Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tutorial: Wool Applique Basics and a Little Wool Blue Bird

Greetings fellow quilters!

Thank you for stopping by and many thanks for the sweet feedback on the"Bouquet Memories" Wall Hanging and Tutorial prepared for the Bear Creek Quilting Company.

If you're looking for Week 5 in a "Month of Monday Giveaways" featuring "Bouquet Memories" fabric and Aurifil thread please click here.

Today I would like to share a quick tutorial to create the Little Wool Blue Bird that was featured in the "Bouquet Memories" Wall Hanging tutorial.
If you're not familiar with Wool Applique -- please refer to these three "Intro To Wool Applique" tutorials featured on my blog:

Part I:  Intro to Wool Applique 1. Working With and Cutting Wool
Part II: Intro to Wool Applique 2. Thread - Needle - Knot
Part III: Intro to Wool Applique 3. Blanket Stitch

These three tutorials provide the details for preparation and stitching of the Little Wool Blue Bird.


  • Download and print the "Little Wool Blue Bird" template from my sidebar or Craftsy Pattern Store (coming soon). 
  • The Little Wool Blue Bird was created using "in the Patch designs" wool charms in "Wild Blue Yonder".  I used small sections of two different charms for each the bird body and bird wing.
  • Two strands of Aurifil Lana Wool 12wt Thread color #8740 were used to Blanket Stitch the bird pieces.  This was one of the first times I've worked with Aurifil Lana Wool and it stitched wonderfully! 
  • Two strands of Aurifil Lana Wool 12wt Thread color #8605 were used to satin stitch the bird beak.
  • One strand of Aurifil Lana Wool 12wt Thread color #8605 combined with  one strand of #8 Black Pearl Cotton were used to stitch the bird legs and feet.  
  • One small black bead and black cotton thread were used to create the bird eye


Below are the steps taken to prepare and attach the bird.  Please reference the tutorials linked above for details.  

  • Using the Little Wool Blue Bird template (sidebar), cut bird body and wing shapes from wool using freezer paper as outlined in Part I tutorial above.
  • Attach (pin) the bird body in place per placement image above and also referring to Part I tutorial above.
  • Prepare needle and thread as outlined in Part II tutorial above. 
  • Staring at nape of bird neck, blanket stitch around the perimeter of the bird using two strands of Lana Wool.  
  • Stop stitching where the bird wing will be placed
  • Position the bird wing per completed image (above) and travel between layers before beginning to attach the bird wing using a blanket stitch.
  • Stitch around the perimeter of the bird wing using a blanket stitch.
  • When you reach the starting point of the bird wing tie a knot in the thread approximately 1/3" from the background fabric.
  • After knotting, bury the needle behind the bird head and through the background fabric (exit near beak) and "tug" the knot between the background fabric and the backing fabric to tie-off
  • This tugging a knot through to the background fabric requires some stabilization of the wool piece so you don't distort completed stitches.  You'll get the hang of it - just give it a try.
  • The objective is to bury the knot under the background fabric where it will catch on the batting and fabric and never pull back through to the top.
  •  After burying the knot - exit on the edge of the bird and trim the thread.
  •  To finish off the bird add a satin stitch beak, a small beaded eye and some stitched legs and feet.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment or send me an email.
The little wool blue bird is a beautiful addition to most any flower applique piece.

Feel free to use this tutorial for personal use only.

Thanks again for your continued support.


  1. Your li'l blue bird is tweeting a song of happiness, Karen. It looks ever so pretty sitting atop your gorgeous flowers. Such a pretty wall hanging!!

  2. Such a comprehensive tutorial Karen - and you've answered my question from your last post re the Lana wool! That is one very cute bird!

  3. Love the bright colour of the bird which looks fabulous together with the very pretty flowers of this wall hanging

  4. Your bird looks great and your tute is brilliant. Thank you for sharing everything so clearly. I have always been put off wool applique before because I've been afraid of it fraying and going out of shape! I shall bookmark your Wool Applique posts and try this out.
    And thank you for linking with Wool on Sundays :)

  5. Love this, I ordered a kit from Bear Creek Quilting...didn't remember any wool though. I also ordered the material to do the red bird and berries quilt since I have your patterns for that one also. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

  6. Karen, Thanks for this information about burying the knot. I have always hated all the knots on the back of my wool appliqué.

  7. can't wait to get my winning pattern and collect some wools to try this! Thanks for sharing all this great info :) Kathi

  8. Great tutorial, Karen. An oh so sweet little wall hanging.

  9. Thank you for the tutorial!!

  10. Chère Karen, your blue bird is adorable. So shiny, with a "feathered" wing and a little grey beak. I must tell you that, even though I know how to stitch an appliqué (maybe you know that lol), I enjoyed reading your tutorial. ;-) Your words explaining how to bury the ending knot into the layers are very clear.
    Being a follower of your Pinterest boards, I had already seen and pinned this beautiful piece, but it was still agreeable to read your words. There's so much going around here these days!

  11. Hello Karen,
    I love all your little woollen birds. I'm just beginning to get hooked on wool.
    Love, Muv

  12. What a sweet little bird. Thank you for the tutorial!

  13. This is so cute, Karen. I love all of the wonderful texture in the piece!

    Thank you so much for partying at Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation