4/13/2016

Free Swallow Pattern

Occasionally when I want to stitch something I'm lucky enough to find an image that I can just transfer to fabric and stitch.. But most times it is not that easy.  I want to do a gold swallow on my April CQJP... and the following process is usually typical.

I started by gathering a lot of swallow images...many more than you see here and then I study each one and find features I like.  Many times the bird images are from vintage postcards as three of these are.

I really liked the one upper left the best but I would like it a bit more streamline like the one on the upper right.  I like the markings of the one upper right also but the wings are too thin and awkward... I love the elegant tail on the one lower left.  Lower right is   is gorgeous stitching...  it is from an 1884 crazy quilt and reminds me of Betty Pillsbury's work.

As I said I like the upper left one best to start with but I want my swallow to be "swooping" upward and I want his sprig of flowers trailing to add to movement. This one looks like it is about to dive into the sea.








So I load the image into my photo editing program and make some changes.  I can easily turn the image to have the swallow going up rather than down and I moved the sprig of flowers to a trailing position which I feel adds to the movement of the bird.  It also needs to be greatly simplified for gold work.





At this point I get out a pencil and paper and put all these ideas together.  I am using a 6" hoop for all the images so I draw a 6" circle to make sure it will be the right size to fit my block...  Below is what I ended up with...  My swallow is swooping upward trailing a sprig.  I sectioned the body parts to use various gold elements, slimmed and stylized the body and tail..  It is ready to trace onto a piece of cloth. 
 
My swallow will be gold beads, sequins and gold threads, but this would work just as well with floss and I may use it again in color in the future.  If you would like to download this image and use it PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DO SO!!!!  I have said this often but it is worth repeating.... Anyone is welcome to use anything of mine on my blog...
 
My final images are often very messy and very smudged and I don't save them.  Because people often ask about a pattern, I decided I will try to make an effort to clean more of them up a bit and share them...








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6 comments:

Marilyn said...

Wow, I go away to babysit the grands for a few days and you make all kinds of posts. Very glad to be back in my own home today. I hope you post pix when your peonies bloom. I love the way the ribbon turned out - it is so perfect for the block. And thanks for sharing the swallow pattern. Now back to unpacking....

Marjorie Hair said...

Thank you for explaining the process you go though. Looking forward to seeing the finished swallow and thanks for the use of the pattern.

Beth in IL said...

Thanks for sharing!

margaret said...

you have stitched a lovely swallow very clever to do things with it in photoshop would not know where to start

Marlynne said...

You do such beautiful handwork!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I used to love watching the tree swallows swooping around when I was growing up on the farm. We had barn swallows too, but I liked the tree swallows best. They were so beautiful in flight and when the sunlight reflected in their feathers.

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