Check out this super fun quilt and the story behind it, which is well worth the read. By the end you’ll know Maria, her daughter and her quilting goals in addition to the saga of the Penguins Quilt.
Our friendship started with an email – Maria had questions about the joining process. She bought our quilting e-books on her Nook and she needed just a bit of encouragement to clarify the quilted block joining process. I sent a few tips, but I replied about 24 hours after receiving her email because I’ve been traveling so much and not always able to reply right away. By the time she received my message she had already figured everything out!! A day later (one day!) she emailed again to say she was taking her new knowledge to a treasured project. Here’s her story:
Girl I have watched every last one of your videos and love them all! I’m anxious to see what you and your daughter come out with next. I’ve also read all three books that I purchased on my Nook. Below are photos (yes I would be flattered if you posted my photos! ) of my daughter, Alexa’s (who is now 21 yrs old LOL!) applique penguin quilt.
When I finished it last night I asked her if she still wanted it and her reply was “Mom! I’ve waited years for this quilt! No one is getting it!”. I had to laugh! Like I told you in earlier emails, this quilt has been waiting to be finished for 11 years?!
Appliqueing the penguins gave me no problems when I first started this quilt. But after that it was nothing but a disaster in the making! I had originally put white sashing around the blocks and added 3 borders BUT when I went to sandwich it I found not only was the sashing wonky but so were all of my borders and it was extremely heavy. There was NO way to get this top smooth enough for me to even try to quilt it. Soooo it ended up in my UFO cabinet hidden for many years.
Every once in awhile Alexa would ask me when I would finish her quilt. I found excuse after excuse because I had NO clue as to how I would finish it. Then 3-4 days ago for some reason I went to YouTube and was just watching random quilting videos and that’s when I came across your QAYG videos. Let me tell you, I was blown away! I couldn’t get enough and after watching all of them I came up to my quilting room and cut the penguin applique blocks out of their sashing, cut backing and batting…spray basted them and had all 12 quilted within an hour and a half!
I did get stuck on how to add the sashing like you do but again like I told you I made a scrap block and had that major AHA moment!! From there I got busy and cut my strips and even cut border fabric, sandwiched the border fabric, quilted those and added them to the quilt.
There’s one thing I did different and you may or may not have tried this but it sure cut down on time and saved me from stressing too much (it was a FACE PALM moment! LOL). While adding the long strips of fabric to the rows of blocks (the back 1 1/4″ x width strips) to the first set of blocks I had a little trouble making sure it stayed straight. While putting the first strip on the wheels in my head started turning again and I remembered I had a bottle of temporary basting glue that came with a metal adapter and a very small hole. So after finding it, I decided to try it on my 2nd row of blocks and it saved me not only time but worry!! Once I had basted the back strip with the glue, mainly all I had to worry about was making sure the front 2″ strip was straight. I didn’t glue the top strip down but pinned just to make sure neither piece moved while I sewed them down.
There is no way I can Thank you enough for sharing your wonderful videos and books that have allowed me to complete a quilt that I thought would literally rot in my UFO cabinet!
My next project is going to be a king size quilt for myself and my husband using layer cakes and I can’t wait to get started because I plan to use decorative stitches which is something else I’ve never done and your QAYG technique to get it finished!! This was also my first time to sew a binding to the back of a quilt and machine sew it down to the front. Can I say I am in LOVE again? I do know that at all cost…I will probably never make a quilt the “traditional” way again.
We will be grandparents in August so you can imagine the baby quilts I will be making from now on lol! One last thing I’d like to share with you is in the 15 years that I’ve been quilting, I have never used my walking foot. For some reason it scared the life out of me. But now, I’m happy to say I do believe it’s become my favorite foot to use! There’s only two things that I will invest in very soon and that’s a 16 1/2″ square ruler and a 20 1/2″ square ruler or I may just invest in the 20 1/2″ square… do you prefer both? or would just the 20 1/2″ suffice? Ok I will quit rattling on for now! Again thank you thank you THANK YOU!
Sincerely and always a follower of your videos and books…. a fellow quilter and a friend!!
P.S. A couple of my favorite sayings: 1. I’m not perfect so don’t look to close and hard at my stitching. The imperfections in each quilt is what makes them unique in themselves! 2. If it can’t be made using QAYG then I probably won’t make it! 3. Love who you’re with, what you are doing and mainly life’s too short to stress over a wonky stitch! LOL
Quilters, receiving Maria’s email was so rewarding! I was thinking the other day “I can’t believe people read the books I write” and now to know that what I’ve written has made such a big difference for Maria and her daughter that I’m just speechless, and endlessly grateful for her kindness in sharing the story of her quilt.
The quilt pattern that Maria adapted is called “Penguin Paradise” and is by Amy Bradley.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has sent me their quilting questions, stories and photos!