Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I Like Thursday #58 - the end of November

But not the end of being thankful!  I'm working hard on having an attitude of
gratitude every day.

This week I am thankful for our Thanksgiving road trip - good weather for traveling and good times with our kids.

I liked the beautiful walk we took along the South Platte River on Thanksgiving Day!

I like checking out the public art in the small Kansas town where our younger son lives.

(LeeAnna, you know where this is!)

This is a giant painting on a giant easel installed in 2001, painted by a Canadian artist, as an homage to Vincent VanGogh.  It's intriguing to drive into town and come across it!  They also have other easel installations in parks around town, and we took a little drive to see them.

One more - 

I liked this beautiful Kansas sunrise!

When we are with our kids, we play lots of cards and games, so I pulled this one out of our game cupboard to take along, and we ended up having a lot of fun with it!

If you enjoy the Phase 10 card game (which we do), this is the same idea, but with dice and a couple different rules.

I like these new wool socks that I got on the way home from our Thanksgiving trip.  They are pretty and so soft.  I've been enjoying wearing them around the house in the early mornings before the house has warmed up.

I like hand sewing the binding on quilts, and I've been working on this one this week in the evenings.  Fun polka dots!

More about this finish in my Saturday RSC post!  Meanwhile I'll enjoy reading the I Like Thursday posts over at Not Afraid of Color.  Thanks, LeeAnna, for hosting each week!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Making a Little Progress

Although I've had limited time for sewing this week, I did manage to get my Dancing Monkeys basted and a few stitches put in it.

I decided to experiment with a different thread for quilting this time - a Sulky  variegated rainbow thread.  I'm not sure I'm a big fan of using such colorful thread after all (my usual thread tends to blend in), but I suppose if any project can handle something different, these colorful monkeys can!

One thing I do enjoy about the quilting process is the chance to look closely again at all the different fabrics in these blocks!

Hello from some Little Penguins!

Getting the quilting finished and sewing on the binding of this quilt will be my goal for this coming week.

I also finished a brown "leader/ender" block...

and got some pieces cut to make a blue one.

These are made from the smallest leftover chunks in my scrap bins - a 1.5 x 2.5 inch scrap of background fabric and the same size of a color, and finish at 10 inches.  I have plenty of small scraps  in the blue bin, so I'm going to make both a dark blue block and a light blue block!

Hope you all had an enjoyable Thanksgiving!  Sharing at SoScrappy and Quilting is More Fun than Housework for my favorite weekend link-ups!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I Like Thursday #57 - Happy Thanksgiving!

I like rituals and traditions.

Those daily ones, like a hot cup of coffee or tea in my favorite mug first thing in the morning.

And seasonal ones, like raking leaves and cleaning up the yard on a beautiful November day.

How about a turkey dinner?

I love turkey and it is time for our annual tradition - I make the turkey at home on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, then package up the leftovers and take them along on a little road trip to visit our sons for the long weekend.

Meanwhile, a few leftovers stay home and turn into turkey soup, or maybe a turkey sandwich or two.  I like the little slider buns I found for this year's sandwiches.   

 Happy Thanksgiving!   Wishing all of you a wonderful day!

It's I Like Thursday over at Not Afraid of Color.  Hope you will join us to see what everyone's been liking this week!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

And one more project...

Last week I was the lucky recipient of this pretty pile of fabric from Alison of Little Bunny Quilts!

It is 20 WOF 2.5 inch strips from Island Batik's Northern Woods collection and 1/4 yard of a light brown with some green going through it.  Alison used the rest of this fabric for her beautiful Faceted Friendship Star quilt!  Thanks for sharing, Alison!

I think this might be my favorite piece -  it reminds me of aspen trees in the Colorado woods.

Or this one - golden snowflakes on dark brown.  Beautiful!

When you get something unexpected like this in the mail, what do you do?  Well, I dove right in and started playing!  Inspired by PaulaB's batik strips quilt top, I cut the 20 strips into 10.5 inch pieces, and then sewed them into dark and light pairs.

