Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Each year I try to have a little Christmas project, and this year I have been making birds. I was inspired by an article and pattern in the Quilting Arts Gifts book, but of course I adapted it to suit me and the materials I had available.

To start with I went to my stash of homemade felt. This is the felt that I have created using old woollen jumpers from the Op Shop. I simply do all the things you are not supposed to do with wool. I wash them in very hot and cold water, with lots of detergent, and I agitate them for ages in the washing machine, and the result is a lovely thick felt with just the slightest bit of stretch in it.

This one has embroidery and lacy wings for a more romantic look

This seemed to be the perfect material for my birds' bodies! Because it would not fray, I was able to make raw edge seams on the sewing machine. Then I went up to the attic to find some Christmas fabric for the wings. I found a couple of suitable ones with wording on them, and also made some wings by fussy-cutting some shapes from old crocheted doileys. The wings were attached to the bodies using Mother-of-Pearl buttons.

Some of the birds' bodies were embroidered, but this proved to be very time-consuming, so my MarkII models were plain, and it did not make much difference.

I had fun gathering bits and pieces of ribbon and braid for the hanging bits. I actually cut some old silk blouses into bias strips and burned the edges so they would not fray, and this added to the ribbon stash.

Rowena shows the one I gave her at our Craft group Christmas get-together.

The best part was threading beads onto ribbon for the hangers, and I actually had to beg a necklace from my three-year old great niece to provide the glitzy metallic touch!!

I think I ended up making 35 of these little creatures, and I am not tired of it yet. I have some ideas brewing for some that are not so Christmassy!!
Meanwhile the little birds have proved to be lovely gifts for friends and visitors! And these three look great hanging from our Mantlepiece under our Christmas Nativity Crib.


Carol said...

They're fantastic, Mary. Love them and your beautiful nativity scene!

Cristina Rose said...

I am Glad that Sienna's necklace went to such good use.
They are really beautiful and make your mantel piece look like it should be in house and garden magazine!
Well done.

Anonymous said...

They look great, your friends are no doubt well pleased at getting them.

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