To truly know the world, look deeply within your own being; to truly know yourself, take real interest in the world. ~ Rudolf Steiner
One of my daughter’s first words was “duck.” The birds in our waterfront town have become our constant feathered companions as we go through the rhythm of our days.
We walk along the water to the coffee shop. “Good morning, ducks!” We walk under the trees to the playground. “Good afternoon, woodpeckers!” We walk through our town square after dinner. “Good evening, pigeons!” And at bedtime, “Goodnight, my sweet chickadee.”
When my daughter’s first birthday was approaching, I knew I wanted to work her beloved bird friends into the celebration. Ah ha! Birdwatching bags!
I made simple messenger-style bags and included in each a birdwatching book, a small sketchbook, a colored pencil and a little bag of birdseed.
I was thrilled to see the kids enthusiastically flip through the books, pointing out familiar birds, jotting down notes and drawings in the sketchbooks and tossing birdseed to a group of pigeons wandering by.
Rectangle of upholstery weight fabric for exterior of bag
Rectangle of fabric for lining of bag
36″ x 4 ” rectangle of upholstery weight fabric for strap
Wool felt for bird
The size of your fabric pieces will be determined by the size and thickness of the books you decide to include. It’s simple to determine the size by just laying the contents on top of the fabric and cutting around them keeping in mind the thickness of the books and the seam allowance.
– Fold fabric in half length-wise, matching up the raw edges with right sides in. Sew along sides 1/2 inch in from raw edge.
– Turn right side out.
– Press with seam centered on one side.
Make Exterior of Bag
– Cut out felt bird.
– Stitch bird to exterior fabric in desired location.
– Fold exterior fabric in half, right side in. Sew along sides 1/2 inch in from raw edges.
– Turn right side out
– Fold top raw edge 1/2 inch toward the inside (wrong side).
– Fold lining fabric in half, right side in. Sew along sides 1/2 inch in from raw edges.
– Fold top raw edge 1/2 inch toward the outside (wrong side).
Put the Bag Together
– Insert the lining into the exterior fabric lining up the top folded over edges.
– Place the ends of the strap between the lining and exterior fabric centered between the side seams on each side. Pin in place.
– Edge stitch completely around bag’s top edge to attach lining and straps to the exterior.
Now, go find some birds!
And a picture of the Birthday Girl in her bird crown for good measure.
A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. ~Lou Holtz
Miranda Wulff Altschuler is a mother, a stepmother and a wife. She spends her days making things, drinking coffee, and wandering her quirky waterfront town of Fells Point in Baltimore, Maryland. After graduating from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2005, she worked as a senior designer at a graphic design studio for several years. She now stays home with her daughter, Fiona, and works during naptime as art director for aMuse Toys. You can learn more about Miranda’s adventures in mothering and crafting on Miranda Makes a blog.