Finish: Two Little Halloween(ish) Hooters

This is my slightly Halloween take on Ofenjen‘s Two Little Hooters pattern (available for purchase in hard copy here or via instant download here). I haven’t found the right branch yet, but I hope to find a broken branch, stick, or twig to slide into the hanging tabs (which may or may not get stitched down to the back) for hanging on the wall come Halloween season.

This is the first bit of paper-piecing I’ve done in quite a while. It was definitely more complicated than anything I’ve done in the past – typically I’ve done blocks which contain four units that are exactly the same and join together as a four-patch, whereas this is several unusually shaped units that fit together a bit more like a puzzle. But it was a nice reintroduction and not nearly so hard as I thought it would be. I did have some issues with the size where I didn’t get my units joined exactly as they should have been, so it was a touch too big in some places and a touch too small in others, but I was able to finesse things a little to get it together, and the centre came together only about 1/4-in smaller than it was supposed to be.

Because my centre wasn’t the “right” size, I let my brain get all CONFUSED and OMG about the borders and I couldn’t put two thoughts together to figure out how to make the border fit right, so if you go look at Ofenjen’s sample, you’ll see my border isn’t quite the same. Of course, the easy fix was just to make everything exactly as she said to, but then to scale down the length of the striped part of the border, but CONFUSED and OMG as I said, so I wound up whipping together something similar but not quite the same. Regardless, I think it came out pretty well. It’s adorable! And it has owls! Halloweenish owls!

I made this almost entirely with scraps. Both the oranges for the owls were fabrics bought for exchange blocks I’ve made in the past. I don’t know if I ever used the one that looks like bubbles, though I must have, since I fished rather small bits and pieces out of my bag of orange-peach-yellow fabric scraps. The other one, which looks a little like a painting, was bought entirely because it looked like the stars in Van Gogh’s Starry Nights painting (you’d need to see a larger piece to see the resemblance, though). In any case, the blues for the eyes/beaks were also scraps, and the variety of fabrics used for the branches (which were sometimes pieced mid-branch so I wouldn’t have to cut into anything) were all just blue-grey or very pale blue scraps from other previous projects.

The orange batik strips for the border also came from my scrap pile – I used that fabric in a quilt back for a quilt I haven’t shown online in at least 2, maybe 3, years. (I keep meaning to fish that one out and quilt it – the back is ready, the front is ready, I even have batting cut to size…) The binding fabric was the last bit of a Laura Gunn print from her Poppy line, which I used in a quilt top that I haven’t shown here, but isn’t finished anyway. (The top is finished, but I want to get it professionally quilted. Just haven’t made a move to find some one to do it yet.) There wasn’t quite enough scrap left to do the entire binding, so I pieced it with a little of a mottled blue-grey print, which is mostly behind the leaves of that plant in the top picture.

I quilted it all 1/4-in around all the shapes in the quilt, though in retrospect I think I should have gone much closer than the quarter-inch (either in “the ditch” or perhaps 1/8-inch). It works for quilting, even if it is very basic. I’d toyed with the idea of doing something more in the Halloween imagery line – like a big cob-web – using invisible thread, but I do hate working with that stuff, and I didn’t want to detract from the owls themselves.

In any case, I’m really happy with this finish. I think my mom will probably want it when she sees it, and I may even give it to her. (Although I really love that binding fabric and I might not want to give it away just because of that! I could make a dozen more Halloween Hooter wall-hangings, but none of them will be finished quite the same.)

Anyway, I finished this on 15 August 2011, and it’s about 15″x18″ in size. I feel like I’ve been posting more finishes and less Works-in-Progress the last while, but I sort of find it embarrassing when I think of how many unfinished things I have laying around, so I’ve been working harder to get some things done so I can mitigate that embarrassment at least a little. And that can only be a good thing.


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