Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Stitching into the New Year

This week I finished up the "Home" embroidery, designed by Kathy Schmitz.  You might remember that the last thing to do was to fill in the nest with seed stitches.  That was a slow process, but I like how it turned out!

I have an idea for a way to set this little piece into a small quilt.
More on that next week!

Meanwhile, I needed something new to work on for my slow stitching time, and I chose another of Melisa's mini samplers.  This one's called Winter Tree Sampler.  I still have some snow to add to the tree and snowflakes floating around.

It's also time to get started on the 2024 stitch-along with Kathy Schmitz, called Woven Wreaths.  I purchased the blue panel from Spoonflower, and the blue DMC floss that is called for.  There are also YouTube videos connected to this SAL, so I subscribed to her channel as well.  All the info is at the link above.

I'm looking forward to getting started on this!

Happy New Year!
Sharing at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.


Friday, December 29, 2023

Just playing...

 with December Table Scraps!

I don't know if this is true for you, but the week between Christmas and New Years always feels open-ended to me and I have a hard time settling into what I should be doing.  All the "have-tos" of the Christmas season are finished and there's more time to do whatever I want.

So what did I want to do this week?  Play with my scraps - so I did!  And I ended up with three little finished pieces that were fun to work on.

It all started earlier in the month with the Little Penguin Bucket of Scraps which produced these varied HSTs.  

Since I already had them laid out in that arrangement, I sewed them right up, added the finishing touches, and they became a little mug rug for my favorite mug!

Then I got to thinking about making a new mug rug for my mom.  Since she moved into assisted living, I've been making her seasonal mug rugs for the table by her favorite chair, but I don't think I've ever made her a snow-themed one.  So - could I come up with a little snowman?

Sure I could!  And a pine tree to go with him.

He needed a red scarf, too.

And here's the finish - I think she'll like it!

And then... I was playing with scraps out of the low volume bin (just for fun) and made a crumb block.   Yes, there was a lot of "just playing" this week!

If you saw my Thursday post, you might remember that I also made a tiny red Dresden Plate.  Here's what I decided to do with it.

This tiny quilt was claimed by this little guy - because in our house, everyone gets a quilt!

The monthly Table Scraps Challenges have had a color suggestion all year, and this month's was rainbow.   Did I achieve that one?  Using ROYGBIV, I believe I checked off every one!   Then there some letter challenges to strive for, too - December's are S, H, and E.   For my little quilts, S stands for Snowman, H for HSTs, and E for Everyone gets a quilt (even the Beanie Babies)!  

Linking up with The Joyful Quilter for the December Table Scraps Challenge.
Also at Alycia Quilts for Finished or Not Friday.
The DrEAMi December link-up at mmmquilts 
ScrapHappy Saturday at SoScrappy 
Oh Scrap at Quilting is More Fun than Housework 

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

I Like Thursday #368

Happy Thursday, friends!  Hope you're enjoying this week between Christmas and New Years.  We had a quiet Christmas Eve and Christmas Day because our family celebrated the weekend before.  

I enjoyed beginning the holiday mornings with a muffin and coffee in a favorite mug.

A lot of time this last week has been spent reading a series of books by Elin Hilderbrand - the Paradise trilogy.  I always enjoy Elin Hilderbrand because her books are set on Nantucket, but these are set on the island of St. John in the USVI, hence the Paradise name.  The first book is Winter in Paradise, then there's What Happens in Paradise, and this is the final book.

Hopefully, all the trouble will be resolved by the end of the book!

After finishing the Split 9 Patch quilt, I've just been playing around in my sewing room with a little of this and a little of that.  Look at this adorable tiny Dresden I made!  It's about 4 inches wide.

A friend gave me this pattern because she had two.  It came with the little tumbler ruler that you use to make the Dresden pieces or could make a little tumbler quilt with, too.  I'm not sure I want to make the quilt, but it was fun trying out a mini Dresden.  

This coming weekend we'll be ringing in the new year - 2024!  There were times this year dragged, but now it's hard to believe it's the end of it already.  Although we used to enjoy a party with friends on New Year's Eve, it has been many years since we did anything to celebrate it.  I have to admit I can't really stay up much past 10:00 anymore!  But 10:00 is midnight in New York City, so that counts, right?!

But I will most likely wake up around midnight to 
someone in our neighborhood shooting off fireworks!
Happy New Year!

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

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Email Update

 Hello, blogging friends,

Apparently my email and contact list were hacked this morning.  If you got an email from, it's NOT me!  I'm working on changing passwords, etc.  I'm so sorry for the inconvenience! 


Monday, December 25, 2023

The Best of 2023

I'm joining in with Meadow Mist Designs' end of the year link-up to celebrate my Best of 2023.  

