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!
The head of my bird stitched on wool needed a little more emphasis so I added another row of Outline Stitches around the edges with a light green thread. We’ll use that same stitch to make a triangle for the beak and fill it in with rows of the Outline Stitch. This is a fancy bird so you may want to add three Bullion Knots with French Knots at the tip to make the bird’s crest.
Fill in the wool background fabric with easy stitchery like swirls of the Running Stitch. This give it that Starry Night kind of look. (Thank you Vincent Van Gogh!)
To complete your woolly bird, finish the fabric edges with a Blanket Stitch. Thank you for joining me during this tutorial and please send me images of what you’ve made. (firstname.lastname@example.org) Now sing a little birdsong of happiness!
Time to bring our little bird to life by adding his eye. We’ve used an Outline Stitch to make the head shape. Now use that same stitch to add a ½” diameter circle for the bird’s outer eye (black thread is recommended). Use a light colored thread to make a triangle with closely packed Satin Stitches for the highlight in the bird’s eye. The blue wool I’m using shows inside the eye making it a unusual blue eyed bird.
The rest of the head is filled in with a Running Stitch. The Running Stitch creates a even texture on the wool making a fine pattern. Tomorrow we finish up!
Stitching on wool is so easy, you’ll find you can densely pack your embroidery stitches close together. It’s time to fill in the bird’s wing and we are really going to pack them in.
To decorate the wing, use four rows of the Lazy Daisy Stitch to make the wing cap and three rows of the Blanket Stitch to add more feathers to the wing tips. Place the Blanket Stitches so they touch the previous rows and make little boxes. (I’m using the same color Size 8 pearl cotton thread I used in other areas of the design but you can change it up.)
Now add the Outline Stitch between the rows of Lazy Daisy Stitches on the wing cap using a different color of thread. Fill in the Blanket Stitches on the wing tips with French Knots. And squeeze in the Satin Stitch between the wing cap and wing tip.
Every bird needs a fancy tail. Some say that birds with attractive tails are somewhat vain. But I just like to think of them as being well dressed.
To make an attractive tail on your bird, place 4 rows of Fern Stitches from the tip of the tail feathers back to the Straight Stitches on the bird’s body. Add French Knots between the spars of the Fern Stitch. And fill in the tail points with a Satin Stitch. Now you have a well dressed bird.