Saturday, January 27, 2018


It feels so good to be back at work!  I am pleased with my birdie.  Applique involves so many stages: searching thru fabric, ironing fabric to freezer paper templates, starching down the turned edges, lightly gluing down the pieces with Elmers, then tacking all down with basting prior to any stitching.  That part is completed-now I get to do the stitching!  After stitching, there is some embroidering of stems and leaves and feather-work on the bird.

Here is my wren next to pattern so you can see what embroidery will be completed.
Before I started working on the wren, I pulled out a couple of my bird books to refresh my memory as to the feathering of wrens.  It occured to me then that tho this pattern is called the Naturalists Notebook, the birds are somewhat impressionist-that is not an exact copy but rather evokes the bird. 
I use 100 wt silk thread for applique work.  I have used other types and they all have their pros and cons.  Aurifil 50wt is the current favorite being pushed as the go-to thread for appliquers and I am sure it is just great.  I am going to stick with silk because I am tired of changing-as I said, they all have their pros and cons-no one of them is perfect.

 Here is another view-I am having a hard time capturing the colors.

A couple of the bits on the bird were hi-lighted using Caran D'ache Neocolor II.

I know most of you follow the wonderful Esther Aliu @  .
She has begun an exciting new group on facebook.  You can find it at: Stenciled & Painted Quilts Group to sign up.  She is demonstrating some beautiful stenciling work right now.  The idea behind this group is for us all to share our experiences with textile paints and help each other learn.  I know most learning is done by playing but helpful hints from other's experiences might set a person in the right direction.  For instance, I have trouble with the Caran D'ache appearing to dull out the fabric so the new color may be correct but the overall look is meh! Any ideas?

On Feburary 1st, Helen Godden will release her pattern and video classes on how to paint Aussie birds using Jacquard Luminere acrylics.  I have all my paints, brushes, and black Kona ready to go!
The Sweet William pattern I mentioned last post has morphed from reproduction fabrics to a "Liberty of London" feel.  Liberty of London, as you know is lovely colored, finely printed, small florals-very expensive here in the US.  There are some clones available such as Regent Street by Moda and Garden Delights by In the Beginning fabrics.  After having lived thru the hardest year of my life, I found I did not want to use the toned down reproduction fabric.  I want sunny!  Tho subject to change, here is kind of what I am thinking of:

 Instead of yellow gingham, maybe this mottled yellow with the basket blocks picking up the lightest tones.  I have ordered a charm pack of the Garden Delights and am thinking of mixing them with Kona cotton pastels.  I can tell more once I receive the fabric.

These are computer models of weather patterns.  I was struck by the similiarity to Van Gogh's swirlings.  It must have been hard on him if he saw the world like this:

 That's all for now!  Happy quilting until we met again!

I am linking up with:
Slow Stitching Sunday, Bambi's Blog, Making Monday,  Em's Scrapbag, Esther's Wow, 
Let's Bee Social, Whoop Whoop, and Finish or Not!, Off the Wall Friday.


  1. I like the mottled yellow.
    And your bird is beyond amazing.
    You really have a gift with colours.

  2. Love your bird.
    You are not making a real bird - only bird parents can do that... You are making a work of art - for sure - and that allows for artistic license. Anyone who knows birds can see it's a wren... I learned from a TV show Dogs 101 - individuals may vary.

  3. The bird is lovely, you have a gift for selecting fabrics for projects. Love that yellow! I agree, sunny fabrics rock!

  4. Your wren is luscious! So very lovely - it looks like it really could fly off the surface.

    :) Linda

  5. Your wren is looking beautiful Pam - the fabrics you have chosen work really well. I love your sunny collection of fabrics for Sweet William. xx

  6. I love your wren! I have been collecting Sandra's patterns but I haven't plucked up the courage to start yet :)

  7. Your wren does look like it could take flight at any moment. I agree applique takes a lot of time. I am still recovering from mine, so much time is invested in making a large applqiued quilt! But boy are the beautiful!

  8. Your little wren is just adorable! This is going to be a beautiful project--can't wait to see more!

  9. Your bird is going to be quite attractive. You have captured the look so well with your fabric choices.

  10. Gorgeous wren looks like he belongs on a branch in the backyard with all the other wrens.

  11. Your little wren looks as though it might jump off the fabric and fly away! Stunning.

  12. Love, your little birdie. Very worthwhile on your prep work. Excellent fabric choices. Initially, I thought Garden Delights was Liberty.

  13. Starry, starry night, indeed! I can see a quilt artist who excels at thread painting creating a work of art.
    Love how your sweet wren is coming along - you have such an eye for choosing the best colors to bring him to life. The yellow fabric and accompanying Liberty of London fabrics will be a joy to work with on your new project...

  14. whee!!! What a fun post! So stimulating... I love jacquard paints, but I want to say, SETA color "shimmers" are really shimmery and my go to paints now. Even over Stuart Gill. Your bird,,, so beautiful with the words background. LeeAnna at not afraid of color

  15. Hi Pam,
    your wren is absolutely beautiful!

  16. Thank you very much for your link this week to the show and tell you monday !! bambi hug

  17. Superbe votre troglodyte et merci pour le moment Zen.....

  18. i love your wren! I’m working on a woodpecker right now and yes the stitching really brings it to life. I also really like the written text background appropriate for a journal bird. That weather pattern is the coolest!

  19. Your little wren is adorable! I like 50/2 Aurifil thread for piecing, especially for intricate blocks with lots of seams, but I'm with you when it comes to silk thread for applique. Now that I know the trick of threading the eye of the needle twice so it doesn't constantly come unthreaded, that is! I just love the way the silk feels between my finger tips, how smoothly it slips through the fabric with the tiniest of needles leaving no visible holes, and the fine 100 weight silk just disappears into my fabric so well that I can't always tell when I've made it all the way around to where I started stitching!