Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Friday, June 30, 2023

This and that...

My scrappy sewing has taken me all over the place this week!  

Into the trees, with leaf blocks for the Positivity QAL, from Preeti's design.  See more about that here

Just a few of these so far, but I'm trying to make at least one a day.

And back to Cape Cod with another block for the Scrap Dance Quadrille project, a mystery QAL at From My Carolina Home.  I've made two block As and one block B.  Now I need another block B, so I'm cutting, sewing, and trimming more HSTs!

And then, into a project box to get caught up on the Split 9-Patch blocks for June.  In our earlier blue month, I had made two dark blue blocks and two brighter ones.  This week I made two in light blues.

Since I had all these going, I decided to make two more red blocks, too.  I had made the first two earlier just to try these blocks and see if I wanted to continue with them.

Apparently I do want to continue with these because now there are 26!

I'm figuring that I need at least four more, for a total of 30 blocks to make a child's comfort quilt.  I think I'll make them in yellow month.

Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and at 

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

I Like Thursday #342

Good morning and Happy Thursday!  I'm joining in with I Like Thursday at Not Afraid of Color.   Let's see what happy things I found to share since last week.

More bunny visits.  This little guy seemed to need a rest, and apparently the landscaping log was a good place for that.

A walk at one of our favorite natural areas.  This is the one where we always find the yellow-headed blackbirds, and they are still there, but the reeds and bushes have grown so much taller that the birds are harder to see now.  We could still hear them, though!  

I liked this view from across the lake there.

Younger son is on a long road trip, and has been texting and sharing pictures as he goes along.  This one made me smile!

Watseka, Illinois

He has been visiting historical battlefield sites in Pennsylvania, like Valley Forge and Gettysburg.  They look like fascinating places judging by his photos.  I'm enjoying traveling vicariously through him!

On Sunday I shared my finished teapot embroidery and told a couple of you that this reminds me of a vintage soup tureen that was my grandma's.  So I got it down (and dusted it :) to show you.  It's not really my style of dish, but it's kind of neat.

For the end of June and into July, LeeAnna is asking if we enjoy going to the county or state fair in our area.  We haven't done that often, but before Covid I remember that we did take an afternoon to wander around the Larimer County Fair here - that must have been in August of 2019. I enjoyed the quilts and the photography, also the 4-H exhibits that reminded me of the Science projects we had our 5th graders do.  But I LOVED the animal exhibits - especially the chickens!  So many different kinds - some didn't even look like chickens!

Hope you having a great week!

Monday, June 26, 2023

To-Do Tuesday #186: Getting started on some Positivity

For the last week I have really tried to stay focused on getting the Rainbow Neighbourhood quilt top together, and it paid off!  👍👍👍

I absolutely love this quilt, and am excited to get the layers 
sandwiched and ready for quilting!

But... I was ready for a few days of small sewing - just making blocks - playing with something new.  You know what I mean!  So I decided to try some Positivity blocks that will turn into a comfort quilt for Mercyful Quilts, a quilt drive sponsored by Preeti (Sew Preeti Quilts) and Bernie (Needle and Foot). 

Let's just say if I could do something wrong with these blocks, I did! Lol! 
But, I decided that if my blocks were all consistent with each other (even if they are a little different from Preeti's blocks), then they will go together and make a beautiful quilt. 

Here is what I have sewn so far.  I made one set of blocks with some long strips, and that gave me a few of the neat alternate blocks that Preeti showed were possible.  But some of my green pieces are 10 inch squares, so I cut shorter strips that just make one leaf block, which leaves a different alternate block, plus some squares for 4 patches.  It will be interesting to see what I can do with all these different blocks!

I'll keep making leaf blocks little by little until I have enough for a quilt. 
I may not keep up with the QAL, but I know the quilt will be useful to Mercyful Quilts whenever I finish it!   Meanwhile, I'm sharing my progress so far at the 
2023 Positivity QAL link-up at Needle and Foot.

One other project I wanted to get back to was making blocks for the Scrap Dance Quadrille QAL over at From My Carolina Home.  I need lots more HSTs for this one.

I enjoyed getting my Cape Cod fat quarter bundle out for this project again!

