Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Snowflake Pillow

When I saw Amanda Jean's Snowflake Block over on her blog, Crazy Mom Quilts, I knew it would be a great gift idea for my quilt group's Christmas gift exchange.  Click HERE for the tutorial, if you are interested in making one yourself!

I used scraps of the white on white Bubbles from my Beautiful Blossoms quilt and a pretty dark blue with lighter blue branches and flowers on it.  It's hard to photograph, but hopefully you'll be able to see!

This is made in four identical pieces, and then they are connected with the white sashing to create a snowflake shape.  I had to laugh the first time I got everything sewn together, because I forgot to look back at the tutorial, and ended up with this - 

It looked kind of neat, but was definitely not what I had planned!  So, out came the seam ripper, and after I got everything put back together correctly, I added some batting and quilted away.

Since I knew I wanted to make a pillow out of this block, I pulled a fun swirly blue and white fabric from my stash which I thought was perfect for the back - 

I made an envelope backing for the pillow and stuffed in an 18 inch pillow form to finish everything off!

Next Thursday is our get together, and it will be fun to see who ends up with my pillow!  I definitely enjoyed making it, and aren't those the best gifts to give?!

Linking up in all my favorite places - 
Oh Scrap!  on Sunday  

See you there!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

I like Thursday #8 - the Miscellaneous Edition

Every week, after I publish my "I like" post, I think, "That's it.  I have nothing more to write about."  But then I start looking around, and sure enough, there's something I hadn't thought about that I like.  Thanks, LeeAnna, for inspiring us to see the good things around us, and appreciate them!

This time of year I am so happy to see Christmas lights coming on everywhere I look.  They are one of my favorite parts of this season.  I decorated my tree this past weekend, and got my husband to play with his camera and take some photos for me.

From inside -

And outside -

He has a special filter that makes the lights look like twinkling stars.  Makes for a fun photo!

It's always fun to get the ornaments and decorations out.  Here are some from a long time ago, when I was a cross-stitcher.

Growing up, our family always had an angel at the top of the tree, so when we got married, my mom made us an angel for our tree.  She's so sweet!  I couldn't have a Christmas tree without her on the top.

When our kids were little, she made Raggedy Andy dolls for them (what else do you make for little boys?!) and I have been getting them out at Christmas, too.  They are actually named Raggedy Andy and Raggedy Kevin, because those are our kids' names.  Here they are with the doll quilt I made for them last year. (It started out as a table topper, but is really the wrong size and shape for my table, and looks more like a doll quilt, so I have repurposed it! LOL!)

Do you use a crockpot a lot?  I love mine!  It was cooking soup for us for dinner over the weekend.  Soup is one of my favorite meals, and I wish I had more recipes for soup for my crockpot.  If you have a good one, I'd love it if you'd share it with me.

I got a thank you note yesterday for something I wasn't even expecting to be thanked for!  What a treat!  I'll keep it to look at when I need a lift, and also a reminder that kindness is so important.

And finally, in the category of "I hope I will like these..."

I bought these rotary blade replacements at Harbor Freight after seeing them recommended in a Facebook quilting group that I'm in.  Have any of you tried them?  I hope they are good, as I tend to go through a lot of blades, and these are very inexpensive!  I think they were $1.99 for two!

Happy Thursday, everyone!  Hope you are having a great week!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

On my design wall...

I've slowly been turning these groups of three

into nine patches - for the Charming Plus QAL.  There are 30 made so far of the 42 blocks I have planned.

These blocks have a low volume plus (made with all kinds of scraps) and corners made of North Woods by Kate Spain.  On the design wall, everything looks kind of muted, but it's fun to take a closer look - 

I love the mix of reds, dark greens, lime green, and even a little brown and light blue.   The 42 blocks will make a small quilt, set 6 x 7.  This one might need a border, but I haven't gotten that far yet!  

Sharing with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework for some scrappy Sunday inspiration!

