Sunday, January 1, 2012

Itty Bitty Bird Tutorial

For most of my life, birds have creeped me out - I've never been a big fan. Not only because of the movie "The Birds" (which I just learned was based on a real incident) after which I could never view any group of birds quite the same. But also because my dad liked to describe them as filthy creatures, full of diseases which takes the romance right out. However, picture books are just full of them, and they can be very pretty. Also, Z loves them, even pigeons, which I cannot abide. So I recently got excited about making birds.

Woodland pictures are chock full of birds. I don't seem to be getting over making small felt animals, so why not add in some birds. The problem of course is scale. The little animals are .. well ... little - Mr. Deer towers at 6" tall. The birds have to be itty AND bitty to work in this world. Oh, and I had to start with robins. Why? I think robins are the most woodlandy. All of which makes a nice little intro into this - the itty bitty bird tutorial.

I have made a LOT of birds in the past few days. Little difficult birds. They do require good felt and good light. And patience.

With a lot of that practice and my own growing prop house for a felt remake of "The Birds", I landed on the pattern I like best. Some aspects were inspired by things I've seen and patterns I've downloaded. I can't thank the kind people who post these things enough. There are pictures of a few different birds being constructed because some of the photos are better on one or the other. I cut out the birds from the best felt I had.

First I sewed on the wings. This is good planning, and has nothing to do with my desire to hide casting on and off.

Then I sewed the back seam.

This is where I think I am so clever. I twisted the tails to line up and used the decorative straight stitches to hold it in place.

Sew on the belly.

Stuff her up. That odd tool is something of Adrian's that he lent me and is never getting back. He claims it is a dental instrument.

On these birds, I've taken to painting the eyes and beaks. I don't know if that is cheating, but it looks better.

I've expanded to the gray birds, canaries and briefly to a bird with open wings. I've even got the little blue bird to add. So the little tree is filling up slowly. Just like in the movie.

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