Delight in these bird motif sofa adornments this springtime. Made using strips of pastel prints and decorated with whimsical pom poms, they'll add a quirky finish to any living room. To further the seasonal look, birds which look ready for take-off have been appliquéd on, and extra detail is provided with satin, running and chain stitch.
- Fabric: plain or striped, 8cm x 20cm, two; printed, 5cm x 14cm, two; 5cm x 25cm, two; grey spot,
- scraps; plain or patterned, 21cm x 26cm
- Thread: embroidery, six-stranded, blue; dusky pink; coral pink; white; sewing, white or coordinating
- Needle: sewing; crewel
- Crochet cotton, baby blue, 100g
- Fabric pen, disappearing
- Cushion pad, 20cm x 25cm
- Embroidery hoop (optional)
- 19.5cm x 24.5cm
Stitch a bird cushion
To create a background for the applique join two 8cm x 20cm plain or striped fabric pieces along one of the long edges using a 1cm seam allowance. Press the seam to one side, towards the darker of the two colours. Stitch a 5cm x 14cm printed strip either side of this, using a 1cm seam allowance.
Add a 5cm x 25cm printed strip to the top and bottom to complete the border. Press the seams to one side, towards the borders. Download and print the template. Cut out the body from a grey spot print and a wing from a scrap of fabric.
Pin the bird shape to the centre of the background then tack in place, keeping stitches at least 1cm in from the raw edges. Thread a sewing needle with thread to match the applique fabric. Use the tip to tuck under 2mm of fabric and slip stitch the fold to the background; do this all around the bird shape, tucking the raw edge under and stitching as you go. Pin the wing in place and attach in the same way.
Place the work in an embroidery hoop so the bird applique is in the centre, if desired. Using a disappearing fabric pen, draw a small triangular beak, two legs, a few lines to denote tail feathers, and a line down the centre of the wing, using the picture of the finished cushion as a guide.
Using three strands of pink embroidery thread, fill in the shape of the beak with satin stitch. Using the same colour, stitch the legs in chain stitch, following the lines you have drawn. For the eye, thread the needle with three strands of white embroidery thread and embroider a cross, then another on top, to create a star shape.
Use pink embroidery thread to work a line of running stitch along the wing, then use lines of chain stitch in blue thread for the tail. Sew a line of running stitch all around the inner edge of the border and a second line parallel to the first.
Lay the finished cushion front right side up and place 21cm x 26cm of backing fabric on top, then stitch around all the edges, leaving a gap of approximately 15cm on one edge for turning.
Clip the corners, turn right sides out, and insert a cushion pad. Tuck in the raw edges of the fabric on the opening and slip stitch the folded edges together. Make four pom poms using equal lengths of crochet cotton tied together. Stitch one to each corner of the cushion cover.