Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Wednesday, July 24, 2024

I Like Thursday #398

Good morning?  How's your week going?  It seems like life has been busy around here, but can I tell you what we've been doing? 🤷  

I did make a batch of refrigerator dill pickles out of some of my cucumbers - recipe here.


I received this cute card in the mail from Sally - thank you, Sally!

And enjoyed playing in my aqua scraps to try out a Double Friendship Star.  Just auditioning it, I guess, for a possible new Rainbow Scrap Challenge project.  I like this star, but it's a little bit under-sized.  I think the directions (from Quilter's Cache) call for a scant quarter inch seam, and I find that concept a little challenging!

My brother and SIL have been visiting this week, and it has been great to spend time with them!  Silly me, I did not take a single photo to share!  They currently live in San Luis Obispo, California, but my brother is ready to retire, so they are on an epic road trip, checking out possible locations to retire in so that they can be closer to family out here.

And that brings me to LeeAnna's question of the week - do you like road trips in the summer?  We do like road trips, and have done many over the years.  But the one that always comes to mind is one we took in 1993, when our boys were 13 and 10 - all the way to Washington, DC.  We planned out stops about every half-day along the way that took us to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, we put our toes in the Mississippi River, visited the Corvette factory in Kentucky, and spent several days in DC.  It was quite the trip!  This picture frame is still on display in our living room.

Have a great Thursday, everyone!
Joining in with I Like Thursday at Not Afraid of Color.

Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Midweek Update

The other day, Melva released the next block for her Pieces of My Life QAL, and it is a spool block.  So appropriate because our memory prompt is about our wedding dresses!  I really enjoyed making this block - it's a spool block version that I haven't made before.  

My mom made my dress, as well as my sisters' dresses - she probably even made her own dress for the wedding.  Back then, my mom could (and did) sew just about anything!  I wanted something very simple - there are no sparkly things on my dress, no train, it's very simple.  I loved it then and still do.  

I love this picture because of the look on her face!  
Also, notice her wrist pincushion - such a classic tool for seamstresses.

My sisters' dresses were a very 70s color - what would you call it?  Dusty Rose, maybe?

While I don't know what my sisters have done with their dresses from my wedding, 
mine is still hanging in my closet!  I've never been sure what to do with it, although I flirted with the idea of using a piece of it in this quilt block. 
But in the end, I just couldn't cut into it!

I have also gotten quite a bit of quilting done on the first section of this quilt, and I'm pretty happy with how it's turning out.  I find myself thinking I will do one type of design in a section, and ending up doing something completely different.  Hopefully, in the end, it will all mesh together!

Sharing at Quiltfabrication for Midweek Makers and 
Melva Loves Scraps for the spool block linkup.

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Slow stitching this week...

I stitched like crazy all week long, and finished up the mini flag sampler!  I think the flag was done by Tuesday evening, and all the letters by Friday.   This was an enjoyable project (once I got through those long red and white stripes on the flag)!

On this week's To Do list will be to fully finish this 
so that I can add it to my basket of little samplers.

Now I have some empty hoops - what to put in them so I have things to stitch on during my evening slow stitching time?  For one, I decided to prep the July heart from Melisa's Year of Hearts series.  Since we're getting towards the end of July, I want to get it done!

All set to get started!

I bet you can guess what I'll be working on for my Slow Sunday Stitching!
Linking up with Kathy's Quilts.

Friday, July 19, 2024

A quilt top!

The zipper blocks zipped themselves right into a quilt top this week!  There's something about sewing blocks into a top that often helps me like the whole project better, and that happened with these.  

It's always fun to look at all the blocks you've made as you're stitching the rows together.  I decided this section is my favorite - turquoise, purple, yellow, goldfinches, sand and seashells.  Anything goes in these blocks!

Next up is to make a backing for the quilt and get it ready to quilt.
I'm really going to try not to leave it in the to-be-quilted closet for too long!
Maybe it will be an August finishing project.

Also this week, I hand-pieced one more hollow 9 patch.  I've been making two of these each month. 

There are 14 of these blocks now.  I think it just needs orange and then I'm going to sew the blocks together - this will be doll quilt sized.  I've hand-pieced several quilts over the last five years or so, all different sizes.  I can feel myself losing a little interest in hand-piecing, so it's just time to finish this project up!

Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday!
Melva Loves Scraps for Sew and Tell Monday.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

I Like Thursday #397

So, apparently, I can grow cucumbers!

And the cherry tomatoes are coming along, too.   Yum to both of these! ⬆️⬇️

We also tried a little baking experiment this week, and these were pretty tasty.  Have you ever watched one of those little quick videos on Facebook where the person is making something, and you think, "I could do that!"  So - I tried these - Easy Baked Pancake Muffins.

You can't see this, but I put chocolate chips in mine.
They're quick to make, pretty simple, and tasted good, too!

Here's something I'm proud of - I organized my embroidery floss stash!  No "before" pictures - it was too embarrassing.  All kinds of ziploc bags full of this and that.  Isn't this pretty now?!

LeeAnna's question of the week is about outdoor performances - have we gone, do we like them?  And my answer is yes!  Here in Colorado there are many opportunities for outdoor concerts and performances, but the most wonderful place is Red Rocks Amphitheater, located in the foothills west of Denver.  It's a beautiful spot for a concert!

I think, over the years, we've been to at least 4 concerts there that we could think back to: Michael Martin Murphey, Chuck Mangione, (those were in the 70s), and then more recently James Taylor, and (probably my favorite) Idina Menzel.  Think - the voice of Elsa in Frozen singing "Let it Go!"  She was so good!  I went to that one with my teaching friends, Betty - her son had given her the tickets for her birthday and I got to go, too.

Good memories!

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


Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Midweek Update

I was determined to get going on the first Quilt As You Go step for my Pieces of My Life project this week.  I collected all the supplies - sashing fabric, backing, and Hobbs 80/20 fusible batting.  Melva wrote that she preferred the look of scrappy sashing strips, chosen from her stash, but I didn't have anything that would be the right size to get the length of strips that are called for.  So I bought a Grunge fabric called "Sea," and am hoping it will work.  Credit goes to Missouri Star for a great sale on two yard cuts for the backing (the floral wreaths - I bought two packages) and Connecting Threads for a batting sale, and I was all set!

Next up was to cut and sew the sashing pieces and get the first quarter of the quilt top together.  Thank you, Melva, for very clear directions on how to do that!  

I wasn't really happy with the look of that center section where the four large blocks come together because it looks a little too chunky, if you know what I mean! 

So I did a little reverse engineering and added some of the floral focus fabric as "cornerstones."  I actually like this much better.

This section measures 28.5 x 30.5.  
There will be four sections this same size that make the quilt top.
There will also be an outer border all the way around.

Okay - ready to baste the layers together.   I've used Hobbs 80/20 in my quilts for years and really like it, but never the fusible type.  Thankfully, Melva included a great video from Pauline's Quilting World that shows just what to do, and it works great!  (So far, anyway!)  This could be a game changer for me - basting the quilt layers is never my favorite job, but this made it very easy.

And I'm off on the quilting journey!  Starting off simply with some stitch-in-the-ditch, but hoping to branch out into some different designs in the blocks.  

Linking up with Quiltfabrication for Midweek Makers.
And Alycia Quilts for Finished or Not Friday.


Saturday, July 13, 2024

Sunday Slow Stitching

We had a beautiful visitor yesterday!  Husband and younger son grabbed their cameras and got some photos.  

We're pretty sure this is a Tiger Swallowtail.

It fits, then, that I finished up the stitching on this heart with its sweet watering can and pretty red flowers.

I also hand-pieced the aqua hollow 9, and got pieces cut for a second one.

Today, and for the next few days, I'll be working on the mini flag sampler.  The flag is taking me awhile, but will be worth it when finished! 

Sharing at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching!



Friday, July 12, 2024


I haven't shown my zipper block collection since May when I made a few new pink blocks for it.   At that time, I decided I would make four more blocks for a total of 42, and call it good!

And I finally got around to doing just that this week!  A light blue for June, an aqua block for July, and a red and a gray to round it all out.

Then it was time to lay these blocks out and get sewing them together for the quilt top.  With these being all color, and no background fabric, the layout isn't the easiest thing to figure out, but I mostly tried to balance lights vs darks and solids vs prints.