I enjoy going back through a year's worth of photos and blog posts, and coming up with my favorite finishes of the year.  Sometimes I've even forgotten about a particular quilt project, and it's fun to revisit it!  So here are my Five Favorite Finishes of 2023.

I continue to enjoy participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge each year and finding ways to use all the colors in my scrap bins to make beautiful quilts.  The last couple years, I've incorporated hand-pieced blocks into this process, and for 2023 that resulted in my Dancing Plus quilt finish.

Another thing I enjoy as a quilter and blogger is joining in with online quilt-alongs, and  Sandra's Spring QAL at mmmquilts is one I try to never miss.  2023's QAL definitely resulted in a favorite finish and that is Rainbow Neighbourhood.

Carole at From My Carolina Home also has a quilt along every year called Scrap Dance and I joined in this year for the first time.  If you go to the Scrap Dance Mystery category on Carole's blog, you can read about all the different designs she's offered over the years of her mystery series - this year's was called Scrap Dance Quadrille.  I named my version Mermaids Dance because I used a fat quarter bundle of ocean-themed prints that I bought at a fun quilt shop on Cape Cod that we visited in the Spring of 2022.

Can you tell what place in my backyard 
is my favorite for photographing quilts?! 😊

Continuing on the ocean theme, this year I brought home a kit from a cute little quilt shop in Cannon Beach, Oregon, and made a beach landscape quilt.  This was my first try at making a landscape quilt, but hopefully not my last.  The kit's designer had great directions and tips and I love how this turned out!  I'm still looking for the best place to display it in my house.

And finally, I've rediscovered a craft that I really enjoy this year, and that is cross-stitch.  This is mostly due to reading the blog PinkernPunkin Quilting where Melisa shares all kinds of sweet little designs that I can't resist.  I started out embroidering her Frosty McChill snowmen series a couple years ago, but eventually decided to try some cross-stitch.  It turns out that I have ended up with a basketful of favorite little finishes!  

Looks like I need both a winter and a spring pillow 
to fill up the basket for a year of sweet little stitches!

Thanks so much to all of my quilting and blogging friends for all of your inspiration throughout the year!  Every day I see quilts being made that I have to put on my list, too - more than one person could ever make in a lifetime.  But I have a great time trying!  Looking forward to continuing the quest in 2024!  

Sharing at Meadow Mist Designs for the Best of 2023 link-up.
And at Quiltfabrication for Midweek Makers.


Saturday, December 23, 2023

Christmas Stitching

Merry Christmas Eve, stitching friends!

Santa is on his way with Rudolph ready to help pull the sleigh.  I finished these little cross-stitch pillows up this week.

They're kind of cute on the tree, but they really were intended to go over on the little wooden chest like this - 

For my Slow Sunday Stitching, I'm planning to work on "Home" a little more.  Just a few more leaves to stitch, and then seed stitches to fill up the nest.  I bought a new skein of variegated brown floss for that purpose.  It's DMC 4140 - Driftwood.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday however you celebrate it!

Linking up with Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Split 9 Patch finished!

It's always a good feeling to have a finished quilt to share!  I began making nine inch split 9 patch blocks at the beginning of 2023 as one of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks, and made four every month in every color of the rainbow.

January's color must have been blue because here's my design wall at the end of January!

By the end of October, I had this collection:

And here we are today!

Rudolph approves of this colorful backing - it's a piece of wide backing from Missouri Star Quilts.  I picked the binding based on this backing - a bright marbled blue.

All the color in a rainbow quilt really appeals to me!

Favorite blocks with fun scraps!

This quilt is going to live at my house for just a few more weeks, and in the new year it will be going to Cynthia of Quilting is More Fun than Housework for a Compassion Quilts donation.  She said she could use a quilt of this size - about 45 x 54.

Time to decide what to work on finishing next!

Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

I Like Thursday #367

 Welcome Winter!

This is my 2023 Stay at Home Round Robin. (finished in March)
 It's finally appropriate to display it!

It doesn't quite feel like winter here yet, but that's okay because we were able to play golf on Tuesday.  It was a beautiful day and we really enjoyed being outdoors and playing our favorite outdoor game.  It's supposed to snow over the weekend, so I'm glad we got in a round before winter really does come.

It's almost Christmas - are you ready?  We actually had Christmas at our house this past weekend because that's when our older son could come home.  It was a nice weekend - good food, lots of games, interesting conversation.   I bought us the game "Ticket to Ride" for a new one this year, and everyone liked it.  We're still figuring out the strategy, but it's fun to play!

Our question of the week for I Like Thursday is about Christmas traditions.  In my family growing up, we always went to church on Christmas Eve, and then went home and got to open one present.  We opened all the rest of our presents on Christmas morning, after a posed photograph of my two sisters, my brother, and me coming down the stairs.   

