Red Bird: Attaching Shapes

There are 2 ways of attaching shapes to a background fabric in our Red Bird project. Use the familiar Blanket Stitch to hold down fabric edges. Or (eureka!) use the Fly Stitch. The Fly Stitch just happens to fit neatly around the pinked edge of the grass shape.

We’ll be using pearl cotton threads for hand embroidery. Size 8 pearl cotton is heavier and useful for more dynamic stitching like that on the grass and stems. The size 12 pearl cotton is finer and appears less obtrusive when stitching down the bird shape. Detailed shapes like the bird’s eye (using the black and white threads) are also created with the Size 12.

Please note that directions are first given here on the blog then added to the Bird Stitch-Along page as we go.

Step #3

  • Place the sky fabric vertically.
  • Pin the grass fabric about 1/4″ in from the two sides and the bottom edge of the sky. Stitch tack the grass shape into place using a fine sewing thread or a size 12 pearl cotton.
  • Stitch Fly Stitches around the pinked edge of the grass shape. Use a size 8 pearl cotton thread (like Lime Frappe) and a size 3 hand embroidery needle.
  • Remove the stitch tacking.
  • Pin the bird at an angle with the front belly of the bird about 3 1/4” up from the bottom of the sky and the tail tip about 1/2” in from the right side of the sky. Stitch tack the bird into place.
  • Stitch Blanket Stitches around the bird shape. Use a size 12 pearl cotton thread (like Red Hots) and a size 5 hand embroidery needle.
  • Remove the stitch tacking.

Red Bird: Steps to Begin

Please join my new embroidery stitch-along, Red Bird. This free project, measuring 6″ x 7″, is made with colorful wool felt fabric from Commonwealth Felt and stitched with pearl cotton threads. Click here to purchase the felt and a kit of threads or individual threads for the project. Or use whatever you have on hand.

We begin by cutting the background fabrics and using the free pattern to make the bird, grass, and flower shapes. Click here for a list of tools and materials you’ll need.

Please note that directions are first given here on the blog then added to the Bird Stitch-Along page as we go.

Have you gathered all your tools and materials? Great! Let’s get started.

Step #2

  • Trim 2” from the long side of the bird and backing fabric to make a rectangle for the bird to measure 2” w x 6 ½” h and a rectangle for the backing to measure 7 ½” w x 6 ½” h. Set the larger backing fabric aside.
  • Download and print out this Word document of the Red Bird pattern. Or print out this PDF of the Red Bird pattern.
  • Trace the patterns for the grass, bird, and flower onto tracing paper.
  • Pin the tracings onto the respective fabrics and cut out the shapes.
  • For the flowers, cut out 1 and use that as a template to cut out the remaining 2.
  • Trim about 1/4” from each edge of the grass fabric using a pinking blade or pinking shears.

Red Bird: A Free Stitch Along!

Red Bird by Laura Wasilowski

In my neighborhood, the birds are now migrating to warmer regions. Every year I hope to spot an unusual avian traveler, a fanciful fowl unlike any I’ve seen before. And look what I saw in my garden this morning, a Red Bird! 

This sweet Red Bird is the subject of my next free stitch along for you.

Red Bird is made with felt fabrics and sizes 8 and 12 pearl cotton threads.You can see a complete list of the tools and materials needed to make Red Bird here on the Red Bird Stitch Along page. Or click here to see the fabric and thread kits I’ve prepared for the tutorial. You can also use what ever you have at hand.

So gather your tools and materials and we’ll start stitching soon!