Make a Spool Bird

red brocade spool bird

The Project:

There is a very cute bird softie project over on Spool Sewing that I fell in love with the instant I saw it.

Right away I made a trial bird, in pink and yellow—

a week later she was traveling with my husband, Kristian, who made a 34-day, 3,252-kilometer journey by recumbent bicycle from Darwin to Adelaide.  At one point during the trip the string broke and spool bird fell off the handlebars, unnoticed. When he realized she was gone Kris turned around and found her, 10 kms. back, lying in the middle of the desert. What an adventure for my first Spool bird!

fat pink dove

—but what I really wanted was for the pattern’s fabric to be more specific…to complement the bird’s shape and what it was. A silkscreened fabric would have been fun, but there are too many problems with a silkscreen setup, on a boat without electricity or running water. So I picked embroidery. This time, anyway.

The Materials:

One bird doesn’t use a lot of material…a handkerchief-sized piece of fabric for the upper part, half that for the breast piece—so this wasn’t going to be “the project that decimated my fat quarter pile”—though if you make enough of these birds you could do some serious damage to The Great Cloth Heap. But it did promise to use up a couple skeins of DMC embroidery thread (albeit only red)

I used a small square of white linen for the top part, and cut the underside piece from a red linen jacket that somebody had thrown away.

I plundered an old pillow that I cut open three years ago for the stuffing.
red spool bird collage


About smallestforest

bookbinder, crafter, lit. major, passionately curious
This entry was posted in embroidery, fabric, sewing, thread and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Make a Spool Bird

  1. How nice for poor nearly lost spool bird to now have a friend…and a very pretty one at that.

  2. Nanette says:

    Your red bird is beautiful, I thought you’d used a piece of furnishing material maybe, and was delighted and impressed to see you’d hand embroidered your design….nice work.

  3. Pingback: The End, part 2 : : Gallimaufry | the smallest forest

  4. diggasfan says:

    The red embroidery is beautiful. Silksreening is a nice idea too, maybe handpainting some material would be easier as long as you don’t want to make lots of these birds. I also fell in love with this pattern the first time I saw it: only two parts make a simple but perfect 3-D bird, genius!
    Your husband must be a great guy, seems like he appreciates the work you put into manually sewing the first bird.

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