Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

I Like Thursday #79 -

Happy "I Like Thursday," friends!

Meet Jake, the helper dog -

Isn't he a good looking guy?  And such a sweetie, too!  Jake doesn't live at our house, he lives down the street, but he likes to come visit us when we're out in the yard.  (I'm not sure why his people don't miss him, but they don't seem to...)  When he was visiting us the other day, I told him he could help me pick up sticks, so he did!  But of course, he really just wanted to play with them!

Also seen out in our yard -

A red-breasted nuthatch, checking out the birdhouses!

I would love it if someone made a nest in one of our birdhouses, but we can't tell yet.

I loved this poem that a friend sent to me recently:

A Song

The birders I encountered
in books and in the world
shared little except this simple secret:
if you listen to birds,
every day will have a song in it.

~ Kyo McLear

My friend found it on this blog - A First Sip.   This blogger posts a daily poem or quote with a photo that's meant to offer some beginning of the day inspiration, and I've been enjoying it since I discovered it, too.

I like this little bouquet of flowers that I got to dress up my dining room table for my Stash Statement bloghop post.

I love bouquets of flowers, but don't have them very often, until I have garden flowers that are ready to cut and put in a vase.

I like "rearranging!"  I used to rearrange my furniture on a regular basis, but I think we've lived here long enough that we've found the best arrangements that work for us.  Instead, I enjoy rearranging what's on the walls!

So, in our dining room/family room, here's what the wall has looked like for a long time - 

The big wall-hanging is the very first project I ever blogged about, way back in 2013!  I participated in the And Sew On block of the month, put on by Kristy of Quiet Play.  All of the blocks are paper-pieced, and some very intricate!  

Why I pinned it up on the dining room wall, I can't tell you, except that I was really proud of this project and wanted everyone to see it!  (And that's how I decorate, lol!)

But this week, I took all of that down, and hung up my latest finish, String Star.

There's still room for more on that wall, and maybe the little penguins mini needs to go back up - I just haven't decided yet!

And one more like to share this week - we've been enjoying "Sherlock" on Netflix recently.

British detective shows are my favorites, and these are a lot of fun!  I will even admit to having a bit of a crush on Benedict Cumberbatch...

Hope you're having a great week!  Thanks for visiting, and don't miss the other I Like Thursday bloggers you can find linked up at LeeAnna's place, Not Afraid of Color!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Stash Statement Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Stash Statement blog hop!  I'm thrilled to be a part of introducing you to the new book by Kelly Young of My Quilt InfatuationStash Statement  is all about using your scraps in a structured, but improvisational way, to create beautiful quilts.

When I first saw Louvered, the second quilt in Kelly's book, I knew it was one I'd enjoy making!  A rainbow of scrappy bits of fabric, tied together with a low volume background fabric - my favorite kind of project!

I began with my scraps, sorted by color, matching up like sized pieces.

These color blocks grew until I had enough to start cutting 3.5 x 8.5 "bricks," and I decided I would need four of each color.

Kona Cream for a background pulled everything together into four larger blocks, measuring about 13 x 18.

And then... I finished them into four mini Louvered quilts...

Quilted with my favorite wavy lines and bound in a rainbow of matching Kona solids, these turned out to be perfect for some scrappy placemats on my dining room table!

You might notice that I made one more for the center of the table - combining all four colors!

Sometimes when you start sewing scraps together, you just can't stop.

These are going to be fun to use with my Fiesta Ware! 

I hope you've enjoyed seeing my project inspired by Kelly's new book!  I've really enjoyed sharing it with you!  Don't forget to check out the other blog on the hop today - Lindsay@Primrose Cottage Quilts - for more Louvered inspiration. And, while you're at it, click over to My Quilt Infatuation for a chance to win a copy of Stash Statement, too!


I was in the mood for pulling out fabric and playing with an idea I've had in the back of my quilter brain for awhile.  I think I saw someone else's project with this sort of color combination a year ago or so, and it's just been simmering in the background since then.

