A Parliament member is “ a blowin’ in the wind” today, as the others wait inside where it is cosy and warm.
The Morepork or Ruru is New Zealand’s only surviving native owl. He is a watchful guardian, a bird of the night, and flies silently, with soft fringes on the edges of the wing feathers. His haunting melancholic call “ Morepork” is signified by the Maori name of “ Ruru” But more commonly, an owl is a symbol of knowledge and wisdom. A group of owls is called a “ Parliament”.
Here is an adult owl with a juvenile, photo courtesy of NZ Birds Online.
Today, Day 9, is the day I have my turn to show you something to brighten up a bag, a wall hanging, or even a placemat. The little owl with his knowledge can be anywhere.
Join in the fun and create your own owl .
Gather some supplies ………………
Start with a cup of good coffee, or a glass or two of wine, some chocolates or other yummy treats, and enjoy.Continue with……..
A4 paper, non stick baking paper, fusible webbing of your choice, lightweight iron on interfacing, and batting,( if you want it to be a little puffier) scissors, and fabric scraps or pieces, threads to match, and lots of time, hopefully with no interruptions.
Here is the template, save, then re-size if necessary, and print so the one inch test square is one inch in size. Please let me know in your comment if there is any problem downloading and printing, and I will email you the original document.
Then trace the pattern onto the paper side of the fusible web, with the glue side down. Most have paper on both sides , so be sure to trace on the paper side that has the glue underneath it . I had Steam a Seam, and Visoflex. and if you have a light box, this makes it easy, otherwise tape the pattern to a window and do it that way. The eyes do not need a large extra margin around them, just a tiny margin, but where parts overlap, leave extra so they fit, as they will get tucked in and ironed underneath the top piece . These will be where I have marked them with lines.
Remember to leave a good gap where the lines are when you trace the pieces.
Gather some scraps, the only piece of any size is # 11 for his body, 5” x 4” is ample. I used the same fabric for the wings on either side, and his eyes. Scraps are so good, and I save every tiny piece of every batik!!!
Decide on the fabrics for the eyes first, peel off the backing paper and iron onto the fabric, if you are using cotton,make sure it is the back of the fabric.And use the reversed pattern. I used batik, and didn’t worry about front or back.
Continue for the other pieces, audition them with the eye fabrics and see that they have a good contrast, if that is what you want, or a subtle difference if you would like a muted owl.
Here, I was deciding on fabrics for the pieces #14 and #5.
This shows the eye piece with the fusible already in place, and the paper backing getting peeled off.
This is getting better, bright blue and yellow, #14 and #5, the dark one was also discarded in favour of a deepish red for #11.
Place them in order, the wings on either side according to their number, Cut carefully around each piece, on the line, BUT remember to leave a wider part where there are a lot of lines, indicating it will get placed under another piece. it can always be trimmed later on.
Peel off the backing paper and press by hand only carefully onto the baking paper, following the lines. This is the temporary step. You can lift each piece to tuck another underneath, and these can easily be moved, to make sure the edges fit under. Fiddle lots, to make sure it looks OK.!!! I did!!! Some pieces will need trimming,maybe if you added too much extra where the lines are. I did.!!!
When all the pieces are in place, press carefully with an iron, ( press in one place, then in another, keeping the iron flat ) I used steam, read the instructions for your own fusible web to see if a dry iron is required. This will fuse the pieces together, but the whole owl will not adhere to the backing paper.This is the first step to having a finished owl, those pieces are now ironed and stuck together, but not to the paper.
Lift the owl off carefully and place onto the background fabric. You can see I used surgeon’s forceps, they grip quite nicely, and help make sure the pieces do not turn back and stick together!!! ( some doctors will donate these to quilters, after they have had day surgery, if the patient asks nicely. )!!!
You now have an OWL. Hooray!!!! Or maybe one more. These are ready for applique stitching.
This one is on fabric, the applique is done, but I have not echo quilted, and there is no batting behind him.