As young married people and parents, we would spend Christmas Eve with Mike's family and Christmas Day with mine.  That worked out nicely because then there was never any conflict about whose family got the most time on holidays.  

Of course, life changes when your kids grow up and leave home.  Our sons are not married, but they are busy with their lives and jobs.  We have our holidays whenever it works out for everyone to be together.   One of our current traditions is to get out the Wii when the guys are home and have a bowling tournament.  I always enjoy that!

What kind of Christmas traditions do you have?

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

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Midweek Update

For several weeks I've been working on getting my Split 9 patch quilt finished, and I am almost there!  Quilting is done, and binding is machine stitched to the front.  I'll be spending the next few evenings hand stitching it to the back of the quilt.  Hoping to have a finish to share in my Saturday post!

My scrappy project of making four patches out of whatever I pull out of the Little Penguin scrap basket continues.  I've made 20 four patches so far.  These are 4.5 inch blocks.  I think there are lots of smaller pieces in there that can make 3.5 inch blocks, so I'll start working on those next.  No real plans for these, yet, but I'm sure they will come in handy somewhere!

There were even some little penguins in the basket!

Sharing at Quiltfabrication for Midweek Makers.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Holiday Stitching

My local quilt group had our December get together on Thursday, and it always includes a gift exchange.  Most everyone brings a quilted item to give, although some members are sewing less these days, but still come up with something quilt related to exchange.  It's always fun to see what people bring and what people go home with!  My gift for the exchange was "Joy."  I came home with this sweet mini quilt, all hand stitched by my long time teaching partner and friend who does the most amazing hand work.  I love it!

Meanwhile, I've been doing some more holiday cross-stitching.  I finished up "Santa's on His Way" and decided Santa needed Rudolph to help him get where he needs to go.  So, when Melisa shared this little design last week, I was all in!  Rudolph needs a few more snowflakes and then both need to be fully finished so that they can be displayed for Christmas.

I decided to stick with my blue snowflake theme because they remind me of a blue and white Fair Isle sweater, like this one!

Sharing at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.


Friday, December 15, 2023

This and that...

It's been one of those weeks where holiday activities filled my days and didn't leave me with much time at the sewing machine.  I'm not complaining because I've enjoyed it all, but I did have to content myself with just a little sewing.  I imagine I'm not the only one who has that happen this time of year!

I did get a little more quilting time in on the Split 9s.  It's getting close to being done, and I'm thinking about the binding.  Busy, colorful quilts like this one always make me want a calm binding - so maybe something in blue?  Not sure I have enough of anything in my stash that will work, so I might have to go shopping.  

I made a few more Blueberry Taffy blocks - see my Wednesday post for more about that.  These are turning into something fun!

In the evenings this week, I hand-pieced together two large blocks full of little bowties.    I don't know if you can tell, but there's some Christmas snowflakes on red and green prints in there - so a little seasonal stitching!  There will be two more blocks this size, and then a row of the 4 patches of bowties that I sewed together earlier.  I opted not to add sashing, but still thinking about a border.  

I ordered myself a little Christmas present this week, too - a new set of Omnigrid rulers in four sizes.  12.5, 9.5, 6.5, and 4.5 inch squares.  These are the sizes I use the most, and I think the previous ones were getting worn down on the edge where I run my rotary cutter the most.   I found a good deal for the set on Amazon.

So there's plenty to work on when I get more time - this week should be a little more open since my group activities took place last week. 

Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.
Sew and Tell Monday at Melva Loves Scraps 
To-Do Tuesday link-up at Quilt Schmilt

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

I Like Thursday #366

I love Christmas trees!  Any and all, real or artificial, large or small, and all their decorations, too.  I grew up always having a real tree, and we continued that until our kids got older and it just became more convenient to go get the box out of the storage room.  The only thing I really miss is that wonderful pine smell you get with a fresh tree.  

Last year we got a new tree, and I love it because it's smaller than the previous one, and the lights are really pretty.  We put ours up the first weekend of December because I like a little space between Thanksgiving, fall decorations, and Christmas!

I'm in the angel camp when it comes to what goes on top of the tree.  Here is the angel we used for many years.  My mom made her for us when Mike and I were first married.

You'll notice she's not on the tree this year, and that's because the top of the new tree isn't big enough to hang her up there.  

So I dug out a very old angel that I think might have come from my dad's family and was always on our tree growing up.  She definitely looks like an antique!  But she does fit this tree much better.

And one more tree that I really love - this is my mom's ceramic tree that her neighbors made for her many years ago.  We made sure it moved with her from Arizona and get it out every year.  If I could have a tree like this, I think I might not need a regular tree!  I'm not sure if there are places around here to do those kind of ceramics anymore.

Sharing over at Not Afraid of Color for I Like Thursday!