So for the coming week, each of these things will be on my list:
  • Get the Rainbow Neighbourhood sandwiched for quilting.
  • Keep making Positivity leaf blocks.
  • Make more HSTs for Scrap Dance Quadrille.
I think that's plenty to keep busy with!  Linking up with Carol and friends at Quilt Schmilt for To-DoTuesday!


Saturday, June 24, 2023

Still slowly stitching...

 A few weeks ago, I shared that I had started this Kathy Schmitz design, Tweety Tea Birds, which I was stitching in a variegated red.  This is DMC 4210, Radiant Ruby.  And earlier this week I finished this little design up!

I love these little singing birds - our neighborhood is full of them!

Of course, I can't go a day without tracing another design to stitch, and for this week I chose a fun little doodle from Melisa at PinkernPunkin Quilting called "When Life Gives You Lemons."  The last few days, I've stitched the lemons and the glass of lemonade.  Today I'll be working on the lettering.  I added a little color with my colored pencils, too.  

In her post, Melisa shares how she makes homemade lemonade.  It sounds delicious!  Let me show you how I drink lemonade...

It's pretty tasty, too!

Enjoy your stitching today! 
 I'm linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Almost there!

I have stayed focused on my goal of getting the Rainbow Neighbourhood quilt top sewn together this week, and I am almost there!

I am liking the dark blue frames around each block,
combined with the sky blue cornerstones!

The pattern is written with a final 2.5 inch contrasting outer border, and I have been thinking and thinking about that.  I could finish the quilt as is, above.  I could choose a contrasting border, maybe the same light blue as the cornerstones?  I would need to shop for that.  Or, I could use the same dark blue as the sashing strips which I have plenty of.

That's actually what I decided to do, and have the two side borders sewn on,
and like it!  I'll update this post with a new photo 
when the top and bottom borders are on.

And Saturday afternoon - here it is with outer borders on!  Yay!

Sharing this at mmmquilts for the Rainbow Neighbourhood QAL link-up!

My only frustration with the quilt top at this point is that the dark blue with stars really wants to fray!  I need to hurry up and get the layers basted and quilting going, so I can get all the raw edges enclosed!

Ending with a favorite house - the green one - since, otherwise, I haven't sewn with any green this week at all.

That sky fabric is a favorite, too - I had enough of that to use it in two blocks.

Linking up with SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday and 

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

I Like Thursday #341


This little guy was staring up at me when I looked out our back window this morning.  He didn't seem at all fazed by me taking his picture, and hung out there for a long time!

Yesterday (Wednesday) was the blog tour for Perfectly Pieced Quilt Backs by Kelly Young, and if you missed it, you might want to check it out at her link here.  I had fun making a project from the book and like how it turned out.  Right now, the quilt is hanging on the back of the rocking chair in our living room, but after I wash and dry it, I'm planning to give it to my mom.  It's about wheelchair quilt size, and while my mom is not in a wheelchair, she does have a favorite chair she sits in a lot, and she's always cold (!).  Even in the summer.

I got on a Nancy Thayer kick this last week.  Her books are always set on Nantucket, and are light reading - romance, family drama, lots of beach and island scenery.  I was just in the mood for that kind of reading!  Here's the book that got me started.

I think I'm on my third book of hers in a row now - 
I just keep downloading ebooks from the library!

One perk of having our younger son come home for awhile is that he brought his Ninja pot.  It's kind of an Insta-pot, Air Fryer, Slow Cooker all in one thing.  I've been having fun with him teaching me to use it.  One really good recipe we made was this one:  Ninja Foodi Pork Tenderloin Carnitas.

And last, but definitely not least, back to our June topic - ice cream!  Did we have ice cream trucks come through our neighborhood growing up?  Oh yes!  And, of course, we begged for money to go get a treat.  I had to think for a bit to remember my favorites, but these came to mind - fudgsicles, creamsicles, crunch bars, drumsticks - lots of yummy goodies!  But it took me awhile to come up with my real favorite, and I had to Google it to remember...


Although I haven't heard it yet this summer, our city still has someone who drives an ice cream truck around.  You can hear the little tune it plays from a few streets over, and the kids still love it just as much!

