Just around the corner


Hello! Good day! Why is she being so cheerful, you wonder, suspiciously. Well, I thought the following idea might go over better with a friendly introduction. I don't want to alarm you or anything...but have you noticed all the Christmas decorations popping up lately? You're not ready yet, you say? Haven't even bought your Halloween candy? Shhhh....it's going to be okay. Kim is here to help. You may already be familiar with my pear ornament pattern. Well, I didn't want to leave you hanging, so to speak, without a little partridge friend to roost in your pear tree...

So, as my early gift to you, here is a free pattern and tutorial to make a Playful Partridge ornament! The pattern also includes a baby-sized bird for those who would like to make a whole partridge family.

Wool blend felt in assorted colors (a 12 x 12" square will yield 3 Mama partridges with leftover scraps for flowers and leaves)
Quilting cotton fabric scraps for wings
Lightweight fusible interfacing for wings
Embroidery floss
10" length of narrow ribbon or medium rick rack for hanger
About 4" of floral wire (try Joann or Michael's)
About 10-15" of fluffy or feathery yarn (I used Bernat’s "Boa" yarn and Patons "allure")
Fray Check

Hand sewing needle
Scissors and/or small rotary cutter
Crochet hook (optional)
Wire cutter


1. Cut two bird bodies from felt. Cut one wing each from cotton print and interfacing (bumpy side up). Cut flower embellishments from felt, using the provided templates or inventing your own. (You'll notice two sets of wings in the photo; you will only need one unless you choose to decorate both sides of your partridge)

2. Fuse the bumpy side of the interfacing onto the wrong side of the wing according to package instructions (this will help reduce fraying and adds stability for embroidery).

3. Carefully divide a 60” length of embroidery floss into two sections of three strands each. With one length of floss, attach wing to bird body with blanket stitch, using the (*) on the pattern for placement.

4. Stack felt flower embellishments in desired order at top of wing, place button on top, and attach to wing through button holes with embroidery floss.

5. Make fluffy plume for top of bird's head:

Crochet – Ch 10; Row 1: SC in 2nd ch from hook; SC in next ch; turn; Row 2:Ch 1; SC in second hole from hook; tie off and trim end


Cut 3 strands of yarn several inches long; knot strands together at one end; braid strands for about 3 inches; tie strands into a knot at end of braiding. Trim ends.

Now, weave florist's wire through long SC tail of crochet or one knotted end of the braid, all the way to the other end. Bend the wire backwards at the top and twist to secure wire (this step is a bit fussy, go slowly and be patient!). Bend the remaining wire at the bottom of the yarn tail into a larger, exposed loop and twist to secure--see photo. Trim off any stray yarn fluff and long ends as necessary.

6. Attach plume to wrong side of partridge's head, using embroidery floss and carefully whipstitching around the wire and then through a superficial layer of felt (so it doesn't show through the front, I recommend using floss that matches the color of felt) all the way around the loop; bend the plume so it curves toward the beak of the bird.

7. Fold rick rack or ribbon in half to make hanger. Sew cut ends together with embroidery floss and use Fray Check on the ends to prevent unraveling. Place cut ends of hanger (overlapping at least 1/2 inch onto the felt) on the wrong side of partridge--where indicated on the pattern--and attach with whipstitch, again only going through a superficial layer of felt.

8. Place the two halves of the partridge together, right sides out. Blanket stitch the two pieces together using the unused 60" length of embroidery floss, going three quarters of the way around. Tip for corners: use the needle to help place the thread exactly on the tip of the corner. Hold down floss at the tip with your fingers while making the next stitch to keep it from sliding off the point.

9. Stuff the bird lightly with polyfill and finish blanket stitching around the body. Tie off and trim embroidery floss.

10. Hang the partridge along with your pear ornaments on a tree, wreath, mantel, or garland and enjoy that holiday feeling. They'll make sweet gift toppers, too. The pear pattern is also available for purchase in the sidebar to the right.

Happy creating! I hope you'll share your partridge creations in my flickr group. I can't wait to see your own interpretations of this project!

P.S. The instructions for Baby partridge are the same as for Mama (though I did use small rick rack for Baby)

P.P.S. Those fluffy plumes remind me of the feathered plumes we used to wear on our caps in marching band, we called them "chickens". I can still hear the section leaders boisterously shouting to us, "Fluff your chickens!" while we waited to go out on the field.

P.P.P.S. Yes, I was a band nerd. I played alto sax. Good times. Go Cougs!

Please let me know if anything needs clarification!


  1. thank you so much for the tutorial! i can't wait to try this :)

    have a great week!


