A couple weeks ago I had the privilege of putting on a birthday party for a special seven year old girl. I came up with an owl project that encouraged the party goers to color, stitch and stuff. At the end of the party each child went home with an owl softie of their very own.

Before the party I created a simple pattern with folded newspaper. I made a top and bottom piece for the owl front and a single piece for the back. I pulled out assorted fake furs, and white cotton knit from my fabric stash. This is a great time of year to purchase fun fur, it's on clearance with Halloween novelty fabrics.

I pre-stitched the owl heads to the bodies to cut down on machine stitching at the party.

The first step was to have the children decorate the white owl bellies with fabric markers. Be sure to place a piece of scrap paper under the fabric to protect the table.

Next we outfitted each girl with a crewel needle strung with a full strand of embrodiery floss. They stitched felt flowers, circles, large button eyes, and a triangle beak to the owl's head. I encouraged them to keep the embellishments away from the sides where they might get trapped in the seams.

After a quick demo the kids pinned the fronts and backs right sides together. This is when the line began to form at the machine, fortuantely not everyone was ready at the same time. It took me a couple minutes to make a continuous seam around the outside of each owl. Many girls left their owls with me while they enjoyed snacks and cake.

I left a three inch opening at the base and snipped the excess fabric off the top of the ears. I showed them how to turn the owls right side out and sent them to stuff their owl. This is a favorite step, I've yet to meet a child who doesn't like to stuff! For time sake I needed to stitch the opening closed on the sewing machine. We found that lightly stuffed owls were much easier to get through the machine. Be sure to tuck under 1/4" of the cut fabric edges in before seaming up the opening closed.

This party took place at one of my favortite creative places Art Mind and Soul Studios in Fort Andross.

Wishing the party girl many happy returns of the day!