Friday, December 2, 2016

December is Here!

If you asked me what I did all week, I would have to think really hard to come up with something (anything!) worth telling you about!  Ummm.... I got a mammogram?  (Well, I guess that was important!)

But in my sewing room, another "Ummm..." I guess the Christmas season is upon us, and that means sewing gifts and seasonal projects end up taking over, and I have had to put my ScrapJar Stars RSC2016 quilt on the backburner for awhile.  And, this time of year, you can't always blog about what you were really working on until later in the month, if you know what I mean!

I did want to do some scrappy sewing this week, so I decided to try my hand at making some potholders for my mom to take to her when we go visit next week.  I followed a tutorial by Jayne of Twiggy and Opal for the basic construction, but used my own idea for the blocks I made.

It's always so easy to pull string scraps out and sew them onto a foundation, so that's how I started.  I cut a scrap piece of Warm and White batting 8" x 8", and used scraps that are kind of Southwestern in color scheme, because my mom lives in Arizona, and that's how her house is decorated.  Almost all of these fabrics were used somewhere in one of my RSC blocks this year!

Next I added a layer of Insulbright batting, and a piece of backing fabric, and did some straight line quilting to hold everything together.  

I used the same fabric scraps for both potholders, but gave them the opposite for backing and binding.  I finished the binding by machine stitching to make sure it would be strong, but I'm not particularly pleased with how the stitching looks on the back of the potholders.  That may still need to be ripped out and redone. No decision made on that yet!

The two layers of batting, with one being Insulbright, give these potholders a pretty hefty thickness, and I think they'll work for holding onto hot things!

Since it IS December, and I really like to sew with Christmas fabric in December, I decided to pull out some strings of Christmas fabric and make a couple of Christmas-y coasters to take to Mom also.  To start with, I made a big rectangle of these fabrics (about 7 x 16) and then cut into it with my 60 degree triangle ruler to make this fun shape.  I used some more Insulbright for these, added a piece of backing fabric with right sides together, and stitched around the edge, leaving a small opening on one side for turning.

These are cute!  I might want to keep them!  (Although, there are definitely more scraps to be used up, so I could just make more...)

I hope you are having fun playing in your scraps right now, or working on Christmas gift projects, or wherever your crafting takes you!

Sharing at ScrapHappy Saturday tomorrow!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

I Like Thursday #7 - the Cloth Edition

Fabric, material, cloth, textiles - whatever you might call them - being a quilter, many of the things I like are made of these!

I like cloth napkins!  Quite a few years ago, my quilt group decided to do some fabric dying, and we all ended up with a bunch of rainbow dyed fat quarters.  I didn't take photos of all of my projects back then, but I sure wish I had so I could share that bundle of goodness here on my blog.  I made a quilt out of a lot of my dyed fabric, but also started making cloth napkins out of what was leftover.  Now I have a basket full of cloth napkins - 

Some are the much-loved and washed hand dyed ones, and others have been gifts or made out of a favorite pattern I found.  Right now my favorites are the Christmas-y ones!

As soon as Thanksgiving is over, I start pulling out the little quilted Christmas decorations that I've made over the years and using them everyday on my dining room table and all through the house.

I love snuggling up under this Christmas quilt hanging on the back of the chair!  It was made out of a Layer Cake of  Aspen Frost by Basic Grey, from the Layer Cake Lemonade pattern (a free pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop) a few years ago.  A simple pattern, but a quilt I really have enjoyed.  You can see the full quilt in the photo at the top of my blog.

We had a great Thanksgiving road trip to see our kids.  One of the things I like to do when we travel is visit the quilt shops.  (Doesn't everyone?!)  There are three of them in the areas where my kids live in Nebraska and Kansas that I can't miss.  I usually pick up some fat quarters at each one, if nothing else.  Here is one I found on this trip - 

 Having the names of all the states with their state flower looks fun and unique!  I'm adding this to my growing collection of text fabric - 

These are fun to use in lots of different ways.  I've fussy cut out of several of these to make blocks for my RSC16 projects, as well as used them to make gifts for friends.

