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The Embellishing is Finally Finished

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.

1 Bird Eye Beads

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:

2 Green and Orange Bird Panel

3 Closeup embellished orange bird

4 Closeup embellished green bird

5 Embellished Blue Bird

6 Close - up embellished blue bird

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.



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  • Kristin
    February 16, 2013 11:05 pm

    Love your embroidered bird panel, very different from the original!

  • Ali
    February 11, 2013 2:23 pm

    Wow I had a look back at how this project originally started. The work that’s gone into panels is amazing and well worth it. It’s beautiful. It will make a wonderful bag. Thanks for sharing.
    Ali x

  • Melinda
    February 11, 2013 12:30 pm

    Just beutiful! Something I could imagine Pottery Barn selling for ridiculous amounts of money 🙂

  • Lisa
    February 10, 2013 2:12 pm

    Hi There, I came over from the Sew Many Ways linky party. What a pretty panel, the embroidery & beading are wonderful. These will make an excellent bag, no doubt!


  • Stella Nemeth
    February 10, 2013 1:18 pm

    Very interesting panels. I was wondering what you were going to do with the final results all the way to the last paragraph where you explained you were going to make a bag. They would also work framed or mounted, they are that nice.

  • Andrea
    February 9, 2013 1:13 am

    So beautiful!

  • Sandra :)
    February 9, 2013 12:42 am

    A labour of love – they’re beautiful! I can’t wait to see them finished into a bag 🙂

  • Stephanie Drake
    February 8, 2013 5:39 pm

    Wow! Nicely done and just the right amount of beading, IMHO.
    Can’t wait to see the bag. Gives me ideas with some floral fabric I have.
    I like how you embridered through the batting, right? Adds dimension.

    • admin
      February 8, 2013 8:10 pm

      Thanks for the wonderful compliment Stephanie.

      For some things I did embroider right through the batting… the flowers I used backstitch through all layers, same thing with the outline for the beaks and the eyes in satin stitch as well. And the running stitches/quilting stitches outlining the birds and the tree branches were done through all layers.

      But for things like the details on the birds… the French knots on the wings, the lazy daisy stitches for the tail feathers and around the eyes and the parallel rows of backstitch at the throat, I just embroidered the fabric.

  • rosa
    February 8, 2013 5:04 pm

    it`s fantastic.Love the design,fabrics and the ornaments.Great job!!

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