Monday, May 20, 2013

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!

DSC_6377
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!

AmysCreativeSide.com

39 comments:

twirlymama said...

AY-MAY-ZING!!! Oh, Krista and co, it is so gorgeous, and so touching. And Krista, I 100% agree with Ayumi's thank-you comment about you. You are SO good at so many things, and positively Excellent at friend-ness. :)

Reene@Nellie's Niceties said...

That is beautiful! A very talented group!

What Comes Next? said...

beautiful!

Katy Cameron said...

As I said on Ayumi's blog, this is absolutely amazingly gorgeous! Too funny about you handing it over to USPS, they've eaten far more of my mail than Canada Post ever did!

My Hobby 4 Animals said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Geta Grama said...

I enjoyed reading this story, thank you for sharing it, Krista; this quilt perfectly fits to Ayumi's style! The paper pieced blocks, the fabrics, the colors, the simple quilting - you could say it is made by Ayumi! It must be wonderful to have such good friends around the world. Congratulations to the group for such an inspirational work!

cauchy09 said...

dude, this is one of the best quilts ever made.

that is all.

Skooks said...

You guys are getting my vote for sure. I am so jealous I wasn't a part of making it. It is tremendous!

CitricSugar said...

I saw this on Ayumi's blog and was wondering who the elves were….

It's so darn cute! That's one lucky baby.

Sandi said...

Very cute, but one question what do J and Z represent? I can't figure them out.

Well done to everyone.

Wens said...

It's just the best quilt ever :) Great job.

Sandi said...

Hi again. I went to the Pink Penguin blog and saw the description of all the blocks, well done.

lisainporthope said...

I love love love bee quilts, the thought of many hands adding love in each stitch, and this one is super!

paulette said...

What a quilt!! I got teary reading this post!! Such a feel good story!! I know that this quilt will be loved as much as, or more than the love that went into making it!! Well done quilters!! Gorgeous work!! It really does take a Village!
P

Live a Colorful Life said...

This is such a special and personal gift for the new baby. Just beautiful!

Anna said...

it's so stunning, a true work of art. You guys all did amazing!

Flying Blind... said...

Couldn't be more perfect xxx

M-R Charbonneau said...

Awesome!

Elsa said...

Such a sweet quilt and what a lovely thing to do for a friend, I love the story.

Patti said...

Great job of organizing this special quilt, Krista! All the blocks are so amazing, and I am sure will be a treasure forever! Congrats to all of you.

traceyjay said...

um... how MUCH do I love this?!? so so precious!

Soma Acharya said...

Making quilts with paper piecing blocks is so time consuming, but a wonderful group effort pulled this beautiful baby quilt off seamlessly. Such a wonderful gift for the new baby!!

-Soma

Lily said...

What an incredible gift and story! I love Ayumi's designs. And I love the I spy alphabet concept. How wonderful!

Leanne said...

I read about this on her blog. It is such an inspired project, you did such a great job in organizing it and putting it together. I love your blocks, especially the kite. A wonderful entry to the festival.

Robin said...

Such a sweet story to go with a super cute quilt! No doubt baby will be enjoying it for a long time. :)

Nina Lise@Mrs Moen said...

It's very cute indeed, and the receipient (or rather his/her mom) sounded very pleased with her gift. It's a really impressive group effort making the blocks look so cohesive.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

What a cute quilt. That book needs to be reprinted.

quirky granola girl said...

this quilt is perfection! you did so much work to pull it all together. so i kinda *have* to vote for it :)

Debbie said...

Super sweet and special!!

Deborah said...

such an amazing wonderful present :-)

Ginny said...

What a wonderful and special gift! So cute! Amazing job at pulling it all together across so many continents -congrats to all!

cinzia said...

Lovely! frint and back. And the label is fantastic!

Queenie Believe said...

Oh my, pass the Kleenex, this quilt touches my heart through and through. What a labor of love and friendship!! This quilt truly does epitomize the concept of a "group" project!! You've got my vote!
Have a great day.
Always, Queenie

Rachaeldaisy said...

This quilt is awesome in every way!! I especially love that it was made by people all over the world. It's a quilt stitched with a lot of love, that's for sure!

Kristie said...

I hadn't seen this! Just gorgeous :)

Unknown said...

I love love LOVE the quilt. I am now wanting to make one. Could you tell me the size of the blocks before they were sewn into the quilt? What a great idea and such a great gift of love.

Unknown said...

I love love LOVE this quilt. what a great gift of love from so many people. Amazing. I would love to make one. what a great idea. Would you tell me how big the blocks are before they are sewn into the quilt? thanks Beautiful job!

Poppyprint said...

"Unknown", I can't reply to your comment, so hopefully you'll check back here to see that the blocks are 6 1/2" unfinished.

knitnut said...

Thank you so much for the block size. I have been busy taking care of my daughters family who just had a little boy. Can't wait to try to tackle this quilt. Emily