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Penguin Party Quilt for Baby Kenneth

by Jessica

August 25, 2020

Penguin Party Quilt on building

I recently made this “Penguin Party Quilt” for baby Kenneth! Because when two of your closest friends have a baby and you’re a quilter, you make them a quilt!

Great Friends Make the World Go Round

Jason and Elizabeth are special friends to us, really more like family. Jason was the Best Man at our wedding and Elizabeth one of my bridesmaids. Their son Jonathan refers to us as Aunt Jess and Uncle Tim. They are the sweetest, most down-to-earth family you will ever meet.

Jason is the kind of guy who calls just to check in when he knows you are going through a rough time. He is one of a kind and is always there when you need him.

He is also the kind of guy who will secretly pack a ziplock of Cheetos in his pocket to use as a prop in the Best Man speech. This was one of the most epic moments of the whole event. You can just see it on my husband’s face.  Truly priceless.

Jason with Cheetos

Telling the story of the Cheetos Incident!

There is quite a story behind the bag of Cheetos which Tim (or Jason) will gladly tell you over a pint and then won’t stop talking about for the rest of the night. I won’t tell it here but I will say that in addition to Cheetos, it also involves a pillow fort.

Elizabeth is the kind of person who shows up at the bridal suite with a cooler full of beverages and supplies without you even asking her to. The kind of person who invites you to stay in her home during a hurricane because you have no power, and the kind of person who will be there for you through thick and thin because that’s what friends do. 

Elizabeth and I

Elizabeth and I.

Their son Jonathan was the ring bearer at the wedding. Look at him in his little tux! Now he is practically beaming when you ask him if he’s excited to be a big brother. It is the cutest thing ever.

Tim and Jonathan.

Awww look how cute!

This Calls for Penguins!

Elizabeth loves penguins. So when I set out to pick a quilt pattern, I knew it would either have penguin fabric or a penguin design. When I came across the "Penguin Party" quilt by Elizabeth Hartman, it was an easy decision.

Penguin Party quilt

Penguin Party!

If you’re unfamiliar with Elizabeth Hartman's patterns, do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to browse through her site. Her quilts are unique and amazing. Yes, there are a ton of little pieces. They are not the kind of quilt you whip up in a weekend, though I suppose if you worked tirelessly you could...

Her patterns are well written, thorough, and gorgeous. They are traditionally pieced (no paper-piecing or applique). I would call the difficultly level for "Penguin Party" intermediate. It isn't hard but does require accurate cutting and seam-allowance to avoid frustration. I recommend it and will be making more of her projects in the future for sure!

Pattern Summery & Review


Penguin Party Pattern Cover
Penguin Party Pattern Back

Name of Pattern: Penguin Party

Designer: Elizabeth Hartman

Size Options: 3- Pillow Cover, Child, Lap 

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Special Tools Needed:  None

Piecing Method: Traditional

Pressing Instructions: General note to press all open

PDF or Hard Copy Pattern: PDF



My Overall Review

Pros: Well-written, organized, and accurate. Contains helpful diagrams, charts and visual aids.


Cons: Many small pieces to keep organized. Little wiggle room for error. I prefer pressing seams to one side to allow for nesting rather than pressing all open.

I highly recommend this pattern.

I gave it 4.5/5 only because I prefer a different kind of pressing instruction, not because there is anything wrong with what she has provided.


It can be purchased here.

I cut everything using my Stripology ruler which makes the accurate cutting part a no-brainer. I organized the pieces into labeled piles or baggies. She includes various charts in her patterns to aid in the organization.

The background fabric is “Cosmo” by Northcott and the dot fabrics are from the line “Fine and Sunny” by Moda. These were especially luxurious feeling fabrics in my opinion. Really a pleasure to work with which is especially important for a project like this with a lot of small pieces. A quality fabric will hold its shape better and fray less. 

Penguin block

Penguin Block.

I chose to do a simple wavy line quilting on this to kind of stay with a penguin/nautical feel.

Quilting the penguin party quilt

Getting ready to quilt!

For the binding, I used Susie’s Magic binding to achieve the flange look. This is my favorite binding method right now by a long shot. It gives you a very clean and professional look while doing it all by machine! There is an nice little pop of color on the edge of the quilt, depending on which fabrics you choose. I am not one to do hand binding; I just don't have the patience! Go check it out; you won't regret it!

Binding on penguin quilt

Flange binding.

Penguins Shine in Florida Summer

Once the quilt was finished, Tim and I took it up to an amazing park which is like a hidden gem here in Jacksonville- Walter Jones Historical Park. I had never even heard of it until a photographer we use for pet and family pictures suggested it! The grounds are well-maintained and dotted with various structures, barns, and a white farmhouse that you can use in photo-shoots.

Penguin Quilt Hanging Up

Penguin quilt hanging on a part of the white farmhouse.

The dogs enjoyed the morning in the park, too! It got warm quickly (as summer days do in Florida) so we couldn’t stay long, but once the weather cools down I’m sure we will be taking more walks there.

Imagine that, photographing penguins in a Florida park at the peak of summer.

In any case, Elizabeth and Jason love the quilt. I hope baby Kenneth does, too. We can’t wait to watch him grow and see the amazing big brother Jonathan will be to him.

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