Monday, January 19, 2009

For the Birds Sampler Series Update

This began with Gathering Thoughts and Fabrics, and has become one of my favorite sampler series: For the Birds. All of the blocks, although some are more commonly known by other names, are traditional blocks and are named, according to several of my reference books, with names that relate to birds (or at least flying).

Let's review what we've done.
This easy starting block is just simple half square triangle units arranged in a pinwheel.
You can also learn how to make Half Square Triangles here using the same two squares method. This sampler uses a lot of half square triangles of differing sizes and configurations.

Quails Nest (block #2)
I knew this block as Hole in the Barn Door, but among it's other names (like Monkey Wrench) I discovered the name Quail's Nest. To my knowledge this is the only traditional block to have any relation to quail -- it had to be included.

This tutorial reveals my lack of perfection -- I accidentally sewed the "wings" on the same side, but a seam ripper and a little patience fixed the mistake in no time.


This is a simple and pleasing block. If I were doing a large quilt in this pattern I would probably enlarge the block to a 12 inch instead of a 9 inch size.

I love the way this one came together.



I think if I were doing this block again I might pick more contrasting fabrics, some of the triangles get a little lost -- a darker dark and stronger medium would make the pattern of the block more visible.

I like this block. It has a strong graphic quality.
I like it even better framed, which is what I did with it next.

Enlarging (framing) a quilt block.
It is at this point that I start to get fancy and deviate from the original plan of nine 9.5 inch (9 inch finished) pieced quilt blocks.


We will still finish the nine pieced blocks which you can sash and set into a 45 inch square baby quilt like the Starter Quilt Simple Project we originally did with blank blocks or simple Snowball blocks.
You can still do that.
OR you can come along for the ride as we play with our layout and design.


I've been adding things.
First thing I added: an applique cardinal or two.
As you can see, it's not anything fancy. A simple blanket stitch on the machine, raw edge applique, and a fat bird template. You can easily make the template yourself all you need is something round to trace -- I give step by step instructions here to make your own bird templates. I made several sizes.



I've finished Flying Crow (block #8) and will be editing the photos and getting the tutorial put together to post soon.

After that, we will put together Wild Goose Chase (block #9) and some Flying Geese. I might do something funny with some of the Flying Geese. I have an idea I want to play with.

And then we'll look at some more folk art applique bird possibilities and we'll revisit my resource books with all the pictures of traditional quilt blocks. There are some bird named blocks that I left out because they didn't work with the 9 inch size (on a 5 or 7 grid rather than a 3 grid layout)... I think we might include a couple of those after all.

1 comment:

  1. Wish I could quilt. My favorite is the cardinal.

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