Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Slow stitching into the new year...

Happy New Year!  I hope you enjoyed your New Year's Eve, however you celebrated.  I always toast the New Year about 10:00, when I know the ball has dropped in New York City, and then go to bed! 

This week I finished up the 31st hand-pieced bowtie block - one for each day of the month of December.   I'm planning to continue this project into the new year, following the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colors of the month.  January's is blue.

I also traced and started stitching "Family Portrait," designed by Melisa of PinkernPunkin Quilting and Stitching.  I've never embroidered anything all in black before, but think this will be a cute mini quilt with some black and white borders.

Today's slow stitching will be to get started hand quilting the Dancing Plus quilt.  This was a 2022 hand-piecing project for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and it's all ready to quilt!

I'm looking forward to spending some cozy time with this quilt on my lap 
while it snows here today and tomorrow!

Sharing at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching!


Friday, December 30, 2022

A finish for the end of the year!

Bloom has been a year long Rainbow Scrap Challenge project, and amazingly I finished it in the same year it was started!  Back in January, I purchased Cynthia Brunz's Bloom module from her Scrap Mixology series, available here.

Throughout the year, I made three blocks every month, with the basket being sewn in the RSC color of the month, and the flowers in any color that I had a scrap of big enough to make a 2.5 inch HST.

One of the great things about Cynthia's Scrap Mixology modules is that she gives you directions for a basic block, and includes several different layout options that create all kinds of varied designs for the finished quilt.  I wanted a traditional basket quilt, with an on point layout (which you might be surprised to learn I had never made before).

And that's what I ended up with!

A beautiful garden of flower baskets in wintry December!

Stepping back, you can see what our backyard looked like on Thursday morning.  I knew I had to take some photos of the quilt outside to show you the contrast.

The backing and binding are a fun print called "Sprinkles" from Connecting Threads.

Bloom measures about 50 x 50, so not a large quilt, but a good size for covering up in my comfy chair with a book or some embroidery.

I have several Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt projects from 2022 (and even farther back!) in various stages of construction that will continue into 2023, plus plans for new blocks, too.  More about that in next week's Saturday post!  

Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and at 

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

I Like Thursday #316

Good morning and Happy last Thursday of 2022!  It's always hard to believe it when we get to the end of another year.  But here we are!  Google Photos made me a collage of some of the best moments of 2022.  I didn't give it any input, it was just there.  Kind of fun, though!

Mom in her apartment,  Navy friends on the subway in Boston

Mike and me in Boston, Mom and me at our favorite Mexican restaurant, nieces and nephews

Mom and friends at Dairy Queen, my fall decorations on entryway table

Older son and me at Thanksgiving, and Mr. Gnome displayed on the Christmas tree.

I'm finishing up one more quilt to end the year.  Love hand stitching the binding, which I was doing last night.

I found an interesting new book to read this week.  In fact, older son recommended it, saying he saw it on the New York Times list of Notable Books of 2022.  

Apparently it's not this author's first book, but it is her first novel.  
The main character is a young woman in Bangalore, India, in the 1920s.
Read more about it here on Goodreads.

What are you looking forward to in the new year?  Learning new things, going new places?  

I would like to improve my crochet skills!  A friend gave me a lesson in October or so, and I felt pretty competent with single and double crochet back then, and made this practice piece.

At that point I was pretty proud of myself, and planned to do more of it,
but now I'm feeling a little rusty, and probably need another lesson.
I'd really like to make something useful - like a hat, maybe?

After reading another blogger's series of posts about a trip she and her husband took last fall, I decided I would really like to see Lake Superior.  I lived near Lake Ontario when I was growing up, and have visited Lake Erie and Lake Michigan, but haven't seen Huron or Superior.  So that's on my travel list this year.

Of course, there will be new books to read, new quilt projects to stitch, and who knows what else.  Bring it on!

Joining in with LeeAnna and friends at Not Afraid of Color for I Like Thursday.

Monday, December 26, 2022

To-Do Tuesday #167

Good morning, friends!  I'm joining in with To-Do Tuesday hosted by Linda at Texas Quilt Gal.   This is Linda's last week hosting To-Do Tuesday - thank you, Linda, it's been fun at your place!  

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend, however you spent it.  It was quiet at our house due to the wintry weather, so I actually sewed! 

My main focus has been to get Bloom quilted and binding ready to sew on.  ✅️. Done!

In fact, the binding is machine stitched down and ready for the final hand stitching step.  
My goal is a finished quilt to post about by the end of the week.

