Here we are, at the tenth in my year-long Hot Pad of the Month series, and I have a confession to make. I really wanted to avoid making it a turkey. I have nothing against them, I just feel like sometimes that’s the go-to when we’re talking about Thanksgiving décor. I mulled it over for a long time, staring at the shape I’ve been using each month and guess what? All I could see was a turkey. Well, I finally gave in and followed my wattle-necked muse, and I couldn’t be happier with it. I guess the lesson I learned is don’t fight poultry. Or something like that.
To make this guy, you’ll need:
- this pattern (be sure to print it at 100% size)
- cotton batting
- cotton fabric, in up to 9 colors
- brown, white, black, yellow and red felt
- embroidery thread to match felt
Cut out the body and features from the appropriate colors of felt. I usually use ordinary felt for these, but this time I splurged and broke into my wool felt. The regular stuff will work, but I really like the difference this made. The lines are sharper.
Sew the features onto the body using the embroidery thread. I started with the beak so I could make sure it was centered, and moved down to the wattle and up to the eyes from there. One note on the eyes – I added a small, white knot of embroidery thread in the iris to give his eyes a little sparkle.
Set the turkey aside.
Cut 9 strips of fabric that are each 3 x 12”. Cut out the back of the turkey from fabric using the tail pattern. Cut out a piece of Insul-Bright and a piece of the cotton batting using the pattern as well.
If you’re new to paper piecing, check out this post for some references to learn how it’s done - I particularly recommend the video by Crafty Gemini. It doesn’t get much simpler than this pattern, so if it’s something you’d like to learn this would be a good starter project.
Center your first piece behind section 1. Add section 2 with right sides together, making sure it’s positioned in a way so it will cover its section when it’s folded back. Using a small stitch length, machine stitch along the line between 1 and 2, stitching just past the ends of the line.
Fold the paper back and trim the seam allowance to 1/4”.
Press section 2 back so both pieces are right side up.
Repeat the process to add section 3.
From there, you just keeping adding strips using the same method, following the numerical order.
I don’t recommend that you do this though.
I don’t even know how that piece got all folding up like that, because I was using pins and everything. Since I was sewing with paper, I was afraid this was the death of my project, but fortunately I was able to pull it loose and redo it. My seam ripper is never lonely.
Once you’ve added all of the tail strips, your pattern should be completely covered on the back. You can hold it up to a window to see through the paper and make sure. Flip it over to the pattern side and cut around the outside edge.
Next, tear away the paper, one section at a time. There’s something so satisfying about this part.
Press the tail well. Position the turkey in the center, with his bottom edge 3/8” from the bottom edge of the tail. Stitch around the outside edge with embroidery thread.
Layer the pieces with the Insul-Bright on the bottom, followed by the turkey (right side up), the back (right side down) and the batting. Pin well.
Stitch around, 1/4” from the edge, leaving 3” open on one side. Clip the corners and turn right side out. Press, turning in the opening. Top stitch close to the edge all the way around.
He’s holding the menu instead of being on it, so he’s a pretty happy turkey.
And it turns out he looks pretty good with September’s Pumpkin!