Sock owls and turkeys

Time to catch up with my blog posting.  Last week, in addition to some quilting that I was doing on my own, I had some fun with my sewing students.  They had been begging to make some stuffed animals, and of course, I needed to come up with something different for the repeat students.  I have a range of ages and skills, as always, my projects need to work for everyone.  Three of the kids sewed with me last year and, as their instructor, I want to push their skills and see how much further they can go with new projects. However, my youngest student is a true beginner who is so proud of himself each week that you just can’t help but smile!!

A sock animal is always fun and I looked at Pinterest to get some general ideas.  I have to say, I couldn’t find turkeys, but challenge accepted.  I designed a rather strange looking turkey but I knew that my kids would jazz it up and make it their own.  While it is tempting for me to spend hours making my own creative animal, I never want my samples to be too perfect, or too fancy. I consider it a success if my projects are looked at for the technique and not for my specific ideas.

This project required socks, easy-to-cut-felt, fiberfil stuffing, old buttons, fabric glue and our machines.  To fix anything loose so that all the animals could go home that day, I  brought my glue gun as well.  Given the ages of the kids, and the strong heat of my glue gun, I did any touchup glueing that was needed.   I keep wanting to get a cool glue gun and until I do, no children will use my extraordinarily hot one.

A quick trip to Amazing Savings for some inexpensive, colorful and wild socks and I had plenty of choices for everyone.  Naturally, these kids didn’t disappoint and everyone loved choosing a fun sock and especially stuffing them.  Some of the kids understood how to incorporate the sock heel into the design of the animal face.  The student who made the pink owl below actually used a zigzag stitch for the first time.  I loved listening to her explain it to a classmate.  “I just changed this button here and then it sewed back and forth like this.”

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This student designed a unique pink owl, which has the perfect white face from the heel of the sock.  What you can’t tell is that she wanted “actual fabric wings” for her bird.  Using the sewing machine, she zigzagged a floral pink fabric onto felt and then cut around the stitching for the wings.  I do love the requisite pink belly button on this gorgeous owl.

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This turkey, before it had the feathers added, really looked like an owl and I was corrected several times.  I love how this student used the argyle pattern brilliantly for the eyes.  She insisted on writing her name on the leg of the turkey.  (As a mom of multiples myself, I am sure that has something to do with the fact that her twin sister made one as well!)

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Love these sock turkeys.  These boys insisted on sewing on the eyes because it’s “cool”.  It is impressive that they stuck with it despite the extra time that it took.  I do love how the girls in the class pointed out that the boys match their turkeys.

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My newest student with the least sewing experience is coming along so nicely.  I love that he made a nose with a loose pom pom that he found in the button box.  Each of the buttons that he did choose are also quite unique.  What a young designer in the making!!

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Almost forgot this lovely turkey, which has some girly accessories.  She is wearing a necklace and a pink feather fascinator.

This lesson had a limited amount of sewing, just closing up the head, but even that was not as easy as it looked.  Some of us had turkeys and owls that were too fat to fit under the sewing machine.  While some had animals that were too skinny and needed more stuffing.  This project was a chance for everyone to go at their own pace and make something fun that could go home and start the Thanksgiving mood.  While the older boys sewed the button eyes on their projects, the younger kids “cheated” a bit and used fabric glue.   By the end of the year, everyone will need to sew a button in the class, but we can get there slowly.  Even professional quilters and tailors use fabric glue once in awhile, so I think it’s just fine.

Several kids commented that you can really make almost anything with a sock, which thrilled me.  I wouldn’t be surprised if some odd socks are turned into little creatures in their spare time.

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3 responses to “Sock owls and turkeys

    • Thanks. It was so fun. They really loved it. Tomorrow we’re making hot pads so stay tuned for those. They have been talking about Thanksgiving and it’s been nice having them help decide what they want to make next. The youngest boy in my class is beyond adorable!!! He often says, “I don’t like pins or needles. They scare me because they can hurt you. But I’m learning to like them.”

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