recreational patchwork and 18th century songbirds

After working on something small, detailed and intense I like to give my focus and brain a vacation. One of my favorite ways to do that is something I call recreational patchwork. I started a Fortuny patchwork piece today. I have lots of very small swatches and some longish strips – drapery scraps. It is good daydreamy work. It requires just the right amount of my attention for letting ideas percolate. It’s a peaceful, gentle state.

fortuny patchwork

I work quickly – making strips and then sewing them together – log-cabin-ish I guess. Nothing is planned – I just grab pieces randomly. Nothing is measured, corners aren’t square and seams are less than straight. I bounce between the machine and the ironing board. I love the energy of it, I love the result and it’s such fun to do – to not think or plan and see what turns up – embrace the happenstance, appreciate the happy accidents.

18th century birds

sewing pattern for a textile songbird

Get the song bird sewing pattern.

It was a welcome shift after working on a trio of 18th century songbirds for one million years. Songbirds are focused and detailed. I want something particular from each of them and I can’t stop until I get it. The prize at the end is I get to photograph them – and that is such fun.

P.S. Checkout the free bird leg tutorial here.

ann wood : songbirds



  1. Joanna Taylor

    Do you have a special day for the mischievous cats?

  2. Pippa Wilkes

    Do you know when you’ll be placing g some more artworks for several please? I’m what thing and waiting as I would love to buy one or two. They are so very appealing thank you Pippa (in the UK)

  3. Pippa Wilkes

    Watching and waiting even (spell check Grrr)!

  4. Love your colorful songbirds – they are apparently listening for worms! Love the postures of the three together!

  5. maxine lesline

    The beaks on the birds look like whittled bone… tho probably not. Precisely beaks.. Takes a sort of genius to turn these little scraps and worn out stuff into such lovely artful creatures and objects. Always a joy to get a new post.

  6. Grace Horton

    I love your designs. Happily I have several purchased and of course your free ones.
    Just finished your fly pattern…5 of them flying from my ceiling fan!

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