  2. Cute! Those would look really fun on the 'kids tree'.

  3. Just darling! Thank you for the tutorial!

  4. These are wonderful, I've got a box of felt calling out to me! Thank you for this,

    :o) Carolyn

  5. I was looking for ideas for handmade Christmas gifts and those are perfect! Thank you for the tutorial!

  6. Having just finished my first version of your pear, I am thrilled to have this new project! thanks so much!

  7. Oh this is simply gorgeous...thanks for a wonderful tutorial, I'm going to have to make some of these xo

  8. Those are so cute! I love the idea and appreciate the tutorial.

  9. Thanks for such a cute tutorial. I love it

  10. My mom has her masters degree in home-ec, with an emphasis in textiles and fibers...so she can sew (and she USED to actually do it). My point is, our Christmas tree rocks. A lot of the ornaments look kind of like this lil partridge, and every ornament on there is handmade, no cheap plasticky business. She made most of them; my dad actually crocheted a few (?!?); we bought some of them; and of course my brothers and I made some when we were little. Thus, I haven't contributed in about 17 years, and I think it's time to make an ornament for the tree. I know it's kind of cheesy, but this means a lot. Thanks so much!

  11. This tutorial is so elegant. I can't wait to make it!
    thank you so much!

  12. Oh! These are just lovely!! What a gorgeous craft. Thank you for sharing,

  13. I love the crisp and fresh colours you have chosen for the bird. Thanks for sharing! :-)

  14. Hello! Just found your blog through a link on Whip Up! I love these partridge ornaments - they combine every thing I like- embroidery, wool felt, rick rack and CUTENESS! :0) You are so kind to provide the pattern and tutorial for free. I will be making several of these for my tree as well as for package decorations. I LOVE your owls too! Best, Ani

  15. Yikes! this is lovely. Pure and simple.

  16. Wow, this is beautiful! Thanks so much. There are going to be lots of partridges (and babies!) on my tree this year, I just love this. I'll be linking as well.

  17. I have a special little Christmas tree that has all sorts of bird ornaments hanging on it each year; baby partridge will be in very good company. Thanks so much for the great tutorial, Kim!

  18. I absolutely love this! I included it on my blog for Tutorial Tuesday since it would make a great holiday gift. :)

    @Cynthia, I love your idea of using these on a kids tree.


  19. These are so cute - thanks for the tutorial! I love the colors that you chose.

  20. great idea!
    We never ending to learn.

  21. These are so adorable. I cant wait to make one (or two)....

  22. I just discovered your blog. Very inspiring! The little ornaments are so cute and folksy!

  23. Very cute. Love the ric-rac. If you are interested, just did a roundup of Christmas ornaments: http://www.favecrafts.com/Ornaments/24-Ornaments-to-Give-or-Keep-for-Yourself

    Felt was something I neglected!

  24. I was so excited over the tutorial, I nearly missed the fact that you're a Coug! I'm a Coug too... and so is the hubbs :o)


  25. I couldn't believe when I saw your pattern....my grandmother created a pattern very very similar back in the 1960's. I have a few of them packed away in my ornament box....I am going to have to pull them out. Now she didn't have the "feathers" on top, but the rest looks pretty much as I remember hers. Great ornament!

  26. Hi

    Just letting you know that I've awarded your Blog with a Kreativ Blog award.


  27. This is so adorable! Can't wait to give it a try. :)

  28. So gorgeous! Thank you so much for the pattern!

  29. I love it! I hope you do not mind but I posted this as one of my favorite holiday tutorials with a link to your blog. I am hoping to find enough time this season to make one or two.

  30. This is great!
    I would love to make a link in my blog...

    Please check it at:

  31. Thank you for the tutorial!
    Beautiful blog!

  32. Thanks for the helpful tutorial!

  33. I am writing to request permission to reprint this adorable project on Craftown.com. We would of course respect your copyright and give you full credit and will happily link back to your blog as well. Please let me know if this is acceptable. Thanks!

    Amanda Formaro
    Chief Editor - Craftown.com

  34. Absolutely darling, but with the topknot this is really a quail, not a partridge! However, this is not going to stop me from making some!

  35. Those are great! Thanx for the tutorial! Oh, I played alto sax in marching band and our mascot was a Courgar! I can't say what we called our plume thingies except that it did have "chicken" in it...

  36. This ornament is absolutely adorable! I would love to feature your projects on our site, AllFreeChristmasCrafts.com. If this is something you'd be interested in, you can contact me at jlitz (at) primecp (dot) come. Thanks!

  37. Que lindo esse blog.
    Realmente amei.
    Thaks,do Brasil

  38. Great tutorial! I love the bright colors - can't wait to make one for my tree. I included a link to your tutorial as one of the ornaments I would like to make this year. Would love to include a photo to combine with the link with your permission.


  39. Hi Tanya, thanks very much :) You are welcome to post a photo with the link. Happy holidays!

  40. Made them! Almost as cute as yours! http://www.victoriainvirginia.com/2011/12/ornament-exchanges.html

  41. This is adorable! Thank you for the free pattern!

  42. I made at least 40 of these this year to give as gifts. I ended up omitting the feather on the top, as it added so much extra time to the process. I think they are still pretty adorable.

    You can see a bunch of them here.

  43. Oh, and I should say, THANK YOU for the wonderful idea and the really detailed instructions. I love them so much that I'm STILL making them, even though I've already delivered them to all my friends and family for Christmas. I figure I need one of every color for my own tree!

  44. I love this & going to try & get my elderly Mom interested in making some to get her busy with something.

  45. Very beautiful craft to do during christmas holiday.....I will try it...thank you for the idea!!!