I think I mentioned this project in my last post and that I would elaborate on it. Since we got into birdwatching I've been trying to think of ways to incorporate birds in my work. There are so many designers and artists who use birds so I really wanted to think of something original, which is pretty hard. I started by messing around with some applique ideas, making different layers for different parts of the birds, and came up with these...
I began by doing a basic (for me) sketch of the bird, cutting that out into a template and then deciding which parts of the bird I wanted to emphasize with the use of different fabrics and applique. Then I made templates of those bits and when I had all the parts I needed, I cut out the fabric using the templates.
I only used two templates for the nuthatch as this was the first attempt so I kept it simple. I then ironed vilene onto the backs of all the parts to stop them fraying when I stitched the fabrics together on the machine. Then I pinned and tacked them down onto a plain surface ready to be sewn together.
I was really pleased with how these turned out, for a first attempt, but I was not entirely happy with the edges as the sewing machine still made them fray even with the vilene. So when I planned an actual project using this technique, being the perfectionist I am I decided I was going to hand sew the fabrics instead of machine them!!! Arrgh!!! So many months later, as happens with projects you make take longer than they should by using methods which are not the fastest, I am making a colourful bird and nest box cushion for our living room.
Here are some photos of the work in progress.
The birds are a Goldfinch and a Greenfinch, both birds which frequent our garden.
Close up of Goldfinch.
Close up of Greenfinch.
I just love the fabrics I found to do this project with, and they go so beautifully with the embroidery thread I'm using to applique them together. I had wanted to incorporate a lot of embroidery into the finished piece, hence my little samplers you can see in the first of these three photos, in the top right, but I don't know yet as this small little project is taking a big long time! I'm already planning a quilt I want to make in a similar style, though I'm thinking how I can do it considerably quicker. I love the idea of having home made quilts in reception rooms, so you can use them as throws and snuggle into them when you're watching a film, or sitting by the open fire in winter (we're blessed enough to have an open fire in our living room and a wood burner in our middle living room) - mmmmm :) I doubt that will be ready for this winter though!