Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

I Like Thursday #216

Happy New Year's Eve!  It's just about time to say goodbye to 2020 - are you ready?  I am!  Not that many of the things we've disliked about this year will go away tomorrow just because we turn the calendar over, but at least we can have some hope for change to come.

Winter came back to my neck of the woods the other morning.  We woke up to about an inch of snow, and then the sun came out, and the world was very pretty!

I have to give a thumb's up to Bernie at Needle and Foot and her Etsy shop!  I decided to put in an order for some fabric on Monday morning about 9 am, and by 10 am, I had an email notification that she had already shipped it!  That's such amazing service!  Thank you, Bernie!

I just started reading my book club's choice for our January discussion yesterday, but it didn't take long to know I was going to like it.

The main characters are Elsa, a seven-year-old, and her Granny, who is her superhero.   I knew I was going to like the book when I read this in the first chapter, " All seven-year-olds deserve superheroes.  And anyone who doesn't agree needs their head examined."

I was playing with some charm squares the other day.  I pulled out pink ones and a few coordinating colors to go along with them, because pink is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for January.

I decided to make some 4 patches out of these squares, and I like making them the way I learned from Nickel Quilts by Pat Speth.

Match up two squares, right sides together, and sew a 1/4 inch seam on opposite sides.

Measure where 2.5 inches is and cut this piece in half.  Press these pieces open.

Match them back up with opposite colors together.  Sew across the seams on opposite sides.

Cut in half at 2.5 inches.  Open up and press and you'll have lots of 4 patches!

Happy New Year!  Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2021!
I'm joining in with LeeAnna and friends at Not Afraid of Color for 
"I Like Thursday."

Monday, December 28, 2020

To-Do Tuesday #70

 Good morning!  I'm checking in today with my weekly to-do list and linking up with Roseanne and friends for the To-Do Tuesday linky party at Home Sewn By Us

Last week's list was all about enjoying the holiday, and I did my best to do just that!  Since we were staying home and not spending time with any family, enjoying the holiday (for me) involved playing with fabric, and here's what I made.  

Our holiday in fabric:

Mike and I, and our two sons, snug in our three little houses,
roads connecting us, but not traveled this year,
a snowy landscape, Christmas trees!
and the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the sky!

I also enjoyed a Christmas book, Lakeshore Christmas, by Susan Wiggs, and the "Call the Midwife" holiday special on PBS.  Cookies were baked and eaten as well.  Thank goodness for Zoom - we saw all of our loved ones that way this year!

Now I'm ready to get back to "normal!"  (Are we there yet? :)   This week between Christmas and New Years is typically my week to clean up, organize, and figure out what I want to focus on in the new year.  So here's what's on the list:

1.  Take down the tree and put away Christmas decorations. (I usually do this on New Year's Day.)

2.  Work on a list of WiPs and possible new projects for 2021.  Such as the "To be quilted" pile, which includes Rainbow Jungle.  (I did finish sewing on the borders!)

This pretty dark blue-green Grunge collects and shows all of the lint and threads that collect on my sewing room floor, so that gives me to-do #3 - 

3.  Vacuum sewing room floor.  🤣

Plenty to keep busy with this week!


2020 Color Challenge

 Just popping in with a quick post to share my December Color Challenge block and the collection of twelve that I've made throughout this year.  This QAL has been sponsored by Jen of Patterns by Jen and I want to thank her for providing such fun blocks to work on each month!

December's block is inspired by the Cardinal, which is such a beautiful bird!  I always wish we could see them here in Colorado, but they don't live in our state.

Here are all twelve of my blocks on the design wall, waiting for my decision on how to set them for the final quilt.  

I enjoyed making each one of these blocks!  Jen provided excellent directions for each one, and they turned out perfectly each time.  I did end up remaking one of them (bottom middle) because of my poor color choices, and nothing to do with the instructions.  It isn't exactly the same block, but close enough for my purposes!

Sharing at the December Color Challenge link-up at Patterns by Jen.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

My year of hand stitching

Somewhere back, sometime in 2019 for sure, I discovered that I enjoy hand stitching, and this year I did a lot of it!  Embroidery, hand-piecing, and hand quilting, especially for small projects, have become favorite pastimes.

