the Hand-Pieced QAL that I'm participating in -

I've also been working on this scrappy little doll quilt.  It began as a way to practice the hand-piecing techniques I would need for the QAL project.

In recent weeks I've added the borders, layered it with a backing, and hand quilted it.

I just have to figure out what to do for the binding, and this little quilt will be finished!

And then there's my ongoing hexie project.  I think I last posted about it in October, when it looked like this - 

Here's how it looks now - 

I finished all the blue hexies and now I'm slowly adding a round of neutral ones.  This will take awhile, as this piece has really grown!  

With the neutral border added all the way around, it will measure about 33 x 14.

So, even with the work we're doing on my sewing room during the day, I still have the chance to get my needle, thread, and fabric fix for some slow stitching time in the evenings! 

Linking up with my favorite Sunday parties today  - 
and Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

Squared Away Finished!

I finished up the binding on Squared Away, my Rainbow Scrap Challenge Sampler from 2018, last Monday night, threw it in the washer and dryer right away, and here it is.

I'm so happy with this finish, and really glad I joined in with the sew along throughout last year!

I like it paired up with my red Ikea chair!

My husband asked, as they tend to do, "Who's that for?" And my answer was - 

Me!  👍  And of course, it has already been put toward its intended use!

In other RSC news for this week - 

I finished up my Christmas red Tiny Rails block.

So now there are 16 of these 10 inch blocks.

That's a lot of little bits of fabric!

And this week's Tiny Tuesday Bowtie block is finished, too.

Thank you, Angie, for a great tutorial, and Angela for organizing these 
fun blocks for us!

Sharing my finish at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for at Soscrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

I Like Thursday #118

Happy Thursday, friends!  Were you able to see the eclipse on Sunday night?  Our skies cleared just as the moon was rising, so over the course of a couple of hours, we went from this -

to this -

                                                                        to this!

It was quite spectacular, and Mike had fun playing with his camera throughout the whole time.

At our house this week, we embarked on an update of my sewing room.  While our kids were growing up, we used the space for a family room, but it has been my sewing space for about 10 years now, and it's definitely in need of some work!
Hauling out unneeded items, a fresh coat of paint, and rearranging the furniture will make a huge difference!

We're in the stage of hauling out the unneeded items - like these crates of books leftover from my teaching career.

It's hard to get rid of books that you love, but we took them to our Friends of the Library group for their sale, and I do like the idea that some young family will take them home to read to their children. 

I also *like* that feeling of cleaning out a corner of a room that can now be put to much better use!  More to come on this project in the future!

Speaking of the library - I recently checked out a book that I'm really enjoying!

Kate Morton is really good at weaving together a story with multiple characters who come together from both the past and the present with a little mystery involved, and even a ghost!  

We've been enjoying this show on Tuesday nights on PBS the last couple of weeks.

This week's episode was about Christiane Amanpour, Ann Curry, and Lisa Ling - all women journalists who I didn't really know anything about, but whose family stories were really interesting! 

And finally, I found this fat quarter of text fabric recently that I wanted to share.

Not sure what I will use it for yet, but I'll enjoy having it in my stash!  :)

Joining in with the "I Like Thursday" group at Not Afraid of Color!

Hand-Pieced QAL

The Hand-Pieced QAL got started with the first block this week, and I was ready!

Awhile ago, I had set aside these two fat quarter bundles for this QAL - some novelty ocean prints purchased from Back Porch Fabrics in Pacific Grove, California, and a bundle of different blues from Connecting Threads.

This week, I matched up the blues with the prints so I could get started on the first block.

The pair at the top are what I decided to start with - that print reminds me of a place at the Monterey Bay Aquarium called the Open Sea.  I cut 8 two inch squares of each fabric and stitched up some 4 patches.

I had practiced my hand-piecing with 2.5 inch squares, and these felt tiny in comparison!  I did notice that a scant 1/4 inch seam was important for keeping the dimensions of the finished block correct.  The first one I stitched came out a little small.

Here is my final block - a bit wonky, but since I'm considering this QAL a learning experience, I'm going with it!

Linking up with Patty at Elm Street Quilts and Kristin at Simple. Handmade. Everyday for the Hand-Pieced QAL!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Ready for Binding!

Hooray for a Sunday when there's binding ready to be sewn and plenty of time for some slow stitching!

I was able to finish quilting Squared Away yesterday - it went faster than I expected, actually!

