These sweet little fabric birds by designer Helen Philipps make a wonderful springtime gift. You can machine- or hand-sew them, making this the perfect project for children to try. Just cut out your templates and sew!
Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine is packed with quick and simple projects just like this, as well as larger quilts and cushions, using all kinds of fun techniques. Issue eight is filled with lots more fab projects, including a patchwork purse by Lisa Lam, a Union Jack quilt by Lynne Goldsworthy, sausage dog softies by Jo Carter and so much more! You’ll find issue eight in the shops right now, or you can buy a copy of Love Patchwork & Quilting online.
How to Make Fabric Birds
*White Tree shown is available at Hobbycraft. Shop white tree >
You Will Need
- A variety of small pieces of printed cottons
- Polyester toy filling
- Two black beads for eyes
- Black cotton
- Teal and white baker’s twine
- White card for templates
- Bird template (PDF, 129 KB)
41 / two inches x four inches approximately.
Making One Bird
Using the templates provided, trace the bird body, the tummy insert and the wing onto a sheet of white card and cut out carefully to make re-usable templates.
Cut two 5in squares of printed cotton and place right sides together. Place the bird shape on the wrong side of one piece of fabric and draw carefully round it, marking where the opening will be. Take a piece of contrasting fabric for the bird’s tummy insert and draw around that template on the back of the fabric. Cut out leaving a 1/4in seam allowance.
Sew around the bird shape by hand or machine and then trim the seam. Turn the bird the right way out, carefully pushing out the beak and the tail to make a clear shape. Take the tummy insert and pin it in place on one side of the opening. Sew with a 1/4in seam and repeat for the second side, leaving a small gap for stuffing near
Stuff the bird firmly with polyester toy filling and sew the gap neatly closed.
For the wings, take two pieces of cotton fabric and with right sides together draw around the wing shape onto one of them. Sew around the wing shape, leaving a small gap for turning. Turn the wing out to the right side, push the shape out carefully and press. Sew up the small gap neatly. Make another wing in the same way.
Attach the wings on either side of the bird with a few stitches, or with fabric glue.
Clipping and notching the body seams before turning will help to achieve a smooth curve to your bird when right-side out.
Sew black beads in place for the eyes using black cotton.
Thread a large-eyed needle with a 10in length of baker’s twine and draw it through the top of the bird’s head. Remove the needle and tie the twine in a small knot. Tie another knot at the top of the twine for hanging the bird.
Helen Philipps’ love of needlecraft led her to creating original designs, including patchwork and quilting, and she also writes a popular craft blog: helenphilipps.blogspot.co.uk