PAPER PIECED SUNBIRD.
MY INSPIRATION FOR THIS WORK
I have a waterwise garden and during the winter months when all the succulents bloom, my aloes are absolutely stunning! A lot of little sunbirds come and visit these plants as their long beaks are perfectly suited for extracting the nectar from the tube-like flowers. I love watching these tiny creatures and I discovered that I have at least three different species visiting my garden. This is what made me want to design a wall hanging to honour these little visitors!
HOW I WENT ABOUT DESIGNING MY PATTERN.
Firstly, I sketched a couple of the birds, sitting on the plant stalks.
I then drew up a pattern by squaring off the soft lines of the bird’s body.
From there, using a ruler, I drew the radiating straight lines from the body to create the background.
I added a quarter inch seam allowance to the outside of the pattern.
TO CREATE YOUR OWN SUNBIRD, YOU WILL NEED
A 100% cotton fat quarter for your background fabric and binding.
Scraps in your favourite sunbird colours. Mine are:
- Navy blue batik for the top of the head, neck and wing.
- Bright turquoise for the lower face and breast.
- Black with turquoise spots for the chest.
- Pale turquoise for below the chest and tail area.
- Green/turquoise under the tail.
- Navy for tip of tail.
- A bit of light brown for twig.
- A bead for the eye.
- Two layers of Loomtex batting.
- Suitable backing.
- A neutral colour all purpose thread.
- Wonder Invisible thread for quilting the bird.
- Isacord machine embroidery thread for quilting
- Black permanent fine liner pen.
- Spray glue and/or quilt safety pins.
HOW TO GO ABOUT SEWING YOUR SUNBIRD
Set your machine on a smaller stitch length and use a slightly thicker needle. You will be able to remove the paper easier afterwards.
Using your pattern, paper piece the different sections starting with number 1 to the end.
Sew the larger sections together to form your quilt top.
Use a permanent fine liner to draw the claws and the beak.
Use spray glue and /or quilt safety pins to keep the backing, batting and quilt top together.
Thread your machine on top with Wonder Invisible thread and a suitable embroidery thread in the bobbin. I use Isacord thread
Free Motion Quilt the sunbird first using the open toe free motion embroidery foot #24 or the Adjustable Stippling foot #73
With patchwork foot # 37D, do straight line quilting by quilting your work an inch width apart. Be sure to use the dual feed system!
Once these lines are quilted, proceed by quilting every quarter inch.
Square off your work.
Sew a binding, turn over and hand sew the binding in place.
Sew a bead or a button in place for the eye.
Sew a hanging sleeve and label on the back of your work and enjoy your own quilted and SUNBIRD wall-hanging!
If you are passionate about textiles and want to learn more about how to incorporate my innovative techniques into your work, follow me on Instagram @tillydeharde and Facebook, Tilly de Harde Fibre Artist & Teacher and visit my website www.tillydeharde.com & subscribe to my mailing list. Please don’t forget to leave a comment in the comment box below!