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Sweetness & Light – Hummingbird

In my opinion there are few birds as beautiful and delicate as the Humming bird.  Their brilliant throat colour is not caused by feather pigmentation but rather by iridescence in the arrangement of the feathers and the influence of light level, moisture and other factors.

There are 325 hummingbird species in the world.  They cannot walk or hop, but their feet can be used to scoot along a perch.  They have evolved smaller feet to be lighter making them more efficient flyers.


Despite their small size they are one of the most aggressive and territorial of birds and will attack crows, jays and hawks that enter their territory.

They have no sense of smell but have very good eyesight.  They do not suck sector from flowers through their long bills but lick it with fringed, forked tongues.  They are able to lick 10-15 times/second.

They have wings that can flap between 50 and 200 times a second depending on direction of flight and air conditions.  Their heart beats around 1,200/minute and at rest they take an average of 250 breaths/minute.

I selected 12 fabrics for this piece, it was really difficult to chose from the great selection I had in my fabric collection.


I selected this subtle flower patterned fabric for the background.  It would be easy to quilt and not be too dominant against the brightness of the bird.


I was nervous about starting to stitch this piece as it looked really vibrant and strong even at this stage.


I used a selection of Oliver twist and Maderia threads



Hummingbirds have an unusual feather pattern, they are almost fish-scale like.  I spent quite a lot of time practicing before starting to stitch the bird.


Close up of the head showing the stitched feather pattern.


A view of the reverse

IMG_2636 (1)

Stitching the background.


A limited edition Giclee print of ‘Sweetness and Light’ is available from my Website shop , please click here to view.

The finished piece.

AK008 Sweetness and Light

0 thoughts on “Sweetness & Light – Hummingbird”

    1. You’re right they are amazing, you can’t help but be fascinated by them. Thanks so much for your comments, not sure whether I’m clever or have a lot of patience!