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.
Now comes the easy part in our woolly bird embroidery on wool: Straight Stitches. Add Straight Stitches in parallel lines and in a variety of colors from the belly up to the tail area of your bird. You’ll notice the repetition of the Size 8 pearl cotton thread colors used in other parts of the bird. Mixing those threads together as Straight Stitches makes for more interest.
Next up, the belly of the bird! You can use any stitch you like, but I like the texture of an alternating Satin Stitch. The Satin Stitches measure about ¼” long. I selected two different Size 8 pearl cotton thread colors to make a checkerboard pattern on the belly of the bird. Alternate the colors and lay the Satin Stitches perpendicular to the opposite color. This bird has 7 vertical rows of Satin Stitches. Your bird belly may vary.
By now you may have received your copy of the most recent issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. Lucky me, I’m the cover girl for this issue with an article called Extreme Embroidery on stitching on wool. Hope you enjoy it!
We’re about to finish the outline of the birds shape on the wool fabric. Following the lines of the Running Stitch, use an Outline Stitch to make the head and body of the bird. Add a few long Blanket Stitches on the end of the tail for tail feathers. Now you can remove the Running Stitch to reveal the neatly outlined shape of the bird.
Time to fill that bird in! But first, define the neck area of the bird. Use a Blanket Stitch in a new thread color to make the arc of the neck. Slip in a few Straight Stitches in a different thread color between the tines of the Blanket Stitch. This neck line separates the head from the body. Next up? Stitching the belly of the bird.
Now that you have your bird all sketched out on the wool, it’s time to outline the basic bird shapes. Following the lines of the Running Stitch, use an Outline Stitch for the top and front of the wing. Use that same thread (a Size 8 pearl cotton) and make the wing tip feathers with a Blanket Stitch.
You’ll notice that I followed the Running Stitch line for the wing shape but I placed the Outline Stitch and Blanket Stitch outside of the stitch line. I decided (on the fly) that the wing needed to be bigger than what I sketched in thread. Also, notice the variation in the width of the Blanket Stitch on the wing tip. This is so the feathers appear to get longer at the tip.