It’s surprisingly quick and easy to create a fabric crest for a cardinal or bluejay or tufted titmouse etc. etc.. The tutorial that follows was created for my songbird sewing pattern – but you could adjust the size to fit pretty much any bird pattern.
We made cardinals in a workshop in Vermont. You know, in the old days when we could still travel and gather and felt pretty secure about how much rice and toilet paper we owned… It was a great weekend and the cardinals are awesome. Check out more about the workshop at the end of the post.
The Cardinal Modifications
– or use any bird pattern you like and adjust the template size.
1. Download and cut out the templates. Cut the face cover and 3 crest pieces from fabric.
2. Place the face cover on your bird – around the beak – trim and adjust the size however you like – for this demonstration I left it full size.
3. Pin it in place – overlap the top corners to make it fit snuggly and stitch in place.
4. Pin the head cover in place and stitch around the edge.
5. Pinch the pointed end of the crest 1 piece.
6. Pin in to the top of the head and stitch around the edge.
7. At the back stitch the sides of the opening together – just at the base.
8. Pin the crest 2 piece the same way – on top of crest 1 and stitch around the edge.
9. Again stitching the edge together – just at the base.
10. Add the third crest piece. Optional – fray the edges or make a few stitches through the crest layers. Stitch simple eyes onto the face cover.
So easy! If you try making a crest I’d love to see! Use #annwoodpattern on instagram
A couple more workshop highlights – 2 students brought a pin girl for everybody!! I love them – find the free sewing pattern to make your own here.
It has some great moments and some highly questionable choices (worn towels…). All of it is very nostalgic for me.
I’m always on the look out for vintage or antique quilt tops. They are frequently super cheap and a great source for unusual little bits of fabric, perfect for all sorts of small projects (including doll quilts). Or if you find something with no objectionable moments or issues you can take it across the quilt finish line. The quilt above (found on ebay) was probably assembled in the 70’s and has lots of sweet calicos. Another I found recently is pale and has a mix of small turn of the century and depression era prints salvaged from garments. Both are coming to workshops in LA with me.
I’m using the older quilt for needle book pages. I’ve been stitching up lots for the class. You wouldn’t think machine sewing a ton of rectangles would be appealing but it is. I’ll probably get over it but right now I can’t get enough. It’s peaceful and satisfying to stack up the finished pages. Also I’m thinking of offering the pre-sewn, ready to embellish pages as a kit this winter – what do you think?
Besides needle books we will be making paper ships, beetles, mushrooms and crows. I’m bringing lots of old garments to work with.
I wonder what they talk about – somebody seems pretty bossy…
update 12/17 :
Thanks so much for your wonderful imaginations – so many good captions! And there was – by unanimous decision – a tie – so 2 birds will be awarded. And the winners are:
Debra : “Four calling birds, three acorn caps, two spools of thread, and a pincushion filled with many needle sharps!”.
And Bach Hanes : Everyone ready? Let’s get the flock out of here.
Thanks again to everybody who came up with a caption.
I sure do like to make a little bird, put an acorn hat on it and take its picture. I love the photos in part because everyday things are transformed into little bird world things – I imagine their perspective and peek into their world and wonder what they are up to…
What do you think they are up to? Make up a caption for the photo above and leave it in the comments of this post. An esteemed panel of judges will choose a winner who get’s their very own bundled up bird. Everyone is welcome to participate.
And gift tags! A little yellow house in the forest – print them on card stock, fold at the roof and add a little glitter and a string or ribbon. Click here to download the little house tags.
A couple notes:
* The red ribbon in the photo above is 4 mm silk ribbon – I love it – you can get it here.
* The pattern for the little birds is here.
* And the little birds in the photo are in the shop now and I restocked a couple bunnies and squirrels too.
For the last week or so I’ve had lots of happy, sweet, festive things to work on. It is a lovely thing that I hear from women who had my caketopper birds for their wedding and would like a little bird for their child and so I’ve been making special birds for little girls. Two were for a birthday cake and had fancy party hats.
I had so much fun making the hats. I love mini and I love crepe paper – it is magic stuff. I’m working on a little girl size version of the paper feather crown and I’ll share the instructions for that soon – everybody needs a feather crown.
Besides this blog, lots of things around here have been neglected and are in need of attention ( including email – if you’re waiting to here back form me hang in there – I’ll be catching up this weekend). My little victorian fishbowl terrarium ( a truly inspired gift from my sister becky) has slipped into chaos and disarray. Maybe I have a little too – we are definitely both a little extra dishevelled. I’ve collected some moss and tiny plants and will correct the terrarium situation this weekend. Next week I’ll be back with some new boats and owls and spiders and other stuff in progress. For now here are a couple recently finished things pictured with the gowns they are made from and inspired by:
queenie and french
And constance and o.
And be sure to checkout BHLDN’s new decor line – it’s beautiful and I’m flattered to be included.
I have been pretty occupied lately with this group of birds. They’ve been finished, packed and shipped off and later this spring, for the first time ever, sweetheart birds will be available someplace other than my shop.
I’ll let you know where you can find these limited edition birds very soon .
This summer, at Echo Lake, a troupe of birds attempted a theatrical presentation: the cautionary tale of a little bird in a red cloak and a bad wolf. Selected scenes:
And everyone lived happily ever after.