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!!