Owl Quilts Take Flight
Designing quilts is really enjoyable, but do you know what’s even better?
It’s when people like your design enough to make a quilt of their own! It’s like a little piece of your soul goes out to live in the world.
You can imagine my delight when I opened the latest Quiltmaker to find my Swoopers owl quilt featured in Spotlight. Michelle Barker of Riverton, Utah and her sister Tammy Howell who lives in Oregon worked on their Swoopers quilts at the same time. They shared their progress with each other by text and email.
Tammy’s quilt is similar in color to my original. Michelle’s is a wonderfully fresh take in reds, blacks and grays. Both are happily scrappy! Wonderful job, ladies. Thank you for recreating Swoopers!
This quilt got its start when I needed to come up with a program for my small quilt group. I’d had this idea of a pattern consisting of owl parts like bodies, wings, eyes and beaks. Each owl would be created with a mix and match technique so that each would be unique.
I drew some owl parts and made photocopies. I pieced each green background block of two patches. I brought a suitcase full of brightly colored fabrics and a roll of fusible web to the meeting, and let everyone get creative. Many in the group learned to use fusible web for the first time.
I was delighted at how their ideas took shape. They improvised beautifully—look at the eyelashes!
They fussy cut eyes…
…and exaggerated horns. They made eyebrows…
…and infused friendliness. See him waving hello?
This is one of my favorites. My friend Doris made a mama owl and her baby! She thought they were too funky, but I absolutely love them. In the big picture, they’re perfect.
And Carol nestled this tiny owl down close to its mommy. The small wings on the fat body are great! They add a bit of comedy to this pair. And are those bloodshot eyes? What parent hasn’t felt that way?!
Swoopers makes a great group quilt project. It could be done with non-sewists, too! I think Girl Scouts and 4-H kids would have fun making these blocks. It would be a happy Project Linus donation if you like.
Swoopers is part of my trunk show for quilt groups called Make Extraordinary Scrap Quilts. I’d love to share it with your guild!
• Swoopers is in Quiltmaker March/April 2016 (on sale for just $4.19) in print or digital.
• A digital pattern is also available.
Only one owl is included in the pattern, but you can draw more yourself. Look at the blocks again—you just can’t go wrong!