I also cut a few of these strip pairs in half so that when I laid the blocks out, I got this offset bricks pattern.

I really like the pops of turquoise, blue-green, and orange in among the earthy tones.

As it stands right now, if I sew all the strip pairs together, I think the quilt top would come out at about 33.5 x 50, not really big enough to be useful yet.  I've never sewn with batiks much, so don't have scraps to add into the mix either.  So, it's back to the mulling stage for this one.  

Any advice?  

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

Friday, November 17, 2017

That Quilty Tug of War

You all know what I mean...other bloggers have been writing about it lately, too.

The pull in one direction to finish something up, and the tug in another direction to start something new!  I've been going through that this week.  So I thought I might do a little of both!

The Dancing Monkeys want to be finished!  Started back in 2016, these blocks were a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project that I just had to make after seeing the fun monkey wrench blocks from other quilters.

I had fun making these scrappy blocks in all the colors of the rainbow, and finished up the quilt top just last month.

This week, I got the backing and batting ready so that I can get this project basted and start quilting it.

That might be just the thing to do during the football games on Sunday afternoon!

Meanwhile, also way back in May of 2016, I won this beautiful bundle of a fabric line called Blush and Bloom...

and it has been sitting on the shelf ever since, waiting for some inspiration.  Until last weekend, when Linda from Kokaquilts posted about her beautiful Floribunda quilt and included a helpful link to the tutorial for a Sawtooth Star block by Amy at Diary of a Quilter.

Since this bundle of fabric includes several pretty florals

plus a few geometric prints, and some that read as solids,

I realized this batch of fabric would be perfect for the Sawtooth Star block!

So, yep, I made this one which finishes at 12 inches.  I liked being able to use the floral as the focus of the block, with the more solid fabrics for the flying geese.  This will definitely be a "playing with the idea" project going into 2018!

While this isn't starting out as a scrap project, it will certainly generate scraps, lol! They will be great for trying different sizes of stars, as well as sashing or border ideas.  I'm going to enjoy playing with this, now that I've gotten started!

Sharing at SoScrappy for Scrap Happy Saturday! 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

I Like Thursday #56 - Thankful November, pt. 2

I've been keeping up with my list of things I am thankful for each day this month.  Several of the things on my list this past week have to do with my book club.

I'm really thankful for my book club group and our monthly get togethers!  I have loved to read my whole life, and having friends who also love to read, share, and talk about books is a great blessing!

This month the get together was at my house, so that is a big part of why book club is on my list this week.  Having company means cleaning, of course!  Although I am not one of those people who finds therapy in cleaning,  I do like the result!

My mom gave me these napkins to use when my friends were coming over. Lol!

Though we are not a wine-drinking book club, and we tend more toward tea, we did get a laugh out of the napkins anyway!

Getting out a variety of teas for my group!

Of course, we need a little something to munch on while talking.  I found this yummy popcorn mix at Costco - cheddar and caramel!  

It is (unfortunately!) way, way too good!

Since this was a book club get together, a book was needed!  😄  This month's book was really fascinating!

Isabella Bird was an Englishwoman who traveled all over the world in the 1800s, and throughout Colorado in 1873.  This book is a compilation of her letters to her sister back in England.  Her experiences were really something, and gave us a lot to talk about!   I also liked reading a book I wouldn't necessarily have chosen myself, which is what being in a book club is all about!  

And to finish up this week - 

I always enjoy those little positive - thinking cartoony things (is there a better name for them?)  that you find online.  I really liked this one!

Happy Thursday!  Hope you're having a great week!  Join us for more I Like posts over LeeAnna's blog, Not Afraid of Color.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Stars on Autumn Lane Finished!

Stars on Autumn Lane was a fun quilt along with Carole of From My Carolina Home during her Autumn Jubilee series in October.  I finally finished mine up over the weekend and was able to get some photos of it this morning.

