Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010 - The Owl Quilt

I decided in late summer that I wanted to quilt something for my parents as part of their Christmas gift this year.  At first I thought it would be nice to make them a quilt for their bed, but then realized that tackling a queen sized quilt as my second quilt ever might not be the smartest thing to do.  Luckily, I had some great fabrics in my stash that I had been wanting to use.  First up, I decided to make a wall-hanging sized quilt for my dad using two Japanese owl fabrics that he had picked up for me on a trip to Tokyo earlier this year (see below).
Owl Fabrics from Japan

I actually picked the fabric and the pattern to use simultaneously because they just seemed to go together.  The pattern is from Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts, which is a really fun book.  The pattern uses log-cabin blogs placed into a simple pattern of only two fabrics.  I deviated a bit from the design in the book because I wanted to make mine a bit smaller, so I reduced the overall size of each block.  I used 6.5-inch blocks and placed them in a 6 by 6 pattern so that the finished quilt is about 36 inches square.  Here's a photo of some of the pieced blocks:
Pieced Log Cabin Blocks (Almost Finished)

After I finished piecing the blocks, I had to decide on how to lay them out.  I didn't realize it before, but using these log cabin blocks is still very versatile when you put them all together.  Here are two patterns I was considering:
This first layout is very similar to the one in the book and I immediately loved it.  It kind of makes me think of a sunburst or something.  The other idea I thought of was the one below, but to be honest, I didn't really like this layout at all.  It doesn't seem very interesting - it's way too symmetrical, but I thought it was pretty cool that the same 36 blocks could make a completely different look just be rearranging the blocks!  This made me much more excited about quilting in general!

In the end, I decided on my first gut-instinct, which was to use the layout from the book.

For quilting, I followed the lines bordering the red and cream fabrics and I used matching thread so that the quilting itself never really shows very much.  A photo of the finished quilt, along with some closeups, is shown below.  The backing fabric was just a simple pattern of small black and white flowers on red - it had a Japanese feel to it.  Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results and I think my dad liked it too, which is all that matters!

The front of the finished quilt.

Closeup with Back
Look at the sweet owls!


  1. It turned out great! Go Temple Owls :)

  2. Great job again! That is an awesome Christmas present.

  3. Thanks, guys! I totally forgot to mention in my post that the owls are because of Temple! Haha. My dad has quite an owl collection.