Monday, May 14, 2018

Last Leg of My Migration

Mid-May in central Maine
is a lovely time and place to be,

especially if you don't mind bugs.
After all, bugs mean birds!

But I draw the line at ticks, I'm afraid,
and I loathe to leave the deck
because this is
"The Year of the Tick".

Earlier in the winter,
I mentioned making Owlivia pillows from my scraps

to donate to the local police department
for them to have on hand when a call involves a child.
They are just the right size,
smaller than an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper,
to not be cumbersome for tucking in the cruiser,
but large enough to cuddle and bring comfort.

I went through all of my larger scraps,
cut them to whatever size I could get out of them,
then Crafty Daughter sorted through them, matched them up, 
and did the non-sewing steps to make these.

A few of you reached out to me
when trying to make some,
so I thought I would share my addendums
to Sandy Gervais' great tutorial.

Most of the difficulties were with the eyes,
so this is where I will begin.
Sandy used a circular pattern that was printed 
on the fabric to construct her owl eyes,
but that is not always possible,
so I figured out how to use yo-yo's instead.
I think they add nice dimension to that
cute little face!

After a little trial and error, I settled on a 3-3/8" circle
 cutting it out just beyond the traced line,
hmmm, maybe 1/8".
I stitch just kissing the outside of the line along the raw edge,
then pull tight.

 I use a 1.25" circle and a 5/8" button as templates
to cut the whites and the pupils from felt for the eyes,
stitching first the pupil onto the white,
then the white onto the yo-yo.

Sandy uses buttons for the pupils,
and a dolls head needle to attach the completed eye 
clear through to the back of the owl's head.
I did my first several owl pillows like that, too,
but for this batch I nixed the buttons 
because I didn't want any small children 
to choke on them, and I used a hot glue gun
to adhere the completed eyes.
Two other little things I do to make them easier for me 
are pictured below.
I use tracing paper for my pattern
(you sew on the lines, then tear the paper away).

And I leave at least a half inch for turning under
and stitching up.

I get so frustrated trying to accurately turn under
a quarter inch.
I avoid it whenever possible!

This is not meant to replace Sandy's tutorial,
just to augment it,
so be sure to begin here
if  you would like to make one.

If gifting them, I will couple them with either 
the book Owl Moon by Jane Yolen,
or the chapter book Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat, 
depending on the age of the child..

I hope this helps anyone who would like to make 
something different for gift time!
Or perhaps some of you would like to do something different
for your community project.
It doesn't matter if your fabric is ugly,
because when they are completed,
they are all adorable!

Enjoy your week!
Cape Breton,
here I come!



Sandra :) said...

It looks like you used a pom pom for the pupil - I've added them on little bunny bags for bunny tails, but now I think they would be awesome as pupils as well :D When I'm doing any kind of stuffy for little ones I don't use buttons either - I zigzag applique the pieces down. I've never done that technique of stitching an eye down all the way through the head - I don't know how you would tie off the thread, but I think it would look pretty awesome! I'll have to try it some day - I'm pretty sure I have a needle that was designed for it :D Your parliament of owls is quite adorable :)

Judy said...

What a lovely photo of Maine-I've never been there but it's on my list to visit for sure. Ticks, yikes, don't blame you there. Those owls are a hoot! Oh, sorry, that was bad, I couldn't help it. What a great idea to make those to give as a comfort to kids.

Happy sewing,

kiwikid said...

Your first photo is beautiful..not so keen on the bugs, they need to stay away from me!! I am with you on the ticks...ewwwww!! Your owls are gorgeous, great idea of yours for the eyes. Your owls will bring comfort to many children, well done you. Safe travels for the rest of your journey.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I hate ticks too - I treat the yard, I spray myself and still a tick here or there - the bites last forever when you are unlucky enough to have one stick to you!

Kate @ Smiles From Kate said...

There’s a lot of tics in the UK too, my son has had one on his hand down south and one of my dogs on her neck, nasty things, some carry Lymes disease. Stay well clear Karen. Lovely owls, and they will be so apprec. A great addition to the original tutorial.

Sondra said...

Ticks are so awful..yet to figure why they are on the planet. OWL MY GOODNESS-- the cutest and such a worthy donation to Police force...I know it will help in so many ways. You are a Jewel. Maine must be so gorgeous this time of year. Safe Harbor to you.

Fiona said...

the owls are such a lovely idea..... especially where they go to live

hetty said...

Those owls are adorable!

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

These are too cute. Continue to have a safe journey home.

Lin said...

Tick season here too - I have had two already! Unavoidable with all the gardening we do at this time of year.
I love your yoyo additions to the owls, they are cute. xx

Dog-Walker said...

