Mostly making: Embroidery practise!

It's years since I've done any embroidery, but I was really inspired by Jacinta Lodge's wonderful tips on satin stitch and Emily Peacock's sweet tweeted bird. My skills are pretty rusty, so I quickly traced this little bird on to a bit of cotton and started practising my backstitch! Read on to find out more, and find your link to this fun birdie template...

It's amazing how quickly you can start stitching. All you need is some stranded cotton, a needle, some fabric and a pair of sharp scissors. I had all of these things hanging around the house, plus an embroidery hoop which is good for keeping the fabric taut.

I was eager to get started, so I traced over a bird template that I originally designed for Papercraft inspirations magazine: Click on this link then choose 'Page 4' to find your bird template.

You can get some great embroidery transfer pens for tracing designs on to fabric, but I must confess that I've always just used a pencil. Naughty crafter!

There are loads of embroidery stitches to try, but I've started by using simple backstitch all the way around my design. There's a real art to getting the stitches smooth and even, and I did get in a tangle to start with. I tried a bit of satin stitch for the bird's eye too.

Next, I think I'll add some seed stitches or french knots for texture, or perhaps some sweet lazy daisy flowers around my bird. If you fancy stitching a bird along with me, you can add pictures to our Flickr group and let us know how you get on.

Happy crafting!

Jenny x

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