Wednesday, May 8, 2013

It's for the Birds Blog Hop!

First, let me say thank you to Madame Samm for all she does to bring us these wonderful blog hops, and to Mary from I Piece 2-Mary for cheering us on in this one. This is my first blog hop, and I was enticed to jump in and give it a try by the theme of birds. So many possibilities! After thinking about it for a while, the image of a bird's nest popped into my mind. Of course, I knew I needed to include actual birds in the project as well. And I wanted to include yo-yos in my project...but more on that later! I played around with the design and finally settled on the concept of birds protecting their nest. At first, I approached it from a standard side view, but wasn't happy with the look of it. Then I thought, why not do something from a bird's eye view, aka from above?

The final design for "Protect the Nest" is an appliqued table mat which shows a nest with eggs nestled in the branches of a tree, with two birds circling above keeping everyone safe. I drew the pattern up in Photoshop and then printed it out.



Eventually, I would trace the pattern pieces onto freezer paper to cut out...but first I needed to decide on the medium for the project! I usually work in wool felt or wool, but I decided to use Maywood Woolies Flannels which give the look of wool but have the cost of fabric.
Working with the flannel posed certain difficulties for someone like me who is not used to worrying about fraying edges. So I had to figure some things out along the way. First, I cut a 14.5" circle from the Soft Gray Tiny Houndstooth fabric. I used this for the background of my applique. 

The next big decision was how to create my bird's nest. I considered various fabrics, including burlap, but finally decided to embroider the nest using a taupe six-strand floss and a chain stitch. I love the way it came out, but it certainly took a while to stitch!


Next, I applied fusible web to the rest of my fabric as I cut out my pattern pieces, (a necessary step when doing raw-edge applique!) I used the following fabrics from the same line: Rich Chocolate Brown Shadow Play (branches and part of the birds); Green Herringbone (leaves); and Cream Herringbone (bird bodies and eggs). I used three strands of six-strand DMC floss in colors that matched or complemented the fabrics. Everything is hand appliqued with blanket stitches. I also used a fly-stitch to put veins on the leaves.


After appliqueing, I pressed the top. I cut a piece of cotton batting the same size as the top, which now measured 14". (I started with a 14.5" circle, as I mentioned earlier. There was about .5" shrinkage that happened to the top when I did all the applique.) I cut a slit in the batting, and then placed it on the right side of my appliqued top. I then sewed a .25" seam around the entire edge. Finally, I turned the piece right-side out through the slit in the batting. Using this method, gave me a finished edge all around.


Next, I cut a circle of wool felt for the backing and layered it behind the finished top. I then blanket stitched all around the perimeter with green floss to attach the top and backing. The final top measures 13.5".

I was happy with the result, but still wanted to add a little something more... and that's where the yo-yos came in. I simply love yo-yos and use them a lot in my designs and projects. And what do you know, 22 extra-large yo-yos (made with the Clover Yo-Yo Maker) fit perfectly around the edge of my project (OK, I did plan that from the start lol, but wasn't sure if my math was correct, how it would work, or if I'd stick with the idea.) I made the yo-yos from the same grey fabric as the background, and then whip stitched them on from behind with the green floss, sewing through my edge blanket stitching. Then, I whip stitched them to each other. I think they're the perfect finishing touch! (One note about making yo-yos with a heavy fabric...use strong thread and double it!)


And here's the finished piece on my kitchen table. It measures 18". I hope you like it!

I'm doing a giveaway in honor of my first blog hop. I stitched up this "tweet" pincushion using a pattern from the book, "Bags, Pillows & Pincushions" from Better Homes & Gardens. I added a yo-yo and a little medallion to their pattern. The cute little bird in the medallion is from the book, "Stitch with Love" by Mandy Shaw. The pincushion measures 6".
In addition to the pincushion, the giveaway includes a 4" wooden embroidery hoop, and DMC 498 Floss Size 8. If you would like to be eligible for the random giveaway, please leave a comment. And I would love for you to follow my blog, but that's not a requirement for the giveaway.

Thanks so much. And, please be sure to check out and support everyone else in today's section of this blog hop!



