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Sew Along for the Sketchbook Jacket 2023

Do you have a new planner for 2024? 

Do you have a sketchbook for ideas and plans? 

Do you have a binder or notebook to keep patterns?

Would you like to make a unique cover for that book to keep everything in?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions you should join me for a new Sew Along!  I will be hosting this event on Instagram & Facebook.  

If you join the Sewing Huddle on Facebook I will be sharing tips for finding supplies, creating a unique cover, and customizing your Sketchbook Jacket.  I will answer questions and give tips for making your jacket fit your needs.

The Sketchbook Jacket first came to life in 2016 as a need for me to keep my loose papers and sketches in my sketchbook.  The first pattern version appeared as a Tropical Treat in issue #35 of Love Patchwork & Quilting.  Since then I have been able to work options into the pattern to make it more useful and unique. 

You can read more about this in my post from 2016>> My first quilt magazine cover

There is no cost to sign up for the Stitch along.  You will need the Sketchbook Jacket PDF pattern.  Here is a link to purchase the pattern and join the mailing list for the Sew Along.  You will also find an invite to the Facebook group in the email so you can join all the fun.  

You can find the Sketchbook Jacket Sew Along Landing Page here

I would love for you to come sew with me. 

This is one of three graphics you can share on social media.  Use the hashtags #SketchbookJacketSAL #penguinfeats when posting about your make!  I love seeing all the unique versions of this pattern!


Let’s Sew This!

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weave a fabric task-it basket

Over 10 years ago I tried weaving fabric strips into a basket.  I had no idea how to weave a basket, but I knew how to create fabric strips.  My inspiration was a ceramic dish I purchased while we were living in Italy.  I wanted to figure out a way to make a fabric version for use in my studio to store all those little things.   I found a tutorial using old maps and was able to adapt it to the fabric strips.   

Here is my adaptation of the woven basket.  

I love making these little baskets and will be making more and experimenting with the size and lining for different purposes.  

Task-it basket

Recipe by TriniaBDifficulty: Intermediate

Strips of fabric are woven to create a versatile basket for holding all your "eggs". The basket can be upsized using larger strips of fabric and increasing the size of the lining.

What you will need:

  • Materials
  • 12 fabric strips cut 2 inches wide & 22 inches long

  • Fusible web for medium fabrics (e.g., Dritz 5/8 inch x 18 yard roll precut OR  Pellon / HeatnBond 1 1/2 yards cut into 5/8 inch strips)

  • 2 fabric lining pieces cut 9 1/2 x 9 3/4 inch

  • 2 fusible interfacing pieces cut 9 1/2 x 8 3/4 inch (Pellon Decor Bond 809)

  • Tools
  • Pressing Iron and thick pressing mat

  • Parchment paper or Pressing Sheet

  • 25 mm bias tape maker

  • straight pins

  • craft clips

  • craft tweezers


  • Press strips using bias tape maker.  Try to minimize the gap at center by meeting the raw edges without overlapping them.
    Pressing Strips
  • Cut fusible web to length of strips.  Insert into folds of each strip. Remove paper backing if necessary.  Press into place using parchment or pressing sheet to prevent fusible from getting on iron or pressing surface.
  • Arrange strips 6 vertical and 6 horizontal wrong side up.
  • Weave over / under (see Notes) Minimize the gap so edges of strips are touching and woven tightly but laying flat. Pin in place.
  • Place a small square of fusible between the intersecting strips on the outside edge of the weave.  Press in place making sure the strips are fused at the intersections.
    Continue placing small squares of fusible between the intersecting strips in an X pattern throughout the weave.  Press in place making sure the strips are fused at the intersections.
    You can place smalls squares of fusible between the remaining intersections if desired.  Press in place to make sure all strips are fused at the intersections.
    Remove pins and turn the piece over, right side up.
  • Start weaving to create the basket corners.
    Find the center of each side and weave strips in a continuing over / under pattern and clip in place.
  • Continue weaving up the sides from the created corners to the desired height.
    At the top, fold the strip over to the inside and weave under the next strip on inside of basket. Secure with craft clip.
    Adjust any loose strips and refold the top securing with a craft clip.
    Make the lining....
    Press fusible interfacing to wrong side of both fabric lining panels aligning the interfacing to one end of the fabric lining.
  • With right sides together, stitch fabric lining panels together, stitch sides and bottom, leaving one short edge unstitched.
  • Mark a 2 1/4 inch corner from raw edge of stitched corners.
  • Cut on marked line through both layers. Press seams open.

  • Align seam centers of cutout right sides together, matching raw edges of cutout. Clip in place
  • Stitch 1/4 inch seam along cut edge from fold to fold with seams aligned at center.
  • Fold over top, wrong sides together, at edge of interfacing. Press.
  • Fold over folded edge to 1 1/4 inch -1 1/2 inch. Make sure the folded edge comes down enough to be below the top of the woven basket edges. Press.
  • Set the lining into the woven basket. Set corners into corners of basket and even out top edge so it is even around the basket.
  • Pin in place. Stitch through all layers to secure lining to basket.

How-to video


  • The video shows how to weave the basket in a time compressed tutorial.
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Welcome to “my makin’ space”

A new year is here and that means time for clean up and organization of the studio.  Every January I try to use the turn of the calendar year as a way to take a fresh look at my space and how I use it.  This helps me figure out what I want to focus on and how I want to use my space to reach my goals.  I want to share with you the space I use to make all the things.

