How to Stitch Your Bird

The bird shapes from the Darling Motif Collection stencils by Christen Brown are so endearing. But right now the little birds are looking a little vacant. Time to fill them in.

My first step is to use a stem stitch and a size 12 Butter pearl cotton thread to create the interior of the wing. This same color thread makes the beak and tail stripes too.

Next up is the handy chain stitch. The bird shape is filled in with a spiral of chain stitches surrounding the wing. I’m using a size 12 Aquamarine thread. Place a French knot on the head for an eye, add some spindly orange legs, and your bird is complete!

And now on to the grass and leaves.

How to Fill in Embroidery

After tracing stencil shapes (from Christen Brown’s Darling Motif Collection) onto silk fabric, each shape is outlined using my size 12 pearl cotton threads. Size 12 is a fine thread but covers the traced lines nicely. It glides through silk easily, has a bit of a sheen, and sits on top creating a textural surface. Stem or chain stitches work best for outlining.

But why stop there?

I took the opportunity to play with stitch and thread color combinations. My favorite filler stitch is the chain stitch. It makes solid shapes like the birdhouse and sun. French knots add pops of color. And lazy daisy stitches create soft flower petals in our happy garden.

Next, we’ll tackle the lower part of the garden.