Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Friday, December 31, 2021

Trip Around the Rainbow - finished!

It took a trip around the sun to create this Trip Around the Rainbow, and I've finished it just in time to share for the new year!   This quilt began with my desire to try hand-piecing a lap-sized quilt that had fairly simple blocks.  So 36 patch blocks in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month with a diagonal white section fit the bill perfectly.

January 2021:

Every month I pieced two 12.5 inch blocks, and made
sure that each block had different scraps in it.

This is an "anything goes" quilt!  As long as the scraps I found fit in with the color of the month in some way, they were in!

Penguins (of course!), hearts, cats, pumpkins, fall, and bits from favorite projects like the SAHRR and the Harmony hand-pieced quilt.

By the end of October I had 20 blocks, and had pieced the top together.

Quilted with DMC white perle cotton #12, in diagonal grid lines about 4 inches apart - quilting finished earlier this week!

I decided this colorful quilt could use a cool blue binding, and I chose Kona Alegria because it went so well with the backing!

And ta-daaaa!

This is a happy finish, and such a feeling of accomplishment - 
hand-pieced AND hand quilted.  Whoop, whoop! 

The perfect quilt for winter afternoons spent curled up with a book in my favorite chair!

Sharing at:
SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and at 


Wednesday, December 29, 2021

I Like Thursday #267

Happy Thursday, friends!  Thanks for visiting on "I Like Thursday" hosted by LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color.  Time to share the good parts of our week!

We had a quiet Christmas Day, with just my mom over for dinner, and a Zoom get together with extended family.  I discovered that you can make cheesy potatoes (so yummy with our spiral sliced ham) in the crockpot!  Here's the recipe I used.

Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes

Of course I forgot to take a picture, so this a screenshot from the website I linked above.  


There's been lots of reading time this week, and I've been enjoying a couple new books from favorite authors.

Magic, imaginary worlds, dragons, and of course, a love story.
All the good stuff!  

And the latest Michael Connelly book that includes Harry Bosch and his young detective friend, Renee Ballard.

Now that I've watched the Bosch series on Amazon Prime, 
I'm picturing Harry as played by Titus Welliver!

We finished up Bosch a few nights ago, so have switched to "The Mandalorian," on Disney+.  It's fun to be back in the Star Wars universe!  And Baby Yoda - so fun!

I finished up the quilting on my rainbow Scrappy Trips quilt, so tonight (Wednesday) I'll be starting on the binding!  Yay!

And speaking of rainbows, Mike and I were walking at the mall today when I spied this.  It was part of the local school district's art show.  I thought this was really neat!

Here's a close-up - these are colored craft sticks organized by grade level Kdg - 5th.  The kids drew their own symbols on the craft sticks.

Have a happy and safe New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2021

To-Do Tuesday #118

Good Morning!  I'm joining in with Linda and friends at Texas Quilt Gal for the To-Do Tuesday link-up, sharing what I've been working on and my new list for this coming week.  

There's plenty on my list to do this week, but guess what I did... I played with something new.   I met a friend for a walk last Thursday and she passed along a little kit that someone had given her that she knew she wouldn't ever use.  I don't make much from kits anymore, but this is small, so I thought, "Why not?!"  Here's what it looks like:

It turns out that the pieces are really tiny - lots of 1.5 inch HSTs and 4 patches among other things.   I think the whole mini quilt isn't much bigger than about 12 - 14 inches square!  The round-ish shapes are wreaths and they are 3.5 inches after you put them together.

Meanwhile, I have worked on some of projects that have recently been on my list!
  • I needed to find a backing for "Welcome, Frosty,"  and realized that I had the perfect thing for it right in my stash!
This is a 1/2 yard piece that I think I got in an order from Bernie before her shop closed, and it's just been waiting to be needed.  I was so excited when I remembered I had it!

So, Frosty is layered and some quilting done in this picture.  Buttons will be sewn on for his eyes, and I also found some snowflake buttons to stitch on in a few places, like Vicki shows in her pattern.

  • I've also made a bit of progress on a couple Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts: continuing to sew sashing and cornerstones on Easy Breezy blocks (almost done with that), hand quilting Trip Around the Rainbow, and got a start on planning out how to finish up the Full Stop quilt top.
I decided the row of hyphens would determine the width,  and it measures 49 inches.  So the rows you see here will form the bottom section of the quilt and my next step is to bring them up to that width with the period blocks forming the left side. 

For the coming week, my list includes:
  • Sorting through my current projects to make an organized list for what I'll be working on in 2022
  • Finishing the little wreath mini
  • Finishing up "Welcome, Frosty!"
  • Finishing up Trip Around the Rainbow
  • Making progress on other Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects 
Happy New Year to all my To-Do Tuesday friends!

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Best of 2021

I'm joining in again this year with the Best of 2021 linky party at Meadow Mist Designs, a fun way to celebrate our year in quilting.  Thank you, Cheryl, for hosting us each December!

