crow sew-along week 3 : add a little shimmer to the feet

Welcome to week 3!  Feet and beak. Before we start let’s talk about the schedule – are you way ahead? Way behind? Not exactly technically, officially started yet? It’s all fine. These posts aren’t going anywhere and know that where ever you are in the process a bunch of other people are too.  Plus life happens so do what you can.  My tail was late and I’m supposed to be in charge of this thing…

the feet and beak

The preferred paper covered wire has not been available so my crow-along feet are made using the masking tape method in the pattern. It works as well as the paper covered wire partly because floral tape is magic stuff. Wrapping tightly with the tape makes the legs stronger and smoother.

For color Decoart Americana craft paint is great. You can find it in most craft stores and it’s super cheap. The finish is very flat and it covers well. I ran into a bunch of it in a dollar store last year and have a lifetime supply that I use all the time.

A super simple way to add a little iridescent shimmer to the feet and legs is a lead pencil. It picks up some texture details and adds a subtle metallic shimmer. If you want to add a talon detail black or silver nail polish on the tips is great.

Sharpie is by far my favorite method for coloring the twig beak. It stains the wood and has a translucency that feels crow-ish.  My carving is pretty rough, leaving lots of texture. If you’re not comfortable with carving a twig, paper clay is a great alternative.

We are just past the half way point in the crow-along and I’m already thinking about the next sew-along – how about an autumnal owl? Let us know what you think in the comments. There are over 400!!  crow makers in the facebook group. The community is active, creative and supportive. Thanks so much to all of you.

Not a facebooker or instagrammer?  A community site is in progress now and is available to crow – sew-along participants only to test. It’s a private group and currently top secret. If you want to test it out add your name, location and email on this form.

What to expect: It’s pretty barebones at the moment but the basics are there. Some things will be changing over the next couple weeks as features and settings get tested and improved. Please be patient with me and yourself. I’ll roll out invitations a few at a time. When you are accepted you’ll get an email with tips and more info.

The hope is that by the crow sew-along finale there will be a place where everybody can share their crow on the new community site. Good luck with your feet and beak! Please leave your questions or tips in the comments.

sew along links:  week one     week two     week three


  1. francyne moss

    ok so here goes, absolutely loving this crow sew along, doing everything by hand, as I don’t have a machine, my fingers are killing me, black thread and dark fabric challenging, you keep saying, body was the most difficult, not so for me, I’m anxious apt feet and beak, but I’ve twigs AND clay, so today’s the day to give it a go! was hoping for more of a tutorial today, my crow is sort of a whimsical patchwork crow in dark colors, my next may be all black, we’ll see. I made that feathery effect on the wing using hand shirred ribbon, but have yet to complete the trimming(ugh)! thanx for doing this Ann, I love your work and previously completed the 100 days book and loved it

    • Hi Francyne,
      Thanks for joining and yes- give it a go! Tutorial wise – there are some parts of the pattern that I don’t share on the blog also- it is super covered in the pattern. You can totally do it. I’m all about baby steps and you will have beaks and feet in no time. And if carving is not for you the clay will be great. Also – you can use thread that is not black. I do – a dark gray is fine and easier to see. Congrats on your 100 day book! Baby steps for the win.

  2. This is so great. Too busy to do it as a sew along but going to make one for my husband for Christmas

  3. I didn’t have florist tape and I was too excited to wait. I just painted my crow’s legs and they aren’t smooth but they’re ok.

    I totally want in on the owl. I am learning a lot!

  4. pieceworks53

    I have made 6 crows so far and am currently working on #7! With Fall and Halloween decorating already in progress, my friends and family having seen mine want one of their own. It’s such a pleasure to create these birds and I am loving using your pattern! I just yesterday bought your songbird pattern to try my hand at those lovely creatures. Each bird has it’s own coloring and personality…just like us! Thank you again for this sew-along…I am looking forward to your next one already, owls! You are the best Ann!!!

    • Reading lights are the best – I wish I had gotten one years ago!

  5. Glenna Williams

    Hi Ann, I am neither ahead or behind. Next will be feet for me. I have already fixed his beak, will see how it works.I am loving this sew along.

