The Story:

As the sun was rising, early one morning, Earl E. Burd put on his favorite brown hat and went out for his morning walk. It was going to be a bright sunny day, and Earl was feeling very exhilarated. Earl is not your normal bird. He refrains from eating bugs and worms, preferring a vegetarian diet. To Earl, worms and bugs are friends, not food. He preferred to walk for his morning exercise. He could always fly later. Earl decided to walk, or rather hop and walk, down his favorite rock path. He loved to look at the beautiful colorful patterns in the shiny rocks. The other rock paths were just gravel and dusty rocks. Suddenly Earl heard a tiny cry. As he whipped around to look up, he saw a tiny green worm tumbling and sliding down the cascading leaves of a philodendron plant. The little guy could not get his grip on the smooth satiny emerald leaves. He kept slipping from one leaf to another. Instinctively Earl lifted up his wing and caught the tiny worm in mid air. "Please don't eat me Mr. Bird!" cried the tiny worm. "Eat you!" laughed Earl. "I am Earl E. Burd. I don't eat worms." he told the shivering worm. "What is your name little worm?" "Wilbur", replied the little worm. "Are you sure you won't eat me?" Wilbur asked. Earl replied, "Worms are friends, not food!" Then Earl asked Wilbur if he wanted to see some beautiful rocks. Wilbur smiled at Earl and said, "Yes, I would." Earl held Wilbur up high on his wing and they both set off down Earl's favorite rock path.


The Details:


Earl's body and head are needle felted over free-form shapes. The shapes were sewn, and firmly stuffed. The wool was then felted over the head and body. Earl's open mouth was carefully sculpted to convey the surprised look as he catches the tiny worm. He has a tiny red tongue added for more realism. His eyes are onyx beads, accented below with a bit of white wool for a more realistic appearance. Raised eyelids were carefully sculpted behind Earl's eyes. Gentle shading was added to enhance Earl's face. Earl's head is thread jointed to his body to allow for movement and different poses.

Earl's wings are solid felted over wire, and wool sculpted on both the front and back for more depth and flow in the wing design. Gentle shading was added to enhance each wing. The wings were sewn on to Earl's body and more wool sculpting was applied over the sewn area to blend the wings to the body. The wire inside the wings allows for gentle bending for different poses.

Earl's tail feathers are solid needle felted, then wool sculpted for more dimension. They were sewn on Earl's backside, and then additional wool felting was applied to blend the tail to the body.
Earl's feet and legs are needle felted over wire to allow for gentle bending and positioning.  The legs are felted to the body at the hips.

Earl's hat is crocheted with DMC chocolate brown floss. There is a small brown needle felted accent ball attached to the top of his hat.

Wilbur the Worm is needle felted over wire to allow his body to twist and bend. His head is carefully wool sculpted to give animated personality to the creation. His eyes are onyx beads. Raised eyelids were carefully sculpted behind Wilbur's eyes. Gentle shading was added to enhance Wilbur's face and body. Wilbur is sewn to the tip of Earl's wing, where he can continue to enjoy many adventures with his good friend, Earl E. Burd.

"Earl E. Burd - Early Bird Catches the Worm",

was created for the

2007 Thread Artist Guild® Annual Award Challenge

"Earl E. Burd - Early Bird Catches the Worm"
1st Place Winner of the 2007 Thread Artist Guild® Annual Award Challenge
Earl E. Burd and his friend Wilbur, are my very first needle felted wool sculpture.