Blog · New Designs

The Jungle is Jumpin’!

Our “Jumpin’ Jungle” quilt features thirteen unique and colorful animals who all live in the Amazon rain forest!  I really enjoyed sewing this quilt, with the colorful animals and pieced jungle flowers.  Please don’t ask which of these animals is my favorite; I love all of them!

Here’s my finished quilt, and the animals’ stories:


The anteater stays busy all day long!  He uses his two-foot-long tongue to pick up delicious ants and other bugs from the forest floor.  A full-grown anteater eats thousands of insects every day.  I think that I’d like to have my own personal anteater in my yard to help with pest control, LOL.  This anteater is ready for her favorite snack- ants on a log.  Sounds yummy, doesn’t it!


The toucan is famous for his large and colorful bill!  When compared with the rest of his body, the toucan’s bill is larger than any other type of bird in the world.  You might think that the toucan’s brilliant colors would be a disadvantage, but they actually help to camouflage him in the colorful rain forest canopy.  He eats mainly fruit, but will enjoy the occasional small reptile or bug as well.  I prefer fruit, thank you very much.


The capybara is the largest rodent on Earth!  Ms. Capybara can hide herself underwater for up to five minutes, and spends most of her time hanging out with her family in the undergrowth near the river.  She eats the tender plants the grow in and near the river; her own personal salad bar!


The Emperor tamarin looks as if he’s celebrating Movember, with that beautiful white moustache.  He spends most of his life in the rain forest treetops, rarely venturing down to the ground.  Doesn’t he look like a wise little old man!


The rainbow boa is a colorful reptile from the Amazon rain forest.  This beautiful creature’s colorful scales are iridescent!  She hunts at night, using pits on her face to detect her food’s body temperature, consuming mostly rodents.  What a gorgeous animal, but I wouldn’t want her to give ME a hug!


The playful Amazon River dolphin is very intelligent and curious.  Her skin can be pink, blue, or even white.  She uses echolocation, emitting sounds that reflect from solid objects (like tasty fish!), for hunting.  Isn’t she pretty in pink!

Amazon River dolpin

You can’t touch this!  Or at least you shouldn’t touch this poison dart frog.  Even though he has brilliantly colored skin that makes you want to pick him up for a closer look, one touch might deliver enough poison to cause death.  Yikes!!!  The smart rain forest animals avoid eating poison dart frogs, since his bright colors are a warning of danger.

Poison Dart Frog

This caiman is enjoying a sunny afternoon, floating down the river.  He looks very relaxed, doesn’t he!  I’d guess that he is totally oblivious to the piranha who are underwater, examining his toes, trying to decide whether or not they should “tickle” him.


The noisy and colorful macaw is the largest of the parrot family!  He loves to eat fruit, and can crack nuts with his strong & sturdy beak.  Isn’t he gorgeous!  I chose to make him into a macaw, but his body shape is similar to a cockatiel so you could change the fabric choices if you’d rather make her instead.  Both of these colorful bird species are native to the Amazon rain forest!


This monkey shines!  Playful, intelligent, and gregarious, she lives with her family in the rain forest canopy.  She can use her tail to hang from tree branches too!  She reminds me (at least a little bit) of my younger son, who wanted to live in one of our backyard trees when he was 9 years old.  But that is another story, for another time!  :o)


The tapir is a really cool animal!  She has a flexible snout that is used to pick up food, to smell or taste food, or to use as a snorkel when she walks around underwater.  Yes, that’s right- she can walk around underwater.  Now that’s very cool!


This sloth is moving at lightning speed, for a sloth!  He spends most of his time in the trees, and sometimes can look green because of algae that grows on his fur.  The sloth likes to eat leaves, and is more active at night than in the daytime.  I just love this adorable sloth!


The jaguar is the king of the rain forest!  Her speckled fur pattern, called “rosettes”,  works as a camouflage to help her hide from prey until she’s ready to pounce.  She can climb trees and swim pretty well (yes, a cat who likes to swim!), so she really gets around her territory!


Thanks for stopping in at our blog today, and for reading about our “Jumpin’ Jungle” animals!  I hope that you’ve enjoyed learning a bit about these unique and wonderful rain forest creatures!  Each of them serves a purpose within their environment, and they make a fabulous contribution to the diversity of life on Earth.  If you’re interested in making any (or all!) of these amazing animal appliques, you can click their images to go to our pattern shop.

We won’t be posting again until the weekend, due to the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US.  We hope that you’ll have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, filled with family, friends, and fabulous food!  Thanks again for being our online quilting friend!  :o)

Happy quilting,


Blog · New Designs

Hippopotamus Ballerina Quilt

The little hippo’s family told her that she would never become a ballerina.  Her friends said, “Forget about your ballet dreams; becoming the principal ballerina is far beyond your reach!  Just go back to the river and practice your diving.  Your body is more suited to grazing on underwater plants than it is to performing a grande jete’.”  But her need to dance was strong!  She refused to listen to the rest of the hippopotamus herd, and she took ballet lessons anyway.  She worked hard to master every pose and leap, and now she’s here at last; ready to step onto center stage and dance like no hippopotamus has ever danced before.

This “tiny” hippopotamus dancer is ready to pirouette her way into your heart!  She makes me smile, just imagining her graceful moves on the dance floor.  This incredibly cute 36 1/2″ by 48 1/2″ nursery quilt would be the perfect gift to welcome a sweet little ballet dancer-to-be!


The hippopotamus ballerina is an easy applique project, since the pieces are fairly large and the curves and turns are gentle and easy to negotiate.  I started making the hippopotamus with Mom when she was visiting  from Montana, since she wanted to learn how to do machine applique using the blanket stitch on her sewing machine.  We didn’t quite have enough time to finish our hippo  ballerina, but I think that Mom got the hang of how to make the sewing machine work with her to create a beautiful applique piece!   I chose delicate gray prints with silver metallic accents for my ballerina’s body, along with sparkly pink  Michael Miller “Fairy Frost” fabrics for her costume.


The flower and heart garlands above and below the “little” ballerina are also easy to make, framing the dancer to place her front and center on the quilt top.The flower and heart garland is a feminine combination of pink and purple, with pretty golden yellow flower centers and green leaves as accent colors.  The leaves and flowers were made from Northcott Fabric’s “Toscana” collection, one of our favorite fabric lines for our applique projects.

Flowers top2

My forte’ in quilting tends toward piecing, so I really enjoyed making the foundation paper pieced heart blocks that surround the ballerina.  The pieced hearts, made with a selection of pink and purple prints, provide a lovely frame for this adorable nursery quilt.  Foundation paper piecing makes it easy to create uniformly perfect pieced blocks, even for a beginning quilter.  Each heart block has just seven pieces, so they are quick and easy to make.


A sweet pink flower print frames the center applique panel, and is repeated in the outer border.  The finished quilt is positively precious for a sweet little baby girl!

And here’s a fun surprise: I’ve learned that my cousin’s daughter and her husband are expecting another baby girl this winter, so their little bundle of joy is going to be the recipient of this pretty pink and purple hippopotamus ballerina quilt.  I can’t wait!

If you’d like to create your own “tiny dancer” hippopotamus ballerina quilt, to be treasured by a special little girl, you can purchase the pattern here:


Hippopotamus Ballerina Nursery Quilt Pattern

This dainty hippopotamus is ready to dance herself into your heart!


Until next time!

Happy quilting,