This year, I'm celebrating my 5 Favorite Quilt Finishes of the year, and I'll link to the posts about each finish, too, in case you'd like to read any of them.

Starting way back in January with Rainbow Zigzags:  this quilt was made throughout 2020, following along with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month.  I made a row of zigzags each month using whatever scraps I had in that color and low volume neutrals for the background.

I gave this quilt to my dear friend and former teaching colleague, Holly,
when she was battling brain cancer.  Unfortunately she passed away in
February, but I hope this quilt gave her and her family much comfort for as long as it could.

I've continued to do lots of hand-piecing this year and participated in the Harmony Hand-pieced QAL sponsored by Patty of Elm Street Quilts and Kristin of Simple.Handmade.Everyday.  My version of the wall-hanging size project, Harmony, was completed in June.  

This quilt was made with a bundle of fabric that I purchased
from Bernie's shop that she has since closed.  It was called Camping and 
had lots of fun prints that connect to the outdoors.

Also in June, I completed Follow the Garden Path, after participating in mmmquilts' Follow Your Own Path QAL, and this just might be my favorite finish of the year!  I love the floral prints in rainbow colors, the contrast of the dark gray background, and the backing fabric I found for it!

Earlier this year, I was honored to be asked by Kelly of My Quilt Infatuation to participate in the blog hop to celebrate the release of her second book, Scrappy Improv Quilting, and my day to share came in September.  My quilt is called Botanics, and I loved using all kinds of low volume scraps to piece the background that highlights the pretty green of the stem and leaves.  It was also a lot of fun to take this little quilt on a hike for some photographs in the wild!

The fifth quilt finish I wanted to highlight for 2021 is my version of Positivity, also made because of participating in a QAL sponsored by Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts and based on her design.  I finished this one up in November, and it is destined for Mercyful Quilts, a charity quilt drive started by Bernie at Needle and Foot.

There were more finishes than these five during the year, lots of smaller projects, and some finished quilt tops that still need to be quilted, but I'm especially proud of these quilts!  Thanks for following along on my 2021 quilt journey!

Linking up with the Best of 2021 linky party at Meadow Mist Quilts.


Friday, December 24, 2021

Table Scraps for December and other scrappy pursuits!

 Merry Christmas from the Little Penguin house!

I finished up my December Table Scraps project just in time to decorate our table for Christmas dinner.  

I wanted to try the braided style of runner after finding this tutorial at Samelia's Mum, and I had a lot of fun cutting and rearranging the 2.5 inch strips to alternate prints and lights and darks.  My only disappointment was that I couldn't make this longer (it measures about 12 x 26) because I actually ran out of scraps!  Can you believe that?

The strips with red trees are even pieced together 
to make a strip that was long enough!

The backing is made out of a few wider strips of this peppermint candy print that I've been trying to use up forever!  Same with the red and white striped binding.

I had to laugh when I was working on the hand quilting of my Scrappy Trip Around the Rainbow quilt last night.  Look what block I was on!

Speaking of this quilt, I'm pushing really hard to have a 2021 Rainbow Scrap Challenge project finished in 2021.  Think I can do it?

The top right to bottom left lines of quilting are just about done.
Now to add the rest of the top left to bottom right quilting.
Getting there!

Linking up with my favorite places for scrappy inspiration:

SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday 
Quilting is more fun than Housework for Oh Scrap 
and Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

I Like Thursday #266

 It's been a busy week at our house, with our kids coming home for an early Christmas weekend, but we enjoyed every minute of it!  Lots of games were played, some cooking together, good conversation, too.  I am thankful that we are all fully vaccinated and felt like we could be together.

We all enjoyed "Make Your Own Pizza" on Friday night.  I found the flatbread pizza crusts Mike and I like and provided all the other ingredients: sauce, cheese, veggies, meats, and everyone had at it.  

I baked a batch of a family favorite muffin recipe for breakfast - Poppyseed Poundcake muffins.  Hadn't made any of these in a long time.  They were yummy!

My recipe is from a cookbook I've had forever, but I found one
on that is pretty much the same.

After the guys left for their homes on Monday, life got quiet again.  I miss them already!  But it does mean there's lots of time to read, and I'm enjoying one of the Christmas books from Carole's post that I mentioned a couple weeks ago.  It's a sweet story!

I love getting the email newsletters from PBS Masterpiece so I can find out what's going to be shown in coming weeks.  Lots of good things coming up: the Downton Abbey movie on Christmas night (and the Call the Midwives holiday special right after it, I think!) Plus a new adaptation of Around the World in 80 Days and Season 2 of All Creatures Great and Small.  And a new season of Finding Your Roots - all starting in January.  Looking forward to all these!

And finally, we got out for a Christmas lights drive last night and saw lots of pretty ones.  This house is hilarious, though!  You'll probably have to enlarge to be able to tell, but this house is lit up like Las Vegas, with signs for the old casinos and everything!

I do love Christmas lights!

