This plan seemed adequate but once ¼" seam allowances were taken, I was concerned that the owl might look a bit crowded. What if I shortened the "nine-patch" blocks above and below to be only two rows high and had 11¾" tall owls? Somehow this option seemed disproportionately tall to me and I did not like the partial repeat of an adjacent owl.
There was alway the compromise of removing a row from just one block and having a 9½" tall owl. This looked better height wise and the neighboring owls were not so obvious. But if I centered the block vertically this approach would would entail partial rows of the nine-patch. Partial rows did not appeal.
Then I realized I could offset the owl block vertically and reduce only one nine-patch block by one-third in height. This asymmetrical arrangement also offered me the freedom to put a square-within-a-square block above or below. The outermost strip size of a square-within-a-square block is not a multiple of the basic 2¾" grid of the quilt top so I thought trimming it smaller would look odd. I decided to forge ahead with the vertical offset design, cutting the owl paisley fabric into 7¼" wide by 9½" tall rectangles. Final quilt assembly will need to be by columns rather than rows but I can handle that. An owl rectangle will always need two-thirds of a nine-patch above or below but that is not too restrictive.
My next step is to make a couple more sets of nine-patch and square-in-a-square blocks from other pairings of fat quarters. For now, I am hooking up to Let's Bee Social #120 before heading back to my sewing room.