The Give a Hoot Quilt

I had a post all organised for today – however I have been sidetracked by Christmas (and a hubby who got his hand caught in one of our ceiling fans). So instead I wanted to show you one of my favourite quilts/techniques. The easiest applique you will ever complete.

Give A Hoot Quilt


Finished size of quilt 45 ½ x 53
Mixing mediums is the order of the day for this fantastically quick quilt. It will be treasured for life, and looks stunning.

  • 1.2m pre-quilted fabric (I have used a natural colour, but the quilt would also work in white)
  • 5 Give A Hoot Owl Designs from the Just Add Love collections by Julie Hall Designs, or the Give a Hoot machine embroidery design set from Julie Hall Designs, or 5 12×12″ blocks of white 100% cotton fabric, as well as multi coloured fabric scraps for owl embroidery.
  • JoSonja Textile Medium
  • JoSonja brown paint – I have used brown earth and umber
  • Paint brush (I used a ½” wide brush)
  • 65cm fabric for border
  • 48x60cm fabric for backing
  • 48x60cm wadding
  • invisible sewing thread
  • lead pencil
  • general sewing requirements, such as sewing machine, scissors, small sharp scissors
  1. Instructions:-
    Cut your pre-quilted fabric to 48×40”
  2. If you are using your embroidery machine to create your owls, load up your machine with the embroidery designs, and use the colour guide to stitch out 5 different owls.
  3. Using a lead pencil, sketch in a drawing of your tree – leave a 2” border around the edges of the fabric. You can use the tree I have painted as inspiration, or design your own.
  4. Working to the instructions on the bottle, mix the textile medium with the brown paint.
  5. Paint your tree in using the outlines as a guide.
  6. Whilst the paint is drying on your tree, take the 5 pre-embroidered blocks, and using a small, sharp pair of scissor, trim closely around each of the blocks.
  7. Once the paint on your tree is completely dry, arrange the owls in the trees to suit. Once you are happy with the layout, pin each of the owls in place.
  8. Load your sewing machine with the invisible thread on top, and normal sewing thread in the bobbin. Set the sewing machine on a zig zag stitch, approximately 3mm wide and 2.5mm long.
  9. Carefully stitch around the edge of each of owl.
  10. Once the owls have been placed, cut the border fabric into 5 x 4” strips, and add to the sides, and then top and bottom.
  11. Take the wadding and backing, and sandwich together to form the quilt. Bind to complete.

I hope you enjoy this project, and please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding this project.



Tips & Techniques – Bobbins

Bobbins, and Bobbin fill, is quite possibly the most important thing to get right in your machine embroidery. Use the wrong bobbin, or the wrong bobbin fill, and your embroidery is going to clump up on the bottom, or show through on the top. I always suggest checking with the manufacturer of your machine for their suggestion on which bobbin fill will work best for your machine, and from there, you can begin experimenting.

I have had great success with pre-wound bobbins in most of my machines, however I use a different brand for the top loading machine, to the bobbin I use in the 10 needle bottom loading machine. Pre-wound bobbins come in different sizes, as well as different types of sides (plastic, paper, or side less). I recommend purchasing a small number of bobbins to begin with, to ensure they work in your machine, and once you have the best bobbin for you – you can look at purchasing in bulk.

The other option is to fill your own bobbins, and here are some suggestions for filling bobbins.

  1. Once you find a bobbin fill that works, attempt to purchase a large spool (most manufacturers will have a 10,000m spool option)
  2. Fill multiple bobbins at once.  I keep a round bobbin doughnut around to store my bobbins, and if I am going to fill, I fill 10 or 20 at a time, there is nothing worse than stopping in the middle of an embroidery to wind a bobbin.
  3. Invest in a bobbin winder – you can get anything from the small sidewinder, to the larger models that long arm quilters use (I have a winder that came with my Brother PR1000).  Back in the earlier days of machines, I managed to blow out a motor in my first embroidery machine by winding bobbins (the technicians report).

I hope this assists you with your bobbin choices, and please feel free to ask me any questions.


Buy & Embelish Part 2

And finally on my purchase and embellish is a set of toiletry bags for the children.  I purchased these from e-bay for $2.30 each, and have monogramed the first initial of my little darlings.

If you want to embroider on something similar, you will need work with the “plastic” fabric.  To ensure that the stitches didn’t tear the fabric, I changed the density settings on my lettering to 80%, and removed the underlay stitches.

The joy of stitching something like this is that it is quick, economical, and makes a great personalise present.


Buy and Embelish

With only 6 days left until Christmas, I am almost at the end of my gifts and wrapping. One of the last (and thankfully simple) projects that I had left was aprons for the kids. All of my children (twins who will be 8 on Christmas day and my 9 year old son) love cooking, so I thought a personalised apron would be a great stocking stuffer. I purchased my aprons on ebay, for under $5 each, and used the inbuilt lettering in my machine to personalise. From K-mart I collected a set of cooking implements (these were going out at $2.00 each), and you have a great gift for an Adult or Child.

Last minute Christmas Gifts

There are 3 more days left in my darling husbands work year, and last night he very gently asked if I could arrange for gifts for his office. Now I know what you are thinking – I should have realised that he would need these, and I did, I have been asking for 2 months if he needs anything. I could have gone the bottle of wine, or the box of chocolates, but I am on a money saving drive, so I quickly went into my office to see what I had. I immediately found a pack of linen tea-towels that I had purchased for a project earlier on this year, and inspiration was born. I now have 6 shortbreads, wrapped in embroidered tea towels, with only 4 more to go. The designs I have used are the Swirly Christmas Designs.

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