Friday, March 11, 2016

A Mohair Bird on an Antique French Ticking Mattress Pincushion

Birds are a favorite subject of mine. I've often included them in my paintings and folk art pieces. This one was inspired by antique Steiff toys and the arrival of spring.

Even though the bird is a golden brown, I still see it as a robin... just in time for spring! The fabrics are vintage sparse mohair and recycled red wool.

The underside of the wings are lined with a recycled brown wool. If you notice in the photos, the end of the tail has a reddish tint to the mohair... the fabric was shaded like that, so I made sure to cut that part to add a bit more color to the tail.

I drew a bird pattern (free-hand) on the back of the fabric, cut it out, and hand-stitched it. No patterns were used. Now I wish I had made a pattern... I really like the shape of the bird. Hopefully I can sketch around a bit and come up with a very similar design.

As I've mentioned many times before, my husband is a carpenter / woodworker, so I used a tiny scrap of walnut wood from his shop for the beak. I carved it by hand with an exacto knife.

That wonderful old looking pincushion is made from beautiful antique French ticking that I purchased directly from a dealer in France several years ago.

When I received it in the mail, I couldn't bring myself to cut into the fabric... and so it sat in a box.

And I forgot about it until a while back when I was looking for a specific fabric for some projects and found it in my stash.

Again, I used no pattern, cutting the pincushion design to fit under the bird, and then hand-stitching to make a tufted mattress. It is filled with snippets and scraps of 100% wool.

This one of a kind piece is currently in my Honeysuckle Lane shop. Click this link to visit and make a purchase if you are interested.

Thanks so much for visiting!

Have a blessed weekend,


  1. He is awesome and I would have loved to have had him, but I spent the day working outside and missed my opportunity. I am sad!!!

    1. Thank you, Pat! Sorry you missed it, but check back soon. I still have a small amount of that vintage sparse mohair left, so I am going to make a few more pieces.