Joining in with I Like Thursday at Not Afraid of Color!

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Perfectly Pieced Quilt Backs Blog Hop

Welcome to Little Penguin Quilts, and thanks for visiting for the launch of Kelly Young's new book, Perfectly Pieced Quilt Backs!  Kelly blogs at My Quilt Infatuation.  I was so honored when Kelly asked if I'd like to participate in the book launch by sharing a quilt of my own with a pieced backing from the book.  It has been a blast to use techniques from Kelly's book to create a unique backing for my quilt top!  

Some important things to know about what this book contains:
  • There are 30 different quilt backs included.  15 are pieced with scraps and leftovers, and 15 are made with stash and yardage.
  • Each quilt back pattern is written in three different sizes. (Plus, as you'll see with my project, easily adaptable to the size of your quilt!)
  • There are 18 free downloadable bonus patterns for the lap quilt sized fronts that are shown in the book.
  • The book contains full quilt finishing instructions.
  • Perfectly Pieced Quilt Backs is available at online retailers - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Connecting Threads, and Missouri Star.  You can also get a signed copy at Kelly's Etsy shop, here.
So, let's get to the fun part - sharing the quilt back I made!  When I received my copy of the book, I immediately noticed the quilt back in Part 2 (Scrap and Leftover Backs) called "Tallies" (page 27).  Kelly's description of this back is that it's made with all your leftover bits and pieces.  That caught my attention right away - there's nothing I enjoy more than sewing together lots of little scrappy bits into improv crumb blocks.  Here's a peek at the quilt back Kelly created with her bits and pieces.

Lots of fun color! 

The back I was planning to piece to go with the quilt top I chose to finish needed a more controlled color scheme.  Specifically, pinks, aqua, and neutrals.  So I started by making several 8 inch crumb slabs in those colors.

Following Kelly's guidance for creating columns of these crumb blocks, I cut and resewed them until I had long, narrow strips with alternating squares of pink, neutrals, and aqua.  I decided to set them in a piece of Kona Lagoon that I had in my stash.  The Kona was long enough for a backing, but not wide enough, so this was a great technique for making the whole thing wider.

Here's a close-up of the crumb strips and Kona Lagoon solid:

I had enough crumb blocks for two long strips and my finished backing looks like this:

I bet you're wondering what quilt front I was making this backing for!  It is a small quilt top I think I was working on way back in 2019/20 from some blocks called Bright Hopes.  At the link there, you'll find the tutorial from Red Pepper Quilts for making the blocks, and her quilt that I was inspired by.  Here's my quilt top, resting on top of the backing I pieced.

The top measures about 43 x 43.  I made the backing about 3 - 4 inches bigger.

Once the back was pieced and the top was prepped for quilting, I put all the layers together, quilted it up, and here's the finish, Back first!

And the front!
It feels wonderful to be inspired by Kelly's book to finish up this little UFO!
Also linking up to Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts to celebrate this finish!

There are so many fun ideas for quilt backs in this book - I definitely want to try more of them.  Kelly includes clear cutting and piecing instructions, excellent diagrams,  and lots of inspiration for using up different size scraps and fabric from your stash.  I highly recommend this book if piecing the backing of your quilt is something you enjoy doing!

Be sure to check out all the other quilters who are participating in this blog hop, listed below!

Thanks for visiting today!


Monday, June 19, 2023

To-Do Tuesday #185

Good morning, friends!  It's Tuesday again, and I'm sharing my progress from last week, and my to-do list for the week to come.  Thanks so much to Carol at Quilt Schmilt for hosting the To-Do Tuesday link-up!

It's always a good feeling when you make progress on a quilt project that's important to you, and I have progress to share!  Two rows of the Rainbow Neighbourhood are sashed and ready to sew together.  It won't be much longer and I'll have a quilt top to share!

I also completed my June Table Scraps project which was also on the list for last week.

This was a happy little finish!

And, probably most important of all, my project and post for the Perfectly Pieced Quilt Backs book launch are ready to go!  It goes live at My Quilt Infatuation tomorrow morning, and I'll also have a list of the participating bloggers on my post.