This year, I completed lots of embroidery designs, and some were finished into little wall hangings or pillows.  Here are a few:

A few embroidery designs were made into pouches, too.

I have discovered that I really enjoy hand-piecing and that also resulted in some finishes this year!   I participated in the Hand-Pieced QAL for the second year and completed the Book Club design in July.

I think this will be a favorite project of mine for a long time!

Another hand-pieced and hand-quilted finish included some blue work embroidery I had done in 2019.  The blue and white HST blocks created some neat stars!

I hand-pieced a little fall quilt during the Humble Quilts QAL in September, and I love how it turned out, too.

A final hand-pieced finish was this little doll quilt that I shared a couple weeks ago.

It's been a busy year of slow stitching, and I'm sure I'll continue with these kinds of projects in 2021, too.   I enjoy them and I do think this kind of stitching brings with it a lot of benefits - a calming and peaceful activity that I look forward to every day!

Sharing at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Friday, December 25, 2020

My year of scrappy rainbows..

I've done a lot of sewing this year!  Have you found that to be true for yourself, too?  I know some bloggers have written about losing their sewing mojo, but that hasn't been a problem for me.  Quilting and sewing have really helped how I feel about daily life and all the challenges of 2020,  so I rarely go a day without some kind of stitching.  

Before I start thinking about 2021, and planning what I want to work on, I wanted to do some year end posts about the quilts and projects I finished in 2020.  

Early in the year, I was determined to finish up my version of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge sampler quilt from 2019, Tiny Tuesday.  These blocks were shared by Angela and other guest bloggers throughout the year just about every Tuesday, and I had fun playing along with them!  In early February, I had a finish!

Tiny Tuesday has been my go-to cuddle quilt all year long!

Another favorite finish in 2020 was Scrappy Sprouts and Sunflowers.  This quilt was actually started in 2018, with sprouts blocks being made in the color of the month throughout the year.  During 2019, I figured out a layout, made some sunflower Dresden plate blocks, and finally (it took awhile!) figured out how I wanted the sky to look.  This year I attached the sunflowers and got the whole thing quilted and finished!

I started making Rainbow Rails blocks in September of 2017, and finally in 2020 I felt like I had enough of them to make a quilt!  I started these blocks to make use of the smallest scrappy bits - 1.5 x 2.5 inch rectangles and ended up with 25 ten inch blocks.

From this:

To this:

Two smaller scrappy quilts were also finished this year.  Super Scrappy Baby was made out of crumb blocks, and was just the right size to send to Jack's Basket during the Hands2Help quilt drive.

The other combined a rainbow of color gradient blocks with a fun Kona Aloha background.  I'd like to donate it somewhere, too, but haven't sent it off yet.

Of course, through the year, I started a few new projects, too!  Several quilt tops are ready to be quilted, and there are some blocks to work on as well.  I'll be back with my planning for scrappy projects in the new year in another post.

Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and at

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

I Like Thursday #215: Quiet and Peaceful

It's definitely going to be a quiet and peaceful Christmas at our house, with just the two of us here.  Like so many others this year, I'm missing having my kids home and seeing extended family.  But there are things to like that will get us through.

I love seeing this group of sculptures on the corner of an intersection a couple miles from our house.

These were created by Jane Dedecker, a local sculptor who is also known for "Every Word We Utter," the women's suffrage monument which will be installed in Washington, DC.  Her home and studio are here in my town, right behind these sculptures!

For a bit of whimsy, there is also this sight to see, down a little ways and behind the fence.  Santa is delivering packages in his VW!

I love Christmas lights and ornaments on the tree!

We went for a drive to see Christmas lights around town, and this house is just on the next street over from us!

I finally did a little baking!

I went for simple this year - didn't even get out the cookie cutters.  
But they still taste good!  I did not share with my Raggedy friends back there!

If all goes according to plan, I will be Zoom Christmas-ing with my extended family later this morning.  It will be good seeing them, especially my mom, who would normally be visiting here this time of year.  She stayed in Arizona this year rather than travel, to be safe.  

