Mar 23 11

Bird Building

I finally finished the very last panel on my sampler quilt and it features 4 birds:

I really like the way it came out and can’t wait to attach it to the rest of the quilt. But first, I wanted to show the steps in basic bird building. Excuse the colors in the photos that follow; I had a lot of trouble replicating the actual quilt colors and the photo above comes the closest (but it isn’t quite right, either.)   You start off with the basic bird shape:

(Note that nothing is fused until all 4 birds are completed.)
Next, we add the internal wing and the tail swirl, which I adore:

…and just because I cannot leave well enough alone, I added a headdress.  In this case, the headdress is the same shape as the internal wing; I’ve just played with its position:

And that takes care of the two birds that will “kiss” in the center of the panel.  It’s amazing to me just how much of a “wow factor” something as simple as a swirl can add to an applique motif!  And now we move on to the second pair of birds. These are simpler birds, but cool nonetheless.  To start, we have a basic bird in blue:

…and then we add the internal wing and tail feather:

Nice…but we need more, don’t we?!  Let’s start by adding some internal teardrops into the tail feather area:

And now let’s make this bird into something kind of swish by adding an intricate headdress.  This headdress is simple to make because all you do is cut the tail swirl from the first bird and then snip off one portion:

Ooh-la-la…now I’m happy!  These birds are singin’ my song!  And now that I’ve got my layout just right, I can fuse them all down and get ready for some stitching:

So much fun, and so gratifying! The die to cut these birds will be available soon!


  1. Lisa Says:

    Gorgeous! And so impressive yet you make it seem so simple. Thanks for sharing. Lisa

  2. Leslie Says:

    Lovely…looking forward to seeing the ‘big reveal!’

  3. Patricia Nicholls Says:

    I’m loving those birds!

  4. Brita Says:

    Are you kidding me? You make it seem so simple to make. Swish? Yes 🙂

  5. Lisa Says:

    The birds are gorgeous!!! I love your fabric choices even with the photo color being off. I’m looking forward to seeing the entire quilt.

  6. Mandy M Says:

    The birds look so elegant. I like the headdresses, in my opinion it makes the birds.

  7. thomas e smith Says:

    WONDERFUL…. not that i’m partial to birds (BUT I AM) thanks for sharing this…. cant wait to try…


  8. Diana E Says:


    These are lovely. I just have to know how did you cut out the swirls and rings? Were these created from a template. I absolutely love the symmetry.


  9. Patty Says:

    I love the swirls on the birds!! Remind me of peacocks I use to raise. Looking through your site always makes me want to go quilt. Sometimes I need a little push!! Thanks Pat

  10. Ivory Spring Says:

    Can’t wait for your dies to come out…. I want a set!