Also, the two projects with January deadlines have been moved along.  Pieces for the third Arizona block are ready to sew together, which I'm planning to do this afternoon. ✅️ Progress!

Next steps for the coming week:
  • Finish binding on Bloom.
  • Continue construction of January tablerunner projects.  The above blocks will need some kind of sashing and a final border before being ready to finish into a runner.
  • The other January project is the blue and white strips I've shown in previous Tuesday posts.  They make 10.5 inch blocks - one is sewn together, two more are ready to be.  I didn't get a picture of them this week.
There's always plenty to do around here!  Have a great final week of 2022, everyone!

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Best of 2022


I'm joining in again this year with the Best of 2022 linky party, 
to celebrate my favorite finishes of the year!

It's always fun to look back over photos and posts from January through December to remember what I've enjoyed working on and finished up over the year. 

I really love making small tabletoppers and runners so throughout 2022, I've been participating in The Joyful Quilter's Tablescraps Challenge, and January's little table mat was one of my favorites of the year.

A few other favorite Tablescraps finishes can be found here, here, and here.

I was really happy to send these three quilts off to various special places during the Hands2Help quilt drive in May.

These were Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts finished in late 2021 and early 2022, full of scrappy goodness!  Read more about them here

Speaking of  the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, I've continued to enjoy participating in that link-up all through the year.  One of my favorite ways of using a rainbow of scraps is sewing them up into crumb blocks and then making something fun with them!  Another favorite finish of the year was Full Spectrum, a design by Kelly Young, from her book, Scrappy Improv Quilting.

One of my favorite finishes of all time came this year, even though it was started in the fall of 2021.  This is Halloween Jubilee, designed by Carole of From My Carolina Home, but made by me in Halloween prints.  

Two other QALs I enjoyed participating in this year were the Stay at Home Round Robin and mmmquilts' PopStar.  

Again this year, I've done lots of hand stitching, especially embroidery, and have finished several designs into mini quilts or pillows to decorate for the season.  I've enjoyed so many that it's hard to pick a favorite, but here's one of them.   These have also made fun gifts for friends and family throughout the year.

Thanks for coming along on my journey of favorite finishes through the year.   I'm looking forward to lots more creating coming up in 2023.   There will be some new starts and, hopefully, quite a few finishes, too!

Linking up with the Best of 2022 Linky Party at Meadow Mist Designs.


Friday, December 23, 2022

Happy Christmas Tablescraps!

Merry Christmas from the Little Penguin house to yours!

I brought this little guy home from Boston when we were there in May.
You can probably tell he isn't hanging on the tree, but is downstairs on the wall in my sewing room.  He makes me smile  - a reminder of a lovely trip with special people and a connection to my quilting world, too!

My December Tablescraps project isn't really made from scraps, instead squares cut from some Christmas-y fat quarters that I bought in November.   I was inspired by Judy's starry tablerunner here to try adding a star that was lighter in color than the surrounding patchwork to make it stand out.  I think I was successful!

Maybe I can count the backing as scrappy 
because I cut strips out of the "leftover" fabric
from the front to create the back.

I made this placemat size, about 12 x 16, and have been using it every day since I finished it.  

Favorite breakfast- a bowl of Wheat Chex with blueberries, plus my new favorite mug!

In true DrEAMi fashion, I couldn't resist cutting some 2.5 inch squares and duplicating this design in mini size, too.  The little one is hand-pieced and hand quilted and measures about 6 x 8 inches.

Here's a look at the back of the bigger one - I stitched around the star to bring out the shape.

The mini quilt ended up with the angels, keeping their toes warm, I hope!

Hope you're having a lovely holiday weekend, however you're celebrating!
and at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.
And at the end of the month, the Joyful Quilter's Tablescraps Challenge link-up.
And at mmmquilts for the December DrEAMi party!

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

I Like Thursday #315

Baby, it's going to be cold outside today!  At least that what we're expecting for Thursday morning as I write this on Wednesday.  I was just looking at what the prediction is for 9 am Thursday which is when I take my mom for her weekly hair appointment: -9 degrees!  Do you think I will be taking her out?  

Earlier in the week I was able to meet a friend for a walk and she snapped a picture of us for her Be Real app.  Have you heard of Be Real?  I hadn't, but it sounds kind of fun! 

"Every day at a different time, everyone is notified simultaneously to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes."

She must have gotten a notification to take a picture right then!

Do you have favorite Christmas traditions that you participate in every year?  Ours have changed a lot through the years as our kids have grown and moved away,  but there are lots of good memories associated with Christmas over the years.

Taking a picture in front of the tree - check out younger son's expression on his face!  What was that about? 

