For my Christmas card this year, I wanted an image of a partridge sitting in a pear tree with the first line of the song written along a branch, so I sketched out my idea several times until I was happy with the composition.
I decided to applique silk onto calico - the silk frays like mad but I like the effect. The eagle-eyed amongst you will spot a stray tuft of thread on the leaf, top right, that I didn't notice when I took the photo!
I used iron-on fusible webbing to make a mini quilt by sandwiching some thin cotton batting between two layers of calico, then I stitched an A4 sized frame to work within. The tree branches and writing were stitched before the brown partridge shape was stitched into place.
I added a white piece of silk for his face, then I worked on the eyes next because unless I could get them right the whole piece wouldn't work. I used black thread to machine stitch the pupils and a polyneon orange for the irises. I added the glint by hand but I had to use pliers to pull the needle back and forth as the machine stitching through the quilt was really solid.
After the eyes it was plain sailing and I added all the other silk shapes as I'd planned on my sketch.
I cropped the photograph then added a red border - I used a free photo editing programme "PicMonkey".
The wording inside the card will be:
"On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me
A partridge in a pear tree.
Very nice ... but I'd rather have a box of chocolates!"
I bet you couldn't read the first two lines without singing them in your head!