Birdie a ‘Joy’ to make!
WE WERE CAPTIVATED BY THE QUIZZICAL AND PERKY ATTITUDE OF THIS FELT BIRDIE, ENTERED BY JOY McPADDEN. THE LITTLE PENCIL DISGUISED AS A TAIL FEATHER WAS A SWEET, WHIMSICAL ADDITION.
by Mindy Cook
This birdie stands approximately 18cm high and 12cm from beak to tail.
Download and print the birdie pattern guideline by clicking HERE
Place your fabric on top of your felt and using the machine needle as a ‘pencil’, stitch your choice of shapes (Joy did flower shapes) onto both layers. Free-motion machine stitch or stipple around the sewn shapes to make quilted fabric.
Use the pattern provided, add a seam allowance then cut two mirror image bird shapes of your choice from your quilted fabric (made in step above). Then cut a gusset to add to the head, and save a scrap for securing the legs later.
Place the two body shapes together, with felt pieces together. Press them on a flat surface. (Joy found the felt gripped well, so no pinning was required.)
Using a sewing machine, stitch around the edge of the bird shape, starting at the beak, leaving three gaps; at the end of the tail, an opening in the lower part of the bird where the legs will be placed, and at the top of the ‘neck’ at the back of the head.
Turn the project right side out so the felt is now on the outside. Finger-press to achieve your desired shape.
Hand-stitch the gusset piece to the top of the head. This seam will be on the right side of the bird.
Stuff your birdie with filling, adjusting and easing it into a 3D shape.
Using suitable scissors (not sewing scissors!) cut one long piece of flat aluminium wire. While the birdie does have two legs, do not cut separate ones. Loop each end into a shape that you would like for each foot. Keep in mind your birds unique character traits as this element adds to the overall finished effect. Fold the flat wire in half at the centre.
Place the folded middle section of the wire into the base of the birdie where you have left a hole. Roll up scraps of the quilted felt and place them firmly over the top of the fold in the wire, where it meets the body of your birdie. (Ensure the felt is facing outwards, where it may be visible). Using tiny stitches, hand sew into place.
Hand stitch around the beak, keeping to the bird’s character you are aiming for.
Insert the pins where you think the eyes would be suitable. Stand back and look at it from different angles. You may also like to bend the leg wire to make knees at this stage. When you are happy with the eye position, remove the pins and hand-sew the buttons or beads into place.
Secure the pencil or your chosen token into the tail space, pulling out a few strands to soften the look if desired.
Bend the leg wire to make knees (if you have not already done so) and check the birdie’s balance so it will stand unassisted.
Enjoy your new birdie!
To see the finalists and winners of this competition, visit a Craft & Quilt Fair coming to one of the following locations:
Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre, May 20 – 24
Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island, June 17 – 21
Launceston Silverdome, July 10 – 12
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, July 23 – 26
Canberra – Exhibition Park In Canberra, Mitchell, August 6 – 9
Hamilton, NZ – Claudelands Events Centre, September 3 – 6
Christchurch, NZ – Air Force Museum of NZ, September 10 – 12
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, October 7 – 11
Adelaide Event & Exhibition Centre, Showground, Wayville, November 5 – 8
Joy’s Special Note: “The ‘eyes’ I used were saved in a little glass jar by my grandmother and could have originally been on a pair of her gloves.”