**Owl block**Fabric, scrapsPaper, copy, 80g Wadding, quiltThread, embroidery**Owl cushion**Fabric, cotton: Makower,Henna range, MagentaWavy Stripe; MagentaZigzag; Orange and TealSpot; Burnt Orange Pop;Magenta Flower; TealMedallion; plain, white; yellowFibre filling
**Owl block**25cm x 26cm**Owl cushion**35cm square
Make your owl block
Download and print the block template, then trace it onto copy paper. Number each section according to the template, then cut them out. Decide on the fabric colours you want to use in your block – keep the background area one colour for maximum impact. Press the fabrics and place them face down.
Pin the pieces of paper to the wrong side of your chosen fabrics and cut the pieces out with a 5mm seam allowance all round. [Fig.1] Fold the sides of each piece of fabric over the paper, then tack in place with contrasting thread to make it easy to see. Fold the corners neatly [Fig.2] – do not worry about excess fabric appearing at acute angles, as this will not be seen when the pieces are sewn together.
Assemble the pieces in numerical order, right sides together. Pin them together before oversewing with small stitches on the wrong side. [Fig.3] For the owl you will need to sew the following pieces into sections: one, two, three, four and five; then six, seven, eight and nine; stitch those two segments together, then add 10 to the bottom; stitch 11, 12 and 13; then 14, 15, 16 and 17; sew those two pieces together before stitching to the top of pieces one to 10; sew 18, 19 and 20; then 21, 22 and 23; then sew these to either side of pieces one to 17.
Remove the tacking stitches and paper pieces, then press the seams to one side. Press the finished picture, then fold and press a 5mm hem along the edges of the block before adding borders as desired. Add detail such as applique eyes and buttons before layering the block onto wadding and backing fabric. Quilt around the design.
Stitch an owl cushion
Enlarge the block template on a photocopier to measure 21cm square and cut into numbered pieces. Cover each piece of paper with fabric as described, ensuring the background areas are all the same colour. Choose a suitable fabric such as a flower print for the head pieces of the owl and position them so a single flower becomes each eye.
Assemble the patchwork pieces, then remove all tacking and paper before pressing. Fold under 5mm on all sides of the block and press. Cut four 4cm x 25cm strips of bright fabric. Fold under 5mm on one long side of each piece, place right sides together against the border of the block, then oversew on the wrong side. Add a second border of plain fabric in the same way if desired to increase the size of your cushion. Press and measure the finished size.
Cut wadding to this size to back the block. Pin in place before hand quilting ‘in the ditch’ of the seams with small running stitch. Cut a piece of plain cotton the same size as the quilt top and stitch, right sides together, 5mm in from the edges, leaving a 10cm gap for turning out. Turn right sides out and stuff evenly with fibre filling. Fold in the raw edges of the gap and slip stitch closed.