I love it when the fabric has some kind of positive message on it.

"Laugh more often, Trust, Enjoy the journey, I love my family, Eat more chocolate," are just a few.  All good advice, and true!

At a quilt shop in Sonoma, California, in October, I found this little kit.  I hardly ever sew from kits anymore, but I just had to have this one!

You can probably see why!  ☺  

Happy Thursday, everyone!  Hope you are having a great week!  For more "I like" inspiration, be sure to check out LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color.  Her blog is one of my favorites!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Little Hand Quilting

This week, I layered and basted my Rainbow Log Cabin quilt top.  Having discovered that I can use my dining room table, and some clamps from the garage, for this job makes it much easier to face my least favorite part of quilting!

This quilt is only about 48 x 48, too, so that also made basting it pretty quick and painless.

Here is the backing of this quilt - a fun find from Hobby Lobby!  I thought these little guys would be perfect for a scrappy rainbow quilt!

I decided to try hand quilting this quilt, so with a little advice from friends and after watching a Jen Kingwell YouTube video, I got started on that and have made a little progress.  

Right now, my stitches are a little wobbly and irregular, but I know they'll get better with practice.  There's no deadline on this quilt, nor is it really meant for anyone in particular, so I'm planning to take my time and enjoy the process.

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving and are enjoying the weekend!  I'll be sharing at ScrapHappy Saturday today and Oh Scrap! tomorrow.  See you there!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I like Thursday #6 - Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is the perfect day for an "I like" post, isn't it?!  So many things to be thankful for!

Last week, I went and read to a classroom of first graders at a school where I volunteer.  It was Read-Aloud Day here in the town where I live, and all the schools were full of volunteer readers.  This is the second year I've done this, and it is something that I really like to do, since reading aloud is one of the things I truly miss from my teaching career.

Yesterday, I received a packet of thank you notes from the first graders, and they just warmed my heart! Can you see the smiley face down by the little guy's name?  So fun!

Along with the new refrigerator, we also got a new dishwasher. (with a new stove also on order!)  Lucky me!  The dishwasher started off all of the new purchases because it started to leak, and we decided it was old enough that it should really be replaced.

Boy, is it nice!  The part I like the most - it is so quiet!  We can now run the dishwasher and be watching TV at the same time.  That wasn't possible with the old one.

I roasted my Thanksgiving turkey this past Sunday.  I have done that for several years now because our tradition is to package up the leftovers and take a road trip to see our sons who live in neighboring states. They are both single and work for the newspapers in their towns, and newspaper publishing doesn't stop for the holidays. My husband and I are retired, with plenty of time for a road trip, so off we go, packages of turkey in the cooler!

I always like to roast my turkey in an oven bag.  For me, it took all of the guesswork out of cooking a turkey, and turns out moist and delicious.  Along with turkey leftovers to share with our kids, we have already made turkey soup and sandwiches.  Yum!

This morning I had a chance to have coffee with two of my retired-teacher friends.  We had so much fun, and wonderful conversation.  I'm very thankful for the women in my life (both local and all of you out there who might read this post), that's for sure!

I've told you before that I love birds.  It is especially fun for a bird-lover to get to see a new bird, or one you haven't seen often.  Last Sunday, it was a beautiful, warm, and sunny day here, and we noticed there were tons of birds flitting in and out of a tree in our yard and one close by in a neighbor's yard.  They were eating the seeds and berries that are still on the trees.  My husband worked and worked on getting a photo of some Cedar Waxwings that we saw.  They live around here, but we sure don't see them often.  What a treat!

Well, Happy Thanksgiving from Nebraska, which is where we are today!  Hope you have a lovely day, however you spend it!