And so you ask yourself, what color for my little birdie’s wings? Color selection for thread is always a challenge. Do you go for an analogous color scheme or strong contrast? Here’s one solution: lay the thread next to the area you want to stitch.
Then choose a different color and use that. After fretting about the color to outline the bird’s wings, I picked a Size 12 thread in the Red Hots colorway. The Outline Stitch sits right next to the little bird’s wings and trims them up nicely. Now they really pop! More bird stitchery tomorrow!
I ask you, is your bird very decorative and fancy? Then you may want to add French Knots to his tail. You’ll also note a few Stem or Outline Stitches on the tail too. By using a contrasting color, you can draw lines on your designs with the Stem Stitch in thread, no fabric needed.
The little bird’s eye is a set of small fused circles stacked on his body. To secure them to your bird, stitch the center of the eye first with a few Straight Stitches in a dark Size 12 Thread like the Black Orchids colorway. (No birds were injured in the stitching of this eye.)
That same color of thread is used to outline the outer eye dot and the bill of the bird using an Outline Stitch. Note a little stitch on his bill too. I’m not sure if birds have nostrils but this one does. More tomorrow!
The start of a new embroidery stitch project is both exciting and daunting. You ask yourself what design element do I stitch first? What color and size of thread to use? What embroidery stitch will look best? The answer to many of these questions is found under my tutorial, Thread-u-cation. But it may be more entertaining to follow along with me while I work on this new little quilt. It’s a bird!
Here are the first steps:
- Make a fanciful bird quilt with fused fabrics.
- Steam set the fused quilt top to the batting (wool for this piece).
- Pick the focal point of the design (the bird) and begin the stitching there.
- Use a Size 12 pearl cotton Oranges thread and a Size 5 or 7 embroidery needle to stitch around the bird’s body with an Outline or Stem Stitch. (This stitch is laid just next to the bird shape so your are actually stitching the background fabric not the bird.)
More bird stitching tomorrow!
Can you guess what these are for? These are the pre-fused kits I’ve put together for my class, Stitch After Fusing at Quilter’s Affair in Sister’s Oregon.
This is one of 5 classes I’m teaching this week. In Stitch After Fusing, students make fused art quilts in the morning then spend the afternoon adding hand stitchery. It’s a great combination of a fast technique (fusing) and a slow technique (hand-embroidery). Classes start today. Hope to see you there!
Those that act as my hostesses (or minders) when I teach are the best! People like Vinda (above) from Colorado Springs take good care of me during my visits. And, as it turns out, make great art work too.
Here you see a detail of Vinda’s version of the Birdhouse design found in my book Fanciful Stitches, Colorful Quilts. Vinda says this about the book: I thought your book was well written and easy to follow. Thank you Vinda! Don’t you love seeing how she’s adapted a variety of batik fabrics to the design? Wonderful quilt Vinda!
Soon I take off to teach a week-long set of classes in beautiful Sisters OR. At the Quilter’s Affair symposium we’ll view hundreds of quilts displayed at the largest outdoor quilt show in the world. And I’ll introduce hundreds of my students to the fine art of fusing.
I’m a big believer in education and can’t wait to meet my new students. As a student myself I know the more I learn the better I feel. Would you like to feel better too? Then check out these classes on Craftsy while I’m off to Sisters. The classes are currently on sale and I know how taking a new class cheers you up.