Hummingbirds - Repair Patches & Embroidery

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Hummingbirds  - Repair Patches & Embroidery
Hummingbird Repair Patch - Free Motion Embroidery

My friend and illustrator/designer, Agnes, was doodling on some scrap fabric during a workshop break, and someone said, "Hey, Agy, why don't you try doing some embroidery on it?". Agnes had sketched a pair of hummingbirds and a bunch of flowers, and I thought, why not? Rise to the challenge.

The Importance of Hummingbirds
I have never seen a hummingbird in real life. Those that I have seen are in the media and wildlife documentaries -  tiny birds fluttering their wings and steadily hovering over a flower just so that they can reach the sweet nectar. What I didn't know is that while there are over 300 species of hummingbirds, they are in fact, "hovering on the brink of extinction".  These birds play a very important role in our food chain. Like bees, these beautiful creatures help pollinate a variety of flowering plants and also have a role in nature's insect control.  
Image credits - By Charlesjsharp - Own work, from Sharp Photography, sharpphotography, CC BY 3.0,
Did You Know....
  • Hummingbirds can only be found on the American continent, from southeastern Alaska to southern Chile.
  • Hummingbirds used to be hunted for their feathers.
  • Habitat destruction and the loss of / change in distribution of nectar abundant flowering plants are putting hummingbirds at risk.  They are listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • It has been reported that changes in our climate are causing flowering plants to bloom before the hummingbirds arrive from their migratory flight. This means that the flower would have wilted and no nectar would be available to the birds.

What Can We Do?
Being in Singapore, I know we can't do much, but if you live where they roam, you could follow this useful guide.  However, I do think steps such as putting out bird feeders and using non-chemical methods to get rid of pests are things we can adopt elsewhere if we want to protect our own pollinators. We don't want to kill them!

Join and Work With Nature Society Singapore - working as an individual is a good start, but working together with others makes for a bigger impact to protect our local pollinators.

Stitching the Hummingbirds
I had such a great time stitching this pair of birds. What made it even more exciting was that I had also collaborated with textile artist, Vicky Bilton, in a fabric scrap exchange. She has sent me such a lovely collection of her indigo dyed scraps, velvet and satin.

Vicky Bilton
Hummingbird Repair Patch - Free Motion Embroidery

Hummingbird Repair Patch - Free Motion Embroidery

Hummingbird Repair Patch - Free Motion Embroidery

Tension Problems
I cut Vicky's scraps, carefully placed them onto the sketch and stitched away. Initially I had so many 
tension issues. If you've been following my instagram account, you'll probably be aware of this issue. My quilting friend suggested I give my repair man a call and get him to come over and give my machine a thorough check. Lo and behold, my bobbin case was rusty on the inside and I needed a replacement, plus I had some alignment issues. So, I guess the $101.11 repair was well worth it!

I was eventually back on the machine and no more tension issues! I was so happy with the result that I whipped up another patch in no time. 

Hummingbird Repair Patch - Free Motion Embroidery

Hummingbird Repair Patch - Free Motion Embroidery

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