I'm beginning an experiment to see if making birds in batches will be more efficient. It will mean I can set up once for each short step and move more than one project on to the next level in one go. I began by digging in my bird making files for the patterns and reference for an English robin, a pied wagtail and a cardinal.
Then I searched through my stash of coloured spun wool and ready-to-spin wool. That was good timing, just before Woolfest last weekend. What fun! I visited Norwegian Wool and selected from their amazing range of coloured wool to fill in the gaps in my stash.
The first step in making the weaving forms was to trace the detailed patterns onto lightweight fusible interfacing. I've colour coded the different marks I need: green for warp lines; black for cutting lines and matching dots; red for darts; blue for edges of coloured areas; and highlighter to fill some coloured areas. (I learned not to use fine liners for this as the ink gradually bleeds and all the detail disappears. Ballpoint pens/biros provide the permanent fine lines I need.)
I dug through my beak fabrics and selected rich red satin for the cardinal and fine black silk for the wagtail. I created a medium grey by colouring some light silk with a black Inktense pencil for the robin. The process of sewing the beaks didn't take long. I pulled out a pair of black beads the right size for each bird: 14.5mm (cardinal), 9.5mm (robin) and 7.5mm (wagtail). This collection of beads has been supplied mostly by my daughters who look in charity shops for necklaces for me.
Next I fused the traced patterns onto heavy interfacing and cut out the pieces. I pinned the first pieces together for the first stage of assembly.