See that little blue spot on the right of this quilt? That little blue spot is a bird. Or at least it will be a bird after a few hand embroidery stitches make it so.
From head to tail the little bird measures about 1.5″. He’s just a piece of blue fabric cut in the shape of a bird. He needs stitchery to make up the details of his parts. Make yourself a little bird and follow these steps:
- Outline the shape with the Outline Stitch and a few Blanket Stitches for the belly of the bird. Stitches are place on the purple background fabric and snugged right up to the bird shape. Use a contrasting thread colorway like Sunflowers. (Size 12 pearl cotton thread with Size 7 embroidery needle.)
- Stitch the front curve of the wing shape with the Outline Stitch and then swing into a few elongated Blanket Stitches to indicate feathers. (Size 12 Evening Greens thread with Size 7 embroidery needle.)
- Use that same Evening Greens thread and add 2 long straight stitches down the center of his tail for tail feathers.
- Use a fine (50 weight) black sewing thread to make the pupil of his eye. Small straight stitches or a heavy duty French Knot will work. Surround the pupil with tiny Outline Stitches. (Size 12 Aquamarine thread with Size 7 embroidery needle.)
- Make the beak with a set of straight stitches that radiate in a triangle shape from the edge of the bird’s head to the tip of the beak. (Size 12 Oranges thread with Size 7 embroidery needle.)
- Use the same Oranges thread for accent marks and to repeat the color of the beak. Add straight stitches around the wing and 2 long stitches to the tail. Place 3 French Knots to the cap of the wing for decoration. He is a fancy bird.
- Make a jaunty crest for the bird’s head out of 3 Pistil Stitches. (Size 12 Sunflowers thread with Size 7 embroidery needle.)
- Breath a sigh of relief and move on to other areas of the quilt.
In celebration of having a new book almost published (Joyful Stitching comes out in February), I’d like to get you warmed up for embroidery with a free tutorial on making this Wooly Bird. Sadly, he didn’t make the cut for the book but you’ll find his free pattern and stitch directions on the Wooly Bird Stitch Along.
And in further celebration! (Cause I’m such a party gal.) I’ll be giving away a free swatch of wool along with a free pattern for the bird with every order placed on the Artfabrik Store. This offer is good now through the end of the year. It’s our choice of color but the wool is just the right size and weight for your Wooly Bird project.
This quilt from 2012 is a demonstration of how to create a basic quilting block (the 9-patch) with fused fabrics. Rather boring.
Hand embroidery placed in the center of each square, makes sweet little flower gardens. Still rather boring.
So recently I put birds on it. A solution for all your not so interesting quilts!
Bird and Ladybug by Laura Wasilowski
I often wonder what people do with my patterns after they purchase them. Recently, I saw a version of the Bird and Lady Bug pattern as an auction piece at the Dallas Quilt Show. Hope it made big money for a good cause!
And then there is this pillow by Lorrayne. She has placed the Going Home pattern design on a pillow topper. She also stitched the edges of the fabric elements by machine. That way she can wash the pillow without worrying about frayed fabric edges. Thanks for sharing your work with us Lorrayne!
Did you know that I am a peripatetic teacher? Yes, and soon my travels will take me to Daytona FL for the AQS Show. Let the packing begin! Here you see the wool and threads that are part of the kit for my Free-Stitched Wool Embroidery class.
Each student gets all the necessary items needed to make something like this charming bird with “Birdsonality”. They will design their own work fort he wool fabric and determine their own stitches. Can’t wait to see what they make!
For years I’ve been a proud member of SAQA, the Studio Art Quilt Associates. The SAQA mission is to “promote the art quilt through education, exhibitions, professional development, documentation, and publications.”
A collection of over 400 small art quilts (measuring 7″ wide by 10″ high) created by SAQA members is being assembled for the annual traveling Trunk Show. My contribution is Songbird #6. Made from a small quilt used as a sample for an old class, it was recycled into a new design. How, you ask? By putting a bird on it, of course!
Songbird #6 by Laura Wasilowski
The Trunk Show is first seen at the SAQA Conference, April 27 – 30, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Then it is divided into 8 exhibits that travel the world for up to 3 years. I hope you get to see it somewhere!