A new table was added to my space last year and I needed to make more room for getting around in the studio.  I moved one of my IKEA Ingo table into my fabric room [yes, I have a room for fabric….but there is a bed in there too…sorta]  and slid these two under the window.  The Ingo table on the right has a cutout for my machines to sit in and allow more flat sewing space.  The other Ingo table I moved has not been altered so it is used for all the other messy making and fabric cutting.  I use the trestle desk for machine embroidery and photo staging.

This is the new table added to my space.  Yes, it is tall!  It is tall because I now stand and sew.  Oh it is so much better for me than I ever imagined.  This table was a find at Costco – and on sale!   The pressing station to the right is a new addition to my makin’ space too.  I purchased a sheet of 3/4 ” plywood at Lowes and asked them to cut it to size.  After covering the board I screwed it to my extra wide ironing board and….voila….a full FQ fits for one pressing!!

The quilt frame is still in the same place because there isn’t another space big enough for it.   This works because it gives me space in the center of the studio to move around in.

This little cozy for my Bernina 635LE was a must make and my first make of 2020.  I did a little quilt as you go and some applique embroidery and a lot of strip piecing.  I have two more machine covers to make.

I feel like I have been hibernating the past few months.  In a sense I have because I have been dealing with a lot of stress and haven’t been able to focus on this side of my life.  Getting my makin’ space set up and refreshed is a good way to gain perspective and focus.  I hope sharing my space with you will inspired you in some way.  And I look forward to sharing more of my makin’ space with you soon.

think creative – be creative



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Planning for 2020

This year has been a bit off course from what I imagined.  I have not completed the projects & goals I had for the year.  A new year is around the corner and life is settling down a bit here so it is the perfect time to step back and try this plan again….and maybe add some new ideas!

My 2020 Quilter’s Planner arrived last week, and I had a jacket all ready for it.


This new jacket has a different edge.  I tried a finish with binding for a new look.  I am working on a rewrite of the Sketchbook Jacket pattern to include this as an option.  You can get the current PDF version of the Sketchbook Jacket pattern in my Payhip shop HERE.  I will post an update for the pattern when the bound version is included.

I ordered the unbound planner, which came without a cover.  Of course I had to make a rigid cover for the planner to fit in its quilted jacket.  I experimented with pieces of fabric between the laminate sheets.  I made a few different ones and so far they are all holding up to the punch.  the 10 mil was the perfect thickness for the covers too….and look at the fabric in there…all safe and protected.  Learning to laminate with 10 mil was fun.  Now I want to laminate all the things!!


I am so excited to plan 2020 with the new options in the Quilter’s Planner.  The dot grid & graph paper pages are going to push me to get my ideas down so I can work them into my plans.

There is so much to look forward to in 2020. What are you most looking forward to in your 2020?


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Making it stick


I have a thing for stickers and I cannot lie.  I have been experimenting with different ways to create custom helpers for my Quilter’s Planner.  Some have worked great, some not so great.

My first try was to create mini stickers to help keep up with my sewing and quilting tasks.

These stickers are perfect for placing and creating lists in my planner.  I use them in the weekly layout columns to schedule time with my sewing machine, cutting table, and sewing prep.  I have not quite figured out how to create a cut file for these, so for now I cut them with scissors to fit in my planner pages.

Then I tried to create a printable sticker for formatted sticker pages in circles & rectangles.

These little stickers are formatted to print on Avery sticker pages so no cutting is necessary.

And then I wanted to create stickers out of printed graphics & text for inspirational quotes throughout my planner.  This led me to use my Xyron Creative Station.  I printed text on colored paper and then cut them into fun shapes.  After running them through my little sticker maker I was able to apply them to my goals page to give me extra inspiration to keep going back and visiting my goals page for motivation.

I have since been able to add lots of little motivational stickers through my planner pages to boost my planning goals.

BONUS…a little page of sticker notes to help you plan your sewing & quilting to-do’s.  This is a PDF download and can be printed on sticker paper and cut, or, you can print on paper and make stickers with your sticker machine.  Click HERE to get the PDF.


Click image to get the PDF


I hope you find a little inspiration to help you motivate yourself in the pages of your planner.

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Twin Jackets!!

I couldn’t make just one.  Making two was sew much more fun!

Twin Jackets!!

warm quilted jacket



cool quilted jacket

Almost identical…one warm, one cool.  I dug into my stash of Alison Glass fabric to create these quilted jackets using my Sketchbook Jacket pattern.  The quilted jackets are custom made for and wrapped around a 2019 Quilter’s Planner.  Which is your favorite?I have been cooking these jackets up just for you! 

YES!  I want to give these jackets…with a 2019 Quilter’s Planner in each…to YOU!

This giveaway is two parts>  one part blog and one part Instagram.


Each package includes:

2019 Quilter’s Planner with custom jacket
the Quilter’s Planner Magazine
Quilter’s Planner Mini planner
Pollen Pillow EPP set


One package will be given to a randomly drawn comment on each post [one from this blog post & one from this Instagram post]

You can comment on both posts [duplicate draws will be redrawn]

Random draw will be Tuesday 23 October 2018 at 7:30 pm PDT.

Here’s how you do it…

  1. Comment here with your email address and/or on the Instagram post.
  2. Tag friends on the Instagram post. Share this blog post on Facebook, Pinterest, or Email using the links at the end of the post.
  3. Follow me>>Penguin Feats on Instagram  and if you are sew inclined to follow the blog using the Subscribe box in the column to the right>>>
  4. Share the love by following The Quilter’s Planner on Instagram and visiting the Quilter’s Planner blog here!  There is a great troop there creating the beautiful planner to make 2019 the best year ever!

*must be 18 years or older to enter
*this giveaway is in no way endorsed, administered, sponsored by, or associated with Instagram.  

