Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Hand-Pieced QAL - Block 6

I was happy to meet Florence this week, and since I pieced Dorothy (Block 5) with a third fabric for an accent, I decided to do the same for this one!

This week's print is full of color and fun graphics - fish eyes and scales, dots and stripes!  I didn't fussy cut anything in particular, just let the color shine.

So, now there are six:

Just three more left to make!

Sharing at the Hand-Pieced link-up with Patty at Elm Street Quilts.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

I Like Thursday #123 - Goodbye, February!

Happy Thursday, friends!  My week began with this little poem in my email inbox.  I love this thought.

"The cosmos is filled with precious gems.
I want to offer a handful of them to you this morning.
Each moment you are alive is a gem,
shining through and containing earth and sky, water and clouds."

The full post is at this link, if you're interested: A First Sip

So that made me think about how I like Mondays!  (Said no one ever...) Except, right now, each Monday, a new block is posted for the Hand-Pieced QAL, and it's like a little gift each Monday morning.  Then I get to choose fabric, cut pieces, and get started on stitching the new block!

Here is this week's block, main pieces made, and ready to stitch together.

We discovered recently that we can "check out" Acorn TV for a week at a time through our public library, and we've been enjoying watching the different shows it offers in the evenings.  (And that is when I've been doing my hand-piecing.)

Here's a screen shot of what we've recently watched - shows set in Australia, Scotland, England, and Ireland!

I love crafters!  They are so often friendly and generous.  I was standing in line at Starbucks the other day, waiting for my coffee, and the woman next to me pulled out a cute crocheted cup cozy.  Of course, I had to comment on it, "That's so cute!  How did you make it?" and so on.  

So, she gave it to me!

A cute, crocheted snowman to keep my coffee warm!

Hope you're having a great week!  I'm happy to welcome March!

Thanks, as always, to LeeAnna, at Not Afraid of Color, for hosting our Thursdays.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

A Star of a Different Color

This project is not what I thought I'd be sharing today.  But I got a wild hair on Friday, (inspired by Wendy of Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life), and just had to go dig this UFO out and get back to work!

Way back in November of 2017, I won a giveaway of Island Batik scraps from Allison at Little Bunny Quilts.  My winnings were about half of a jelly roll and a 1/4 yard of coordinating fabric from Island Batik's Northern Woods line.

There are some pretty pieces in this collection - here are a couple of my favorites!

Doesn't this look like aspen trees?
And snowflakes on brown!

Back then, I decided to cut the jelly roll strips into 10.5 inch lengths and started piecing them together like this -

I think this was pairs of strips sewn and laid out, but the top was never completely finished.  After that it was put in a drawer, and even though I have pulled it out a couple of different times, with a few ideas about what to do next, I never actually did anything with it.  In my post from back then, I wrote that it was about 33.5 x 50 - not big enough to be finished.

So, Friday I read Wendy's post about what she made with some Island Batik fabrics that she received from a giveaway.  You can see her beautiful Batik Burst wall-hanging HERE.  Her post inspired me to get out my Island Batik project and try something completely different!  It has required some unsewing and resewing and cutting pieces into different shapes, but something is finally happening!

Making 6.5 inch blocks like this - 

and like this - the brownish/greenish is the yardage that came in the package.

then playing around with them on the design wall, turned into this star.

It's a little wild, isn't it?  Or maybe I will call it *interesting* lol!

After a little more rearranging, I sewed up the blocks and rows this way:

To add a border will require more unstitching of the rest of the strips I had previously sewn together, but I'm thinking something like this - using the lighter strips and a bit of blue for some cornerstones.

And then I'll use the leftover dark strips for the binding.

I'm not exactly sure why I could never make a decision on what to do with this fabric before now.  Maybe (most likely) because these are just not my colors?  It definitely has a fall feel to it, and a Southwestern vibe, too.  I will truthfully admit that sometimes I love it, and sometimes I still don't feel inspired.  But I am determined to finish this UFO, and get the fabric out of the drawer! 

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

Friday, February 22, 2019

Flowers in February

From the blog reading I've done this week, it appears that many of us around the country are done with February and ready for Spring!  I know I am... But, knowing that I don't have much control over that, I have instead enjoyed sewing sunny, yellow flowers in my studio this week!

I finished up one more sunflower - 

The larger one is about 12 inches in diameter and the smaller one is about 10 inches.

And got pieces cut and the stitching started for another one.

I think I need at least four sunflowers, maybe five.  Thank you to Jennifer (and others who chimed in, too) who gave me the idea to make these sunflowers in different sizes!  I took your advice and am doing that.  I'm thinking I might even make a teeny tiny one!

I also made this week's Tiny Tuesday block.  Thanks go to Mari, The Academic Quilter, for this pretty flower.  I love it!

Here is my collection so far!

These are so much fun!

For more yellow goodness, check out the posts at Soscrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.  That's where I'll be!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Hand-Pieced QAL - Block 5

This week's block, which Patty and Kristin call the Dorothy block, makes a pretty star with contrasting corners.  Find the tutorial for the block HERE on Kristin's blog.

Although for the other blocks, I've only used two fabrics, this week I chose three.  My focus ocean print fabric, a light gray blue for the main background, and a dark blue for the corners.

