Friday, January 23, 2009

The Making of a Starling

On January 4th I made a posting titled Starling Project. Since that time I have been working on a wall hanging of a couple of Starlings and I have it just about completed. I will post the completed project tomorrow. Once a project is completed I often wonder, "What took so long?", for its not always easy to detect the detailing that has gone into its creation. So for today I thought I would explain a bit about how I went about creating the Starling I have featured.
To begin making the Starling's body I needed a pattern to use as a guide so I created templates by printing out an actual photo of a Starling on stock paper. Once having the pattern pieces I then chose fabrics to resemble the various details and textures that would comprise the colours and design of a Starling's body. I also experi- mented a bit with a white flecked fabric to suggest snow but the white just didn't work for me so I decided to represent the winter season instead in other ways.
My first choices of fabric didn't totally highlight the white flecks of a Starling's winter plumage as much as I wanted so I rearranged the fabrics a bit before hand stitching them in place.
Using a combination of methods the first Starling was completed. I machine stitched the brown outlining on the wings and tail feathers and hand stitched the single stitch details. I then sketched in the feet and claws with a black marker and hand embroidered the details. What a fun project this has been!


Kay said...

This is fabulous! Totally gorgeous! I love the design on the fabric showing the markings of a starling.

Mary said...

OH, Ann! This is wonderful! You are great at this! I've been wanting to do birds and have felt intimidated about the idea and you just jump right in and do it and it looks wonderful! I feel challenged now to do that loon that I've wanted to do for ages and ages and keep stalling on. You are a terrific quilter/fabric artist!

me ann my camera said...

Thank you, Mary, I'm so glad that you like what I have done so far. I've never been a rigid rule follower and kind of just do things my own way and often things develop as they go. I would love to see your Loon if you do it some day. Fabric is just so great to work with.

The white dotted material was once a blouse and I decided it would look best on the Starling rather than on me; it did seem to be just right. Finding just the right piece of fabric can turn into a wonderful scavenger hunt.

Mary said...

Did you use a fusible on the pieces, or just needle turn them, or raw edge applique or....? It's a hard to tell in the photos.

me ann my camera said...

In the body of the Starling I used basically a raw edge applique, except for the beak where I turned the edges under to make a clean cut edge.

I chose to leave the edges raw for the feathered part as I felt that would more accurately portray the texture of a real bird if it showed fringes, etc. Any little bit of roughness or stringy edging seemed more realistic to me. So no, I didn't use any fusibles.

I just have the eye to complete on the second Starling and then it will be finished and ready for picture taking of the whole thing.

Deborah Godin said...

Brilliant, fabulous, gorgeous, genius, artful, cool, terrific, clever - okay, what am I leaving out?? Thanks for the peek at the work in progress!

Sharon said...

What a fun, creative and beautiful project!
I love that you figure it out as you go. You're an "outside of the box" thinker. Thanks for sharing all your secrets with us:)

me ann my camera said...

deborah and sharon:
Thanks for the adjectives!!

dAwN said...

what a great choice in fabric...really captures the essence of the bird.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

That sounds like a lot of work,but worth it.

Becky and Gary said...

Very very cool. You've done a wonderful job. I like it!

Anonymous said...

Very creative. I like the final result. It's always fun to see how art comes together.