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Blogger's Quilt Festival

I made it!  With only 8 hours left in the quilt festival, I managed to finish my quilt and blog about it.  Now let's hope that some people start browsing the festival links from the bottom of the list...

Today I'm happy to show off my little owl miniquilt.  This project was underway for a long time.. I bought the owl panel at Yuzawaya in Tokyo in 2007, when C and I were desperate for kids but devastated by infertility.  I was sure one day I'd have a little family, and I'm very very happy that my dreams came true.
For some reason he thinks you have to close your eyes when you say "cheese!"
I started the miniquilt when I was getting ready to try for baby #2, thinking, "OMG, I have to use this awesome panel before we have 2 little owls!" and worried how I was going to applique the next kid's owl on there.  Haha.  well, let me just tell you, getting pregnant isn't as easy as they told you it would be in high school..
The quilt sat, basted, with a couple lines of quilting in it for over a year as other projects kept bumping it out of the way.  I picked it up in September and vowed to finish it and get it on the wall, so we could enjoy it, and be reminded to enjoy our little family as it is now.
It was made to coordinate with this quilt, which is on our bed most of the year, and I used a few left over blocks for the back.  I quilted in perle cotton #8 and as I worked I remembered how much I love hand quilting (of course, today as I rushed to finish the last few lengths of thread, I also remembered how sore your fingers get from hand quilting, and that you really can't rush it). 
Hand quilting gives you lots of time to think.. so I thought about owls, and how they were so trendy, then came out with avengance and got too trendy, and now it feels people are ready to move on to a new cute animal.  For me though, I still like them.
I found these on my desk at work in the summer of 2007.  A co-worker's grandma made them.
Have you seen the Owl Art Calendar?  I just came across it last week, totally cool, and free too!
I also thought about blogging and deadlines, and the pressure to make things just to show them online.  That pressure has been weighing a little hard on me lately.  Once again I'm starting to feel that I've gotten sucked in, that I want to make things because other people are making them, and not spending the time to make the quilts I want to make.  The quilt blog community is moving so fast, with a constant pressure to make, buy, show off, participate.. Some days I love it, it's a great and creative community.  But other days it makes me feel guilty and stressed out.  This miniquilt is mine.  My idea from my experiences.  My time, my family.  It's a good reminder that you don't have to have or do everything out there,  What really matters are the things that make life more full and balanced.  I hope seeing this quilt on my wall will keep me centered, positive, and grateful for what life has brought me.


  1. It is a beautiful mini quilt! And I understand exactly the way you feel about keeping up with the "blogging life".
    Hey I thought I had to close my eyes too when saying "cheese" (wink!)

  2. What a beautiful owl quilt (love the hand quilting)and a very touching story. It is a wonderful thing to remember to be happy with what you have. Best wishes for your future!

  3. I agree, a very sweet quilt and thank you so much for sharing your story. It had totally blown my mind that the blogger's quilt festival was going on! I am glad that you made in time!

  4. Awesome mini-quilt, with a sweet family-story to go with it. The "stress and pressure" aspect of blogging is probably what's kept me from ever trying a blog, until now. Great thoughts on that subject ... trying to keep the same things in mind myself.

  5. Love this mini and how meaningful it is for you and your family. I hear you about the blogging pressure - I am so proud of myself for not caving into the Farmer's Wife pressure. It came close so many times, but I don't LOVE that quilt, and with so many things I would love to make, I have made a promise to myself that anything I do is something I can feel CAPITAL LETTERS about. Life is too short to ride the bandwagons all the time. (every now and again is fine, though!) And don't get me started on the crazy spin-o-rama that all this new fabric twice a year is. P.S. I also love owls and foxes, which is the next animal that is destined for crafty extinction, no doubt!

  6. very cute!


  7. What a sweet mini quilt - I really love the quilting on it.

  8. Oh gorgeous panel jess! Glad it brought you luck!

  9. Wonderful post, Jessica. I hear you about the pressure to create to share it in the blogging community. It's a double-edged sword, eh? Your owls are adorable! What a beautiful addition to your home. Congratulations on a fabulous finish! Thanks for linking in to TGIFF!

  10. I found you....going backwards!!! I was going forwards, and took a much blogging just as you say...then I decided tonight to go backwards.

    SO glad I did!

    Love the owls. The story. It turned out great!!!

  11. What a beautiful quilt! Thanks for sharing the story behind it, that brought me to tears. (We tried for years, but I'm not going to be a mom.) Good for you to be happy with what you have! That is what I'm also trying to do. Have a great weekend. :-)

  12. Your owl wall-hanging is adorable and so is your little owl! The larger quilt you linked to is very striking - I love the crisp, graphic look of it. Thank you for sharing!

  13. I love your quilt and your story about contentment. You are right. We feel so many pressures from so many directions these days. It takes a lot to sit back and savor the beauty that is already here. Your little quilt is a perfect reminder of that!

  14. Your quilt is cute and you expressed my feelings about blogging very well :-)

  15. Beautiful quilt! Great post Jessica!, totally agree with you about blogging. There is nothing better than sewing for the love of it.

  16. Jessica, it was wonderful being able to chat with you after the quilt show on Saturday. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and story. I enjoyed looking at your quilts on Flickr, too. I hope you are successful in all your endeavors, and remember, you can say NO to some of the blogger stuff. I chose what I want to do, and make sure I have things that I want (at least a block or two) inbetween all the other projects I need to do. Thanks again!

  17. Cute quilt! I love to pick up fabric whenever I go somewhere to remind me of where I've been. We also struggled with infertility and I always knew I'd be a mom, one way or the other. I have two teenagers now - they keep me on my toes. Good luck!

  18. You shouldn't think you have to produce things to please the quilt blogging community! And you don't have to make every new thing that comes along. Make what you want! Follow your own trail! Create your own patterns; choose your own fabrics. You don't have to buy so-called designer lines. Mix and match from different manufacturers and different years. Your quilts will be your very own and won't look like you made everything from kits or Jelly Rolls or other packaged goods. Done with lecture!

  19. Hi! Greetings from Finland! Your quilts are so fantastic! I love the quilts! It's so nice to find other quilters all around the world! :)


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