Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Windham Wednesdays with Bird Song

I fell in love with this collection by Clare Therese Gray for Windham Fabrics called Birdsong. Clare is an illustrator who lives in England on a farm with her husband and two young children. Her work reflects the countryside around her, I think!

 I was sent a set of fat quarters of Birdsong a few months ago and I kept taking them out and stroking them. Such lovely, sweet images. Let me show you.
Birdsong by Clare Therese Gray for Windham Fabrics
These prints include butterflies, flowers (of course!) and bird eggs. This color combination is one of my favorites and I put my thinking cap on to see what I could come up with. I was only going to make a few blocks. Ha!

I pulled out one of my upsized birdhouse paper pieced block which I call Home Tweet Home. This design dates back to 2002 when I created 12 paper pieced birdhouses in a much smaller size. This was very quick to paper piece because I had already worked out the cutting size of the different patches!

I made it as large as I could fit onto a standard piece of 8.5" x 11" paper. This is included in my Big Birdhouse Bonanza paper pieced pattern set of 10 Birdhouses (and a paper pieced cardinal) on Craftsy. (There are 10 upsized birdhouse patterns for paper piecing in heights of 10" and 12"; go take a look!)

Home Tweet Home: 7" x 10"
Here are a few more shots of my birdhouses.

Second birdhouse before trimming and adding the door opening
I selected some of Windham's Uncorked to use for the birdhouse doors.

Birdhouse #1 with a deep rust colored circle from Uncorked
 And my lighter birdhouse with the same color from Uncorked.

Birdhouse #2
Now, to prove to you I did use a paper pieced foundation:

Paper removed
Before trimming excess fabrics

I was working with ONLY fat quarters, and so wanted to get more than one or two blocks from each one. I designed a quick Cobblestone block with a rectangular center. I carefully cut 5-1/2" x 7" rectangles from the two main prints with the larger birds. And then moved on to the butterflies and the smaller bird print. And I made a lot of blocks! And kept sewing until I ran out of fabric (but I had the presence of mind to cut my border rectangles (4-1/2" wide) before I cut too many blocks).

The strips on the outside are cut: two 2-1/4" x 5-1/2" (top and bottom) and two 3" x 10-1/2" (sides).

Alternate Cobblestone Block: 10" finished
So, let's see this 55" x 58" quilt. I had to cut some "spacing strips" to add to the two rows that don't have a birdhouse (4-1/4" x 10-1/2"). Yes, I sew on the fly! I just try to stay a step or two ahead so I don't run out of fabric.

I gathered together my scraps and made 3 more blocks (after I finished the quilt below). Don't you just love these saucy birds?
Birdsong Scraps
My 3 new blocks:

Efficiency Birdhouse
Efficiency Birdhouse: 6" x 10"

Room for One Birdhouse (I put the bottom section on wrong, but don't tell anyone!)

Room for One Birdhouse: 6" x 10"
And my third scrappy birdhouse is the 60s A-Frame: 7-1/2" x 10"

60s A-Frame: 7-1/2" x 10"
Here's my finished quilt awaiting binding. Remember, I only had fat quarters! Yes, you can make a good sized quilt using only fat quarters (I had 16). Windham is sending me more of that wonderful turquoise bird's egg print for binding! I just LOVE this quilt. And I used only one of my 10 Birdhouse patterns. You can see some of the others at Craftsy.

Pecking Order: 55" x 58"
Birdsong is scheduled to arrive in quilt shops in August. Check out your LQS so you can look at them up close! Or click that Birdsong link.

Hope you've enjoyed the show today. This may become a class/workshop. I love that it combines paper piecing with simple Cobblestone blocks that AREN'T square in the center.

Friday, July 6, 2018

February Projects in the 2019 Quilter's Calendar

Let's see some more of the upcoming quilts in the 2019 Quilter's Block a Day Calendar. It's more than blocks - there are whole quilts (42 of them).

(For those who want to see 6 months of my 2018 calendar - I'm still uploading - you can visit my Pinterest Board to see 33 projects!)

Here are the ones that appear in February of the 2019 calendar:

The Vintage Redwork Sampler has 9" blocks and finishes to 32" x 32". Borders are your option to finish this larger. Perfect for those who enjoy redwork embroidery. These blocks appeared in the Kansas City Star in the 1930s and I redrafted them (tediously in Adobe Illustrator) 15 years ago. Timeless!

Vintage Redwork Sampler

This hearts Sampler uses 7" blocks (paper pieced except for the Scrolled Hearts in the Center) and finishes to 35" x 35".
Hearts Sampler
Castles in the Air has both 4" and 12" blocks for a 40" x 40" quilt.

Castles in the Air
And the fourth quilt for February is Tulip Time. Blocks are a whopping 16" for a 64" x 64" quilt.

Tulip Time Quilt
I hope you enjoyed seeing the upcoming projects in my 2019 calendar. So many blocks, so little time . . .

Thursday, July 5, 2018

2019 Block a Day Calendar is Here!

It's hard to believe that I've been published these Quilter's Block a Day calendars for 13 years! It's true and the 2019 edition is now available. Here is the cover:

2019 Quilting Block and Pattern a Day Calendar
Let me show you the various projects inside. There are 42 different quilts in various sizes and "personalities." Appliqué, rotary cutting, paper piecing - it's all there.

Here are the January projects:

Celebrate Snowflakes is 40" x 40" and is appliqué. I can almost see this also as a Hannukah quilt, couldn't you?

Celebrate Snowflakes
 MacDonald's Farm is both appliqué and piecing. Size: 40" x 40". Perfect for a child's quilt.

MacDonald's Farm
Stars and Roses is very traditional with both appliqué and piecing. Quilt Size: 72" x 72"

Stars and Roses
This is not available until July 17, but many places give you the option of pre-ordering.

I'll have more blog posts this month sharing the rest of the projects. Hope you also check out your local book stores and these links:

You can find this at Amazon and Books a Million. It will also be available at Barnes and Noble.

And Target carries this for a few dollars cheaper (retail: $16.99; Target is $11.59!)

Sunday, July 1, 2018

July Candlestick for the 2018 Tea Party BOM

Hard to believe that it's already July. Well, maybe not . . . it's really hot where I live and that can only mean Summer! I do hope your summer (or if you live "Down Under, your winter) is going well.

Our 7th block is the Candlestick. It is shown here with the platter, but I haven't released that pattern yet. You will be the first to know about it when I do share it right here!

Two Candlesticks with a Platter (not given yet)
Each Candlestick is 2" wide and 5" high. I always like to think that they come in twos and you may want to make your July block in this way, too. They are very simple appliqué, especially if you use raw edge and machine stitching.

You can find the July Candlesticks in my Craftsy store.

If you missed any of the blocks, you can find the links via my Tea Party page above in the tabs section. All of the blocks are free for the month in which they are released. After that, you can find them in my Craftsy store.

I have a Facebook group where you are welcome to come and share your blocks as you make them. This block is FREE for the month of July ONLY. You can find January - June on my Craftsy site if you are just joining us.

Let us see your blocks on the Facebook page!