Here is my first Birdie Stitches block, finished this weekend. I found myself really enjoying the hand embroidery work. Just so you know, this project calls for using six strands of DMC embroidery floss for most of the stitchery. I have never used so many strands at once, ever! I do like the thicker bold line you get with the outlines of the figures, but is it ever hard to thread the needle! I broke three needle threaders just on this first block. I think for any sort of fine detail, you would have to use just two or three strands. I plan to experiment with that on my next block. If any of you out there have completed this project, did you use six strands of floss as recommended?
I am using the Frixion pens to trace my embroidery designs, which have been recommended in the past by a lot of folks, including me.
The beauty of these pens is that markings come out when washed. (Yes, I know they can come back if you freeze your project, but I have no plans for doing that--would anyone?) Anyway, turns out the marks disappear if you iron them or let the steam from your iron anywhere close...
Ooops. Guess I didn't think that through. No harm done, though, I got the design retraced in no time.
Corey (Little Miss Shabby, who designed the project) does state that she made up all her blocks BEFORE doing any tracing. My line of thinking was that it was easier to fit just the center square (minus the patchwork borders) on my light box to trace it. I have traced four block centers, and will avoid pressing the borders until I get them embroidered. The remaining eight blocks I will construct with borders, then trace, as Corey recommends.
I am having fun studying up on various embroidery stitches and techniques. There is a great site called Needle n' Thread by Mary Corbet, that I have discovered. She has wonderful tips and a lot of sensational videos showing how to do various stitches. I have to say that as helpful as a book full of diagrams on how to do embroidery stitches is, there is no comparison to seeing someone actually DO the stitch in front of your eyes. Right now I am trying to explore different ways of securing the end of the thread in my work. I've been making a knot on the back, but it turns out there are much better methods!
Hope you all had a great weekend!