The final stitches were completed in the wee hours last nightjust in time for the baby shower today!
I'm thrilled with how it came together! And it looks just like the EQ design I did. I'll admit, as I was cutting out all of the fabric, I was kicking myself because all of those center diamonds were on the bias. And I had all those half-square triangles on the bias too. Eeep. Fortunately, I tried to be extra careful in handling them, and everything went together without a hitch.
I did free-motion quilting in each of the diamonds and through all of the sashing. I'm pleased with the result. But I realized on Saturday evening when I finally sat down to quilt that I didn't have enough thread to do everything as originally planned. I ended up using three different colors to make it work, and had to skip out on quilting the outside borders. Fortunately, they're pretty narrow (3.5" finished), so it should be fine.
I used a flannel back. It's the first time I've tried that on a quilt. I really like the result as it is very soft and snuggly, and shows off the quilting quite nicely. But I didn't account for the extra thickness when I sewed on the binding. It worked out, but it is stuffed tighter than I'd like. Now I know that in the future, I need to move my needle position over a little so that it will fold over easier.
The mama-to-be and her son are my zoo buddies, thus inspiring the quilt's name. We actually made a trip to the zoo yesterday and she mentioned that she has recently been fascinated by owls. Coincidentally, there is an owl motif in the fabric. So I went ahead and brought that into the label. Ah, serendipity!
And best of all, she loves the quilt! She actually had some tears in her eyes as she unfolded it and looked at it. I'm a very happy and proud quilter right now.