Bird Dangler

Bird Dangler is a free project from Appliqué Angels by Madeleine Millington. 

Buy Appliqué Angels and Hearts for colourful, easy and fun appliqué, with Madeleine Millington’s unique designs, brimming with character. Discover the tactile qualities of wool blanket fabric (felt can be substituted), using appliqué and simple hand stitching to produce imaginative and original designs. Lovely Christmas projects, with angels, stars and hearts aplenty!

Create a festive mood with an Angel Frieze or a Christmas Stocking. Make your own decorations, including a delightful Advent Calendar with heart pockets in which to hide small gifts.

If you like the naive style appliqué and enjoy hand sewing then I really recommend this ebook‘ – Popular Patchwork magazine

Bird, Star and Heart Danglers

Birds are very popular subjects in folk art. This jolly red and white bird sits happily on the top of a cupboard or hanging from a door handle, or Christmas tree.

You will need:

  • 32 × 30cm (12½ × 12in) red blanket fabric
  • 9 × 10cm (3½ × 4in) white blanket fabric
  • White double knitting (sportsweight/ worsted) yarn
  • Red double knitting (sportsweight/worsted) yarn
  • Darning needle
  • Polyester stuffing

Techniques used:

  • Blanket stitch
  • Overstitch
  • Plaiting
  • Star stitch
  • Detached fly stitch

1. Print and cut out the templates (see link below). Use these to cut 2 bird shapes in red fabric, one wing and one eye circle in white.

2. Place the white wing onto a red fabric bird. Pin. Using white yarn, work evenly spaced overstitching round the edge, bringing the thread up through the background fabric, over and down into the wing.

3. Using red yarn, work three detached fly stitches from one end of the wing to the other.

4. Using white yarn, overstitch the white eye in place. Using red yarn, work one star stitch in the centre of the eye.

5. Pin the two bird shapes together. Using red yarn, blanket stitch them together round the edge. Continue until you are three-quarters of the way round. Stuff the bird with polyester stuffing or similar then finish blanket stitching round the edge.

6. Plait three lengths of yarn together (two white, one red), making a plaited length of about 14cm (5½in). Knot each end. Fold the plait in half to make a loop. Stitch the plaited loop to the top front of the bird using 2-3 overstitches. This makes a loop for hanging, and adds to the decorative effect.

Click here to download the Bird Dangler templates


Bird dangler templates
Bird Dangler
Finished Bird Dangler
Bird Dangler step 1
Bird Dangler, stitching the wing to the bird
Bird Dangler step 2
Bird Dangler, with fly stitches on the wing
Bird Dangler step 3
Bird Dangler, stitching the two bird shapes together