Simple patchwork squares, cut at 5 inches, in medium to dark blues, shades of gray, and mellow greens...

I'm aiming for a 10 x 12 square layout to begin with, something like this - 

It will take me awhile longer to find enough of a variety of fabric in these colors and cutting the squares, but I definitely have enjoyed playing around with this idea!

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

Friday, April 20, 2018

String Star Finish

Thanks to lots of encouragement from all my scrappy blogging friends, I powered through and finished up the quilting on my String Star and got it bound this week!

This quilt was designed and created throughout 2017 as I participated in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and made string blocks in each color of the month.

By December, I had the flimsy finished, and then it took a back seat to other projects  for a few months! 

Here it is today with quilting and binding finished - 

I bound it in a navy and white dot leftover from finishing my Dancing Monkeys quilt earlier this year.

Here is a shot of the back - lumps, bumps, and all!

And, after a run through the washer and dryer, here's how it looks!

You'll have to take my word for it, but the "crinkle" factor, after washing and drying, made all the difference.  The lumps and bumps from my quilting frustration softened up and shrinkage seems to have tightened everything up.  Finished dimensions are about 46 x 46, and before washing it was 49 x 49.  That definitely did make a difference!

Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I Like Thursday #78

Welcome back to I Like Thursday - a day to think about all the good things in life to celebrate!

I like duck "acrobatics!"

We spent a day up in the mountains earlier this week, and got to hike at one of our favorite spots, Lily Lake.  There were lots of mallards there, working hard to find some food under the water.

These bushes were "blooming" - maybe that's what you'd call it!

When I was growing up in New York State, we called these Pussy Willows.  I think this might be the first time I've noticed them in Colorado.  They are so soft - I just had to reach out and touch!

This is a glimpse of the very top of Long's Peak just as we turned a bend in the trail.   It is a 14,000 + foot mountain that we can also see from our house many miles away.  Can you see the beaver?  It's the shape that you see going along the left side of the peak - nose, back, tail.

I am so happy that my tulips survived the recent snow and windstorms we've been having.  I love their pretty color!

And in the category of " Sometimes you just have to laugh!"   The other day I was cutting some more pieces for my "Libby's Mystery" blocks, and when I went to sew them up, I couldn't figure out why some of the green pieces were cut 1/8 inch too small.

And then a lightbulb in my quilty brain turned on!

It doesn't really work to cut green fabric on a green mat with a yellow ruler...

After I pulled out a back up cutting mat I have that is gray, things went much better!

Happy Thursday to you!  Hope you're having a great week!  Don't forget to check out all of the I Like Thursday posts that are linked up at LeeAnna's place, Not Afraid of Color.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Stash Statement Blog Tour

Today is the kick-off for the Stash Statement blog hop, of which I am really excited to be a part!  Stash Statement: Make the Most of Your Fabrics with Easy Improv Quilts, by Kelly Young, is full of great patterns for using scraps to make beautiful quilts.

Every Monday for the next 13 weeks you'll get to see examples of all the projects that Kelly's book has to offer.  There are prizes, too!  Check Kelly's blog, My Quilt Infatuation, for a chance to win a copy of her book!

Stash Statement Blog Tour Schedule-

4/16- Grand Bazaar    Shelley @ Cora's Quilts
                                    Connie @ Freemotion by the River

                           Diann @ Little Penguin Quilts - that's me!

4/30- Precarious  Jess @ Quilty Habit                       
                             Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts
5/7- Beach Retreat  Sarah @ Sarah Goer Quilts                               
                                 Liz @ Savor Every Stitch 
5/14- Fire Pit   Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts                                          
                         Preeti @ Sew Preeti Quilts
5/21- Detour    Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts                         
                         Shelley @ The Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts
5/28- Murrina    Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl             
                            Leanne @ Devoted Quilter
6/4- Scattered    Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal                      
                           Christine @ Triangles and Squares 
6/11- Bloom Chicka Boom   Chris @ made by ChrissieD            
                                               Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
6/18- Regatta   Susan @ Quilt Fabrication                             
                          Debbie @ A Quilter's Table    
                          Christa @ Christa Quilts
6/25- Catch a Falling Star  Cynthia @ Quilting is More Fun Than Housework        
                                              Anja @ Anja Quilts
7/2- College Prep   Hilary @ by Hilary Jordan                 
                                Lori @ Crossquilt
7/9- Take Flight (bonus digital pattern)  Kelli @ Seriously, I Think It Needs Stitches 
                                                                 Paula @ The Sassy Quilter