A random comment has been drawn.  The email requesting shipping address has been sent.  Check your email.  If  there is no response by 25 October 8am PDT another comment will be randomly drawn.   

Congratulations to Cathy C.  Your package is on the way…and I hope it makes your 2019 amazing!! 

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planner jacket ‘mash up’

OH the excitement when the 2019 Quilter’s Planner arrived and I opened the beautiful box!!  The anticipation of its arrival was intense.  Not just because I have a quilt featured in the companion magazine, but, because I want 2019 to be better than 2018…and 2018 has been sooooooo good! 

the Five Star Flex notebook

I ordered the unbound version just to experiment with adding pages and extras to my planning pages.  I searched for a binder to accommodate the size of the planner and found the Five Star Flex.  It is a bit smaller than a regular 3 ring binder so it didn’t bulk up my planner more than I wanted a binder to.  The 3 rings are a perfect match for the unbound planner which arrives pre-punched for a standard 3 ring binder.  The rings on the planner are flexible and I haven’t decided if they are a positive or negative yet.  

The front and back cover of the flex notebook didn’t quite cover the planner tabs.  I purchased some inexpensive chipboard and punched holes in it to create a more rigid cover and back .  The more rigid cover now extends out over my planner edge to protect the tabs.  

I knew I wanted to create a quilted Sketchbook Jacket for my planner.  I always put a jacket on my sketchbooks and planners…it keeps all the papers in and I have a way to zip it up and take it with me.  The Sketchbook Jacket PDF pattern is available on Payhip or in my Etsy Shop.   

I was racking my brain for a month trying to come up with a mantra like cover design for my planner and remembered  the fun Alphabet Spools pattern I had purchased from Quiet Play last year.  Those spools with the little alphabet letters were just waiting for me to work them into a project!  I love the little letters and how they sit perfectly in the spools…but I needed my spools to look more like my thread rack….

As you can see, I use Aurifil Thread.  The 50 & 40 wt. are my go-to threads for quilting, bag making, and all kinds of sewing.  And I needed the spools to be small enough to fit within the 11 inch cover of the jacket for the planner.  

Foundation paper piecing is probably my favorite quilting technique.  The detail you can get and the ability to scale the pattern gives me so much flexibility when designing a layout.   I reduced the Alphabet Spools pattern to 40% and created a new top & bottom for the green and orange to match my thread rack selection. 

I created a mini spool block without letters to fill in the blank space between my lettered spools.  This is a simple piecing pattern and I was able to vary the width of some of the blocks to show fuller and emptier spools…all in my favorite colors of course.  


The final ‘mash up’  of my Sketchbook Jacket & Alphabet Spools will be the perfect mantra cover for my Quilter’s Planner to keep me in the making mood for 2019.  What are you planning for 2019 to keep on track with your goals?  


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sewing stickers

I have been searching high and low for stickers to use in my planner that will fit my sewing related plans.  I have found a few, but, nothing that includes all the tasks we sewists like to plan and track.


I found these Avery labels and decided to try them.

[Avery 4222 3/4 inch glossy clear, round labels]
The Avery website has a template for these labels available for download in multiple formats.

I visited Creative Market and Shutterstock looking for vector icon images of sewing related items.  I found a few I thought had a good selection of the tools I use and downloaded them.  It was so easy and each set came in multiple formats for easy editing.

I was able to add some text and lines to each icon to make it my own.  It was a simple copy and past operation to get each new icon to fit into the template.  

Adding my logo to the mix of stickers should give me planning motivation for the business related work I need to get done.  At least that is the plan!

Some of the stickers are completely my own design and some are designed using the vector icons.

I have more ideas to make into stickers, but for now these will do…and I need to sew, sew, sew.


Right click on this image

click save image as

save to a folder and add it to your own sewing sticker set

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Churn Echoes for The Quilter’s Planner 2019

photo taken by Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter for The Quilter's Planner 2019 @thequiltersplanner

Having a quilt pattern in the 2019 Quilter’s Planner is surreal.  I have been an avid user of this planner for the last 2 years, admiring the patterns, beautiful photography, and colorful imagery…not to mention the perfect planning tool for everything!   And now, my pattern will be part of that…for an entire year!!

Without further ado

I present

Churn Echoes

Churn Echoes
photo taken by Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter for The Quilter’s Planner 2019 @thequiltersplanner

The inspiration for this quilt pattern started with a rainbow of fabrics.  So many pretty colors in so many different collections!

Alison Glass Fabric Selection
© 2018 Penguin Feats

This selection of Alison Glass fabrics is part of a much larger collection I have been gathering for a few years now.  The bright saturated colors with the low volume text prints were the perfect mix for my new pattern.

Churn Echoes
© 2018 Penguin Feats

The low volume text print also presented an opportunity to match the background with a saturated solid block.  A favorite classic block with an echo that gives you two churn dashes in one block.  Assemble these blocks into rainbow bands and you have ripples of color.  The pattern includes directions to create a single color low volume background as well.

Churn Echoes
© 2018 Penguin Feats

Of course you can create your own Churn Echoes quilt with the fabrics you like.   There are so many possibilities with this pattern.

photo taken by Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter for The Quilter’s Planner 2019 @thequiltersplanner

Pre-order your Quilter’s Planner today and choose between two different covers!  There are 13 patterns in the magazine that comes with your planner…and when you order your planner you will get a bonus pattern to download from your confirmation email!!order your Quilter's Planner today

Here is the list of fabulous designer and makers with projects in the 2019 Quilter’s Planner .  Visit these fabulous designers and makers to see their projects!