I'm joining in with "I Like Thursday" hosted by LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color

Monday, December 20, 2021

To-Do Tuesday #117

Merry Christmas Week to all!  Is your To-Do list a long one this week?  I'm joining in with Linda and friends at Texas Quilt Gal for the To-Do Tuesday link-up, sharing what I've been working on and my new list for this coming week.

I guess you could say that Christmas already came to our house, as our sons were home over the weekend and we celebrated early.  It was wonderful to be able to bring my mom over, too - all my favorite people were in the house at the same time!

Last week's to-do list was all about getting the house ready for our kids to come home: cleaning, planning meals, buying the groceries, so that was all checked off.  I didn't have time for much sewing, but have been making up for that today, lol!
  • The little braided tablerunner has its binding sewn on and ready for hand stitching down tonight after dinner.

  • I've continued to sew sashing and cornerstones to the Easy Breezy blocks, and that step is about halfway to completion now.

  • I also pulled out the rows for Full Stop, this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge sampler, and started puzzling out how everything will fit together into a quilt top.  More on that next week!
So, on this week's list:
  • A little more Christmas - bake some cookies, wrap a gift for my mom, make our Christmas dinner on Saturday.
  • Make lots of time for reading, hand stitching, and time in my sewing room!
  • Finish binding the braided tablerunner.
  • Welcome Frosty ( click link to see Vicki's pattern) still needs to be quilted and finished.  Before I can do that, I need a backing fabric.  (Maybe I need a trip to my LQS?!)
  • Make progress on RSC quilts, especially try to finish Scrappy Rainbow Trip Around the World!  Can I finish it by the end of the month?  I'm going to try!
To-Do: finish hand quilting, trim, and sew on the binding.

Have a wonderful week, friends!

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

I Like Thursday #265

Monday's view out the front window:

Wednesday's view:

Some white stuff!  It's been a verrrry long time since we've had any moisture.
This was icy pellets - like the weather gods couldn't decide if we would get rain, snow, or some combination of the two.  But it's wet, so that's a good thing!

I loved seeing Mike zooming with his longtime buddies that he served in the Navy with.  Zoom has been a great thing for them in this last year and a half.  They (and wives) have been getting together in various places around the country every two years, but this has enabled them to see and visit with each other every two months.

We are (fingers crossed!) planning the next reunion for Boston in May of 2022. 
It was supposed to have happened in May of 2020, but you know what happened to that one...

One of my favorite times of the day is the evening after dinner when Mike and I settle down to stream a show or two.  Our latest favorite is "Bosch" on Amazon Prime.  I've read all the Harry Bosch novels by Michael Connelly, so am liking the series, even though it's been updated a bit from the time period of the first few novels.  
Full Disclosure - there's bad language in this show, 
so I don't recommend it for everyone.

Last night (while watching) I got started stitching the ice-skating Frosty.  He might be my favorite Frosty so far!  I decided to do the holly leaves in green, just for a fun contrast.

Have you seen, or maybe even made, a 10 Minute Tablerunner?  I didn't make this one - it was a gift from a friend the other day.  She did say it wasn't 10 minutes to make it - more like an hour!  It doesn't have any batting, or really any quilting either.  I love the main fabric with the cardinals in it.  I noticed that if you Google it, there are lots of video tutorials on how to make them

And one more thing to share - this week's book.  Last week I was all about the holiday stories, and I have several in a pile, ready to read.  But then... I got a note from the library that my copy of the latest Inspector Gamache mystery by Louise Penny.  Yippee!  It's a good one, too!

This will probably be my last post until next To-Do Tuesday.  My kids will be here for a long weekend tomorrow through Monday, and we'll be busy.  I like that a lot!  Back soon, though!

I'm joining in with "I Like Thursday" hosted by LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color

Monday, December 13, 2021

To-Do Tuesday #116

Good morning!  I'm joining in with Linda and friends at Texas Quilt Gal for the To-Do Tuesday link-up, sharing what I've been working on and my new list for this coming week.

To tell you the truth, my sewing room was overrun with squirrels this last week, but it's all in good fun, so I'm not too worried about it! 

  • I made a Christmas quilt-as-you-go placemat for a small table that Mike and I use daily.  You can read more about it here.
  • Also in that post I mentioned working on a braided tabletopper, and I have trimmed that and gotten it to about 12 x 26 size.  
I did keep working on the sashing and cornerstones 
for theEasy Breezy blocks, so there's that.

  • I also ended up making a little quilty "hug" for a friend whose husband is struggling with a health crisis.   A crumb heart mini quilt with some hand quilting:

So, there are still (and always!) larger quilt projects to work on, and they will always be on my list:
  • Borders for the crumb hearts
  • Sashing and cornerstones for Easy Breezy
  • Layout decisions for Full Stop, the row quilt of punctuation marks
Plus, I want to quilt the little braided tabletopper.

But, my kids are coming home this coming weekend for our traditional "Weekend before Christmas" Christmas!  So this week's To-Do list is all about that.
  • Plan meals
  • Get groceries 
  • Get the house ready!
If I get around to any sewing it will just be icing on the cake!  Have a great week everyone!