I made the Family Tree project from the Stitched in Time book by Alicia Paulson (yep, again with this book... love it!). I used the templates to cut out a tree, a bunch of leaves, a nest, a mama and daddy bird, and sized these birds down to make a sister and brother bird as well. The only real modifications I made were to make the project in a giant hoop and to use all cotton fabrics (instead of felt). Oh, and I left off the names on the birds, and opted instead for copying this pillow and inscribing our family name on it. I may still opt to add some buttons to the project as decoration, but I want to hang it on the wall and live with it awhile first and make sure it is not too busy. But truly, since I love bright and "busy", I'm guessing it will end up with some buttons as well some day.
I had a love-hate relationship with the applique on this. On my first try, I used wonder under on all the pieces and it worked well. On this one, I ignored the sage advice from the book and tried to just stick them all on without thinking about how a frayed, naked edge would look on the birds. I should have folded the edges under and stitched/appliqued them on that way. Instead, I had to make double and triple laps around the birds before they stuck on, finally doing some more blanket stitching on a few to really hold them in place. As you may have guessed by the moniker, I dabble in these crafty things, I don't necessarily excel in them. Embroidery is a self taught (by books) endeavor here, so definitely not perfect. Took me like 100 times before I could get the damn french knots to work. I still don't know why they finally did work, but not the first 99 times either. Please don't look too close at the stitching, just back up and gaze and the finished project :)
All that said, I do love this project a lot! It has a very handmade feel and makes me smile. The kids LOVE it and have been showing everyone which bird they are. I can't wait to hang it up in the perfect spot.. as yet to be found. It has to be where we can see it everyday, but from enough of a distance where I can't critique my stitches too much!