My sister asked me for an owl applique. I love owls, so I had no problem saying yes. In real life, owls are predatory birds (I've seen one flying off with a snake) so as I was drawing these little owls I tried to keep some 'wild' characteristics. Like the sharp beak and claws. But my little gal and guy still turned out awfully cute anyway.
This free applique pattern comes in two sizes, one to make owls approximately 6'' tall (the ones I made), and also a larger 8 1/2'' size.
My favorite part about this applique is that the exact same pattern is used for both birds. You can see the heads and bodies are the same. For the green and blue owl, I covered 3/4 of the body with feather pieces for a side view and only used 3 claw pieces. For the pink and purple owl, I covered about 2/3 of the body with feather pieces (the sides, not the middle) and used 6 claw pieces.
Read on for more details about my 'owl towel' applique process.
For this applique design, I traced my pattern onto HeatnBond lite paper backed fusible web. For one owl, you'll trace each part of the design once, except for the claw and feather. Cut out 3 claw pieces and 7 (or more) feather pieces for the side view owl. Cut out 6 claw pieces and 10 (or more) feather pieces for the front view owl. Use lots of colorful scraps!
I tried a new product for this project and it worked awesome! Thermoweb sent me some Pressing Paper. It is silicone coated paper (I think) and the best part is that I can stack up my applique pieces and fuse them together on top of the paper without worrying about the applique sticking to my ironing board.
So I built the owl head first and then set it aside. (btw, that guy's beak is upside down for a few pictures.)
Then I built the little body and wing with lots of feathers and gently pressed that half of the owl together.
Finally I arranged both owl halves on my project (a hand towel), with the little claws underneath at the bottom, and pressed them to the towel.
If you are making the 'front view' owl, build the head just like the 'side view' owl. Then put the body together, making two wings with the feathers instead of one. Keep in mind that the head will be placed over the top wing pieces.
When you arrange either owl on your project, tweezers can be helpful for the tiny claw pieces.
Sew the applique pieces to your project using your favorite method. I love straight stitching around my pieces with a neutral thread. That's it!
As I was photographing our new 'owl towels' my 7 year old son Connor thought it would be fun to add some real wildlife to the picture. If that owl were real, the frog would be dinner. :)
Have you seen the other patterns in our SewCanShe Applique of the Month series? They are all in my Craftsy shop. Some of my favorites are linked below.