Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Apparently I wasn't finished...

With blue!

A couple days ago, I found this pattern for some coffee cup blocks.  It's from, the website for American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.  The block is called Coffee Time.  I had been looking for a pattern like this ever since I saw Kate's coffee cup quilt, and wanted to try making a similar block.

Well, the blue scrap bin was out, so, just for fun, here's what I made - a light blue coffee cup and a dark blue one.

I always enjoy trying a new block, and these came together very easily!  I did add a 1.5" strip on the right side of both blocks where the handles of the cups are.

Wouldn't these make a fun quilt in all different colors?  I might put them on my list for next year's RSC, but meanwhile, I decided to make these into a couple mug minis for our morning coffee spot.  I like to change those out fairly regularly and it gives me an excuse to make something small!  :)

I quilted them in a diagonal cross-hatch, and because they are rectangular (6.5 x 7.5), the cross-hatching has a diamond shape.  I bound the dark cup in the light blue and the light cup in a dark blue.

I had the perfect backing fabric in my stash!

And here's why blue is perfect for the end of July - Bronco training camp has started.  Time to get out the Bronco mug!

Go Broncos!

Sharing Sunday at Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework!

Also sharing at 

Friday, July 28, 2017

A Sea of Blues

My Rainbow Scrap Challenge sewing with blue scraps for July has taken me all over the place!

  • From a festive red, white, and blue table runner, and a fun improv flag wall-hanging early in the month- 

  • to some blue Monkey business at the end of the month. 

  • I used up a few more scraps making some improv slab blocks - 

  • Plus 8 blue string blocks, a maple leaf, a nine patch, and some bow ties!

Of course, there are still lots of scraps in the blue bin, but that's okay because I really love blue!

Curious about what other RSC quilters have been up to for the last of this blue month?  Check them out at SoScrappy for the ScrapHappy Saturday link-up!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I Like Thursday #40 - Yummy, Pretty, and Helpful!

It is just about Thursday again, and time to share what I've been liking this week!  I'm joining in as always with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color to share the positive things we've experienced over the past week.

It's time for Colorado peaches, and I really like Colorado peaches!  They're grown on the Western Slope in an area around the town of Palisade (also a place to find good wines!) and they always come into season about mid-July.  We buy them from this roadside stand near our house.

These peaches are so delicious, and I slice one up to put on my cereal every morning.  They make my whole wheat cereal taste like dessert!  In August, when my mom comes to visit, she will have to make me a peach pie - yum!

I liked picking a carrot out of my garden this week - notice I said "a" carrot!  This seems to be the only one, and it was a volunteer from last year's carrot seeds.  It's so fascinating to me that the tiny carrot seed could live all through the winter and then start growing a year after it was originally planted!

It was tasty! :)

Here is a photo of my little flower garden - I like its pretty colors right now.  Larkspur, marigolds, alyssum, and snapdragons seem to be happy in that garden right now.

I found a new recipe to try with zucchini noodles this week.  Here's a link to the recipe, if you want to try it! Bruschetta Grilled Chicken Zoodle Bowls

The Bruschetta made with fresh tomatoes and balsamic vinegar gave the dish a yummy fresh taste, and we really liked it!

I liked helping out a friend with her first t-shirt quilt.  She did all the designing and sewing, but we talked over different techniques that would make everything easier.  I dug out this book that I bought a very long time ago so that she could read about how to sew on the binding.  I hadn't looked at the book in awhile, and it was fun to look back through it and see my notes from projects I had made out of it.  

I read Bonnie Hunter's blog and follow her on Facebook, and I like how she ends her daily posts with uplifting quotes that make me think paired with a picture of a quilt.  Here's one from earlier this week:

I often think that by my age (60ish :), I should have it all figured out.  I'm so glad to know that others don't either!  Life definitely keeps me on my toes!

Happy Thursday!  Hope life has been good to you this week!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Temecula Mini Blocks WiP

This week's Temecula Marvelous Monday Mini blocks are meant to be 36 patch blocks made from 1-1/8" squares (180 of them to make 5 blocks!).  I knew I would not want to cut that many teeny tiny squares, so I decided to make them using the Scrappy Trips block method from Bonnie Hunter.

I cut six strips of the different colors that were 7" x 1-1/8."  Sewing them together, making a tube of the strips by sewing them right sides together, and then cutting apart in the opposite direction and re-sewing made an easy 36 patch block.  Check out this tutorial if you want to see it written out in more detail!

So far, I've made two of these - this week's plan calls for 5 total.  We'll see if I get around to that!

I am enjoying seeing these blocks all together!  Here are the 12 I had before I made the second 36 patch block.  

I'm really getting curious to find out what will be happening with these blocks once all of them are completed!

Linking up with Let's Be Social at Sew Fresh Quilts and Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


This week I've been thinking about where my inspiration comes from in the quilting work I do.  It's been kind of fun to keep track of how a particular little scrap project evolved.

A couple weeks ago I first showed this low volume piece I made, with the intention that it would become the background for something else.  At that time, I wasn't sure what I would be doing with it, but I was inspired by a lovely mini quilt made by Teje at Neros Post.

Meanwhile, I was doing my usual watering and plant maintenance one day, and I cut some petunias to put into a mason jar.

Looking at those pretty purple petunias gave me an idea, so I got out my graph paper sketchbook, and drew this - 

The question was, could I make this out of fabric?

Sure I could!

I used some Steam a Seam to fuse the pieces onto the background, and added a little bit of primitive machine stitching to keep them in place. 

Some little buttons were fun for the flower centers.


Coming from many places.

Thanks to my many scrappy quilter friends for all the inspiration I find in you everyday!
Sharing at Oh Scrap! over at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.

