Yess we’re kicking off the Penguin Parade Quilt Along today! Are you excited? I sure am! It’s so fun to host a brand new QAL, I’m so much looking forward to quilting with you over the next two months. 

This week we will talk about the fabrics and preparations for the QAL. 

In this blog post we will go over the list of materials needed for this project and talk a little bit more about fabric choices and paper for foundation paper piecing and cutting fabrics.


What do you need to make the Penguin Parade Quilt:

  • Pattern (click here to get yours)
  • Sewing machine
  • Paper for foundation paper piecing, I used freezer paper in this project.
  • Cutting mat, rotary cutter and rulers
  • Fabric
    • for the top, more on that below
    • for the back, the quilt measures 53 x 53″ so you’ll need a backing that measures about 63 x 63″, or 63 x 80″ when you’re making the 12 penguin quilt
    • binding, the 9 penguin quilt needs 15″ x WOF and the 12 penguin quilt needs 18″ x WOF for the binding
  • Batting, use about 62 x 62″ batting for the 9 penguin quilt or 62 x 79″ batting for the 12 penguin quilt.
  • Thread, use a thread that matches your background fabric


There are two versions of the Penguin Parade quilt. A 9 penguin version, a squared quilt measuring 53 x 53″ finished. And a 12 penguin quilt, measuring 53 x 70″.

The 9 penguin version we made is the bright rainbow version. Sanne @sewbysanne made the blocks, I did the quilt assembly and quilting.

And the 12 penguin quilt, the Ella Bella quilt, was made with softer solids, in Sugaridoo rainbow colors.

Here are the fabric requirements for both versions of the quilt.

Used fabrics

In the bright rainbow kit you will find nine Sassafras rainbow fabrics from the Favorite things collection. The bellies are Kona Dove, the background fabric is Benartex Storm and the Feet and noses are Kona Papaya.

In the Ella Bella quilt I used 12 Kona solids for the penguins:

  • Ice Frappe
  • Candy Green
  • Jade Green
  • Honey Dew
  • Chartreuse
  • Parrot
  • Buttercup
  • Papaya
  • Orange
  • Peony
  • Bubble gum
  • Azalea

The bellies in this quilt are white with black dotted fabric, and the feet+noses are a Sassafras print in orange. For the Ella Bella quilt I used a black/white striped fabric.

Pattern Preparation

There are lots of options for foundation paper piecing. For bigger blocks I like to use the Freezer Paper method. 

Pattern pieces on freezer paper

>> In my course on Foundation Paper Piecing I teach my two favourite FPP methods, including the Freezer Paper method <<

Next week we will start sewing, but you can already start preparing this week. Here are some things you can do right now.

Print your pattern

Download the pattern Penguin Parade Pattern and open it on your computer. Print out the pattern pages. Make sure to use the setting ‘no-scaling’, ‘true size’, or ‘scale 100%’ so your pattern will turn out the right size.

Check the 1 inch square on your pattern to see if it printed correctly. 

Always check this square after printing

Assemble the pattern

After you print the pattern you will need to piece it together. Cut over the lines and use some scotch tape to paste the pieces together.

Pasting the pattern pieces together
All patter pieces ready to be traced on to your FPP paper

Transfer the pattern

Next step is transferring the pattern to the paper you are going to use. I am using freezer paper. 

Lay your paper over the pattern and transfer all the lines and numbers. I like to temporarily paste my freezer paper to the pattern with washi tape.

When you use the Freezer Paper method, you can make the whole quilt with just one or two sets of the pattern. When the freezer paper isn’t sticking so well to your fabric anymore you will need to make a new transfer of the pattern.


If you like to change up the Penguins a little bit you have options! You could mirror the penguin pattern so that some penguins look in a different direction. 

Or you could make two left wings (or right wings) and make the penguin wave with one wing. 

In the pattern you’ll find all the variations explained.

Making two right wings will make your penguin wave

Cutting fabrics

When you prepared the pattern and want to do something extra this week, you could start cutting your fabrics. 

Sashing first

It’s best to cut strips for sashing first. So before you start cutting your pieces for the blocks, check the pattern to see what you need for sashing and set that fabric aside.

To batch or not to batch..

I love to batch things while I’m making a quilt. So I would prepare all the pattern pieces, then cut all the fabrics, sew all sections, join all the blocks, etc. If you’re a batch worker like me, you could start cutting your fabrics right now. Then you’ll have everything prepared for when we start sewing.

Waiting till next week, cutting fabrics piece by piece, block by block is also perfectly fine, most importantly, you do you!

One draw back of batch cutting is that when you make one mistake you made that mistake for all your blocks.

Stacking fabrics to cut all pieces at once

This is what cutting fabrics for the whole quilt looks like for me. Using paper templates cut from the pattern. Stacking fabrics. Laying out all the cut out pieces with the templates on top to try to stay organised.


The applique on this quilt is optional. There are templates for the eyes and winter accessories.

Before week 4 of the QAL I will upload a video to YouTube to show how I do raw edge applique on my sewing machine with a double sided adhesive.

I will be doing raw edge applique and use Steam-a-seam 2 for my applique.

Next week

That is it for the first week. Happy preparation week! I really hope you’re going to have lot’s of fun sewing some penguins over the next few weeks.

You can join the Sugaridoo Facebook group to share about your project. Or use #PenguinParadeQAL on Instagram so I can find your posts and say hi!

See you next week.


Comments (6)

  1. Already startet with a test penguin using scraps, just in case to do the cutting mistakes before starting the blocks.

  2. So excited for this year’s QAL! Started prepping the pattern pieces last night. Will batch cut a few fabrics tonight. Last year for the One Two Tree QAL I used all solids so we’ll see how many missteps I take with my patterned fabric. Maybe I won’t batch cut just yet. Baby steps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign in
Cart (0)

No products in the cart. No products in the cart.