Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I Like Thursday #32 - Everyday Miracles

Welcome back for I Like Thursday - the day where we celebrate the everyday miracles in our lives!  Be sure to check out all of the I Like Thursday bloggers over at LeeAnna's blog, Not Afraid of Color.

That phrase "everyday miracles" comes from a book I read this week, which was recommended by Forest Poodles, one of the bloggers who participates in I Like Thursdays.  A Shepherd's View, by James Rebanks, is the most delightful little book!  It has beautiful photographs of a place I've never been, the Lake District in NW England, just beneath Scotland.

When it was recommended last week, I checked to see if it was available at my local library, and since it was, I went and checked it out.  I liked everything about this book - the writing, the pictures, the way the author told us about an ancient way of life and the love these people have for their animals and the land.  

The writer uses the phrase "everyday miracles" to describe watching all of the birds that nest in his family's farmyard and the fields nearby, but I think it could describe so many things, and fits our purpose in celebrating the positive things in our posts every Thursday.  So, here are my "everyday miracles" for the week!

I like the first warm, summery feeling day!

I like freshly brewed ice tea, also the first of the summer!

I like new gardening gloves, something so simple, but so useful!  

I like seeing the possibility of a homegrown salad in my garden - 

lettuce sprouting,
tomatoes and peppers in pots,
and a couple of mystery plants that came up voluntarily!  Any ideas??? Maybe they are zucchini?
And, as a quilter, I like a new pile of fabric!

These are some fat quarters I got at a quilt shop in Charleston, SC, on our May trip there.  They are from the new line called Charleston, by Amy Sinibaldi, and they are so lovely!  I'm still mulling over what I will do with them, but it will probably be some kind of table topper or wall-hanging to commemorate our trip.  I really like the "mulling" part, and it will be fun to come up with a design to show these fabrics off!
Happy Thursday, friends!  Hope you are enjoying the week!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Making it up as I go along...

Recently, my husband got a new camera, and it came with an extra lens.  When he requested a drawstring bag to keep this lens in, I wondered if I could "custom" make one that would be just the right size and shape.

I've made a couple of drawstring bags before, using this tutorial by Jenny of In Color Order.  I thought I could probably use that tutorial again as a guideline, but change up the size and shape a bit to fit what  Mike needed.

Of course, the first thing I did was hunt around in my fabric stash to see if I had something that would work.   I knew I needed an outer, main fabric, and something for the lining.  Here is what I came up with - a couple of pieces of Comma, by Zen Chic for Moda.

I decided to cut my pieces 11 inches x 7 inches to allow for the seam allowances and space for the drawstring.

I added some fusible fleece to the wrong side of the outer fabric to give the bag some stability.

Following the guidelines of the tutorial, I laid out the pieces to get them ready to sew in this way - 

short end to short end, with the outer fabric in the middle and the lining fabric on either end.  I sewed each of those  short seams, then sewed everything into a tube, right sides together, leaving an opening for turning, and two openings to make a casing for the drawstring.

I decided to box the bottom corners just a little bit - 

and stitched an inch wide casing all the way around to pull some ribbon through for the drawstring.

And voila!  My idea worked!

My husband is pleased with the results, too!  I really enjoyed the process of figuring out what would work and making something useful for him!

Sharing at Sandra's DrEAMi linky at mmm! quilts - because this is definitely a Drop Everything and Make It kind of project,
and at Cynthia's Oh Scrap! linky at at Quilting is More Fun than Housework because I love making all kinds of things out of my scraps!

Thursday, May 25, 2017


Rainbow Scrap Jar Stars - Ta Daaa!!

I have to admit that every time I finish a quilt, it is my favorite.  But this one really is one of my favorites that I have ever made -  for so many reasons!

Late in 2015, I found this tutorial, from a blog called Gigi's Thimble, for the Scrap Jar Star block, and decided to use it as I joined in with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for 2016.  I made a yellow block to try out the tutorial, and I was hooked!

Each month from January through October of 2016, I made two star blocks in the chosen colors for that month, one in light tones and one in darker tones, until I had 20 Scrap Jar Stars.  

