Scrappy Owl Ornaments & Pillow
- Fabric scraps: 5”x6” (ornament); 10”x12” (pillow)
- Selvage strips, 1”
- Buttons (eyes) or scraps of leather, felt, etc.
- Sewing machine and matching thread
- Sewing needle
- Straight pins
- Iron and pressing board
- 1. Print out pattern. Cut owl pieces from fabric and selvage/scrap strips.
- 2. With right sides of fabric facing, sew wings feet and nose pieces, using 1/4” seam allowance. Turn pieces right side out. Top stitch wings (and feet if desired). Set aside.
- 3. Mark center of front and back piece of owl body by folding them in half top to bottom. Lay first strips of fabric on center mark of front of owl and straight stitch across. Before lifting presser foot, continue with same strip of fabric on center back of owl body. This provides a continuous fabric strip “feather” effect on front and back of owl. This is also known as “chain piecing”.
- 4. Fold first strip over towards top of owl and lay next strip down, partially overlapping folded-over first strip. Sew down center of strip first on front of body then on back of body. This stitching line should be approximately 1/4” away from stitching line of first strip. Sew strips right side facing up or down as desired.
- 5. Continue this process until there is only 1/2” remaining at bottom of owl body. The strips will cover the entire bottom half of owl. The end is left uncovered for closing after stuffing. When “chain piecing” is complete, front and back body pieces of owl will still be continued. Keep them connected until completing Step 14.
- 6. Press two seam corners of owl’s nose together for a beak-like appearance. Gather and tuck sides in and sew this to center front piece directly above top of strips.
- 7. Pull nose down and hand sew nose to keep it tacked down.
- 8. Hand sew eyes to owl as shown. (Note: Do not use buttons or other choking hazards if giving to a small child. Fabric eyes are best for children aged three and under.)
- 9. Sew feet to bottom of front piece, raw edge to raw edge, in center of body, leaving a small space between feet.
- 10. For ornament, complete Steps 10-18; for pillow, complete Steps 11-18. Take a 1-3/4”-wide, 8”-long fabric strip, make a strip of binding and top stitch it closed. This is easier than sewing it wrong side out and turning it. For binding, fold strip in half lengthwise and press. Open strip and fold sides inward, so edges meet in center. Fold it in half and top stitch edge closed. Temporarily pin in place on front body piece, in center, raw edge to raw edge.
- 11. Lay wings just above first strip of fabric and pin in place, raw edges together.
- 12. Fold all strips either upward or downward. Strips need to all go in one direction to prevent bunching.
- 13. Flip back piece of owl on top of front piece, making sure strips are as flat as possible. Pin front and back together, making sure ornament strap and wings are pinned securely.
- 14. Using 1/4” seam allowance, stitch owl body, starting at outside of one foot, going up and all the way around to outside of opposite foot. The opening at bottom should be directly in center and should measure approximately 2” wide for ornament and 3” to 4” for pillow.
- 15. Remove pins and trim any excess strip piece. Turn owl right side out without pulling forcefully on ornament strap.
- 16. Fill ornament/pillow with desired potpourri or fiberfill stuffing of choice. Tuck in bottom raw edge and top stitch entire length of bottom closed.
- 17. To ruffle feathers, use sharp tipped scissors to cut strips as close to seam as possible to loosen them from seam. Cut one strip at a time, cutting at approximately 1/2” intervals across each strip. (Note: On next strip, stagger first cut so it appears random and feathered.) Continue until all feathers are ruffled. Rub and scratch feathers to soften.
by Kerry Goulder