Thursday, February 7, 2013

Owls in the Cupboard - My Finished Doll Quilt

In the last week or so, I have been busy working away on the doll quilt that was due in the mail today. I decided to do a variation of something I have done in the past that was popular and fun to make: teacups.

I started out with this sketch, way back in Novemeber, when the swap first started. I was going to make the teacups and applique these little birds on.
 I was sketching late at night, and as you can see, the birds weren't sure why they were on the mugs - and neither was I. Although I realize that a whimsical quilt is just that, whimsical, inconsequential things bother me. I really wanted to give the birds a reason to be sitting en masse on teacups.
 So, I decided that maybe some of the birds were ON the teacups, and some were free, and it would be like a joke, like the free birds were trying to get the birds off the teacups. Or like there would be all teacups and one bird in the middle of them - one unexpected free peiced bird in the midst of the teacups with birds on them. So I started making cups and mugs.
 And then I made a few more, and a bird to go with them.

 As I progressed, however, it seemed that a log cabin was called for. To quote the great artist Winnie the Pooh, "It wanted to come in after the [red mug] so I let it". (speaking of which, if you have kids and you like to play them stories, you really must get the cds of Stephen Fry and Judy Dench and a bunch of other brilliant British actors reading Winnie the Pooh - they bring out all the comedy perfectly, my kids love them, and I don't mind listening to them a hundred times because the characters are so well done). In any case, I kept playing, adding owls when I could and eventually, a second bird and then a final mug. This was my first time working with text prints as a background to anything, and I must say I love the final result. The only thing that was tricky was balancing out the quilt - some of the prints I chose as my lights were very light, while some were more medium. This meant I had to be careful with my final layout.
Eventually, I ended up with this fun little nine patch quilt. I didn't have a lot of time for complex quilting, and I was really taken by svetlana's quilting on this quilt, so I decided to do something similar on my quilt.
I also quilted around the teacups and birds in matching thread so that they would stand out a bit more against the background. I must say, these owls just make me laugh - they are kind of funny and creepy and cute all at once.

I bound the quilt with a black-on-black print I've had in my stash forever, wrote a label of sorts on the back, and popped it in the mail.
I love this quilt, and would have gladly hung it on my own wall. I hope my partner likes it just as much or more than I do. I may have to make myself something similar, except I only had a scrap of the owl fabric, so I will have to find some other weird animals or people to go on my mugs . . . hmmm, we'll see.

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