Monday, July 23 Cheryl Brickey Meadow Mist Designs @meadowmistdesigns
Wednesday, July 25 Kitty Wilkin Night Quilter @nightquilter
Friday, July 27 Karie Jewell Two Kwik Quilters @karie_twokwikquilters

Monday, July 30 Mandy Leins Mandalei Quilts @mandaleiquilts
Wednesday, August 1 Megan Fisher @ayragon
Friday, August 3 Andrea Tsang Jackson 3rd Story Workshop @3rdstoryworkshop

Monday, August 6 Trinia Braughton Penguin Feats @penquinfeats
Wednesday, August 8 Lee Monroe May Chappell @maychappell
Friday, August 10  Karen Lewis Karen Lewis Textiles @karenlewistextiles

Monday, August 13 Isabelle Selak South Bay Bella Studio @southbaybella
Wednesday, August 15 Sylvia Schaefer Flying Parrot Quilts @flyingparrotquilts
Friday, August 17 Yvonne Fuchs Quilting Jetgirl @quiltingjetgirl

Monday, August 20 Kate Colleran Seams Like a Dream @seamslikeadreamquilts
Wednesday, August 22 Shannon Fraser Shannon Fraser Designs @shannonfraserdesigns
Friday, August 24 Kerry Goulder Kid Giddy @kidgiddy

Monday, August 27 Kitty Wilkin Night Quilter @nightquilter

photo taken by Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter for The Quilter’s Planner 2019 @thequiltersplanner


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2019 Quilter’s Planner…

Pre-orders for the 2019 Quilter’s Planner opened up this past weekend and I have some exciting news to share with this release…

Quilter's Planner Pre-Order

Yes, that is my name on the cover of The Quilter’s Planner Magazine!

2019 Quilter's Planner Magazine


Sitting on this news has not been easy.  And look who the featured designer is…Pre-order the 2019 Quilter's Planner today

This year you can choose between 2 different covers designed by Camille Roskelley!   I love that navy…but the orange peel is speaking to me…this will be a tough decision.

I just might order one of each and decide later which one to keep and which one to gift.



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New beginnings

From endings come new beginnings!

This quilt!

For the last three years I have been part of a quilting bee.  A quilting bee of 13 ladies from all over the USA (and now Ireland) who quilt for each other every month and share a love of quilting & sewing.  We have gotten to know each other over the distance and some have managed to meet in person.  As 2017 ended, we decided to disband our hive.  We have managed to stay in touch and share our sewing adventures.  My bucket list includes meeting all of them in person.

July was my month to choose a block.  I sent the background fabric to all my hivemates and in return I asked them to send me the Alpine block.  I also requested any violet scraps in 2 1/2  inch squares to be sent with the blocks.

I was on a mission to make a full size quilt for my cousin Jessica.

Jessica is an amazing young lady!  At 15 she was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma and began her first fight for remission.  She got there.  She came to visit me in Hawaii with her sister and we had so much fun.  I promised to make her a quilt during that visit over 2 years ago.  After living a nomadic life for a year and buying a house I finally finished that quilt and sent it to her this week.  During the time I was making this quilt, Jessica was fighting for the 2nd time to beat Hodgkin Lymphoma.  At the end of 2017 she beat the disease, again!!  She will turn 18 soon, and I am so happy I finally was able to get this quilt finished and sent to her.

I asked my hivemates to create a block for the back with a message to sew into the quilt.  A lot of love is stitched in this quilt.

A pixelated violet ribbon is centered in the back using the fabric scraps sent by my hivemates.

The pixel blocks start small in the center and double in size as they reach the outside edge of the quilt.

Quilted using Twirls for fluid movement and quilty crinkle.

Endings make way for new beginnings.  A new lease on life.  A new adventure. A new project.

So at the start of 2018, I wish new beginnings for all of you.


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The Sketchbook Jacket PDF pattern

The Sketchbook Jacket PDF pattern is now available. This pattern first appeared in Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine Issue 35. Now you can visit my Payhip pattern shop and purchase the PDF pattern for download.  This pattern includes over 20 color photos to help you visualize the steps in making your very own Sketchbook Jacket.


With the pattern you can create a jacket for almost any book.  The book only needs to have a hard cover.  You can custom make this jacket to fit a planner, reference book, and even a three ring binder.

This Corset Jacket is covering a plain three ring binder I use as a project keeper.

A spiral bound sketchbook can be covered easily as long as the front & back covers are not bendable.  A cardboard or book binders board can be glued to a paper cover on a spiral bound sketchbook.  This will make it easier cover.

The zip pocket on the inside of the jacket will hold pencils, pens, and erasers so you have everything you need at the ready.

The Sketchbook Jacket PDF pattern will be 50% off through February 1st, 2017.

When you make your Sketchbook Jacket, please share it on Instagram, Facebook, or your own blog.  Be sure to tag me @penguinfeats on Instagram & Facebook using #sketchbookjacket and #penguinfeatspattern

I would love to see your version of the Sketchbook Jacket!!

Show me your makes!!

Sketchbook Jacket
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A feature and a tip…

In September I attended the first ever SewPro Convention.  I learned a lot and met so many fantastic people.  Among them was Anne Beier of Hudson Valley Quilts.  I feel so fortunate to have connected with her!  She is an energetic and studious sewist.  I love her inquisitive nature and her ability to turn her ideas into words.

This is why I feel so lucky to be featured on her blog.  Not only have we become friends, but we are collaborative colleagues now.

Please visit Anne’s blog if you want to get to know me and check out the fabulous giveaway we are offering together.

I am also offering a couple of Half Square Triangle [HST] assembly tips if you are interested in working with HSTs.

