Update: The Birds of Beebe Woods poster is in my Etsy shop .
Now that the piece is finished, I can spend time reviewing how I made some of the parts. Opportunities to see the original piece are listed at the end of this post. The bluejay (life size) was one of the first birds I made, after the crow, because it’s on the large size and I wanted to make sure it would fit. The birds’ arrangement wasn’t set until the very end and I kept moving the critters around. That’s why I like to create separate elements–it’s very much like a collage that way. I have kind of an idea of how it will be, but I want room to maneuver the pieces. Tweaking is good because it brings surprises!
After looking at photos of bluejays, I picked a pose and cut the body shape out of matt board. Then I cut a piece of white felt and stitched a textured pattern on the breast. I cut a whole in the felt for the bead eye, too.
Oh dear, looking at these photo’s, the sequence of steps is not clear to me. You’d think I’d remember, but every time I make a new character or animal, I try different approaches. When I sew, I’m not analyzing what I’m doing, which makes it hard to explain later.
But, I can tell you this much, the bluejay’s wings are made of layered blue and white felt, all embroidered with a few simple stitches, in this case the fly and blanket stitch.
The tail stripe pattern is mostly blanket stitched.
To see other posts about the making of Birds of Beebe Woods, go to the archives here.
Since many people have asked if the original is for sale– not now, as I will be holding onto it for a few years, so that it can be displayed in public exhibitions. The next showing is May 15 – Sept. 15, 2015 at Highfield Hall and Gardens in Falmouth, Massachusetts. I am also curating the outdoor exhibit of 32 fanciful fairy houses, Fairy Houses of Highfield Hall, which will be on display June 28 – August 31, 2015.
And later in the year, the “birds” will be in Winconsin. Oct 21. 2015 – January 10, 2016 ~ Insects to Elephants at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg, Wisconsin.