21 July 2013

Birds of a Feather

 You will need:  

Scraps of wool felt for bird bodies/wings (I have used some felted old blanket too!)
Yellow and black felt for beaks 
Assorted buttons for eyes
Black sewing thread
Olive green and dark green felt for leaves
Florist wire (green)
Collection of thin tree branches
Jute or thick string to tie branches 
Cardboard or template plastic 
White and dark quilting pencil 
Glue gun and glue sticks

How to make them: 

 *  Copy the templates for bodies, wings, beaks and leaves onto thick cardboard or template plastic and cut out on lines.  Seam allowances are allowed for on the templates.  
*  Choose your felt for the bird bodies and wings, then place the templates onto felt.  Draw around the edges with the quilting pencil and cut out the shapes.  These birds are not meant to be perfect so experiment with your color combinations.  
*  Machine stitch a wing to each side of a body. 

*  Fold a beak piece in half and place the folded edge on the outer edge of the bird body as shown above.  Stitch across the beak a small distance from the edge.  
*  Place two body pieces together with the right sides facing in.  Pin and leave a small opening for stuffing. Stitch in a 6mm (1/4 inch) seam.  Turn birds right sides out.

*  Stuff with Polyfill using a chopstick or stuffing tool to push stuffing into tails.  Hand stitch opening closed. 


*  Stitch an "eye" button to one side of the bird.  NB:  When you are placing birds on your branches,  you will want some facing to the left and some right, so stitch the eyes on the side that will be facing outwards accordingly.

*  Leaves:  Using a small zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine-stitch the ends of the florist wire to the top of each leaf as shown below.  Place an olive green leaf one end and a dark leaf the other.

*  You are ready to decorate your branches!  Tie the selection of branches firmly together with the jute, wrapping it several times around the cluster of stems. Place in your choice of container.  I used a heavy vase with narrow opening.  If you don't want to see the tie, place it to face the back! 

*  Decide on the position of your leaves and wrap the wire a few times around the branches to hold. 
*  Finally use the hot glue to attach the birds, nesting them in the grooves of branches and sitting them in pairs to look "natural!"  You're finished!  Aren't they oh so pretty!  

Enjoy!  x Wendy

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