Then I had to figure out how to tie them together with the right sashing, and I knew I wanted to create the nine patches that develop in between each row of stars after seeing this picture of a finished quilt top. It required some math and a little bit of trial and error, but it all worked out!

The backing and binding are from the Good Neighbors Collection by Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts for Connecting Threads.

I quilted Scrap Jar Stars with my walking foot in a sort of starburst pattern, radiating out, off-center, from the red star.  The finished quilt is about 60 x 72.

I wish I were patient enough to count all the different fabrics that are in this quilt!  There are a lot, some of them cut from fat quarters in my stash, but many from scraps left over from earlier projects.  I didn't repeat any fabrics in the stars themselves, but a few are repeated in the 2 inch squares that are part of the sashing. It is definitely a scrappy, and very happy, quilt!

I have really loved becoming part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge community and look forward to the Saturday link-up every week to be inspired by the projects others are working on.  I have especially enjoyed the friendships that have developed with other quilters as a result.  And I do love a scrappy rainbow quilt!

Linking up:  Finish It Up Friday, at Crazy Mom Quilts
                  Scrap Happy Saturday, at So Scrappy
                  One Monthly Goal, at Elm Street Quilts

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I Like Thursday #31 - All of the Things!

I like so many things!

I like seeing our Columbine blooming.

I like planting time.  My turn to plant flowers was a little delayed this year because we got 6 inches of snow on May 20th!  But now the flowers are planted and a few vegetables as well.  It finally feels like Spring is here!

I like how these house finches were taking shelter under the eaves at our house during the snow that day. There wasn't even any seed in the bird feeder!

I like this photo that my husband took at my sister's house, of her bedding plants in the old wheelbarrow.

I like hand stitching the binding on to my latest quilt finish this week, especially while watching the Dancing with the Stars finale!

This quilt is now finished, and my favorite dancer won - life is good!  :)  (Right, LeeAnna?!)

I like going for a morning hike on a trail in the foothills of Colorado near my home called the Devil's Backbone.  Can you see why it has that name?

Along the way we saw a new bird (to us) which we think is a Spotted Towhee.  I always like finding a new bird!

And I really like this poem, which I first discovered when sharing poetry with my 5th graders years ago!

May Night by Sara Teasdale

The spring is fresh and fearless
And every leaf is new,
The world is brimmed with moonlight,
The lilac brimmed with dew.

Here in the moving shadows
I catch my breath and sing-
My heart is fresh and fearless 
And over-brimmed with spring.

Hope your May is beautiful, and your week is going well!  Join in with all the rest of the I Like Thursday bloggers over at LeeAnna's place, Not Afraid of Color.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Blocks for Covered in Love

I've been participating in the Covered in Love block drives for awhile now. I enjoy contributing to Kat's charity and seeing the beautiful quilts she makes out of blocks that she receives from quilters all over the country.  Plus, knowing that someone whose loved one passed away in the hospital is being comforted by our quilts is a really good feeling!

So many of the blocks have been ones I've never made before, and I enjoy trying something new. Sometimes there's a new skill involved for me, so I'm learning as I participate, too!  Here are the ones I've made this year.


Mar/April:  These were interesting to make with the pleats in the center square and partial seams to join everything together!  Now I can say I have done partial seams!

This week I've worked on a few for the May/June block drive, guest hosted by Cynthia of Quilting is More Fun than Housework.  I remember these from one of Cynthia's Scrap-a-Palooza quilts, and would love to make a whole quilt of these!

The first one stitched up very quickly - 

And before I knew it, I had a couple more.  I love how the sashing is built in on these blocks - so brilliant!

The colors for this month's blocks are red, orange, yellow, and purple.  I'm not sure about purple, but I know I can pull together a yellow one, and then I'll be sending them off to Cynthia who has so generously volunteered to sew the blocks together and quilt the tops, too.  

If you're interesting in participating, check out Kat and Cat quilts *here*
and Cynthia's tutorial for these blocks *here.*

Hope you're enjoying a wonderful weekend!  I'm hoping to finally get to plant some flowers, now that it has finally warmed up after we got 4 inches of snow last Thursday!  I'll also be checking out all the scrappy inspiration over at the Oh Scrap! linky at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.

