Embellish solid-color birds with simple embroidery stitches and a variety of ribbons and beads in a second color.
Designer: Wenche Wolff Hatling of Northern Quilts
Materials for One Bird
- 6×12" piece red or white print
- Red or white embroidery floss or 12-weight thread
- 6×12" fusible stabilizer (such as Pellon Ultra Weft)
- Polyester fiberfill
- 10" length of silk ribbon in different colors and widths
- Assorted beads and glass pearls in matching colors
- Water-soluble marker or heat-disappearing pen
Finished ornament: about 3×4"
Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.
Embroider and Assemble Bird
Click on "Download this Project" above for pattern piecers. The solid outer line on the patterns is the stitching line; a seam allowance is not included.
1. Following the manufacturer's instructions, iron fusible stabilizer 6×12" rectangle to wrong side of red or white print 6×12" rectangle.
2. Tape Bird Pattern of choice to light box or sunny window. Place half of fused rectangle, right side up and centered, on Bird Pattern; tape in place. Using water-soluble marker or heat-disappearing pen, trace bird outline and embroidery stitches on fused rectangle. Remove fused rectangle. Turn pattern over; trace again on remaining half of fused rectangle to make reversed shape.
3. Use two strands of embroidery floss or one strand of 12-weight thread for the following stitches. See Embroidery Stitches below for stitch specifics; refer to full-size pattern and photos. For Bird A, use backstitches, French knots, and lazy daisy stitches to create heart design. Use cross-stitches and lazy daisy stitches to embellish tail. For Bird B, use backstitches and lazy daisy stitches to sew large snowflake designs. Sew star stitches to make small snowflakes. Embroider bird's eye with satin stitches.
4. Cut out each bird shape, adding a 1⁄4" seam allowance all around. Layer birds with right sides together; pin. Sew on drawn line, leaving a 2" opening for turning.
5. Make small cuts in seam allowance for easier turning. Trim seam allowance on beak to 1⁄8", being careful not to cut into seam. Turn bird shape inside out. Use a pencil tip to press out tail and beak.
6. Fold in seam allowance around 2" opening. Remove water-soluble pen lines using running water. When bird is partially dry, press with an iron. Stuff bird firmly with fiberfill, using a pencil tip to poke bits of stuffing into beak. Hand-sew opening closed.
7. Thread a hand-sewing needle with a doubled strand of sewing thread. At bottom center of bird, take a few backstitches. Thread beads and pearls as desired onto needle. When you reach bead length you want, skip last bead and thread needle up through remaining beads until you reach the fabric. Secure thread with a few knots, then trim.
8. Make a ribbon loop and hand-stitch loop to top center of bird.
Pull threaded needle up at A. Insert it back into fabric at B, and bring it up at C. Push needle down again at D, and bring it up at E. Continue in same manner to make as many backstitches as needed.
Pull threaded needle up at A. Insert it back into fabric at B, bring it up at C, and push it down at D. Repeat to make as many cross-stitches as desired.
Pull needle and floss through at point where knot is desired (A). Wrap floss around needle twice without twisting floss. Insert needle tip into fabric at B, 1⁄16" away from A. Gently push wraps down needle to meet fabric. Pull needle and trailing floss through fabric slowly and smoothly. Repeat to make as many French knots as desired.
Lazy Daisy Stitch
Pull needle and floss up at A, and form loop of floss on fabric surface. Holding loop in place, insert needle back into fabric at B, about 1⁄16" away from A. Bring needle tip out at C and cross it over trailing floss, keeping floss as flat as possible. Gently pull needle and trailing floss until loop lies flat against fabric. Push needle through to back at D to secure loop. Repeat to make as many lazy daisy stitches as desired.
Pull threaded needle up at A; insert it back into fabric at B. Holding thread out of the way, bring needle back up at C; insert it back into fabric at D. The CD stitch should lie against AB stitch. Continue in same manner, adjusting stitch lengths as needed to cover the desired area from edge to edge.
Pull threaded needle up at A; insert it back into fabric at B. Bring needle up at C and, crossing over center of AB stitch, push it down D. Pull needle up at E; insert it back into fabric at F. Repeat to make as many star stitches as desired.