    I would love to make the owl! I will look tomorrow to see if I have already purchased if not I will do so.

    Again thank you for allowing us to make your wonderful patterns!

  6. I’m a wee bit behind, but okay with that. If I have the paper-covered wire, I don’t need to use the florist’s tape, correct? I just paint the paper on the wire? Anyway, it’s going good – I’m excited to make the beak and the feet! An owl sounds intriguing!

  7. Diane Deutch

    I really like making the crow thank you so much! An autumnal owl would be awesome. Please let me know so I can buy the pattern.

  8. Cynthia Lynn

    I am really enjoying making this sew a long. Question about the legs, pattern says to cut batting 8″ long but not how wide.

  9. I am enjoying the crow sew along very much.
    While carving the beak you direct to make it 2 1/4 inches long, but it looks like yours is shorter. You say leave it attached in one direction and then the next picture the beak is not attached. Confusing. Can you clarify why or how long to leave it attached to the rest of the stick. My natural inclination is to be a perfectionist and my next beak will be a little rougher in the carving. I’m sure its going to look great. Thanks for the Crow Sew along.

    • Hi Lindy – so glad you are enjoying the sew-along. The beak size can vary a little – we are carving twigs. The beak in the instructions is about 2 and 1/4 inches. I think my beak in this demonstration is just a little shorter.

      “You say leave it attached in one direction and then the next picture the beak is not attached. Confusing.” – this is not accurate.

      You make a notch in step 4. -In step 5. picture and caption – you color and buff the beak while it’s still attached. And it’s still attached in step 6. when you cut the fabric cover.

      The beak appears off the stick in step 8. to add the fabric.

      “Can you clarify why or how long to leave it attached to the rest of the stick”

      The short answer is -leaving it attached makes it easier to paint. Break the beak off before you add the fabric cover.

  10. I am very much enjoying making the Crow and I think an Owl would be fun too. Thank you so much for organising this!

  11. I have my sewing done up to the beak and feet. But my gluestick is solid dry and no 18 gauge wire or florist tape…so off to Joanns or Micheals or whatever for supplies. So far loving the process. I am using a sewing machine which I think helps, otherwise I think I would loose interest. But hand sewing an owl sound funs!

  12. Hi,
    I am following along and just finished my legs and beak. Love that you give us a week to do each section of the sew-along.
    Would love to do a fall owl.

  13. Hi Ann, thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity. I am frankly, so far behind, I can’t tell you!! I just rec’d some vintage velvet that I think might do well, color & texture wise. But now having watched week 2 of the sew along, am not sure. What do you think??
    Am all in for an Autumnal OWL or Winter Whisper OWL. LOVE owls of any sort.
    Thank you for the no social media group. Really appreciate it and have signed up for testing run.
    Looking forward to first snow this week so perfect to snuggle in w/ my new hand sewing project. Have decided that my crow is a boy crow so will be Mr. Someone!!.
    Thank you again for sharing so much w/ us.

  14. Would love to participate in an owl sew along; love love owls!

  15. I just finished a giant patchwork spider for the giant yard web I made last year, so I have not begun a bird, but an owl sew-along might be worth a go, since I have had the pattern pieces cut out in an envelope for several years now…

  16. Le corbeau est une petite merveille. J’espère que tout le monde finira le sien et qu’une belle collection sera présentée sur le blog ? M’inscrire au groupe de Facebook privé me plairait bien mais je ne parle pas suffisamment bien l’Anglais pour ne pas m’y perdre. En tout cas, je prends plaisir à lire les conseils de fabrication du Corbeau et, bien que je n’aie pas le patron, je pense qu’un jour j’arriverai à le faire ….

  17. Debra Smale

    I have been following along, my question is, how do you insert and secure the legs into the crow so that it is stabilized?

  18. Sharon Grannis

    Covering the beak, not sure how to accomplish this, my fabric piece is way smaller than the beak? Does just the back get covered, if so which direction does the fabric go?

    • Hi Sharon – just the back of the beak gets covered- take a look at the image with step 8 in the beak section.

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