Now that I’ve gotten past some big deadlines, I’ve suddenly found myself able to sew things just for fun. Just because I want to. It’s liberating and intimidating, all at the same time. Some days, I can’t figure out where to start so I end up doing fun things like laundry. Others, I head to the sewing machine and don’t move until it’s time to get my daughter from the bus.

My session with Allie the Owl fell under the second scenario.

I’ve been in love with owls since forever and I knew I’d take a crack at Elizabeth Hartman’s pattern at some point. We had some beautiful bolts of Shimmer 2 at the shop, so I started there and pulled in a gorgeous blue linen/cotton blend (Mochi by Moda) for the background.

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I was in such a hurry to make this thing, that apparently I could not be bothered to either cut or sew a straight line. As a result, some of my matching is … off. Some days, you just accept the imperfections and this is one of those days.

I’d originally planned to do a loose, all over quilting pattern, using a light gray thread over the owl and a matching thread to the background. But then I got in the groove and went a little crazy with the background. OK, a lot crazy.

I found a quilt on Pinterest that used a similar free-motion quilting design and just ran with it. I didn’t do much marking: I used the width of my palm to help with spacing the first line of quilting (the long, wavy line) and I did use chalk to mark about halfway between those lines to give myself a stopping point for the scallops. Other than that, I just winged it.

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It’s a pretty dense amount of quilting and I probably should have taken more breaks than I did because my shoulders and upper back were killing me the next day. But I’m happy with how it turned out and maybe the quilting helps keep people from noticing all those mismatched seams!