Thursday, 1 November 2012

A Flock of Bluebirds

At the end of July I was contacted quite out of the blue by someone I used to work with about a potential commission for their new business. Since I worked with her in Liverpool Krisi had set up her own company, Bluebird Tea Co, with partner Mike and they'd been busy building a following at fairs, festivals and events all over the country. (You can read more about their story on the brilliantly written blog ThatBluebirdGirl.) Obviously in July we were all thinking about Christmas, right? Well, I know I was, and so were they because they very kindly asked if I'd be interested in making some decorations for their Christmas gift packs!

As I'd never done anything quite like this before in terms of the size of the request (currently 320 birds!) I tried to keep the designs simple but interesting. Fortunately Bluebird have a very strong brand identity so there was a lot to work with, and we decided to create a little felt bluebird the reflected the company but would also be something special to hang on your tree. I started with some Pinterest research, and then a bit of scribbling.
 I tried out a few shapes and stitching samples.

 When I had a shortlist of four birds I sourced materials, costed each design and sent the samples off to the guys at Bluebird.
After a brief back and forth of messages on Facebook we came to a final design, and I soon got to work!
How I go about cutting repeat shapes is constantly changing as I try to find the quickest method.
Production line.
Sepearating batches of bird parts into bags has been very helpful.
Perhaps I would get more done if I didn't waste time doing things like this?
Nearly there!
See all those threads? I have to tidy them off, one by one...
A stack of finished birds, complete with my labels.
If you want some funky loose leaf tea and a little handmade birdie too then keep an eye on Bluebird Tea Co's website for their Christmas gift packs or go and visit them at one of the many events they'll be doing. (I did spy on their website that they'll be stocking up Turl Street Kitchen in Oxford with their teas, so if you're in the area you should get down there, the food is delicious!)

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