Monday, 1 February 2016

It's a Hoot

Have you seen Sue Spargo's Chicks? Absolutely adorable. This is a link to beadlust blog where Robin has some lovely pics. I love all the embroidery. "Maybe I could have a go at something like that?".and so the idea for my owls was born.

Measures approx 20" wide x 22" high

Being me I had to use up some of my scraps and my son's old trousers for the black background fabric - I was far too keen to get going, I couldn't possibly have waited to go to the shops anyway!

I appliqued each owl (approx 5" high) on to it's own rectangle of fabric (approx 6½" x 7"). I did needle turned hand applique, 

  • Trace design onto back of backing fabric using a light box or window if necessary.
  • Place appliqué fabric on right side of backing fabric and pin (hold up to the light to see if your design is covered).
  • Tack into position from the back along traced lines using a medium sized needle and small stitches.
  • Trim appliqué fabric to about ⅛” from tacking.
  • From the front undo a few tacking stitches and sew appliqué into position turning under a small hem with your needle as you go. Use thread that matches your appliqué fabric and a small needle.


but could equally well of used freezer paper applique, and I think they'd look good in raw edge applique with or without fusible web. I embroidered them fairly randomly, whatever took my fancy, using very basic stitches. When I had enough of them completely finished I trimmed the rectangles to 5¾" x 6½" and joined them together. I couched a wiggly line of wool between them - don't ask me why - it just seemed the right thing to do. I then randomly sewed some tiny simple stars. I finished them off with a pale cream inset folded strip, narrow black border, multicoloured border and finally black binding.

This is how I made the multicoloured border:

I cut strips of fabric as long as 4 times the width that I wanted the border, adding on 2" for all the seam allowances and another 1" just to be safe ( for a 1" border I would cut the strips 4" + 2" + 1" = 7"). They are just roughly all the same width. I laid them out until they looked OK.

I sewed them together and pressed all the seams in the same direction.

Then cut them into the desired width - not forgetting the seam allowance on each side.

I've named each owl and, rather lacking in inspiration, have used the same names as the storms that have hit the UK this winter. So we have:

Abigail, Barney and Clodagh

Desmond, Eva and Frank

Gertrude, Henry and Imogen

The pale "eye feathers" are appliqued on last except for Henry making him look rather cross!. All the eyeballs are old buttons.

This is a link to the owl drawings the actual size that I did them, showing the order of the applique, but it would have been a good idea to give them some feet/claws/talons first - I so wish I had!

I have really enjoyed making this wall hanging, in fact it's been a hoot! - Anita x


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