It's Wednesday, and it's a WIP

And another "how to"...

I usually start with a photograph as a base and then do a rough sketch of the bird. 

Because it isn't anything I'm going to keep, I usually use a piece of scrap paper - in this case - the protective paper the dollar store used to wrap a breakable item.  I just ironed it and it was ready to go.

And then I use that sketch as both a pattern for my naked bird, which I also cut out of a piece of scrap fabric of any kind (it doesn't matter 'cuz it's gonna get covered).  The only exception is that you don't want to use something that will melt when ironed!

Then I fuse it - again, usually to scrap pieces of fusing (as the birds in this particular series are no taller than 5 inches and no wider than 3) and then I cut out my naked bird.

I look carefully at my photo and pull all the colours I need for the feathers - in this case, many shades of red.

I don't usually use patterned fabrics, but this polka dot was very subtle, I didn't think it would really show when cut up, and the watermelon red was perfect!

Then I fuse my fabrics, and then the fun begins!

Free hand cutting the feathers in two or three sizes, depending on where that particular coloured feather is going to be placed.

When I do this I:

a)  leave the backing paper on when I'm cutting as it helps to prevent fraying of the fabric
b)  lay all my feathers before I iron. The more you iron, the harder the fusible gets, and soon it become impossible for a needle to pass through, as well as becoming so stiff and hard that that fabric has about as much flexibility as Tupperware.

Mes voilà!

The little fellow I'm showing you there is not quite done - he needs some paint to further define - but nearly ready.  

On Friday, I'll show you the finished piece.  'Til then...
Kit 120

P.S. Joining our Canadian friends at The Needle and Thread Network
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Kit Lang


  1. ohhh thanks for sharing the process!

  2. That cardinal is awesome, Kit. Thanks for sharing the process. Those feathers are freakin' small! Do you use tweezers to place them and iron in stages? Or do you do all of it at once and then iron?

  3. much work but it's worth it...he's going to be loverly:)

  4. I love cardinals!! Miss them out here in the West, although our Western Tanager makes up for it ;-). Those feathers are incredibly small! Wow! Is your iron a mess? You must have to place each of those feathers fuse side down? Your manual dexterity must be off the chart!

  5. Wow!!! Cardinals are my favorites...and he is beautiful!

  6. I love to see the cardinals at my bird feeder. This guy looks quite dapper!

  7. I could use some read feathers myself. Little bigger. lol Great bird!

  8. That will be another fantastic piece!

  9. This is a very intriguing process!

  10. Great to see your process! Those feathers look tiny - this looks very meticulous.

  11. Terry, they are tiny and it is meticulous - but very enjoyable - for me. ;)

  12. Anonymous24.1.13

    Very interesting process! Thanks for sharing. I will come back Friday to see the finish!

  13. Neat! We have lots of real ones just now in the garden eating sunflower seeds.


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