Several years ago I purchased something called a "prosperity hen garland" at a local thrift store. The hens were made from pieces of colorful fabrics typical of northern India, where such garlands are made. It likely had originally come from a fair trade store.
I didn't think that hanging the garland up would automatically bring us prosperity. I purchased it because I liked the lively variety of fabrics used and it was a very reasonable price as well. Once home, I hung it where it would enliven our front porch.
Over time those cheery fabrics have faded, to the point that the garland now looked like this:
Believe me, they look much more muted than they had when I first hung them up. Now, there was no Front Porch Police around, telling me that I had to remove them or face a penalty, but I didn't like how washed out they looked. So I decided to make another garland.
I already had several decorative items on the porch with a good deal of blue on them (other handmade fabric hangings and pots) so decided to make a bevy of blue birds for my new garland. I showed off the fabrics I was going to use a few posts back.
Finished the garland this morning and here's how it looks:
A couple of close-ups so you can see the variety of fabrics I used:
I recycled the bell that had hung from the bottom of the prosperity hen garland and tied it to the bottom of my blue bird garland. I strung the birds (16 in all) onto gold cord, using a variety of blue glass beads in between each bird. (there are also beads between each prosperity hen, but since those beads are flatter, they aren't visible).
Each bird is about 3 1/2" high and 4" long. The total length of the garland is about 40". I enlarged a pattern from a vintage magazine to make the birds. I added gold bead eyes after stitching them up.
I have to admit, this project took awhile. First, I went through my blue fabrics (I have a lot) to pick out a variety to use. The fabrics were sourced from thrift stores, estate sales, garage sales, and people decluttering their fabric stash. That was the fun part.
More tedious were the tasks that followed: the cutting, sewing, turning and stuffing of those 16 smallish birds. I paced myself, doing a little each day for several days until the project was completed.
I'm happy with the way it turned out, though, and I know it'll be several more years until these fabrics fade on me as well. Until then, I'll enjoy my bevy of blue birds!