Welcome to my 'other blog' the one that explores my crafty side. I have been a maker of 'things' since childhood. By nature I'm creative. I still love to write, and you can click on this link to visit my blog: Hanging On My Word, which is where I indulge in the thought and word side. Although a teacher by profession, I don't offer tutorials. This is my showcase of projects I like to share. So pull aside the curtains and let's begin (I'm a bit theatrical too!).

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

It's a Hoot!

This is my version of the patchwork owl cushion which featured in the January edition of Sew magazine, issue 43. I've never mastered patchwork but the pattern appealed to me. The owl is '3D'; he's lightly stuffed before being sewn onto the square of fabric at the centre of the cushion. I won't pretend I found this project easy, but it was satisfying. I didn't enjoy making the zig-zag 'feathers' and would probably adapt the pattern, making them larger and easier to turn; all those points to poke out with a knitting needle!

I had fun choosing the range of colours as I had a home in mind for it. Some of it I didn't get right as I thought I'd got the little Dutch children the same way up as Mr Owl - never mind. I measured those squares so carefully, but still found myself doing more 'easing' than I probably should have - so don't look too closely. As you can see from the magazine article, the owls can be made separately as soft toys or decorations. They can also be sized up using a photocopier, so you could make a whole family of them.



Corinne Bradd's design uses diamante buttons for the eyes but I sorted through my stash and found plainer ones, which I preferred. I also thought blanket stitch around each eye and a little stem stitch to accentuated the natural lines in the fabric I chose.














I decided not to uses double running stitches across each row of feathers, and just neatly machine stitched them in place instead.


He was finished just as an old friend came to stay, and it was only as I was showing him off that we realised that I seem to have used some vintage fabric that had a special meaning for us both. Unless I'm mistaken, that dusky pink with cream flowers is Laura Ashley from 1978, the year I was a 'bridesmaid' (although I was aleady married, so I was a 'matron' strictly speaking) for my friend. Both her attendants made their own dresses from the fabric, to a style of their own choosing. In those days you got as much wear as you could out of the clothes you made. Mine proved very useful too over the coming year, as the style hid my bump. My son was born nine months later. My friend had been my bridesmaid in 1975 and we wondered if she had any of her own fabric from that dress left over. The other bridesmaid was also my bridesmaid, and again the fabric was Laura Ashley. I hope she finds some for the next owl!




























Linking this post with Lakota's Ta-dah! Tuesday on Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping.

11 comments:

  1. That is the freakiest thing ever because I was also a bridesmaid in the same fabric at the same time! I'd have been eight in 78. I'll have to see if I can find photos when I go to my dads at half term. Obviously making your own dresses from Laura Ashley fabric was the done thing that year!
    I love your owl, he's very retro looking! x

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  2. Love the owl! Well done. I can remember that dress fabric too!

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  3. What a gorgeous cushion! And I can really appreciate all the work involved. I've been making quite a few toy owls using vintage sheets and bedspreads picked up in charity shops - they're also quite retro looking, but not as detailed as yours. If you'd like to see them, they're in the craft category of my blog. I like the way you've done the eyes - I think mine are a little too plain. Lovely story about the Laura Ashley patches - makes it even more special x

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  4. What a wonderful piece of artistic talent, Well done. It always amazes me how much time & effort goes into pieces like this. Thanks for sharing your work with us! Love the Photo's..X

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  5. We used to have some wallpaper like that, but it suits you much better than our staircase wall.

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  6. Hello, Maid Marilyn! Love that look; it is reminiscent of my graduation dress in 1980.

    I also love the owl cushion, but know that I would never have the patience for such detailed work, so I commend you!

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  7. By the way, who was the handsome fellow with the mustache? By Jove! He did fill out that uniform rather well, what?

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  8. This turned out so wonderful! I have little quilt squares from my Grandma, maybe I will give this a try sometime. Thanks for showing us all the details!

    Kathy M.

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  9. Oh I love this, the story and the owl. You've done a great job, I love the eye detail and the little stitched nostrils on the beak.
    x

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  10. Very beautiful and creative work. I enjoyed the photos of you dressed in the same fabric in the wedding. You're so talented.

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  11. Marilyn, the owl cushion is lovely; lots of work but handmade is so very special and cherished. I am sure your grandchildren will love it too. it was a time when we made our own dresses etc. I must say it was mainly my mother who did the sewing but I always loved to go and choose the material for a new dress. I learned and later did a lot of sewing and knitting for my three girls. I also did a lot of embroidery but never patchwork, I always thought it was so complicated. You looked a lovely bride's maid/matron of honour.

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