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Free Project: Babies On The Way

Posted by Jeanelle McCall on Oct 21st 2010

As a momma bird gathers scraps to build her nest, this piece too is made from scraps! Creative Troupe member Jeanelle McCall has combined a little free-motion embroidery, hand embroidery and a photo transfer using TAP™ Transfer Artist Paper to complete this project. For fiber art and mixed media inspiration be sure to check out Jeanelle’s website here.

“Babies On The Way” TAP™ Project

Designed by Jeanelle McCall


  • TAP™ Transfer Artist Paper
  • Image of nest with eggs
  • embroidery thread – off-white, pale blue, pale pink, dark brown
  • free-motion thread for sewing machine – dark blue
  • Fabric scraps:
    • 8″ x 10″ off-white cotton
    • 7.25″ x 5.5″ canvas (I used blue)
    • 4″ x 6″ off white cotton
    • 3.5″ x 5.5″ batting
    • 3.5″ x 3.5″ off white linen
    • small piece of fabric approx. 6.5″ x .75″ for the limb


  1. Although not necessary, I like to fray all the edges of the fabric I use for this project.
  2. Print image of nest with eggs on to a sheet of TAP,according to manufacturer’s instructions. Trim around and as close to the image as possible.
  3. Position the TAP “nest with egg” image on the 3.5″ x 3.5″ off white linen – centered and towards the bottom. You will need space above the image for the limb. Transfer the image according to the TAP instructions.
  4. Now the layering begins. Place your linen piece with the nest – centered and towards the bottom – on the white 4″ x 6″ piece of fabric. Layer these two pieces on the batting.
  5. Place your “limb” fabric in a slight arch above the nest and let the ends extend beyond your layered work. Hand stitch the limb in position with pale blue embroidery thread.
  6. With a sewing machine, free-motion stitch the momma bird to the layered work. Make sure her feet are resting on the limb. You may wish to sketch the bird lightly with a pencil on the fabric and use this as a guide for the stitching.
  7. Now layer your work, centered on the 7.25″ x 5.5″ (blue) canvas.
  8. Then layer all this over the final piece of 8″ x 10″ off-white cotton.
  9. With a simple running stitch, use the pale blue and pink embroidery thread to hand-embroider on the bird. Stitch highlights and shadows to enhance the TAP nest image with the pale pink and dark brown embroidery thread.
  10. French knots, straight lines and “x”‘s are embroidered with off-white thread to secure all the layers together.