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The Artful Bird

Crafters and sewists are enchanted with birds, and the trend continues unabated. For the first time, techniques for making a bevy of three-dimensional fabric bird soft sculptures are available to textile and mixed-media artists in The Artful Bird. Author Abby Glassenberg, celebrated for her charming, quirky, personality-filled birds, presents 19 incredibly creative projects with a gallery of birds from other noted fabric bird makers with accompanying profiles. In addition, a set of step-by-step basic bird-making techniques and tips will help the reader to make the projects in the book and to draft a pattern for almost any bird-real or imagined. Bird projects range from dignified owls (with baby owlets) to friendly wrens, from an elegant flamingo to a swooping crow in flight. A queenly quail would make a sweet gift for any friend's kitchen, while larks, raptors, gulls, and even a peacock stand on their own as sculpture or become part of mixed-media assemblages. While the structure, sewing, and stuffing processes for each of the bird bodies are similar, Glassenberg offers an array of creative ideas to give each bird individual character. Fabric treatments for wings and tails allow for color and texture variation. Beads and embroidery add personality to eyes and faces. Beaks are made from fabric or polymer clay, and wire legs and feet are wrapped in floral tape and thread for an amazingly life-like yet handcrafted appearance. Ideas for inspired use of paint, glitter, and collage elements give the reader even more tools for bird-making magic. Positioned at the intersection of craft, sewing, art dolls, and softies, and immersed in the appeal of birds, The Artful Bird will appeal to crafters of all kinds looking for new ways to express their creativity and use their skills. Glassenberg's careful instructions and how-to photographs for the entire basic bird-making process will help beginners and more advanced crafters build successful, appealing creatures.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Make 19 projects with detailed patterns that guide the reader through a variety of bird designs Learn basic bird-making techniques that can be adapted for almost any kind of bird (with templates, detailed instructions, and step-by-step photography) Find additional techniques for bird embellishment, customization, and mixed-media assemblage that inspire the reader to explore this art form in depth

About the Author

Abigail Patner Glassenberg has been making award-winning soft toys and soft sculptures since 2005. She has made more than 100 birds of every variety, selling them in galleries, boutiques, craft shows, and online. Her work has also been featured in magazines including Cloth Paper Scissors and in sewing, craft, and soft sculpture books. She lives in Welleseley, Massachusetts.


Anyone can tell you that sewing isn't just about making clothing and accessories, but it isn't always easy to think of new ways to put your skills to good use. We often need someone to give us an idea to kickstart the creative process - which is why this book is such a delightful find. Abigail Patner Glassenberg provides us with a collection of unusual feathered friends to make and sew, with basic tips on bird-making to help us along. These beautiful birds are ingeniously crafted and range from woodpeckers that can perch on branches, to gulls with wings spread in flight. There's a real assortment of characters and once you get the hang of the techniques involved, you could even come up with your own designs. Glassenberg's enthusiasm is infectious and this is a collection of patterns that the whole family will enjoy having fun with.-Sew Hip Bird imagery is very much the trend of the moment judging by all the wallpaper, fabric and crafts centred around it. This book, therefore, is very timely and of great interest. Abigail Patner Glassenberg has written a book covering projects to make birds of all shapes, sizes and species and gives a much more expansive approach to the subject. There are detailed instructions at the beginning to tutor you in the fundamentals of stitching and constructing bird shapes, and creating the extremities (wired and wrapped legs and beaks). You are then taken into the 16 projects to choose your bird. There are fairly simple patterns, such as bird in nest, right through to owls, peacocks and flying crows (which are a little more complex). There's even a swan project if you have room for that on your mantelpiece. There are plenty of approaches to feathering your bird (folding, applique, layering) and there's enough variety to get you on your way to an aviary. I liked the relaxed approach that comes across (for example, you are urged to use a craft punch to cut fabric; however, this may require the use of a hammer to achieve it - maybe not to try on your favourite punch), and the birds themselves reflect this by not being overly embellished or twee. If you like the generic bird motif but wish to move forwards with it, then this book is worth taking a look at.-Workshop on the Web Who could have failed to notice the proliferation of bird-inspired work in the last decade? A handful of makers have been producing the most exquisite three-dimensional birds, among them Abigail Brown and Emily Sutton. The author Abigail Patner Glassenberg interviews Brown and three other bird makers, plus offers detailed advice and patterns on creating 16 birds of your own. Sculpting fabric in three dimensions takes practice but Abigail's detailed instructions and templates make the process painless.-Embroidery Join the flock - and create your very own aviary of charming, beautifully detailed, one-of-a-kind fabric sculpture feathered friends. Using basic machine and hand sewing, embroidery, and some mixed-media craft techniques, you can make charming, quirky, personality-filled birds. The basic techniques are clearly explained and there are lots of step-by-step photographs that show all the construction methods. Once you've got to grips with the basics, the whole feathery flock are just variations on a theme. There are 16 creative projects that will allow you to make dignified owls, friendly wrens, an elegant flamingo or a swooping crane in flight - and there's an arry of ideas so that you can give each bird an individual personality. A gallery of work by another four bird artists provides even more inspiration - and there's plenty of scope to embellish these evocative little figures.-Stitch

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