woodshedding birds and owls

hand stitched birds

I’m in the woodshed with songbirds. Evaluating the pattern and steps, testing and adjusting little things – using what I learned teaching the workshops last month to make the pattern all I want it to be.

pale blue textile bird

My friend Mickey introduced me to the term woodshedding and I love it:

“The ability to conjure up a feeling of wonder in others, to create a sense of awe, has always fascinated me. And while I do believe that magic can just “happen” under the right circumstances, creating magic is a much different story. It involves a lot of hard work, endless study and a constant refining of process and craft. In music, they call these periods of intense practice woodshedding, referring to the time spent honing skills privately out in the woodshed.”

Mick Riad  –  Creative Director, Fortuny

I think it is my favorite place to be, in the woodshed with something. Discovering, testing and refining. Deep in a learning process.

handstitched birds on my worktable

crimson and puce bird

hand stitched bird details

velvet fortuny owl

I’m also woodshedding owls to prepare for the dastardly owl workshops this fall (I think there are 2 spots left).

What’s going on in your woodshed?

Update – the songbird and owl patterns are available in the shop now:

a sewing pattern for a dastardly owl      sewing pattern for a textile songbird


  1. Rosalind Healy

    Loveliness. I’m having a wooden cabin built in my garden for just such…now I know I’ll be woodshedding in there…

  2. Elizabeth

    How do you hide knots and the easy seam allowance please? I couldn’t see that in the post?

  3. Kathie Mack

    Ann I love your dastardly owls & wish I could fly to California for your workshop. I absolutely can’t do that & I wanted to jump for joy when I read your words about eventually making a pdf pattern for your wonderful dastardly owls. I will be watching for that pattern & I’m very grateful to you. Thank you! Have a wonderful day! Kathie

  4. I will have to use that word woodshedding, I did not know what that meant, and think it covers such a depth of meaning. The time and thought it takes to come to where you want your masterpiece to be. I love that process.

  5. Alice Tribuzi

    I would love to do your work shops but live to far away.I will be keeping my eye out for the owl PDF and the bird Pdf. Cant wait to have a go at making them. I am hoping you make a PDF for the larger doll too.

  6. Hi Ann another inspiring and insightful post. I too love your creativity with making birds and owls and i’ll be in the queue for the pattern. I was wondering if you used your little bird pattern but the shape for these seems different. For these particular birds do you make a calico body which you then ‘dress’ in fabric creating feathers, wings and other loveliness?

  7. Nostress

    I love the pattern so much, making it with old clothes from my little brother, he had Down syndrome and passed away at the afe of 62.5 years old, just one year ago. 27 of juli 2017
    So happy that I can make a songbird to remember him by for my brothers and sister and for his nieces. He was such a nice guy and so beloved. We miss him so much.
    I will thank you for the pattern, I bought it in the Etsy shop and it is worth every penny.
    The pattern is very clear and I am learning a loth of my first.
    It is from his old jeans and pieces of three of his blouses..
    Thank you again for making it possible for me to make my memory birds for my brother.
    Greetings from the Netherlands

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