I’ve been working off and on embellishing two fabric bird panels since July of last year. You can follow the progress on these panels by clicking on the embroidery category in my left sidebar.
In December, I added beads to the centers of the flowers and to the flower buds.
That left only the birds’ eyes, which I had also intended to use beads for. I auditioned various beads… even these black ones.
But when I held one in place on one of the birds, instead of looking like birds’ eyes as I had hoped, they appeared almost cartoonish… definitely not the look I was going for!
I thought of using round black fabric studs, but discovered that they don’t come in sizes small enough.
In the end, I decided to satin stitch the eyes with DMC Light Effects Floss in Ebony. I really liked the way the eyes turned out using this floss, but it was terrible to work with. The strands frayed and knotted as it was pulled through the fabric and I was thankful that I was only using it for three small eyes and not for something bigger.
And a note of caution… the thread melts if you even lightly go over it with an iron.
A new friend here had asked to see the panels and I was rushing to give them a quick pressing before I went to meet her, when suddenly I noticed little black flecks on the cheek of one of the birds. It was then that I realized what I’d done.
I was horrified and on the verge of tears, fearing that all my work was ruined. However, with careful washing and then picking out of the melted floss, I thought I could save the panel.
After the panel had dried completely, I re-embroidered the eye; slightly bigger to cover up the picked out part. Then I added lazy daisy stitches over the printed feathers around the eye. I also embroidered the throat area using several rows of backstitch, stitched right beside each other.
Then of course, because I’d done all that to one bird, I had to do it to the other two as well.
Having explained all that… here are the finished panels:
I’m actually very pleased with the results now. Only by looking closely can you see which bird had the melted eye. And the added embroidery makes the birds even prettier than they were before.
I have however, made a note on the cardboard embroidery bobbin with that metallic floss to only use it in very small projects and NOT to get an iron anywhere near it.
Now that the embellishing is finished, I just need to turn those panels into a bag.