I really wanted to make an artful quilt to gift to a special crazy Frenchman in my life. I am going to get to see him on Friday, May 9th, so I decided that this past weekend I had better make something happen! I checked in with a few close family friends who know him very well, and while my intuition about the colors he likes was spot on, I wasn’t sure what kind of pattern to use for the quilt top. When I learned that he loves birds, well, it was a pretty simple matter to find a cute (and free!) bird paper piecing pattern online. If you like the block, feel free to use the McCalls Quilting bird block pattern, too!
This is only the second time I have ever paper pieced (the first was in Lee’s Shooting Star class at Sewdown Portland – thanks, Lee!), so I decided to read up on the technique again before blundering along and getting upset. It went really well, though, and I was amazed at how quickly I pulled this quilt top together given that I was doing something pretty out of the ordinary for me. I started looking online for a paper pieced pattern on Friday at 10:45 in the morning and I had the quilt top done by 5:00 that evening!
The first bird block I made is loosely based on a Yellow Rumped Warbler, whom I photographed in my backyard a few weeks ago.
I quickly made several more blocks, but then I was stumped for a moment. I did not want my birds all facing the same direction, so I puzzled out how to use my printer’s advanced settings to print a mirror image of the pattern. Score!
I used fabric and batting from my stash, so the mini quilt is the size that the amount of background fabric I had on hand allowed me to make. The “Birds on Telephone Wires” mini quilt finished out at 18″ by 22.25″. My photographs below do not show it, but I also made a hanging sleeve for the back of the quilt.
For the quilting, I used an all over meandering pattern that started to look like stippling! When I started learning to free motion quilt on my home machine, I really wanted to learn how to stipple. But my stippling looked horrible. Since it did not work for me at the time, I just moved on and tried my hand at a lot of other patterns and never really came back to it. I was pretty excited with how this turned out because it gives me confidence to go practice on stippling a bit more again! Yay!
Another awesome feature of this quilt is that it contains my new Quilting Jetgirl logo fabric that I had printed by Spoonflower! I love it! I especially like the way the logo looks with a subtle color shift. The white background logo is probably the one I will be using a lot in the near future.
I am looking forward to getting to hand deliver this gift later in the week. Fingers crossed that he likes it!