Penguin Pillow, Owl Purse, and a Gingercake Patterns Giveaway!

‘Tis the season to start making gifts! I love this time of year, when Christmas lists come out and I start picking out fabrics for family members. Of course, there is never enough time to make ALL the things I want to make but (God willing) there will years and years to catch up on my Christmas sewing. I get a thrill just thinking of that!
One item on my list for the kids this year is a special pillow for each of them. We’ve been painting their beds, and I can’t wait to place a special little pillow on the finished product. Thanks to Gingercake Patterns, I got an early start this year and have already made Abby a little Penguin Pillow. (Scroll to the bottom to see the owl purse from Gingercake patterns, too!)
Isn’t it adorable?! Such a great pattern!
The pattern I used is Annie’s Penguin by Gingercake Patterns. You can browse the whole shop here, and it is filled with projects that are perfect for gift-giving. I want to make all the things!
I love this pattern for a few reasons. At the top of my list are the penguin arms and little feet! Is there anything cuter than penguin pillow feet, I ask you?
Although the pattern calls for flannel, I used a quilting cotton for the penguin body called Pine Stickers in Pink (by Sarah Watts from her Timber & Leaf collection. Love that whole collection, by the way, and it’s so perfect for Fall). For the penguin belly I used an ivory corduroy from the LA Fabric District. I think it probably came from the Michael Levine’s Loft, but I can’t quite remember. The eyes and beak are made from wool felt, purchased from my local Jo-Ann’s Fabric & Craft store
A note about using cotton versus flannel: In the pattern, Virginia recommends using a flannel backing if you choose to use quilting cotton for the pillow body. This helps the pillow hold it’s shape and keeps it from becoming lumpy when you add the stuffing. I obediently added flannel behind my main pieces, and am so glad I did. It gives the penguin a nice sturdy feel, which is helpful because this pillow is sure to be squeezed a lot!

I am so impressed by Gingercake Patterns. The instructions and photos were clear and easy to follow, and made this a quick and easy sew. I finished it in just over an hour, and had no problems. My favorite feature is that Virginia includes cutting instructions on all of her pattern pieces. It bugs me to no end when I need to refer back to a pattern multiple times for cutting instructions. Her pattern pieces have clear instructions for cutting steps and types of fabric. The placement details for eyes, beak, and feet were also clearly labeled. It’s so nice to know all the details are on the pattern pieces and I don’t have to wake my laptop up every two minutes to refer to the instructions. Thank you for that, Virginia! 

If you’re looking for something special to make for a boy or girl this Christmas, I definitely suggest this Penguin Pillow! The good news is… you can enter to WIN THIS PATTERN today! Scroll to the bottom for the details.

But first… Check out this adorable Owl Purse!

My assistant, Cassie, made this for me when we were testing the Gingercake Patterns and I am in love. Didn’t she do a great job? It’s so fun to work with someone just as passionate about sewing and fabric as I am AND has great taste.

Cassie made this purse as a gift for her niece, and I know she’s going to love it. Since the little girl lives in another state, we used Abby as our model. A few well-placed marshmallows made the photo shoot fun for everyone involved. (That’s just one of my many tricks. Believe me, I have many).

The fabrics used for this owl purse are:

The pattern Cassie used is Lola the Owl, which is technically another pillow pattern but includes instructions for turning it into a purse instead. Brilliant, isn’t it?
Ok, now for the really good stuff. Today we are giving away TWO Gingercake Patterns: Annie’s Penguin and Lola the Owl

Enter to win by leaving a comment below. In your comment, I’d love to hear about what gifts you plan on sewing for the holidays this year! I will choose a winner for each pattern on Monday morning at 9:00 PST and post the names here. Thank you so much for reading, and commenting. Have a wonderful Friday! 


  1. says

    I’ve sewed the kids pajamas this year. I plan to make little zip pouch key chains to give to my friends and family this year! Nothing to complicated, I make gifts all year:)

  2. says

    I made a quilt for my daughter-in-law. I’m going to make coasters for my sons and toothbrush caddy for my husband. I love the owl purse!

  3. says

    I’ll be making big beach-bags for my parents, as they just bought a place near the beach. For the kids I’ll be going for crochet this year : new gloves, beanie and scarf.
    We are still renovating our house, and the kids room(s) will be for next year. I would love to put the penguin pillow in their bed!