Friday, July 21, 2017

A Rainbow Baby Quilt

Big A little a, what begins with a?  Aunt Annie's alligator, a...a...a!

Dr. Seuss's ABC has been one of my favorite children's books since I was a kid.  Since then, I have read it so many times to my own children, and to my students, that I have a lot of it memorized!

When I decided to make a baby quilt for some friends of my youngest son, and I found this fabric at my favorite LQS, I knew just what to do!   A whole cloth quilt would be quick and easy.

A yard and a half of ABC by Robert Kaufman, and some Kona Daffodil for the backing and binding, were perfect for this project!

After squaring up the ABC fabric, I ended up with a piece about 39 x 46.   I used the lines of the print to give myself some guidelines for the gently curved quilting using my walking foot.

Of course, a copy of the book will be included in the package, because it is just so much fun to read aloud!

All done!

Although this wasn't a scrappy project to begin with, I did end up with some scraps of the Kona Daffodil leftover, which I know I will find a use for!

Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I Like Thursday #39 - a New Hike

It's always fun to find a new spot to go hiking where you've never been before, so when a friend recommended Hollowell Park in Rocky Mountain National Park, Mike and I decided we needed to check it out!  It turned out to be a lovely place to explore and we really enjoyed ourselves.

I liked this wide open view that we started with - that's Long's Peak there in the background.  It is one of Colorado's 14,000 foot peaks.

There were tons of wildflowers along the way.  I really liked these pretty purple ones!  I do wish I knew their official name.  I can identify lots of birds, but don't have the same knowledge of wildflowers!

The wide open spaces soon turned into this - a beautiful grove of aspen trees.

And water - 

I like my new sun hat and my trekking poles!  I also like stopping to rest now and then, lol!

I like this view from Sprague Lake, another place to visit close by where we hiked.

We often stop by the Snowy Peaks Winery, in Estes Park, after hiking, for a picnic and a glass of wine.  This time, it was late afternoon, and some live bluegrass music was playing, which we really enjoyed. (along with that glass of wine!)

Happy Thursday!  I hope you're having a wonderful week!  I'm looking forward to the I Like Thursday posts over at Not Afraid of Color - join us!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Cool Blues

I've been enjoying playing with my blue scraps this week, continuing the July color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

First up, this week's Marvelous Monday Mini block, from Temecula Quilt Company.  I've made 10 of these little blocks so far - I'm getting really curious to see what we will end up doing with these!

I also played with my blue string scraps to make this month's blocks for my String Star quilt.

String blocks are so much fun to play with!

And in the category of  "Just because I had to," I made a couple of orange blocks to add into the mix, and see what will be happening when I have all the blocks made for the star.  You might notice that I fudged a couple of orqange blocks just to see what they will look like there by the red center square!

All I have left to complete my design plan are 6 orange blocks and 12 more of the neutral/low volume background blocks!  I'm excited about this one!

And, finally, I made some blue bow ties.

The bow tie blocks started as an "I want to make a few of these just for fun," block earlier this year, and since they measure 6.5 inches, I know I will need a bunch more to make even a lap sized quilt.  So far I've made just 20 bow ties, and probably need at least 80 to get a 4 x 5 block layout, if I sew them into 12.5 inch squares of four bow ties each.

Lots more blocks needed, but on the way to being a fun and scrappy quilt!  My low volume mini, which I have plans to add some applique to, is still in the same state it was last week, as I continue to mull over what I want to add to it!  

I'll be sharing my scrappy blues over at SoScrappy and Quilting is More Fun than Housework for their weekend link-ups!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I Like Thursday #38 - a Quiet Week

It's been a really quiet week here at the Little Penguin household.  Quiet because the neighborhood fireworks pretty much stopped after the 4th, thankfully.  Quiet because it's been hot here, so I've been trying to stay cool and not work up a sweat too much, so I read a lot or disappear into my basement sewing studio.

So quiet that I wasn't sure I had much to write about for my usual I Like Thursday post!  Until I went to look out my front window and saw this - a pink balloon sitting out on the grass.  Now, when you see something like that out of the blue, you just have to like it!

No idea where it came from - maybe a little person's birthday party?  Who knows!  There was also one in the yard across the street.  The next time I looked, it had disappeared.  I think there were Pink Balloon Fairies playing in our neighborhood that day!

I did also see this the other day - my first cherry tomato of the summer.

So yummy!  I'm looking forward to many more!

I enjoy a slow and quiet beginning to the day, with a mug of coffee and our local newspaper.  For a couple of years, we've had a digital subscription to the newspaper, which allows us to read it wherever we are, and we like that convenience.  Plus, you can go back and look articles or events up in the digital archives whenever you need to.

I like this jar full of petunias that I trimmed from one of my pots.  They are very fragrant!

Have you read this book - Wonder, by RJ Palacio? 

It is one of my most favorite middle grades books ever - I read it aloud to my 5th grade students several times.  Wonder is about a 5th grade boy who was born with a rare medical facial deformity, and how he deals with going to public school for the first time.  It's being made into a movie, and I'm looking forward to seeing it!

Before I retired I purchased a copy of Wonder to keep for myself, and it came with a companion book - 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts.  

Mr/ Browne is Auggie's 5th grade teacher, and in the story he gives the class a quote (or precept) each school day to discuss and write about.  This book has a quote for each day of the year, and I enjoy checking out the daily quote every now and then.  Here's the quote for July 12th:

I think this is perfect for creative people of all kinds!

I hope you're having a great week - quiet or busy, cool or hot - full of your favorite things.  I'm joining in with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color to celebrate the positive!  Feel free to join us!