There are so many ways to make HSTs.  You can make them one at a time, two at a time, 4 at a time and even 8 or more at a time!  I prefer to make mine 2 at at time.  For me, this way works best because there is less waste and not as much need for squaring up.  I like using this method for HSTs smaller than 5 inches because it requires no marking.

One of the features I love about my Bernina is the measurements marked on my sewing table.  So I use the 1/4 inch mark to line up the tape with the edge of my 1/4 inch foot.

Bernina sewing table

Place a 4 or 5 inch piece of painter’s tape or washi tape on the table of your sewing machine making sure to line it up with the edge of your 1/4 inch foot.placement of tape guide

Set up your squares in pairs, Right Sides Together (RST) with corners lined up.

Start by aligning the back corner of your square pair with the edge of your presser foot.  Then align the opposite corner with the edge of the tape, while keeping this corner aligned with the tape, stitch your seam.

Align corners with foot and tape

You can chain piece the HSTs by aligning the next square with the edge of the presser foot and tape.  I like to pull about an inch of thread between each square.

align corners with edge of foot and tape

To stitch on the other side of center, turn squares around and align the corners with the seam you already stitched to the left of the presser foot.

turn squares and keep stitched seam to the left

To separate your HSTs,  cut between the seams by aligning your ruler with the two opposite corners.

Trim the ‘dog ears’ of each HST by cutting the corners at the seam perpendicular to the outside raw edge.  When pressed open or to one side the corners will not add bulk to your seams because they are gone.

trim the 'dog ears'

Enjoy making your HSTs.  Please visit Anne at Hudson Valley Quilts to learn a little more about me!

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Baby it’s cold outside…

Hot N Cold Pack

A new pattern and a giveaway…all wrapped in one for the season.

It’s getting cold outside and what would be better to make than something to keep you warm, relax your tired muscles, and make you feel cozy?  A microwavable heat pack made with all natural flax seed and cotton fabrics.


At the end of this tutorial I will be giving away a kit so you can make your very own with the cute organic penguin flannel from Cloud 9 fabrics.

Download the free template here.


1 FQ  main fabric- 100% cotton flannel fabric

1 FQ  lining fabric- 100% cotton woven (muslin or kona)

approximately 12 ounces natural raw whole flax seeds

100% cotton thread (30 wt quilting thread)




Cut 2 main fabric & 2 lining fabric placing template on fold.






Place 1 lining on 1 main fabric piece.  Repeat for second piece.


Place layers with right sides of main fabric together lining up all corners and edges.










Stitch 1/4 inch seam, leaving a 4-5 inch opening at top center of heat pack.









Clip inner corners making sure not to clip threads.






Turn right side out.




Using a stitch length of 3 or 3.5, edge stitch around seam making sure to back stitch at start and end of opening at top.








Mark your top stitching to create the cells for the flax seed to move around.   Keep the stitching at least 1 inch away from the edges of the heat pack.


Stitch along your marked lines securing the stitches at the beginning and end of each line.



Fill the heat pack with flax seed.  I have found that a large smoothie straw helps get the flax seed in the hard to reach areas.  A funnel can be used.  I created a funnel using a paper plate and straw.

Try to fill the heat pack as full as possible moving it around a lot to help the seeds settle into all the corners.  Using pins or clips to hold the opening closed, fold over the raw edge, toward the inside of the opening and stitch the opening closed making sure to back stitch at the beginning and end.


In order to warm, place in microwave and heat in 30 second intervals.  Remove between each interval and move around so no area of the flax seeds get over heated.   It could take 3 to 5 intervals depending on the power of your microwave.

I don’t recommend adding oils or fragrances to the filling since the heat pack will be placed in the microwave.

This heat pack can also be frozen for a cold pack.  Just place in a ziploc bag in the freezer and use as needed.

I am linking up with Giveaway Day at Sew Mama Sew.  Be sure to visit and check out all the other great giveaways!



Now for the giveaway!  Wouldn’t you like to make your very own hot/cold pack?

This kit has enough fabric & flax seed to make two…so you can make one hot and one cold!

I love these packs.  I have 2 in my freezer and one always ready to microwave for my sore achy muscles.  When my muscles are tight they get the hot pack and when they just hurt they get the cold pack.  I love to use my cold pack on my neck when I get headaches!


Leave a comment and tell me what you prefer for your sore muscles….hot, cold, or both. Please be sure to leave an email address so you can be contacted if you win.

Comments will be closed on December 11th at 5pm PST.  A random number will be chosen from the comments and announced on Monday, December 12th at noon PST.  This giveaway is open in the USA only.

***The winner of the giveaway is Cathy C.  Thank you everyone for leaving comments.  Whether you like hot or cold or both, I hope you will make more than one so you can have a hot & cold pack for all those aches & pains.

If you make one of these hot or cold packs from the tutorial be sure to share on social media using the #penguinfeatshotandcold and tag me @penguinfeats



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SewPro Stars and Ten Squared…again

SewPro Schedule

Sew Pro Stars Blog HopWelcome to my first blog hop.

In September I was fortunate to attend in the first Sew Pro Convention in Chicago.  The experience was amazing in so many ways.  I tried to go into the event with no expectations because I wanted to absorb and learn as much as possible.  I came away having learned more than I could have imagined.


The event was organized so we had time to learn in lecture style classes followed by Q & A sessions with the instructors.  There was time to network with other soon to be and current Sew Pros and make connections for collaboration.   The mornings started with key note speakers who had so much to share with us they didn’t have enough time to fit it all in.  And they were so amazing to open up and share their experience in the sewing industry with all the tips to help us get started and keep going.

SewPro Schedule

My brain was so full of ideas and inspiration after leaving this convention…and I am working everyday to put all I learned into practice.

