Home is where the heart is · Quilting · Sewing

Mr. Hooty {a WIP}

Would you like to meet Mr. Hooty?? He is not quite complete, so here is an unfinished post of him since I just couldn’t wait!!!

A little story first?

Mr. Hooty is a quilt for the Boyfriend. The first one I’ve ever made him. And I was scared to do it because of the “handmade item” curse that is floating around out there. You know, the one where you decide to make something handmade for your better half. And you pick some really complicated pattern, whether it be a quilt or a knitted sweater, or whatever. So you put all this time, effort, money into making this wonderful item. And then halfway through the project, the curse hits, and you no longer have a better half to give it to! So, you can see what was in the back of my mind this entire time…. However, I think being together for six years is long enough, don’t you? So far, so good, no curse is rearing it’s ugly head!

I chose this quilt because the Boyfriend also has a thing for owls. Don’t ask me why. It started last fall and hasn’t stopped yet. He even built an owl house to put in our backyard in hopes of “catching” his very own owl. So this quilt is my contribution to giving him an owl.

The pattern comes from Boo Davis’ book called “Dare to be Square.”

The Boyfriend even saw the cover and remarked that it was a “cool owl quilt.” So I figured I was on the right track. The problem was, I really wanted it to be a surprise. And, well, he’s always home! So I bought all my fabrics a month ago, and stuck them in the closet to wait. [Fabric purchase: I stuck pretty close to the original design and colors, since that’s what attracted the Boyfriend to the quilt as well. Didn’t want to change it up too much and not have him like it.]

Last week, my Lawrence quilt group went on a Quilt Camp to Solomon, Kansas. 4 days of uninterrupted sewing and quilting! Well, except to eat and sleep…. It was good times and we had a lot of great ladies there! That darling girl in the bright yellow shirt in the front row? That’s moi. 🙂

Sew-n-Sews 2011 Spring Quilt Camp

So, in these 4 days, I had a goal of completing the entire quilt to take home to the Boyfriend at the end of camp. I almost made it…

Thursday: cut all the squares for the front of the quilt. Played around with the layout and came up with Mr. Hooty’s body.

Mr. Hooty's body laid out

Thursday night: got two of the 12 blocks pieced.

Friday: finished piecing the front!

Mr. Hooty pieced together

Saturday: pieced the back, which I totally forgot to take a picture of. Which is silly because the back is soooo coool! I pieced a block that spells out “Mr. Hooty” and put it on the back! I will be sure to take a photo of that when it’s all done. I named the quilt Mr. Hooty because the pattern name is actually Hootenanny, but that seemed too girly for a butch, manly quilt. Thus, Mr. Hooty was born.

Saturday night: began to quilt Mr. Hooty and ran into all sorts of snags. *sigh* I decided to do straight line quilting around the seams, to keep the modular look of the quilt. I put my walking foot on to quilt with, and was fine for about 3 rows. Then the walking foot started to “pop” when the needle pulled up and the whole thing would thump back down. Every two stitches it would pop, thump, and then jump a whole stitch to the right! I cleaned the foot, the bobbin case, the machine. Put in a new needle, new thread, rethreaded everything, and on and on. It would not work. So I went to bed 🙂

Sunday: last day of quilt camp! Switched back to my regular sewing foot and proceeded to quilt that way. It worked okay except for the top layer of fabric sliding and pulling downwards. I tried as hard as I could to keep it all together with my hands. It was ok, but slow going. And my arms hurt. Still! But here’s Mr. Hooty being quilted:

Quilting Mr. Hooty

I finished about 3/4 of the quilting before it was time to pack up and head home from camp. When I got home, the Boyfriend greeted me and asked the question I’d been waiting for: “What did you do at camp?” Where I then pulled out (the unfinished) Mr. Hooty and gave it to him. For a man who isn’t real emotional, he was definitely surprised and very happy with the quilt. Yay! 🙂

Hopefully, I can finish it up this weekend and have completed pictures to show you, including the back!

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