artful bird preview

Upload: interweave

Post on 07-Apr-2018




0 download


  • 8/4/2019 Artful Bird Preview








    abigail patnerglassenberg

  • 8/4/2019 Artful Bird Preview




    I often wait until I have a turned,

    stuffed, standing bird before I decide

    what sort of wings it might have and

    what color scheme to use. To me, the

    wings are a blank canvas, and this is

    my opportunity to be creative with

    colors, textures, and materials. The

    simplest method is to make quilted

    wings and tails. Wings and tails

    with feathers take more time, but

    also add complexity, texture and

    visual interest.

    Creating Quilted

    Wings and TailsThe simplest way to create wings

    and tails is to sandwich batting

    between fabric layers and quilt to

    add dimension and visual interest.

    This is a fast, but still beautiful, way

    to make wings and tails. I like cotton

    batting best, but polyester batting will

    also work for these projects.

    Cut a piece of batting roughly the

    shape of the wing or tail, but 14"

    (6 mm) larger. Cut two pieces of

    fabric this same size, and placethem right sides together. Put the

    fabric on top of the batting, creating

    a sandwich: batting on the bottom,

    then two layers of fabric, right sides

    together, on top. Iron the pattern

    piece on top of the sandwich [1].

    Stitch around the pattern piece

    through all layers, leaving an open-ing of about 1" (2.5 cm) for turning


    Pull off the pattern piece and trim

    the seam allowance around the

    stitching line to 18" (3 mm).

    stuffed bird



    fgure 1

    fgure 2

  • 8/4/2019 Artful Bird Preview



    Insert forceps between the twofabric layers and grasp the farthest

    tip of the wing. Gently pull the wing

    right side out. Iron it at and tuck

    in the raw edges of the opening,

    ironing them at as well [3]. Stitch

    the opening closed with a ladder


    Now, quilt the wing. I like to draw afeathery design with a disappearing

    fabric pen and stitch over it on the

    machine [4]. Handquilting can give

    a beautiful effect, too.

    Creating the Base for

    Feathered Wings and Tails

    The rst step in creating a feathered

    wing is to sew up a wing base that will

    hold loops, punched shapes, or other

    feathery embellishments. The wing

    and tail bases can be any fabric color,

    because they will be covered later and

    will not show.

    Cut two pieces of fabric roughly

    the shape of a wing but 14" (6 mm)

    larger. Place them wrong sides to-

    gether. Iron the wing pattern piece

    on top [5].

    Repeat for the other wing and

    the tail.

    Stitch alongside edge of freezer

    paper around the pattern piece

    through both layers. Remove

    freezer paper. Cut out the shape

    through both fabric layers, cutting

    18" (3 mm) from stitching [6].

    Wings and tails have raw edges and

    are not turned.

    fgure 3

    fgure 4

    Making Looped FeathersTo create looped feathers on wings

    and tails with torn strips of fabric,

    I like to use quilting cottonit tears

    very easily and in straight lines

    on either the lengthwise or cross-

    wise grain. To tear strips, make a

    series of snips along one edge of the

    fabric, about 12" (1.3 cm) apart (it

    is not important to be exact about

    this). Tear the fabric using the

    snips as starting points. Continue

    tearing until you have a good pile of

    strips. Twelve to fteen strips are

    needed for a one wing, so several

    dozen in a few different colors will

    be needed to complete one bird

    [7]. You can press the strips if

    they are curled on the edges.

    fgure 6

    fgure 5

    fgure 7

  • 8/4/2019 Artful Bird Preview


    Quails are small, plump birds that

    nest on the ground. Whimsicalhead feathers and colorful plum-

    age make this bird an especially

    attractive finished piece. I like to

    give the quail long, flirty eyelashes

    to add to its allure. Because thisbird is a ground dweller, it does

    not stand on wire legs; its rotund

    body is weighted with a smooth

    stone inserted during stuffing, so

    that it stays upright.

  • 8/4/2019 Artful Bird Preview


    making quail

    1 Trace pattern pieces and cut out of freezer paper.

    2 Pre-wash and iron all fabrics.

    3Cut two side body pattern pieces from white cotton fabric.

    Transfer all markings. Cut one bottom gusset and one head

    gusset from white cotton fabric. Transfer all markings.

    4Pin bottom gusset to one side body from point A to point B.Stitch. Pin bottom gusset to other side body from point A to

    point B. Stitch.

    5Pin head gusset to one side body from Point C to Point D andsew. Pin head gusset to other side body from Point C to Point Dand sew.

    6Sew remainder of bird between Point A and Point C and

    between Point B and Point D, leaving the opening for turningand stuffing as marked.

    7Clip curves and reinforce seams as needed. Turn quail right side

    out with forceps, pulling head into body first and then pulling

    the rest of the body through the opening.


    materials14yard (23 cm) white cotton

    fabric for body

    Scraps of colorful cotton for

    wings, crest, and tail, about 12yard

    (45.5 cm) in total

    Small scrap of brown cotton fabricfor beak, about 2" 2" (5 cm 5 cm)

    15" (38 cm) of 18-gauge

    aluminum wire for crest

    10 ounces (284 g) wool or

    polyester stufng

    Brown embroidery oss

    Smooth stone for weighting, about

    112" to 2" (3.8 cm to 5 cm) in diameter


    toolsFreezer paper

    Scissors for paper and fabric

    Disappearing fabric marker


    Appliqu pins

    Sewing machine


    Hand-sewing needle

    Wire cutters

    Craft glue

    Round craft punch for crest


    pattern piecesQuail Side Body {cut 2}

    Quail Bottom Gusset {cut 1}

    Quail Head Gusset {cut 2}

    Quail Wing {cut 4}

    Quail Tail {cut 2}

    Quail Beak {cut 2}







  • 8/4/2019 Artful Bird Preview



    Tools and Materials

    Basic Birdmaking Techniques


    Fabric Selection

    Stitching Methods

    Turning and Stufng

    Wire Legs and Feet

    Beaks and Eyes

    Wings and Tails



    profiles and galleryBirds by Abigail Brown, Tamar

    Mogendorff, Jennifer Muskopf,

    and Ann Wood



    projectsBird Ornament

    Bird in a Nest

    Mini Assemblage











    Wading BirdFlamingo


    Hen with Eggs



    wading bird

  • 8/4/2019 Artful Bird Preview



    gallery 7



  • 8/4/2019 Artful Bird Preview


    join theflock!Create your own aviary of charming, beautifully detailed,

    one-of-a-kind fabric bird sculptures with basic machine-

    and handsewing, embroidery, and mixed-media craft tech-

    niques. presents 19 incredibly charming,

    quirky, personality-lled birds for you to make!

    Through a detailed chapter of step-by-step basic bird-

    making techniques and tips, you will not only learn to

    make these cute creatures, but also discover how to draft

    your own patterns for almost any birdreal or imagined.

    Inside youll also nd Glassenbergs creative ideas to give

    each bird individual character and personality, from using

    paint and glitter to adding collage elements. Plus, check

    out an international gallery of birds from other noted

    fabric bird makers for more inspiration!

    Abigail Patner Glassenberg has been making award-winning soft toys and soft sculptures since 2005. She has mademore than 100 birds of every variety, selling them in galleries,boutiques, craft shows, and online. Her work has also beenfeatured in magazines including Cloth Paper Scissorsand insewing, craft, and soft sculpture books. She lives in Boston,Massachusetts.

    paperback, 8 9, 144 pagesisbn 978-1-59668-238-2, $24.95

    available january 2011