Progress on the Cardinal Pincushion

Trying out the shape
I've been working on the Christmas Cardinal Pincushion!  Just trying it out to see how it's going to look by shaping the block around another of my CD pincushions.

Cardinal Sketches
I knew I wanted to add an embroidered cardinal using Gerry's technique for embroidering birds.  I've used it before with great success.  For the cardinals, I started by sketching some from photos of cardinals that I found on Flickr.

Christmas Pincushion WIP 2
Then I reduced the sketches, cut them out  and tried out the placement on the block.

Transferring Designs
Then I laid out the little cutouts on my felt so they all fit within the embroidery hoop.  That pink hoop against the red is enough to give me a headache!  You can see that what I originally intended to be ONE embroidered cardinal turned into three!

Ready to Embroider
The birds were traced and primary elements sketched in with a Micron marker.

Embroidered Cardinals on felt
I outlined the birds with a tight chain stitch and then embroidered away.  Rather than layering elements, I relied on different stitches to add dimension.  Wish I had a better technique for those beaks though.

Pincushion block with embroidered cardinals
Then I trimmed them out.  Going to look great!  The trimming part is the most nerve wracking part of this for me as I always seem to trim at least one spot too close and end up with a loose thread or two,

Cardinal 1
Then each little bird got appliqued to the block.  Pretty happy with the way these turned out.  For scale this bird is just 2 inches long from tip of crest to end of tail and about an inch wide.  Definitely needed my reading glasses and a bright work light!

Cardinal on a branch
Another cardinal.  Like I said, the beak needs work!  This little guy is just an inch and a half from top to bottom.

Cardinal Block before embellishment
And here it the block as it stands right now.  I've got the borders marked and just need to finish embellishing the seams with some beads and sequins!  This won't be the most functional of pincushions, but will be a nice decoration!


Leslie said…
I love cardinals and crazy quilting and think it looks great. As we used to say in my quilt guild, if you can't see it from 20 feet on the back of a running horse, it's fine!
Your little cardinals are absolutely charming!
Nark said…
WOW, Thearica, your work is wonder you have too many things to do. How large is that pincushion? you mentioned that the cardinals are two inches across?? I have a couple of pincushions I need to make for "presents" and cant make up my mind what to do. Nark

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