A fun addition to the Penguin Parade QAL! Here is all the information you need to make a penguin pillow to go with your quilt.

In this blog post you will find a list of the fabric that is needed for this project (and that you will find in your Christmas Penguin kit when you ordered one), a instruction video and the written instructions on how to turn your quilt block into a pillow.


Here is a list of all the fabric you need to make one pillow. The specified colors are the fabrics from the kits. When you use fabrics from your stash, feel free to mi and match your own colors together!

WOF = Width Of Fabric

  • 12 x 20″ Christmas fabric (red or teal)
  • 5 x 5″ Nose + Feet (Orange)
  • 10 x 14″ Belly (red dots or little stars)
  • 13″ x WOF Background (Kona dove, light grey)
  • 10″ x WOF Binding (red white stripe)
  • 30″ x WOF Backing (Darker grey)
  • 22 x 22″ Backing fabric for the quilt top (will end up inside your pillow)
  • Scrap of black fabric for the eyes (Kona black)

For the teal penguin

  • 10 x 5″ hat (dark blue)
  • 10 x 3″ brim (red)
  • 4 x 4″ ball (white with stars, cut two and stack on top to prevent the light fabric from being see through on the dark hat.)

For the red penguin

  • 13 x 8″ Scarf (green)


  • 50 x 22″ batting of your choice.

Video tutorial

I make a video where you see me make the quilt top, appliqued details, assembly and sashing on the quilt.


Let’s go make a pillow! We will start with the pillow top, then we add sashing, bast it, quilt is, make the back of the pillow, sew everything together and the final step will be adding a binding.

Quilt top

Note: before you start cutting your backing fabric it’s a good idea to cut your sashings first.

Note 2: All measurements in the instructions include seam allowance

For the quilt top you will need the Penguin Parade pattern. There you’ll find the 15 inch quilt block pattern, the templates to applique the eyes and to add the winter accessories.

I like to use freezer paper when doing foundation paper piecing blocks that are a big bigger or that I want to make multiple times.

When you have made your sections for the penguin, you sew them together and trim the block to 15 1/2″ unfinished size.

BACKGROUND FABRIC When you cut your sashing first, you will have plenty of fabric left to cut the pieces for the background around the penguin


For the sashing around the block you will need:

  • 2x [15 1/2 x 3″]
  • 2x [20 1/2 x 3″]

Sew the shorter sashing strips to the sides of the penguin. Press. And sew the longer sashing to the top and the bottom to create a 20 1/2 x 20 1/2 mini quilt.


Cut your batting in two pieces: 22 x 22 inch and, 22 x 28 inch.

Both the front and the back of the pillow ill be quilted to give the pillow a nice sturdy feeling.

Front of the pillow

Make a quilt sandwich with:

  • Quilt top
  • 22 x 22″ batting
  • 22 x 22″ backing fabric

Baste it with your favorite basting method. Then you are ready to quilt it!

I quilted the red penguin with the Taj ruler. You will find a video over here, whit instruction on making the flowers with this ruler. The space in between the flowers is filled with some free motion quilting.

The teal penguin is quilted with the Squiggy ruler. Using the inside and outside of this ruler on a straight line creates a super cool bauble effect.

Put the pillow top aside for now, while we make the back pieces of the pillow.

Back of the pillow

  • 30″ x WOF backing fabric
  • 22 x 28″ batting

Fold open the backing fabric, place the batting inside and fold it close again. This will give you a 30 x 21 inch quilt sandwich.

Baste it with your favorite basting method.

Quilt it with straight lines, free motion loopty-loops or any other quilting pattern that you’d like to give a try.

After quilting you trim the back piece to two pieces measuring 20 1/2 x 14 inch.

Assembly + Binding

Time to put our pillow together! But before we can do that, we first need to finish the two back pieces with a binding.

Prepare your binding by cutting it into four strips. I like to use 2 inch wide strips for binding, but the kit will give you enough fabric to cut 2 1/2 inch strips if you like to go a little wider.

Sew all the strips together and press in half.

Cut two pieces of 21 inch and add them to one side on both back panels of the pillow.


Now we will assemble the pillow. Place the quilt top with the right side down.

Then place a back panel on top, with the binding in the center of the quilt top, ‘raw’ edges lined up on the bottom of the quilt top.

Place the second backing piece on top, with the binding towards the center and the ‘raw’ edges lining up with the top of the quilt top.

Place some pins and sew all the way along the outer edge to put everything together.

Do watch the video where I show you how to position them as well.


Then the final binding. This will complete the look of your pillow. Since the right side of the quilt top was already facing out there is no need to turn your pillow inside out. Just go ahead and put on the binding all around the quilt top like you would on a normal quilt.

The only thing to keep in mind is that some parts are pretty thick, with 1 quilt top and 2 back pieces overlapping. Just go slow with your sewing machine on those parts.

I stitched the binding to the front of the quilt, then pressed it and folded it to the back. Glue basted it in place on the back and stitched it a second time, in the ditch, on the front of the pillow.

For the stitching in the ditch I used the Bernina walking foot with the center guide.

There it is. Your quilted pillow! Do let me know in the comments down below if you’re going to make one. I would love to check it out in the Sugaridoo Facebook Group or on Instagram with #PenguinParadeQAL

Comments (2)

  1. I have had so much fun joining the 2020 QAL and One Two Tree QAL. I need to work on something smaller for awhile, and this is absolutely perfect! Can’t wait to get started.
    Thanks again, Irene, for another fun project🤗

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