“Do the work”

I heard this so many times from every single instructor.  Do the work and keep doing the work and do the work again.

And this rings so true…practice, practice, practice.  Practice will only make you better at what you want to do.

I took a pattern design class taught by Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness.  She shared information on instructions, design, layout, and printing.  It was amazing to get the information I needed to design patterns.  My takeaway from the class was that I could make my patterns so much better.  So I decided to revisit the only pattern I have released and re-work it to make it better so I can set a standard for all the patterns I plan to release.  I didn’t realize until after I released this pattern how much I really enjoyed designing, writing, and developing patterns.  I have so many pattern ideas and having an identity to make them all recognizable is important to me.

The pattern is called Ten Squared.  I developed this pattern through an experimentation with Half Square Triangles (HSTs).  Setting out to challenge myself to create an entire quilt with HSTs without any repeating blocks, I designed a dynamic graphic pattern and set out to recreate it in a quilt.

In the re-work I updated the directions for assembling the quilt and redesigned the front cover so I can use the same design for all my pattern covers. Be on the lookout…Penguin Feats are on the way!

Ten Squared made with Alison Glass fabrics

I also created this quilt top using the new instructions and some really bright Alison Glass fabrics.  The pattern is available in my Craftsy Pattern Shop and my Etsy Shop.  Download your digital copy for only $6 until Monday Nov. 21, 2016 at 8pm PST.  After that the price will be $8.

Making connections at SewPro was an important tool I didn’t realize would be possible.  It has been difficult to establish connections over the years as I have moved a lot.  So I was grateful for the opportunities given to us to network and build relationships.  I really feel connections are important because we can all use the support to help us reach our goals.  And those connections create collaboration, which only makes everything better.  Two are always better than one.  And three or more can make everything just awesome….just like this blog hop. The collaboration among us has created something bigger than one individual blog.

There are some fantastic prizes on this blog hop.  A prize package including a fabric bundle and patterns will be offered to a lucky winner on Saturday, Nov. 19th.  In order to enter for a chance to win that package follow the Rafflecopter Giveaway Link below.

Foldover WristletIn addition, I will be giving away this colorful foldover wristlet made with beautiful Alison Glass Ex Libris fabrics and cork.  In order to enter the drawing for this please follow me on Instagram @penguinfeats and tag me @penguinfeats in your favorite make on Instagram.  I want to see you “do the work”.  Please make sure your Instagram account is public so I can see the post you tag me in.  I will choose a winner from the tagged posts on Monday Nov. 21, 2016.

Please take some time to visit the other blogs on the hop.  Since I am pulling up the rear with Becca, HollyTeri, & Deanna you don’t have much time to enter the giveaway, so be sure to get your entry in before 12am on 11/19.


Monday Nov 14

Lisa and Lorelai

Rebecca Mae Designs

True Blue Quilts

Tuesday Nov 15

Vintage Barngirl

The Stitch TV Show

Powered by Quilting

Canuck Quilter

Lisa Lisa and the Quilt Jam

Wednesday Nov 16

See Carmen Sew

Hudson Valley Quilts

Desert Bloom Quilting

Sweet Little Stitches

Thursday Nov 17

Marvelous Auntie M

A Quilting Chick


Creations by Paula

Friday Nov 18

Pretty Piney

Lighthouse Lane Designs

Day Moon Quilts

You are here >>> Penguin Feats

 Stitches Quilting


A Rafflecopter Giveaway>>>The Rafflecopter giveaway has ended!  You still have time to win the Foldover Wristlet.  Please read above for that giveaway!






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We moved.  Or I should clarify we are moving.

My Soldier retired and decided that Paradise was not the place for him.  The retirement and moving will be in a future post because there are far too many tangents this post could go on.  For now we are living “the in between” time of having left Paradise and finding a new home to settle into.  In April all of our household goods were packed up and put into storage…for up to 1 year.

All my fabric was packed into 19 gallon storage boxes; 27 of them.  I was able to set aside one box to keep with me while I sew during “the in between”.  This has been a limited stash to pull from.  Especially since I had no idea I would not see my fabric for almost a year.  I thought we would be in a house by now unpacking and settling in.  But we still haven’t found the house.  Because it has to be the house for us at this point in our lives.

During “the in between” I have been working on RE-building my stash.  But, I am trying to be conscious of the fabric I have in storage.  I am trying to be careful that I don’t repeat or double up on fabrics I already have.  This is difficult because I cannot see the fabric, but, I know my stash was seriously lacking in certain colors, and basics.

For instance, I know my stash is seriously lacking pink.  I know this because I have been avoiding that color since 1989.  I left pink with the 80’s.  Only recently have I been challenging my self to use the colors I like the least.  Pink was the first.  So I started the #100days100blocks challenge with the idea to use pink with my favorite color; yellow.  And I have been building my pink stash as the challenge progresses.

My stash is also lacking small print coordinating basics.  I love small print fabrics.

When I saw Paintbox Basics by Elizabeth Hartman I knew it would be the perfect addition to my stash.  This fabric collection comes in a near rainbow of colors with small prints that can be so versatile.




And of course, this collection has to be made into the beautiful butterfly quilt using the pattern Lepidoptera by Elizabeth Hartman.  All the colorways in the small print basics will make for some beautiful butterflies.

The range of blue & teal is just so gorgeous.  I cannot wait to start working on my butterflies with this range of color.







The raindrops print in so many colors is my favorite!!

Paintbox Basics Raindrops

What a wonderful addition to my stash…and I cannot wait to get started on a quilt using these beauties.  Of course I bought the 1/2 yard bundle so I will have plenty left to work into other projects.