I didn't add the borders, so this little quilt measures 36.5 x 36.5 and hopefully will be perfect for my friend's large dining room table.  Here's how it looks on mine!

I quilted this with a straight line diagonal grid using my walking foot.  Simple for me to do, and I always like the results!

Since the top is made with a small fat quarter bundle called Autumn Road that I purchased in McMinnville, Oregon, and three background fabrics from my stash, I had to go shopping for the backing and binding, and here is what I found.  

It makes me think of falling leaves and fireworks - perfect to celebrate a good friend on her birthday!

I even remembered to sew on a label this time!

I'm so glad to have this quilt finished and ready to be gifted!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Almost Finished, and a Few Scraps

A big focus of my week was pin basting 

and quilting

Stars on Autumn Lane.

But I just couldn't stop there!  Since the larger table topper quilt will be a birthday gift for a friend, I still wanted to make something for my own table out of this pretty fabric.  So I took some of the leftover scraps and stitched up a few blocks.  Pinwheels, four patches, scrappy patchwork, just playing.

I decided to try a new quilting design that I saw in Jacquie Gering's Walk, called a curved cross hatch, and look - !!!

Love it!  I really enjoy trying designs like this on a small scale.

Meanwhile, Stars on Autumn Lane is quilted, trimmed, and the machine-stitched step of the binding is done, so finishing the hand stitching on the binding will be happening here today.  Always my favorite part! 

Sharing at Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!
and Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Friday, November 10, 2017

November Leaders and Enders

While working hard to finish another quilt this week, I also made some progress on my leader/ender blocks.

I got out the box of brown scraps and cut up the littlest chunks into 1.5 x 2.5 inch pieces.

I finished up the black/gray block while starting to sew the browns.

And four 10.5 inch blocks finished so far!

Happy Scrap Happy Saturday!  Sharing at SoScrappy.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

I Like Thursday #55 - Thankful November, pt. 1

I like our "I Like" community!  Encouraged by LeeAnna of Not Afraid of Color, this community is growing every week, and I've enjoyed finding new bloggers to follow and chat online with.

Last week, Colette of What About Rheema encouraged us to keep track of what we're thankful for everyday during the month of November.  Amazingly, I've never done this before - I tend to think about it each day, but not write it down.  So, Colette, I took you up on it!

My likes to share this week are all from the list I'm keeping daily this month.

Yesterday we woke up to a pretty snow, and here is the view outside today -

Snow isn't unusual for us in November, but it is unseasonably cold and dark.  I'm ready for the sun to come back out!  Interestingly, though, the birds love it!  We've counted 10 different kinds of birds around our yard in the last couple of days -  juncos, blue jays, flickers, downy woodpeckers, house finches, house sparrows, red-breasted nuthatches, white-breasted nuthatches, goldfinches, and chickadees.  All that with just some sunflower feeders and peanut butter suet!

Speaking of birds, I like these fun socks that a friend gave me!

I also like this website for bird identification from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology - 

It has a tab for listening to a bird's song in order to identify it,  and we were able to figure out a bird at my mom's home in Arizona recently that we had never recognized before - a Curve-billed Thrasher.  I liked being able to add a new bird to my life list of birds that I've identified!

(Photo by Gerrit Vyn)

A recent road trip took us into New Mexico, and I discovered an interesting quilt shop in the small town of Las Vegas that I really liked.

I had to pick up a few fat quarters, including this fun one celebrating the old Route 66.

Also on this road trip, we made it to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and visited a neat place called the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.  Click the link to visit their website.  Here is the Wikipedia description of this museum.

"The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, located in Albuquerque, is owned and operated by the 19 Indian Pueblos of New Mexico and dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of Pueblo Indian Culture, History and Art."

It is full of fascinating information and beautiful artifacts, and we really enjoyed visiting this museum.  I didn't take many photos, but I did capture this statement that we found right at the entrance to the displays that I like.

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