Thursday, May 27, 2021

"In the Garden" Again: Robin and Forsythia

While I (Kara) was in Germany, the only robins I saw were the smaller English robins. They are adorable, and we have brought them to life in other blocks that we have created. The halfway point of our In the Garden re-visit brings us to the Robin and Forsythia block, but this time our robin is the larger, but equally beautiful American Robin. Simple stitches will bring this robin to life, and he will look like he is ready to fly away!

This week, you can use the coupon code ROBIN10 to receive a 10% discount on the printed Robin pattern with ribbon.


Thursday, March 22, 2018

"In the Garden"—Robin and Forsythia

Spring is on it's way! Teri and I (Kara) saw evidence when we were down in Williamsburg, Virginia, at the Appliqué Academy a couple of weeks ago. The daffodils and forsythia were displaying their brilliant yellow for all to see, and the trees were just starting to have that faint, rosy cast as their buds start to swell. We even saw multiple bluebirds during our visit! With so many signs of spring, how appropriate is this month's In the Garden block, featuring two classic harbingers of spring; the robin and forsythia?

The robin and branch are wool and the forsythia flowers are made of lots of silk ribbon which is included in the pattern—soon available on our website!

The wool pieces went down first and the robin's breast was put down last. Before I stitched it down, I cut out a piece of polyester batting slightly smaller than the breast piece and put it underneath to give a little padding in that area. Then I stitched it down and began the embroidery.

All stitched down and ready for embroidery

I wanted to transform the color of the brown wool used for the body and did so by adding multiple straight stitches in a dark, brown, wool on the head—giving the head a darker look than the rest of the body. The satin-stitched eye is surrounded by two bullion stitches done in white. The white is also used for the throat and a couple of stitches near the eye.

The feather stitches add a subtle shading to the breast.
Once I finished the head, I moved on to the breast. I just wanted to add a little shading to highlight the padding, so I used a thread that is slightly darker than the wool and did about 3 rows of the feather stitch. It's subtle, but I think it works.

You can see the marks I made for the wing design. I used my white, roller ball pen to put those on the wing. A stem stitch was used for all the wing stitching, using a variegated, brown wool.

The tail is stitched with three rows of chain stitches done in the same dark brown wool as the head.

The last bit of embroidery needed was to add the legs. I used Press and Seal™ for the legs, tracing onto it with my white, pen. Pulling out the pieces of plastic can be a pain but it really works for transferring a design and a pair of tweezers helps to get the little bits out safely.

The traced legs
The first set of chain stitches
The finished legs

With the robin embroidery finished, it was time to move on to the forsythia. I went through once putting the yellow, silk, ribbon blooms on with straight stitches.

Round one of the forsythia blooms looked a little sparse.

After putting a few flowers on, I decided I needed to fill it in a bit more. I tried making a couple of forsythia with a lazy daisy stitch, but thought it didn't add to the look and just kept to the straight stitches.

The extra blooms did the trick.
French knots in the center were the final touch.

It was so fun to be back in the states and meet some of the ladies from our In the Garden classes. My extended time in the US, after going to the Academy, allowed me to attend and help teach this robin block. The ladies were awesome, and they did such a great job bringing their robins to life.

Getting ready to stitch some forsythia!
Stitching friends.

What a treat to be able to spend time with these ladies!

The Robin and Forsythia pattern will be available on our website early next week, because Teri is vacationing and unable to mail your orders. She will have it on the website ( on Monday!

If you have made any of our In the Garden patterns, we would love to see pictures!

Past posts in the BOM series:


  1. Thank you so much for posting this. It was like being in a classroom with you. Your work is amazing.