Monday, December 7, 2015

Stitchin' Kitchen Blog Tour

Hello, and welcome to my stop on the Riley Blake Designs' Stitch'n Kitchen Christmas Blog Tour!  There's always room for hand-made toppers in my kitchen, especially for delicious cookies like these.

Little Birdie Ornaments.   Today's tutorial will give instructions to make a whole flock of sweet little birdie ornaments.  Can you tell I love red?  I just can't get enough of these luscious fabrics from Riley Blake Designs.  This "recipe" will yield 21 to 24 delectable little 1-1/2" x 2-1/2"ornaments, and we'll speed up the process with some time-saving hints too.  To make just one, see instructions here →  Little Birdies.

Making Time  ~  About 10 minutes each; a couple of hours for a couple dozen, or all day if you're making a whole flock....

Ingredients & Cut List  ~
1/4 yard Red/White Large Damask ~ Bird Body
              Cut :  3 @ 3" x width of fabric strips
1/3 yard Red Mini Quatrefoil ~ Head & Wings
                     24 @ 2-1/2" squares
                       3 @ 1-1/2" x width of fabric strips
1/8 yard or scraps Sunshine Solid ~ Beak
                     24 @ 1-1/4" squares
5-1/2 yards 1/8" ribbon, cording, string, etc. for hanging
                    24 @ 8" segments
Polyester Fiberfill, or other filling of your choice.
Mini elastic bands in matching colors.
Washable Glue Stick
Chop Stick (for turning)

Instructions ~
Prepare Beaks:

Fold each square in half and press.  Bring folded corners to the center, forming a triangle. Then fold in half again to form the beak.  Skewer with a long pin and set aside.  Make 24.

Prepare Wings:
Fold each 2-1/2" square diagonally in half with right sides together.  Stitch raw edges together, pivoting at the point.  Back-stitch at beginning and ending.

Hint:  Chain-piece.   Take a few stitches between pieces, then slide the next piece under the foot. Saves time and saves thread.

Cut each stitched triangle in half  through the center as pictured.  Trim corners and little dog-ears, then turn each wing right side out using a chopstick.  You should have 24 sets (48 total).  

Hint:  If turning corners is not your thing, cut 48 @ 2-1/2" squares and prepare them like the beaks.

Prepare Bird Bodies:  On one long edge of each 3" strip, press a 1/4-inch seam allowance.  This will help in the final closure.

Lay out each 3" strip of body print along a ruler or cutting mat.  Each bird body will be 5" wide.   I usually mark my ruler with tape and lay it alongside the strip.  Position each set of wings about 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" apart as diagrammed with an inch between the next set.   Pin or glue in place.

You should be able to place 8 sets of wings for each strip.  On this fabric, since I wanted to fussy-cut, I was able to place 7 sets.  

Using the ribbon segments, tie a knot to make a loop.  Center a ribbon loop between the wings with the knot hanging over the edge.

Hint:  Use a washable glue-stick to adhere loop in place between each wing set.

Layer the 1-1/2" strip (head print) with right sides together, lining up the raw edges to enclose the wings and ribbon.  Stitch, using 1/4" seam allowance.   Repeat for all three sets.

Press seam open, making sure that the wings are pressed toward the body.  While you are at it, press the bottom of the body strip under 1/4".  This will save time and make it easier to finish the final seam.

Cut each bird unit apart in 5" segments, trimming if necessary.

Next, fold each bird unit in half with right sides together, matching the side seams; pin.  Do this to all your little bird units.  If you have pressed up the bottom seam, unfold it to make this seam. 

 Taking the first one, crease to find the center of the head.  Insert the folded edge of the beak about 1/4" from the crease as diagrammed above.  Pin or glue in place.

Stitch the end seam, enclosing the beak, then pivot at the corner and stitch the long seam, back-stitching at the beginning and ending.  Chain-piece as you repeat the process with each of the bird units:  insert beak, stitch the seams.

Cut apart each unit.  Next, we'll shape the little bird's body with a box seam at the chest.  Warning:  this is a bit "fiddly" but so worth it!

With wrong sides out, working on the corner opposite the beak, finger-press the seam open, then feel to match up the long seam with the end seam, forming a triangle point.  Pin in place.

The stitching line is right alongside the raw edges of the seam allowance, providing you have pressed your seams apart, or down about 3/4" from the tip.

Hint:  It may be easier to stitch if you poke the beak down inside the tube to keep it out of the way.

Repeat with all bird units.  Chain stitch.

Turn each little bird right side out.  Use a chopstick if necessary.

For the final steps, work on each little birdie individually.  Stuff and fill Little Birdie only half full, about 2 Tablespoons of filler is all.    Pin to secure the stuffing.  Re-fold the bottom pressed edge, then center the seam and edge-stitch by machine to finish.

Gather tail and wrap around with a mini-elastic.  Fan out the tail, give a little tug on the beak to straighten it out, and they're all ready to hang on the tree!  So sweet!  

A flock of #littlebirdiepincushion  by Deonn
Oooh, I love this fabric, especially the red/white damask paired with the red mini quatrefoil. The little birdies, woven star and mini tree skirt are made from scraps leftover from this year's tree skirt.  I also used white and red sparkle, and the quilt backing is a large red sparkle quatrefoil.  

Star Medallion Tree Skirt < pattern

Here's a quick demo of my lazy-girl quilting.  This design works not just for longarm quilting, but the motifs work on a home machine or by hand.  You may notice that I love feathers... 

I use cheap school chalk to draw a slight S curve, then quilt teardrop shapes up one side of the chalked line and down the other.  I don't quilt the stem, I just "imply" a stem with long tails on the teardrop shapes.  

To quilt the square sections, I use a bowl, CD holder, or whatever I can find lying around the house and chalk a circle, then quilt teardrops inside and outside the circle to make a feathered wreath.  And, I leave a bit of space between the feathers.  I would say it's for more texture, but I already told you it's just lazy-girl quilting...
And now for the sweet tooth, perfect for the season!  

Soft GINGER Cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together:
3/4 c. shortening
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. molasses
1 egg

In a separate bowl sift together:
2 c. flour
2 t. soda
1 t. ginger
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t. salt
Mix together well.

Roll into 1" balls, then roll in granulated sugar. 
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Yield:  48 cookies
Crispy outside, chewy inside... delicious!

For this and more fun & tasty, quick & easy, mouthwatering,
prize-winning recipes, check out our family cookbook HERE.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Here's a master list for the Kitchen Stitchin' blog tour schedule to 
find more wonderful ideas for Christmas stitching and baking!  

12/3 - Mode de Lis
12/7 - Quiltscapes <<
12/10 - Melly Sews
12/14 - Polka Dot Chair
12/15 - Sew Like My Mom


  1. So many cute birdies in that tree and your quilting looks so beautiful! Those cookies don't look so bad either, in fact they look delicious!

  2. I absolutely love your little birdies in red and white and thank you sew much for sharing your wonderful shortcut tutorial. Very yummy looking Ginger cookies. Thank You sew very much for hopping.

  3. loving the birds, yesterday I made an owl pin cushion so this will be a great mate for him. Thanks too for the quilting tips and ginger cookies look mouthwatering

  4. What a cute little project. LOVE the cookie recipe. Those look very yummy. Thank you Deonn

  5. I LOVE the little red birds!! So cute.


So happy you stopped by for a visit! Thank you!