Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Little Penguin Quilts Through the Year

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Temecula Mini Blocks WiP

This week's Temecula Marvelous Monday Mini blocks are meant to be 36 patch blocks made from 1-1/8" squares (180 of them to make 5 blocks!).  I knew I would not want to cut that many teeny tiny squares, so I decided to make them using the Scrappy Trips block method from Bonnie Hunter.

I cut six strips of the different colors that were 7" x 1-1/8."  Sewing them together, making a tube of the strips by sewing them right sides together, and then cutting apart in the opposite direction and re-sewing made an easy 36 patch block.  Check out this tutorial if you want to see it written out in more detail!

So far, I've made two of these - this week's plan calls for 5 total.  We'll see if I get around to that!

I am enjoying seeing these blocks all together!  Here are the 12 I had before I made the second 36 patch block.  

I'm really getting curious to find out what will be happening with these blocks once all of them are completed!

Linking up with Let's Be Social at Sew Fresh Quilts and Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


This week I've been thinking about where my inspiration comes from in the quilting work I do.  It's been kind of fun to keep track of how a particular little scrap project evolved.

A couple weeks ago I first showed this low volume piece I made, with the intention that it would become the background for something else.  At that time, I wasn't sure what I would be doing with it, but I was inspired by a lovely mini quilt made by Teje at Neros Post.

Meanwhile, I was doing my usual watering and plant maintenance one day, and I cut some petunias to put into a mason jar.

Looking at those pretty purple petunias gave me an idea, so I got out my graph paper sketchbook, and drew this - 

The question was, could I make this out of fabric?

Sure I could!

I used some Steam a Seam to fuse the pieces onto the background, and added a little bit of primitive machine stitching to keep them in place. 

Some little buttons were fun for the flower centers.


Coming from many places.

Thanks to my many scrappy quilter friends for all the inspiration I find in you everyday!
Sharing at Oh Scrap! over at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.

Friday, July 21, 2017

A Rainbow Baby Quilt

Big A little a, what begins with a?  Aunt Annie's alligator, a...a...a!

Dr. Seuss's ABC has been one of my favorite children's books since I was a kid.  Since then, I have read it so many times to my own children, and to my students, that I have a lot of it memorized!

When I decided to make a baby quilt for some friends of my youngest son, and I found this fabric at my favorite LQS, I knew just what to do!   A whole cloth quilt would be quick and easy.

A yard and a half of ABC by Robert Kaufman, and some Kona Daffodil for the backing and binding, were perfect for this project!

After squaring up the ABC fabric, I ended up with a piece about 39 x 46.   I used the lines of the print to give myself some guidelines for the gently curved quilting using my walking foot.

Of course, a copy of the book will be included in the package, because it is just so much fun to read aloud!

All done!

Although this wasn't a scrappy project to begin with, I did end up with some scraps of the Kona Daffodil leftover, which I know I will find a use for!

Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I Like Thursday #39 - a New Hike

It's always fun to find a new spot to go hiking where you've never been before, so when a friend recommended Hollowell Park in Rocky Mountain National Park, Mike and I decided we needed to check it out!  It turned out to be a lovely place to explore and we really enjoyed ourselves.

I liked this wide open view that we started with - that's Long's Peak there in the background.  It is one of Colorado's 14,000 foot peaks.

There were tons of wildflowers along the way.  I really liked these pretty purple ones!  I do wish I knew their official name.  I can identify lots of birds, but don't have the same knowledge of wildflowers!

The wide open spaces soon turned into this - a beautiful grove of aspen trees.

And water - 

I like my new sun hat and my trekking poles!  I also like stopping to rest now and then, lol!

I like this view from Sprague Lake, another place to visit close by where we hiked.

We often stop by the Snowy Peaks Winery, in Estes Park, after hiking, for a picnic and a glass of wine.  This time, it was late afternoon, and some live bluegrass music was playing, which we really enjoyed. (along with that glass of wine!)

Happy Thursday!  I hope you're having a wonderful week!  I'm looking forward to the I Like Thursday posts over at Not Afraid of Color - join us!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Cool Blues

I've been enjoying playing with my blue scraps this week, continuing the July color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

First up, this week's Marvelous Monday Mini block, from Temecula Quilt Company.  I've made 10 of these little blocks so far - I'm getting really curious to see what we will end up doing with these!

I also played with my blue string scraps to make this month's blocks for my String Star quilt.

String blocks are so much fun to play with!

And in the category of  "Just because I had to," I made a couple of orange blocks to add into the mix, and see what will be happening when I have all the blocks made for the star.  You might notice that I fudged a couple of orqange blocks just to see what they will look like there by the red center square!

All I have left to complete my design plan are 6 orange blocks and 12 more of the neutral/low volume background blocks!  I'm excited about this one!

And, finally, I made some blue bow ties.

The bow tie blocks started as an "I want to make a few of these just for fun," block earlier this year, and since they measure 6.5 inches, I know I will need a bunch more to make even a lap sized quilt.  So far I've made just 20 bow ties, and probably need at least 80 to get a 4 x 5 block layout, if I sew them into 12.5 inch squares of four bow ties each.

Lots more blocks needed, but on the way to being a fun and scrappy quilt!  My low volume mini, which I have plans to add some applique to, is still in the same state it was last week, as I continue to mull over what I want to add to it!  

I'll be sharing my scrappy blues over at SoScrappy and Quilting is More Fun than Housework for their weekend link-ups!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I Like Thursday #38 - a Quiet Week

It's been a really quiet week here at the Little Penguin household.  Quiet because the neighborhood fireworks pretty much stopped after the 4th, thankfully.  Quiet because it's been hot here, so I've been trying to stay cool and not work up a sweat too much, so I read a lot or disappear into my basement sewing studio.