I audition several colours, for the background, bright green, pale lemon, pale blue, and found a plain fabric was better than a patterned one. Marble batik, plain cotton, or shaded cotton all work well. I ironed on some lightweight interfacing, onto the reverse of the background fabric, this gives a better finish for those applique stitches to sew onto, rather than 2 fine fabrics.
Find your owl ,place him on the background fabric, line him up to the centre, and press with the iron. Do not move the iron, hold in one place to set the sticky fusible webbing. This time it will be permanent.
The actual applique stitching can begin. I used an open toe foot, it makes it so much easier to see the edge. You can use a buttonhole stitch, as I did, or even do it all by hand.. My Bernina has them at #23, this is a slanted stitch, ( I used this ) or #45, a plain buttonhole ( I also used this one ) or #46, a double buttonhole.Or you could straight stitch, if that is what you prefer.
This owl has the slanted applique stitch .
This one has the straight buttonhole stitch. The width was 2.0 and the length was 1.6 on my Bernina QE 440. When I almost reached the pointed ends of ears and wings, I reduced the width slowly to zero, stopped at the very tip, then turned the owl around to continue up the other side, slowly increasing the width as needed until it was at 2.0 again.
I used Guterman Skala 200, a grey 100% polyester fine thread in the bobbin for everything , but did thread it though the bobbin finger, this seems to give a better tension.
The top threads, a huge variety, and again I auditioned them, pulling off a metre or so,and dropping it in a coil onto the fabric, this seemed to give me a good idea of which depth of shade to use. I had some King Tut, this gave a nice sheen, Madeira, Guterman cotton, Guterman Sulky, Mettler, Molnycke, and a Polyneon in deep blue( shiny and slippery). 34 in total, but these were used on 5 owls!! With a variety of blues, I did all the blues first, then the teals, then the purples, and so on, making more than one is a lot easier as it saves changing the top thread often.
I echo quilted around one owl, with some batting behind, to give it some puffiness, the others have fusible batting in a lighter weight at the back, and will be pockets on bags.
This one has a flange binding and triangles holders on the back, for a wall hanging. He is in very subdued colours.
this one was meant to fly away North, but I thought his eyes were too dark,He is saved for another bag. Here he is before the final applique stitching.
And here is the one that started my sewing this week, a little fellow that will be flying North, as a pocket on a pale blue bag.
He is appliqued onto pale blue, but it doesn’t show so well here. The bag is a secret, my friend knows, but her friend has no idea, so a surprise will be off to Utah next week. Purple is the favourite colour there, so I made sure some purple was included.
This one went to my very long time friend Jeanette for her 70th Birthday, she named him “ Hootie” . We know that 1940 was a VERY favourable year.!!! We became friends in 1954!!!
And this one went to Auckland, a bag for Felicity, daughter of a dear friend.
I hope you have enjoyed the stitching today, and I will wait to see how many owls will be in your parliament. He can be on a bag pocket, become a wall hanging,or a placemat, or a table runner, or become a block in a quilt.Endless possibilities for the little owl, with all his knowledge.
Joyce has chosen one, I gave her a”Gift Voucher” for her birthday yesterday, with the words “ This entitles the bearer to a member of parliament of her choice, colour and style”. Her one will be on the front of a cushion cover. He is undergoing some alterations, with the deep teal removed, and dusky pink borders all round instead, there will be batting, echo quilting, and a back with a zipper opening.All in good time!!!
I hope you have enjoyed the stroll through Parliament with company, and soon will have one of your own .
The other blogs to visit today are
Here you will meet Leanne. I have had a peep at her blog, and am waiting in huge anticipation to see what will be there today.
Make sure you hop in to meet Kathy, and see some thing neat.
Then pop back to Sarah HERE and scroll down to see her latest post.
Very soon a recess is planned , after the next 3 days of the hop. Some wonderful projects have been saved for stitching later on, I hope you have visited every blog, hopped onto the next one, and left a comment.Remember there will be giveaways at the end of this fabulous event, see Sarah’s blog for all the info!!!
Quotation of the day, author unknown
“ Start your day with determination,
and finish it with satisfaction”
Greetings from Jean.