I fussy cut the center square to feature Nemo, a favorite movie character of ours!  He's hanging out with his friend, Mr. Ray!

I am really pretty happy with how my Dorothy block turned out!

Even the back doesn't look too bad.  

And now there are five blocks!

I'm already looking forward to next week's block!  

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

I Like Thursday #122 -

Happy Thursday, friends!  Thanks for visiting my weekly post of all the things I like!  Find more I Like Thursday posts at Not Afraid of Color.

I loved waking up to sunshine this morning after several days of cold, gray, and snow!  Everything just feels better when the sun is shining, doesn't it?

I have enjoyed having these roses on my dining room table for the last week or so.

DH would like to take credit for them, but actually they were given to me for free by the grocery store cashier, lol!  Funny, but also a treat!

I like this little string of lights that a friend gave me this week.

They don't look like much here, but look what you do with them!

The string of tiny LED lights are hooked to a plastic "cork" that holds the battery and on/off switch.  They make a really neat light from inside the wine bottle!

We enjoyed watching an episode of "Dynasties" on BBC America the other night.  It was about a colony of emperor penguins in Antarctica.  They are such fascinating creatures!  The behind the scenes info they share about the camera crew is pretty interesting, too!

We also went to a good movie the other day - "The Upside."

I would definitely recommend it!  Two men with very opposite lives become good friends and change each other's lives for the better.

I also loved this book I just finished up this week, News of the World.

It takes place in Texas after the Civil War, and the main character is an older man who stops in different towns to read the news to people.  Of course, there is more to it than that, so check it out here, if you're interested.  I grew to really love the main characters, and look forward to Tom Hanks starring in the movie someday!

I'm continuing to enjoy the Hand-Pieced QAL.  Here is this week's block in progress.

It's possible that my hand-piecing skills are getting better with all this practice!

I can't end an I Like post without including a bird photo, since watching them is one of the things Mike and I enjoy doing the most.  We found this bald eagle at our favorite local natural area to go birdwatching.

He was just hanging out up high in the tree, probably looking for some lunch by the lake.  It is always such a treat to see a bald eagle!

Have great rest of the week, everyone!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

CiL Blocks and some Slow Stitching

It's been awhile since I sent any blocks to Kat for Covered in Love, and I didn't want to let February go by without making some for the current block drive.  Click HERE if you'd like to know more about Covered in Love and to find directions for the Jan/Feb blocks.

Since the blocks for this time around are string pieced on a foundation, and Kat mentioned that old sheets would work, I dug out some I had (leftover from the 70s, lol!) and cut some 13.5 inch squares.

These are definitely well used and possibly *vintage* sheets!

I also pulled out the scrap box that lives below my cutting table, the "junk drawer" of my sewing room! Turns out, it is a great place to find chunks and strings for this type of block.

We're starting in the corner with a red square, and building the strings out from there.  I've pulled out lots of binding scraps and they are working really well for these blocks!

The final block is trimmed to 12.5 inches square.

I'll be putting a few of these in the mail to Kat this week!

Also this week, I cut some wedges for another Dresden sunflower to go with my Scrappy Sprouts blocks.

After stitching the top seam, and pressing to make the top point, I realized I could hand-piece the wedges together to make the flower.

After I finish marking the seam allowances, this will be my evening slow stitching for the next few days!

Sharing these projects at my favorite Sunday parties:
Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts 

Friday, February 15, 2019

This week in yellow

There's been some fabric cutting going on -

Working on another Dresden sunflower to go with my Scrappy Sprouts blocks.

And a little bit of piecing - 

Looking through my Tiny Rails blocks, I realized there was only one yellow.

And there are always more little bits to be used up, so...

I almost have enough to start sewing them into rows!

Two Tiny Tuesday blocks - 

I was only going to make one of them, but then I realized if I made both, I'd have nine blocks total, and they would make a pretty picture!

So, I've also been doing a little admiring!

Also this week, although not yellow, I received some Happy Mail!  Back in January, during the Black and White blog hop, The Joyful Quilter shared the fun fabric baskets she made for the blog hop.  Spying some cute little penguin fabric in one of her photos, I left a comment, and she sent it to me!  Thanks, Joy!

So cute!
So, here's today's view from my cutting table!

Linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilters over at Soscrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday! 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Hand-Pieced QAL - Block 4

This week's block is made of Quarter-Square Triangles, and I decided it would be a good block to feature my fat quarter of seals and sea lions with some light blue background fabric.

We always find these guys very entertaining when we come across them while exploring coastal areas.   Sunning themselves near the wharf or playing in the water - fun to watch!

California Sea Lions at Santa Cruz Wharf

I was really happy with my stitching on this block and it all came together quite smoothly!

Before pressing!

I even feel comfortable showing the back this time!  :)

I laid out all four blocks on some sandy beach fabric, which may become the sashing when it comes time to put everything together.

Block directions and tutorials for the Hand-Pieced QAL can be found on Kristin's blog, Simple.Handmade.Everyday and on Patty's blog, Elm Street Quilts.

Sharing at the Week 4 link-up, HERE.