Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

I Like Thursday #184 - so many things to like!

Happy last day of April, friends!  Hope you are finding good things to do and enjoy right where you are.

I like that it is really and truly Spring here in Colorado now.  We've been able to sit out on our backporch and enjoy the backyard views!

Mike was trying to capture the sun coming through my new spinner the other day with a close-up.  

 I love this group of special people.  These are many of the guys Mike served in the Navy with in the late 60s/early 70s.  We get together with them, and the wives who can come, every two years.  This photo was taken at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC, in May of 2018.  Today we should have been meeting them all in Boston for our 2020 reunion, but the coronavirus changed all that, as it has changed so many things for everyone right now.

Today, we're missing this group so much, but we are hoping to reschedule this trip for a year from now! 

This week I had the chance to bake some Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, and it was yummy!  I promise we didn't eat it all - I gave the big loaf to a neighbor.  But Mike and I have enjoyed a slice or two each day with morning coffee.

I had fun finishing up my Heart of the Home mini, pattern from Twiggy and Opal.  I had to share the back of it, too - I fussy cut just the right piece for it!

I love this, and I'm ready to make another one for a friend!

The penguins at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago have been entertaining us recently.  Their keepers are letting them explore the aquarium since there aren't any visitors coming in right now.  You can visit their website, HERE, or like the Aquarium on Facebook, and every now and then a little video of a penguin or two wandering the aquarium will be available to watch.

And just to leave you with a little laugh - I enjoyed this one this week!

Joining in with the "I Like Thursday" bloggers at Not Afraid of Color.


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

April Color Challenge Block

April's Color Challenge block, designed by Patterns by Jen, is pretty in purple!  Based on an interesting bird called the Purple Honeycreeper, I enjoyed making this block in different shades of purple.

Purple honeycreepers live mostly in South America, but are related to tanagers which do live in North America.  They have quite an interesting bill, long and curved, which helps them drink nectar.

Here are my four blocks for this year, so far!

Monday, April 27, 2020

To-Do Tuesday #35

Happy Tuesday, friends!  Hard to believe it is almost the end of April... Hope you are all hanging in there and getting lots done!

I can definitely check one thing off from last week's list!

My tiny rails blocks are a quilt top!

Measures about 50.5 x 50.5

I also put on the list to start cutting the pieces for my version of Centred for mmmquilts' QAL.   This is how far I got on that:

Meanwhile, the directions for Block A are out, so I need to get moving on this!

Number 3 on the last week's list was to get a quilt basted for quilting, but that didn't happen because the batting I ordered hasn't arrived yet.  I knew that was a possibility, so I'll just put that on the back burner for when it does arrive!

So, for the coming week:

1.  I had almost forgotten about the April Color Challenge block!  The pieces are cut and sections sewn together.  They just need to be trimmed and the final seams sewn.  This needs to be done today so I can link them up before the end of the month!

2.  Make some progress on my Centred project.  If I get pieces cut and sewn just for Block A, I'll be happy!

3.  Stitch block #6 for the Book Club Hand-pieced QAL,  named after Jo of Little Women.  Pieces are all cut, and I'll be working on this each evening this week.

Whew... lots of QALs in my life right now!  But it's all fun, so why not?

Linking up with Roseanne at Home Sewn by Us for To-Do Tuesday.

Saturday, April 25, 2020


Squirrels are cute, entertaining, creative, and fast!  It's no wonder they're all over my sewing room (and my house for that matter!), as well as in the yard.

I sometimes think most of my quilting projects start out as squirrels.  I see something on a blog, and I think, "I want to try that!" and off I go.  That's how this project got started - this tutorial on The Joyful Quilter blog for Magic Star blocks and a fabric pull.

That lead to these blocks - 

and this week, a finished tablerunner!

A leftover chunk of this colorful cat fabric made the perfect backing.

These guys make me smile!

I enjoyed chasing this squirrel!

And, while not necessarily a squirrelly project, I also just "had to" trace a new embroidery design to work on this week.  I chose Gail Pan's "Bee Brave," which she is offering free on her website right now.

I'm making this for my sister, whose daughter is a nurse working with Covid patients right now - and it's hard for her not to worry.    When the embroidery is done, I'll finish into a small mug rug or mat to give my sister.

Sharing at my favorite places: Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap
Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching 
mmmquilts for Sandra's April DrEAMi link-up.

Friday, April 24, 2020


Sewing these Tiny Rails blocks together into a quilt top has been on my list to complete this month.

I started making these way back in September of 2017 as a way to use up the smallest scrap pieces of fabric that wouldn't fit anywhere else.  Each 10.5 inch block is made of twenty-five 2.5 inch squares created with a 1.5 x 2.5 print fabric and the same size low volume background piece.  After making 25 of these blocks in light, medium, and dark shades of all the rainbow colors, I decided that was enough!  

This week I sewed them together!   They went together quickly, using the Speed Quilt Assembly method I learned from Carole at From My Carolina Home.  

I think this is the same as "webbing" a quilt, but I had never taken the time to learn exactly what that meant!

All the blue blocks webbed together - medium and light blue blocks above, and dark blue block in lower left corner.

