Put a paper pieced bird on it!

I wasn’t interested in paper piecing when I first learned about it. It wasn’t until I saw the book Backyard Bird Quilts by Jodie Davis that I was really inspired to give it a go.

Of course, I like to learn things the hard way. When I first started quilting, I was VERY resistant to pressing. I would try to finger press, or just not care about lumpy seams, and I don’t think it was until I tried paper piecing that I was sold. I just didn’t see how an iron could fit into a hobby. I tried my first bird, the simple cardinal pattern, without ironing, then with, and lo & behold, there’s a reason to haul out the iron!

That first one migrated south to the garbage can, but I saved the second for a gift for a friend, a tote bag:


I loved how it made such a big impact on the tote. The grey chambray was gorgeous, and I love that bold geometric fabric, but I wish I’d used a nicer lining. The material was like the stuff a cheap tie is made of. Not a good feel, and unpleasant to work with. Even though I had a whole swag curtain length left (its former life), I threw it in the thrift store pile because it was so yucky to work with.


My next backyard bird was the blue jay, inspired by our recent birdfeeder visitor. Still not sure where he’s going to land…


I thought about using it as the focal point of this something-in-progress, a bunch of improve light neutral blocks I’ve done, but I’m as yet undecided. Care to weigh in?



Switching to my sewing chair

Well, metaphorically. I only have one chair, but it’s a pretty neat one I cobbled together from an old kitchen set & the spinny part of an old computer chair. I meant to say, I’ve been doing a lot more sewing lately than working in my art journal, and here’s one of my recent finishes:


I’ve noticed that a lot of folks in the quilting blogosphere name their quilts, so I’m gonna try that out…How about…Cruciform Fortune Teller. It was based on the Fortune Teller quilt from Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison. I loved the improv blocks of neutral colors, but I didn’t want to fuss with the white center block once I got going piecing. I also thought it might be interesting if the blocks were off-center instead of all four the same size, with some sort of sashing….And then I started thinking that it would make a bold color really sing, and I had this fabric I had been saving for literally half my life. It was, in fact, my prom dress from the late 90’s. Beautiful satin with velvet print, but I was never going to wear it again. I’d saved it for the fabric, for just that special project, so I cut away & never looked back!

Speaking of backs, the back of this one was pieced in a similar fashion, only on a larger scale, with the many, many light neutrals I still had/have:


I quilted with straight lines, because with all those seams & different fabric I used (everything from nearly threadbare pajama pants to canvas), I was scared to try free motion! I left the sashing unquilted, to be a little puffy.


And lastly, I gave it a faced binding from this tutorial. At first I was going to try to match all the edge colors, but then I decided it was going to be a wall hanging & this way just seemed a lot more efficient. I’ll let you know how it looks up in the dining room when I get the¬†hanging sleeve on it.¬†Thanks for the wonderful tutorials, ladies of the quilt blogosphere!

A peek at what’s next….