Friday, May 19, 2017


Between being out of town for a week, and then a visit with my mom, there hasn't been a lot of time to spend in the sewing room recently.  But I do have some progress to share on my Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2016 Scrap Jar Stars quilt.

Finishing this quilt is my May One Monthly Goal, and I think I'm well on the way to accomplishing this goal!

After doing some reading in Walk-Master Machine Quilting with Your Walking Foot, by Jacquie Gering, I came up with a plan for the quilting.

I wanted something off-centered, and giving the impression of a starburst, and decided I wanted it to extend outward from my favorite star, which is the red one.  Hopefully, you can see it happening here!

Quilting is proceeding; for me, it's usually at a snail's pace!  Lol!

But, I like how it is turning out!

At this point, there is only a little bit of quilting left to do.  Binding has been made, and hopefully, I will be ready to sew it down in the next couple of days.

Look at that - a matching pincushion!  :)

To see what other Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilters have been working on, be sure to visit ScrapHappy Saturday at SoScrappy!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I Like Thursday #30 - Exploring

My husband and I like exploring new places.  When we were given the opportunity to stay in a relative's home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, we welcomed the chance to visit a state we'd never been to before.

There are so many things we liked about visiting South Carolina.  Of course, putting my toes in the Atlantic Ocean was high on my list!

I like finding treasures on the beach, too.  There was someone living in this shell, so I put him back after we took this picture!

I like seeing animals that are unusual back where I live!  These swans live at Swan Lake Iris Gardens in Sumter, South Carolina.  If you look closely, by the feeder, you'll see baby swans!

Although I have never been on a cruise, I like riding in boats! This little tour took us out to an island where we could walk the beach and look for shells.  Along the way we learned a lot about the history of the area (especially the rice plantations) and saw bald eagles and alligators that live on the barrier islands.

I like seeing different kinds of architecture, especially in old and historical Charleston.

And the beautiful wrought iron fences and gates.

I especially loved the Live Oaks - the big oak trees you see in the south.  I learned that they are evergreen oaks, and don't lose their leaves like other kinds of oaks do.  Their strong, curving, and low-hanging branches were once used in ship-building for the curved parts of the hull.  (I never knew that before!)

I even like doing touristy things once in awhile.  We walked on the boardwalk in Myrtle Beach and even rode the Sky Wheel, a big ferris wheel with enclosed gondolas.  We got a great view of the beach from up so high!

And we rode in a horse-drawn wagon around historical Charleston.  That was a lot of fun!

The end of vacation is both sad and happy - I was sad it was over, but happy to come home.  And I really like coming home!

Happy Thursday, friends!  I'm joining in with the I Like Thursday crew over at Not Afraid of Color.  See you there!


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Scraps and Slabs

While making some Bow Tie blocks out of my green scraps, I started using some of the smaller bits as leaders and enders, and ended up with a few more crumb blocks.

Light green -

Dark green - 

and the rest of the turquoise from last week.

You can see in the picture below that my more recent blocks have gotten bigger than the first few I made! 

Even though there isn't much there yet, these blocks represent a lot of little pieces, and the seeds of an idea have begun to sprout!  I'm thinking they will turn into a rainbow sort of Scrap Vortex quilt, and I'm going to have to do some figuring out about the layout and how I will transition from one color to another.  That will be fun!  Meanwhile, I think I'll make some of the smaller blocks bigger.  That's a place to start, anyway!

Hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend, and have some time for sewing!  

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

Friday, May 12, 2017

Bow Ties in Green

I arrived home from a vacation last night, and all I could think about was getting back to my sewing machine! Of course, there are a million other things to do when you've been away for awhile - laundry, groceries, picking up the mail that's been held, etc., etc., but before I got started on all of that this morning, I decided to sew.

The 6 inch bow tie blocks I've been working on go together really fast, so I dug around in my green scrap bin, found some pieces that would work, and got busy!

Before I knew it, there were four more bow ties to add to my collection.

Now there's a happy bunch!

Sharing at So Scrappy for Scrap Happy Saturday!