box of birds robin 2

A little fat robin now added to the other birds.


box of birds parrot wannabee

I didn’t have a particular kind of bird in mind when I drew this one but now the slip is finished I think it’s a parrot wannabe.

box of birds dipper

It only took me an afternoon and evening to stitch the second bird. It’s based on a dipper (cinclus cinclus) but I changed the colours slightly. As per the nuthatch, beak and legs will be added once it’s appliquéd to the final background fabric.

box of birds nuthatch

I’m calling this latest project ‘box of birds’ so that I can look back through my posts easily to remind myself how I solved any problems and to no-one’s surprise, there have been problems already! The bird on the left in the image below shows quite clearly the difference between having padding on the head, throat, and breast, and none on the wings, and when I’d finished them I thought the wings looked too flat. I had followed Lala’s instructions but her wings don’t look sunken so I’m not sure why mine do.

I’d already ripped out the throat and breast stitching once but only when I’d stitched them for a second time did I realise that the difficulty I’d been having with the roumanian couching was because I’d been attempting to stitch it with my left hand in the same way that a right-handed person would. (If you’re left-handed like me, you’ll appreciate the confusion between brain and hand that this causes!) Rather than rip them out again, it was quicker to just restart, stitch the couching correctly as a leftie, and omit the padding altogether to avoid the sunken wings look. The plan has always been to pad the birds when they’re being appliquéd to their eventual background as a slip, so the initial padding shouldn’t really be necessary.

If you’re interested in learning about the ‘slip’ technique, this video by Malina GM embroidery shows a slip being stitched and attached to a mitten, and The Floss Box also has a very good written tutorial.

fat little owl

This little owl is a birthday gift for a friend and the owl shouldn’t have been so fat but I quite like him that way even though he looks as if he might not be able to fly off the branch! He’s based on the owl brooch in the Stumpwork Embroidery book by Jane Nicholas, a book I’ve had for many years but have never stitched any of the projects in it until now.

The hanging frame is one of those plastic ones where the outer frame rolls onto a groove on the outside edge of the inner hoop and I used almost a whole skein of green embroidery thread to cover up the original red colour. The blue fabric is silk backed with calico. The inner frame measures approximately 3″ in diameter.