I think we were getting ready to go to the school's holiday music program that evening - another fun tradition I always loved.  
I remember Kevin (younger son) complaining about how hot he was in that sweater!

Every year for many years, I bought a Christmas candle from Current (remember them?) and we lit it every night at dinner through the 25th.  

which I haven't thought to look for before this.
Maybe for next year?!

Since our boys have been out on their own, our tradition has been to have them come home for a family weekend sometime in December.   We cook together, watch movies, and play a lot of games - sometimes new ones, sometimes old favorites.  The weather wants to mess up our plans this year, but just in case we still are able to get together, I have a new game that friends have recommended.

Mike and I haven't tried it yet, but hope to this weekend!

I'm stitching a bowtie block every day this month.  Here's the one for December 21st.  I thought the snowflakes would be appropriate!

And a sweet book I enjoyed this week:

A young woman in England faces a big change in her life
and works through all the challenges to figure out what she wants to do.
Of course, a library is involved, and I enjoy book and library themed stories.

Hope you're having an enjoyable week, and
staying warm!

Thanks for visiting on "I Like Thursday," hosted by LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color.  


Monday, December 19, 2022

To-Do Tuesday #166

Good morning, friends!  I'm joining in with To-Do Tuesday hosted by Linda at Texas Quilt Gal.  It's been a good week for making progress on various projects, and I'm feeling a little less scattered than I was a week ago!

  • I've continued to quilt Bloom with diagonal lines of stitching 4 inches apart, mostly stitch in the ditch, and this part is almost done.  I think I will go back and add in more quilting to make the stitching into a two inch grid.

  • Progress has also been made on the two projects that have deadlines in January.  Two of three of the Arizona tablerunner blocks are made, and quite a few of the blue and white blocks that I need for a January blog hop.

  • I also finished my December Tablescraps project, but will save that for an end of the week post.
So what's on this week's list?
  • Like most everyone this time of year, I have some Christmas things still to do - wrap the last few presents, bake some cookies.
  • This morning I have both a mammogram and a bone density test (same office, back-to-back appointments) and have to take my mom to the eye doctor in the afternoon.  Will there be any sewing? - probably not.
  • Whenever there is some time in the sewing room, I plan to keep working on the two January projects and quilting Bloom.  I bet there'll be a little progress!
Merry Christmas!  Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Slow stitching on a Sunday

 The little Christmas Penguin is finished and hanging on the tree!  I didn't have any kind of frame or hoop to put him in, so I decided to be cheap and finish him like a little pillow with a fabric loop.  He isn't quite round, but with him hanging on the tree, it's not really an issue.

I cut two pieces of batting and then a backing of penguin fabric, sewed about 3/4 of the way around with right sides together, and then flipped it right side out.  Here's the back:

I top stitched all around to close it up and hold everything together.
He looks a little more uniform from this side, lol!

While that blue penguin fabric was out, I cut pieces for a bowtie block.  I've been hand-piecing these, and am caught up with 17 of them stitched - one for each day of the month of December.

So far, my color choices have just been random - whatever is out on the cutting table or in the scrap bin that I can get 2.5 inch and 1.5 inch squares out of.  I'll continue this as a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project in 2023.  I want to make at least 100 of them!

Pieces are prepped for today's block, #18, and that will be my slow stitching project for this afternoon!

Linking up with the Slow Sunday Stitchers

Friday, December 16, 2022

Making some progress...

Two of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt tops for 2022 are in that stage where I've been making progress on finishing them, but it's not all that obvious if you're just looking at them!

I've been quilting the Bloom Baskets in a diagonal grid, mostly in the ditch so far.  The quilting lines are ending up 4 inches apart, and I'm wondering if that will feel like enough quilting if that's all I do.  

While stitching along, I always try to decide if I have a favorite block.  Today it's this yellow one!  Thinking again about adding more quilting in between the current lines: do I want the quilting to cut through the baskets?  Not sure yet.

The Dancing Plus quilt is in the pressing stage, which is a tedious one for hand-pieced tops.  Look at all those block intersections! 

I do have the backing cut for it - the same as Bloom - Sprinkles from Connecting Threads.  I bought a lot of it!

Using the gift certificate to my LQS that I got at my quilt group's gift exchange, I bought some wool batting.  I have been wanting to try wool batting for hand quilting, and that's what I'm planning to do with the Dancing Plus quilt. 

Quilter's Dream - Dream Wool

 Have you used wool batting?  Let me know what your experience has been.  

Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and at Quilting is More Fun than Housework for Oh Scrap!