Tiny Pink Penguin Quilt in the Bloggers Quilt Festival

This is my second quilt entry for Amy’s Bloggers Quilt Festival. The first is here.

I am beyond tickled to be able to share this quilt in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival Group Category.

This special quilt was made by 30 women. Most of us have never met in person. All of us love Ayumi Takahashi, the generous creator of Pink Penguin blog and most recently Patchwork Please! a must-have Zakka project book.  When my suspicions were confirmed and Ayumi publicly announced her pregnancy last fall, I got straight to work on a Flickr group of people I knew would want to help make a special quilt for her and Joe’s baby.  Many more names of helpers were suggested by members of her online quilting bees and swap friends. A very happy discussion thread allowed us to settle on an alphabet quilt design using Kumiko Fujita’s Patchwork 318 book for many of the blocks. Ayumi loves Kumiko and her style of quilting! Since the book is out of print, impossible to find and only 6 people in the group own a copy, Ms. Fujita graciously gave us her permission to share her alphabet and motif designs with each other. Several of the motif blocks were designed by members of the group ‘specially for this quilt.

Ayumi is Japanese and speaks English. Joe is American and speaks Japanese. We know this baby will learn both languages and hope this sweet quilt will provide many hours of happy learning and eye-spy fun.

The most amazing gift ever!
quilt photo by Ayumi

K is for Kite  K
Here are the two blocks I made – the kite is my first attempt at designing a foundation pattern.
Over the course of five months and on a few continents, 56 quilt blocks were constructed. 54 of them were successfully mailed to me….IN CANADA…this is quite a shocker considering our super slow postal system.  Participants also provided scraps for setting squares so that I could sash and assemble the blocks with an assortment of fabrics in Ayumi’s style. Lori Holt provided her bias gingham for the backing (a print Ayumi loves). Berene provided the sashing and binding.

The Back
I considered several quilting options, but in the end just went with straight diagonal lines with white thread to accentuate the layout and let the sweet blocks shine.  Initially, one member of the group had planned a trip to Japan and the quilt was to be hand-delivered, but when that didn’t work out we held our breath and went with good old mail (I did drive across the border and leave it, nervously, in the hands of the USPS). Within a week, the quilt was in Ayumi and Joe’s hands!

The most lovely quilt put together by my friends!
You can read all about Ayumi and Joe’s receipt of the quilt, see more photos and read Ayumi’s unbelievably sweet thank you messages that identifies all of the quilters and the blocks they contributed, here. Please do!

Sweet label embroidered by Jesse in England

All folded and ready to go!

For me, this quilt epitomizes the concept of a “group” project. It is not something I could have completed by myself before the baby started elementary school, but more than that, it’s got the love and best wishes of a caring community stitched right in. The perfect gift for a Tiny Pink Penguin coming soon. The added bonus is that I got to meet a lot of new friends in the process and feel a tremendous amount of support from everyone.

Check out the rest of the festival entries, nominate your favs and vote!

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