You could say that we’re “bird people” around here. I’ve got this thing for Charley Harper and all of his bird art, and I’ve been putting nature in front of my kids to feast on as they see fit. Up above, my daughter is perusing a set of Sibley backyard bird cards to attempt finding and ID for a bird she saw outside the car.
We all tend to congregate around windows when birds show up to perch or eat on our deck (our neighbor has a bird feeding paradise set up in her yard. We sponge off of her traffic with some meager bread crusts to offer), and everyone yells about which birds they recognize.
Virginia Lindsay, who makes the patterns in the Gingercake shop, offered to let me snag a copy of her new book Pretty Birds from her publisher to see if I’d like to sew anything out of it. As we were just gearing up for some Springtime nature study around here, and I’m also on the lookout for fun little projects to get my oldest kids involved in (age 6 and 4), I thought this would be a great little resource for us.
The 19 month old is a bit of a flying things afficionado. He can identify the sound of an airplane from inside the house, and he can spot a cardinal (and say its name!) far off in the bushes. I’ve found him birdwatching for long stretches of time from the fence of our second story deck. Hands gripping the bars, little nose peeking out from between them.
Even the dolls here seem to like birds.
As soon as I got the book, instead of trying to decide which project to start with, I just looked at the table of contents to see if there was a cardinal. It was the obvious choice. Boom.
This little guy is pretty popular in our house. Even before he was done, the baby walked up to me as I stitched some parts on and yelled “cardinal!”. His sisters also followed suit. And as soon as he was done, my 4 year old was feeding him a bowl of pumpkin seeds for breakfast.
I made a little change to the pattern just for aesthetic purposes. The black face is more squared than the Pretty Birds pattern piece because it felt more Charley Harper to me. Like so …..
I also left off the eyes. Mostly because I couldn’t dig up any buttons I liked with it. The face is also crooked. This was not for aesthetic purposes. Lol. Juuuuust a mistake.
I love that you can quickly make a little bird with tiny scraps. I used some buffalo check flannel, red wool felt, a miniscule piece of black knit, cotton and steel cotton (scrap from another unblogged as of yet project) and wool batting to stuff it.
I just recently finished making my 4 year old daughter’s boy doll, and word is that hes engaged to be married toAnnie (as soon as I made him some pants and her a veil). She’s an older woman. So saucy! They’re basically stuffed with the same guts and made with the same fabric, which I’m pretty sure makes them 100% related. Somebody really ought to tell them……It’s like Luke and Leia all over again.
I think the pattern was simple and good, the book is full of cute ideas, and I recommend it. My only complaint is that I don’t really like the method of downloading the patterns by scanning a code with your phone. You also have the option of photocopying a little version of the pattern from a page in the book, but I really like being able to fold out a real pattern sheet and trace my patterns.
It’s probably a lot less expensive to produce a book with no foldout pattern sheets, so I get it. But that’s just what I prefer!
I’m going to have to make more birds because this little fellow is actually destined to be a gift in a little nature exchange I signed us up for. We can’t exactly send a real cardinal from our back yard, so I thought this might make a nice substitute.
Oh hey, I said there was a giveaway in my post title, huh!
well, here you go. You’ve got a chance to win a copy of the book and bird making fabric kit.
And here is the schedule of other bloggers who have contributed to the tour
2/25 You Go Girl!
2/26 Erica B. DIY Style
2/28 Recycled Crafts
3/1 Sew Mama Sew
3/2 Lorelei’s Blog
3/4 S is for Sewing
3/5 Lori Greenberg
3/10 Sweet KM
3/13 Girl Like the Sea
3/15 Cut Out + Keep