For the coming week, my to-do list is going to be short and sweet - keep working on the Rainbow Neighbourhood quilt top.
  • Finish the borders.
  • Layer and baste.
  • Start quilting?  Maybe!
  • Wish me luck!🤞🤞🤞

Friday, June 16, 2023

Table Scraps for June

I decided to change things up this month and share my Table Scraps projects earlier in the month.  Plus, it was a good week to work on something small!  Check over here at The Joyful Quilter for more details about this fun challenge!

For June, our letters of the alphabet were D and I, and colors that coordinate with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge are light greens and blues.  No greens in this project, but I've got the blues covered!

Sticking with my plan of using up orphan blocks this year, I pulled two blocks - another one from the 2020 Color Challenge and a Kathy Schmitz embroidery design that I stitched in 2021.

I didn't take any in progress photos, but you can probably tell what I did.  I took apart the nine patches to use as borders for the embroidery, and cut HSTs out of one of the snowball block for the corners.  Here's how it turned out!

Some simple hand quilting and light blue binding finished this off quickly.

The dark blues in this block and the letter I made me think of Indigo - the color and the plant it comes from.  It was an important crop in Colonial America that I taught about in 5th grade.  I also read a fascinating book about it, The Indigo Girl, by Natasha Boyd.  Highly recommend!

The backing is a scrap of Sprinkles, the wide-backing from Connecting Threads that I've been using a lot this year.

This little project hit all buttons for me: scrappy, both dark and light blues, and some slow stitching, too!

Done! and ready to link up at the June Table Scraps Challenge 
at the Joyful Quilter.

Sharing at all my favorite weekend link-ups:
Soscrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday 
Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching 

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

I Like Thursday #340

Happy Thursday!  We Coloradans just have to crow a little bit about our Denver Nuggets who just won the NBA Championship for the first time in team history!  Mike has been a fan for as long as the team has been in existence, so he's been pretty excited.  We haven't gone to a game in a long time, but used to go quite a bit before kids and while the kids were growing up.  Lots of good memories there!

In other news, it just won't quit raining around here.  We've gotten more than half of our precipitation for the year just in May and the first half of June!  The growing things are very happy, like my tomato plant.

And the flower pots, too!

I love this rose over at my mom's place!  It is such a pretty combination of yellow and peach.  It will still be blooming in October.

Father's Day is coming up, so I wanted to share this favorite photo of my dad with our younger son, Kevin, I think taken in 1985, around Kevin's first birthday.  

My dad passed away only a few years later, and I found this photo stuck underneath a piece of furniture after he died, so it's precious to me.  I so wish my dad could have known his grandkids as adults - he would have enjoyed them very much!

Just today (Weds) I finished this book - it's the most recent book in the Ruth Galloway series, by Elly Griffiths.  It's a really good one!

It turns out that it's also actually the last book in the series!
When I discovered that, I have to admit I shed a few tears.  
I have gotten very attached to the main characters in this series!  
Apparently, the author feels like she is done writing about them, 
which I can understand, but darn!  
She explains more about it in this article.

Hope you're having a great week!
Joining in with I Like Thursday at Not Afraid of Color!

Monday, June 12, 2023

To-Do Tuesday #184

Good morning, friends!  It's Tuesday again, and I'm sharing my progress from last week, and my to-do list for the week to come.  Big thanks to Carol at Quilt Schmilt for hosting the To-Do Tuesday link-up!

On my list last week was to find a good sashing fabric for the Rainbow Neighbourhood, and I did!  I've started cutting the strips and have sewn exactly two!

I need 24 sashing strips and 16 cornerstones.  A decision still to be made - will the cornerstones be a consistent color or a rainbow of color?

I also worked on some zipper blocks for a Rainbow Scrap Challenge project - they're fast and fun!

On this week's list: 
  • Stay focused on getting the sashing and cornerstones sewn on the house blocks.
  • Make some progress on my June Table Scraps project, which will be made out of these two orphan blocks.

  • I'm keeping it simple this week.  We have one of our sons here visiting for awhile, and I'm sharing my sewing studio with him.  There may not be a lot of time or space to sew!
Have a great week!