Wednesday, May 8
http://ecoughlindesigns.blogspot.com (that's me!)

88 comments:

  1. Love your bird's eye view table mat! Thank you for sharing and for joining the hop.

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  2. |Lovely table topper!! The yo-yos really make it!

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  3. Really cute idea and i love the yo-yos!

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  4. So beautiful! I love the yo-yo's around very much!

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  5. Your small table cloth is adorable. Thanks for sharing your creativity

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  6. dank voor het delen. Vind de give-away very nice

    djoekie

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  7. Beautiful, I need to start working my Photoshop skills but I am still designing on paper! Thanks for the chance to win, I cannot resist an embroidery freebie and that pincushion is adorable (but will for sure get nicked by my mum when she visits)!

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  8. Beautiful work - Your little pincushion is too cute !

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  9. Those yo-yos really add a special touch to your pretty table mat! And the pincushion is precious!

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  10. So nice these projects. Thanks for sharing
    Frederika

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  11. Love it! Your yoyos are just the perfect touch. They make your birdie project sing!

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  12. Your table mat is just wonderful...love the added yo yo's very nice..

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  13. Very nice topper. Love the little pin cushion. I have made my first pin cushions this year. They are fun to do and a nice fast little project.

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  14. Lovely projects! Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway.

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  15. The yo-yos really add a lovely touch. Very nice.

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  16. I am going to remember using yo-yos as a border. Nice finishing touch!

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  17. Very, very nice nest. The pincoushin is also very nice. You do wonderful work.

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  18. a birds nest never looked so inviting

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  19. Oh my, this is beautiful...I love the pin cushion too!

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  20. I love your gorgeous project and the yo-yo border is a great idea.

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  21. Lovely work. I've not done much with wool and think it would be fun to try.

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  22. Clever idea from the bird's eye! Love your whole thought process and seeing it from start to finish. Thanks so much for the giveaway and welcome to blog hopping!

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  23. What's not to like! I love it. What a beautiful piece. You've got to have the classiest kitchen table around right now! Whoo hoo!

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  24. How beautiful! I love the finishing touch of the yo yos around the edge!

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  25. Hi!!! I love it!!! Love the birds eye view!!! Very pretty!!! I love the look of yo yos!!!!

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  26. I loved seeing how you created your birds eye view...so interesting! It really is a work of art and very beautiful. I hope to see you in more hops!

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  27. Your work looks lovely. I went looking for a follow button but couldn't find one. Maybe is too early in the morning for me to be online.

    syvisser@gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks so much for you comment.

      It's not too early for you to be online...I didn't have any follow buttons on my blog! Why? Because I'm new to all this and clearly an idiot lol.

      Anyway, I've remedied the situation, I think. There are two ways to follow the blog at the top, right side.

      Thanks so much for alerting me to the issue.

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    2. What a great first hop you have had! The bird's nest is impeccable. One would never know these are not your chosen media. Thank you for including instructions. I love the yo-yos around the edge. They are a perfect finishing touch. Thank you for participating in the hop and I hope to see you in more hops. You are very generous in your giveaway.

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  28. I just love the way you hand stitched the birds nest, it looks so real, I feel like I can touch it.

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  29. Your project turned out beautifully--the yo-yo's add the perfect finishing touch!

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  30. Great project! I love the "bird's eye" view of the nest! Thanks for being on the hop. pbstrand@msn.com

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  31. This is wonderful, Elizabeth! You have such a good eye for design and thank you for the insight into the process you used to accomplish it. I can see where you might worry about the math since the yo yo's rimmed the circle, like a penny rug might. Well done and welcome to the hop! Hope you will join in again.

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  32. This is absolutely lovely - than you for sharing your techniques as well!

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  33. You did a wonderful job Elizabeth and I enjoyed learning about how you did it. Thanks for sharing and join in again.

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  34. I love how you finished off your project with yo yos - so cute! I collect pin cushions :)

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  35. I love pinchusions. I very much like the way you showed how you made the yo yos go with your design

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  36. Beautiful pin cushions. Thanks for the chance to win

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  37. Beautiful project! The pin cushion is adorable.