Karen, that is the most unique and generous project that I ever heard in my life. That's really creative and nice of you to make something like that. You have such great sewing skills! :)

Lesley said...

The owls are adorable! The fabrics you used are so perfect. Safe travels back to Cape Breton!

Karen said...

The owls are adorable, and I love how you did the eyes.
Ticks are here, too... :(

Christine B said...

Love your owls Karen.... not too keen on ticks though! LOL! Hugs Christine x

Linda said...

Hi Karen...have you considered getting a few guineas for your yard? They are reported to being GREAT tick eaters. Increase the predator balance! We have a flock of chickens and though they don’t have the run of the whole yard, we have fewer bugs (our outdoor cat has not had fleas for a couple years and I no longer get chiggar bites) the eggs are pretty darn amazing. Just a thought!

Needled Mom said...

Those are super cute and they are such a wonderful gift in a crisis situation.

Janice Holton said...

You're always doing such thoughtful things for others. One day I hope to be able to do that too as soon as I get every family member checked off my list! :D

Bernie Kringel said...

Karen, the owls are adorable and I like the books you suggest pairing them with for gifts. Great choices!
Enjoy your time up north! Stay clear of tics. We have them on our property and they are just disgusting.

Dar said...

Ticks are one of my greatest fears of the outdoors and I love to be working outside in my yard an gardens whenever possible. Such a cute little owl for gifting. I collect all kinds of owls - jewelry, glass, wood carvings, trinkets of all kinds, so I guess these will be on my list to try. Thanks so much for the tips to the tutorial. So cute!!!

Sheila said...

Oh Karen, your owls are simply adorable , what a wonderful idea to give to children at times of need . They would put a smile on their little faces . You are So very kind ! Yeah You will soon be home , so looking forward to seeing you . ❤

Anonymous said...

That is a lovely parliament of owls! I like the idea of your eyes - giving texture to them, too. It makes them look quite wise! Isn't it funny how different insects rise each year? I've had carpenter bees, then carpenter ants, and this year it's those darned little tiny gnats which bite and itch for days! I've also had wasps finding their way in somewhere. I have to find out where!

Louise said...

Your owls are so cute! I love the photo of the big group of them together. And I love the idea of them always being available to comfort a child. Good work for a good cause :)

Raewyn said...

'Your' spot in Maine does look lovely but I am intrigued by Ticks that actually keep you hostage on the deck!! We have them here but generally they just turn up on the stock and occasionally on the wee dog. Yuck! On a brighter note, I love the owls (you and your daughter make a good team), such a wonderful cause and so happy and cheering... I like your adaptation of the eyes, especially when you don't know what age children will end up with them. Safe travels!

Createology said...

Karen Dear you are such a generous caring soul and these Owls are Owldorable! Such a comfort for a child in distress. Your tips are excellent. I have not been to Maine...yet. NO ticks! Please stay safe from all bugs so the birds can be happy. Blessings...<3

Allie-oops Designs said...

Yep I hate ticks - our grass in the back is very wet and long, we've had so much rain we haven't been able to mow, so I don't go back there at all! And of course with so many deer I know the yard is full of ticks. Ack.
Your owls are just darling! What a great project!!

FlourishingPalms said...

Such generosity in taking the time to make all these owls... but definitely more fun sharing the task with another sewist. Good for you! I did buy the book, "Owl Moon," to read to my grandsons. I'm getting good at sounding like an owl! Sorry to know you have ticks to deal with. Well, if it makes you feel any better we're in "love bug season," and that's just disgusting. Thanks for sharing the tutorial enhancements. You're SO good!

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Love your bird. I read the other day the possums eat ticks. It would be a tossup of which to have...possums love to hiss at me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen gorgeous owls they will be well loved,safe travels my friend,love the pics xx

Preeti said...

Love birds. Hate bugs. And ticks are very scary. Hope all bugs stay away from you. The owls are indeed adorable!!!

Abby and Stephanie said...

The yo yo eyes is such a great idea but what made the lightbulb go on for me is the turning under part. OMG thank you. :o) That is so handy and eliminates any hand sewing to secure the turned under part "just in case."

Cheryl said...

Very cute owls, I really like the layers you use for the eyes.

Binsa said...

Hello Karen, enjoyed catching up with your post, love the owls

Ann said...

The owls are a thoughtful gift for children in scary situations. Good for you. Love the idea of pairing them with books. Thanks for the tips, too.

Sandi said...

You've had a busy time with your owls. Enjoy your time up in Cape Breton. Can't wait to see what challenges you all get up to!

Frédérique said...

Cute owl cushions, I love them, and I'm sure they will be appreciate by kids too.