Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

I Like Thursday #280

Good morning and happy Thursday!  I'm joining in with "I Like Thursday," hosted by LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color.

It was my turn to get some happy mail this week!  I was a lucky winner in Roseanne and Sue's Home Sewn by Us blog anniversary giveaway a couple weeks ago.  They sent me these sweet wooden buttons and tiny scissors, plus a lovely note.  Thank you, Roseanne and Sue!

The buttons say "handmade for you!" I'm going to enjoy sewing them on some of my quilted gifts.  The scissors will be a great addition to my hand stitching pouch.

Also in the mail recently, I ordered a magnetic seam guide that Jo of Jo's Country Junction reviewed and liked.  Click the link to read her review (and I think you can see it better in her photos) - I ordered a different brand than she did, but it looks and works exactly the same.  I've struggled with a consistent 1/4 inch seam allowance forever,  and this really does help.

In the "simple things can be a boost" category, I treated myself to a new cutting board yesterday.  With a cleaned off (and dusted!) cutting table,  plus the new board, things are looking good!

I think my inner squirrel must have taken over yesterday, because I had a sudden desire to sew a carrot...  So I googled that, and came across this fun link: 10 Carrot Quilt Patterns and Projects.  In that list, I found a post from Sally at The Objects of Design (who always has creative ideas for quilt blocks!) for a carrot block that I decided to make.  Sally's tutorial has you piece the top traditionally, and paper piece the carrot.  I drew out the paper pattern on some graph paper first, then made the carrot top.

And here's my carrot!

The whole thing took me about an hour.  This could become my mom's Easter mug rug - not sure about that yet - but it was a fun squirrel!

And finally, a really good book this week that I haven't been able to put down.  It's the first book in a new-to-me series, and it really caught me!  As soon as I finished it, I went to the library website to download book 2.  Unfortunately, I had to put it on hold, so I'll have to wait a bit for it to be available!  Thanks, Colette, for recommending it!

Hope you're having a great week!

Monday, March 28, 2022

To-Do Tuesday #131: or not!

Some weeks you follow the plan and some weeks you don't!  This past week I didn't really work on anything on last week's list...  But I got obsessed with a couple projects and sewed on them every day, so it's all good, right?!

A few weeks ago, I shared this photo of some blocks I had started making using a charm pack I had in my stash.  These are from Carole's pattern at From My Carolina Home that was published recently in Fave Quilts.

This week I made all the rest of the blocks that were needed for a small quilt and decided to lay them out this way.

The other thing I've been working on are the Spiny Peaks blocks that create this fun zigzag design.  I made just enough blocks to play with the design idea and see how it went together.  Here's how it looks before trimming.

After trimming, and ready for quilting - quite a bit of length and width gets cut off which is somewhat discouraging, but this is still 12 x 35, and I already have an idea for where it will go.  It's been fun, just making these simple blocks and seeing what happens!

What was really on last week's list?  
  • Work on Full Stop, the 2021 Rainbow Scrap Challenge sampler - nope!
  • Finish two small embroidery pieces to give as gifts - not this one either, lol!
So... I'll keep these on the list for the coming week, and add one more:
  • Begin working on Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks for April - the new color of the month is pink!

Joining in with Linda and friends at Texas Quilt Gal for the To-Do Tuesday link-up.  Maybe you stayed more focused than I did!


Friday, March 25, 2022

This and That

I've been playing with a little of this and a little of that in the sewing room this week.  First I finished up the last hand-pieced plus block for yellow month.

Here's how that group of blocks is looking now with red, aqua, and yellow all together.

Added Saturday afternoon:  a few leftover yellow squares were stitched into a small patchwork piece, and I have it ready to add some quilting stitches for my Slow Sunday Stitching with Kathy's Quilts.

I played some more with the Dutch fabrics that my friend gave me, and made enough Spiny Peaks blocks for a table runner.  

In my SAHRR wallhanging, I used mostly reds and blues, but in this one there are all colors from pink, red, and orange, to dark and light blue, some cream and off-white, and this pretty mustard yellow.  I would never have said I like mustard yellow, but I really like this!

And one small finish this week - some yellow cloth napkins for March.  These are made out of a banana print which I love!  So bright and fun!

I use two fat quarters to make these, and it took me awhile to find the right one to go with the bananas for the reverse side of the napkin.  But this works!

