Monday, March 18, 2013

March Redwork Birdie Stitches

I have missed having a small handwork project. Another quilter recommended Birdie Stitches Block of the Month by Little Miss Shabby available free online: When I saw it, I knew it was the perfect project for me. The designs are fun and whimsical. There are twelve small projects - one for each month - that are 8" square when finished. Instead of using several colors of embroidery thread, I chose to use just No. 8 perle cotton in red. All I need is a needle, scissors, a ball of perle cotton, and my monthly project. Everything fits in a little bag, and I can take it anywhere.

I printed the twelve monthly designs from the Little Miss Shabby website. Next, I ironed freezer paper to a 12" square of the Kona cotton in Snow. I taped a paper pattern to a window, then taped the cotton backed with freezer paper over the paper. I traced the design with a pencil.

I have done redwork on a single layer of fabric, and the knots show through from the back. I've tried backing the fabric with very lightweight iron-on interfacing, but the interfacing wrinkled. This time I used a double layer of the Kona cotton. I ironed the layers together and used an embroidery hoop. I didn't baste the two layers together, but it has not been a problem. I've been very pleased with the results so far.

I did make one change to the design. I added the name of the month to each block by finding a script font on my computer and enlarging it to 72.
These two poems are found in a wonderful picture book called Pieces: A Year in Poems and Quilts by Anna Grossnickle Hines.  The quilts that accompany the poems are spectacular!
In March
The long winter snow
melts in drips
and trickles
as, mittenless,
I splash in puddles,
squishing mud
on my boots, while the creek
bubbles in celebration
Do You Know Green?
Green sleeps in winter
     beneath the snow
     and last year's stems
     and old dead leaves
resting up for spring
     and then . . . 
Green comes . . .
     tickling the tips
     of twiggy tree fingers
          Psst!  Psst!  
poking up as tiny
     slips of baby grass
          Ping!  Ping!
springing up as coiled
     skunk cabbage leaves
          Pop!  Pop!
bursting out on bare 
     brown branches
          Pow!  Pow!
Brand new baby yellow green
bright gold biting busy green
     until it seems
     everywhere one goes
     green grows. 

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post:


  1. The double layer of white is so good and the back parts of the stitching don't show through at all. Maybe I have to design some red work of that bird reading a book. with pickle borders as well. Hmm

  2. I like the idea of an easy, simple embroidery project. That is something I'm not currently doing. Will you make a quilt out of the 12 blocks?

  3. very cute little bird and your stitches are so perfect, very nice!

  4. Oh, this could not be any cuter! Thank you for including the link to the pattern. I have been using lightweight non fusible interfacing for backing since I started stitching again and like that very much too.

  5. what a cute little bird and a great project! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday


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