Anne Kelly – Park Walk Birds Series

During the current pandemic, our lives have become truncated and our journeys are mainly close to home. I explored my first project created during lockdown in a previous post for Mr. X Stitch called Quarantine Quilt.

As it became clear that many of my teaching commitments for the rest of 2021 were being postponed or moving online, I decided to join the Artist Support Pledge. The idea is that you sell your work, any pieces under £ 200, online and when you have sold over £ 1000 you buy another artists’ work valued at around £ 200. I was delighted at the response to my work in this worthy scheme and have been able to help several other artists and makers out as a result. I have also been giving 10% of my sales to my local foodbank.

I take daily walks in my local park – the Hilbert and Grosvenor Recreation Ground. It has been transformed thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant into a beautiful wetland with separate areas for site specific activities.

A walk in the park with Anne Kelly
The park where I go to walk and be inspired

I decided to make a series of bird embroideries based on the birds and plants that I see on my walks.

I collected discarded plant material from the park and used it as a direct stencil on a small screen I use for printing. I printed the plant images using a diluted printing ink onto old linen remnants.

Plant prints by Anne Kelly
Prints ready to be embroidered

I then hand stitched the birds and finished them with some machine embroidery.

Embroidering prints by anne kelly
The next stage after printing – the embroidering process

I was delighted that most of them have flown away to new homes!

One of Anne Kelly's finished bird prints
One of my more finished pieces – a record of a special time in nature

They are a special record of this unique time and it was good to be able to observe the local plants and natural world around us. Since I made this series of work, my fourth book for Batsford ‘Textile Travels’ has been released.

Anne Kelly's latest publication
My latest publication – published by Batsford

There are several workshops in it for making sketchbooks, and working whilst on the go.

Images from Anne Kelly's latest publication
My book is full of illustrations like this one

By the way, if you want more bird ideas for your stitching projects, we’ve got felted birds or embroidered birds for you to try!

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