Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Little Birdy, and Old-Timey Embroidery Transfer Method

(I am hearing a sweet, dear song, called "Little Birdy, Little Birdy" ... sung by Chet Atkins?... )

Some time ago, I sent a small piece of fabric to Nellie of Nellie's Needles. She was making Quilt Ribbons and saw the backing to one of my quilts and needed just a smidgeon more of that fabric. In the meantime I had been drooling over her fabric birds she had been whipping out like no body's business, and I was just wishing I had gotten in the spirit after she posted the directions, but no, I never got a 'round tuit!

As it turns out Nellie is a REAL artist who even happens to live in the very same town I used to live in, back in Tennessee. 8-)

Last week, my mailbox was overflowing with a huge box and when opened, this lovely little birdy was nestled carefully inside. His wings are made of the fabric that I had sent her -- is that a lovely gift, or is that a lovely gift? I had tears in my eyes, at the surprise and pleasure of looking at this little fellow. DH, on the other hand, was wondering ... "what on earth has gotten into her?" Poor man, just didn't understand. Thank you again, Nellie! I was doing a Happy Dance! Look how handsome he looks with my pothos.

This next photo is not clear, but at our last quilt meeting, a little lady, VERY senior, was Showing and Telling her embroidered quilts. She used a very ingenious method to transfer patterns from items that HER old aunties, and cousins had embroidered (no purchased patterns). Lay the embroidery down, stitches up. Lay one layer of muslin over the top of the embroidery, and with a silver spoon (large is good), rub that silver spoon through your hair a number of times, then rub the spoon over the muslin, and voila, the pattern is visible - pale gray, but very visible. Oh right, my photo is almost useless but, you get the idea! Hey, the method was FREE and didn't require a trip to the store!


meggie said...

A lovely bird!
The embroidery transfer idea is great.

julieQ said...

Your new bird friend is so gorgeous! What a neat gift and neat lady to make it for you. Thank you for the transfer tip for embroidery!

paula, the quilter said...

Now you had me discussing the embroidery transfer technique with CarGuy this morning *smile*. I can see using a silver spoon (tarnish) but we were trying to figure out the hair portion and could only come up with oil. I've got to try it.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Now how did someone figure out that method of transfer? That always kills me when I hear of something strange - what made someone do that the first time!!!

The bird is so so cute. I love it. Husbands - what do they know??????

cathy said...

The bird is just precious. What a wonderful gift to receive in the mail. I am enjoying your blog so much.
Thank you,

Nellie's Needles said...

You're welcome, Elaine. Making this little "sewing bird" for you was a pleasure. Again, thank you for taking the time to find, cut, and mail the sewing machine fabric for me to make the special award ribbon for machine workmanship in our guild quilt show.

PS: My husband doesn't get "it" either. Seems I'm always too busy to patch or iron his clothes, but I seem to have plenty of time to make stuff for people I "don't know". He especially doesn't get round robins. How in the world do I have time to work on other peoples quilts? There's no explaining the joy in reaching out to kindred souls ... it's all about sharing stuff, talent, and generosity.

Quilts And Pieces said...

I love your little gift! What fun!