And the quilt flimsy finished -

It measures 50.5 x 50.5.

Other light blue blocks completed in April:

It's almost time for a new color, and I'm ready!  How about you?
Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

I Like Thursday #183

That is me, this week, just getting up and carrying on.
Hope you have been able to do the same!

I love it that Spring returned to our neck of the woods this week!  This is a much better view than we had a week ago, after 11 inches of snow...

I'm rewarding myself for getting up and carrying on with two small projects this week.   This little block, called an Eccentric Star, is the first in a set of four shared by Pam Buda at Heartspun Quilts.

The blocks are 4.5 inches, and 
will make a small runner when all finished up.
She's calling it the Safekeeping Sew-Along.

Thank you, Jocelyn, I think it was you who shared info about this little sew-along in a recent post!  

And then I saw that Jayne, of Twiggy and Opal, had published her paper-pieced Heart of the Home pattern over the weekend, and I decided that would be fun to try, too!

My house has a roof so far!

I've also been enjoying listening to Aunt Jane of Kentucky, a story by  Elizabeth Calvert Hall, first published in 1907, and read aloud by Frances O'Roark Dowell, of the QuiltFiction podcast.

A sweet friend left a present by my front door recently.  What a fun surprise!  It is a blank journal and some markers to play with.

Can you read her note?  It says,
"Owl be there if you need me!"

Be sure to visit the other "I Like Thursday" bloggers at Not Afraid of Color,
all of us getting up and carrying on!  

Monday, April 20, 2020

To-Do Tuesday #34

Maybe Spring is here in Colorado for good?!  Today it sure feels like it, but last Thursday definitely did not with 11 inches of snow officially!  Here's how we looked on Friday morning after all was said and done.

As of today (Monday afternoon), everything is melted,
 and the grass is nice and green from all the moisture!

Meanwhile, indoors, things on last week's to-do list can be checked off!

1.  The Magic Star tablerunner is quilted and binding is ready to hand-stitch down tonight.  ✔

2. Make 24 light blue HSTs for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge zigzag quilt.  ✔

3.  Green zigzag row is sewn together.  ✔

4.  5th block for the Hand-Pieced QAL is complete!  ✔

So, on this week's To-Do list:

1.  I'm participating in Sandra's (mmmquilts) Centred QAL, so I need to get myself organized and get started on the cutting.  This pretty bundle of blue batiks that I won in a giveaway last fall is what I'll be using for this project.

I got started with the planning Monday afternoon.

Fingers crossed that I will have the right contrast 
to get the effect that Sandra's pattern has!

2.  I would love to start sewing these colorful blocks into a quilt top!

3.  I ordered some batting from Connecting Threads a couple days ago.  If it comes this week, I hope to get a quilt top basted and quilting started. 

Linking up with Roseanne at Home Sewn by Us for To-Do Tuesday.  Thank you, Roseanne, for this fun linky!

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Book Club QAL Week 4

This past week, I've been working on the fifth block for the Book Club Hand-Pieced QAL.  This block is named Cathy - and I'm looking forward to learning more about her.  I've been working on the blocks a little bit ahead because I enjoy them so much!

Cathy, in pieces and parts:

And stitched together:

Five blocks finished now!

Sharing at Elm Street Quilts for the Book Club QAL link-up!

Friday, April 17, 2020

Design Wall in Light Blue

These days it's easy to jump around from one thing to another in the sewing room, and that absolutely describes my week!

But sometimes that results in a bit of progress!

Way back in 2016, when I first joined in with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge,  I made all kinds of scrappy double four patches in every color, but I never liked how they went together, so I abandoned the idea of using them all in one quilt.  Instead they have gone into various orphan block projects  - like a doll quilt, a wheel chair quilt, and these potholders made and gifted in 2018!

I've been wanting to try the double four patches again with a more controlled color scheme, and that's what I've been playing with this week.

I've been cutting some yardage of a light blue grunge into 3.5 inch squares and laying it out with the scrappy 4 patches I started making with 2 inch squares earlier in the year.

From my Thursday post - a new rotary cutter blade makes a huge difference!

Scrappy 4 patches from earlier in the year:

And here's how they look together so far - 

I want the chains of colors and neutrals to be really strong 
running through this design.  This has been fun to play with!  Each double four patch will finish at 6 inches, so lots more are needed.

Along the way, lots of blue HSTs for the zigzag quilt have also been made, and both the green and orange rows are completely sewn together.

Oops, that last one on the top left is turned wrong!

There, that's better!

What have you been up to this week?  Looking forward to visiting with all the RSC quilters at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday!

Also sharing at Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Bunny in the Garden

A small finish...

We see lots of rabbits here - they aren't shy about hanging out in our yard!

This week, I brought the bunny indoors by finishing my little embroidered bunny design from Gail Pan's Patchwork Loves Embroidery Too.

I found a bit of this pretty blue floral left from
 my Blush and Bloom bundle to pair it with.

Adding some borders, and binding it with some Kona Grass Green, made for a quick little finish!

And here's where it's hanging now!

Sharing at TGIFF at Chrisknitssews and at
Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.
And at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Show Me a Mini!