What have you added to your stash recently?

What is missing from your stash?

Link up with Sunday Stash and share your stash!



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Halfway there….

raspberry lemonade quiltHalfway there…and this challenge has been more than I imagined!

Back in August, Angie at announced on her Instagram account (@gnomeangel) she was going to be starting a sew along following Tula Pink’s City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks.   She tagged it #100days100blocks .  

I bought the book in 2013 and I figured this was my opportunity to challenge myself to complete all the blocks from the book. All 100 of them!  

Almost all of my fabric is in storage while we search for a house, so I wasn’t sure what fabrics to use.  And when I say it is in storage, I mean it is packed into large wooden crates behind locked doors somewhere in California.  

I wanted to be able to use fabrics that are missing from my stash, and there are only two colors I know my stash is lacking; purple & pink. Honestly I haven’t sewn anything for myself using those colors since the 80’s…when pink was in and I paired it with every other color!

I also wanted to be able to use my favorite color…yellow!

sunprintsphereraspberryOne of my absolute favorite fabric collections is Sun Print by Alison Glass. I kept some of it with me for my in between time.  And that is where I found my inspiration for #100days100blocks  >> Sphere in Raspberry

It was the perfect duotone fabric for the idea that was hatching in my head.

Raspberry Lemonade

The only difficulty was finding the range of raspberry colors that matched the two tones in the sphere fabric.  And shopping online can be tricky when trying to match that kind of fuchsia color.  I didn’t want to end up with blackberry purples in my raspberry lemonade.  So I made a long trip to Fabric Depot in Portland with a swatch of Sphere in Raspberry in my pocket.  If I could match at least 9 fabrics within the tonal range of that swatch I would go ahead with the #100days100blocks challenge.

I made the trip to Fabric Depot on August 15th, the challenge was supposed to start on August 17th.

raspberry lemonade swatchI struck raspberry gold at Fabric Depot. At the end of my shopping trip I walked out with 12 different fabrics to go with Sphere in Raspberry.  And I also found some new lemonade yellows too.

So far I have used 79 different fabrics in 53 different blocks.  I had one error block I had to redo and I made 3 different versions of block #20.  I have been using a swatch kit to keep track of the fabrics I have used in which blocks. This system has also been very useful to match colors when shopping local.

Now I am to the half-way point of this challenge and I had no idea this challenge would be what it has become.

raspberry lemonade quilt

It has become way more than a challenge to complete 100 blocks in 100 days. It has become a growth challenge for myself.  I challenged myself to use new colors and combine colors in new ways.  I challenged myself to stitch something everyday.  I like to call this stitcher-cise.  I challenged myself to look at new perspectives and revisit old ones.  I challenged myself to stick to my choices.

It’s Wednesday…Let’s Bee Social!!

How do you challenge yourself?

Are you working on the #100days100blocks challenge?



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My First Quilt Magazine Cover!!

issue 35 pineapple
Love Patchwork & Quilting #35

I am so excited to present my first magazine submission….and it made the cover!!

It’s a tropical treat!!


I was trying to come up with a very small pineapple block to work into a cover for my sketchbook.  I had already worked out a pattern for a larger pineapple block (11 in x 7 in) but I wanted one that would be small enough to fit within the cover of a sketchbook.  So I reworked the pattern and stitched out a sample. Perfect.



pineapple sketchbook
Love Patchwork & Quilting


Then, I began to work on a pattern for the sketchbook cover.  I wanted something that would close with a zipper, but, wanted to use up my separating zippers.  And the quilted sketchbook jacket was born.


I was super happy with the prototype and wanted to get some exposure for the pattern.  I have a pattern on Craftsy, and while it is a great venue for selling indie designer patterns, I don’t know how to get more exposure for it and really wanted this pattern to get more exposure.  So, I went about researching magazine submissions.  I absolutely adore Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine out of the UK.  My subscription started in 2014 and I love all the content the magazine brings.  While I wish the delivery was much quicker….good things come to those who wait, right?

I wanted to see if LP&Q would be interested in my pattern.  The email was written about 10 days before I even sent it off…as I debated whether my submission would even be seen let alone accepted.  It is a big step to take sending your ideas off to an editor and submit to the aesthetic of someone far off you have never met.  But, I took the plunge and clicked the Send Button on the email with images attached.

To my utter astonishment and delight the reply to my email was prompt and my submission accepted!  I was pinching myself for days!  Then, the real work began because I now had a deadline…a real deadline!

The deadline was met and my samples were sent off….and LP&Q worked their magic on the magazine layout!  Oh and those images are magic!!  Thank you for a great experience Love Patchwork & Quilting!!

The magazine was released May 25th, and will be available in the US in 2-4 weeks. Bookstores & Quilt Shops carry single issues, and you can get this beautiful magazine delivered to your door or your mobile device.  Visit the Love Patchwork & Quilting website to find out how!!

I have created a mod for the pattern to add a zipper pocket to the inside cover. The pocket will be perfect for holding pens & pencils while you travel with your sketchbook. Look for the post within the next week.


When you make a quilted sketchbook cover, please take a picture and tag @penguinfeats on Instagram or Penguin Feats on Facebook.


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Terry Potholder Tutorial & Giveaway


I developed this pattern for potholders when I couldn’t find any terry potholders that were thick enough for me to use without feeling the burn.  It seems all the potholders are cotton fabric with a thin layer of padding…and the cotton fabric doesn’t wash up as nice as the terry cotton.


The Fabric Box for the potholders is made using this tutorial from Seaside Stitches.  I cut my fabric squares at 18 inches and stitch 4 inch corner triangles since I used a larger fabric square.  I find this size to be perfect for holding 4 potholders and a couple towels.