So quiet that I wasn't sure I had much to write about for my usual I Like Thursday post!  Until I went to look out my front window and saw this - a pink balloon sitting out on the grass.  Now, when you see something like that out of the blue, you just have to like it!

No idea where it came from - maybe a little person's birthday party?  Who knows!  There was also one in the yard across the street.  The next time I looked, it had disappeared.  I think there were Pink Balloon Fairies playing in our neighborhood that day!

I did also see this the other day - my first cherry tomato of the summer.

So yummy!  I'm looking forward to many more!

I enjoy a slow and quiet beginning to the day, with a mug of coffee and our local newspaper.  For a couple of years, we've had a digital subscription to the newspaper, which allows us to read it wherever we are, and we like that convenience.  Plus, you can go back and look articles or events up in the digital archives whenever you need to.

I like this jar full of petunias that I trimmed from one of my pots.  They are very fragrant!

Have you read this book - Wonder, by RJ Palacio? 

It is one of my most favorite middle grades books ever - I read it aloud to my 5th grade students several times.  Wonder is about a 5th grade boy who was born with a rare medical facial deformity, and how he deals with going to public school for the first time.  It's being made into a movie, and I'm looking forward to seeing it!

Before I retired I purchased a copy of Wonder to keep for myself, and it came with a companion book - 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Book of Precepts.  

Mr/ Browne is Auggie's 5th grade teacher, and in the story he gives the class a quote (or precept) each school day to discuss and write about.  This book has a quote for each day of the year, and I enjoy checking out the daily quote every now and then.  Here's the quote for July 12th:

I think this is perfect for creative people of all kinds!

I hope you're having a great week - quiet or busy, cool or hot - full of your favorite things.  I'm joining in with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color to celebrate the positive!  Feel free to join us!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Scraps, Minis, and Mini Scraps!

I've been doing a pretty good job of keeping up with the Marvelous Monday Mini blocks from Temecula Quilt Company.  Although some of my earlier blocks turned out a bit wonky (probably because of the teeny, tiny pieces!), these look pretty good to me!  I've used lots of starch on these blocks to keep them under control.

I have nine blocks made so far, using orange, lime green, turquoise, and some light blue.  Each block measures 4 inches.  I like them!

This week, I also finished up this low volume piece that I am hoping to do some applique on.  It measures about 16.5 x 16.5.  I actually quilted and bound it already, because that is how the inspiration piece was done. 

It was a bit hard to capture the color in this piece with my camera.  It's made with mostly tone on tone cream, and beige-ish scraps, but has a few little bits that pop out here and there.  I like these grapevines and the alphabet fabric.

I found this fun postcard fabric in my stash and it seemed perfect for the backing.

The next decision is what to add on to this low volume piece.  My original plan was to have brighter colors layered on top of the background - bright green, purple, pink, etc., to applique flowers, leaves, and stems. Unfortunately, sometimes my skills don't match my vision, but I am always one who likes to try something new and see what develops!  

Just for fun, I took some hexies I had made and laid them out on the background.  This could turn into something intriguing, but very different from my vision.  I'm still contemplating this one!

I'll be back another week to share what I end up doing with this!  Stay tuned!  Meanwhile I'm sharing my scrappy mini blocks and projects over at Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework!

Friday, July 7, 2017

A Little Bit of Blue

It's always fun to have a new color of the month to work with for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!  I didn't post about my Maple Leaves and 9 Patches in June because I had already made the yellow blocks last year when I was first playing around with the idea of multi-colored maple leaves.

But I did get them out this week and made some blue blocks to add to the collection.

I'm not sure what I will do with these blocks yet - keep adding to them until I have enough for a lap size quilt, add sashing or not, make a table topper or mini - just not sure.  I need at least one more color if I want a square of just the leaves, but what color?  So far I've made red, orange, yellow, green, teal, blue, brown, and purple.  Suggestions, anyone?!

For now, I'm just enjoying all this lovely color!

Sharing at SoScrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I Like Thursday #37 - the 4th of July

I have always loved the 4th of July, and still do, in spite of the challenges and concerns facing our country these days.

I liked this political cartoon that was in our paper the other day.  

I like how people in our town put their flags out for the day, including my husband at our house.

I like eating outdoors and having picnic food.

I liked my "once a year" attempt at making potato salad.  Even though my mom's potato salad always tastes the best (and I used her recipe), it turned out pretty good!

I really like this relish that I put on my hotdog.  It's made specially for a funny little grocery store in our town called Esh's Grocery Market that is full of all kinds of odds and ends and brand names you've never heard of.  

I like these veggie chips that we splurged on for our 4th of July supper.  I don't know that they're any healthier for you than potato chips, but I love that they are colorful and tasty!

I especially love fireworks on the 4th, and we got to see two sets of them this year!  Over the weekend, we went up to my SIL's cabin and watched fireworks from their deck, where my husband attempted to take some photos of them.  Here's one that turned out pretty good.

On the night of the 4th we always walk down to the lake in the middle of our city and sit on the lawn of the high school to watch our local fireworks display.  It is an amazing time because EVERYBODY comes out for it, and there are thousands of people at the high school, the surrounding parks, and all along the edges of the lake watching the display together.  At the very end, you can always hear everyone whistling and cheering and clapping.  Very fun!

I hope you all enjoyed your 4th of July as much as I did mine!

I like "I like Thursdays" and look forward to reading everyone's post who joins in this week!  You can, too, every Thursday, over at LeeAnna's blog, Not Afraid of Color.