I quilted it in a diagonal crosshatch, every row of stitching about 2 inches apart, with a light gray Aurifil thread.

Binding is sewn on the front, and ready to pull to the back and hand stitch down to finish.

Mike will be watching football games today, so I'll enjoy some slow stitching in my comfy chair next to him!  Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone!

Sharing at Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap and 
at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Just a little more

I've had one of those weeks where lots is going on, just not in the sewing room!  We all have them - and aren't those the days when we want to sew the most?  That's true for me anyway.

I did have a chance to visit my LQS and I admit to some stash enhancement!  A fat quarter of these kitties came home with me -

And I bet you can guess why!

My Tiny Tuesday kitty cat(s)!

This is going to be a fun collection of blocks.

The only other time in my sewing room this week was spent on quilting Squared Away.

"Almost there, almost there, almost there" is my mantra.

I did make the binding this week, too, so I hope to be sewing it on very soon.

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been up to this week over at Soscrappy for the ScrapHappy Saturday link-up. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

I Like Thursday #117 - a box, a book, and a DVD

And a last minute surprise!

Good morning, friends!

Happy Thursday!  Hope you're having a great week!  I'm joining in with my friends at Not Afraid of Color for our weekly party to celebrate whatever has made the week a good one for each of us.

Sometimes I just like the small things - like *finally* finding the right box to send this quilt to my nephew and his family in Florida.

I finished this quilt way back in November, but never sent it until just this week.  I sure hope they like it!

I really liked this movie!  On the recommendation of some friends, we borrowed the DVD from the library.

It is a documentary of Mr. Rogers' life, with lots of behind the scenes info about his career and show.  There was so much I didn't know about Mr. Rogers, but I do remember the show so well from watching it with my kids when they were little in the 1980s.

I am liking this book.  It was available from the library, so I checked it out recently.

There is a quilt along going on, involving the quilts from this book, sponsored by Sujata Shah of the blog, The Root Connection.  I'm not quilting along, but I'm interested to see what people make, so I'm "following along," you might say!

Linda, of Koka Quilts, is making a quilt inspired by this one - 

made sometime between 1930 - 1950.

You can see Linda's Flying Geese quilt HERE.  I really like her version!  Lots of quilt examples from this QAL are also being posted at #UandUQal on Instagram.  These are really interesting quilts - kind of primitive and improvisational.  If I didn't have plenty of other things that I'm already working on, I would think about joining in!

And the surprise... came from our friend, Sally, at Crafts, Cavies, and Cooking!  A few weeks ago, Sally let me know that I won the giveaway she was having for her blog anniversary.  Lucky me!  The package arrived at the end of the day Wednesday (yesterday when you're reading this post)! Sally sent some of her delicious goodies - Ginger Nut Clusters, and two fun cards -  a fabric card and some adorable guinea pigs.  

Oh my goodness, those Ginger Nut Clusters are soooo good!
Thank you, Sally!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

A new take on an old WiP and some Slow Stitching

Back in April of last year I showed these 5 inch squares I'd been cutting for a project I was calling Mellow. 

Blues, grays, and greens...

My idea for these squares was simple patchwork, no pattern, just straight rows of squares.  That sounded good to me.  But there they sat, and I never touched them again!  

Until this week.  I was reading Jeanne at Spiral Quilting's post about her blocks for this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge which came from the book, Nickel Quilts by Pat Speth and Charlene Spode.  Something about that book title sounded familiar, so I went down to my sewing room and hunted around until I found it!  I have that book, too!

I looked up the block Jeanne is making, called Northern Lights, and I remembered my collection of 5 inch squares!  

I also happened to have recently bought a charm pack of Grunge White Paper, which would make a great background fabric for these blocks.

Every set of two prints and two background squares makes an 8.5 block.

Two 4 patches and 2 HSTs!

So I've been making a few!

Technically, it's not like starting a brand new project, right?!  :)

Sharing at Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap! 

For my evening stitching, since I finished up the redwork embroidery I was working on for Christmas, I decided to go back to practicing my hand-piecing for the upcoming QAL.   I had made a simple 4 patch pretty successfully back in early December - 

So I've just kept going, and ended up with nine of them!

This week I've been sewing them together into a 36 patch square, and it's almost done.

All hand stitched!

Today, I think I'll pick out a border for this little piece, and turn it into a doll quilt.

Sharing at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.