Owl and Pussycat Applique Quilt

Owl and pussycat applique quilt

Owl and pussycat applique quilt

The owl and pussycat applique quilt is obviously named with the Edward Lear poem in mind:

The owl and the pussycat went to sea

In a beautiful peagreen boat

They took some honey and plenty of money

Wrapped up in a five pound note

I had originally been fascinated by the clear, simple lines of the owl sculptures placed all round Birmingham, but then I began to hear ‘the owl and the pussycat’ in my mind and so I added some cats to the quilt – and then I couldn’t resist using green boat fabric for the border.

I’ve used five owl blocks made in bright coloured fabrics, two cat blocks showing the backs of the cats and two different cat blocks showing the fronts of the cats.  I drew the owls myself in EQ7 – it’s the first time that I have used the free drawing part of it – but I have used EQ7 images for the two cat blocks.  I tried really hard to put the three templates together in one document, but the technology defeated me, so there are three links for the templates:  back cat, front cat and owl.  In the owl template there is a small V in the middle of his forehead – ignore this and just carry the curve straight across his head.

The owl and pussycat applique quilt measures 35″ wide by 44″ long.  I have made nine blocks using 9.1/2″ by 12.1/2″ rectangles of light coloured fabric for the background.  I cut the applique shapes from nine rectangles 8.1/2″ by 11.1/2″.  I’ve used 1.1/4 yards of background fabric, 1/2 yard of the border fabric and sundry scraps for the applique shapes.  You’ll also need some fusible both sides interfacing to help your owls and pussycats to lie flat on the background rectangles.

Cut the shapes in fabric

Cut the shapes in fabric

Making the applique blocks

Press rectangles of interfacing to the backs of both the background rectangles and the applique rectangles to add some body to the fabrics.  I’ve used Mistyfuse because that’s a nice thin interfacing that doesn’t add too much bulk to the blocks, but everyone has their own favourite interfacing.  The important thing is that it’s fusible on both sides for the applique fabrics.

Print the templates, cut round the outlines of the shapes and then draw them on to card.  This makes it easier to draw the shapes on to the fabric.

Make mirror images of the cats

Make mirror images of the cats

You’ll need two cats from each template, but you can make them mirror images of each other by flipping the template when you draw it on the second fabric rectangle – you can see what I mean in the photo, where the tail is on the right in one block and on the left in the other block.

You need five owls – they have no tails so are much easier to cut and to sew!

Cut out the nine applique shapes and press one on to each background rectangle.  You’ll find a Goddess sheet or some kind of protection will help to stop your ironing board getting covered with interfacing.

Satin stitch the outlines

Satin stitch the outlines

Sewing the applique blocks

I’ve used a loose satin stitch to go round the outlines of the shapes.  On my sewing machine, the settings were 3.5 for stitch width and 0.5 for stitch length.  I used the same blue thread for all of the outlines:  in the photo the left hand cat hasn’t yet been sewn, but the right hand one has.

Finished owl applique block

Finished owl applique block

For the owls I then satin stitched across the neckline and down the sides for the wings.

For the claws I used the same satin stitch to make three lines on each side of the base of the owl.  I’m not sure how effective these are, but I’m sure you’ll think of a better way to depict the claws.

Then I just needed to add large yellow circles and small black circles for the eyes, with a shape for the beak.  I drew round an egg cup for the yellow circles and a coin for the black circles.

Front view cat block

Front view cat block

I added nothing extra to the back views of the cats (the blue blocks), but for the front view cats I cut out two pink shapes for the ears, a small black triangle for the nose and black and yellow circles for the eyes.  These are all just fused in place at the moment with Mistyfuse, although I will sew them in place eventually.

I used a darker thread to outline the front legs and the neckline with satin stitch and for the mouth I just embroidered two curved lines from the nose.

Owl and pussycat quilt row one

Owl and pussycat quilt row one

The rows of  the owl and pussycat applique quilt

The blocks are sewn together in three rows of three.  For row one you’ll need two owl blocks placed either side of a front cat block.

Rows 2 and 3

Rows 2 and 3

For row two you need a back cat on either side of an owl, while for the third row you need an owl on either side of the remaining front cat applique block.

Sew the blocks together across the rows and then sew the rows to each other.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

For the border I have used 4.1/2″ strips of a green boat fabric (the pea green boat of the poem).  You’ll need two lengths of 27.1/2″ for the top and bottom and two lengths of 44″ for the sides.