It's been a fun week working on a little of this and a little of that!

Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and at


Wednesday, March 23, 2022

I Like Thursday #279

The first blooms of Spring have appeared in my garden!  Just a couple little yellow crocuses so far, but I was so happy to see them.

My garden is still in winter mode.  The weather has been too unpredictable yet to make us feel like getting out into the yard.  But it's getting there!

We found an app for a word game that's just like Wordle - this one's called Wordly.  I liked yesterday's word!

You know I love sewing with my scraps.  I've enjoyed watching Deb A's QAYG hexie project through the last year, and she is ending up with an amazing finish.  I made a small table topper with the same type of hexies last year, but decided to start another one recently.  This time I want to use a consistent background fabric and just a few inner coordinating prints.

These are all hand stitched.  Just a few made so far.

I do my slow stitching in the evenings, and we're always looking for new shows to watch then, too.  I was so happy to see that Call the Midwife is back for Season 11 on PBS!  

I finished up an interesting book this week, too, The Dictionary of Lost Words.  Historical fiction, but a very true to the history story of how the Oxford English Dictionary was published.

And please don't think all I read is historical fiction, because as soon as finished this one,  picked up 2 Sisters Detective Agency by James Patterson and Candace Fox.  A light read and a fast one, but fun!

Hope you're finding things to like in your part of the world this week!  I'm joining in with "I Like Thursday," hosted by LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color.


Monday, March 21, 2022

To-Do Tuesday #130

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.

Last week, I had the time to finish up some smaller projects, including my Table Scraps Quilt for March and a fun little shamrock mug rug for my mom.

I also made a little progress with the Full Stop Quilt top, which was the Rainbow Scrap Challenge sampler for 2021.  I am working on it in sections - adding filler background fabric to make the rows longer, sewing them together, and will trim later.  You can see how it's going so far in this picture.  When this section is completed, there will be three more rows to add to the top of it.

Also on last week's list was to do some cleaning and organizing in the sewing room, and I have been doing that.  What didn't show up in my photo last week was lots of dust and clutter on all of the horizontal surfaces in the room.  So I did a bunch of vacuuming and dusting and cleaning up.  Scrap management is ongoing! 

For this week's to-do list:
  • Keep going on the scrap sorting and trimming
  • More progress on Full Stop
  • I'd really like to get a couple of my embroidery designs finished up into small wall-hangings that will be gifts for friends later in the year.

Have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Scraps + Slow Stitching =

A finish for the Stay at Home Round Robin 2022!   I joined in with this quilt-along hosted by Gail of Quilting Gail and several other quilting friends again this year, and am really happy to share my finish!

It all started with a grocery bag of scraps that a friend handed me back in January.  I didn't even look at them, just said I'd take them!

The bag turned out to be full of  beautiful prints in all colors that are designed by Petra Prins, inspired by 17th and 18th century Dutch chintz, and called Dutch Heritage Fabrics.  There were all sizes of pieces from smallish - 6 inch squares - to pieces about 11 x 20 inches.

You can get a good idea of what these prints look like by taking a peek at the back I pieced out of several of the bigger pieces.

I also needed a center block for this project, so I chose a Kathy Schmitz embroidery design that I had finished way back in June.  The 1976 refers to our wedding date: January 9, 1976!

Following along with all of the weekly prompts during the QAL, I added curved borders, diamonds, stars,  signature blocks, applique, and shooflies before finishing up the top.

Piecing the backing, basting the layers, and quilting didn't take long at all for a quilt of this size - about 25 inches square.  I even added some hand quilting to the center block, using the same variegated blue DMC floss that I stitched the original design in.

And here is my finish, hanging in my sewing room until I find the perfect spot for it, somewhere in our house.  

Big thanks go to Gail, Anya, Emily, Roseanne, Sue, Wendy, and Chris for inviting all of us to participate and providing lots of inspiration and support throughout the QAL!

Sharing at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching
and at the SAHRR Quilt Parade at Quilting Gail which starts tomorrow.