    • says

      I forgot, I also plan to be making ‘breadbaskets’ (as from ‘Zo geknipt) for the godmothers and godfathers of our kids, and fill them with goodies. But I already know that making all of them is not realistic (3 kids) …

  4. says

    Making the traditional jammies, but also a few special requests….a stuffed dog for one son, a wallet for another, and apron for my youngest daughter and I’m even hoping to make all new personalized stockings for all 6 of the kids….we shall see! 🙂 Thanks for the chance, would love to own that sweet Annie’s Penguin pattern!

  5. says

    The penguin & owl are so cute. I have some Christmas quilt tops finished, just need to quilt them. Then I’m going to make some small table runners. Thanks for the chance to win.

  6. says

    My sister and her hub love penguins and I’d love to make their little boy a cute penguin pillow! Thanks for telling us about the pattern. I’m sewing a couple of Noodlehead sidekick bags for little girl friends of ours…I think it will be adorable gift with some longevity for growing kids. :). Have a nice weekend! Heather

  7. says

    Cutest penguin ever!!!!!! I made Christmas pj’s and working on Christmas outfits for the grandbabies:) Happy Holidays to you and yours:))))))

  8. says

    The Lola Owl has become my favorite pattern. I have yet to make a bag, it would be the perfect dance bag for my little one. Love your fabrics!

  9. says

    I’ll be doing jammies for my 3 kids and a zipper pouch for my mother and hopefully have time for a few other stocking stuffer type projects. 🙂

  10. says

    I’m making pj pants for my daughters and lots of little baby items for our new little one. Also, some bags for various family members.

  11. says

    A pillow for one of my student who has been affected by a house fire, a lunchbag/ kiddies bag for my little nephew and a unknown gift for one of my familymembers. We draw the name from a hat. Each of use has to buy a present for one person. I am contemplating making something instead of buying. All depends on how much time I have and who I “get” from the hat! LOL!

  12. says

    Oh my goodness! That penguin is adorable!!! I will be making a scarf and tote for my younger sister. And I still owe my older sister a Christmas tree skirt from last year…

  13. says

    Me encantaria tener los patrones…nos encantan los buhos…en casa hacemos todos los regalos artesanales: hay una lista enorme…funda para taza de infusión, saquitos de semillas, bolso y cartera… cestos de tela, cartera para fumadores, cesto para bicicleta, ropita varia,… muchas gracias por la oportunidad (

  14. says

    I’m always nervous to sew for others! I know my mom would love a Christmas quilt….I made one for my MIL a couple years ago and my mom has been wanting me to make one for her!

  15. says

    Both patterns are adorable!! I am only doing gifts for the tweens and younger crowd in our families…there are just too many otherwise. I am crocheting hat & scarf sets, mitten & hat sets, and making best buddy stuffies (like the penguin pillow). Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  16. says

    so cute!!! I am making my girl a hobby horse and vest, and the youngest I haven’t decided yet… the husband some jammie pants and the kids are each getting jammies for christmas eve too

  17. says

    So, so cute! I’m making my daughters both a set of PJs, finishing a quilt and stocking for the baby, and my toddler is getting some stuffies and maybe some felt letters with magnets for the fridge 🙂

  18. Mandy says

    Both are very cute and my 3yo would love the bag…she’s really into backpacks and totes right now. I’m sewing winter coats and building an indoor tent (we now live in cold country!) for my kids. Hubby is happy with anything from Cabelas, so no crafting for him this year.

  19. says

    The penguin is so adorable! This year I’m planning on making some pajama eaters for my little brothers, a dress for my little sister, zipper pouches for friends and maybe some ornaments for the tree.

  20. says

    This season I plan on making penny purses. I’m new to sewing and loving it so far!

    Caila, i also emailed you on the penny purse pattern I did not hear back..
    Thank you for this opportunity!!
    My email:

  21. says

    Super cute penguin! I’m planning on sewing an apron with kind of a rockabilly vibe, two camera strap covers, and also crocheting a couple of pairs of slippers for Christmas gifts. Hmmm, that list seems pretty long….I need to get busy!

  22. says

    I plan to make PJ pants for the family, some dress up skirts for my 3 year old, a stuffie for the baby, and a superhero cape for my nephew. I have another longer list that I want to make but that is the important stuff. Love the penguin!

  23. says

    That bag is killing me! So awesome! This year my sewing machine will be kinda quiet. I’m making rice bags for neighbors and American Doll clothes for my girlies. And a maybe a couple of dresses. Ok- I’m wrong. I better get busy.

  24. says

    I need to sew the kids Christmas pyjamas, they open them on Christmas Eve and it all looks a bit nicer for the Christmas morning present opening photos! Plus the boys want super hero softies. And I need to get cracking on their Christmas Day shirts, and dress for the girl child… eek, better get busy. I’m sure my daughter would love a penguin under the tree too!!