That completes the owl and pussycat applique quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my version of owls and pussycats – I certainly enjoyed making this quilt but I know that this is very different from the usual quilts that I show you.

Here’s the video:

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  1. Margaret-Dorothy says:

    Luv it – Thanks for the templates! 🙂

  2. Thank you rose . I like it

  3. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Love the quilt. You out did yourself. I love the colours and thought of the poem before I read it in your notes. Will wait awhile beforew IU tackle this one. Enjoy your weekend. Haoppy quilting.

  4. Hi Rose I think it’s the best- just great pattern for our Linus Quilts. Thank you. Have a great weekend ?

  5. Beautiful and sweet! It is lovely.

  6. Rose, This is such a happy quilt. Lovely as a gift for a child.
    Applique is something I haven’t tried but will eventually.
    Thanks Rose. Have you got all your unpacking done?

    • Thanks, Mary. I thoroughly enjoyed making it – the beauty of applique is that it doesn’t matter if some pieces are bigger or smaller. No matching of seams!

  7. I love this quilt! I’m more of an appliqué quilter than a piecer. Thank you!

  8. It’s a nice quilt. I collect owls so, Im happy with this applique quilt that i’ll make in octobre when the weather will bi better in Spain.

    • Hi MaCarmen. That sounds like a great time to make the quilt. Isn’t it funny how we all seem to have such a soft spot for owls.

  9. Gwendy Burtz says:

    Thank you so much for all the time you give, in order to share your knowledge and ideas. I really appreciate you! Gwendy Burtz

  10. Rosalie Philbrick says:

    I love to go on your web site. It is so informative and you have so much to share. Thankyou!

  11. Thank you Rose. I so enjoy receiving patterns from you every Friday morning. I have never done applique. Again Rose, thank you, you Rock.

    • Thanks, Bev. Applique covers such a wide range of techniques that I’m sure you’ll find a method that you enjoy. My method is obviously the most simple!

  12. What a lovely idea! It seems Birmingham is having a great influence on your “muse” Rose!
    From the quilting results it seems that it was a good move. Best Wishes!

  13. Thank you so much Rose, for this lovely quilt. although I lean to traditional stuff, this seems simple enough for me to have a go at and practice my applique.

  14. I am going to have ago at the owl and cat as I’m going to be a great nan again. Thanks Rose

  15. That is so cute! Love the theme!

  16. Hi Rose,
    I am definitely going to make this quilt! I was hoping that you would make an applique quilt and here it is and I love it. I have already printed your instructions and will go through my stash to see if I have fabric that matches the fabric you chose. Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to get started.

    • Hi Claire. Glad you liked it – I knew you’d been waiting for an applique quilt. This is certainly a very easy one to make.

  17. maureen cloke says:

    really lovely quilt I love owls on my list now thank you

  18. I love it love it.
    love and hugs as usual Sheila xx

  19. Mary woolley says:

    Brilliant Rose ,I am always amazed that you make such interesting quilts ,and make them so we quilters understand the instructions easily a big thank you
    Welsh mary in yorks x

  20. Hi Rose, you surpassed yourself with this quilt. Just love it.

  21. Mary Reinhardt says:

    Rose, this quilt is so cute. I love owls and might just have to make one. Love all your patterns and tutorials. Thanks for another great idea.

    • Thanks, Mary. I’m glad this quilt pattern has been so well received. Of course you could also make it bigger if you wanted to.

  22. I love this quilt, Rose. I have just finished one of Lynnette Anderson’s patterns which had lots of hand appliqué of trees, dogs, hearts and paws and it turned out really well. I might make this for my little granddaughter in America. Thank you

  23. Georgann Smith says:

    This is darling! I think I will make it for my youngest granddaughter. I’ll find her a copy of the poem, too thank you.

  24. Monica Powell says:

    This quilt is absolutely fabulous – thank you much Rose!! What a super gift for my grand daughter – you are so talented.

  25. Carol Smith says:

    Love this Rose you are so clever. Wish I had a reason for doing this quilt. Maybe I will do the panel as a picture as a gift instead of a birthday card, or Christmas card, I will think on that one. Thanks again, so glad you have settled into your new home

  26. Beautiful, you must have had a lot of pleasure making this?

    • Hi Margaret. Yes, you’re right – it was so easy and so much fun making the blocks and of course it took no time to put together once the applique was finished.