November 1, 2008

Hummingbird for Grandma

My grandmother loves hummingbirds, and I often get her some little trinket for Christmas. This year I decided to do something a bit more special. I bought a plain wooden box with an inset that can be customized and decided to embroider a hummingbird image to fit in it. The hubby is still staining the box for me, so at some point I'll post again with a totally finished project photo, but--hooray!--the stitching is done.

I started by doing a Google search for hummingbird photos, looked at about 573 of them, and then sat down to draw my own pattern based on what I'd seen. (I am beginning to wonder if I ought to try selling patterns, as drawing them is the part that comes easiest to me....)

I decided to use a pink, floral fat quarter from JoAnn's for a background, since it matches my Grandma's style and decor. I've never stitched on anything but white or tan before, so I wasn't sure how it would work, but it turned out better than expected. I intentionally allowed the fabric to show through in some areas in an attempt to reflect the variation in tones and shades in the photo, but I'm not sure if I'm 100% happy with that. I knew I wanted to keep the flower white to stand out from the fabric.

For the bird I once again searched Google images, and I'll tell you: I never knew there were so many different types and colors of hummingbird! I found one that seemed most suited to her taste, printed it out for reference, and did my best to match it while not going overboard. There was so much color variation, highlights, low lights, etc., in the feathers that I couldn't possibly tackle it all-especially if I wanted this done in time for Christmas!

There was a lot of stopping and starting with this since I was filling in the colors as I went, tearing things back out, rethinking stitch styles, and so on, and this took way more time than I expected (a familiar theme with me!). I'm so pleased with it that I almost don't want to give it away ... but hummingbirds aren't my style and it ought to go to someone who will enjoy it completely. I hope she will.

Now it's on to the next gifty project, and I'm going to do my darndest to keep it simpler this time around. Ha.


La Pomme said...

This is so impressive! I'm sure your grandma will be so happy to receive this little bird.

pinkflowerbuttons said...

Wow did you really stitch that by hand? That is marvellous. I'm sure your grandma will love it.

pinkflowerbuttons said...

PS I would totally encourage to sell patterns. Go for it.

Muddlepud said...


Pink, yes, it's all stitched by hand. My sore fingers can attest to it! ;)

jess said...

Your satin stitch is fabulous! Your pieces that you've done really are beautiful!