Fall into a QAL: Block 12 Owl

Welcome to the last block in the Fall into a Quilt Along! Yep, all twelve blocks have now been released.

Catching up? Click here to learn where you can get your patterns.

The twelfth block in our quilt along was designed by Vanda @ Quilting with Vanda.

I’m a big bird watcher, but try as I might, I don’t think I’ve gotten a photo of an owl despite the fact that we have had owls living in our neighborhood off and on through the years. I love owls though, and really enjoyed reading the Guardians of Ga’Hoole with my daughter. Here are some random photos of birds I have taken.

Here’s my version of the block.

This block uses raw-edge fusible applique to create the owl. If you’ve never uses this technique before, don’t worry. As a quilt along host, I’m here to help!

My Fabric Pull for This Block

As usual, I had a few goals for this block. First, I wanted to use a light background for this block. I’ve been alternating lights and darks for my backgrounds and I needed one more light background block to round things out.

Second, if possible, I wanted to use the same “feather” fabric I’d used in my turkey block to simulate the feathers on my owl.

After pulling fabric for my block, I laid it out as it would be used so I could see how my final owl would look.

Finally, I checked my final fabric pull with the blocks I’ve already made so I could be sure that everything would look good together.

Block Tips

Here are my tips for making the block:

  • When you print out the applique templates from the pattern, make sure you print at 100% and do not scale the pattern to fit. Be sure to measure your printout to make sure it's right. Yep! The 1-inch square measures one inch!

  • Cut your background square larger than needed, just as instructed. I’ve found that applique often distorts your block just a bit, so working with a background that's large enough so you can square it up after you get the block appliqued is a good idea. I cut my background 13” square.

  • I use the Crafted Applique method for my fusible applique, which fuses the raw edges so your applique pieces don’t fray. It also replaces the fusible to some extent (I still edge-stitch my pieces so they’ll stay).

  • After printing the templates, I marked the edges of each piece that needed to fit under another piece. I then cut out each piece, cutting any marked edges a little bit bigger to give me more wiggle room for placing the pieces. The body piece I cut straight across so I’d have more room to place the eyes and beak.

  • When cutting out pieces, I use my Clover mini-clips. They act as an extra hand, holding the template in place while I cut. I move the clips along the edge of the template as I cut, to keep them in the best position to hold the fabric and template while also keeping them out of the way of the edge I’m cutting.

  • For the eyes, pupils, wings, and paws, I folded the fabric right sides together and cut two at a time rather than use two different templates for each eye, pupil, wing, or claw. Folding it this way creates to mirror-image pieces, perfect for the pupils and wings.

  • When I have an applique that's made up of several shapes (like this owl), I build the image on a Teflon pressing sheet. With the sheet, you can fuse each part in place without fusing the entire owl to anything. To create the owl, I started with the eyes, fusing first the eyeball then the iris in place. I placed the iris 1” from the inner edge.

Next, I placed the eye unit on the body, making sure that the space between the eyes was covered by the body piece and that there wasn’t a hole there. I didn’t fuse it entirely just yet, because I still needed to place the beak. Then I fused everything.

Next, I placed the wings, measuring from the edge of my square to the tip so they were even. I also measured 1-1/2” from the body to the outer edge of the wing so the same amount of wing showed.

Finally I inserted the forehead and fused it.

When I was done building the owl, I moved it to the background and fused it in place. Using this method allows you to center the owl on the background as a single unit. So much easier than guessing!

If you don't have a Teflon pressing sheet you can use parchment paper.

  • After fusing the owl to the background, stitch around the edges of each applique piece with matching thread. I typically use a straight stitch, although you could use a small zig-zag, blanket stitch, or satin stitch.

    For my block, I used Aurifil 40 wt. #2345 (Raisin), Sulky 40 wt #1035 (Dark Burgundy) and #1126 (Tan) , YLI 40 wt #022 (Cabernet), Invisifil 100 wt. #719 (Copper), and Cotton & Steel Sulky 50 wt. #753-1328 (Nickel Gray) to finish the edges of my applique.

  • After appliqueing the owl in place, I lightly pressed my block and then trimmed it to 12 1/2” square.

If you have any questions while making this block, feel free to post them here in the comments. Just be sure to enter an email address when prompted so I can get back to you quickly.

My Quilt So Far

Here are my twelve quilt blocks. I’m so happy with how my blocks turned out.

Where do i get the block pattern?

Drop by Vanda’s blog to download your free owl block pattern.

Visit the other hosts if you want to see their versions of this block and gather ideas for your owl. Here are the hosts:

Abbie at Sparkle On
April at JANDA Bend Quilts
Bobbi at Snowy Days Quilting
Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter
Karen at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats
Sherry at Powered by Quilting
Vanda at Quilting with Vanda

If you want to see the schedule for the quilt along and the list of block designers, click here.

How Do I Enter the Giveaway?

First, you must be 18 years old to enter. Then, to enter the Owl block giveaway simply make the block and post it in one of these three places before the deadline.

You have until Monday, October 29th at 11:59 pm EST to post your block for a chance to win this awesome prize package—a Seam-Fix Double Sided Seam Ripper and Heat Erase Marking Pens five pack from Dritz plus a PDF pattern of your choice from Vanda @ Quilting with Vanda.

Don’t leave me! I need ideas on how to put these blocks together!

No problem! Click here to see my quilt top and to get more ideas on how to set your blocks together.

After you complete your quilt top, I encourage you to post a photo of it in our special linky at the bottom of my settings post to enter our grand prize drawing. You can also post the photo to Instagram or to our Facebook group as usual, but we hope the linky will show all the photos of the finished quilts, so be sure to link up if you can.

Just look at what you could win!

  • An Island Batik Fat Eighth Bundle (24 piece) from the “Pumpkin Patch” fabric collection (shown on the left)

  • One Warm Company Queen Size batting

  • Exclusive Shabby Fabric quilt pattern, “Blessings of Spring” designed by Jennifer Bosworth. The patterns includes 9 blocks and finishes at 56” x 62”

  • An Omnigrid Zipper Pouch containing an Omnigrid 4” square ruler and a pair of 4” Needlecraft Scissors

  • A six-month subscription to the e-magazine Make Modern

To be eligible to win the grand prize, you must post a photo of your completed quilt top that includes all 12 blocks in the quilt along by 11:59 PM EST November 12th. Your top doesn't need to be quilted to enter for the grand prize, but it must include one of every block in the quilt along. Remember that you can post your quilt top photo to Instagram or to our Facebook group as usual although we hope you’ll use the special linky at the bottom of my settings post.

Follow me on social media or sign up for my newsletter if you’d to see how I quilt my quilt. You’ll find all the ways to follow me at the top of my sidebar. If you have any general questions about the quilt along, click the Fall into a QAL tab above.

you might also like

Tell me...do you bird watch?

 I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!