Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just up my owl-ley

Every once in a while, a group of us, usually 12, organize a block exchange. We pick some kind of "focus" fabric or a particular block. We each make 12 of the same block, one to keep for ourselves, and one for each other member of the group. You know, kind of like a cookie exchange. Then after we have had sufficient time to make the blocks, we meet for the "big reveal."

I have done several of these block exchanges, seven, I think. So much fun to participate in--fun with your friends, fun to see what everyone else chooses to do. But then comes the point of actually putting all the blocks together in a quilt. Over the years, this is the state of my block exchanges: one completed, one sandwiched together with the batting and backing and some actual hand quilting--which I intend to take out and start over, one that just needs the binding completed. And the others? Well, they occupy various parts of my house, sad little blocks huddling together and waiting for some kind of inspiration from their owner to put them together in a happy little group.

The theme one time was birds. You could do a bird or a birdhouse, it had to be paper pieced, which involves actually sewing your fabric to paper, so some of us learned a new technique. Ever paper pieced before? It has been known to cause some fairly foul, or in this case "fowl," language to be spoken. It can be really frustrating, although if done correctly (which turns out to be the hard part), you can make a block with teeny, tiny little pieces with great precision.

So....I made a scissor-tail flycatcher, mostly because it is the state bird of Oklahoma, where I lived for six or seven years, and the name is such fun to say. Someone made a hummingbird, we had a cardinal, a couple of bird houses. My friend, Maggie, made a robin red breast, I think mostly just so she could repeatedly say "breast." And another person made the cutest owl.

Enter fabricworm.com. As I was browsing their site the other day, currently one of my favorite online fabric sites, I came up with exactly what I needed. Really, how perfect is this?

I love the background color, which is really a lot darker and more yellowy-green and an exact match for one wall in my sewing room (although, after polling a couple of my friends, I stand alone in being blown away by its green perfection). And the scowly owl with the brown head (the bigger one toward the bottom right) just cracks me up.

So I'll use it for the border all the way around the quilt. Not sure exactly how I'm going to put the blocks together although I have a plan, and I'm pretty sure my birdies are all going to live happily ever after. Chirp, chirp.


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Katie said... #

LOVE that fabric! I just can't seem to get enough of owls myself these days. I saw the cutest little softy (stuffed animal) owl pattern the other day, and I so want to buy it. Please keep us posted on how you put your quilt together. I can't wait to see it :)

JHNickodemus said... #

I agree with Katie! I cant wait to see how it turns out! Love your title!

Tanya said... #

Ahhh...I remember that "fowl" language fondly! And who doesn't just love to have a reason to say 'breast' repeatedly? Your owl fabric find is fantastic! I can't wait to see how this project turns out.

The Luedtke Family said... #

How delightful! Owl be watching for the completed quilt!

k said... #

Ach! I LOVELOVE (yes, twice) the bird squares your group did.

They remind me of the artist Charley Harper.