How to Make an Octopus Jelly Roll Softie
Meet Olly the Octopus – isn’t that what all octopuses are called? Make this for a lucky youngster to spend time with on dry land or even in the bath. Just fill with polyester toy stuffing to make this toy fully washable.
Image and content courtesy of Sew Jelly Roll Quilts and Gifts by Carolyn Forster, published by Search Press.
- Ten jelly roll strips, 2 ½ x 10 ½ in (6.5 x 27 cm), five for the front and five for the back
- Wadding (batting) – two squares, 10 ½ in (27 cm)
- Lining fabric – two squares, 10 ½ in (27c m)
- White felt, two pieces, 2 ½ x 3 in (6.5 x 7.5 cm)
- Black felt, two pieces, 1 ½ x 1 ½ in (4 x 4 cm)
- Eight jelly roll strips, 2 ½ x 16 ½ in (6.5 x 42 cm)
- Machine quilting thread, or cotton perlé if you decide to hand quilt with big-stitch
- Black and white cotton embroidery threads for sewing
- Polyester toy stuffing
- Safety pins or adhesive spray
- Stitch five strips together for both the front and the back of the body. Press the seams open.
- Layer each with wadding (batting) and lining, with the patchwork on top right side up. Lightly baste together with 505 spray baste or safety
pins. Quilt using the seams as your guide with a wavy embroidery stitch selected from the sewing machine. Alternatively, you can quilt by hand using cotton perlé and big-stitch quilting. Quilt the front and the back piece.
- Cut the white and black pieces of felt for the eyes to shape.
- Create a circle template with a diameter of 9½in (24cm). On the front piece, draw around the circle template with a washable fabric marker or chalk, and use this shape as a guide to place the felt eyes. This will leave a non-permanent mark for your guidance and will not matter if it does not line up perfectly when you stitch the front and back together. Stitch the black felt pupils to the white eyes, then sew onto the body with running stitch.
- To make the legs, fold each strip right sides together along the length and, starting with securing stitches, sew along one side and across the bottom. Secure to finish and trim away the excess fabric at the corners. Using a chopstick or similar, turn right side out and press fl at. Now tie a
knot towards the bottom of the leg. Make eight.
- Position the legs at the base of the front of the octopus, overlapping them to fit if you do not want them too spread out. Pin them so that the legs will be inside the circle when you stitch the front and back together, leaving about ½in (1cm) for a seam allowance. Stay stitch or tack in place. On the back of the octopus, on the lining, draw around the circle for the body.
- Place the back of the octopus right sides facing on to the front and pin around the circle. Starting and stopping to one side of the body, sew around the circle, leaving a small gap to turn right side out.
- Trim the excess fabric away from the circle, leaving a ¼in (5mm) seam allowance. Snip the seam allowance to make the circle smoother when turned through.
- Turn right side out and stuff with the polyester stuffing. Slip stitch the opening closed.