Wishing you a peaceful Christmas!  Thanks for visiting for "I Like Thursday," and be sure to check out the other positive posts at Not Afraid of Color.

Monday, December 21, 2020

To-Do Tuesday #69

Happy Christmas week!  I'm checking in today with my weekly to-do list and linking up with Roseanne and friends for the To-Do Tuesday linky party at Home Sewn By Us

On my list from last week:

1.  Finish the December Color Challenge block.  Done!

2.  Finish the Christmas squirrel project.  Done!  I made us a couple of scrappy placemats, and they've  been getting lots of use.

3.  Choose another WiP off the list to make some progress on.  That turned out to be sewing the borders on the Rainbow Jungle project which is 3/4 done.  It won't take long to finish up.

So, what's going on this week?  I'm not putting any "have to's" on the list - this is a week for the "want to's!"  What do I want to do?

  • Bake some cookies!
  • Read a Christmas-y book!  That won't be a problem.  

  • Watch a Christmas movie (or two?!)  I'm not one to watch the Hallmark Christmas movies for months and months, but this week it seems appropriate!

Any recommendations?

Earlier this year I made the mini on the left - it's 6 inches.
This time I made the 4 inch size.

But wait, there's another one!

Stay tuned!

I have an idea for these tiny house blocks - let's see if I can make it work.  Have a wonderful holiday week, everyone!

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Quilt as you go hexagons

 I've been stitching some of the hexagons together to make a table mat.  Here's how they look so far.

The shape looks a little odd until you compare what I've sewn so far to my layout plan from a few weeks ago.

The ladder stitch has worked perfectly to hide the stitches that connect each hexagon, even the red one.

I'll be slow stitching on this project today while football games are on, and linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Friday, December 18, 2020

A scrappy Christmas squirrel

 Although I was trying to be productive this week, working on adding borders to the Rainbow Jungle...

I also had an idea I wanted to try that turned out to be quick and easy!  I got out some Christmas scraps and cut them into 2.5 inch strips.

I also cut a backing and some batting about 14 x 18 inches.

Using the quilt-as-you-go technique, I sewed the strips down to the batting and backing and top-stitched each strip on the right side.

I shared this picture the other day - the backing and binding.

I ended up with two fun Christmas placemats for the dinner table!

These measure 12.5 x 16.5.

A few years ago I had made napkins out of the penguin fabric, so now our table is all set.

Now back to those Rainbow Jungle borders - just one left to measure and sew on!  
Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and at 
And at Sandra's December DrEAMi link-up at mmmquilts!

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

I Like Thursday #214

 Good morning!

This time of year brings some pretty sunrises to my neighborhood.  You probably can't tell, but the house across the way there still has the Christmas lights on - kind of fun to see at 7 am on a December morning!

I love Christmas trees and lights.  I finally got my tree decorated late last week, and it is a pretty sight in our living room!

No Christmas is complete without the Nativity set up either.  My dad made this for us around 1978 or so.  I love it because it's different and unique.

Have you read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng?  My book club read it last year sometime and thought it was an interesting story.   This week I discovered that Reese Witherspoon has made a miniseries out of the story where she plays one of the main characters and Kerry Washington (of "Scandal" fame) plays the other main character.  It's pretty good, and has entertained us all week!  It streams on Hulu.

I love my local public library and always have a long list of books on hold that I am waiting my turn to read.  Sometimes, by the time I get the email that a book is ready for me to pick up, I have forgotten what the book was about!  This morning (Weds), I ran in to get the book that was ready for me, Piece of My Heart.  It was so fun to find my book on the Hold shelf, and think, "Oh wow!"

This is the last book in the series written by Mary Higgins Clark (who passed away in January) and her younger writing partner, Alafair Burke.  I've been looking forward to reading it!

And one last little thing to share.  I always enjoy sewing binding, and here's what I've been sewing this week.

How about some frosted trees and peppermint striped binding, just for fun?!

Thanks for visiting on I Like Thursday!
Find lots more positive posts at Not Afraid of Color.