Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

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

Friday, September 8, 2017

Orange Strings

Since I was on a roll with my low volume string blocks last week, I decided to keep going and finish up the orange string blocks that I need for my String Star design.

It didn't take long to complete all of the orange blocks!

Since I hadn't used up all of the orange strings that I cut, I decided to keep sewing with them, using a couple pieces of scrap batting for the foundation.

These turned into a couple of bright and happy September coasters for our morning coffee!

This fun polka dot made the perfect backing for them!

Now that all of the string blocks are finished, I can plan some time to get this top sewn together.

Oops!  There are a couple of blocks turned the wrong direction over there on the right side!  Lol!  I didn't notice that until just now, looking at this photo.  Good thing those are just the blocks laying out on my design floor!

This coming week, I'm looking forward to meeting up with Cathy of Cathy's Crazy by Design and a few crafty friends for a mountain sew day.  I think I will be working on putting my String Star quilt top together!  

Happy ScrapHappy Saturday to all of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge friends!  I'll be linking up at SoScrappy!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

I Like Thursday #46

Happy "I Like Thursday" to everyone!  I'm joining in, as I do every week, with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color, and other blogging friends.  Be sure to check out everyone's posts at LeeAnna's blog.

I like going to Farmer's Markets, and I've written about that before on my Thursday posts.  This last Saturday, Mike and I decided to go to the one we enjoy that is up in Ft. Collins, the next city to the north of us.

As we were heading up there, Mike asked if anything was going on in Ft. Collins that day, since it was a holiday weekend.  Of course my reply was, "Not that I know of."  Ha!  Famous last words!

When we got closer there were signs about road closures starting at 10:00 a.m., and lots of people riding bicycles, dressed in crazy costumes.

Sure enough, we got right into the middle of a very popular event in Ft. Collins - the "Tour de Fat," a bicycle parade of sorts that is put on by New Belgium Brewery, makers of Fat Tire beer.  I guess I didn't know it was held on Labor Day weekend!

Really popular!  Tons (probably thousands) of people, every kind of costume you can think of (and a few you might not!), music, dogs, college students, families.  So much fun!  I wish we had brought one of our good cameras, rather than just the cellphone, because these just don't do it justice.

We did manage to find a parking place a few blocks from the Farmer's Market, enjoyed all the sights as we made our way there, and had fun walking around the market, as well.

I went home with fresh tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers and made a tasty salad out of them that night.  All eaten before I could take a picture!

Also this weekend, we went to visit my SIL and BIL, who are in the process of selling their cabin in the mountains.  They've been storing a glass cabinet for their daughter, and didn't have a place to put it during the move, so we offered to bring it home and "babysit" it, until someone was ready to take it back.

Might as well put it to use while we're storing it, right?!  :)

My niece used it to store her china, but I've got it full of quilts.  I like this!  Maybe they would sell it to me...

This week's news is full of information about the fires in the western states, and we are getting a lot of the smoke and haze from those fires here along the Front Range of Colorado.  I can't really complain about it because I know it has to be much, much worse in the actual places where the fires are burning, but it is definitely noticeable here.  My husband did get a really cool picture of the moon on Monday night, taken with a special filter for his camera, and I had to include it in my likes for the week.  

It has been another tough week in our country, what with the continued and additional hurricane news, these fires, and other current events, but I hope you are finding things in your week to like and feel thankful for.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Marvelous Mini Finish

This week I spent quite a bit of time finishing up my Marvelous Monday Mini quilt, made during a quilt along with Temecula Quilt Co.

I knew my mini was going to need a bit different finish than what they were suggesting because of the colors I used for mine.  With the lime green, orange, and turquoise, I couldn't think of much else besides black that would work!

I happened to have some Kona Black scraps that a friend gave me recently and decided to use them for sashing and a border.  I cut the sashing at.1.75" and the border at 2".  I also decided to add some cornerstones cut from the leftovers of the block fabrics.  After piecing a backing and spray basting the layers together, I quilted it in a wavy meander from side to side using Aurifil in Light Jade, which Cynthia shared with me last year.  It was fun to have a project that I could use more of this pretty thread on!  

Here it is, all finished!  It measures about 21 x 21. The binding is a fun coral w/orange polka dots that I had in my stash.  I'm glad I have more of this because I'm going to enjoy seeing it again in future projects!

I like the back almost as much as the front!  I used a fat quarter of cream with black stars, and added the 17th block and other scraps which were leftover from the blocks to bring it up to the right size.

I think that block would make a good label, although I haven't written anything on it yet!

This scrappy finish will go on the wall in my sewing studio, and I'll enjoy seeing it everyday! 

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

Friday, September 1, 2017

Hello, September!

September has always been one of my favorite months!  I enjoy the hints of fall in the air, the changing colors of the leaves, the cooling temperatures - and I'm looking forward to some fun travels!  

September will be a good month.

I enjoy getting out the fall items to decorate with, and I did just that this morning with my Late Summer/Early Fall table runner!

And how about a few marigolds to celebrate that September is Orange month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge?  Just the color I was hoping for!  

To finish up the August low volume and neutral blocks, I needed to make a few more string blocks for my String Star design.  The design I drew back in January calls for a total of 20 low volume background blocks, and I had made 13 so far.

Once I set up a little work station- iron, strings, foundation pieces, Gilmore Girls on Netflix, sewing machine-

I was ready to go!

In about an hour and a half, I finished up the rest of these yummy blocks!  

This pile of blocks is almost ready to be laid out and sewn together to make my String Star design a reality!

I just need a few more orange ones!  September will definitely be a good month!

Linking up:

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 !