Friday, February 13, 2015

Baby needs brights!

“Baby” would be the Scout leader’s new daughter, not me!  Though playing with some bright fabrics this week has lifted my spirits, so maybe I needed brights too.  There isn’t any big reason for the blahs I needed lifting out of, just assorted small annoyances and winter in general.  Oh, and shattering the plastic casing on the car’s tail light and finding out you can’t replace just the casing, you have to buy the whole assembly.  Sigh.

Let’s not dwell on that, shall we?  Back to the cheerful brights.  Here’s what I have on my design wall right now.


The owl is only fused on right now.  I need to go buy purple thread to stitch it down.  Still, I wanted to see if he worked with the blocks the way I hoped he would, so up on the wall he went.  I like it!

I didn’t like what I started out with.  I saw this quilt by SewCraftyJess on Moda Bake Shop and liked the blocks.  I made a test block to be sure I liked it before cutting into my stash.


It took only an hour to get all my cut pieces sewn into units. The large squares with the white strip get cut down the middle to make the rectangular units below in the lower left, so I was able to substitute two rectangles for the square when my scraps wouldn’t yield the 5” square the pattern called for.


Clearly, it’s not a good idea to be too excited about quick progress.  Progress slowed down to a crawl when I started putting pieces up on the design wall to decide which fabrics to put together in each block.


Ummmm.  Nope.  This wasn’t working for me! I stared at the wall. I moved things around. I stared some more.  Two hours’ worth of staring and shuffling pieces around yielded this.


Better.  Did I really need to unpick my sample block to match the block center to the block frame?  Maybe not.  I went to bed and let it simmer a bit.

When I came back to it in the morning I decided that in the grand scheme of things, taking a few minutes to rip a few seams was not a  big deal.  The result was good enough to encourage me to assemble all the blocks.  Of course, assembled blocks were bound to look crisper and therefore better!  Once I had them assembled it was easier to play around with block orientation, too.  I decided I liked them better going in all one direction, instead of the varied directions in the original pattern, and that vertical pleased my eye more than horizontal.


I had intended to piece a butterfly block to insert in the blank place.  I found a good tutorial at Four Wise Monkeys for a pretty pieced block, but in the end I decided it wouldn’t pop.  Then I thought I could do a reverse image, with a white butterfly over a colored block background.  I tried it in EQ first, and it wasn’t looking quite as I hoped.  How about a heart?  I looked at pieced heart patterns, then decided I could applique a heart, since I learned to do that over Christmas.

Well, if I’m going to applique…I just had to make the owl from Five Sprouts Stitching again, because he’s so gosh darned cute.  It’s a baby quilt.  Cute is good!

I enlarged the pattern to fit the space and spent an hour dithering over what colors he should be.  I decided purple would work best and held my breath as I rooted through the small pile of purples in my stash, hoping to find a piece large enough for the owl’s body. Success!




I’m pleased with how it is working out!  The owl seems less lost in person, trust me.  Now I need to go add sashing and decide if this quilt needs borders.  I suppose I need to choose backing fabric too.  Time to step away from the computer!


  1. I love this! Your final layout is wonderful and Mr. Owl is to darn cute!! This quilt is definitely a spirit lifter!! :)

  2. All of your work on the layout paid off! This is an awesome baby quilt! ~Jeanne

  3. I love the way your quilt evolved. And believe me, the owl is too cute to look lost. It's more like he's center stage.

  4. That's an adorable baby quilt! It will make a great baby gift.

  5. Wonderfully bright and perfectly adorable! I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one to spend hours, even days, fiddling with block layouts. Be careful when you go to buy that purple thread! You may need help carrying bolts to the car. Speaking from experience, here. :)

  6. I like the vertical layout much better than the horizontal; it gives the "uplift" you felt you were needing, and the bright colors certainly help too! The owl is precious! I can just imagine a baby looking at it and grinning while saying "Who---who---who!" What fun that will be. On the tail light, maybe that's why we see so many broken tail lights with plastic taped over them; we should be able to buy just the plastic cover replacement! ---"Love"

  7. That is adorable! I love the bright colors, so perfect for a little one and the owl is so cute! I will have to remember this the next time I need a baby quilt.

  8. It was certainly worth all that time and effort - the final layout is definitely more visually appealing. Funny how that works. What an annoyance re the car light. Hopefully this happy quilt cheers you up. Love that owl but then I have a thing for owls at the moment.

  9. Adorable! That owl is perfect! What a sweet gift this will be.

  10. That owl really is so gosh darn cute Joanne and I like your layout so much better! It's funny, I can face seam ripping a whole lot better if I let it (and me) rest for bit too. LOL

  11. That owl is perfect. She looks right at home to me. And I love how you changed the blocks to be all matchy-matchy. Perfect. I think with the less matchy version, it would have stolen something from the owl.

  12. I LOVE this quilt!!! I am wanting to make baby quilts this year and this one is perfect for any gender and is just so darn cute!!! And the bright colours just make my smile as snow is wanting to fall (again) out my window..... Thanks for the wonderful project to make me want to go sew!!!
    And ignore the comment about bringing bolts of fabric to your car when you go to get thread!! If that is what the thread wants you to do, who are you to say no??! :-)

  13. All your pondering over the blocks and the layout definitely paid off. This is so bright and cheerful and perfectly placed!

  14. Wow! Seeing inside your mind as you work through this was great! I love the result. Looking great. Personally - I'd forgo the borders and if you needed it bigger add more blocks. Just my 2 cents.

  15. Love this happy quilt. I see 2 borders, a white, then a colourful outer one. I so agree that the vertical orientation is the ticket. I wasn't feeling that horizontal one either. Love that adorable little owl.


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