My friend Liz Kettle of Textile Evolution recently shared her Birds on a Stick tutorial — created from felt and fabric scraps and hand-stitched using WonderFil Specialty Threads — on the Havel’s Sewing Sew Creative blog. Artistic Artifacts is one of only five WonderFil Threaducation Centers worldwide, and one of our responsibilities is to educate customers on the many types, and merits, of WonderFil Specialty Thread. Our version of this project was a fun way to do so, and I wanted to share some results here.
Our WonderFil Fish or Fowl event in early June was one of our periodic “Create Along” Friday evenings. Not quite a full-on class, these gatherings are more of a communal experience (with provided refreshments) of sewing or otherwise creating together, with some minimal guidance as needed by the leader. (Note: our next Sew Along session will be on Friday, October 20, creating an Infinity Scarf with Chris Vinh.)
We used Liz’s bird pattern (with her permission; it’s also included in the blog posting) that evening, creating plastic templates for students to trace. To give our customers another option, Sharon McDonagh created a fish pattern that we’d like to share with you — download our Fish pattern (PDF, 707K). These simple patterns are easy to alter if you choose: make your bird’s tail shorter or longer, give it a crest to make a cardinal or jay, etc. Or create your own animal pattern!
Liz uses a stick, which we provided with the rest of the supplies (above), but you can also creating your animal without one, giving you the option to hang it as year-round (or holiday) ornament, use as a gift package topper and more.
Above, the felt bird front has had fabric shapes fused to it using Mistyfuse®. Mistyfuse is my favorite fusible because it’s so sheer and lightweight. The bond is strong but very easy to stitch through.
Fussy cutting your fabric can provide a lot of design and stitching inspiration, as seen in the fish above and the red bird below. The 8wt rayon/metallic Dazzle Thread was a popular choice to add sparkle and shine to our creatures.
I shared my Tulip needles with the group for their use and taught simple hand embroidery stitches. Liz has photo instructions of stitches on the blog post; I also provided reference materials so the students could experiment with new stitching patterns.
Above, some of the samples, provided courtesy of WonderFil, of 12 wt. Spagetti™ (solid colors) and Fruitti™ (variegated). If you purchase from us online, note that the thread is sold on larger spools!
Below, once you have stitched your creature’s front and back pieces together partially around, you can add a bit of “stuffing” to fill them out.
Below, a beautiful bird almost finished! In her post Liz writes that she likes to prepare materials for the birds for a travel stitch project, which is a fun idea. She feels that with small projects, she’s free to experiment with stitches and colors … good advice! As she says, “go wild and play!”