not for the bird box

I made this little bird today to test a pattern I’d made. It needs tweaking but it’s not bad for a first try and it kept me occupied for most of the day.

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birdie house

This little box has been a work in progress since the beginning of February but I had problems with the lid design so it was put to one side until I got a eureka moment. That came this morning when I realised that it would look much better with a roof rather than a four-sided pointed lid which was the original intention. Funny how the simplest ideas are often the best. Does it need a chimney now?

The box stands 4.5″ high at the gable end and the sides are 3″ square. The inner box is made from firm card covered with soft cotton fabric and then stitched to the felt. I also added a wire frame to give stability before stitching the felt on. You can see the original design and all four sides here.

 

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trees

It’s been a while since I turned on my sewing machine and I was feeling guilty about that so today I did some free-motion embroidery. Trees were my topic and this is the result of an hour or so using straight and zig-zag stitches across a piece of hooped cotton fabric with a hole cut out. I haven’t stitched over such a large space before without using a stabiliser and it was a little scary to begin with but fun, and the threads didn’t get caught up in each other the way that they can do with stabiliser. I like the skeletal look of the trees early on in the process but I like how they’ve ended up gnarly and a bit twisted and I think I’ll do more of these another day.

 

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woof woof

A few months ago I stitched lots of scraps of felt onto a remnant of cotton fabric and then put it aside because I could think of no use for it.  Yesterday I used it to make a little patchy dog. I wasn’t too fussy about the size of my stitches when stitching him together with yellow and green variegated embroidery threads but I think that adds to his character. He’s about 5″ tall from claw to ear tip, not that that matters much.

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Pretty parrot fly away

Today has been spent keeping cool on a very hot day and stitching the rest of the parrot body then putting all the pieces together.

 

 

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Pretty parrot 4

I wasn’t happy with the parrot body stitching I did yesterday. The body has four layers of felt fused to organza which was quite plump even without the addition of hundreds of stitches and I didn’t think my stitches looked very much like feathers so I ripped out the stitches, removed the lowest felt layer and prepared it once more for stitches. Today I took a day off from stitching to have a day out with JP and when we came home, JP wanted to catch up on today’s cricket so I took myself off to the work room and made the boysenberries.

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Pretty parrot 3

I stitched two more detached wings today and this, the third, is the best of the bunch. The parrot body has been padded and is ready for stitching but I can see more practice stitching on the horizon before I’m happy with the shading. The padding is felt, ironed to organza with double-sided fusible web. The organza prevents the needle pulling felt fibres through to the surface but I’ve not tried this method before. When I stitched the tansy, I ironed freezer paper to the felt before cutting out the shapes and the residual glue of the paper was sufficient to stop the fluff. Either that or I ironed the acrylic felt at too high a heat and that sealed it!

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