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Monday, July 05, 2010

Pams Peacock Tutorial For Crazy Quilting

Hello everyone!  As promised, I've put together the tutorial for the peacock that I use on my crazy quilts.  Peacocks were a very popular motif with the Victorians.  They loved anything exotic! I've seen photos of Victorian crazy quilts with embroidered peacocks, satin stitched peacocks, cross stitched peacocks and painted peacocks!  I myself have even used real peacock feathers on my crazy quilts.

This particular project is my own original design.  I own the copyright!  Please do not sell the pattern or the instructions.  You may of course post a link on your blog or website to this tutorial.  All I ask is that you give me credit as the designer.

I've taken a lot of photos to make it easy to understand so here goes!  First, you'll need the pattern:

Print the pattern and trace it onto tracing paper.  Next, pin the pattern onto your block:

Stitch the outline of the peacock using a stem stitch.  I used #5 Pearl cotton to stitch the outline.  I used 3 strands of embroidery floss to stem stitch the branch.  I did not stitch the leaves this time.  And I do not stitch the top of the tail feathers.  That's for placement purposes only.

Once you have the stem stitching complete, carefully tear away the tracing paper and carefully remove from underneath your stitches:

You may need to use a pin or needle help get the paper out but it should pull out easily as the stitches pierce the paper:

Next, you'll want to fill in the peacock with long & short stitches.  I used a darker blue in DMC Rayon thread with 3 strands.  I know, call my crazy!!!  Rayon is hard to stitch with because it's so slippery but I love the shine of it and it does fill in nicely.  You can use silk threads or cotton threads, whatever you're comfortable with:

Now for the fun part!  The tail!!!  You need some eyelash yarn in a coordinating color.  Cut 12 strands approx. 10 inches long.  (You can always trim them down a bit later.)  You'll also need a glue stick and a small floral brooch or pin:

Lay them all out on top of each other and then using some bead thread, tie them together in the center:

Leave the bead thread strands long enough to pull through the fabric. 

Next, fold the yarn bundle in 1/2 where the bead thread knot is.  Thread a needle with one strand of the bead thread and pull through to the back of your block:

Repeat with the other end of the bead thread, pulling to the back side of your block about 1/8 of inch from where the first one is:

The photo above is the back side of the block.  Tie a double or triple knot with the bead thread strands and then weave the strands under the stitching of the peacock body.

Turn your block back to the front and using a glue stick, add a bit of glue at the top of the tail:

The purpose of adding a bit of glue is to hold the bottom layer of the yarn to fabric temporarily.  This step is optional but I've done quite a few of these and find that it helps to have that bottom layer held in place while I do the beading.

The next step is to add a brooch.  I usually use something that looks like leaves or a flower or something swirly and abstract.  I buy inexpensive vintage jewelry pieces at flea markets and antique shops.  If you don't have a rhinestone brooch, you can use a pretty button or a new piece of jewelry.

I pin my brooch on and then I also sew it down with bead thread. 

Next, you'll want to add the "eyes" in the tail feathers.  Use beads or sequins, whatever you like that adds some sparkle and holds the eyelash yarn in place:

Sewing the beads or sequins down should help to hold the "tail feathers" in place.  You may need to tack the eyelash yarn here and there as well.  Look close at this last photo.  I leave a bit of the tail to just dangle.  It's only tacked down to about where the beads on the tail end.

You may want to trim your tail a little bit but I recommend that you wait until you sew your project together and then trim it.  When you do your finishing, you'll want to pin up those dangling feathers so they don't get caught in your seam.

So there you have it!  That's how I do my peacocks.  I hope this tutorial was clear and easy for you to follow.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  I'll be happy to answer them!


nima said...

wow...awesome..thank you for sharing the idea

Laurie said...

Thank-you SO MUCH Pam! This will be fun to re-create!!!

Sherry from Alabama said...

That is absolutely beautiful! Thank you for the tutorial.

Sherry @ A Happy Valentine

LuLu Kellogg said...

What a talent you have! Pam, this is beyond beautiful. I don't know how to quilt but have always wanted to learn. I am just sitting here with my mouth hanging open...I am in awe of your talent!


Magpie's Mumblings said...

Great tutorial Pam - I never would have thought to use eyelash yarn for the tail but it's absolutely perfect!

Cathy K said...

Great tutorial, Pam, and I’d love to try this sometime! I was in a peacock RR a couple years ago, and we had so much fun coming up with different ways to depict this beloved bird. I really love this opulent tail you do! BTW, I have a bathroom decorated in peacock, (purple, blue, green), including a stained glass window. Hugs, Cathy

Kirsty said...

Love love love! Fantastic peacock really!

Sandy G said...

WOW, Pam, what a cool tutorial! Your instructions and pictures are very clear...and what a beautiful peacock! Amazing! I am going to save these and one day there may be a beautiful peacock in my world. :o) Thanks for sharing!


WOW...that is so beautiful!!!
Thanks for visiting me. It's fun to meet other bloggers.
Deb :)

Cathy said...


HOW STUNNING. OMG!! Totally gorgeous girlfriend. Wow, is all I can say. The colors and design are just beautiful. You are very talented my sweet friend.

xo Cathy

Judy S. said...

Fun tutorial, Pam. We were lucky to see a real peacock at the zoo with the GK that welcomed us by fanning out its beautiful tail. They are pretty birds but oh my, have you heard their voice?

Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva said...

That is stunning.

Faith said...

OH! This is awesome. Just what I need for my India themed quilt (that I'm going to make someday soon....maybe).

Lucia Cortes said...

Is beautiful, thanks for sharing.

Ellen said...

Wow never aw anything like this. Amazing one of a kind. Thanks for sharing!

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