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Quilting: Bloggers Quilt Festival

April 22, 2009

I just heard of the First Annual Blogger’s Quilt Festival yesterday and my first thought was “why didn’t I think of that?!”  What a great idea, bringing quilting bloggers together by sharing photos of our quilts.

The idea is to post photos of your favorite quilt that you’ve made and tell it’s story.   Excellent idea, huh!

Harry Potter QuiltMy Magical Lens, designed, pieced and quilted by Jennifer Ofenstein

My all time favorite quilt that I have made, absolutely hands-down, is my Harry Potter quilt.  I embarked on this project in early 2006.   My family had long been fans (we started reading Harry in 1999) and I’d been quilting for a few years.  After discovering what so many HP crafters now know, that licensed fabric is out of print and nigh on impossible to find (and expensive if you do!), I decided to try to design my own.

The very first HP block I designed was Hedwig, though not the one that ended up in the quilt (you can see it in the photo below…bleargh!).  It was pretty dreadful, too complicated and just bad, bad, bad.  I’d only ever designed simple blocks before, so I changed gears and started with a broom and a lightning bolt.  The stack of blocks began to grow.  All through the process, I was sharing on the Harry Potter Crafts Yahoo! Group.  Members started asking if I’d share my patterns, and before long, my little craft site, then called Jen’s Crochet & Crafts, grew into sewhooked, full of all kinds of crafts, crochet, and now paper pieced patterns.

I went to Lumos in Las Vegas in 2006 and took my HP blocks with me to share with my online craft friends.   By this time I was a Moderator at Harry Potter Crafts.  Sharing my designs and other projects I’d made with them for myself and friends, on top of the fact that I knew HTML, led to a year and a half as a Crafty Witch at The Leaky Cauldron where I made truly amazing friends.  The quilt that wasn’t a quilt yet was already helping me to connect with people.

In the fall of 2006, I decided to attend Phoenix Rising in New Orleans which, like Lumos, was a Harry Potter fandom conference, and was scheduled to take place in May 2007.  Even though my quilt wasn’t even close to done, nor was I close to having enough blocks designed for a whole quilt, I entered a mock-up for consideration in the Phoenix Rising art gallery, and was, to my surprise, accepted.  With a deadline looming, I started churning out patterns and blocks, finishing up the quilt in March of 2007, just two months before it was to be shown in New Orleans.

This quilt is more just a million bits of fabric stitched together.  It represents all the years I’ve loved Harry Potter and some of my favorite things about the series.  It has brought me friends, and fans, and brought more quilters that I can count into the wonderful world of paper piecing.  In the fall of 2007, I started hp_paperpiecing on Livejournal as way to share more with other Harry Potter quilters than just patterns.  I’ve posted over 100 unique HP themed blocks there and have in the process met a lot of awesome quilters and designers, many brand new to paper piecing.

Mock Up Quilt done for the Phoenix Rising entry formThe mock-up submitted for submission into the Phoenix Rising art gallery (complete with horrible Hedwig).

I don’t design as many HP blocks as I used to, though I’m still very involved with hp_paperpiecing.

Harry Potter patterns at sewhooked, free for personal and non-profit use.

See loads more photos of the making of My Magical Lens over at flickr.

If you make any pattern or craft from sewhooked,  I’d love to see a photo. Email me or add it to the Friends of sewhooked flickr group.

Happy crafting

28 Comments leave one →
  1. April 22, 2009 11:29

    WOW….very cool….I wouldn’t have thought of making a quilt to honor Harry but it sure turned out amazing…so much work….wonderful that your quilt also involved the love of literacy…

    • April 22, 2009 11:36

      Thank you! I <3 my Harry quilt. It’s got a lot of memories tied up in it.

  2. April 22, 2009 12:03


  3. April 22, 2009 13:55

    I love this quilt Jen! I am still bowled over by the sheer number of blocks you’ve designed for this quilt, it’s so great. What a family treasure! Thanks for popping by, and I’m so glad you’re participating. What would a quilt show be without a little HP fandom eh?

    • April 22, 2009 14:02

      Hey, any chance to talk about HP and quilting in the same post is one I’m all over. I’m so inspired by the books and it’s just lovely when others get excited about quilting because they can make something HP!

  4. April 22, 2009 16:04

    Way out! (do people say that anymore, or am I dated?) anyhow a very remarkable quilt.

    • April 22, 2009 16:09

      Hey, thanks! I still say totally awesome, which amuses my kids, so you can definitely say way out around me!

  5. April 22, 2009 16:36

    Your quilt is fabulous. I have admired your HP blocks for awhile now but have not ventured to make any just yet. I enjoyed reading about how your quilt developed.

    • April 22, 2009 18:32

      Thanks! It amazes me when I stop to think about how much that quilt and the blocks in it have changed my life. I hope you get the chance to try one and definitely send me a photo or a link…I’m a junkie for pictures!

  6. April 22, 2009 18:55

    Wow! I can’t even imagine making that…I am floored, there is so much detail! Amazing!

    • April 22, 2009 18:57

      Thank you! It took a crazy long time, but I loved working on it every minute!

  7. April 22, 2009 19:26

    (Kit from LJ/ urban_quilter)

    I love the story of this quilt, as well as all the work and dedication you put into making it! Amazing!

    • April 23, 2009 18:26

      Thank you! It feels like a piece of history to me now and I love just having it around.

  8. April 23, 2009 00:09

    I don’t read HP, but I love your quilt!

    • April 23, 2009 18:27

      Thank you! I get a lot of raised eyebrows from non-HP readers, so I loved hearing from you!

  9. April 23, 2009 10:53

    What an amazing quilt! You put me to shame! (In a good inspiring way)

    • April 23, 2009 18:28

      Ah, well, thanks! I’m glad you like it, but your stuff is super cute, too! (love the flowers, btw!)

  10. April 23, 2009 15:20

    I like the Harry Potter books too, and it has been interesting studying your quilt an try to recognize the different blocks. You did a great job here, and best of luck with your book.

    • April 23, 2009 18:29

      That’s really my favorite part of the quilt is having other HP fans look at it and how much fun they have picking out things they recognize. This quilt really has made a lot of friends for me!

  11. April 24, 2009 11:55

    Cool quilt!! Thanks for sharing :)

  12. Penny G permalink
    April 25, 2009 10:18

    what an impressive collection of interesting Harry Potter blocks. Great quilt

  13. May 25, 2011 10:16

    Congratulations for getting on Craft. I saw it there this morning. May 25, 2011.

    • May 25, 2011 10:41

      Thanks! It’s exciting to see my quilt pop up there after all this time!

  14. May 28, 2011 11:44

    This is a gorgeous quilt! It makes me wish I knew how to quilt. Thank you for sharing. I am here by way of Anglotopia.

    • May 29, 2011 07:42

      Thanks! Learning to quilt had been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. It’s totally worth learning!


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