Owl Love

My sister showed me these West Elm owls a few weeks before Christmas. Her sorority mascot was an owl, so she has a small collection of owl trinkets. From those simple ceramic owls, I got an idea for an owl pillow. My original vision included a slightly stuffed applique owl in varying kona neutrals. I used the owl applique and embroidery designs from this quilt pattern (because let's face it, I can't draw!).
My first attempt at the owl was a big flop. I cut a piece of batting from my owl template and then cut a piece of kona slightly larger. I clipped the curves and pressed the raw edges of the kona around the batting, and then appliqued the piece with a narrow zig zag stitch. The zig zag edge didn't turn out well, and I didn't want to hand applique the piece before I knew if I'd like the outcome. So I turned to simple fusible applique without the batting. I also decided to cut all of the owl pieces from a light grey (kona ash). Layering the pieces and machine appliqueing them gave the owl just enough dimension, while the pillow was subtle enough to look nice on a couch.
To finish the pillow front, I free motion quilted in a scallop pattern that reminds me of owl belly feathers.

And since this pillow was a gift for my sister from Addy, I added hand embroidery to the back. I can't decide if I like the front or back more!

I included an invisible zipper (my new favorite finishing trick!), which makes for a really clean finish.
It's a good thing that I don't have the right place in my house for this pillow, because that would have made it a lot harder to give away!

Head over to Stitched in Color and check out the Bloggers Pillow Party where I'm entering this pillow!

Blogger's Pillow Party

Also, hop over here to enter the giveaway! It runs through Saturday, January 15.
Giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated!