Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chickadee for Michelle - how it was done

Earlier this month, I was asked how it was done, so I thought I'd give an illustrated explanation (although I only took one in-progress photo at the time).

First, the little chickadee was drawn lightly with a pencil on white fabric with a regular pencil, and then painted (the photo is one of my extras). When the paint was dry, they were layered with thin cotton batting, and quilted. I did several, so that I would be able to do a little practicing, with both painting and quilting. Before it was appliqued to the quilt top, the batting was cut away from the back, leaving batting only under the bird, and then the fabric was trimmed, leaving about 1/ 4" seam allowance.

I decided to use batik fabric for the tree and leaves, as it doesn't fray nearly as much as other quilting cottons. The background fabric was set on top of a layer of batting, then branches and leaves were cut freehand, and pinned in place on the background. Straight stitches were used around the edges of the applique pieces, with feather stitch used for the veins on the leaf. The little chickadee was hand appliqued in place on the branch, as I didn't want large stitches to detract from the painted image.

The backing was cut at least an inch longer than I would have used for a quilt with binding, then it was cut about 3" down from the top, and sewn back together, leaving an opening large enough to turn it right side out. After turning and pressing, it was quilted (yes it is more difficult to hang onto when quilting at the edges, but is the easiest, and quickest way to finish a small quilt.

For the chickadee's nest I twisted a variety of ribbons together and pinned them in place. Beads and buttons were used to tack it in place and embellish at the same time, and a bead was used for the bird's eye. All that was left was to add the hanging sleeve to the back and sign it.


andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

These are so cute. I LOVE the buttons in the nest.

Bethel of Bethania said...

G'day Lynn,
Thanks so much for the little tut ... understand what you have done now - I'm in the process of painting on fabric at the moe so will get back to it with a bit more confidence ... thanks so much ... OOroo ... Bethel