***Every time I work on these blocks, I second guess myself about how busy they are all together.  But I spent some time looking at Klein Meisje Quilts, the quilter who came up with the original design, and that's what hers looks like, too (you can see her quilt at the link).  So, I'm sticking with it, and sewing them up!*** 

It doesn't take long to get a few rows sewn together - this was my Friday afternoon sewing time.  

And the four sections for another County Clare block were constructed in between seams, too!

Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.
Melva Loves Scraps for Sew and Tell Monday.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

I Like Thursday #396


We had some little nocturnal visitors the other night.
Mike was out checking our yard late on the 4th of July, heard a noise up in the tree,
and caught mama and babies all cuddled up together looking out at us.  
I'm sure they were as surprised to see us as we were to see them!

Also, in the yard, the cherry tomatoes are starting to ripen.  Yay!

I'm up to two Bonnie Hunter leader/ender blocks!  I'll be a slowpoke with these, but they are fun.  Sewing together a few squares of this and a few rectangles of that - then see what you get!

LeeAnna's question of the week is what is your favorite summer beverage?  Mine is an "Arnold Palmer" - technically half iced tea and half lemonade.  I prefer mine about 2/3 tea and 1/3 lemonade.  I usually have a glass of iced tea/lemonade every afternoon when I sit down to read for awhile - it's very refreshing!

You can buy this combination pre-bottled from Arizona Tea, and even "spiked" in a can, but I just make my own with homemade iced tea and some Ice Lemonade.  If I drank it spiked in the afternoon, I would just fall asleep! 

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

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Midweek Update

Do you sew with leaders and enders?  I often use some form of them when making quilt blocks - either pieces and parts of other quilt blocks or simple four patches.  I am always fascinated by Bonnie Hunter's leader/ender challenges, and have participated once before.  Easy Breezy was her 2020-2021 leader/ender, and I finished this little quilt in early 2022.

When I saw Bonnie's newest leader/ender announcement the other day, I really liked the block and thought it would be fun to try.  This one is called County Clare and is inspired by her recent trip to Ireland.  So the other day, I started cutting and organizing pieces just to see how the block went together.

Lots of little pieces!  Of course, I have plenty of those...

Those four sections make a 6 inch block!  So very Bonnie Hunter!

But why not give them a try?  I decided that every so often, I'll cut a few pieces for a block, and stitch up one small section at a time.  I've dedicated the little heart dish that sits on my sewing table as the place to throw those pieces.

One little block at a time, I'll build a quilt!  The quarter block was sewn in between sections of a zipper block yesterday.  That worked pretty well!

There are more pieces cut to be sewn up, so back to the sewing machine! 

Sharing at Quiltfabrication for Midweek Makers!
Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts.

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Slow stitching this week...

Did you see some fireworks on the 4th of July?  Our city does a great job with their show!  Mike and I and younger son walked down to the high school lawn to sit and watch them.

There weren't any fireworks in my stitching this week, but there's kind of a red, white, and blue theme going on.

I first worked on the July design for Kathy Schmitz's Woven Wreaths project and stitched up the sweet bird!

I also finished Melisa's Watermelon Stamp.  I think last week when I shared it, the only parts left were the sunflowers and the bees, so that was a quick finish.

And I started two new things - well, one continues the Year of Hearts project that I've been working on since January.  A watering can full of flowers - so fun!

For stitching on the 4th, I decided to start the Mini Flag Sampler from PinkernPunkin.  I haven't gotten very far on the flag, but I'll just keep going on it as a July project.

The only thing I didn't touch this week is the hand-pieced Hollow 9 patch quilt block that I shared last week.  I'll keep that one on my list for the coming week!

Hope you had a fun 4th of July, or happy Canada Day if you're reading from Canada!  Sharing at Kathy's Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Friday, July 5, 2024

Getting started with aqua!

My sewing time this week has been all about digging into my aqua stash, and it has been very enjoyable!  I started with the next block for the Pieces of My Life QAL called "Steps to the Altar."

You can read more about that adventure HERE.

While I was working on that block, I also cut pieces and parts for an aqua patchwork heart.  Before too long, that one was sewn together, too!

And four patches were made for the alternate block as well.

I'm up to 16 blocks for this project, and it's starting to look like something!  I've decided I want to make 25 blocks for this quilt so that I can have a heart in each corner.  That means nine more are needed - five hearts and four alternate blocks.

Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.
Melva Loves Scraps for Sew and Tell Monday.