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So, for this applique, I started with a simple sketch, and built it up using a couple of layers of felt and some decorative stitches.

I used:
1 sheet red felt
1 sheet burgundy felt
1 sheet cream felt
Brown embroidery floss
Yellow embroidery floss
Cream cotton

I used my sketch to cut the pieces of the owl from felt - a body, 2 wings, and 2 eyes.

Step 1: Blanket Stitch the Base

After positioning the body piece onto my backing fabric, I stitched it on using a blanket stitch.In the second and third picture, there are some in progress shots of me doing the blanket stitch - I think of it as each stitch taking points of a square, numbered clockwise from top left. The needle comes up in top left (1), down in bottom right (3), and back up in top right (2) - making sure it goes through the loop made from the first part (1-3). This catches the stitch, and creates the outlining.

Step 2: Attach the Wings

Rather than use blanket stitch again for the wings, I used a simple single stitch - with the needle coming up through the body and going back down through the wing. I decided to only stitch down the wing over the body, and leave the tips loose, but, much like the choice of stitch,that's up to you to decide.

Step 3: Details, Details....

I attached the eyes using a single french knot on each, in the place the pupil would be. Rather than sew these on with the sewing cotton, I used a full 6 strand embroidery floss.

To create a feathery look, I used sewing cotton, and created a zig-zag pattern across the tummy of the owl

The beak is a simple V shape, using embroidery floss, joining onto the base of the eyes.

Ta-dah!

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