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  38. That is so nice. I love the design you used.

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  39. Grear topper. Thanks for sharing.

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  40. Lovely work! Thanks for sharing today.

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  41. Wow! I love your applique design. I also appreciate the development of your thought processes step by step-it's interesting what you came up with because I had one idea in my mind and yours was completely different-how refreshing! From CA, thanks for sharing.

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  42. I love, love your table topper. Using the yo yo's around the edge is so wonderful. Great job!

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  43. Wonderful design and lovely handiwork. The yo yo's around the edge was a great touch.

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  44. I liked your pincushion. Very nice.

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  45. Great table topper. I love your pincushion too.

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  46. Beautiful projects! Your work is amazing! I've always wanted to try making yo-yo's!
    And your Dogter is adorable! I have one that looks just like her! Her name is Calli!

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  47. HELLO! WHAT A SWEET GIVEAWAY!
    ENJOYED YOUR POST!
    HAPPY STITCHING!

    msstitcher1948@yahoo.com

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  48. Your project is wonderful and thanks for sharing your process for creating it. The pincushion is sweet too!

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  49. Very pretty mat and the pin cushion is just so cute.

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  50. Great desing! The pincushion is the tweetest:)
    Great job!

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  51. I love your table mat and the pincushion too. Very nice projects!!

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  52. Very beautiful design. I love the birds eye viewpoint. And the pincushion. I'm developing an addiction to pincushions.

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  53. Love your tabletopper, the colours are just beautiful. The pincushion would be a great addition to my collection. Thanks for the chance to win it. lyn.robyn.smith@gmail.com
    I've become a new follower

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  54. All of your things are so pretty babscorbitt@gmail.com

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  55. What a beautiful piece. Love every bit of it. Great job.

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  56. Just adorable!! Thank you for all your instructions too!! Awesome!

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  57. An adorable little,nest! Great work!

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  58. What a cute table mat - and an original design to boot. I am a new embroiderer who believes you just can't have too many pincushions. Thanks for the opportunity.
    swalker287 (at) aol (dot) com

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  59. Your table topper is very pretty. Thanks for sharing your creations with us.

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  60. Oh, my goodness! such a sweet design. thanks for sharing.
    And thanks for coming by my blog to see my birdies. Cardinals are one of my favorite birds too. We just had some babies leave the nest.
    A very nice giveaway too. You did well for your first blog hop. Good luck in my giveaway.

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  61. That's a great design and the yo-yos added just the right touch.

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  62. love your table mat. thanks for the tip with making yo yos.

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  63. Love you table mat and what a cute way to use yo-yo's. Your so create. Thanks for sharing with us today.

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  64. Such a lovely creation. Thank you for sharing with us today. :)

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  65. Very lovely design! Thanks for sharing!

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  66. I love your table mat - and the detailed instructions showing how you made it. Thank you!

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  67. -s-o-o cute I love yoyo´s ☺
    Beautiful work!
    Bente

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  68. Thanks for the chance to win, I do follow your blog with Bloglovin.
    Bente

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  69. Your design is lovely! I didn't know about Woolies Flannels. I'll have to give them a try. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  70. What a beautiful design and a great way to include your yo-yos. Thanks for sharing.

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  71. Adorable, thanks for sharing!

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  72. For your 1st blog hop you did a wonderful job,and you should be proud of yourself! I know how it is when I did my 1st one last fall. I really like the fact that you picked another view point and shared it with us. Thank You for the chance to win your wonderful pincushion package as I LOVE to add it to my collection.

    Sincerely,
    Tricia

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  73. Your table mat is beautiful. The yo-yos are the perfect finishing touch. Yeah for you for hopping on in and participating. I haven't made the plunge yet.... still lurking and enjoying everyone's creativity from the outside. Thanks for sharing. janita

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  74. I love it...your work is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

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  75. What a great way to use yo-yos!
    nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  76. Elizabeth-- Your table topper is beautiful especially with all of your details. Very nicely done and the tweet pincushion too! Jane

    PS: Thanks too for stopping by and leaving such kind words about my birdie quilt, it's appreciated.

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  77. Elizabeth, your mat is stunning!

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