See you back here next Monday for my stop on the tour!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Moving Forward

I last posted about my String Star project in December of last year.  I worked on the blocks throughout the year and then the quilt top was finished that month, and I remember writing that I expected to have it quilted before too much time passed by.

Famous last words, right?!  Of course, other things came along that I needed to work on first, and a few months went by until I could pull this quilt out again and move it along!

This week I finally had a chance to get the backing and batting ready to go - 

get the layers basted - 

and quilting started!  Hooray!

How do you like the pink gardening gloves I use for quilting gloves?  They work great!

I have to say that I was soooo excited to get moving on this quilt again, because I really love how the design turned out, but...  quilting it is turning out to be very frustrating!  Bulky seams, uneven stitches (even with my walking foot!), places where pieces bunch up and fold over... ~sigh~  

I'm persevering, though, and hoping that a trip through the washer and dryer when the quilting is done will crinkle everything up and hide the imperfections!  Fingers crossed!  

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

Friday, April 13, 2018

Here Comes the Sun!

This week I really enjoyed making two new blocks for my Squared Away sampler!  I chose a bright yellow Kona solid and a darker yellow print for these blocks.

This first one is my favorite - I really like how the bright yellow solid makes the darker print shine, too.  I reversed the fabrics in the second block for a little different effect.

Here are all eight blocks I've made so far - I'm really happy with how they're turning out!  Thanks go to Mari and Angela for planning and designing these blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this year!  

While I had the yellows out, I made a few more yellow bowtie blocks.

I've made 54 of these 6 inch blocks so far, on my way to at least 80, or maybe more.  I haven't paid a lot of attention to how many I need in each color just yet, but it's probably about time to figure that out!

For now, I'm just content to make a few of these blocks every now and then and watch my collection grow until they're ready to be made into a quilt.

Linking up with the other RSC quilters for ScrapHappy Saturday at SoScrappy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

I Like Thursday #77 - Tiny Happy Things

I saw this meme somewhere a few days ago, and felt like it was one to share!

All those things make me happy, and others, too - 

- open doors or windows on a warm Spring day

- my yearly box of grapefruit picked from my mom's tree in Arizona which came in the mail the other day - yummy! 

- the nightly neighborhood walk that Mike and I take after dinner, year round.  We see so many different things: neighbors walking their dogs, stars in the night sky, the lilacs budding out

- freshly baked cookies  - my favorite is peanut butter!

My book club met at our house earlier this week, so it was a good excuse to bake!

-of course, I also love sewing little bits of fabric together in a rainbow of colors 

Which leads me to another meme I liked this week, too -
So true!

Hope you are experiencing some tiny happy things this week!  Thanks for joining me on "I Like Thursday."  Be sure to check out all of the I Like Thursday posts at 
LeeAnna's blog, Not Afraid of Color!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

When Spring won't give you tulips...

you have to make your own!

I have a little flower garden in the front yard of my home, and this time of year it can easily look like this...  (It snowed here yesterday...)

Those tulips are trying to bloom, but not getting much help from Mother Nature!  So,  a week ago or so, I used a tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co to sew up this tulip block.

This week I've enjoyed finishing it into a mini quilt to bring a little Spring indoors!  At about 9 x 17, it fits perfectly on my fridge.

I handquilted this project to give it some nice texture.  My handquilting skills are pretty primitive, but even so, I really enjoy the process!

The tulips out in the garden are pretty hardy, so I know they'll bloom soon, but until they do, I'll enjoy this one!

Hope you're enjoying some weekend stitching, friends!  

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