Carla Bird Tutorial

I’ve decided to share a fun, easy project using your fabric scraps: a Carla bird! Here’s a picture of mine and he hangs on my studio wall and keeps me company:

Carla Bird Project

This is a perfect project if you are just learning free motion quilting with your machine or just need an excuse to practice. The black quilted fabric used in the picture were literally quilted with scribbles and it looks great!

Items Needed:

Fusible Batting (other batting will do in a pinch), Black fabric- plate size (see picture), scrap fabrics for beak, eyes, legs and wings, Yarn or DMC floss for hair, sewing machine, thread, and basic sewing supplies. Optional: extra stuffing for his body and under his wing.

Pattern for Carla Bird

Step 1: Determine your pattern size and fabric choices and cut out. I used a plate from my cupboard as my template.

Step 1 Carla Bird

Here’s where I fused and quilted mine. Quilt fancy, quilt messy, anything goes!

Fuse & Quilt

Next you mark and cut out pattern. Here’s some pictures for you visual learners like me:

Marking toolsmarking the pattern on the fabriccut out

Next, you stitch the beak closed using your favorite stitch. I set my machine on a tight zigzag stitch. Create the legs of your choice and pin in the correct location for when you eventually close the body. I made my legs by cutting 3 strips per leg, pressing them in half, and then braiding. I tied a knot at the bottom and trimmed to create feet. Any style of legs will do, get creative and use fibers on hand.

Finished steps

Add a tuft of hair (I used embroidery DMC floss, but you could also use yarn or any fibers), a tail if desired, and when everything is pinned, you stitch the body closed. I used fabric glue to attach the eyes.

Hopefully, I described all the steps. This is a very simple project- even a beginner could easily make one. I whipped my first bird out in less than an hour.  Also note that you may also make this bird more 3-Dimensional by  simply adding stuffing and an underbelly panel.
If you make a Carla Bird, please send me a picture. Who knows? you might even win a special surprise, too!

Have fun!! Regards, Carla

23 thoughts on “Carla Bird Tutorial

  1. I love this, thank you so much for sharing! I might just have to add a Carla Chick to my Sewing Room Art! You are one remarkable and talented person!

  2. I love the new website, and I think the tutorial looks fab! I think we should have a Carla Bird challenge! I’m in! Ronda? Anyone else?

  3. Great Idea, Lynn! I better hurry up and finish the tutorial- LOL! Plus I better come up with something cool for the Carla Bird winner. Of course, entrants must take pictures to send me as their entries, then I can post them on the blog for everyone to see!

  4. Carla,

    A very cute and colorful project.
    I really like it. I can see this pattern as a quilt full of your birdies.
    I may try to work it in one of my pieces.

    Great work,

  5. Thank, Vicki and Alma, I was staring at a black practice cloth from Lynn’s A1 longarm booth during a CA quilt show when I decided the customer scribbles with metallic thread on the black fabric was way too cool to throw away, so I nabbed it (Thanks, Lynn!). I love to recycle and re-use, so this is a perfect project for that.

    Alma, LOVE the idea to make a birdie quilt- especially using alot of variety in the background fabcric and the accents on the birdies. Also, I think my birdie needs a tail… he looks naked- LOL Thanks for the great idea!

    Off to finish the tut….

  6. Why Ms Lynn and Ms Carla, What a wonderful idea… Color me in! Now I better get busy and throw something on my machine, and of course it will probably be Green, anyone wonder why?????

  7. Carla, I’m enjoying your new blog. I love the bright header and the format. Also enjoying your art and projects (of course, -grin-)….

  8. what a cute bird!! I may have to make one for the challenge… when is the deadline??? I am swamped!!!

    Love your new blog…

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  11. Very cute. I even looked at all the pictures to make sure I could follow the directions. I don’t think I could do all those cute free form quilting stitches you did. I haven’t tried it yet. I’m a chicken. 😉

    Sue, Be sure to check out the actual birdy- click on it to make it big. Note that I made it out of a scrap fabric that was loaded on a longarm machine at a quilt show… scribbles really. See how easy peasy that would be?? No quilting experience needed! LOL Thanks for stopping by… Carla

  12. Hello! Are you still there?
    I came across this yesterday,
    2/18/2010. I just made my
    “Carla Bird!” Are you interested
    in seeing it? I’ll send it if you
    are still keeping up with this site!


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