What you need to make 4 potholders

Potholder template [download here]

1 bath towel [I recommend a very inexpensive 100% cotton towel.  Heavy thick towels are too thick to quilt. Some towels are big enough to cut 8 potholders from.]

Cotton batting [1 layer 1oo% cotton batting the same size as your towel]

Cotton thread 40 or 50 wt.

1 Fat Quarter of fabric A for pockets

½ yard of fabric B for bias binding (or 3 yards bias binding)





Lay the towel out flat with single layer of batting on top. Fold the towel and batting in half with the batting in the center.  If there is a non terry edge to the towel, don’t layer this part and don’t quilt this area.








Pin baste in place.








use masking tape to mark quilt lines


Using a long ruler, mark one diagonal line with painters tape.










Using a medium stitch (about 3 mm) stitch along the tape line.

Using a seam guide, stitch lines 1 inch apart over entire towel surface.

Don’t stitch on the non-terry part of the towel.




*using a walking foot is very helpful to get even lines without puckers or folds.




Using a long ruler, mark one line perpendicular to the stitched lines with painters tape. Using a medium stitch (about 3 mm) stitch along the tape line.

Using a seam guide, stitch lines 1 inch apart over entire towel surface.




*if you want to have diamonds, mark this line at 60 degrees instead of 90 degrees.

Download and print the template. Be sure to print at actual size or the potholder base will be too small.




Mark outline of the potholder base using a thick marker.

It helps to stitch just inside the marked line to prevent stretching and unraveling of the terry cotton.

Cut the potholder base along the marked line. Don’t cut inside or outside the line, cut along the marked line.



Cut 6 inch wide strips from Fabric A.  Press in half lengthwise so you have 3 inch wide strips.

Topstitch along folded edge at ¼ inch.

Cut the strips into 5 1/4 inch lengths.

Cut 1 ¾ inch bias strips from fabric B.  I recommend the 25 mm bias tape maker for the potholders.

Join strips to make one continuous strip.  Press the seams open and trim ears.



Using bias tape maker press the bias strip.








Pin pockets to potholder base matching side edges and top edges keeping the folded edges straight.  Baste pockets to the potholder base with 1/8 inch seam.  Trim corners off pockets to match potholder base.





Beginning on straight side, stitch bias tape to potholder front using ¼ inch seam matching the raw edges of the potholder with the raw edge of the bias tape.








Trim the ends of the bias binding so the overlap is the same length as the width of the bias binding.









Join the ends of the bias tape by stitching across the outside corners.







Stitch down the remaining section of bias binding using ¼ inch seam.



Fold bias tape over raw edge of potholder base.  Stitch bias tape down on potholder back using ¼ inch seam.







And now for the giveaway…yes…I will be giving the cute little box and potholders to one lucky Instagram follower!  If you want to have a chance to win this lovely set do just two little things…

1. Follow PenguinFeats on Instagram

2. Repost the giveaway pic on Instagram using #handswontburn and tag @penguinfeats


I will randomly select one person to send the potholder set to.  This giveaway will end 10 April 2016 at midnight HST.   Open internationally.

The giveaway has closed.  Thank you for participating! And the winner is…..

Barbara T.


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It’s a pattern…finally!!

My first pattern!!

Ten Squared is now a pattern…celebration time!!  You can find it in my pattern store on Craftsy.  Find the pattern in my Etsy Store.

It all started with half square triangles (HSTs).  I wanted to make an entire quilt with HSTs.  And this was the product of that exploration.


When I started I had no intention of making this into a pattern.  I just wanted to experiment with HSTs. First I started out with a rough sketch of what I wanted to do with the squares and the lines going around them.   Then, I selected 5 colors and chose 2 to 3 different fabrics in each of those 5 colors.   Using those fabrics, I cut 6 inch squares and just made a whole bunch of HSTs using the fabrics I chose.  After I started placing them on my design wall, I saw that I was not going to get the exact image of my sketch because of the grid the HSTs fell on. So I modified it a bit and let the HSTs take me where they would allow.

I really wanted something asymmetrical with some dynamic movement.  The high contrast of the fabrics really plays well with those elements and gives this quilt a serious pop!

So I was asked a few times if I was making a pattern, and this being my first quilt from start to finish I wasn’t sure if I could even sell my own pattern, let alone design it for others to understand.  But, I set out to try to make my first pattern.

I even made a second Ten Squared to see if I could recreate it.  This one was for my husband, and I used 7.5 inch squares.

Ten Squared Too

After putting some directions down on paper and trying out a few tests patterns, in extra large and miniature form, I asked a few friends to test the pattern for me.  I received some amazing photo samples of the quilts they made.

This quilt was used from a fat quarter set I sent with the tester…and she did an amazing job.

Sunrise lap quilt by Alli of @sayonion

A friend who has just started her quilting journey put this beauty together, and it was only her second quilt!

by Deanna at @selgmom

Ten Squared is a PDF pattern only available for download on Craftsy Etsy Store.  This pattern is considered a beginner pattern. There is limited instruction of assembling HSTs.  The finished size of this quilt depends on the size of square you start with.  The pattern includes some fabric requirements and finished measurements for some standard size quilts.  I have included a coloring page with the pattern so you can audition different colors and fabric choices to get your quilt just right for you.

If you make a Ten Squared quilt, please post an image of the project on Craftsy Etsy Storeunder the Finished Project link on the pattern page.  If you share your quilt on social media, be sure to use #tensquaredquilt and tag me @penguinfeats so I can see your quilt!  I would love to see your interpretation of the pattern!