Last Tuesday I got an email from the choir director at the church where I sing, asking if I or Emily, another quilter in the choir, could make a baby quilt for the imminently-arriving grandson of one of the priests who is about to become a grandmother. Emily said she would think about it. I woke up the next morning and just started grabbing fabrics. (Funny story — when I replied to Mollie’s email I told her I was “throwing blocks at the wall.” Not being a quilter, she got a very different picture in her mind than what was really happening! Emily (the other quilter in the choir) interpreted “quilter-ese” and explained to Mollie that it meant I was arranging pieces of fabric on my design wall.) By the end of the day it was done – pieced, quilted and bound. I’ve never done a quilt so quickly – ever.
The design originated with the upper two corner blocks – they were leftover from Sails & Waves, started as a sample for my first book proposal around 2004. The lightest penguin blocks were already cut – when a friend came over for a bread making lesson a couple of years ago I cut them for her daughter Delphine to sew while we baked. She left behind the blocks, a few sewn, most not. That and the other penguin fabrics in this were some i purchased for Christmas 2011 when I was dating a Jewish man – the blue and white being an adaptation of Hanukkah into Christmas, plus he just liked penguins. The city skyline in the bottom corners was left over from a baby quilt I made for one of the nephews. He is now 15 so that tells you how old that fabric is. Anyway, I improvised as i went along, barely measuring, using some pieces as templates to cut others. I pieced the top in 3 hours, sandwiched it in another, took a break for a walk and dinner, then quilted and bound it in the evening. I really love how it turned out, and I named it Penguins on Broadway.