Friday, March 18, 2022

ScrapHappy Table Scraps for March

I've been making a series of quilted mats for the small table that sits between our two  comfy chairs in the family room.  This month's design was inspired by Kathy at Kathy's Quilts who recently showed a quilt she finished that she calls Scraphappiness. I really liked the way her blocks were made, so I decided to give them a try.  I started with a bunch of strips about 4 inches wide, and sewed them into a column.  When it seemed like there were enough, I trimmed the whole column to 3.5 x 9.5.

Three columns sewn together made a 9.5 inch block.  I've been making these mats about 13 x 17, so some bright yellow sashing was added to get the size I wanted.

Two more columns on either side of the yellow brought this up to the width I wanted, and voila!

I call this one Scrap Happy because, really, anything I had available in a strip or string went in.  Flowers, cats, penguins, stars, raindrops, even a sewing machine!

March's color of the month is yellow, and Joy added the challenge to include flowers in our project, and they're both covered on the front.  But you have to see the back!

I think someone gave me this in a scrap bag, and it's really kind of ugly, 
but so perfect for this Table Scraps mat!  Daisies and red and yellow dots!

And here is my March Table mat already hard at work!

But, wait!  There's more!  I had kind of a Drop Everything and Make It moment a couple days ago, and made my mom a shamrock mug rug.  This was inspired by Pat, @pate393 on Instagram, who made a pretty shamrock door hanger.  I saw hers on Tuesday and spent Wednesday making this so I could give it to my mom on St. Patrick's Day.

2 inch squares made 3.5 inch 4 patches, and 1 inch squares for the stitch and flip corners.
Some white to border the shamrock and a little coordinating green check brought this up to 8 x 10 inches.

And a peek at the back:

Four leaf clovers!

A lot of fun was had this week, finishing up these Scrap Happy projects!  
Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday!
And my DrEAMi has to be linked up at mmmquilts, too!

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

I Like Thursday #278

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Mom's place!  They decorate every door there for every season and holiday.  It's so fun to see all the cute things that are put up!

Speaking of holidays, we saw these at Walmart the other day.  Stuffed Peeps!  They're so cute!  (But they did not come home with me, lol!)

My book club met this week, and we read the best book for our March discussion!  It's based on a true story of two giraffes who were transported across the country to the San Diego Zoo in 1938, which was run by the first woman zoo director in the United States, Belle Benchley.  I really enjoyed the story, the history behind it, and the characters! 

Read an article about the book and it's historical story,
 and see a picture of the giraffes in their truck here.

In my sewing room this week, I've been having fun playing with these blocks.  They're not on any to-do list, I just make one here and there as I'm working on other projects.

These blocks are from Carole's pattern (From My Carolina Home).  I happened to have a charm pack to play with, so why not?!

The playing part comes with the layout.  You can set them this way, too.  If I look at them just right I can see a star...  When there are more - who knows?  I'm planning to make 16, so 1/4 done.

Hope you're having a great week! 
I'm joining in with "I Like Thursday," hosted by LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color.


Monday, March 14, 2022

To-Do Tuesday #129

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.

At the top of last week's list, I had finishing up my Stay at Home Round Robin Quilt, and I did!  Just a peek at it here, because I need to get some good photographs of it, and write up a post for the quilt parade which starts next week.

I also finished up my yellow blocks for March in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  You can read more about that in my weekend post.

And, finally, a few odds and ends of things were worked on, like the Spiny Peaks blocks I showed last week, among others.

Along the way, I made a big mess on my cutting table and I decided clearing it off and getting some of the scraps trimmed to usable sizes would be a good thing to start this week's list with!

It already looks better after just a little while of working on it!

Also on the list:
  • Finish up my March Table Scraps project.
  • And maybe, just maybe, pull out the rows for Full Stop, and get a few sewn together.  Here's the last photo I have that shows where I left off.

There's always something to work on in my sewing room!

Friday, March 11, 2022

Baskets, Boxes, and Beads

There's been some happy yellow progress in my sewing room this week!  

You can see how the blocks are looking all together on my design wall, too.

I made two of each color of the chandelier/or bead blocks (I've seen them called both) last year, and I'm adding two more each month this year.   There are 24 of them so far.  I think I need at least 32 to make the layout I want.

I stitched up one more yellow plus block, and have parts prepped for #5.  I need to find one more yellow for the last block.  Looking at my available yellows, I'm thinking it will have to be more in the gold or even cheddar range,

This will be my weekend slow stitching project!

Sharing at my favorite weekend parties!