Open 10:30 – 17:00
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A Bird in the Hand – Textile Workshop

Make a stitched and stuffed garden bird from fabric in this hands-on workshop

Join us on Sunday 26th November to make a realistic stitched and stuffed cloth bird to put under a glass dome, adorn your Christmas tree or perch on a winter windowsill.  Debby, textiles teacher and maker at Morley College, will guide you through the process from beginning to end using hand stitching and some machine sewing.

Choose from a range of birds, including seasonal robin, and be guided through painting colours and markings onto cloth. You will then be taught how to cut, seam, stuff and insert wire legs and eyes to create your bird.

All materials will be provided and refreshments will be available during the day.


10.30am – Welcome and introduction.  Debby will show you three characteristic bird body shapes and leg positions.

11.00am – Break

11.30am – Choose your bird and trace body, gusset, wings and tail onto calico using templates.

1pm–2pm – Lunch, you are welcome to bring your own, or alternatively, the Garden Cafe will be open, serving delicious hot food and snacks.

2pm – Cut out and stitch body seams.  Stuff and shape, insert and secure your bird’s wire legs.  Close remaining seams and stitch wings and tail into position. Insert eyes and apply finishing touches with additional paint or embroidery stitches.

4.40pm – Admire your bird; take photos, either in the hand, or in a Garden Museum bush

Course Leader

  • Debby Brown

    Debby Brown

    Debby is a maker and teacher of mixed media constructed textiles, currently teaching Foundation Textiles and other courses at Morley College. She trained as a textile designer at Camberwell School of Art. Although she uses a lot of fabric, yarns and stitch, she also likes working with wire, paper and found materials in different combinations. She has been teaching for over 30 years in schools, colleges, museums and interest groups. Debby particularly enjoys working with themes and collections, and was formerly curator of Pollocks Museum, where handling and understanding objects sparked her interest in how three dimensional things are made and put together.